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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Healthy for Life

I don’t know that he was the first person who said it, but Mickey Mantle knew what he was talking about when he said, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

It’s an ageless regret. Lord Northington, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain in 1765 was reported to say – when gout overtook him -- “If I had known these legs of mine were to carry a lord chancellor, I would have taken better care of them when I was a lad.”

I’m on a personal journey to recover my health. And, in the midst of my difficult journey to healing, I agree with both Mickey and Lord Northington.


Taking care of our health is important. Michael Hyek, Ph.D. explains that many of us fail to recognize the importance of good health, until we lose it. “You know that physical activity and exercise is important and you should do it,” states Hyek. “The average person can probably name ten things that they know, or have heard, about the benefits (of good health); yet it still doesn’t motivate them to take action.”

There are countless reasons – excuses – why we don’t take better care of ourselves. Have you found yourself using any of these?

1. “I just don’t have the time.”
With micro-managed lives, we feel the pressure of trying to squeeze in extra time to focus on our health; and usually opt for the easy way out.

2. “It simply isn’t convenient!”
Let’s face it – all restaurants aren’t geared towards healthy eating. Sometimes, it’s much easier to grab a burger when you’re in a hurry than to scan a menu for something that’s good for you.

3. “I just don’t like the way healthy food tastes.”
We’ve developed our own personal tastes, and trained our appetite to appreciate only things that please our senses, but usually these things are sweet or fattening.

4. “It costs too much money.”
Healthy living is an investment – weight loss plans, fitness centers, healthy food, supplements, it all costs money – and we don’t want to spend the extra money.

But the benefits of living an active, healthy, and energized life far outweigh the excuses. Besides, not taking care of ourselves catches up to us. Our body tells on us. Mine is telling on me now. Years of neglecting my physical and nutritional needs have taken its toll on my body. I truly wish I’d taken better care of the legs that now carry me.

I had two common surgeries this past year: Gall bladder surgery in January and a hysterectomy in February. Unfortunately, my recovery wasn’t common. I suffered nerve pain that wouldn’t go away. I sought medical advice from eight different physicians, and was treated at four different hospitals in less than a year. My lifestyle changed dramatically. Previously a multi-tasking, energetic dynamo, I now spent most of my time at home, or at the doctor’s office.

We eventually discovered the culprit: Scar tissue with an entrapped nerve. However, a major problem evolved when my body couldn’t withstand the physical therapy needed to release the scar tissue. Each time we began treatment on it, the debilitating pain flared up again. Digging deeper for answers, we ascertained gross nutritional deficiencies that required attention.

The good news: It’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself. It’s taking me a lot longer than those healthier than me, but I will recover. My body will heal. And one of the most important factors in my healing journey is going beyond the normal efforts of trying to eat better, getting in some exercising, and getting adequate rest. I found a doctor who is willing to address more than my basic lab results. One who believes that nutrition is a cornerstone to good health. My doctor has pioneered innovative techniques in functional neuroscience and is involved in producing valuable research in the healing of profound neurological problems.

Yet, it took some time to find a doctor of this caliber. It also took energy, and yes, money. These are some of the same reasons – excuses – I used to not take care of myself along the way: Time, energy and money. Oh how I wish I hadn’t allowed the loss of my health to be my motivator in overcoming the excuses to take better care of myself.

Let’s face it, we are living longer. It’s time now to start taking better care of ourselves.

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.


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