by Kac Young, Ph.D, ND, DCH
The statistics for heart disease show improvement; and yet it is still the #1 killer in the USA. The staggering fact is that 90% of cardiovascular disease is preventable…so why the heck are we dying of it at such alarming rates?
I teach heart health, and lecture about it to anyone who will listen. Believe me I’ve heard all the excuses and justifications. “I don’t have time.” “It’s too expensive.” “Healthy food doesn’t taste good.” “It’s not what I’m used to.” “I’ll just take a pill.”
What do you mean expensive, since when has broccoli cost more than fried chicken?
You can cut food costs by cutting down your portions, which most of us need to do. We eat too much!
Frequent consumption of fast food is your guaranteed ticket to the ER. (Why wait. Book it now!)
If you have time to watch football, you have time to exercise.
If you take better care of your car then you do your health, there’s something wrong with your priorities.
You know the objections! If you are still finding excuses, please let me show you a map I came across recently that took my breath away. Maybe it will help you to change your mind and get serious about your heart health.
Data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Map by Ben Blatt/Slate.
America, we don’t need to be dying state by state of heart disease. It is 90% preventable. Even if you inherited a genetic predisposition for it, you can save your own life!
There are Three Have-to’s and Five Solutions.
1. Diet. You must, right now, stop eating the “bad” saturated fats. No more fried foods, nor more hamburgers loaded with fatty cheese, no more salty chips, high fat dips, high sodium, high fat pizza, no more sugary and fat-laden cakes, cookies and pies. You can eat better, healthier, cheaper and live longer. Biscuits and gravy = early grave.
2. You must exercise. Your heart is a muscle. If you allow it to get flabby from lack of aerobic exercise it will peter out on you when you need it the most. Keep it in good working order. It’s the best and most important muscle you have. Really!
3. Control. You must take control of your own life. No one else is going to step in and do it for you. No one is forcing you to eat, to gain weight, to create fat around your heart so that it can barely function. No one is making you eat that donut, drink that soda, or the 900 calorie sundae. Nobody is going to reach over and take it from you. You’ve got to say “No.”
1. Can your excuses. Literally. Make a list of reasons why you can’t/don’t want to/aren’t motivated to/take care of your health. Put them in a jar, close the lid and toss them in the recycle bin. Get rid of the disempowering thoughts that are keeping the weight on you, clogging your arteries and stealing your life pizza by pizza.
2. Look around you and make a list of all the reasons you have to live. Who do you want to be around for? What milestones do you want to reach? What dreams do you want fulfilled? These are your real motivators.
3. Find a program, buy a book, (www.HeartEasy.com) ask your doctor. Get active and proactive and lose those pounds, tone those muscles, get off the couch and replace your old habits with new ones that will add years to your life.
4. Bite the bullet. Change can be easy or hard depending on how you approach it. Personally, I like the radical approach where you throw away everything in your freezer, refrigerator and pantry that isn’t heart-supportive. Dump it and move on with healthy foods, treats and attitudes.
5. You have no idea how powerful you are when you make up your mind. Nothing can stand in your way once you see the end goal. If you want to live free of heart disease adopt these steps today and be the first one on your block to defy the odds and be a positive statistic FOR heart health not be a victim of heart disease.
Take another close look at the map and decide right here and right now what kind of state you want your heart to be in. Change and heart health is only one decision away.