Can Healthy Choices Reverse A Lifetime Of Bad Choices?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Lately I've been thinking about healthy choices vs non-healthy choices. I am not talking about splurges, like having a piece of chocolate cake on the weekend or a third glass of wine. After all we are not robots! We have to balance indulgences alongside healthy choices. I'm talking about overcoming the damage we've done to our bodies prior to making the decision to do something different to be healthier.

can healthy choices such as smoothies, salad, walking reverse a lifetime of choices

Let's face it, we often don't think about our health until we have an issue. For me, it started when I was having trouble regulating my blood pressure. That was the first time a Doctor told me that my health wasn't right. I knew I did not want to take medication so I started researching what could help lower and keep my blood pressure within a healthy range. I had to learn new skills and information to change the habits I had developed my entire life.

Our habits and lifestyle choices are really what it drives us to make bad choices for our health. We simply aren't taught how to live a healthy lifestyle. It isn't a subject we learn in school and it isn't something we learn from our parents (usually). We are living our life the way we know and don't think there is anything wrong with it until we figure out, something is just not right.

Have you ever had this happen to you? All of a sudden you notice you don't feel like you used to. You may go to a Doctor only to be told that your symptoms are due to aging or it is all in your head. You may not go to a Doctor and simply accept that how you feel now is how you are going to feel the rest of your life.

woman lying in hammock unsure of what she is going to do because she feels sick

You don't have to suffer! Good health can be yours again! Not sure where to start? I am here to help!

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Now, let's see the evidence of how making healthy choices, no matter when you decide to start, can erase a lifetime of unhealthy choices. When I started researching this topic, I found some interesting information.

On a TEDTalk Radio program, Dean Ornish from UC San Francisco and author of Eat More, Weigh Less, discusses how he studied 93 men who had biopsy proven prostate cancer but refused traditional treatment, such as chemo, surgery, etc. The men were randomly put into two groups. One group made lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, working out, practicing yoga and reducing stress. The other group did not.

Dean Ornish found that after 1 year, the group that made lifestyle changes did not need treatment for prostate cancer while the group who didn't make changes required some form of treatment. Dean Ornish went on to further study genes, more than 500, after he saw the results from the men in the prostate study. What did he find?

In just three months, with lifestyle changes, the good genes that protect us from disease were turned on and the bad ones were turned off! Dean Ornish is quick to state: "often people say, oh, I've just got bad genes, you know, what can I do about? Well, it turns out you can do a lot, and much more quickly than we had once thought possible if you simply make intensive changes in diet and lifestyle." (Source:

So that proves that lifestyle changes can help overcome a lifetime of bad choices. And it can happen relatively fast! You just need to make the decision to start. Let's face it, you've made decisions to get to where you are in your life today. You decided to go to college or not, get married or not, have kids or not and you even decided to read this blog post today!

lattes on a table with a quote about moving towards the future

You are a skilled decision maker so you just need to decide that you want to support your health with lifestyle changes. It's not hard to start. Choose to do one healthy thing a day. It can be the same thing or something different.

Let's say you choose to walk for 5 minutes every day. Think about how that is going to happen. Maybe you can park further away from the office and take the stairs to where you sit. Once you have a plan, write it down as a reminder for yourself. Or set yourself an alarm on your phone to remind you. This is how you make yourself accountable for your new choice. Want to go one step further? Tell a friend or family member what your planning to do. Then you can tell them you actually did what you said you were going to do. Powerful!

I hope this post inspires you to start making choices to support your health. Do you think you will start to make changes to live a healthier life and reverse the damage of previous bad habits? Let me know in the comment box below.

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