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We all know that we should not eat greasy fried food and that late-night binge eating is a sure way to pack on unwanted pounds. This is not rocket science. So why does it sometimes take a doctor’s report to convince us to change these destructive habits? For some of us, even a scary prognosis fails to produce enough motivation to dump our junk food-fueled lifestyles. The result? Unnecessary suffering that could have been PREVENTED!
Let’s take a look at what all those calorie-fests could really cost you:
Standard Ambulance ride: Depending on where you live, anywhere from $100-1500. Massive Heart Attach: ER room, visit, testing, etc. $500-10,000. Heart Bypass Surgery: A person in the Houston, TX area racked up a bill of $169,000.00. Medicare covered a chunk but the patient was responsible for a balance of approximately $34,000.00. Reports have been noted as high as $70, 000. Co Pays: averages $5-50 per visit. The cost of 2 visits (at the average $25 co-pay) per month for a year: $600. Medication Liabilities: When a patient requires medication, there is always the possibility that the medication will be used improperly. A new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies claims that medication errors affect 1.5 million people in the U.S. every year. The extra medical costs of treating drug-related injuries occurring in hospitals alone conservatively amount to $3.5 billion a year, and this estimate does not take into account lost wages and productivity or additional health care costs, the report says. Clinical depression: In one recent study, the total treatment cost per person per year, including the cost of housing, was $60,000. Institutional care can cost as much as $130,000. Early Death: IMMEASURABLE.
While one could argue that the financial consequences for many individuals are minimized by their insurance companies, let’s not forget that the true costs are eventually paid by everyone else when insurance rates rise. The increasing demand for weight-related health treatments is also contributing to more national debt. “The economic impact of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. alone totals nearly $403 billion in medical care and lost productivity annually," said Dr. Peter Lindgren of Stockholm Health Economics.
And what about the emotional consequences? Imagine receiving the news that a dear friend or family member just suffered a heart attack or stroke. Circumstances like these take their toll on the psyche. Mental disorders including anxiety and depression affect one in ten working-age adults each year, resulting in a loss of approximately 200 million working days a year.
What is the bottom line? Our unhealthy lifestyles carry a high price tag, and we have limited resources to pay it. The only rational solution, then, is to break free from our unhealthy lifestyle. In over a decade as a personal trainer and life coach, I have observed four key principles that empower this kind of radical change:
Key 1: REVELATION
Fortunately, the body is like a big Band-Aid. It longs to heal itself. But that doesn’t mean the choices we make today won’t scar our bodies for years to come.
Nothing in your life will change until the consequences become real to you. Revelation is about seeing and believing the truth. This is the key to prevention. For example, before (this is the “pre” in “prevention”) you develop Diabetes, a debilitating blood sugar disorder which affects about 8% of the population, close your eyes and imagine giving yourself daily insulin injections, losing your vision, or even losing a limb. How would you feel then? How would your family feel? Think about missing out on your grandchildren because you suffered a massive heart attack fueled by decades of fast food and a sedentary lifestyle. These things happen every day. For many, this reality check finally hits home when they’re confined to a hospital bed awaiting bypass surgery—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your revelation can start the moment you read this article or hear the early warnings from your doctor. Your life will change when the source of your decision-making drops 12 inches – from your head to your heart. This is how you convert information into realization. Become passionately involved in a decision, and you’re more likely to act on it rather than just letting it sit on a shelf.
Key 2: DECLARATION
Control your mouth, and you control your whole body. If you want to find out who you really believe you are, listen to yourself talk. As you speak with others, pay attention to your own words. You could even record your side of phone conversations for a couple of days, wait a week or two, and then play your words back. You may be surprised and even shocked at what you hear coming out of your mouth! Our words reveal what we honor. Are your conversations littered with phrases like, “I can’t do this... I always fail... My mom was built this way and my metabolism is slow, so I’ll never lose the weight?” Focus on replacing these negative words with positive declarations like, “I am blessed…I am an overcomer, and I am overcoming this…I’m getting healthier every day.” You will be amazed to discover the creative power of your own words, both for your good and for your harm.
Key 3: APPLICATION
Do you do what you don’t want to do, and don’t do what you want to do? It sounds like a tongue twister, but this dilemma defines almost everyone trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the solution to this problem is simple but not easy. You ignore what you want to do in favor of what realization has told you—what you MUST do. Truth without action simply doesn’t work. But here’s the great news: as you apply truth to your life day after day, your desires will start to change. You will want more of the good and healthy things. Simple exercise and walks in the park will instantly spike your metabolism, not to mention decreasing your biological aging by almost 10 YEARS! The rewards are sweet, and you will reach a point where you will truly desire them more than you desire that giant slice of cake. Exercises like walking and weight training with a simple exercise band not only prevent heart disease, diabetes and obesity, they reduce your risk of 35 other diseases and 12 cancers! If that’s not a great return on your investment, I don’t know what is. Get moving, apply yourself, and watch what happens.
Key 4: MANIFISTATION
Don’t just talk about your dream. Live it! While I do advocate writing your 6 week goals down on paper (in concert with Key 3), manifest that 6 week goal today--this very moment. Do you have a goal to lose 30 pounds or unclog some of those arteries? Well, do it today. Don’t eat any fried food – TODAY. Go for a walk- TODAY. Pass on the sweets – TODAY! You will literally see a manifestation of your 6 week goal happening right before your eyes. The satisfaction of SAYING NO will give you such confidence and peace that you will be ready for day 2, 3 and 44! Go for your dreams and live it one day at a time. You are worth the investment.