Healthy Starts: How to Begin When Starting Your Health Journey
How do you start when the party's over and when you are physically and mentally
spent from from planning, organizing, preparing, cleaning, delegating, coordinating,
presenting and appearing and… all the endless to do’s?
When juggling multiple competing priorities in a finite time frame, we may feel
overwhelmed and start to lose track of who we are and what matters most—our
happiness. No matter who we are or what we are managing—we all know what
inner contentment or happiness or fulfilment feels like. Healthy Starts is a way to
get in touch with you and your inner contentment.
Choices and Options: What is the Difference?
More than ever, there are apparently a million different choices—but in reality
there are only 3 when it comes to mental/emotional and physical health.
1. Choose Health 2. Choose Sickness 3. Choose Neither (Leave it to chance).
As a naturopathic doctor, what I have seen from almost 20 years of clinical practice
is that there is sickness inside of us and there is health inside of us. Both coexist
together. Whether we feed the sick person or the healthy one with our actions and
intentions, is up to us. Regardless of the level of wellness we have in this moment.
With each choice we have countless options but the choice is ours in the sense we
take full responsibility for making the commitment and facing the consequences
ourselves. When we do this, there is no one to blame and we are accountable for
our care. We cannot escape the inevitable such as death, but we do have choices
about how we live each moment.
So, Where Do We Begin?
"We begin by doing what is necessary, then by doing what is possible and one day
find ourselves doing the impossible" The Upanishads
Each day, each moment we have the power to choose. The seed of every action is
in the mind with our intentions. Making the conscious choice to feed and nurture the
healthy person inside paves the way to better health and wellness; not just for ourselves
but for each person we encounter. You can start in this moment. “Right now, I choose
health, what are my options?”
Have a Clear Vision
First it is important to know what it is we want and be clear and specific about the
outcome. It may be the difference between “I wish I could lose some weight” to “I will
lose 15 lbs by April at a rate of 3.5 lbs per month by committing to eating right,
exercising 3 times a week, drinking 8 glasses of water, eating fruits, vegetables and
fibre, cooking for myself, changing how I shop and checking in with my ND monthly.
How to Take Action:
To Tackle Common Challenges: Start by listening to your body and trust what it is
telling you. Here are some tools you can use when you feel challenged to keep a
Negative Thoughts? Understand these are a reflection of unmet needs. Break the
habit by shifting the focus—make the choice to stop your thoughts by:
- Pausing, or counting to 10, or
- Focusing on your breath, or
- Looking outside, or
- Talk to someone your trust
Negative thoughts are more harmful to yourself than anyone or anything else.
Negative People? Become unavailable—make the choice to be unavailable to
negative intentions or actions. It does not mean you hide. It means you stop
allowing yourself to be receptive and feel responsible for the negativity of others.
Try positive self-talk: “I am not available for negativity” and then move on. Once
you are out of the situation, do not ruminate. Instead, focus on releasing the
emotional (anger or fear) charge of the situation, meditation is an excellent tool
Sitting at Your Desk Too Long? Embrace the YANG energies of dynamism and
movement. Energize by giving yourself these options: If I am sitting, I can stand.
If I am standing, I can walk or dance. If I am walking, I can walk faster, skip, hop,
jump or run. Commit to yourself and make it a priority.
Tired and Exhausted? Embrace the YIN energies of nurturing and reflection—
Give yourself permission to rest and recharge by giving yourself these options:
I If I am sitting I can lie down or drink water or breathe deeper. I can close my eyes
and rest my mind for a moment (put your timer for 5 minutes minimum). I can put
my head down and rest my neck. I can have a bath, bodywork or simply allow restful
See there are many options, but the #1 choice = health!
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I understand the many faces of health and sickness. In my
humble opinion, the most effective medicine is the one that enables a patient to heal
themselves—something which comes from within.
This does not mean I do not prescribe or provide treatments, however what I have
learned is that the patients who can commit to themselves and harness the strength
of what lies within are the ones who surpass expected treatment outcomes by both
themselves and their clinicians.
Angeli Chitale, ND
Dr. Angeli Chitale is a licensed naturopathic doctor with
additional training and certification in treatment of both
thyroid and endocrine conditions including fertility for
men and women.