Women who are unhealthy, overweight and on the verge of serious illness if change doesn’t occur soon.
Millions of women spend time daily shifting their focus between a variety of occupiers of time. Work, family, friends, social media, relationships, church, television and food are a few that come to mind immediately. Often what may not hold one of the top spots is health.
Health. A word that encompasses more than just our physical bodies. Health includes our emotions, mental state and spirituality. These all intertwine to produce what I believe most desire – good health. Knowing this, I’m always baffled by the number of women I know who seemingly don’t put health high on their list of things that needs attention.
Why is health not a priority for some women? More importantly, what’s going on inside that allows some women to believe that health shouldn’t be a priority? Is it that some women know it should be a priority, but don’t know how to make it one or is it just an issue some women aren’t ready to admit things have gotten out of control, healthwise?
I have a theory. I haven’t done any scientific research, but I will stand by this theory without a hint of wavering. Women have gotten so caught up in doing that they’ve forgotten how to just be. Let me explain. Most women are givers, by nature. We give to our families. We give to our friends. We give to our jobs. We give to our churches. We give to organizations where we hold memberships. We give to our communities. We give to the schools our children attend. We give to the neighborhood kids.
We give. We give. We give.
And after we have given to everyone else, we give what’s left over, if there’s anything left, to ourselves.
We’re so busy doing for others that we don’t do for ourselves.
We’re busy worrying about the next thing – the next bill that’s due, the next meal that needs to be made, the next picture to post on social media, the next task on our never ending to-do list, the next request from our significant other, the next person we need to visit, the next vacation we desire to take, the next call we need to make, the next, next, next. We are so caught up in the future that we can’t relax in the now and focus on what should be our priority.
In the midst of all this, things shift and pile up. What was once a priority gets pushed aside because the next thing always takes precedence. This happens because women often “see” the results of the tasks that get priority. If I cook, my family will eat. If I work, my bills get paid. If I go to this meeting, my ideas can be shared.
However, our health, is rarely viewed through this lens . . . especially when our health isn’t optimal. Women are often unable to quickly “see” the results of making healthy choices. What we can see is the work and sacrifice required to achieve the healthy results. We all know the payoff of self care does not happen overnight. It’s a process. Losing weight is a process. Eating healthy is a process. Stable mental health is a process. Emotional wellness is a process. Sound spirituality is a process. Healthy living is a process. To get the desired outcome, one has to be willing to go through the process.
The work of health is hard for women. We already have so much on our plates. How can we add anything else to a life that’s already overflowing with priorities? Think about it. When your health suffers, it affects everything. Everything suffers. Your family, work performance, friendships, relationships, service, and activism suffer. If your health is poor, you can guarantee it will be reflected somewhere. It’s impossible for it not to be.
It’s time for women to make health a priority. Your life literally depends on it. Instead of saying I don’t have time to exercise or commit to this lifestyle, think about the consequences of this choice. Think about where you are in life now and ask yourself if making health a priority could improve life for you at this moment. If the answer is yes, then you have some changes to make.
Stop procrastinating and get busy.
Your life depends upon it.
Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart