Last night I watched the first part of a 3 part series on TV. It was about a GP moving in with a family to help address their on-going health issues.
It really got me thinking about diet and how mindless people can be about what they eat and what misery it can cause them. They don’t seem to care enough for themselves to sacrifice the foods that make them ill.
The male in the programme had type 2 diabetes and he had been living with the condition for a long time. He was confronted with the very real risk that he faced of amputation, stroke and heart attack. The risk for all of the conditions was increased because he was carrying too much body fat. His diet was his downfall.
The Doctor told him exactly what he needed to eat and how to exercise to get back in control of his health. He started off well but when the Dr came back to check on him he was just about to tuck into some fatty sausages that had ingredients that he was not allowed. He really got quite grumpy when he was told he shouldn’t be eating them. Watching his reaction in that moment brought home to me what a battle some people have to eat well and how unhappy it can make them.
He knew the rules, he had a massive incentive to stick to them, and yet he avoided reading the label. By playing ignorant he tricked himself so that he felt justified in eating the sausages. Never mind that he was the one who would suffer. Never mind that he was unhappy.
On the programme his wife and her daughter were really upset at the risk he faced. I thought that from a mindfulness point of view that the best way for him to motivate himself would have been to focus on his family and his want to be about for them. He clearly loved them a lot.
So often in life putting others at the forefront of our mind is the answer. We seem to have an inbuilt desire to put others first. We can use this to help when we have a challenge ahead of us. If we focus our actions on the good that our actions will do for others then things become more possible. Our resolve strengthens and we can achieve our goals.
So if you have a challenge ahead of you, whatever it is, spend a few moments thinking about who else will benefit from you actions. Dedicate your cause to them and you will be amazed at your ability to stick with you plan.