“So what if I have high cholesterol, I don’t notice any problem.
Anyway, we all have to die eventually.”Sound familiar? Many of us
have said things like this when we have been faced with having
high cholesterol. There are two problems with these statements.
First, high cholesterol is a silent killer. You only notice a
problem when it is too late. One of the first signs of heart
disease is death. You will not notice the cholesterol building
up in your blood stream until it blocks the blood vessel and you
have a heart attack.
So not noticing any symptoms is not a realistic assessment of your
risk of heart disease.
Second, we might say it is our choice to not change our lifestyle
to improve our health. But are we really making a choice or
avoiding a problem? Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemente, in their
book, Changing for Good, suggest asking yourself the following
questions to determine if you are making a choice or have a
1. Am I willing to talk about the issue?
People who are really making a choice are able to discuss the
issue. They are open to learning about it. People who have a
problem avoid discussing the issue and don’t want new information.
2. Am I aware of the consequences of not taking action?
This includes being willing to fully consider what it might be
like for you to have a heart attack, and if you are lucky, be
rushed to the hospital. What it might mean for you if you end up
disabled and unable to do the things you currently enjoy. What
it might mean to your friends and family if you are disabled or
People making a choice are able to look at the consequences of
their decision. People who avoid looking at the consequences
have a problem.
3. Am I willing to take full responsibility for my
If I end up in a hospital bed because of a heart attack, am I
going to be satisfied with my decision to have done nothing about
my health? If I saw my family suffer because of my health problems
or due to my death, would I still feel I had the done the right
If you can honestly look at the consequences of your decision and
take responsibility, then it is a choice. If you can’t then you
have a problem.
What if I have a problem?
You are lucky. Problems can be solved, and you can only begin
solving a problem once you have admitted having one. If you
can review these questions and admit to having a problem you
have taken the most important first step towards improving your
Remember, having the right diet and getting
enough exercise will not only improve your
health- IT WILL IMPROVE YOU LIFE.