If you saw a child fall in a pool of water, you wouldn’t hesitate to do everything in your power to pull the child to safety. Makes sense. Get them out of harm’s way.

So why is it, when it comes to one’s health, most people don’t do everything in their power to bring themselves to safety?

A shocking fact is that as a society, we are very, very sick. Yet, we seem to ignore the fact that much of our illnesses and disease is self-induced.

Take heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. and also the leading cause of death worldwide. More than half of the deaths that occur as a result of heart disease are in men.

Not only has heart disease become a common occurrence, so has diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, and many other issues that used to be a rarity.

When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in the early 70’s it was incredibly uncommon back then to have receive a cancer diagnosis compared to today.

Now, rather than saying, “If I get cancer, heart disease, diabetes or whatever other disease can literally stop us in our tracks, we often say, when I get….”

The Common Link

Food has been undeniably linked to many diseases. Despite the overwhelming evidence that a change in diet, mindset, exercise and attitude, (with diet at the top) can reverse or prevent disease, many people are not willing to change their eating protocols.

They would rather live a life filled with pain, misery and medications than make a change to their diet.

I’m Not Ready To Give Up XYZ

Often, I hear people claim they want to live a healthier life but when given a simple solution, like eating a whole food, plant-based diet, they say that’s too radical. Give me a break. What’s radical is the amount of prescription drugs many people take on a daily basis. What’s radical is getting to the point of having open heart surgery when it could have been prevented. What’s radical is carrying around excess weight that is preventing you from living a vibrant life.

Granted, not everything is self-imposed, but a great many ailments are. You can pretend like you have no control over your health, or you can do like many people are doing and take control of your eating and exercise to live a more vibrant life.

There are going to be plenty of people who read this and say, “Kathleen, you just don’t understand.”

Really?!?! I understand what it’s like to make such poor choices that I was bound by sixty extra pounds that diminished my quality of life. Sixty pounds that put me closer to a heart attack and stroke. Sixty pounds that restricted my day to day activities. Sixty pounds that didn’t give me the energy to do all I claimed to want to do.

When I was willing to be completely honest with myself, thereby allowing me to make the much-needed changes in my daily activities, my entire life changed. I went from being a bona-fide couch potato to a woman approaching 65 years old who is celebrating by running a half marathon.

So don’t tell me I don’t understand. I do. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping others live the life they may see as unattainable. But it’s not. Sure, it will take effort, work and sacrifice, but on the other side is freedom.

Food As Medicine

Over the last few months, I’ve attended a bi-weekly class called Food as Medicine. Scott Wagnon, a physician’s assistant from Oregon Medical Group is the facilitator. Scott has been plant based for over six years.

In that time, he has released 46 pounds of unhealthy weight, improved his overall health and minimized his risk for preventable diseases. His wife has released over 75 pounds of unhealthy weight by choosing a plant-based eating protocol over an animal and dairy based diet.

Making this lifestyle change has given both Scott and Angela a quality of life they craved. But rather than doing like many people do and simply talking about what they wanted, they took the action to make the change. Now they are viewed as thought leaders in their local area. Their classes are at capacity. They are literally saving lives by being the example of what is possible. To meet Scott and Angela Wagnon, join the Plant Based Eating for Health Facebook group to connect with them.

Walk Your Talk

You can talk about what you want to achieve with your health until the cows come home. Or, you can buckle down and do what you need to do to make the healthiest choices to live a quality life. It’s not about what you say you will do. It’s about the actions you take on a daily basis.

“But I’m not ready to give up XYZ.” You fill in the blanks of XYZ. The fact is, in order to be healthy there are some foods, habits and behaviors you absolutely must give up and others you must incorporate into daily protocol. To think otherwise is the logic of fools.

You can’t expect to have dramatic changes to your health without making dramatic changes.

If you want to hear from men and women who have made incredible changes to their health by switching to a whole food, plant-based eating protocol, check out the Plant Based Eating for Health YouTube Channel. There you can see the conversations I’ve had with people who have lost substantial amounts of weight while reversing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

The choice is yours. What’s the quality of life you want and what are you willing to do (and not do) to achieve this? Quit focusing on how tough it is to make the change. Rather, focus on how tough it is NOT to make the change.

Think of yourself as the child who fell in the pool of water. What would you do to get yourself out of there? Now go do that.