One of the most important messages that I strive to instill in folks is empowerment. Now, stay with me. Most of the time we use “empowerment” in the workplace, but I offer you an expansion to understand how empowered health is far more valuable.
Empowerment, as defined by our friend Daniel Webster, is the “Authority or power given to someone to do something.” I fear that today, many of us have given the power regarding our health to someone else. This saddens me greatly! So, one of my top missions as a Next Generation Nutrition Coach is to empower you to take back control of your health. Don’t accept blindly the direction of another where your health is concerned!
I’ve put together a little “Empowered” acrostic to help bring the point home and provide you some ideas on becoming empowered for your health:
E – Establish healthy habits…one small step at a time
M – Motivate your Mitochondria
P – Power to change
O – Own your health
W – Wisdom of your body can teach you a lot…learn to listen!
E – Engage with a practitioner who will support you and fight WITH you
R – Rise to the occasion of your best YOU
E – Endure the race…health is not a sprint
D – Dare to fight for yourself!
The first “E” is to establish good health habits. Now, don’t go all crazy and try to overhaul your entire life overnight! That is not sustainable and will likely fail. I want to set you up for success! So, success says to establish a new healthy habit in small steps. For example…just add an extra glass of water each day for a week. By the end of the week, you’ll be up to 7! That’s better than none if that’s where you are. Or, wait 30 minutes later each day to eat breakfast after you get up. By the end of the week, you will have increased your “fasting” window three and a half hours! And, if you ate your last meal at 7:30 the night before…you could be close to practicing “intermittent fasting!” Congratulations!
“M” is for our Mitochondria. If you’ve not met your mitochondria or maybe have never heard of them, then you need to put this introduction at the top of your “to-do list!” Your Mitochondria are the mighty power houses in your cells and are largely responsible for energy production. When your mitochondria numbers are low or they are not functioning at the top of their game, you will certainly feel it! There are a number of ways to motivate them, encourage them to play “full-on,” and give you their best energy. One easy way is to breathe in the sun for about 10 minutes each morning. Don’t become a “sun-bather” and damage your skin, just soak it in through your eyes when possible. Don’t look directly at the sun, just in the “direction” of the sun. Vitamin S (as I call it) has so many benefits [more on that another day.]
“P” is for the Power of Empowerment. You do indeed have the power. You have power to make the best choice for YOUR health based on your values, understanding, and your body. You have the power to decide what form of treatment you want, how you want to live your most vibrant years yet, and what you will choose in every step. Power is so freeing. Please, don’t give anyone power over your physical, mental, or spiritual health and well-being. Don’t settle for the easy path of a pill – take the higher road and become your own empowered health advocate.
The “O” is one of my favorite – it is more of a state of mind. An understanding. A flag to plant in the sand. Own your health. The ownership mentality is a different level of responsibility. You are no longer the “victim,” but as the “owner” you now have greater control over your destiny. That ownership is related to choices, thoughts, mindset, outlook, perception, intention, and so much more. Ownership in and of itself is a choice! You must CHOOSE to own your health. If you don’t, someone else may and no one will care about your health nearly as much as you do or should. They are not YOU! They are them, and they should be owning THEIR health.
“W” is one that I’m still learning as well…Wisdom. This wisdom in our empowered acrostic could be both wisdom of health practitioners who are on your side, or more importantly, the wisdom of your own body. Each day that I learn more about our cells, our genetic code, and our body as a whole, I am more and more amazed at the innate wisdom that has been placed in every single cell by our Creator so that we can become more in tune with our bodies to recognize impacts of choices. For example, as you begin to pay attention to what foods you eat and how you feel afterwards, your body will provide you indicators. The question becomes, “Are you paying attention to that wisdom and shifting as you gain more of the puzzle pieces to your empowered health?!”
The second “E” is to Engage with a practitioner who will support you along your journey. As you become empowered in owning your health journey, you will, unfortunately, meet those along your journey who do not like your new-found empowerment. Are they threatened? Do they think their education is more valuable or accurate than your wisdom? Do they doubt the research that you’ve done? If you are working with a practitioner like that, kindly fire yourself from their care and find someone who aligns with you and will lead you on your health journey. I can promise you that NO ONE on this earth knows you as good as YOU do!
My husband and I recently had an experience with one such practitioner. We had searched for a specific practitioner who had the equipment to run a specific type of scan. Upon arrival at the office, he/she didn’t take kindly to our empowered selves and by the end of the appointment, my husband was toe-to-toe with this individual and we left. As we walked out, I knew my next “Yes Louisville voice” would shout…do not cower! Stand firm in yourself. Be empowered. Own your health. And find the practitioner who supports and aligns with YOU!
“R” is an encouraging word. Not to steal the thunder from the movie “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” but the quote is perfect in this context. “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” We need to stop living so small. Each one of us has been born for a specific purpose, but if we are living small or too sick and tired to accomplish, we all lose. I encourage you to Rise to the opportunity to be your best YOU! No one else can do the thing that YOU were created to do.
Our third “E” is Endurance. Most of us have not gotten into the poor health situations that we find ourselves in overnight. Our health is the result of many many many choices over the course of many months and likely years. Some choices we made and some that were made for us. Regardless, the road back to optimal health is an endurance race not a sprint. I once was told that a great rule of thumb is to consider one month for every year that you’ve been dealing with a particular health challenge. That means that if you’ve had X health challenge for 40 years, it may take 40 months or more of better choices and decisions to deal with that challenge. Your health is an endurance race, not a sprint. Allow for the endurance!
With the vision of Braveheart standing on the front lines, “D” sums up the previous words with Dare. Dare to fight for yourself! Take a deep breath and FIGHT! Fight the nay-sayers! Fight the small-thinkers! Fight the old thinking. Fight for your best YOU and your most optimal living. You have so much to give the world and you were created for a purpose. Fight! Feel your best and do what you were created to do.
In closing, let’s re-visit Daniel Webster’s definition…“Authority or power given to someone to do something.” I encourage you to embrace and live this out as…
“The authority and power I give to ME to choose for MY best health and wellness journey choices!”
Today, I beg you to empower yourself to not just “fight disease,” but embrace health! Embracing health is far more effective than fighting disease.
Until next time, be your personal EMPOWERED Health Advocate for your most optimal, fulfilled, vibrant, and purpose-driven life!
To your best you!
Your Next Generation Nutrition Coach