Since the start of this pandemic, I have witnessed a lot of changes in people’s health. Not just overweight issues but more stress related. So I wanted to share with you today a little bit of who I am, and why I do what I do.
How is health & wellness currently defined?
How can we do better?
Using today’s pandemic as an example, we now know that people with health disparities, underlying conditions, etc., are more prone to the complications of this new virus.
As a country, we’re just not as well as we should be. We’re suffering from so many of what I call “lifestyle-related chronic diseases.” I feel the biggest one is certainly chronic stress related. To me, this is considered a slow killer in itself. It builds over time based on life-style decisions, diet, and philosophy of thinking (mindset).
So, how do we measure where we are on this wellness scale?
There is assessing the physical part, the mental part, and even the spiritual part. But now, experts are starting to expand it, so now there are various definitions of obesity that have 5 proportions, 6 measurements, 7 scopes, then 8 lengths. It gets to the point of almost being too much because you’re trying to measure everything.
So the way we measure it right now is we measure each dimension. We’re measuring financial wellness, social wellness, and so on, and we’re trying to come up with measurements that sort of link some of those things together.
The other thing to note is that wellness isn’t just absence of disease. Wellness is more about what’s right with you than what’s wrong with you. That’s a concept that’s resonated with me since I got involved in helping others.
When I hold my fitness consults, I like to have a discussion related to the things you want to keep doing like being able to play with your grandkids or be able to go out and take a hike, or just staying functional. People like to talk about that, so when we focus on wellness, it’s in a way, this holistic concept that we need.
Regarding COVID, We’re now more than 6 months into the pandemic. What has it taught us about wellness and living with chronic disease?
It points out all the more reason that we have to tackle these lifestyle issues. And we are seeing the adverse effects now. Stress levels are off the scale.
Before COVID, I could talk about all the health risks of obesity or I could talk about how living with diabetes really decreases your quality of life and what we can do to help.
But I think, more than anything, it shows that as a country, we’re pretty unwell.
When a challenge like COVID comes along, it really exposes how stress we are and highlights other issues as well.
In our business of helping others, we use to issue out and train weight loss programs and clients would lose weight and then regain it. It’s like, “What’s going on? I gave you a good diet and a good exercise plan, so why didn’t you follow it?”
Then, I realized that part of it is that we were making it about weight when what it was really about is how people live their lives. It has always been about creating a better you.
So that really got me focused on the motivation for all this change, which led me to looking at life purpose. In my consults, when I ask “what has brought you here today” the answer I usually hear is “I need to lose some weight”. When in reality, it’s so much more than that.
It sounds funny in a weight loss program because people just want to lose weight, and we’re telling them that they have to understand their life purpose.
Does focusing on overall purpose rather than a specific end goal work well for people?
We found that when people see the disconnect between their purpose in life and how they’re living their life, it’s a huge inspiration to change. People realize they’re not living their lives how they want to.
We try to tell people that part of wellness is aligning how you’ve always thought about your reason for being and your purpose in life with how you’re living your life. There has to be an alignment.
When it’s just about weight loss, that person might weigh less and have a lower risk of diabetes or heart disease, better health, but they’re not necessarily going to be well.
So adding the sense of purpose and the mindset part of it is crucial to me.
At KALFIT, we promote a proactive approach to creating a culture of wellness, as opposed to a reactive approach of disease management.
How does this play out in practice?
We focus on 3 elements: Exercise, Nutrition, and Mindset.
As an example, when I hold a consult, when I ask you why you want to lose weight, oftentimes what I hear is “I want to manage my health or get my blood pressure down”.
What I find is that when you dive deeper into this question, that’s rarely the major motivation. Their real motivation is much more emotional than logical.
Yes, preventing disease is a good outcome, but when we ask people what’s great about that, they don’t point to the outcome. They say they’ve gotten their life back or their relationships are better.
These are the things that people value, and I don’t think we can create a culture of valuing that wellness just by focusing on preventing chronic diseases.
For someone who has a generally ‘unhealthy’ routine and wants to change, how can they go about fostering a culture of wellness for themselves or their loved ones?
First step we always ask people to think about is why they want to do it. Why do they want to change anything?
It starts with their “why,” and once they do that, there’s incentive for behavioral changes.
So what I would ask people to do is start by acknowledging that they’re not as healthy as they’d like to be, and aren’t living the lifestyle they want to live, and that they’d like to change.
Think about why you want to change and dive deep into thinking about how you want to align how you’re living your life with those things that are most important in your life; i.e. family, friends, career, travel, the life experience.
The behavior change can happen. It’s the sustainability of it that’s difficult, and it’s aligning that lifestyle with what we call purpose in life that’s necessary to sustain it.
This is who I am and why I do what I do. Helping others who cannot help themselves. Giving back to something that is greater than myself. It is my hope, my destiny, my journey of who I am.
So, if you’ve found yourself struggling through the years or starting and stopping repeatedly, it’s even more of a reason for you to find a more powerful way for you to commit to yourself and your health.
If you need a little support getting or staying on track, CLICK HERE: and let’s talk.
To Your Success,
Kipp – KALFIT Coach & Mentor
Let's have a real conversation about how you can create intention and take action and move forward for the final time, so you never have to start over again.