Making Decisions about your Life

Posted on June 20, 2011


I *adore* people who stand in line for 5+ mins waiting to get to the counter to order, then proceed to ‘ummmm wellllll’ there way into an indecisive order. You know these people, every.single.decision they have to make gets an “ummm” & a long stare at the menu board before the decision is offered up.

The majority of adults should be able to determine what food they would like to order in the 5 mins that they wait in line. This is not rocket science, in fact, you get to choose what you’re going to eat approx. 3 times each day, so if what you choose right now ends up not being so perfectly what you wanted, you get a few more shots at it.

I’ve been the winner of the “Pick the Line with the Indecisive Buyer” lotto lately – mostly at Starbucks and Chipotle (since I don’t really eat out anywhere else). And I’ve been repeatedly astounded at how many people can’t make up their mind about something as simple as picking toppings for a burrito bowl. Note: While this post is about indecisiveness affecting unhealthy America, the toppings most Americans choose for their burrito could be a whole other post regarding unhealthy America….seriously.

This is not a post on ‘boy, that guy’s an idiot, he can’t even order a burrito quickly.’ Nope, my thoughts on this matter go a bit deeper. What does this indecisiveness I see more & more frequently mean to a nation that is growing more unhealthy, sick & obese by the day? Since I’ve had some time to ponder this while standing behind the Indecisives, I’ve got some thoughts about how this pertains to optimal wellness.

68% of the adult US population, & 1/3 of children, are either overweight or obese. To be overweight, someone who is 5’8” would weigh 168lbs or more. A person 5’5” tall would be obese at 186lbs. And this has become the ‘norm.’ I’ve literally been standing next to a large person who see someone who is clearly overweight, and they say, “ooh, she’s so skinny!” Even people’s understanding of what is actually ‘healthy weight’ vs. ‘overweight’ has become skewed.

No matter what body size you aim to be, being beyond your ideal weight range based on your height (i.e. your BMI) is unhealthy, expensive, & distracting you from living your most optimal life. According to the CDC’s numbers: ” In 2008 dollars, obesity costs totaled about $147 billion (Finkelstein, 2009). Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs. Morbidity costs are defined as the value of income lost from decreased productivity, restricted activity, absenteeism, and bed days.”

That is a staggering cost for something that is almost entirely preventable.

Indecision is one hurdle that will remain in front of a person wishing to live a healthy, fit life until they, well, they make some decisions. 

It takes conscious choice to move toward optimal health – it is very easy to unconsciously get unhealthy, sick & diseased. Think about it- while you’re busy prioritizing other things before your health (rather than holding health at some level of priority no matter what comes at you in life) weight creeps up, low energy fills your life, bones become brittle, lean muscles tissue disintegrates, dysfunctional organs & tissues develop. When you consciously act on your health, these things are not the norm.

No matter where a person is on the optimal wellness scale, it takes conscious choice to get better. Like anything in life, you don’t get better/become the best by accident. You work for it. You pay attention to it. You give it due focus. You make decisions. When indecision rules your health, you make the easy choice – drive thru, processed foods, couch.

There’s too many choices these days. You’ve got to have your filters ready to pass each choice through & easily deflect the ones that take you away from your goals & optimal health. Then stand firm on the choices that don’t pass as easily through, the ones you have to actually stop & weigh out the consequences of each choice. There are approx. 40,000 products for sale in 1 grocery store – 39, 980 of which, you don’t need. The twenty or so left should include meats from the highest quality source you can get: wild caught salmon, grass-fed beef, whole turkey or chicken, omega-3 eggs; fresh vegetables- organic when you can; butter, coconut oil, good celtic sea salt & seasonings/herbs.

The waters have been muddied by too many “experts” along with folks who have no real education in nutrition or fitness but get on Oprah to pitch their way of eating…(ahem, Kelly Freston & her vegan hoopla), making it hard to make a choice. Biggest Loser tells us one thing (eat whole grains!) while human biology tells us something different (grains = inflammation)…it’s understandably confusing. No longer can we trust someone on tv or with a book calling themselves an expert. *Could we ever?? You’ve surely seen those print ads from a few decades ago with doctors recommending soda for babies.

It is your responsibility to soak up as much knowledge from respectable sources as you can, then just like the choice-filter mentioned above, pass it through the “does this make sense?” test. Example: Dr. Oz recently had food items on his show that “help with weight loss,” and he says at one point, “this is almost calorie-free! wow! We should be eating tons of this stuff then!” Dude. One of the basic lessons in doctor school should be that calories are what keeps us alive. Advocating eating things that are almost calorie-free equates to telling people to eat things that don’t promote their life. You need calories to live, you get them from food, a doctor advocating eating calorie-free food is ridiculous.

I read a great quote somewhere recently, I can’t remember where now, but it went something like this: “Failing to think for yourself allows others to think for you.” Who is going to decide your future? If you’re sitting there, indecisive about the healthy action steps you need to take in your life, it will most certainly be someone other than you. Deciding anything feels good. It feels empowering. It builds your confidence. It moves you to action. And inaction is the result of indecision. Take a look at your life & if you’ve been stagnating on your health, or even scarier, you’ve been deteriorating your health – you need to make some decisions.

I firmly believe that if more people made more decisions about their health on a regular basis, the obesity epidemic in the US would begin to change. But it cannot happen without YOU making the first decision to live your life working toward optimal health – then making all the subsequent daily decisions that keep you on that path.