How Changing Your Health Permanently Actually Happens

by Maya Nahra

Our overweight and obese populations in the United States have climbed to a combined 70% of the population. In 2015, thirty million Americans had diabetes. According to the CDC, the cause of death in one in every four people is heart-related.

Our country is fatter, sicker and unhappier than ever before yet we have more ‘how-to’s,’ meal plans, health apps, trackers, diets and supplements than ever before.

Unfortunately, most know what to do to be healthy and very few are doing it.


Habitual thinking.

Here’s a simple example: I eat too much sugar. I decide I want to lose weight. So, I remove sugar entirely. Instead of strategically using my willpower, I employ an all-or-nothing effort to achieve the results I desire quickly. (Because what’s the point if I restrict myself for three days without all the results I want!?) By the end of the week my stress levels have risen, my willpower is used up and four of the doughnuts in the breakroom are calling my name.

All-or-nothing thinking is a habit of thought that drives emotion and behavior (The Nuuaria Method®). If I don’t change my habits of thought first, I’ll forever be on the behavior change rollercoaster. (Which, if rode too long, can feel like failure and defeat.)

Commit daily to choosing ‘apple’ thoughts instead of ‘candy bar’ thoughts, because it is your candy bar thoughts that have created your current life circumstance.

Thinking is the cause. Behavior is the symptom, rendering behavior change alone merely symptom treatment.

Knowledge is not the same as integration. When knowledge IS integrated, it becomes wisdom. To integrate knowledge, you must change how you think.

So, what breaks this cycle and leads to change?

Learning how to think differently and practicing new habits of thought. We are in this time now. As humanity advances, so too should we change the way we approach our health.

Our country has a certain definition of what work is: the physical exertion of one’s self to achieve an external result. However, what happens when the external result isn’t matching what is wanted?

The poor-willed give up and the strong-willed work harder (often leading to burnout, frustration and precious lost life years).

External results will never be greater than the internal self.

Change only happens when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.

In my experience and after fourteen years of coaching – both myself and clients – change only happens when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.

And when you get there – and I mean truly get here – you now must break through one very important, limiting habit of thought: not going for it because you don’t know HOW.

I’m talking about the end of your rope… you know ‘you got nothing left’…. and it’s the absolute best place for you to be.

Since the brain only has access to past experience, it is at this breakthrough point that this tool inside your head cannot take you any farther. It tries and tries to dig into the past to find a NEW way forward. And when it cannot, because it cannot create something new out of nothing, you move beyond habitual thought and employ faith.

Then, you must be responsible with your thoughts (not your behaviors). You must focus more of your mental energy on what is wanted instead of what is.

Senses are a powerful thing.

Habits of thought are a powerful thing.

And more efforting and behavior change will not overcome either.

This is where the popular use of morning routines are used. Just like working out your body, you must focus, focus your mind so intently on what is wanted, on solutions and on the end result, even when the big ‘how’ is yet unanswered.  

Commit daily to choosing ‘apple’ thoughts instead of ‘candy bar’ thoughts, because it is your candy bar thoughts that have created your current life circumstance.

Commit daily to choosing ‘apple’ thoughts instead of ‘candy bar’ thoughts, because it is your candy bar thoughts that have created your current life circumstance. Up until this moment in your life, you have not been irresponsible with your behaviors. You have been irresponsible with your thinking.

When you move past your breakthrough point, awareness and attention to everyday thought – which can be done through emotion – is your next step.

The daily commitment to safeguarding thought is to keep you from the throes of chaos and personal hell of indecision, to keep you from the slow overtake of old and limiting habits of thought whose sole desire to bring you back to the safety of what’s known. It is to make you more aware, so you do not lose yourself in petty busy-ness the mind would have you believe is all-important and all-serving.

This isn’t positive thinking. This is the ‘intentful’ practice of allowing your brain to reorganize thought, create new neuro-connections and reveal to you solutions that lead to the creation of the real change you desire.

The betterment of our country’s health is now dependent on responsible thought.

It’s a process (and sometimes a messy one) and that’s okay. That’s why Nuuaria Health & Wellness exists, to help you change how you think to change your health. We help you build the infrastructure that is new thought required to uphold new habits of behavior for a lifetime.

It is just now that the real journey begins… and it is a wonderful one indeed. You are capable of this and so much more.

About the Author

Maya is the founder of Nuuaria, a health and wellness company who helps people change by teaching them how to think differently. She is the creator of the Nuuaria Method®, an evidenced-based habit and behavior, change-work education in the areas of weight loss, diabetes and stress reduction who's programs are now active in many companies such as Buckeye and Osborne School Districts, PING golf and CVS Health. Maya is also a registered dietitian of over 10 years, a diplomate of the American Institute of Stress, a writer, speaker, and a student and teacher of human change. She lives the essentialism lifestyle and secretly wants to live on a vineyard and make wine.

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