As we approach Elul, the last month of the Jewish calendar, and as we get closer to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it is the time of year for reflection on the past and a look to the future. We will now be praying for both forgiveness and for achieving our potential for the year to come. Just as we can’t repent without looking back at the past and realizing and recalling mistakes, we can’t make the changes necessary for a healthier, and in turn, happier year if we can’t look back and find the various points to fix.
Over the past years, I have had the privilege of helping people who have decided they wanted to change their lives. I personally have been very inspired by their hard work and dedication. I share this with you so you can see that it can be done! Keep in mind that not one of these people turned their lives around over night. It began with small but consistent steps that eventually turned into a new existence. Everyone can make a small change here and there in order to change their quality of life and overall health for the better. Read about a few of these people and be inspired!
Y. is a 48 year old mother who has to travel quite a distance to see me. She started her journey to good health with our program. Although she lost an amazing 20 kilo, there was more work to be done in order to reach the range of healthy weight. Now she has become a daily exerciser. Her husband got a one-time bonus from his job and offered to buy her a gift. She asked for the only thing that she really wanted—to begin Personal Training. Y. has now lost 48 kilo (105 pounds). Y. was an insulin dependent Type 2 diabetic and is now completely off insulin and any other medications. She is also coping with some of her life’s stresses much better.
A.B. is a 23 year old Yeshiva Bachur. When his mother called me 8 months ago, she was very frustrated. Her son was carrying a lot of weight—his Body Mass Index was close to a whopping 44. Yet what frustrated A.B.’s mother most was that A.B. had been to a dietician a year earlier, lost 40 kilo and gained it ALL back. We gave A.B. a food program where he wouldn’t be hungry, but would still lose weight. He also began daily walks, and as the weeks went on we added a little bit of muscle building exercises, too. Where A.B.’s previous attempt at weight loss had not addressed behaviors and habits, our program helped him deal with these challenges. Currently A.B. has lost 22 kilo and understands that when you lose too much too fast it’s not a good thing. Exercise, proper diet and behavioral changes are doing wonders for A.B and he is well on his way to doubling what he has lost so far.
5 months ago, D.Z. (61 years old) went to see her doctor and was told that she would have to use multiple medications if she didn’t tend to the underlying causes of her high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and also lose some weight. D.Z. began our 10 Weeks to Health program, combine that with personal training, hoping to see results that would help improve her health. 2 weeks ago, D.Z. went in for another blood test: her sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure are all so significantly improved that the doctor told her—NO MEDICATION!
In most aspects of life, taking giant steps in any direction generally is not a long-lasting way to achieve any goal. On the other hand, using baby steps, as did the people you just read about, and doing things incrementally usually brings a better long-term and permanent result. When it comes to weight loss, exercise and eating a healthy diet, this is always true. We need to look back and isolate the causes of bad health, and one at a time, start making changes, that over time will bring us to improved health and ultimately, good health.
Look back at your health habits and choose one or two aspects that need improvement. Start slowly. Perhaps you can get an additional half hour of sleep at night. Cut out late night eating. Substitute water for sugary or diet drinks. Increase vegetables and fruits and in your diet and cut back on cakes and junk food. And perhaps most of all, leave that car at home and start walking from place to place and even schedule a walk daily, because that will help you as much as anything else. Step by step, you can make all of these changes over time.
This is the season where we strive to change ourselves for the better. Don’t leave your health out of the equation! And start now—that way you can manage the coming weeks and not make the mistake of waiting until after all of the holidays are over in order to get started. Avoid further damage by making the changes NOW. Taking small steps, one at a time, to improve your health and well-being over the long term will “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.”