How do we learn to value our health, and ourselves?

Your life holds value. 

In my opinion, we should individually value our life enough to get regular checkups from the doctor, have annual bloodwork, get adequate rest, eat foods that help us not hurt us, and be proactive in gently moving ourselves, physically, mentally, and intellectually. As I’ve expressed before, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for society’s health.

Depending on the availability of medical in the area we reside, the resources at or not at our disposal (i.e. food, financial), our DNA, our ever present influences in life, and our desire or not to feel as healthy as possible all form a complex puzzle.

Putting pieces of the puzzle together to bring together the whole picture is an analogy that I find fitting. Many of us will find that we try to connect one puzzle piece to another, yet just to find out it doesn’t fit. We can’t get discouraged.

Liken that ‘incorrect fit’ to the wrong doctor for you and your health conditions. Or to the friends you surround yourself with outside of work hours. Even a relationship. With a little thought, adjustment and perseverance – finding the right fit is possible. Life is tough enough as is without trying to force things to work in our lives. Each sector of our life isn’t supposed to feel like tug of war.

I value my health not only in the literal sense, but the figurative sense.  Health to me means not just nourishing my mind and body with good food and good thoughts, but also healthy relationships (family, friends, professional, and personal).

Don’t get me wrong, I know health can be a rollercoaster, days can be very tough, and answers far and few between from medical professionals.

A study of 2,000 Americans conducted for National Health Education Week in 2019 underscored how much health takes a back seat.

  • “71% [of Americans] are not satisfied with their overall health.”*

And as we do know, the cost of living coupled with the ability to purchase healthier options can be hard on achieving the best health.

  • “64% of respondents say eating healthy is too expensive.”*
  • “63% of the people surveyed say they plan on worrying about being more health-conscious when they’re older – with 68% of those aged 35-44 revealing they will worry about their health later in life.”*
  • “66% of those studied say it takes too much effort to feel healthy.”*

When you think of your health, do you parallel it to “valuing yourself?” I do.

There have been some crystal-clear examples I’ve come across lately that I just plain said “that person does not value themself.” Because, if they did, they wouldn’t be letting small, semi “fixable” health matters rule their life.

Our independent health decisions impact those we care most about.

How you view yourself intertwines with your actions, your thoughts, and your determination.

So much for self-image being surface level. There are many layers.  “Self-image refers to how we see ourselves on a more global level, both internally and externally.”**

Self-esteem plays its role too since “how we see ourselves is a big contributing factor to how we feel about ourselves.”**

Just because diabetes runs in your family doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to not have it. While some things are out of our control, we do have some power and ability to change the course in many cases. Why fold your cards that early in the game? Because it’s easier? What if I told you it could be easier to eat healthy, have improved mood, and sleep better?

Whether it is a lack of putting in any effort, to completely disregarding doctor’s orders – it baffles me.

For me, understanding the intricacies of health, the importance of it, and my dedication to it has blossomed over the years.

Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

There are many ways this quote is spot on in my life, and it very much amplifies my connection to health.  My knowledge has grown in health and I make conscious efforts to strive for a healthier life.

So these examples as of late made me start questioning why individuals, especially young people, don’t place any value on themselves?

What led to this attitude, including a lack of self-worth? When given two choices: live a generally healthy life (noting that most individuals will experience illness, disease, limitations) or face many health challenges due to lack of action, which do you choose?

Turning a blind eye to most things doesn’t fair well in the end (work, personal, health). Some don’t want to face their health issues and instead turn a blind eye to it. That’s scarier than facing the reality.

Our actions as toddlers, teenagers, and adults can mirror our parents, grandparents, friends, classmates, and coworkers. Each and every day we are being influenced.

Depending on who you let influence you, yes – it is a choice, the results can be positive or damaging.

You don’t have to co-exist and spend time with friends that partake in illicit drugs and alcohol-fueled nights. You can join a church group, a weekly free yoga class at the YMCA, take classes to enhance your learning of myriad topics, and cook in more than driving through fast food.

We’re given the chance upon waking every day to start over, start fresh, leaving those old acquaintances and habits in the past and embark on creating fresh, new, healthy ones. 

We watch our elders; we mimic our friends; we place value on things that we witness others placing value on – good and bad.

So when you hear “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” saying, does it pertain to how you value your health? 



Coming next:  The Truth vs. “My Truth” – non-negotiable?