Today is the Kick-off! Succeed by Being Supported

Dr. Fuhrman's Holiday Challenge has now begun and what an opportunity this is for you to be able to take action and regain your health! You have made the decision to take on the challenge, which is the first step, but now you need to take action. You'll need to stay firm and dedicated the entire six weeks; not just here at the start. Eating high-nutrient foods will provide motivation, because you’ll feel great and see the positive physical results quickly, but there is more that you can do to increase your success. 


The following are a few strategies, some of which you may have already heard of or used in the past, and they will increase your likelihood of successful completion of the challenge:


1.  Tell everyone you know what you are doing for your health and how excited you are about it. By telling close friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers, you are going to make this more “real” and not just a secret struggle that you “hope to get through”. The worst position to be in is all alone; just you and your addictions and bad habits. You’ll see that others will ask you about how you are doing with the challenge, and many will want to support you and cheer you on. You don’t want to let yourself down, of course, but by involving more people that are also expecting you to follow through, you won’t want to let them down either.


2.  Ask friends, family members and coworkers that also have a need to turn their health around to do the challenge with you. Share recipes and ideas. Eat and exercise together, if you can. It’s more fun and motivating this way and is one of the best strategies for success.


3.  Interact with others who have succeeded already and have “been there” so they can motivate you and give you more tips for success. A great way to do this is by participating in the online forums at [Dr. Fuhrman is offering a free, six week membership over the holidays. See link below.] There isn’t a better place where there’s such a concentrated group of like-minded nutritarians than on the member center; and the more you get involved there, the more success you’ll have. Some will even post their daily thoughts as they are transitioning to a healthy lifestyle, and they’ll get daily responses from experienced nutritarians who care.


4.  Educate yourself daily about the science of nutrition. Make efforts to understand why eating a high micronutrient, plant-based diet is the healthiest for you, and why it is the most sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off. Read Dr Fuhrman’s newsletters and books, and actually look up the research articles that are referenced in these materials and on and Knowing why you are making these changes in your life is an important component for long term success.


5.  Track your success each day (perhaps with a chart on your refrigerator) and give yourself non-food related rewards for reaching your dietary goals weekly or even daily, if needed.

I wish all of you the best success in reaching your health goals. I’ll see you on the other side!



To view the official rules and promise, click here.


Dr. Benson sees the majority of patients at Dr. Fuhrman’s office in Flemington, and is well versed in modern high-tech medicine and the nutritional and natural methods utilized by Dr. Fuhrman. He also works side-by-side with Dr. Fuhrman on nutritional research, gives lectures, and answers questions on Dr. Fuhrman’s Ask the Doctor forums.



image credits:  flickr, table setting by Allan Henderson; four women by TheArches

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kate - November 21, 2011 11:24 AM

I like most of your suggestions except one. Whenever I tell people about my resolves, they attempt to submarine me. I find I have better success, if I live the life and wait for them to ask about it.

Elisa Rodriguez - November 21, 2011 1:04 PM

I'm a big supporter of Dr. Benson. Thanks for sharing all of these great tips to succeed!!

Mia - November 21, 2011 3:43 PM

Going today for results of a battery of tests. Do not expect good news, as I am morbidly obese, with a constellation of weight-related issues. Also attending first 12-Step meeting for overeaters. Have tried ETL several times with excellent success for about 3 months' duration each time, then succumb to SAD foods, and the binge-gorge ( do not purge ) cycle begins again. I hope this time works; I don't feel that, at my age, (nearly 60) I have another diet failure in me. Best of luck to everyone involved in the Holiday Challenge!

Anita - November 21, 2011 7:04 PM

Hi Mia.

It's great you're getting a pile of tests at the start of the challenge - now as well as feeling so much better in 6 weeks time you'll be able to see some numbers that reflect your success too.

Good on you for surrounding yourself with so much support. I'm sure you'll find many successful nutritarians who've struggled along the way reverting to SAD eating. Perhaps it would be helpful not to think of your past experiences as "diet failures" but steps along your journey to success.

I, too, used to be morbidly obese, and I have slipped into old ways many times, but each time I revert to unhealthy eating patterns I learn something about myself that helps me on my healthy journey. (Sometimes I have to learn the same lesson a few times!) I'm understanding the triggers more, paying attention to other health-promoting habits besides eating (getting enough sleep is crucial for me, and exercise, outdoor time & stress management), etc.

Maybe you could think about what it was each time that led you to succumb to SAD foods after experiencing ETL success, and work out some strategies to manage those things.

Another thing I've learned along the way is that you can't change the past, but you can decide what you will do in the present and the future. If I slip up - it's done, past. There is no point despairing and feeling like a failure ("What's the use - now I've eating something I shouldn't have, I might as well just keep eating garbage"). I just need to learn what I can and use it to fuel my present decision and future success.

I'm cheering for you. I'm sure your best years are ahead of you. Here's to your success, Mia!

Destiny - November 21, 2011 10:48 PM

I've been doin ETL 1/2 way since the last challenge. I've lost weight and my migraines are better but like Mia I return to unhealthy (vegetarian for me) foods and sabotage the advances I've made.

I love what Anita had to say about taking each slip as a learning lesson. There are no mistakes and no failures just lessons.

I'm rooting for you Mia. I can't wait to read your story in the success stories section.

Nutrinurse - November 22, 2011 3:34 PM

Mia, It sounds like you are feeling hopeless about your weight, eating habits, and medical tests. But the glimmer of hope in your message was the part about "not having another diet failure in you." YOU are not a failure and there is always hope. And you are not alone--Most of us mess up sometimes and have to make a correction. I hope you will take on the holiday challenge and start feeling better with ETL. I encourage you to seek counseling if you're feeling depressed.

Malka - November 23, 2011 9:09 AM

Hi Mia
It is SO overwhelming to look at the BIG picture especially when you are not feling great and wonder how you will ever live up to this challenge. It is never too late. I believe God gives us the opportunity to learn the same lesson over and over ( if that is one of the lessons we are to be learning in this life) and it is up to us when we are ready to learn it. YOU sound very ready!!! Look FORWARD, take each day at a time and be KIND to yourself. You are your own best friend!! We are cheering you on!!

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