What Would You Grade Your Health?
YOUR MONEY! YOUR HEALTH! YOUR CHOICE! As you know this is our motto and this is my attempt to make it happen for you. The U.S. health care spending grew 4.6 percent in 2018, reaching $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.7 percent. (Source)
If you gave your health a grade right now, what would it be? Is it an A-/B+ or a C? How did that $11,172 in healthcare go towards your happiness? What does that do for you and your family? How do you define health for you and your family? After reading The American Health Care Paradox by Elizabeth Bradley and Lauren Taylor and learning how Scandinavians measure health, I decided I liked the way they thought about it. They stated that the Scandinavian culture “views health as a means to an end, rather than simply an end in itself”. What is the purpose of your health? What is the purpose of maintaining your children’s health?
If we start to answer these questions, we will quickly come up with our values in our lives and that gets us back on track to “YOUR CHOICE”. I wish I were in a room full of people right now and we could hear some of your answers. So, feel free to comment below. I guess for now I will tell you my answers to these questions.
I used my healthcare coverage this year on my yearly physical, a colonoscopy, my weekly chiropractic appointments (until I run out of visits and private pay), my daughter’s inhaler, and doctor’s visits as needed. What wasn’t covered was the organic food I buy, the massages, chiropractic appointments, supplements, running shoes, fit bit, meditation and energy work, etc. What does health mean for my family? I like to make good food, play games, spend time together, and be happy. I want my children to eat healthy and be able to focus on school, sports, driving, and jobs. I want my daughter to be able to breathe when she plays sports and not have an asthma attack. I want them to be able to cope with all of those things and be able to problem solve. Ultimately, I want them to be responsible, functioning, happy adults, and move out!
What does health mean for me? Simply put, I want to feel good…physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually, and socially. I want to have the energy and agility to do the fun things in my life. I am over 50, but I have knees that feel 82. I am in peri-menopause, and for those of you who are on that roller coaster, you can relate! I mostly have good days emotionally, but I cry everyday…for no reason at all. Not to mention I am fighting off anemia due to my body fitting in all the extra cycles that it will miss the last 30 years of my life. How about one more this month! You can do it!
So sometimes my mind fights with my body. I want to exercise every day, get more toned, lose weight (which is damn near impossible during menopause). But there are days where I feel really fatigued and need to rest. That feels like health to me, too. I want to nurture myself, not just push it all of the time. When I see awards for perfect attendance in schools or in the workplace, I think “that is not good self-care…It’s self-neglect”.
But all of that is still focusing on health as an outcome, not a state of being so that I can achieve other things. I would like to think that health is a process for me and my family. And health is an illusion of sorts…There is not a point of perfect health…It is feeling “good enough” and a constant effort to stay in balance. Going for a walk/hike may help me tone, but if I only did it to lose weight, I would have stopped after a month or so. I know it is a process that builds muscle, energy, and stamina and it is also a way for me to connect with my feelings and makes me happy. And if I feel good about my body, I feel more in touch with my sexuality…and my husband. I eat healthy foods because when I don’t, I feel a lot of inflammation in my neck and get a headache. That pain interrupts my workday and me playing with my grandchildren. When I am spiritually out of whack, I have a hard time staying present with my therapy clients who are in pain…if I’m crying and they are not…that is a problem.
When we are sick, or not in a wellness state, it prevents us from focusing on the things that really matter. In my book, BridgeIT: The Integrative Medicine Approach to the Healthcare Crisis in the United States, I talked about these values and how they replace self-nurturing. I hope to show you how wellness is the vehicle to help you achieve those values. That leads us to ask different questions about health.
What wellness things can you do so that you feel good enough to________________?