Stopping an Avalanche at Full SpeedAvalanch

By Stephen Kavalkovich, Former Paramedic
Like many Americans, the endless array of choices of foods to eat makes choosing poor options more likely. After a long day of working, most of us have no desire to prep, cook, and clean up from a healthy meal.
Stephen Kavalkovich

Stephen Kavalkovich Writer Group Admin

Any-town, USA is dotted with fast food establishments that promise to serve you salty, fattening, and microwave fast “meals” without leaving your warm vehicle.

The value menu at most of these national institutions rarely even has a small salad for $.99, but piles of bacon for less than a buck in massive quantity. Eating “healthy” is expensive and time consuming is the common excuse most will site when asked about getting in better physical condition. I challenge these poor excuses as not only untrue, but deadly.

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To my limited knowledge, we only get one body while residing on this planet, and we don’t even own that, we rent it until it’s time to give it back and to return to the dust form whence we came. If the only thing we only truly have some sense of ownership of is our body, why make multiple daily decisions to ensure it’s destruction? Most of us can understand and process the price of a given item , but what about the cost? Heroin can kill you instantly, 5 items from the value meal at any corner of the street deep fried haven won’t.

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The regular decision to partake of said meal over time will kill you by the cumulative effect. We, as a society, are programmed to seek out the instant result in our society, that not seeing the immediate detriment blinds us into a false sense of security. Usually, desperation is the the thing that lands us in a gym seeking some sort of quick fix. Sadly, any lasting change in our lives will never bear fruit without taking the hard road. The easy road got us here, the hard road will get us out.

This leads us to the fitness center, which comes in all shapes and sizes with amenities galore. Typically, the decision to join is a lot like agreeing to purchase a car, where we look at monthly payment, not total cost of the price. We look to how much our bank account will be drafted every month to have access to weights, classes,saunas, and the promise of a good bathing suit body.

The cost is not usually equated into the decision. The cost I speak of includes the time commitment, physical effort, pain, change in eating habits, and even personal training. If they mentioned these topics on January 2nd at the local gym sign up “tour”, most would be analyzing how they are different and don’t need all that,. We just access to the pool and if they provide soap in the shower. Surface level benefits with quick and maximum results without inconvenience or pain.

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To draw another parallel, weight loss surgery has become a hot topic these days. You mean I can lose all the weight I put on simply by taking a few classes, having health insurance, and taking a nap wile the doctor makes the changes? SIgn me up. I am not saying that some cases don’t require immediate intervention, but for most, the quick fix is the reason for agreeing to surgical intervention. Without lifestyle change, in small steps with easily attainable goals, no pill or scalpel will make lasting difference. It may work for the short term, but if the automatic behaviors we have developed over years of poor choice and lack of knowledge aren’t incrementally changed, success will be fleeting.

Interrupting the avalanche that has been building on the downhill race to the valley is required to shock us into reality.  The earlier the interruption, the shorter the learning curve thus making change quicker. The more momentum that avalanche has, the harder it is to stop, break it down, rebuild, and change its course.The actual change takes time of slowly placing new habits into our routines so that we can make them automatic. Any change, whether it be quitting drugs/alcohol, learning a new skill, or losing weight all require the same process.

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Stepping out of denial and recognizing the thing that isn’t in line with who we are and what we want is first. Followed by doing something different than we have been doing, otherwise nothing changes. A small change is still a change and that becomes a foundation for a solid structure over time. A long hard look in the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychological mirror is required before any change can happen. If we don’t know where we are, how can we expect to know where to go and how to get there?

Help is available at the quickest pace and largest quantity ever in human history, but we actually have to put our hand out and ask for it. Anything we could ever wish to know is at our fingertips, but we have to actually use them to access it. Self appraisal, assessment, and inventory tell us where we are, then we can see where we want to go.

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