Imagine for a second that your mind and body are sitting on one side of a teeter-totter. On your side is your desire to make healthy choices; you ‘want’ to eat well, do regular exercise and become more thin and fit. On the other side however sits the unhealthy environment that we must overcome.

Tilting away from you is the food environment which includes an abundance of foods, snacking, convenience stores, vending machines, processed foods, less cooking, eating out more, large portions, fast food choices, value meals, food courts and all you can eat buffets.

Tilting away from your exercise goals are, elevators, escalators, telephones, snow blowers, remote controls, cars, buses, trains, computers, e mail, drive-thru society, television, cable channels, video games, IPads and movies.

Tilting away from you also are time pressures such as living the hurried life and always rushing, being overscheduled, overdoing it , not living in the moment, working longer hours with less leisure time, family stresses, juggling schedules, juggling roles, no time for family and no time for self.

You see, our environment doesn’t play fair. It is like you have three sumo-wrestlers pushing you away from your desired goals. What you do possess, is a powerful mind. It can overcome anything working against your desired outcome. The difference between success and failure will be your attitude toward setbacks, discouragements and other disappointing situations.

So, study setbacks to pave your way to success. Just when you think you have ‘lost’ or ‘cheated’, learn and go on to win next time.

Have the courage to be your own constructive critic. Seek out your faults and weaknesses and then correct them. This empowers you.

Don’t blame ‘bad luck’ or ‘bad genes’. Research each setback. Find out what went wrong. Remembering and blaming has never gotten anyone where he or she wanted to go.

Be persistent, and be ready to experiment. Stay with your goal, but don’t beat your head against the wall. Try new approaches. Experiment.

There is always a good side in every situation. Find it. See the good side and whip discouragement.

All of us are facing a very difficult environment. We must recognize all of the things we are going to come up against and learn to develop proper patterns of eating, reasonable portion sizes, time to exercise and relax, and get proper sleep. Since the ‘toxic’ environment is not going to change anytime soon, it is up to each of us to map our individual route through the landmines of excess food availability, technology that has limited our need to move, and societal pressures that undo our self focus.

Be strong. Be committed. Do not ever give up. You can do it….

Dr. Doug