Health is a Process, Not an Outcome
How to Get Un-Stuck
This week is about the three As (awareness, acceptance and agency) that I use to help patients put themselves back in the driver’s seat of their health.
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If you’re anything like me or my patients, you want to live a long life. You want to be healthy! Yet when you try to execute on your best intentions—whether it’s cutting back on alcohol, starting an exercise routine, or taming your phone addiction—you end up defaulting to factory settings.
Well, you are not alone.
The pandemic laid bare how wired and tired we are—and how desperate we are to feel better. We scroll endlessly online for wellness advice and health hacks. We grab quick hits of dopamine through sugar, shopping, booze, or whatever gizmo social media is offering up. We are sleepless and irritable and don’t know what’s wrong.
The U.S. medical industrial complex is failing people. The wellness industry is fleecing people. How do we get ourselves “unstuck” when we don’t know what questions to ask or who to trust?
Together we are helping redefine what it means to be healthy. To join this community — and for lots of fun extras — consider a paid subscription!
First, we must first redefine “health” as more than a set of laboratory tests or a single visit to the doctor. To me, health is a process, not an outcome. Health is about having awareness of our medical data, acceptance of the things we cannot control, and agency over the things we can control.
I call this the “Three As.” I argue that articulating our Three As allows us to more accurately tell our story. An honest reckoning with the Three As can put us back in the driver’s seat of our health.
In this week’s (short!) solo podcast, I explain this in more detail. I will define each “A” and suggest a way to move through this process on your own.
Spoiler alert: getting healthier isn’t particularly sexy. It’s often not very fun. It usually isn’t usually quick, and it never involves a “fix.” In reality, staring down the facts, accepting hard truths, and then challenging our beliefs and our everyday behaviors is arguably the deepest and hardest work we do.
Our stories live in our bodies. What’s yours?
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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are entirely my own. They do not reflect those of my employer, nor are they a substitute for advice from your personal physician.