I'll be honest -- I wrestled with the idea of starting a health blog for a long time. I like to write; that wasn't the problem. I care about health; that wasn't the problem. The problem was my notion that I needed to somehow be a perfect example for others. I finally decided that that's never going to happen, and I resolved to just be myself, share my thoughts on the subject, and avoid giving any false impressions.
So, I will make it clear that I do not claim to be the epitome of perfect health. I intentionally work to lead a healthy life, but I don't always get it right.
To further avoid any false impressions, I thought I'd tell you a few (not-so-flattering) things about myself:
- I love junk food. (Who doesn't, right?) Pizza and ice cream are my biggest weaknesses.
- I am not athletically inclined. To highlight this point, I will share with you my athletic career. In junior high track I may have set the record for the shortest distance ever thrown. In cheerleading I was the only one on the team who could not do a cartwheel. In volleyball I could never do an overhead serve. And basketball? Well, that was just a disaster. (I lived in a really small town, in case you're wondering how I was ever allowed on these teams. When my family later moved to a bigger town, I abandoned those sports altogether and joined the debate team, which was much more natural for me. :)
- I struggle with organization. I like to go with the flow, not get too confined by strict schedules and tasks. Unfortunately, this has a tendency of causing chaos in my life.
Yet a few victories in my own health journey:
- Though I love junk food, I don't eat it the way I used to. I'm okay with having a small amount here and there, enjoying it, and being done (most of the time, anyway... sometimes I still overdo it).
- I may not be athletically gifted, but I have learned to enjoy exercise, I incorporate it into my daily schedule, and I feel stronger in my late thirties than I did in my twenties.
- I am learning that organization (and simplification) lead to more margin in my life, which gives a great sense of freedom and mental well-being.
I think about health a lot because of the work I do. As a physician assistant, my job is to get people well. If I can do that with medication, that's great. But if I can help a patient improve their health without the need for medication, through healthier habits, that's even better.
Some facts... The US spends more money on health care than any other nation in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And while the US is exceptional in some areas of health care, such as research and cancer treatment, we are not doing so well when it comes to preventive health. Life expectancy of a US citizen is shorter than the average among OECD countries, and we have the highest adult obesity rate in the world.
At work, through this blog, and with my own family, I hope to be a part of the solution, as it relates to preventive health in this country. It's all about daily choices, which become habits, which become a lifestyle. I encourage you to be part of the solution also. In our own families and social circles, when we make lifestyle choices that prioritize health, we improve the health landscape of our country, and we improve our lives!
Thanks for checking out my blog! If you would like to receive weekly posts by email, you can subscribe here. You can also "like" the Making Health A Priority Facebook page by using the icon at the bottom of this page. Wishing you the best on your journey to better health!
Kiley Owen, PA-C