Many of us live for immediate gratification, and find it hard to resist temptation. Often, we fail to think ahead and consider the long-term impact of our choices, but just grab the candy bar or espresso for a much needed mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
But it’s not just about food. It could be sitting at the computer too long, not getting enough sun, or letting stress get out of hand.
Can you relate?
Having a healthy and long life depends, to a large degree, on recognizing how an unhealthy choice in the moment will impact you not only in the next few hours, but in the future as well, and creating a new habit.
Of course, there are no guarantees, but generally speaking to live longer, it’s necessary to:
- Decide you have a choice and will execute it
- Take responsibility for you health
- Recognize your actions have an impact
Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead
Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead chronicles the story of Joe Cross who, at 310 pounds, finds little recourse from modern medicine for his chronic auto-immune condition aside from steroids. Desperate, Joe finally decides to take his health into his own hands, and embarks on a 60-day juice fast (physician supervised). At the same time, he travels across America engaging in heart-to-heart talks with everyday people – more than 500 – about the composition of their own diets, health, and longevity.
The results of Cross’ juice fast were remarkable:
- His auto-immune condition goes into remission
- He gets off prescription steroids
- He loses his excess weight and glows with good health
- He gains the knowledge and experience to help others reboot their lives
Can you imagine putting a serious auto-immune condition into remission when the best medical doctors can do is feed you pills that are known to create more health problems?
These positive results weren’t just a stroke of good luck. Truck driver Phil Staples, also featured in the movie, was morbidly obese at 429 pounds, depressed, and desperate too. With help and hope provided by Cross blended with a strong dose of personal determination, Staples captured similar outstanding results from his own 60-day supervised juice fast. Most importantly, the joy of life, which had been draining away, came back in full force.
There is hope. If Phil Staples can get his life back, you can too. A juice fast might be too radical for you, but there’s always a manageable step you can take to move toward better health.
Do You Want to Have a Long and Healthy Life?
As Cross traveled around the country sipping his colorful vegetable concoctions, he spoke to people informally about their diets, sometimes in greasy spoons over bacon and eggs, and told them about his juice fast. There were two common responses:
- I don’t care if I die 10 years early and suffer from disease in the meantime. I’d rather eat what I eat than live the extra 10 years.
- I don’t have the willpower to do a juice fast like that.
In my mind, it comes back to the question: What are you willing to do to have a long and healthy life?
This question popped into my mind recently when faced with my own habits, and the need to tighten up my diet. I feel it’s such a pivotal question, at least in my life, I felt compelled to share it with you. It may not be an original question, but most of the time, we don’t really sit down and think about it.
What are you willing to do to have a long and healthy life? Are you willing to:
- Start an exercise program?
- Stop a bad habit?
- Give up fatty foods?
- Interrupt an unhealthy thought or emotional pattern?
- Get more sunlight?
- Drink 8 glasses of pure water a day?
- Try an alternative approach to medicine?
- Change your attitude?
- Go vegan?
- Make time?
4 Steps Toward a Longer and Healthier Life
Maybe, like many Americans who spoke out in the film, you simply don’t care if you die before you time has truly come to its fullness. On the other had, maybe a perceived lack of willpower is holding you back. If that’s the case, I suggest:
1. Reflect on the question at hand.
What are you willing to do to have a long and healthy life? Is there something you’ve been neglecting or avoiding that would improve your health? Make a list of realistic, positive actions you can take.
Find the right approach for you. While juice fasting can be beneficial for people who are robust, it’s not necessarily the best option for people who are deficient, weak, or sensitive to foods due to constituents like oxalates, which can cause pain and inflammation.
2. Start with one step.
Prioritize your list and start with a manageable step. Don’t try to change more than one habit at a time. That’s not how willpower works, and you will likely trip yourself up.
3. Learn how you can make the process easier.
Read how you can augment your willpower, change deceptive brain messages, and enhance your attitude in these posts.
- You Are Not Your Brain, The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life
- Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
- 9 Ways to Positively Influence Your Health and Happiness
4. Ask for support.
Talk to your family or friends. Join a support system in your community – like Weight Watchers – or an online program like the Sea Change Program to help you change habits. (This isn’t an affiliate link just a helpful program.)
From a spiritual perspective, this life is a precious and rare opportunity to actualize our full potential, realize the true nature of our mind, and put an end to suffering. You never know if you will be alive in the next moment or reborn as a monkey. So it makes sense to do what you can right now to live a long and healthy life without going to extremes or becoming overly obsessed with your body.
Long life depends on many different factors. There are no guarantees you will live long even if you exercise and eat a healthy diet, but does it make sense to commit gradual suicide on purpose?
- Watch the award-winning documentary Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead for free on Hulu.
- The Healthy Juicer’s Bible: Lose Weight, Detoxify, Fight Disease, and Live Long by Farnoosh Brock
What are you willing to do to live a long and healthy life? Does the question stir up issues for you. I would love to hear your thoughts.
[Disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor. Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice. Always check with your doctor before implementing a new health regime and proceed with caution.]
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