I wish you a Healthy Christmas

I see you.

I see men and women just like you every day.

You’re smart and high achieving and you think you have all the tricks worked out. You’ve got a nice car and a fancy house. Probably got your kids enrolled in a private school too. You take the family on expensive overseas holidays every year. You’re killing it, right?

But a more appropriate statement would be that you’re killing yourself.

All those long hours. The work travel. Eating out with clients all the time. The pressure to succumb to alcohol more often than not. Late nights and long days add up. And you use them all to justify your failing health.

Then you go home and it’s more stress. Kids, housework, bills, a partner who is frustrated you’re away all the time and doesn’t know how to verbalise it. It’s frustrating watching you become more overweight, unhappy, and more stressed. It affects everyone around you but you’re too selfish and self-absorbed to see how your health impacts everyone.

But you’re smart. You read a lot. You’ve been around gyms and know what to do. Or do you? Because your waistline says differently. So does your doctor, because they’re worried about your blood pressure. They’re also worried about your cholesterol and impending diabetes. They’ve been trying to get you to slow down for years but the money is too good, right? You’ve got as much invested in this vision of yourself as a corporate ass kicker as you do in the stock exchange. You’re that go getter who makes deals and earns big. You’re the one who brings home the presents to the kids and pays for the expensive treats. And you’re not prepared to give that up yet despite your body’s protests, are you? You think back to that time you lost a lot of weight. But it was short lived. You soon gained back all the weight lost again.

Up until now you’ve had it easy. Your relative youth has saved you. Below late forties your body will counteract most of the poor choices you’re making. But wait a few years. Get to fifty-plus and see how it all falls apart. Suddenly you’re in front of the doctor and she’s telling you that you need to look after yourself better. Again. Because this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. In fact, if you look back at your life with any honesty you’ll see that you have been getting steadily more and more out of shape and less and less healthy decade after decade. You’ve heard this before and angrily shut out anyone who mentioned it. It’s not just physical either. You feel stressed when you wake up before the day has even begun.

And everyone else at work is the same. The same grim faces. The same emails going around telling you that Bob from Accounting had a heart attack last week at fifty-five. They can see the writing on the wall even though they won’t admit it, just the same as you.

It’s easy to hide at work. Everyone looks the same. Stressed. Overweight. Eating poorly together and washing it down with alcohol. And then you go home. You buy bigger clothes. Looser. You stop tucking shirts in and avoid tight pants. Females start to spend more time in stretchy yoga pants, despite clearly never actually going. Every meal is a treat because hey, you made it through Wednesday. That clearly deserves a double helping of dessert and half a bottle of wine or more to celebrate that momentous achievement. The days are so long and hard and the couch is so soft and comforting. And hey, you already ate poorly today. Why not have another treat now? You can start eating well tomorrow.

But it’s all been unraveling lately, hasn’t it? Tomorrow never really seems to come. Instead it’s more doctors visits, or maybe even a trip or two to the hospital. And it’s not the small stuff anymore. They’re talking about your heart. Or maybe it’s cancer. So I hope all that money you’ve been earning is enough. I hope it’s enough to pay for all the sick days you’re going to need and all the treatments you’re going to have to pay out of pocket for. I hope it’s enough to cover the school fees and the car repayments. I hope you had enough fun with all that money to justify spending the last decade of your shortened life being sick. I hope it sets your kids up to live well enough without dad or mum around.

So for Christmas this year I don’t hope you get anything fancy. I hope you get healthy. I hope this is the year it really sticks. I could cheapen this message by inserting links here for my own services which would 100% help you, but I refuse to. Money will only distract from what is important here and that is you finally taking charge of your life despite the decades you’ve been unwilling to. That is you getting help on this journey because you’ve proven time and time again that you can’t manage this on your own. I hope I’m wrong. With every ounce of my being I hope I am wrong. Your family is scared and hates seeing you like this.

Make the change. Please.