So one day I decided that striving for perfection really wasn't a necessary or helpful goal. And I struck a new deal with myself: Rather than feeling compelled to make healthy choices all the time, I would simply make healthy choices most of the time.
It can feel like a battle between two aspects of a split personality. One emerging identity feels a healthier life calling, sees a happier, more inspired self almost within reach. That part wants to make some changes.
While there's nothing wrong with chasing the torso of your dreams (particularly if you enjoy the chase), I have found that there's greater value in expanding our horizons, and seeing that we can win much bigger than that.
Admittedly, none of these were quick fixes. But they were utterly transformative and deeply satisfying, and every time I learned a new skill or had a big "aha" insight, it gave me new fuel to keep going.
In a culture that's only too happy to tell us what we should want, be, and do, there is perhaps no more revolutionary act than simply reclaiming your own healthy sense of "why" and living it a little more fully each day.
When you are stressed out, your juju is one of the first things to go. You feel less positive and energetic. You are less open and receptive, more reactive and critical about everything around you. And the less good juju you have, the more vulnerable you become to stress's physiological effects.
I am not a doctor. I am not qualified to offer "medical" advice of any kind. But I am qualified to ask questions, to be both curious and knowledgeable about what is going on in my body, and to go in search of information that might help me better understand the dynamics behind my health concerns.
But perhaps the bigger issue is that any illness requiring ongoing medical intervention can easily turn you from a person into a "patient." And once you become a ward of the health care system, it takes a conscious effort to avoid being assimilated by it.
There are a thousand small, daily opportunities to take charge of your own well-being, to cease taking your health for granted, to start more fully appreciating the the miraculous and resilient human body within your command.
The more Couric dug into the topic -- for herself, her family, and her audience -- the more she realized that the most essential and scientific truths about the drivers of obesity and disease simply were not reaching the American population.