What Can You Eliminate?

I just got my “Costco Connection” August 2011 Issue in the mail a few days ago. In browsing I came across a great article by Dr. Robert J. Leon that struck a chord with me and made me think of ways I can improve my health and wellness.

In the article he answers a common question posed by many of his patients and non-patients alike and that is: “What vitamins or pills would you recommend to improve my health?”

His come back to that question is “addition by subtraction!” Which he basically explained as this:  take a look at what is in your life right now that is potentially harmful that you can remove or improve. Basically no amount of vitamins is going to lead you to good health if there are big elephants in the room that are getting ignored. He is very direct with his list of six “big elephants” (I’ve added two more of my own at the end):

  1. Photo: AMagill on Flickr

    Smoking. If you smoke, the most important thing you could do for your health is to quit. No amount of Pilates [or yoga] or novel concoctions is likely to reverse the harmful effect of nicotine.

  2. Are you overweight? If so, then just taking off 10 pounds will have a tremendous positive effect on your cardiovascular health, blood pressure, insulin levels and overall well-being.
  3. Are you a couch potato? A simple 30-minute regimen of daily exercise, which can be as easy as walking or as complex as circuit training, is invaluable in maintaining your overall health and fitness. – of course I would add: GET UP AND GET ON YOUR YOGA MAT! 🙂
  4. If you have medical problems such as hypertension or diabetes regularly monitor your blood pressure and glucose levels. (Take whatever steps you can in your diet to minimize the triggers).
  5. High stress levels. What can you do to reduce the amount of stress in your life? He gives some suggestions like hobbies, finding friends that have your same interests or taking up a sport such as golf (which is arguably stressing). I would add to that list a meditative practice that allows your mind to be still for at least 2-5 minutes a day.
  6. Are you keeping your noggin sharp? Do you read, do puzzles, or play chess, for example? Or is Dancing with the Stars the extent of your intellectual stimulation? (Which I am a fan of, but watch as much or less than the reading, puzzles, and chess playing.)
  7. Do you take time out for yourself or are you a workaholic? You know you are a workaholic if you haven’t seen or spoken to your kids / spouse / significant other for more than 5 minutes in the past 24 hours. Just shut off the cell phone, computers, gadgets, and sit down for a meal with your loved ones. Enjoy relationships.
  8. Do you have stinky thinkin’? I call it stinkin’ thinkin’ when your mind makes up stories that aren’t really true. For instance: pointing fingers and making excuses for the way things are or are not in your life. If it’s got to be, it’s up to me. So stop whining about the way things are…LOVE what is and move on!

I am a big proponent for taking supplements but have to agree with Dr. Leon – taking a look at what I can change, eliminate, simplify, rectify, or take action on puts me in control of my destiny. I like that!

Leave me a comment – what did you eliminate??

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