Take Charge of Your Life

Talia Fuhrman, Dr. Fuhrman, and Marilu HennerStepping into the New Year brings with it recollections of the past and hopes and desires for the year ahead. Contemplation about ways we can improve ourselves is a welcome sidekick of this time of year if we can put our goals into action in our day-to-day practices. For me, reminiscing about the past and what self-improvement goals I would like to make, made me realize how much I treasure my family and friends. I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving group of people in my life who care about my well-being and happiness and whose well-being and happiness I care about in return. I also thought about people in my life who have gone through serious health issues, and how these experiences have affected not just them, but their friends and family members. A physical ailment might be a one person ordeal, but the subsequent emotional reactions are not. It pains us to see a loved one suffering and we can enjoy our lives more fully when the people we care about are healthy and happy.

As such, I know that taking care of one’s own health is not a selfish act. When we feel well we are able to participate in activities we enjoy with the people in our lives. 

For example, an overweight, sickly father on the standard American diet might be restricted in his ability to play football or soccer with his sons, to their disappointment. I’ve had an overweight friend with type 2 diabetes say she does not want to go mountain hiking with me because she does not have the stamina. This is a shame given how enjoyable these activities can be, especially when we can bond over them and remember how much fun we’ve had. Most people can coast by eating standard American fare for a while, but eventually doing so will result in sluggishness, extra pounds, and health problems that will interfere with their happiness and the happiness of those close to them.   

If we are to make this year the best one yet, let’s all pledge to make eating nutritiously a priority and spend time participating in enjoyable physical activities and games. Plus, by making the right eating choices and feeling great, we are setting a good example for others who might be struggling to do so. Happiness is contagious and feeling our best will maximize our happiness. The emotional benefits of taking care of one’s health have the ability to spread like an invisible white light touching the people we interact with. When you are passionate about your lifestyle, other people can sense that passion. 

I can speak from experience that my father’s (as well as my own) passion for nutrition is easily detectable by others and they become motivated to make changes in their diets simply by observing how ebullient and lively my father is when he speaks about the subject. I believe that if you set healthy New Years goals for yourself and follow through with them, the feelings of accomplishment that result can enliven a passion in you that can inspire others to make healthy eating choices as well. Quality time spent with family and friends can then be appreciated undeterred by health maladies for the upcoming year and for many years to come. Taking the place of health problems will be the ability to laugh, bond, and have fun with those you care about. 

  

The above image is a recent picture of my father and me with Marilu Henner. 

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Comments (8) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Wendy Solganik - January 4, 2011 7:47 AM

Amen Sister! Thanks for a great post!

Dani @ Body By Nature - January 4, 2011 8:27 AM

Great post!

When we feel better those around around us feel better...all it takes is one person. Have a happy and healthy year everyone!

Ginger - January 4, 2011 8:57 AM

Here-Here! This is a well-written, easily understandable article. I'll attest to the truthfulness of the content. After spending the last several weeks caring for very sick inlaws, I'm more motivated than ever to stick with good nutrition and increase movement in my life. Perhaps I'll walk by the ocean today. Tomorrow you may find me playing at the park with my granddaughter. Thank you again for such a nicely put reminder.

Greg Kaler - January 4, 2011 10:02 AM

Very nice Talia. Wonderful article. Here is how I INITIALLY became introduced to a healthy lifestyle: Eating the S.A.D., I was in my late 20's and found out I had Crohn's Disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. After going thru much pain, I began taking pills. I didn't like how the pills made me feel. One day on Oprah Marilu Henner was talking about her new book- 21 Day Makeover and how you could heal yourself by eating healthy. I was mildly interested, bought the book, and began my transformation.
I am a school assembly performer from MN. During the school year I travel across the U.S. performing my 45 minute school games shows. I was in Cincinatti on my tour and heard that Marilu was going to be at a book signing for her 2nd book. I was able to meet her and listened to her short talk. I raised my hand and blurted out "You don't HAVE to have cheese on your taco!" as everyone looked me like I was weird. I felt so foolish-
I did get to meet her and complement her on her beautiful smile. For those who have met her in person you know what I mean. Later that year on my tour I was in Philadelphia (not ever hearing about Joel Fuhrman). I was interested in learning more about fasting. I was in a tiny health food store and saw this book that Joel had written on fasting and bought it. That was my introduction to your dad. Now my school program is called "Fitness for Life"- I play games with the kids and in between the games I present Joel's health messages. I estimate I've talked to over a million kids and teachers over the past several years about Joel's message of nutritional excellence. Years ago I even met your dad and your family at your home when I sold his vitamins. I don't think you were there but your little brother and sister were? I left a set of jugglesticks and a diabolo for you kids to play with. Anyhoo, I thought that was cool when I saw Marilu in the picture with you and your dad. I would love it if my wife Bev and I could someday meet you all on one of your health get aways.
Keep up the great writing/work! (By the way today I don't take a pill!)

Emily Boller - January 4, 2011 11:14 AM

This rings so true Talia ~ great writing! Taking the necessary time and effort to care for one's health is truly indeed an unselfish act.

When I was obese, fatigued, and ached all over, I had absolutely no desire to move. In all reality I become more immobile with each birthday. I was a spectator of my kids' lives.

One year after committing to ETL, I was swinging with my then 9-year-old son, when he suddently exclaimed, "You 'never-could-used-to' swing with me!" It was at that moment that I realized just how much of life I had bypassed due to my unwise choices, AND how much I cherished my newfound freedom!

I've also been able to go rock climbing, climb sand dunes, swim, bike ride, and run in races ALONG with my kids . . . activities that I declined throughout their entire childhood.

Now I enjoy life with abandon. I feel like a kid again! There's no monetary value in all the world that one can place on such freedom.

Elijah Lynn - January 4, 2011 11:29 AM

It looks like Dr. Fuhrman has a Carrot Tan, what a healthy looking glow!

I wonder what his carotenoid score is!?

Jodi O'Neill - January 4, 2011 2:09 PM

Well stated...and beautifully written. Thanks, Talia.

Lorrie - January 6, 2011 7:34 AM

Talia, That was inspirational (and true). I'm going to print it and leave it for my husband to read who eats the SAD,has diabetes and a large stomach due, in some part, to the medications he takes. He acts much older than his years and is unable not only to do physical things with his grandson, but also to do physical activities with friends his own age or older. THAT is SAD, too. Have a healthy year and keep up the good work.

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