What Is A Healthy Life?

I began asking that question sixteen years ago when I was driving my truck southbound on the viaduct and I heard from my sister that I needed to get to my doctors office as soon as possible.  I had been undergoing some routine checks related to an itchy mole on my back.  It turns out the mole was a deep and growing melanoma cancer that had already spread.  They gave me a 5% chance to live and only slightly better odds if I underwent the standard medical treatment which included a variety of drugs and chemicals.

I suppose the journey that I have taken for nearly two decades could be helpful to you as well especially since I decided not to do what the doctors suggested.  I looked into my own habits and lifestyle and began to learn that various things that I had grown accustom to were actually killing me.  Yes, I was committing suicide with my lifestyle.  It was a socially acceptable suicide because I was doing all the normal things that normal people do.  But, those things also lead to dead moms of toddlers, widowed spouses, broken hearts and an endless string of questions starting with "why God?"

I know I have lost most of you now but for those that are brave enough to keep reading, I will share with you what the key ingredients are to a healthy life and I will also share with you some of the common killers that we do and don't even realize what we are doing.  But, first, let me tell you that I do not live a miserable life because I avoid certain things.  I am actually very fulfilled and joyful regarding my current lifestyle and the trajectory that I envision to get even healthier.

I wrote mainly about what to do but I also mention what not to do in the first book I authored titled, "Five Percent Chance."  In it, I articulate the wonder and amazement of our bodies design. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine a diet so wide and plentiful that I actually could never come close to enjoying it completely.  The crux of the do's is what our moms always told us, "eat your veggies."  But, it goes further than that.  I used to think that veggies were limited to what you see in the produce section at the grocery store.  But, that is only part of the plan.  Did you know there are at least 7,000 varieties of just apples?  There are thousands upon thousands of different varieties of produce and many that we have never even heard.  Some of my favorites are duran, maracuya and persimmon.  Have you tasted these?  Well, I never had either but I eat these and many others as part of my regular diet now.  

Purchase Five Percent Chance:  http://www.amazon.com/Five-Percent-Chance-Jerrod-Sessler/dp/061533332X

I won't surprise you what shows up on the "healthy life killer" lists but I want to remind you that I am not writing this for money nor am I sharing the fruitful information that I have learned through this journey for any other reason that to motivate and stir you to consider changes in your own life.  I have used the last third of my life to develop projects around this passion.  I started an organic produce delivery company called Freggies.com because I felt like real food was too expensive and I knew that we could do something about that.  I recently started Hot Feet Fitness (www.HotFeetFitness.com) to fulfill the need that I see to have a straight up exercise studio that gets results in quick fashion.  We live busy lives and we do not generally have time to fit everything in.  Knowing that I want results and you want results inspired me to build a solution.  Our first HFF studio opened in Burien, WA in July of 2015.

I eat an abundance of produce, lots of salads, many varieties of dressings, sauces, soups galore.  I also enjoy fish and any seafood in any form (raw or cooked) but my favorite is seared ahi tuna with my daughters rosemary spice rub (yum).  I eat very little packaged food and I do my best to avoid artificial sugars.  I do not enjoy white flour products and pastas mainly because they just make me feel fat and heavy (ironic that they make us look that way also...).  I avoid animal products including dairy completely and convinced fully that they are the chief source of cancer.  I also avoid a nasty little ingredient generally called "excitotoxins" but more commonly known as MSG or other terms that have the same harmful effects while tricking us into enjoying whatever it is on.

I wrote about the mental struggle and down right battle of choosing health over the wide path of our culture.  It really is just a mental decision to go one way verse another.  Once you begin to make the turn, you also begin to see results but you also experience the social stigma of the healthy side.  Again, it is a mental game and I wrote "Food Chains" to address just this fight.  It is a personal fight and one that I know well.  

