Are you doing the things that allow your body to run its best?
Are your actions in the moment that over time create your habits leading to the healthy, VIBRANT body you want? Yes or no. They either are, or they aren’t.
I take this extreme, either/or position regarding health to make a point about individual decisions in each moment. The truth is, whether we like it or not, each decision in each moment influences health. Whether I wake up and drink a full glass of water with lemon to start the day or not; whether I periodically take breaks to look away from my computer, sit up straight and take a few deep breaths to let the “chi” energy radiate or not; whether I take the dog for a walk at the end of the day rather than sit on the couch to transition from work. The condition of my health is the sum of these individual choices made throughout the day.
Seeing Where You Stand
A physical exam is simple way to see whether you’re creating the VIBRANT body you want; blood test results combined with blood pressure, weight, and pulse measures provide a reflection of where you stand.
These measures allow you to see where you sit on the continuum from VIBRANT body to unhealthy body. Decisions being made either lead to a condition of health or not.
I take this extreme perspective for a reason. It causes me to be mindful in the moment and ask, “Will what I’m about to do either help or harm my health?” It’s the question I ask before I put anything into my mouth, when I consider whether to take the dog for a walk, or when I think about my morning routine before going to sleep the night before.
The Catalyst for A VIBRANT Body Philosophy
My VIBRANT body philosophy has been learned over the past eighteen years while trying to live the best possible life with a chronic auto-immune disease (MS)—an illness that wants to stop me in my tracks and nearly did. I’m still walking and am working with a trainer to run again. I figured something out.
Ten years ago, I learned that taking greater responsibility for my health was the most important factor that determined the condition of my health. Before I took greater responsibility, I didn’t believe I could influence my health. I believed the state of my health was a big ambiguous unknown, and my decisions in the moment didn’t matter because I was gradually moving toward paralysis regardless of what I did. That’s what it meant to live with MS and that was my fate. I figured I might as well just do what I want, eat the things that tasted the best, not sweet the details and accept the inevitable.
The problem with that mindset is that it led to decisions that didn’t support my health. I allowed fear of the unknown to guide my decision making in the moment. I believed my health was fundamentally broken so my individual choices didn’t matter. Before I took greater responsibility my body was spiraling toward paralysis.
The 6 Lifestyle Keys that Nurture a VIBRANT body
Since taking greater responsibility for my health, I have learned that there are six Lifestyle keys that guide my decision making in the moment. They are as follows.
I could give my take on why each of these are critical, but this blog post already does it and gives insight into the origin of the philosophy. These are from the memoir of Wayne Fields titled What the River Knows.
In addition to minding the 6 Lifestyle Keys, I mind Jordan Rubin’s three I’s (Infection, Inflammation and insulin.) Here’s more detail on this philosophy.
Does this philosophy work? Two weeks ago I had a physical. It had been four years since I had one, and I was curious to know whether my VIBRANT body philosophy led to the result I wanted.
- My total cholesterol was 149. My LDL was 81 and HDL was 58 and the ratio was 2.57.
- My blood pressure was 108 over 70 and my resting pulse was 70.
- All the other 60 tests that measure the composition of my blood and are a reflection of how my body is running were at the low end of normal with the exception of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. My Vitamin B12 was low and my D was high. The low B12 measure is the result of my vegan diet and the fact that I stopped taking a supplement six months ago. My high Vitamin D measure is the result of taking a high dose of Vitamin D3 because Vitamin D is essential to nerve growth and function which is compromised living with MS. I am going to take B12 again and reduce my Vitamin D to bring these two measures back with in more normal ranges.
Yes, I have MS, so there is a rouge process running in my body that impacts my nervous system. It leads to muscle spasms, fatigue, and decreased muscle function throughout my left leg, but that doesn’t mean that the question of my health is out of my control.
Is your body as VIBRANT as you want? Let me know if you want to discuss where you stand and how to improve things.