It seems every day we have a conversation with someone about our concern about money – how to make more of it, how to save more of it, and how to stop spending so much.
What if you were to think about health in the same way? Health is like a bank account, and with almost everything you do; you are either making deposits or withdrawals, affecting your bottom line.
Imagine that you were born with a health reserve: a certain amount of “credit” in your health deposit account. Depending on what you eat, drink, move, breath and think, gradually that credit will be used/lost from your health bank account.
You can be making daily withdrawals with dietary choices, lack of enough proper physical activity and lack of sleep as well as “automatic withdrawals” created by living in a fast-paced toxic world and the effects that this stress has on our bodies. Add in natural aging and a slowing metabolism and these withdrawals can really add up.
Once you go overdrawn, your energy becomes low, you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning and you suffer from niggling health problems, such as frequent infections, headaches, digestive problems, back pain or fatigue.
As your overdraft grows you develop diseases and finally, when you exceed your overdraft limit, that’s when you die. But the good news is you can dig yourself out of health debt. Getting out of debt simply requires making more deposits than withdrawals over time just as you would with your money bank account.
Think of it this way, when you don’t make good lifestyle choices you could say you are “borrowing against the future,” or “doing something now that you know you will be paying for later”. It’s kind of like using a credit card. You may get what you want now, but you are borrowing credit (health) that you will have to pay back in the future.
By making unhealthy choices now, you are essentially “stealing from your future self.” If we choose to look at our health this way, we can decide to make deposits rather than withdrawals. Each time you make a choice, you can consider whether or not it’s a beneficial deposit, or one you will have to pay for later.
When you go to the gym, drink a glass of vegetable juice, eat a nourishing meal or get a sound nights sleep, it feels great to know you are making a deposit, or giving yourself a gift and putting funds into your bank account. At the end of the day you can tell whether you were thrifty or spendy. Worse, at the end of many weeks, months, and years you can see the cumulative effect that you get from the “interest” adding up over time.
What do you think of the idea of treating your health like a bank account? Every action, every morsel, every breath you take is either a deposit or a withdrawal from your body’s health bank account. If you are rushed and stressed, missing meals, eating whatever-whenever, don’t get enough physical activity or short-changing yourself on sleep you are in effect taking a chunk out of your bank account.
What does the balance sheet of YOUR health bank account look like? Are you living a life that is constantly making deposits with minimal expenditures? Or are you constantly withdrawing energy and feel chronically tired, your body is in pain, restless, skeptical, feel unappreciated and don’t like your job or life?
How are you feeling?
Take a look at the columns below and make your own “self-assessment” on the Wellness Scale as to how you are feeling and living your life.
So the question is, if your health is like a bank account, are you in the black (positive) or are you in the red (negative), and if so, by how much?
Where do you fit in these categories? A growing number of people in our modern inactive world are slipping into the vertically ill, – the middle category. We may have symptoms that tells us something is not quite right – aches and pains, feeling tired or fatigued, not sleeping well, puffing after only a little exertion, are overweight, get frequent colds and infections or simply don’t feel “well” and lack enthusiasm for life and living.
Millions of people around the world feel like this and many of them have some sort of chronic condition which is defined as any long lasting health issue that has been resistant to a quick fix (e.g. drugs). It is likely that there is a disease lurking in the wings that may have been sneaking up on you for very long time.
Typically, a chronic condition will not put you in a hospital bed right away, but, it can claim you as a member of an army of the “walking wounded”. There are two types of illness and disease; one is “horizontal” where you are forced to stop normal activity like a bad flu, a life threatening condition like a stroke or heart attack or a back or knee injury for example. The other is “vertical” that includes vague complaints about tiredness and feeling un-well right through to chronic degenerative disease.
You literally become the walking wounded with this type of un-wellness and, it is the worst kind as you can adapt your life around it, but the quality of your life is slowly and surely destroyed. Most disease starts this way as being vertical before it becomes horizontal. The apt description – the “walking wounded” was coined for those whose heath has deteriorated to the point where the person has early symptoms but they have not yet progressed to the point that a specific disease process can be identified.
These are a growing army of these “walking wounded”, people who are “vertically ill” who are not well enough to function adequately but are not yet quite sick enough to become “horizontally ill” – bed bound with a total loss of physical function.
Have you ever heard a story like this? Someone you know goes to the hospital for tests to find out why they are tired all the time and don’t feel “well”. They had the tests, nothing wrong could be found and the medical system doesn’t know what the problem is. They want them to go back in a few months’ time so they can run some more tests.
What they are doing is waiting for the condition (whatever it is) to develop further so it can be identified as treatment to manage a condition can only be prescribed after a diagnosis is made. Sadly these people suffer from “chronic un-wellness”, a state of limbo between vibrant health and identifiable illness or disease.
They have not yet reached a point where a particular condition has presented itself and these victims can suffer this un-wellness and can feel lousy for months or years before a diagnosis can be made. These means symptoms ranging from mildly irritating to massively intrusive or even totally debilitating. This situation slowly but surely reduces quality and enjoyment of life and is really only surviving at a level well below “real” health.
If you are in the first column on the Wellness Scale, congratulations, you are doing a fantastic job and are already working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Of course you want to continue to enjoy great health and to do this you will need to continue to work at it.
If you are in the middle category (where most people are) be assured now is a good time to make the necessary changes to get you back in the first column so you can enjoy great health.
If you are in the last column where you are suffering from poor health, know that it is NEVER too late to turn this around, you can start right now. You might not be able to go back in time, but you have a fresh start every day from now on. Just starting the day with your first meal, a healthy breakfast will set you up for the rest of the day. Just one little shift has snowball effects and can change the way your whole day progresses.
We can all get and stay in the first category – regardless of age. This is the purpose of this article to inspire you to make the necessary changes to achieve this goal.
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