“Extreme living.” This is what people who live with different health habits than the norm often get labeled. If you don’t partake of the office pizza or the church donuts or the family potlock and you go for a run during your lunch break or play tennis on your date instead of seeing a movie, you’re a “health nut.” Like you’ve joined a new religion. In truth, this reality and social pressure is enough to deter many people from practicing the healthier habits they would otherwise adopt. A core longing of humanity is to belong and conforming to our surroundings is a natural desire and reaction. When you join a gang, the entire point is to conform to its ways. We all belong to numerous gangs and their subsequent social pressures. Most people have three primary gangs; their immediate family, their workplace, and friends and extended family. Bucking the norms is difficult. But for you to adopt a healthy lifestyle that does not include the norms of our very recent times, requires seemingly “extreme” choices. We live in a time when characteristics such as kindness, compassion, ethics, and justice seem extreme as well. It may simply come down to the courage to do what is right.

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