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Be Healthy, Start a Revolution!

All of us have a certain core set of beliefs that shape who we are and how we interact with the world. These beliefs drive our relationships, our career choices, and even many of our mundane everyday decisions. They are things we hold so dearly that they will not be shaken, no matter what happens in life.

I’m not just talking about things like faith and religion here (don’t worry, I’m not suddenly going down that road on you). There are many other beliefs and values that give us a lens through which we look at the world. For me, one of those beliefs is this: health is a basic human right. With all that is in me, I truly believe that every man, woman, and child on this earth has the right to a healthy life.

Unfortunately, however, we live in a world where this right is not a reality for many people. Health problems are rampant and it seems as though a smaller and smaller percentage of us are actually “healthy.”

In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman argues that health is a right which has been taken from us. The article is a great one, and I strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. But some of his basic argument is as follows (emphasis added):

Our social, political and economic conditions support obesity and disease. Habits and the default choices in our society are built into the fabric of every segment of our society — families, homes, schools, workplaces, and places of worship, our government institutions and health care centers.

Our current food, social and community environments make it hard for us to make healthy choices. In fact, staying healthy has become almost impossible, which is why almost three quarters of Americans are overweight and one in two Americans have one or more chronic diseases.

I’ve written before about how our environment is making us sick and I’m not going to dwell on it now. Instead, I want to bring your attention to a movement Hyman highlights in his article; a movement born on one principle, that in today’s world being healthy is a revolutionary act. As Hyman so eloquently states:

No single change will help us take back our health. It is the hundreds of little choices we make every day, a hundred small revolutionary acts we can control that will transform our collective health.

2010-12-20-images-HealthRevolutionBooklet457x640.jpg(Source)

The website RevolutionaryAct.com was started by a woman named Pilar Gerasimo as a way to spark a health revolution. The movement is based on 10 revolutionary truths, which are available in the free downloadable manifesto (Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed-Up World) and are also printed in the Huffington Post article. I encourage you to download the manifesto (which also includes 101 revolutionary ways to be healthy — how’s that for inspiration?), but a few of my favorites include:

  1. The way we are living is crazy
  2. This is not about six-pack abs and skinny jeans
  3. Inaction is not an option
  4. The best defense is a good offense (i.e. it’s time to give up diets and focus instead on nourishing our bodies)

The field in which I work is focused on obesity prevention. And in that field, we talk a lot about how the solution to the obesity epidemic (and yes, it is a crisis of epidemic proportions) will be from a multi-pronged approach. That is, attacking the issue at all angles — changing the environment, coming up with new policies, and of course, inspiring more individuals to take responsibility for their health and behavior. The same is true for health as a whole. Not only do we need to change the environment to be more supportive of our health, but we as individuals need to work on making changes for ourselves, our families, and our communities that will help make this world a healthier place for each and every individual.

As the new year approaches, it’s time to set new goals and look ahead toward all the promises and the possibilities 2011 holds. There’s truly no better time to start taking back control of your health, and to work to improve the health of others.

So what are you waiting for? Join the revolution today and be a part of the movement that aims to take back something we all have a fundamental right to: our health.

10 Responses to Be Healthy, Start a Revolution!

  1. Lauren this is an awesome website! I’m so glad that you shared it with us. I really like that this is something in human terms, that the average person can understand and follow. I do have to provide one criticism of their message because it is incredibly anti-government and anti-ADA. While neither organizations are perfect, they truly do have the best interest of American’s at heart. Unfortunately, politics doesn’t always allow it to be viewed that way.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Lauren! It’s kind of crazy how not only this basic human right has been taken away from so many people, but how most of us don’t even know what health is. It baffles me how our society focuses on appearance instead health. I’m hoping one day that changes!

    Happy 2011 :)
    Jen´s last post ..Looking back before looking ahead

  3. I just joined the Revolution as the website does provide insight that make sense to me. It is important that everyone remembers that health is a personal choice or responsibility. I really do not want any agency especially the government to dictate to me what they “think” is healthy. Often money drives these decisions…like with diet foods/products, vaccinations and medications…all of which I personally feel add to much of our current health dilemmas. Thanks Lauren for passing this on.
    Bekah @ runtrackmind´s last post ..The Miles of 2010

  4. I just came across your blog and I’m so glad I did! It’s awesome. I’ll be following :) Happy New Year!

  5. At the start of the new year, this is the perfect inspiration to participate in revolutionary acts to encourage health. I work with so many children and families who seem unable to access the resources they need for a healthy lifestyle. While my job does not focus on health, my students’ ability to learn is certainly affected by their overall lifestyle.
    Becky´s last post ..Reflect- Resolve- Run

  6. This is such a great website! Thanks for sharing. It really is tragic that so many don’t have the resources to live a healthy lifestyle and many of those who do have the resources… don’t use them well. We need our generation to be better educated on health issues so we can change things!
    Rach´s last post ..2011

  7. Wow, thanks for sharing this website Lauren. I feel like I’ve had many health revelations the past year and I’m excited to take part in the revolution now! Hope you had a great holiday/New Years! Glad to have connected in 2010 :)
    Erin @ Big Girl Feats´s last post ..First Feat

  8. Can I get an “amen!” Not about skinny jeans, seriously! We need more of a fire under our butts. Awesome points:)
    Nichole´s last post ..Changing a Tiger’s Stripes

  9. Love this! (Also, I’m VERY behind on reading blogs, if you couldn’t tell.) We didn’t get to this state in our country by just one little thing…so it’s not going to take one thing to fix it all. We definitely need to make many, many changes to bring our country back to a state of health. I especially love the “this is not about six pack abs and skinny jeans.” Yes, I think being thinner (to a point) is more attractive, but your HEALTH is so much more important.
    Susan – Nurse on the Run´s last post ..the great switch fiasco

  10. Fabulous, fabulous post, Lauren! I’ve argued for a long time that health is a right that EVERYONE deserves, and when we live in a complicated world where companies that have the most marketing money are the ones that produce the worst food, too few people enjoy good health. I think many people are overwhelmed at the amount of change required to gain good health (both personal and global), and so they give up. I love the message that small steps will get us there. A perfect post for the new year :)

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