Look around—America is in trouble. I bet you aren’t surprised. We know we are being poisoned. We know we are sick. We know the next generation has a shorter life-expectancy than the current one. What we don’t know is: who will save us? It’s not the uber-health-conscious folks that need saving, but who will save the masses?
More and more people are aware of the consequences of our poor dietary choices and lack of quality movement. So why aren’t more Americans making at least small changes for the better? The kind of small changes that add up over time and propel you toward a healthier way of life? Well, there are a host of reasons. It’s not just about being lazy or ignorant. Many people are cash-strapped and busy—without disposable income or time to prepare their food. And, sadly, we are addicted. I don’t mean to belittle the hardships of people who are addicted to drugs or other controlled substances, but food affects us in ways much like drugs. And the way I feel about some low nutrient food-like products? Well, it feels like an addiction to me.
With so much stacked against people, we add the fact that what is “healthy” is somewhat debatable. Even the most prominent experts in our Paleo world are not in complete agreement. Newbies will tell you that it’s downright confusing and overwhelming for someone who wants to know where to start. So who can help the masses? Who can inspire folks to make changes and pull them away from the dark side?
If you are reading this article and looking for more information on health and wellness, you are certainly part of the solution. Maybe you are Paleo-ish in your lifestyle. Maybe you’re like me and you eat less processed food than you used to but you still go through a drive through occasionally. Maybe you aren’t buying everything organic and grass-fed but you’re buying more than you used to. If you have found a way to overcome the initial obstacles we face on a quest for better health, then you may be our savior.
You? Yes you. Even if you are a Paleo-wannabe that keeps falling off the wagon, you might be instrumental in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, “What have I done to be an advocate for change?” Do I speak enthusiastically about how good I feel or do I preach to people about their bad their choices? Do I organize walking groups for coworkers to join or do I post pictures to Facebook about my awesome workouts? Do I join a wellness challenge among friends or continue down my solo path to wellness?
There are so many of us making some kind of change. Consider how impactful it would be if we were all more contagious in our quests. Instead of focusing on what someone is doing wrong, perhaps we should celebrate any healthy choices people make. Perhaps we should talk in terms of “Real Food and Moving More” instead of “Paleo and Crossfit.” Some people react negatively to these words and shut us down before we begin to explain their benefits. If we instead lead by example, we don’t have to call it anything.
Much energy is wasted by arguing about which protocols are ideal. What if instead of arguing we each inspire a few people in our lives to make healthy changes? That could have a tremendous ripple effect, because those people could in turn inspire others. Each of us can do our part to get more people on board.
Ask yourself whether you model your healthy lifestyle in a way that may inspire others. Advocate for small changes and celebrate them when you see them. Realize you don’t have to be perfect to be a positive influence. Never forget the incredible difference you can make in the lives of a few… and the difference they can make in the lives of many more. Your story matters, so make sure folks get to hear it. Look for ways to include people in the healthy parts of your life and be as supportive as possible.
It is true—America is in trouble. But you may be the key to getting us out of this mess.