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Growing Pains: Beginning Your Walk to Wellness

Your personal wellness has multiple components and typically requires a consistent, holistic approach for maintenance and growth. Have you thought about making a positive change in your life to improve your wellness? Whether you want to join a gym, start walking daily for exercise, change your diet, or stop smoking, personal change is hard. As you prepare for a season of personal growth, it is a good idea to first take stock of where you are and then identify what may be standing in the way of your progress.

“Dad, can you take me to the mall? I need a new pair of shoes.” I remember making this request to my father when I was 12 years old. I also remember his reply: “Maybe next week.” I had to explain to him that I didn’t WANT a new pair of shoes, I NEEDED a new pair of shoes. He reluctantly took me to the shoe store where the sales person confirmed that my feet had grown over 3 shoe sizes since I had last bought shoes.

As you prepare to change your diet, start an exercise program, or take new steps to lose weight, it is critical to make an honest assessment of where you are right now. In other words, before you buy a new pair of shoes, what size are your feet? What wise decisions have you already made and what bad habits remain a stumbling block to a healthier you? Once you identify where you are, it’s important to then consider what’s really blocking your path to growth. When I was a 12 year old child, I felt the physical pain of my small shoes getting in the way of my growth. What about you? Begin with a look in the mirror - are you getting in your own way? Are you like the shoes that were 3 sizes too small, choking your own growth? Dealing with the reflection in the mirror can be difficult but it is a positive first step on the journey towards improved wellness. As your rheumatologist, I look forward to being your partner to help you discover your healthiest you!

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