The first time I heard the phrase, “Pay Yourself First!” was from my Mother, well over forty years ago. At that time it was in the context of personal finances.
I have seen my health, and the health of many other Baby-Boomers, go in the tank as we wrestled with priorities of careers, marriage or marriages/divorces, mortgages, raising kids, etc. How did this happen? It happened because we paid everyone else first, not in cash, but in the currency of our time.
Have you ever noticed when you board an airplane, when the flight attendant shows everyone how to use the oxygen mask, how they insist that parents place their own mask on first. This is so they remain conscious to take care of those entrusted to them. The same logic applies to your health.
Building a career and a big stock portfolio is nice, but when your wife is widowed at forty and your kids have no dad, it really won’t matter for much. Regardless of who you are, how busy you are, how important you may be, you must make it a priority to be healthy.
Trust me, you do not want to wait until you are in your late fifties, or sixties, to decide it is time to take care of yourself. There are several reasons for this and some are more obvious than others. First, it is very slow and painful bringing an old and decayed body back to life. Second, there may be damage done, from which you cannot recover. This can be arthritis, diabetes, heart damage, etc.
If the only people reading this post are my Paleo-eating, CrossFit community, than this essay is simply singing to the choir. However, if you are one of my readers who is fascinated by reading about my experiences, it may be time for you to reassess your lifestyle. You cannot get healthy through vicariousness.
Be honest with yourself. Are you too sedentary? Is your belly doughy? Are your muscles atrophied through neglect? Are you using your age as an excuse for your ailments? Are you blindly entrusting your well-being to your doctor? I encourage you to do some homework to optimize your lifestyle. Get a right mindset regarding food & nutrition, stress management, strength and exercise. It is not too late to Pay Yourself First. Make it a priority today.
Get Defiant! Get Well!