Last week, we posted about a recent study that suggests 15 percent of us are taking too many over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drugs, like Motrin and Ibuprofen, and that it could be harming our heart health (Review Blog).
Reading that study got me thinking about drugs…
If you’re over the age of 60, chances are you’re on some kind of drug, be it blood thinners or anti-depressants, or special meds for diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, glaucoma—the list goes on and on. And by the time you’re 80, you’re almost definitely taking a blister pack of pills upon pills every morning and every night.
Get this: A study published by the Mayo Clinic (click to read study) says that 7 out of 10 Americans take a least one prescription drug!
The routine goes like this: You have symptoms of some sort, so you head straight to the doctor, who is most interested in helping your symptoms go away. The quick fix is almost always a drug. He or she might also casually mention the patient should exercise more, drink less, smoke less, or eat healthier, but more often than not, that advice goes in one ear and out the other, and the patient trots off to the drugstore to pick up his prescription.
Facetiousness aside, I’m not suggesting drugs are always just a band-aid solution to cover a bigger wound—the real cause of the problem. There are many times meds are needed to help with extreme acute pain, or with chronic conditions without a known solution. But, I’d say the great majority of the time they’re used as quick fixes, as a way to make symptoms go away instead of solving the underlying problem: Poor health that’s fixable through proper diet, exercise, proper sleep, and other lifestyle changes.
That being said, I understand the psychology behind the prescription drug thinking: Taking a pill twice a day is way, way easier than the thought of changing your entire lifestyle. It makes sense: Drugs provide instant gratification to a certain degree, which humans like, while embarking on a new training program and getting off the unhealthy foods you love and crave sounds daunting and exhausting at the best of times.
But physical health aside, let’s consider your HAPPINESS for a minute. If there’s one thing pretty much everyone would like to experience it’s happiness.
And happiness won’t ever be found in temporarily fixing or covering up a problem—your symptoms—with medication. Happiness is way more likely to be found in personal growth and positive change, in making yourself vulnerable and then overcoming challenges, and in sticking with a difficult journey and seeing it through. This is the real power behind changing your lifestyle, in eating healthy foods, and in taking care of your body through proper sleep and exercise. I can't stress this enough!
It’s simple, yet incredibly difficult. But nothing worthwhile is ever handed out for free.
And it’s possible. Check out these two transformation stories about people who took their health into their hands and reversed years of damage they did to themselves through diet and exercise. AND, yes, they got off their medications in the process.
Marguerite Cesarone (click to read article): This is the story of a 70-year-old. Through fitness and diet, in just one year, she got her life back: She lost 50 lb., reversed her A1C levels to pre-diabetic levels, and got off meds she had been on for 20-plus years.
Steve Ludwig: (Click to read article): This is the story of a 45-year-old, who saw incredible physical gains in just two and a half months of full commitment to diet and exercise: Not only did he lose a rapid 41 lb., his blood pressure dropped from a dangerously high 190/140 to a healthy level of 117/74.
Anyone can make the change with dedication and perseverance. A little guidance doesn't hurt either. Are you ready to take bake your life?
Contact us if you’re interested in being the next Marguerite Cesarone or Steve Ludwig.