If we want change in our lives the first thing that must change is our thinking.
I was interviewed a little while back on Brisbane radio about “research” which suggested that you could get the same effects as exercise from taking a pill. Scientists had given mice a chemical, which had caused them to use up more energy. When you read the small print there was an extra 5% of calories used up.
When asked what I thought of the chances of such a pill coming on the market, my response was blunt – it is not happening!
In the 1970’s a popular diet, at least amongst celebrities was the California diet. This “diet” was to take amphetamines.
Why is it that we like the idea of a solution coming in a pill? Given tablets is a fairly recent innovation it cannot be a deep-seated urge. Maybe it is because marketing has told us that pills are the answer. Maybe it is because we see pills as having upside but no downside.
I suspect that the reason is that we like an easy option. And therein lies the real rub. What we regard as easy (or not) is a matter of perception. On the one hand we regard popping a pill as easy but inherent in that is the belief that it will do the trick and there is no price to pay in side effects. On the other hand exercise and eating sensibly is portrayed as difficult when in fact it is not.
On the “ California diet” some people did lose weight but became drug addicts in the process. This is hardly an easy road to hoe.
Going for a walk is neither difficult nor expensive and is a great form of exercise, which helps our bones, muscles, heart, lungs, brain and indeed all parts of the body. Switching to water from soft drink is neither difficult nor expensive. The same applies to buying apples rather than donuts at the supermarket.
These actions have no side effects.
Again the problem is perception. Finger wagging academics and public health officials like to make things difficult. They talk about 30 minutes of exercise making people feel that if they can’t do this then there is no point. In actual fact any amount is better than none.
People are led to believe that eating healthy must be boring whereas a healthy diet can include treats, chocolate and some wine. Eating well is not a religion so you do not have to live on alfalfa sprouts and look as miserable as the experts.
Once more there is no downside to eating better.
So in reality that which we may believe is easy is not and carries considerable potential for harm whilst that which we believe is hard is actually easy and has no potential for harm.
Step one to enhanced wellbeing then is to change your thinking.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases and is an advisor to Reed Medical Conferences.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA.