I was asked this question by WIN news reporter Kathleen O’Connor yesterday.  It sure seemed a timely question this week as I pondered this myself. Some clients respond beautifully to treatment plans, others just seem to find it really hard to do what’s needed. It’s been a frustrating week in that way.

It’s a simple fact, humans don’t like change…..which is not quite true. They want change, they want things to be better, but when it comes to making the actual changes, it’s really hard!

I have model clients who do everything I suggest, and more, and they respond beautifully. They are so humble when I tell them what a great job they have done! I’m not surprised that the treatment plan worked, but I am pleasantly surprised when people actually make it work. Because that seems to be the exception, not the rule.

Alot of people start with good intentions and make some progress, but then life seems to get in the way.   I know it’s hard, because I’ve been there.

So why is getting healthy so hard?

You have to really want the change

I find that people don’t really do what they have to do until they reach a crisis point. It’s a bit like the road crossing that doesn’t get fixed until someone is seriously hurt (dies).

You have to have a really good reason to change. It’s almost like your life depends on it. Some people have to be pretty sick for a long time before crunch time comes, and they say enough is enough.

I blame society

It seems that being healthy (and a normal weight) is becoming the exception not the rule. If you are taking steps to be healthier these days you are some kind of freak. Friends and family are affronted when you say no to cake, alcohol or the cheese platter.  There’s a lot of pressure to fit in and do what everyone else is doing. It takes a strong person to say no thank you.

Food corporations and big pharma

We are bombarded with convenience foods and packaged foods that are promoted to make our life easier. These big companies pay boffins in labs to put together just the right combination of sugar, salt and fat, along with flavours and colours and additives to make a product craveable. This is so we get hooked and buy more. They make money and we get slowly less healthy.

Processed foods are always less healthy than fresh simple foods in their natural form.  The further from nature a food becomes the more it morphs into a substance, I can’t call it food anymore, that causes inflammation and therefore hurts us, rather than something that provides true nourishment in a form our body recognises and can use.

A pill for every ill

There is an expectation these days that the minute you have a symptom or health concern, just go to the doctor and get a pill.  This works great, sometimes, but most of the time the drug is merely masking the symptom or desensitising you to it, rather than identifying or correcting the underlying problem. People wonder why they don’t get better, but don’t know there are other options.

This can extend to nutritionals supplements too. Some people visit nutritionists and naturopaths for the non-drug alternative, but still expect that their problems will be corrected by taking a pill. It takes a bit more than that. You have to take a look at the habits that may not be serving you.

For real change you have to identify the cause, and correct the underlying imbalances. It takes time. You have to be consistent and you have to give things a chance. Generally the natural alternative does take a bit longer, but on the upside, it is usually side effect free, and often fixes a number of things at the same time.

We are set up for unrealistic expectations

When people decide to change they want it to happen now!  Unfortunately you don’t undo years of dysfunction in just a few weeks! As an example there are hundreds of weight loss offerings, diets and gadgets that promise quick results. “Lose 5 kilos in the first week” they spruke. A handful of people might manage it, but the vast majority will be starving and disappointed. These promotions only ever show you the success stories, they don’t show you the 100s of people left disillusioned; that doesn’t sell their product!


If you want to be healthy, you have to make it a priority. You can’t just do it some of the time, or when you feel like it. The equation is simple. If you make the effort 50% of the time you will get 50% of the result. How can you expect to get 100% of the result? It’s logic defying!

“I don’t have time”

Once again societal norms have us soo busy, that we are too stressed, don’t have the headspace and can’t find the time to adopt healthy habits.

The truth though is that you can always find time for the things that matter to you.   You have to make HEALTH A PRIORITY. Getting well means making good decisions and the healthy choice over and over again, with consistency.

For example, today lunch was delayed due to my son’s appointment that ran overtime. The session was hard work, and I was stressed. I could have picked at peanut butter on crackers, or grabbed drive through on the way home, and while that would have solved the immediate problem of hunger, I would have been feeling poorly for it later on. There was nothing ready to grab and eat in the fridge either, but I got my act together and quickly cooked a bit of chicken and threw together salad for one, drizzled with balsamic and olive oil.  It took me no longer than 10-15 minutes to cook it and eat it. It was nothing fancy, but still tasty, and so much better for me.    The hardest part is to not taking the easy way out, you need to take that extra minute to think of a better option. The more you do it the easier it gets.

“It’s too expensive”

Well that all depends, and it doesn’t have to be. You can do healthy on a budget, you just have to shop smarter. Buy whats in season, buy what’s on sale. You may actually save money, because you’re not buying all those impulse treat foods anymore.

My daughter once asked me, “why is healthy food so expensive?”  It’s actually not, its just junk food/processed food is so cheap!  Processed foods are mass produced at a price and made to have a really long shelf life. This is good for company profits, but not good for your health. Short term you won’t notice, and it might take years to catch up  with you, but it will.

If you want something you find the money. Perhaps you have to forgo a new Tv, or you go camping instead of overseas for your next holiday. These are all just choices.

Where to start

The hardest part of doing anything is starting.  But the options and information overload out there are overwhelming. How can you possibly sort out what is the right advice for you? Well you could ask someone like me, that can save you a lot of trial and error. But honestly the easiest thing to do is make a decision to make your next meal a healthy one. That means something home cooked, with some protein and some vegies, not something made by a corporation.  You just have to start. Being healthy is a mindset more than anything else. Get your head right and the rest will follow.

Make a plan

fail to plan, or plan to fail. You wouldn’t run a marathon without doing the training, preparing your clothes, your water, and your fuel. You’d also make sure to get a good night’s sleep and get in the right headspace. The same goes for achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Fact: We all have a finate number of decisions we can make each day. By the end of the day many of us have decision fatigue, especially mums who are juggling work and family and thinking for others as well as herself. You simply run out of capacity to make good decisions, especially if you are tired, cranky or hungry.

If weekly meal planning and a weekly shop is not your thing, at least plan a day ahead. When you are feeling fed and rested, take 5 minutes to decide (write down) what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day.  If you like, think of a couple of options, so if you don’t like option one, you can have option two! Both healthy choices. This takes some of the pain and immediate pressure of what to have out of the equation. One of my clients makes her lunch when she makes the kid’s school lunches and she puts it in the fridge ready to pull out at noon.


Being healthy is a choice.

Your choices become habits and your habits become your lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just happen, you make hundreds of little choices every day. You always have a choice. Sometimes you have to take the road less traveled.


What are your thoughts as you read this piece?

Keep a lookout for my next articles “Why is it so hard to lose weight”, and “How I finally lost weight in a real and sustainable way.”