Many of us have never needed to step back and evaluate how our lifestyle might be causing our back pain. Moreover, many of us might have no idea that the two are connected. You may feel your pain has nothing to do with your group of friends, your weekly plans, your get-togethers, your dates, your arguments, your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Well I am here to tell you it has everything to do with your back pain. Here are some questions I’d like to address: What is the weekend warrior lifestyle? How is it detrimental to health? Do I sacrifice my health by making excuses? Do I sacrifice my health to eat what the kids want? Does my relationship affect the way I eat and view myself? Do I accept an unhealthy lifestyle because I have surrounded myself with one? Do I accept a BBQ, beer, chip, hot dog diet when it is causing me physical pain? What is my work culture and how does that affect my health? Do they eat poorly? Do they drink alcohol often? Should I? Do I feel obligated to celebrate holidays and partake in birthday parties where I binge on sugar and fat that make me feel bad about myself?
Let’s first talk about toxic relationships. This can be in your family, with a significant other, a best friend, a group or friends or at work. I am talking about how you all decide to make decisions together. Is a relationship enabling you or pier pressuring you to mistreat your body? Do you know you feel bad after going out for drinks but just do it because everyone else does? These are the questions to ask yourself. Do I have positive relationships or draining relationships? Moreover, what affect do YOU have on other people. Are you contributing to their health or being a poor influence?
How do relationships affect your health? Decisions become normalized. What you eat and where you eat become normalized. Habits and patterns of behavior become accepted and unquestioned. The BBQ’s of processed and acidic beer and junk food are just what you do because you have always done it right? You don’t want to offend anyone right? Well what is more important? You have to prioritize your health. Start to eat what is best for you and say no to social situations where you may feel pressured to eat junk.
I know I sound harsh but what is really harsh is the pain you are going through and all unnecessarily. The weekend warrior often can’t wait until Friday to go out for drinks and have maybe a few too many. They dread mondays and live for the weekends. If this sounds like you, I am only bringing this up because I am trying to draw a link between how social influences subtly affect your well being.
You can begin to affect those around you by leading a good example. Invite your friends over for salad and juice. Take a yoga class with your romantic partner. Try replacing your social habits with ones that will improve and not degrade your health. This will begin to take the pressure off of your digestive system, it will allow your toxins to be released, it will cleanse your skin, let your kidneys and liver stop working overtime, and give you a sense of empowerment over your pain.
Once you start to realize that you do not have to go with the crowd, you begin to have control over your health. Relationships and our need to feel accepted really does influence what we put in our bodies. It’s one of the biggest influencers/enablers in our habits and decision making. Your friends, family and coworkers are not evil. We just have to wake up from the marketing that big companies constantly push on us that this processed, refined, boxed alien stuff is food. Food is something that comes out of the ground or off of a tree. It should be illegal to sell a lot of the stuff that people are eating these days. In fact, in some countries it already is. In Europe, some of the ingredients in Pop-Tarts are illegal to sell as food.
Remember just because the FDA (food and drug administration) says it ok to eat, just because it’s served at a restaurant, just because it’s sold at a store, does not mean it’s something that you should eat. Redefine your standards. Set an example and stop participating in lifestyles that contribute to your back pain and inflammation.