I read something this morning that Dr. Bernard Jenson said at one time regarding a patients success at a healthy lifestyle that really struck home with me. He said,
“The best doctor can do little for an uncooperative patient. So much depends upon the patient’s determination to get well, upon his or her willingness to make major lasting life changes, that a great deal hangs on the patient’s attitude. It is only now, in recent times that people have begun to learn that they are primarily responsible for taking care of themselves, for eating right, getting enough rest, exercising and so forth. Once a person has grasped this principle, a giant step forward has been taken.
On the doctor’s side, I believe there is much more to take care of than the patient’s body. Especially among those with chronic conditions, every resource at the patient’s disposal, body, mind and spirit, must be considered and brought to bear on the healing process if the patient is to get well. A positive attitude is a must. Willingness to work with the doctor is a must. And perseverance through what is often a long, routine program of cleansing and rebuilding is a must. Everybody is looking for a good doctor, but I look for good patients. A good patient is one who will do whatever is necessary to leave the disease or ailment behind.
Perhaps the most useful art a doctor can have is to touch that part of the patient, something deep inside, that engages the will to live and get well at all levels of the person. This, I believe, is one of the greatest keys to the wholistic healing art.”
In part, he is saying is that achieving a healthy, disease free life is a joint effort between the patient and the doctor. As your doctor or health care provider we cannot care more about your health than you do. It is up to the patient to care enough and love themselves enough that they WANT to get well and stay that way. However, it is up to the physician to HELP spark the patient’s fire to want to get well and stay well.
So many times the beginning of a new lifestyle change or diet program or fitness program we (the general public) are fired up and ready to go full throttle. “Let’s do this!!!” is our motto. But when we sit down to see what this new change requires we get overwhelmed and quit before we even begin. Why is that? Trust me when I say we have heard all of the excuses (and yes, that is what they are). “I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t know how to cook”, “I will go to the gym when I lose weight”, “It costs too much to be healthy”, etc. Do we not love ourselves enough to want to be healthy? Do we not care enough about ourselves to be healthy? Do we not care enough for our families to want to be healthy so we don’t have to compromise their lives because of our bad choices? Those are some of the things that we need to focus on at the beginning of every lifestyle change that involves our health.
This journey is a joint effort, but it all begins with YOU!