The Village

  • Healthy New Year, Healthy New You!

    Jan 28, 2013. Written by Deborah Collage Grison

    Every New Year, the number one resolution on everyone’s list is to lose weight. While the beginning of anything always sparks excitement, we could all dig a little deeper and make a stronger commitment to ourselves beyond losing weight to look great. We should commit to being healthy and it should never be for vanity’s sake that we make such changes. Why?–because if the reason to begin something is empty and shallow, usually the commitment to go the distance and complete it is equally so. We live in a time where our people’s health is waning and fast. This is no longer limited to our parents, grandparents and elders. Young people are developing conditions at earlier ages that should not be theirs to carry. Many are dying far too young from the early and often preventable onset of disease. We have the power to change this!

    In December 2011, I was personally faced with health challenges that rendered me incapable of walking. I still face some challenges today. However, because I listened to my body then, I am much further along now in my healing process. By making the decision to do what I call EAT LIFE! IT’S A MOVEMENT NOT A MOMENT, I was able to transform physically by losing 78 lbs. in 10 months, and transform spiritually, mentally and emotionally, adding years to my life.

    Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Simply, if we prevent a problem from occurring in the first place, we won’t have to spend the time, effort and money trying to repair the damage later. The legacy of health concerns in the African-American community is long and ominous. Leading this group of health woes are the usual suspects including heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or hypertension, gout, arthritis and diabetes. I’ve noticed that because these conditions have plagued our people for so long, we have come to accept that they innately and almost rightfully belong to us. As if we have a birthright or claim to such illnesses. Here’s the truth: just because this is the way it has always been does not mean this is the way it always has to be.

    The body is a masterful, living organism created and designed to work optimally and efficiently. Because it is “machine like”, engineered and divinely crafted, it will do precisely what we direct it and command it to do.

    So, if you feed your body the proper fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals it will respond at its highest and best level. The same is true if you feed it the adverse such as processed foods, you will feel sluggish, tired, cranky, and not at your best. Over time, this can lead to sickness, disease and even death.

    Throughout this new year of 2013, let us make the daily resolution, not to lose weight, but to become healthy, healed and whole; spirit, soul and body. Let’s resolve to be more concerned with what goes in our bodies, than with what goes on our bodies. We begin this by changing our mindset about food. After all, it is not the enemy. Food is here to serve us as long as we use our good judgment to make wise decisions about it. As the great philosopher Hippocrates stated, “let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food!” Let’s embrace this time honored mantra and start how we want to finish. Here’s to a HEALTHY NEW YEAR AND A HEALTHY NEW YOU!