Were you like the millions of Americans who rang in the New Year by making a resolution for 2012? Funny thing about those resolutions. They rarely make it to the spring. Here’s a resolution I challenge you to keep: Get to know that person staring back at you in the mirror a little better.
Say Hello to the Real You
Many of us say we try to lead the healthiest lives possible. But, do we give it our all? There’s a marked difference between saying and doing, between seeming and being. Often, we manage to pull the wool over our own eyes when it comes to health. Maybe you’ve confidently assured the dentist you absolutely floss nightly (knowing full well you’re still nursing the sample pack you were sent home with six months ago), or chatted with shoppers about healthy recipes (when you just tossed the fast food containers in the trash bin down the street so customers wouldn’t see them).
We all do it, even unintentionally. Recently, I had the chance to find out my omega-3 index with just the prick of a finger, courtesy of an industry supplement maker. The test measures your omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio. Ideally, you want to be at least 50% omega-3 for optimal health. (If this sounds familiar, we recently discussed this test in our November Vitamin Connection column and in our December “Bleeding for Your Brand” article.)
At first, I wasn’t worried about the results. While I’m not much of a fish eater, I take my fair share of omega supplements—krill, vegetarian DHA, fish oil capsules, emulsified fish oil, all in combination. But when my results came back a few weeks later, my omega-3 count was an embarrassingly low 32%! What could have gone wrong?
Seeing the numbers was truly an eye-opening experience. I guess I didn’t know myself—or my diet—as well as I thought. While I won’t give up my omega supplements, I realized I was relying on them to do the heavy lifting of a healthy diet. Sure I eat lots of veggies, but I can definitely cut down on the carbs, too. If I want to improve my score, I have to take an honest look at my diet and make some changes.
It’s not every day you’re hit in the face with a latent truth about yourself. Perhaps this is why so many New Year’s resolutions are doomed from the start. It’s hard to know what to work on if you don’t step back and analyze the situation objectively. And if you cannot separate your self-perception from the actual you, it’s nearly impossible to enact meaningful, healthy change.
This year, as you think about which resolutions you’ll work the hardest to keep, consider the task of self-evaluation, be it of your own health or your store’s health. Analyze where you’re succeeding, and where you’re falling short. Above all, be relentless in your honesty. The more you can abandon any assumptions you’ve made about yourself, the more you will grow and learn. Here’s to a successful and informative new year! WF
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Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2012