“But Duby, I don’t have time to be healthy!”

14 Nov

I swear to G-d if I hear one more asinine comment like this, I think I’m going to scream, pull some hair out and have to kick someone in the ass.

Ok ok, that sounds pretty harsh. When I first wrote this post it was actually a LOT harsher than the above statement – but after mulling it over for some time, I started again, this time with a bit more compassion 🙂

Rage aside, there have been several occasions and conversations with people who were relaying to me their health woes. From simple issues, to more severe problems, friends often give me attitudes and literally say to me: “I don’t have time to worry about my health.” (that’s a direct quote)

2 recent incidents inspired this post- involving two friends (one man, one woman) who are each dealing with 2 very different health problems. In order to keep things anonymous, I’ll keep things vague but I’d like to share their stories.

Story A:

This guy friend of mine has a high powered stressful job. Long days spent hunched over the computer was giving him neck and back problems. He told me he had gone to the doctor to help him with his aches and pains but didn’t really trust what the doctor had to say and was really confused about the entire situation. He was feeling confused because “I don’t have time to worry about my health.” He just wanted to go to a doctor, who knew what he/she was talking about. My friend would follow their prescription and then he’ll be fine. After all – that’s the reason you go to the doctor right? It’s THEIR job to worry about your health and to make sure everything is in tip top shape – Right?

Story B:

My girlfriend’s doctor was very concerned about some potential serious health issues. In order to correct the situation before it got worse (and potentially fatal) – she needed to do an overhaul on her terrible eating habits and get her butt moving. The doctors were a bit concerned, and there was some discussion on how to get things under control before something really serious happens. This might involve medicine, lifestyle changes – whatever was recommended needed to be implemented right away before things got worse. My friend was telling me all about her health issues mainly because she wanted some advice from a “natural” perspective – natural remedies, herbs etc (stuff that I was familiar with) and if I knew of anything that could help her. So we discussed the options– and once again I was faced with the statement “I don’t have time to be healthy.” More specifically she told me, “I don’t have time or energy to make salads and chop vegetables for lunch… I just cant.”

“Well, do you have time be sick?”

There’s a famous line I always hear (mind you, I really don’t like this saying) – but its worth sharing. In response to the “I don’t have time to be healthy” – the line goes “Well do you have time to be sick?!” and of course the answer is NO. But people can’t relate to that sentence, nor does it inspire them to make changes. In reality it just makes the person feel more guilty and worse about the predicament.

But even so, it pisses me off beyond belief that people don’t realize how important their health is.

Our health is so fragile, and once you lose it, it’s extremely difficult to regain it. So sure, when you’re running around your offices and being in charge of the entire world, you don’t “have time to worry about your health” because your job and family life is all time consuming – so who has time to really take stock of what you’re eating .. or how much time you are exercising… nope, you’re too busy with being busy. Until one day – when its too late – and then you have no choice and are forced start at the bottom of the barrel trying to pick up the broken pieces. And suddenly then you yourself crying and sobbing…..

And with many things in life, we don’t know what we have until its gone.

So, you don’t have time to get healthy?

In contemplating this statement, and getting so darn angry with people who keep telling me this stupid stupid line, I came to the realization (actually it came to me while I was in the shower one day) that it certainly won’t help to tell you “well you don’t have time be sick!” and it certainly won’t help if I yell at you and kick you in the ass – to get off your ass and move your ass in order to save your ass! No siree – those things will definitely not help (although they are the easier way of handling the situation.) Nope. What I realized – (and its quite simple) is the following.

When people feel they don’t have time to be healthy what they are really saying is

“I am overwhelmed at what I have to do to become healthier.”

And it’s understandable that this would feel frightening especially when you’ve lived a certain way for so long. If you are used to eating fast food, fast drinks and fast snacks – well sure – it’s downright terrifying to realize you have to do major changes to your lifestyle. It’s scary!

Imagine going from white bread to Ezekiel bread in one day?

Imagine going from steak and hot dogs to vegan salads and raw nuts?

Imagine going from couch potatoes to marathon runner?

These are huge changes and when a doctor tells you need to make changes NOW – well it can feel a bit paralyzing and translates into “I don’t have time to be healthy because I don’t know what it involves. I don’t know how to make these huge changes all at once. It sounds exhausting and overwhelming to do all these things! I am so busy with my work and family life – how will I be able to make the changes I need do?”

The trick is to reframe your thinking – and remember this one key phrase:


Sure, making a huge overhaul on your life’s habits is difficult and scary, but one teeny tiny little change isn’t that scary is it? If all you do today is ONE little thing – maybe snacking on baby carrots instead of a chocolate bar – one TEENY weeny change – it’s enough to get the ball rolling.

So I challenge you all – you all who feel you don’t have time to worry about your health – commit to making one small change in the right direction!

Stay tuned while I continue to discuss how to practically apply the Baby Steps Formula to your everyday routine and start you on the road to lifelong health! Who’s with me?! Can I get an Amen? (hehe)


Posted by on November 14, 2010 in Physical Health


17 responses to ““But Duby, I don’t have time to be healthy!”

