Men's health

Our “Attitude” is the key to better health

shutterstock_80553121Currently in New Zealand 65% of adults are either overweight or obese as are 35% of our children.

As a Dietitian with 40 years experience I am often asked “what can be done?”

My response is “change our attitude”

According to Wikipedia “Attitude”is an expression of favour or disfavour towards a person, place, thing or event. It can be formed from past and present” (experiences).

In terms of our health our “attitude” can hold us back, disempowering us from making essential changes to our life for better health.

Obesity is not any one persons problem. We all need to accept responsibility for our own health and that of our friends and family.

Put your own mask on first!

Just like a flight attendants recommendations on an aircrafts safety procedure you need to start by looking after “number one” i.e you.Children learn to value their health when you value yours.

If you are struggling with a weight or fitness issue and want to make changes this year look at your own “Attitude” first.

  • Do you joke about your weight as if your weight defines who you are?
  • Do you believe it’s in the “too hard basket”?
  • Are you afraid of failure?
  • Do you blame other people, places or things for how your life is and the weight that has gathered as a result?
  • Do you just feel plain “stuck” in a lifetime of self-destructive habits?
  • Do you feel undeserving of better things?
  • Do you lack the knowledge and feel confused by the “nutrition noise” about the best way to eat or lose weight?

You’ve got talent

If you are keen to move ahead this year this is all you have to do:

Think of just ONE thing in your life you got right.

Maybe it was learning to ride a bike; save up as a child for a new toy; have a child; gain a degree; learn to drive or learn to swim etc.

No matter how small there will be something in your life you did that seemed “big” at the time …yet you achieved it ….through a change in attitude.

  • You wanted that thing so badly you tried harder
  • You focused on that one thing until it was achieved
  • You planned for it to happen and got organised
  • You didn’t take “no” for an answer
  • You were determined and found the courage to finish the job
  • You found support
  • You prioritised that one thing, you gave it your time
  • The cost may have taken some money but it was your effort to see the project through that really counted most.

Everyone of these elements are tools that you can apply to anything in your life (no matter how big or small) that you want to change, to have, to be, to do.

In the case of your weight or fitness all you need is self belief, a time frame, a “cunning plan” and support.

Anytime you think that you can’t do it look at that baby you made, that degree on your wall, that driver’s licence in your wallet or thing from your past to prove that when you have determination there is nothing you can’t achieve.

Now lead by example

  • Share these thoughts with others
  • Show others how it is done
  • Demonstrate each day your commitment to better health by making healthier food choices and taking time to exercise.
  • Encourage others when they put in effort
  • Be grateful for life itself.

Contact us if you want support to build nutrition knowledge and develop your own “cunning plan”


Once you have sorted your weight and fitness goals use your tool kit to find other skills you didn’t know you had. Such as learning to paint, sew, sing, travel, build. Find the “magic” in your life today

Other articles by Lea that may help you:

Break free from procrastination for better health
Accept responsibility for your own success
Tips to move you off the couch
Overcome misconceptions about weight for better family health
Hot tips to build commitment
Building resilience
Find optimism for goal success

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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