Stop! Don’t Compare Your Health Stats to Those of Your Spouse!
Your health is just that – your health. Comparing your laboratory results with your spouse or partner will only lead to confusion and distress.
Of course, there are lots of things we can do to optimize our health stats and lead healthier, longer lives. But I always say that the best thing a person can do for their health is to choose their parents. So much of our health and risk factors are simply genetically determined.
With that in mind, what will you accomplish by comparing your results with your spouse? I would say, either discouragement or a false sense of security.
I am not saying to hide your lab results from each other, and I am not saying to not participate in encouraging your spouse to be healthier. I am simply saying that lab results cannot be compared evenly across the board. Everyone’s journey is different.
Suppose your cholesterol is high and you work very hard at keeping to a low cholesterol diet while your spouse has been less than enthusiastic. Then you see your spouse’s numbers have improved much more significantly than yours. How can this be? It just is. So many factors are involved, many of them genetic.
Find joy in your personal improvements, no matter how small. Improvement or even status quo is much better than worsening.
Also, it certainly is not all about the numbers. People that aerobically exercise at least twice a week have significantly lower rates of coronary artery disease, and this is a completely different risk factor than the measurable risk factors, such as BMI and cholesterol level.
Do not miss a chance to celebrate your personal success.
Here is the thing. Stress in and of itself, is a risk factor for many medical disorders. So, this is another reason to not play the comparison game with your spouse or anyone else when it comes to health stats.
Mindset is important to health. I know. This is a difficult task. How do you consciously stop yourself from comparing? It is difficult but by simply focusing on your own health more, you may find you are thinking less about everyone else’s numbers.
Achievement Is Measured in Action
This is probably the best attitude to keep when trying to get or stay healthy. Measure your accomplishments in health by your actions and not your numbers. The numbers are what your physician will examine to design a personal wellness plan for you.
If you are a diabetic, and despite your best efforts, your numbers, such as hemoglobin A1C, remain high or are actually climbing, do not feel ashamed. Your achievement is the actions you took to better your health.
Your physician will look at that number and increase, change or start medication because that is what your specific body needs to be healthy. Feel proud of your success in doing what you needed to do so your physician could best evaluate and treat you.
Of course, this means the converse is also true. If you are not following your physician’s guidelines and your numbers are improving or just not getting any worse, don’t take that as a go ahead to let yourself go. The achievement is in the actions and these positive actions alone very often improve your health despite what the numbers read.
Setbacks Are Part of the Journey
Very rarely is success linear. This is something everyone needs to remember with any type of goal-setting. Your numbers will bounce up and down, and the healthy actions you take may go from enthusiastic compliance to neglect to compliance again.
Sometimes you’ll fall. Well, get up and keep going. This isn’t a race. In fact, aren’t we trying to postpone as much as possible getting to that “finish line”?
Life isn’t fair. Health isn’t fair. But they are both beautiful gifts to be cherished. So, take your health into your own hands. Your spouse is not there to compare health stats, but they are there to share in life’s joy. So, enjoy your personal health journeys and hope for long, happy lives filled with love.
Do you have trouble comparing your health stats with your spouse? What kind of problems and feelings have you had with this? Do you find any of these tips helpful? Could you possibly make your spouse a health partner as you each traverse your separate wellness journeys?