You Have My Permission

you have my permission to be healthy

New Year’s Day is a day of reflection and resolution. As the new year approached, I was interviewed a few times about various health goals I had set over the last few years. In those interviews, I am often asked how I suggest setting goals or where to start. Then, I was once asked, “Now, of course you suggest they consult with their physician before starting anything new, right?”

Not necessarily.

If you have severe health problems or if you are planning a major change in your lifestyle, consulting with your physician to assure your body can handle that rapid change is a wise choice. However, there are plenty of small things we can change in our lives that can greatly impact our long-term health for good, without putting our short-term health at risk.

While there are a few medical conditions that have specific diet or activity restrictions, the majority of us do not need permission to eat more fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. No co-pay is required to lower our intake of sweets or calorie-rich desserts. And no appointment is typically mandatory before deciding to be more active. In fact, if we think about it, most of these things will have already been suggested by your physician over several previous appointments.

There are many things that stand in our way of living healthier. There are fears of failing, time restraints, budget restraints, feeling overwhelmed, and so much more. Getting your doctor’s approval to start should not be one of them. As mentioned before, if you have major medical illnesses, are about to make a radical lifestyle change, or significantly increase your activity, making an appointment to review the safest way to accomplish your goals is prudent. But if you – like me and so many others – just want to be healthier, the best way is to make small, consistent changes – changes that require common sense more than a dip into your deductible. So look at your lifestyle, choose something you can change or some way to improve, decide how to do it, and then go for it! New Year’s Day has come and gone but each day is a new day and a new opportunity to improve. Don’t wait. Decide to make those changes now.

You have my permission.