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Home > 4 STEPS TO BUILDING A HEALTHY YOU - STEP 4
4 STEPS TO BUILDING A HEALTHY YOU - STEP 4
by Dave Foreman
When I began writing this series almost a year ago, my goal was to create 4 easy-to-follow steps to improve your overall health and wellness. The previous three steps (1-Building your own supplement program, 2-Cleansing and Detoxification and 3-Using Superfoods) have all been relatively easy steps to incorporate into your everyday lifestyle. The same connot be said for step 4. Even though I think that this is the most important step, I held it until the end to bring more emphasis - sort of my exclamation point to the 4 Steps.
Yes, the 4 Pillars of health are included in every newsletter (just look at the back of your old newsletters), but only the abbreviated version. Since I have written about my 4 Pillars of Health several times in my newsletter, I am not going to write a whole new article explaining why I think they are each important - that's why we have my articles archived on vitaminshoppe.com. What I am doing in this commentary is reminding you of their importance and the need to not just focus on popping a pill, or just working out like a wild person, or eating the best diet, or just praying for your health. In order to be a healthy individual, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle (the majority of the time- hey, I am a realist).
My 4 Pillars of Health are really about lifestyle: Take the right supplements (Step 1), Eat right (Step 2, plus eating the right foods), Exercise (Step 3, increased activity) and Spirituality (Step 4, prayer, positive thought, meditation), and you will be the healthiest person you can possibly be. Regretfully, most of us (even me once in awhile) don't always do what we are supposed to. Why? This always puzzles me. Why do we do things that we know are bad for us? Smoking, bad food choices, drugs, alcohol, the list is endless. In many cases it is because of outside influences (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) and our own weakness that we allow ourselves to not do the right thing!
In my seminars, I finish with a story. Even though people have been sitting there for hours listening to me speak on a particular subject, I tell them that the most important thing they can learn from my seminar is what is about to be said. Crazy huh? You just sat through 2 hours of seminar and now are being told that the one thing you should remember is what will be in the next 5 minutes. What I tell them I have never written about, but feel compelled to include as part of my Step 4. It is a story about a sweet 90 year old woman (Norma) whom I met on a flight from Tampa to Pittsburgh several years ago. This story changed my life forever and I hope it will change yours too. I am writing a book on this story, so this will be the very short version.
Norma was traveling to Pittsburgh for her very last time. She spent 89 of her 90 years in Pittsburgh - the last year was in Sarasota living near family that helped take care of her dying husband. Norma's husband had just died and she realized that she was dying too (even though she had nothing physically wrong with her - I believe people can do this). As we flew to Pittsburgh, Norma told me about her whole life from start to almost finish. She spoke of her life in an incremental timeline. What her childhood was like, what it was like courting her husband, what her children were like (how you always get one bad one and one good one - amen), what it was like when the house was empty, and so on.
As she finished each segment of her life, she would pause, laugh (almost giggle) and say how her life was like a game. When we landed in Pittsburgh and were taxiing to the gate, Norma turned to me and said, "David, your life is a game, how are you going to play it?" "WOW," I thought, "That is deep. My life is a GAME, and I make the rules for how I play it." STOP - Think about it. Your life is a game and you are the person who gets to make the rules on how you live it. As an adult, I am free to make choices about how I want to live my life (aside from breaking laws). As children, we are subject to the rules of the adults in our lives, but as adults we are in full control. If I want to go out today and eat a dozen doughnuts, that is my prerogative. If I want to get on my bike and ride for 45 minutes, that is my prerogative. Too often though, we let others dictate how we live our lives. Why is this topic so important? When I look at many health challenges I see a very common thread: lifestyle choices (better known as learned behavior). For most of us, it is easier to "blame" something or someone else for what is going wrong in our lives/health than it is to take a look in the mirror and realize the person looking back is the real reason things aren't the way you want them to be. Here are a few examples:
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE - My family has this as a common thread. I don't have any problems with blood pressure, cholesterol or other cardiovascular issues. WHY? I believe it is because I choose to eat right, get exercise and take the right supplements. The rest of my family didn't or doesn't do any of these...is cardiovascular health hereditary in my family, or learned behavior? I think it is learned behavior. I chose (made the rules for my game of life) to not live like the rest of my family, and therefore I don't have the same health issues.
WEIGHT ISSUES - I recently met a woman with a similar situation, but it was even more challenging. Not only were her direct family members (parents and siblings) overweight, but so were her children and husband. She realized during one of my seminars that they were all overweight due to poor lifestyle choices (lack of activity and poor eating habits) - not due to hereditary links. Her big challenge was changing her rules while still living in a household where others do not embrace the same changes. Bottom line here: She makes the rules for her life - no one else.
Side note: My ex-wife's family all say she is too skinny, and my parents say I need to gain weight. WHY? We are actually in our target weight, yet compared to the rest of the family (hers and mine) we look thin because they aren't. Sort of saying, "You need to be overweight to blend into our family." They are uncomfortable if they don't blend in, so it is perfectly acceptable to be overweight.
TYPE II DIABETES - Many middle-aged people now suffer from elevated blood sugar levels, also known as type II or adult - onset diabetes.When I was a child, this condition only occurred in elderly people. Now, there are teenagers with this condition and it is well accepted. WHY? The answer I get from most is that it "runs in our family." I say that is a bunch of garbage. In most cases (there are a select few who have pancreatic issues) the reason is poor lifestyle choices. We let society dictate what is appropriate to eat, portion sizes are controlled by the person serving us, activity levels are determined by what we do for a living and so on.
These examples aren't here to make you feel bad about yourself if you fall into one of these three areas. I included them because they are the top three major issues facing us today and I believe in most cases that by changing the "rules for your game" you won't have issues with them.
Change is never easy. Defaulting to junk food, not exercising, not buying the right amount of supplements and not being connected spiritually is easy. Until we "man up," and realize that we are in control of the rules of our game of life, we will continue to not achieve what is best for us.
SUGGESTION: While you are brushing your teeth tonight, take a look in the mirror and realize that the person looking back at you is the only person you should hold accountable or blame for those things that aren't right in your life. It is a tough thing to do (it actually hurts pretty badly), because we never want to be blamed for negative things. While you are looking at yourself, talk out loud to yourself about the things you are going to change - and then do it! I am including in this newsletter an abbreviated version of how to reach your goals. Hopefully you will use it and have great changes in your health and overall well-being.
HOT HEALTH TIP- SWOLLEN FEET, ANKLES, AND LEGS AFTER SITTING
Suffering from "heavy" legs after flying, driving or sitting for extended periods of time can easily be avoided in most cases by using supplements. Another term for this condition is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) or poor return of blood from feet and legs back to the heart. CVI may occur following excessive clotting and inflammation of the leg veins, also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). CVI can also happen because of the failure of the valves in leg veins to hold blood against gravity. The end result of this is swollen legs. Using a supplement such as Pycnogenol® seems to significantly reduce symptoms of leg pain and heaviness, and edema, in people with this condition. It can take up to 12 weeks for results to be realized. The dose used in a study published in Phytomedicine (2000 Oct;7(5):383-8) was 100 mg three times daily.