This is something I hear frequently. I appreciate that most people view me as a great example of a healthy person and I am very grateful for my excellent health. Every passing year (and they go waaaaay too fast!) my appreciation and gratitude for my excellent health grows deeper and deeper. But the statement is simply not true.
For many years in response to someone saying, “You’re so lucky to be healthy,” I would simply smile and say something like, “Yes, I am very fortunate,” or simply, “Thank you.” But after many years of being told how “lucky” I am to be healthy, I realized that I needed to clear up a major misconception.
If you remember nothing else from this article, please remember this: I am not healthy because I am lucky. I am healthy because I choose to be healthy. I work very hard at being healthy. Every day. I don’t live in a bubble. I live life. I enjoy some of the “unhealthy” foods from time to time, but I never forget that health is a daily choice. My choice. Not my doctor’s, not my family’s nor anyone whom I love. It is my choice. If we take care of our body, our body will take care of us!
There is a great quote by Mark Hyman that my daughter, Ashley Carter Youngblood, highlights on her social media. It says: “Your body is the smartest doctor in the room – it will tell you what works and what doesn’t – by what happens to your weight and how you feel.”
This is the absolute truth. If you don’t have to be concerned about your weight, consider yourself blessed. But we all have to, and must, be concerned about how we feel!
There is only thing more important to me than my health. My family. Actually, my health and my family are tied as my number one priority. There are times when I will choose my health over my family and vice versa, depending on the circumstances. When I choose my health over my family, it does not mean that I love them less. It is because I love them so much, and also love myself, that I make that choice.
If I am not healthy–whether it is mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically–I cannot contribute as much to my family, to my community or to myself. And if my not being healthy lasts a long time, it is highly likely that I could become a burden on my family. When someone’s health deteriorates, it doesn’t affect just them; it has a ripple effect on virtually everyone in their life. If their health deteriorates significantly, in addition to becoming a possible burden, it can cause a strain on relationships and finances. That creates more stress which negatively affects the body’s health even more and so the cycle continues.
My health is as good as it is because my mom and dad were great examples and because I “listen” to my body; when it tells me that it needs more attention, most everything else takes a back seat for however long it takes for my body to let me know it is better.
Listen to my body? Absolutely. Sounds sort of silly. Does the body really “talk?” You bet it does. Constantly. I am healthy because I do listen to my body. Very carefully. It talks to me every day and I am “all ears.” Our bodies are talking to us all the time. Your body is talking to you right now. Are you listening?
Jacque Jennings-Carter is an anti-aging specialist and international business developer. Her passions are many and all center around helping others. Her greatest passion is educating others about living healthy lives. Additionally, she loves singing, music, the arts, horses, tennis, food, wine/champagne, traveling and having fun.
Watch for Part 2 of You’re So Lucky to Be Healthy coming soon.