The Reality of Deprivation

As a chiropractor, I have a desire to see that all of my patients and anyone I come across gets to live a healthy life to the fullest extent.  I try to work with people on reaching their goals in health, whatever they may be.  I have been finding a common theme recently with people that I talk as I try to help them to push forward with their goals.  When I try to encourage them and hold them accountable for reaching the goals they have set out and made public, I get a lot of something similar to the following statement, “I’m not going to deprive myself all the time.”  This is very concerning to me as a on many levels.

Let me start with a word of caution, this post won’t just be about health.  I think we have become a nearsighted people.  We are so stuck on the instant gratification side of things that we don’t ever recognize the consequences of our actions.  In the moment, we make decisions on our nearsighted view of what we see as enjoyable.  We impulse buy things we can’t afford, we cheat on our spouses because it feels right in the moment, we overindulge on cake and cookies because they’re just so good. Our nearsightedness goes way beyond health.  Still, I want to stress the importance of making good choices for your health.  While yes, we look at the donuts or cake or soda or whatever the next person brings into the office and we partake in them because we don’t recognize the devastation they have on not only our health, but us reaching our goals as well.  See we don’t look at the cake, donut, Snickers bar, etc. as all that bad.  All we see is a few extra calories.  We don’t see the fact that it drives us closer to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, etc.  We also don’t see that every time we take in those things that we are pushing ourselves farther and farther from reaching our goals.  The reality of the deprivation of skipping these things isn’t that you are depriving yourself of something you love.  The reality of this deprivation is that you are in fact depriving yourself of sickness down the road.  Now I don’t know about you, but this is something I’d love to have.  I’d love to be able to live into my old age without heart disease, cancer, being able to chase my grandkids, etc.  The real reality is that there is no negative to increased life and vitality you get from making quality choices over and over.

Maybe what we need to do as a people is begin to look beyond the moment.  Maybe we need to look at where the decisions we are making today will take us in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years.  I believe that if you began to look at how good or bad your life will be in the future based on the decisions you are making today, a lot of the decisions you’re making would be different.  Living for the future is hard, but highly rewarding.  See, I want to be the guy that gets to look at my wife of 50 years and smile and rejoice that we have persisted through the tough times.  I want to be the 90 year old man trying to set records on the track.  More importantly, I want to look back at where I am 50 years from now and see all those people that I helped to come journey along with me.  Are you willing to be farsighted?  If so, leave me a comment and we can journey together.

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC


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