When people ask me what I do for a living and then find out I modify lifestyle as a means to heal and prevent disease: a look of panic can wash over their face. And I finally know the reason; I have discovered over the years that a lot of people are very resistant to change, and have a hard time accepting that something they’re doing (or not doing) may be the reason for why they don’t feel great: it’s a lot easier to blame something or someone else. A common question they ask (hidden in a desire for reassurance) is; “I don’t need to change anything do I? I feel great, that’s enough isn’t it? That means I am fine”
My drawn out “Mmmmhhhhhhhh….”is often enough of an answer. Don’t get me wrong, I really believe in the power of positivity; it circulates loads of feel good chemicals and hormones around the body. Clearly if you are energised enough to exercise effectively, perform well at work and at home, have restful sleep, manage your stress, rarely get sick and have joie de vivre then you are doing something right.
BUT it is without dispute, that our bodies have an amazing ability to compromise, adapt and function well even with poor lifestyle choices: until you get sick. Also, who wants to feel just fine? For any of you ladies out there, if you ever asked a partner how you look and they answered ‘”Fine”, I can almost guarantee you wouldn’t be happy with that answer. Yet, when it comes to our health, we are happy to just be fine? To me, that’s odd. And being a parent has motivated like never before to pull my own socks up; I mean if not for myself, then for my child.
Diseases do not develop overnight, and up until a certain age, our amazing body can compensate for all the ills we do to it (such as smoking, excess stress, poor diet etc.). We have such an incredible capacity to self heal, if we just listen to and respect our bodies. But when that slim person develops diabetes or the non-smoker gets lung cancer, you have to ask the question, why?
We have all heard of the fashionable term, skinny fat or TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside) whereby a person can eat junk food their entire lives and never gain a kilo. I used to envy that person, but I no longer do; now I know what is actually happening inside the body. We’ve all seen (or we are) that person who can burn the candle at both ends, running on empty calories and adrenaline, and manage quite well: for a while. Eventually something will happen, it is inevitable.
Though the conventional medicine model would make you believe that almost all chronic disease is inherited or genetic, this is not the case. WE are in control of what diseases we develop, we can influence whether ‘bad’ genes get switched on or off, how we age internally and externally. There is more IN our control that OUT of it.
Most chronic diseases are fully preventable with the correct choices made from as early as pre-conception. How empowering and amazing is that?
So, feeling great right now is wonderful, I am genuinely happy that you do, but my job as a doctor is to prevent your child from developing asthma, diabetes, autism etc and from you the adult from getting cancer, heart disease and dementia. And the power is NOW.