  1. Splattman

    November 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

    The headline sounds intriguing, but I don’t have time to read the post.. :p

  2. mrsduby

    November 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    yeah yeah … and Avrumie says “but duby, i dont give a shit about being healthy…”

    you funny funny people ….

  3. Deena

    November 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Here are some ideas:
    People think they don’t have time to make a healthy lunch but here are some ideas:
    PBJ – use whole wheat bread and natural PB. you can keep the jelly and you stil have a healthier version of a quick lunch. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just regular WW is a good place to start. from there you can move on to 7 grain etc. So too with PB, every brand has a natural version. some are healthier and purer then others.
    Tuna, egg, cream cheese – again, use WW and it only takes a secons to add a peice of lettuse and a tomatoe or cucumber. the sandwitch tastes better and is more filling. and you have just given youslef a serving of veggies in 30 seconds!
    Even ordering out doesn’t have to be unhealthy. go for a soup or salad and WW roll.
    I think people are worried that once they go healthy they will feel like cheaters if they order penne vodka once in a while. Eating healthy is just like any diet, try to stick to it and let yourself splurge once in a while so you don’t feel trapped.
    I also keep a variety of things in my house. i don’t only have WW bread. i also have rye so my kids have a choice. once in a while i buy regular challah to change it up from the WW challah i make.

    • mrsduby

      November 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Deena, i really love those ideas !!!! i especially like the fact that you have different kinds of breads in the house so the kiddies have a choice — but both options are healthy! Brilliant! 🙂

      thanks for reading (and commenting!)

  4. Sana Johnson-Quijada MD

    November 17, 2010 at 12:23 am

    nice. saying what we’ve all felt. it is frustrating for many of the lookers on. mental illness or a-motivation or poor coping for what ever reason affects all parties. thanks for voicing it! keep on.

    • mrsduby

      November 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment!!!!!

      hope you’ll keep reading 🙂
      duby 🙂

  5. Chaya

    November 17, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I’m all about a proactive approach to health! Make the time now!! Yet again, great article!

  6. Esther

    November 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Just sent this post to my hubby. Love it!

  7. mrsduby

    November 17, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    thanks for the comment esther! (and FB post 🙂

  8. Dini

    November 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Love this! First time I am seeing your blog and so excited! Love your take on things, always did(well pretty much always;) you sound like your doin great, so happy I found this

    • mrsduby

      November 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Dini !!!! thanks so much !!!!! 🙂

  9. rivkie

    November 21, 2010 at 9:46 am

    you pay for your health in one way or another. either by caring, paying attention and money to the food we eat or spending time in the doc office and with aggrivation and money!

    • mrsduby

      November 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

      Excellent point Rivkie! We do find a lot that eating wholesome organic foods and taking preventative measures with our health, might be more pricey on the outset – but long term the benefits are worth it, since we tend to get sick less!
      thanks for the comment!

  10. Avromie

    November 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hi Duby. Just found your site off frumsatire.
    I don’t think you quite understand the issue here. It is psychological. But it’s not just a matter of falling into bad habits for most people. Eating healthy today is pretty easy. It involves one thing: changing your grocery list.
    Otherwise rational people who can’t change their eating habits even in the face of clear, immediate danger have an addiction. Broken down the steps are as follows:
    -Low self-esteem.
    -Traumatic triggers cause stress and anxiety that are threatening
    -Eating is the chosen form of id’s gratification to relieve the annihilation anxiety (validation).
    -Repetition until pattern is ingrained in neural pathways.
    The problem now is that any suggestion to stop eating cannot be followed because denying food, i.e. validation, causes a real, primal, visceral fear of annihilation.
    The person must be presented with the facts by a loved one (someone he finds non-threatening so as not to induce the anxiety). Support groups such as Overeaters Anonymous have good success rates dealing with it. Many psychiatrists/psychologists will also specialize in addictions. As you might suspect, there are degrees of the depth of this fear, depending on the individual. The addicted individual’s initial response to suggestion of treatment will also vary accordingly.

    • mrsduby

      November 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Avromie,
      I greatly appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog. I definitely understand that for many people emotional eating is a BIG problem – hence such support groups as Overeaters Anon. is a huge success — i have discussed on my blog in the past about emotional eating – – – i think for many of us it stems from simple conditioning from when we were kids when food was used as rewards and punishments. “if you do XYZ you’ll get a cookie” or “if you dont do XYZ you wont get dessert.” Messages like that when we are children turn into “oh, i had such a hard day today – i deserve a little treat.”

      When emotional eating is the underlying issue – then yes, changing the grocery list wont work …. however with this specific post, i am referring to those who need to make major changes in their overall eating (and other health) habits and the prospect of SO Much change in such a short time becomes extremely overwhelming. (I see it with SO many people 😦

      I definitely think I will tackle the “emotional eating” concept in the future … and i liked your comments about how eating is a preferred method of soothing by the ID…

      Thanks again for your comment Avromie!
      Happy Chanukah –

      Duby 🙂


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