I went to have coffee with my dad today and we got on the topic of how much of an instant gratification society we are. As our conversation went on, I realized it was something worth writing about here. The discussion started when he reached for his remote to turn down the volume of music he had playing. After lowering the volume with the press of a button, he turned to me to say how strange it is that we can change the channel/volume without even leaving our chair, when we used to have to actually get up and walk to do it. This lead into our general impatience with waiting – wanting faster internet, ways to make dinner, shopping online, etc. I have to admit that I suffer from the “instant-grat bug”…just ask my husband. He’s always referring to the lack of my ability to wait for anything (whatevs…in my opinion, I’m always waiting on someone for something and deserve a medal for patience – haa!). One area in which I do not look for instant gratification however, is wellness.
Instant gratification just isn’t a thing when it comes to wellness.
The topic of instant gratification lead me to relate it to wellness and how we’re always looking for a quick fix or magic pill. We start diets because we want to lose weight fast, we run to the doctor for the “magic pill” because we want to fix what ails us lickedy split. Even though these quick fixes usually have some positive effect – you lose some weight, or feel less pain, the reality is that it’s not actually fixing anything. It’s treating the symptoms and not at all addressing the root cause of the issue. It’s why the weight tends to pile back on when you stop the diet, or the pain comes back when you stop taking the magic pill.
It’s important to note that I’m not saying that an option for symptom relief isn’t necessary – on the contrary, it’s quite necessary for many things…high blood pressure, arthritic pain – with which I have lots of experience, or even a diet to jump-start a change in eating patterns, to name a few. What I am saying is that it’s not enough to improve overall health and wellness on a more permenant basis. Diets and magic pills do not solve the root cause of the problem and it’s not reasonable to think that any major issue can be remedied by a quick fix. Lasting change and real improvements require lifestyle changes. Diet changes to more nutritious choices will improve your health, regardless of what issue you’re dealing with. It will improve your digestion which means better assimilation and utilization of the nutrients you’re consuming. This leads to less toxicity within the body, helps your body systems regain balance and function more optimally and will also allow medications to be effective. Learning to manage your stress more effectively, through meditation, yoga, exercise, or even removing yourself from a situation will also improve your health and have a positive effect on how all of your body systems are functioning.
But it’s not gonna happen overnight.
To make permanent and significant improvements to our health, we need to focus on breaking bad habits and creating good ones. They say it takes 21 days to make/break a habit and it’s important…not just important, but imperative, that you give yourself at least that much time before you expect to start noticing any improvements. The old adage, “nothing worthwile comes for free” applies fully to health and wellness. Positive changes will not happen unless you’re willing to “pay” for it through a commitment to stay the course and do the work.
My point for this post is two-fold…to emphasize the importance of understanding that once you make the decision to fully commit to making the diet and lifestyle changes to help regain balance within your body (because committing to it has to happen first), slow and steady wins the race. Don’t expect any quick fixes. Secondly, as you go along the journey, be kind to yourself and know that if you’re fully committed, even though it won’t be fast, you WILL get there and it WILL be well worth the wait.
Remember, it took years for your body to get to its current state…it only makes sense it’s going to take some time to get it back to where it should be…inBalanse!