Stop Thinking You Have to Be the Next Victim of Your Family History

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

Are you afraid to suffer the same fate as other family members went through in old age or had to deal with their entire lives? You can’t control every mental or physical health outcome, but you owe your family and yourself to make the right choices to reduce the odds of repeating history. It’s impossible to change the course of your family without changing yourself first.

Medical progress is advancing at a rapid rate which makes it easier to treat health issues. People are more accepting of mental health issues and getting help is mainstream. Our parents and grandparents swept mental health discussions under the rug for fear of shame. Everyone knows the benefits of exercise and a foundation of what you should and shouldn’t eat.

If you are middle-class in America and work a full-time job, you have multiple ways to access the knowledge and resources you need to live a healthy life and break destructive family health patterns. There are countless books and podcasts you can access with the click of a button on your phone. The problems are discipline and the will to change.

The first step to getting healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with small and achievable goals like going for a walk to get some sun and fresh air to rejuvenate yourself if you are out of shape. Read a book on improving your mental health for 20 minutes a day. Start eating healthy snacks, or my new favorite, a fruit smoothie to start your day.

Health is very important to me because I’ll be a first-time father in less than a month. The last thing I want to do is repeat the problems I’ve seen older generations in my family go through when I have the power to make generational changes with myself and my daughter. They didn’t have the information and resources I’m fortunate enough to access for my mental and physical health so there’s no excuse for failing.

The last thing I want to be is a burden later in life, especially since I’m going to be an older father at 40 and want to be a part of her as much of her life as possible. It also isn’t fair to my wife or daughter to just let bad health problems come up without trying to prevent them. My goal is to be the person who breaks the pattern of poor health.

It’s up to me to take care of myself so my daughter has a male figure who takes ownership of and tries to prevent problems that have a decent chance of occurring. She needs to be shown the way by someone who beat the mental and physical health challenges that are on my side of the family. If I show her how to be a healthy person, there’s a better chance she will find a husband who acts the same way.

I could do all the work to avoid the fate I don’t want and it happens anyway. God is in control and decides how we meet Him, but the point is to model good habits for my daughter and to show her how to be responsible for the hand life deals her. Humans gravitate toward what is easy, comfortable, and pleasurable. If I did that all the time, I’d end up exactly how I fear and fail as a father and husband.

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