Purchase Food Chains:  http://www.amazon.com/Food-Chains-Jerrod-Sessler/dp/0989699706

Grab a book and visit these pages for more information on diet guides:  www.hope4health.org and www.hotfeetfitness.com/about-eating

Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness

NO GUILT

Take a look in the mirror. Do not look with guilty eyes. Look with the eyes of a stranger gazing upon the work of another. No judgement, just fact gathering.  What do you see?  You see the results of a lifetime of work. Whatever the length of this persons life, their parents started them along a path and they took over at some point to earn the body they have.  This person was given a physical form to shape, care for, to use and enjoy.  The results before you is the sum of what has been done over the course of their life.
 
Avoid passing judgement as we are all so attuned to due.  Instead, recognize the sum of the efforts (good or bad) that have resulted in what stands before you.  Keep your analysis third person so as to avoid useless guilt.  What would you change?  Not for the sake of making this form look better but what would you change because something does not seem as it was intended.
 
This is the best place to establish a new vision.  What would you change?  Make a list.  Not because it is wrong but because it can be different, more fulfilling and more enjoyable.  Make a list of things you would change.  Remember as you make the list that all things are possible.  The form was once much different and the result is merely the sum of the years of trials, challenges, hurts and struggles.  Had those experiences been different then the form would also be different.  Make a list of those hurts.  Leave the blame there.
 
From here, make a commitment to give yourself one year.  Yes, an astoundingly long full year to redo much of what has been done in many more years before.  Commit to five minutes a day doing something active and one change in your diet each day.  Yes, five minutes of movement escalating up to vigorous movement in a few weeks and eat something different at least once each day.  Opt for water over pop, a salad over a burger, baked meal instead of fried, etc. Establish check-ins for yourself on the first Sunday of each month and go back to the mirror and your lists of hurts and changes.  Recommit and give yourself a full year before you give up.  The exercise is not as much physical as it is emotional and mental.  Tell yourself you can and you will change the sum by contributing to a different outcome for 365 days.  One of you will do this.  I am excited to hear your story someday.  Start today.
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness 

IS HEALTH A CHOICE?

I am asking you the question. Can you be healthy? Can you decide if your going to be healthy or not? Most of the people I talk to agree that they can be healthy if they choose to be. I have proven it to be true in my life. I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized melanoma in 1999. I was given a 5% chance of making it. I believe that luck is kind to those that are prepared. So, yes, I am lucky but I am also educated and willing to fight hard. The more I learned, the more that fight became about thriving and not just merely surviving. Today, I fight for you! Too many people live knowing they can contribute to their good health yet spend much of their time worrying if cancer, heart disease, diabetes or many other ailments will fall from the sky onto their lives. I found a path that is plain and available to everyone that makes it possible to avoid nearly all dis-ease and ailments. My fight is not against people, processes, companies or even certain foods. My fight is with a culture and an era that does not actively believe that they have any control over their outcome.
 
There are two parallel paths that I travel to experience success in achieving great health and vitality. First, I make positive changes. These are made daily and incrementally. Big changes are easy because they are made daily in small choices but over time they added up to big results.  Small choices made daily become big as the results from them transform my body, my mind and my perspective. The second path is education. I continue to find myself on each of these two paths. The way these paths have worked together is key and I do not believe I would have been successful had I not done both simultaneously. As I made changes, I need to think differently. I need to be convinced that the change was right in order for it to stick. I need to enjoy it and understand why I was doing it. Had I not experienced this, I may have easily been lead back to the lies displayed on billboards, television and product packaging around us every day.
 
The sad truth is that I do not believe most people would have to stretch a great distance to agree with all of what I am saying. In fact, I would argue that all of us that are over forty were taught most of this when we were kids with comments like these: "eat your greens;" "start with your salad," and; "finish your veggies" along with other similar comments our parents and grandparents would make. So, why is it so difficult for us to implement? Why do we struggle to put pen to paper and rubber to the road when it comes to our health? Why do we know what we need to and should do but we still refuse one little decision at a time. We watch the days pass as if we are no more in charge of our health than the man on the moon is of the sun. Well, I am going to share with you the answers to these questions and give you some simple keys to producing remarkable health in your own life and the lives of those around you next month.  Until then, eat your greens!
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness