We all have something we can do to improve ourselves. Mark Twain tells of a doctor at the bedside of a very sick, elderly lady. The doctor told her that she must stop drinking, cussing and smoking. The lady said that she'd never done any of those things in her entire life. The doctor responded, "Well, that's your problem, then. You've neglected your habits."
Twain added: "She was like a sinking ship with no freight to throw overboard."
What are your bad habits? What is keeping you from feeling better? Below is a list, with my opinion of the very worst first. Go through this list and see what freight YOU can drop overboard.
1. SMOKING kills over 400,000 Americans each year. Each one of those deaths is completely preventable.
2. USE OF ALCOHOL, even in moderation, damages brain and body cells. Alcoholic beverages generally contain chemical additives as well. Most suicides are alcohol related.
3. LACK OF SLEEP makes any problem worse. There's rarely any real need to stay up late. Turn off that TV and read until you are drowsy. A good sleep each night beats most vacations.
4. CHEMICAL ABUSE hurts your body. Of course it does. Chemical abuse includes over-use of prescription drugs as well as narcotic addiction.
5. EXCESS USE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINES is basically another form of chemical abuse. Headaches are not caused by aspirin deficiency, nor are digestive problems due to insufficient "TUMS" in your diet. Look for the real cause of illness.
6. OVERWEIGHT by more than 20%? If so, you can expect many more health problems and a shorter life. If you travel overseas, try playing "Spot the Americans." They are usually the most overweight people in sight. Lose that excess weight!
7. DRINKING COFFEE is not harmless, "Garfield" jokes notwithstanding. If you "have to have your morning cup of coffee," then you are dependent on caffeine, which is a drug.
8. EATING CHOCOLATE negatively affects more people than you might think. Theobromine and other chocolate chemicals may not be ideal for your body. Try something else instead.
9. SUGAR is not your friend. Avoid it and feel better right away. You will notice fewer mood swings.
10. WORRY is useless. A one-hundred year old lady was (predictably) asked to give a single bit of advice that would help a person live a long time. She said, "Well, I think that people should not worry. 95% of the things we worry about never happen, and the 5% that do you can't do much about anyway."
11. DRINKING SOFT DRINKS. If you are going to drink something, why not have something that is good for you? Carbonated drinks erode tooth enamel (because they contain carbonic and phosphoric acids) and appear to promote kidney stones.
12. USING ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS adds chemicals instead of sugar to your body. What kind of an improvement is that?
13. EATING MEAT is a tradition, not a necessity.
14. EATING JUNK FOODS gives you extra calories and gives the big food corporations extra profits.
15. EATING ANYTHING WITH A CHEMICAL INGREDIENT IN IT THAT YOU CAN'T PRONOUNCE EASILY. Your body is not a chemistry lab!
16. EATING ANYTHING WITH AN INGREDIENT THAT YOU CAN'T SPELL EASILY means you need to read those food labels more carefully.
17. WORKING TOO HARD. Henry David Thoreau said that after years of hard work, the farmer really didn't have a farm... the farm had him. We should work to live, not live to work.
18. NOT CHEWING YOUR FOOD results in an enormous variety of health problems. We are not wolves; slow down. As my mother said to me, "Nobody is going to take it from you." Although it is clear from this statement that she was not watching my brothers, it is still true.
19. CONSTIPATION makes your body into a plugged sewer. Eating a raw food diet, one-half cup of molasses or a can of sauerkraut will put an end to it.
20. HURRYING YOUR MEALS almost guarantees poor digestion. Put on some music and relax. My parents had the following mealtime rule: "No discussion of money or politics at the table." Not a bad idea. Forget those high-pressure business lunches.
If you are going to do something FOR your health, you first should stop doing bad things TO your health.
Just what are you willing to do to get better? If you limit your answer, you are limiting your success. Do everything possible to enjoy good health. Don't worry about being called a "health nut." What are the others called, then? "Disease nuts?"
It has been said that Mother Nature will not be fooled... at least not for long. If you are what you eat, and you eat a lot of worthless stuff, don't expect good health. If you provide your body with good food and a happy life style, you will feel better and look better. Lincoln said that anyone over age 55 is responsible for his face. We are most likely responsible for even more than that.
Copyright C 1999 and prior years Andrew W. Saul.
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
For ordering information, Click Here .