Healthy Habits Suck: How to Get Off the Couch and Live a Healthy Life… Even If You Don’t Want To by Dayna Lee-Baggley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fun and informative little book written by Dayna Lee-Baggley, a psychologist who discusses exactly why healthy habits are so hard to adopt and sustain. In short, they are hard because, in her words, they suck. They go against years of evolutionary conditioning that values energy conservation. Unfortunately, in a world where calories are all too accessible and where the physical demands of life are no longer sufficient to promote fitness, adopting healthy habits, no matter how inconvenient or difficult, is key to both longevity and a good quality of life as we age.
Hate to exercise? Too bad. According to Baggley, many of us hate getting up to go to work, but we do it because we value the pay check. Exercise or eating healthy is no different. It would be great if every healthy choice was easy, convenient, or welcome. But at the end of the day, sometimes they are necessary and that alone should be reason enough to push forward.
The key, in her opinion, is to tie the healthy behaviors into something we value. Make it personal. So maybe we don't like to get up early to exercise because it's much more satisfying to hit the snooze button, however, we do value health because it allows us to enjoy our kids, spouses, or other activities. So the exercise is a means to an end, even if it isn't always "fun."
There is a lot here for someone who is a chronic "excuse maker." The "I don't like exercise" or "I just don't have time" groups. It also offers a lot of useful advice for emotional eaters. Those who eat to sooth some emotional need or dull some uncomfortable emotion.
I've read quite a few of these types of books and what I liked about this one was that Dayna doesn't sugar coat the truth. She also doesn't feel the need to overwrite the book. It's short, and instead of filling it with fluff to beef it up, she simply says what needs to be said, which I appreciate. Too many authors try to fill up pages even if it means going off topic or being overly repetitive. This is concise and to the point.