Live & Learn From Adversities in 2020 – Health is the Greatest Wealth

Periods of adversity can teach us a thing or two. Whether it’s about our purpose in life, our personal progress or responsibility to ourselves and others, the relationship we have with the environment, or our health, adversity can be a breeding ground for success if we’re willing to learn from the experience.

One thing we can most certainly learn from this experience with COVID 19, amongst many things, is that health is the greatest form of wealth; and, carrying abnormal amounts of excess weight is a serious risk to our longevity. Being healthy, including being either a normal weight or at worst overweight, is really a prerequisite to living freely, without fear or limitations. Without it, it’s certainly more difficult to live with purpose, as weight gain and ill health tend to sap our motivation and cloud any positive imagery we have of our future. What often follows is a tendency for negative thoughts and habits to fester as we lose our functional fitness and ability to be more engaged in the things we once loved doing.

2020 has been a remarkable year so far; and, if there’s ever a time you should be concerned for your weight and/or health, it’s now. This will likely not be the last global pandemic we experience. Protecting yourself, and your loved ones, from the perils of disease, is as much personal responsibility as it a federal or state one. If anything though, it starts with you. What we have learnt through this crisis is that personal responsibility-social distancing, washing hands, etc-is the first line of defence. Taking extra responsibility for your health, and therefore your weight gives you an extra level of protection. 

Hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea and other weight-related complications have been of national and international concern for many years now. These diseases have been under the microscope again during the recent pandemic, as in developed countries, like Australia and the USA, obesity and overweight numbers are approaching 70%. That’s a lot of people and a lot of national risks, as those with a BMI of 30 and above are 40% more susceptible to developing these co-morbidities, and, are therefore at much higher risk of premature death from both these and other causes as a result. For most people, having a BMI of 30 equates to only 15-20kg of excess weight.  

So, what can we take away from this experience? We have an opportunity to turn an uninspiring 2020 into an inspiring one, give a bad start a good ending, and muster a good experience from a bad experience. We’re halfway to 2020 already. There’s time still to get the most out of 2020 if we’re willing to see the positives in our experience with COVID 19. Growing old is a privilege denied to many, and for many different reasons. When it comes to our weight, and our health, we have a choice to continue to live with limitations or fear, or to do so knowing we’ve given ourselves a fighting chance to survive the next pandemic. 

Warren Artz
WLSA Psychologist