What does it really mean when your doctor gives you a “clean bill of health”?
Have you ever been told by your doctor that there’s “nothing wrong”, yet still go home feeling average?
What’s going on here?
A Matter of Semantics
A “clean bill of health” really means no identifiable disease — nothing treatable — no imminent trouble. But it can be easily misconstrued as meaning healthy.
Healthy ≠ Lack of illness
There is a whole spectrum of ‘bleh’ that exists between being healthy and being diagnosed with an illness. It’s a zone you may find yourself languishing in when you’re not feeling 100%.
Fortunately, we have a fair amount of control of how we feel day to day. The way we live (the sum of all our daily actions) directly affects our health and our wellbeing. A good doctor will explore lifestyle factors and offer suggestions that may help, but too often it’s squeezed in at the end of the session when time is running out.
I think of health as something that you can accumulate. Something you can consciously set out to gather and amass — and something that you can eventually run out of.
Taking the analogy further we can think of our body as a big bucket of health.
A full bucket. The more health you collect in your bucket, the better you feel in your body and in your mind. This translates directly to more energy, increased productivity, better decision making, resilience, freedom, confidence, better relationships and more.
Being healthy feels fantastic and just makes life better. This is where you want to be!
Zone of ‘bleh’
Bucket contents starting to run low. You start to feel lousy. Low energy. Weight gain. Irritability. Skin trouble. Insomnia. Aches and pains.
Work suffers, family life suffers. Life could definitely be better.
Bucket getting lower still. Onset of disease sets in — diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart attack, cancer, dementia — they’re all directly affected by the contents of your bucket.
So, how full is your bucket?
How would you rate your health? Are you stuck in limbo – not sick but never feeling well? It really doesn’t take much to get up to the ‘Healthy Zone’. A few minor tweaks, consistent action and working on ‘easy wins’ will work wonders.
Your mission: Accumulate health.
Our health ‘balance’ is similar in many ways to our bank balance.
Just like our money bucket, our health bucket is constantly leaking. We need to create a regular and consistent “income” to keep our bucket topped up. And it’s just as import to stop major leaks by controlling “expenses”.
Every little action you take has either a positive or negative effect on your health. It all comes down to how you live your life. Health is not something that you have or don’t have. It’s not black and white. You are in charge. You have to own your decisions because they all add up.
Stop the leaks.
These things will drain your bucket:
- Toxins — smoking, alcohol, processed food, chemicals, radiation
- Prolonged sitting
- Emotional distress
- Sleep deprivation
Load up your Bucket: Eat Move and Chill
The 3 currencies of health accumulation are quality food, exercise and recovery.
- Eat good food — plenty of water too
- Move your body
- Chill out —relax, sleep, enjoy life with good people
If we eat move and chill every day, our buckets will stay full and life is better.
This simple analogy is a great reminder of the impact of our actions on our health and wellbeing. It also provides a nice framework upon which to build our health strategy.
Luckily for us, we have unlimited opportunities, every day and all around us, to top up our bucket.
There is no best way. Each of us can create our own habits and routines that we enjoy, and that incorporate some bucket filling as we move through our day. A drink of water here, a quick stretch there, an extra flight of stairs, healthy snacks, nutritious satisfying meals and early to bed. It’s really not that complicated. Go for the easy wins first. Keep it simple. Keep it fun.
This blog is all about discovering ways to create a constant stream of Eat Move Chill flowing into our buckets — and making it automatic so we’re free to get on with enjoying life.
So how full is your bucket? What do you do to keep yours topped up?