Once you discovered you had high cholesterol and made the decision to approach it naturally with lifestyle changes, supplements, meditation, exercise, or yoga, did you turn into that person who wanted to educate everyone else? I did. That’s how this blog started. But it’s not an easy road, is it? Often people are resistant even argumentative and defensive. Did your words fall on deaf ears? As frustrating as it may seem, remember each of us is on a journey ... our own personal walk ... leading by example can work, but not if someone else isn’t ready to commit to a change. Change is hard for many people. Personally, I embrace change ... love it ... but I’m in a very small group. My mother once – ok, more than once – told me ... "those of us who are superior can afford to be gracious." Now, before you click that ‘x’ in the corner, understand I’m not more superior than anyone else specifically, but through my journey I may be able to use my experience to help those who ARE READY TO BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY. There are people in my life who are on a different type of journey and I feel fortunate to be able to enhance my journey through them.
An example of the roadblock I face often is in my own family and close friends. I love them dearly but have had to take a step back while they embrace their own journey. I can afford to be gracious because I can allow them to step into their lives when they’re ready and share my thoughts and opinions when an opportunity presents itself without being condescending. There was a time when I’d force my journey on them, only to discover resistance.
So what are we ... those of us who are well into our journey ... supposed to do while the rest of the world catches up? Take a deep breath ... really B*R*E*A*T*H*E and know we can’t change the world in our time frame. Be gracious, helpful, non-judgmental ... yeah, that’s a hard one. I find myself thinking ‘if someone knows they have high cholesterol, why wouldn’t they own it?’ The answer is simple ... they’re not ready to face it ... denial? Confusing information? Too many options? Options too hard? Or inconvenient? There are many, many reasons people just plain don’t bother. One way I have learned is to address one question at a time when someone approaches me about their high cholesterol. The conversation often starts with someone stating a general complaint about the side effects they are experiencing with a medication. Sometimes the comment comes unsolicited like they are searching not only for a conversation, but a solution. Usually I let them talk keeping quiet until I am addressed specifically. Then once I answer one question they start spewing rapid-fire questions hungry for the bottom line. When I tell them the first thing is to admit ownership I lose a good many. It’s much easier to blame their doctor who gave them the medication. They don’t want to research they want a simple answer. Medication can appear to be a simple answer, but often is not. Even the packaging on statin drugs encourages a healthy lifestyle of exercise and healthy foods and their doctor is likely to encourage the same thing ... and then there are the side effects for which a patient is likely given another medication or they play the “let’s try ‘this’ medication” game.
If you are a seasoned reader of this blog you know firsthand that owning your own health is the first step to success. All the information out there can be overwhelming and confusing ... I know ... I’ve been there! But all the information energized me and I enjoyed sharing my journey with others. You can read previous posts for all sorts of information from exercise, recipes, struggles, and joys!
Where are you on your high cholesterol journey? Are you just starting out or are you a veteran in the world of controlling high cholesterol? Have you had success? Or are you still experimenting with what works for you? I’d love to hear from you about what you’re doing and how it’s working for you.
I am ...
... a former blogger for a health site, which means eating healthy aka heart smart
which has become a passion for me. I will start at the beginning when I first
discovered I had high cholesterol.