About the Author:
Carrie Carter, M.D., leads the Prescription for Optimal Health seminar, has been a primary-care doctor for over ten years, and has served as a medical expert for television newscasts. She and her family live in San Diego, California.
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The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not. -Mark Twain
One of the best gifts God gave each one of us is the gift of free will. We can choose a lifestyle that is good for us ... or one that is not. Yet many of us think, like Mark Twain, that making healthy choices means we have to give up all the "good stuff" or settle for less than we want. In other words, healthy choices are choices you can live withbut not love. Well, contrary to Mr. Twain's experience, I want to show you healthy lifestyle choices you can more than live with, ones that will allow you to THRIVE!
As Jesus Christ said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10 rsv). Jesus wants you to thrive, to live abundantly! What does this mean to you? To feel less stressed? More joyful? To weigh less yet eat very well? To be physically fit? More energetic? Perhaps thriving would happen once you accept some of the things you cannot change, or maybe you would thrive once you summon the courage to change the things you can change!
If I had to pick one issue that, if improved, would probably make the greatest difference in most of our lives, it would be stress. This six-letter word is the stimulus that sets many other negative actions in motionall of which interfere with our ability to thrive. So getting stress under control will likely make the biggest difference in where you rate on the thrive scale. But stress does not merely come from outside forces demanding more and more of us. It is also generated internallyreaching even to toxic levelsand we may not understand its source. The core of your stress may involve important spiritual principles. I will help you with all of these stress issues in chapter 1, and you will find the answers you need as you discover my De-Stress Before Distress Plan. More peace and joy await you as you learn to decrease your levels of stress and ensure that your spiritual foundation is in place.
Healthy nutrition and weight control don't have to be difficult or painful, and exercise is supposed to be enjoyable. And as a doctor, I can promise you that healthy choices in these three areas will help you to thrive. You will find practical advice on each of these topics in the chapters to come.
Unfortunately, one thing that none of us can change is our predisposition to certain diseases. For instance, perhaps many of your relatives develop coronary artery disease, while in your husband's family it may be diabetes, and in your neighbor's family it may be cancer. In a way, this is like having a dormant bomb buried in your living room. Everything is fine as long as you take the necessary precautions not to set it off. And it is possible to live your whole life without setting it off. But if you do not take care, your life could blow up before your eyes. Likewise, we might be doomed if we don't take care of ourselves, but the good news about our health is that we don't have to develop these diseases! Research studies show that by making certain healthy lifestyle choices and using certain nutritional supplements, we can slow or avoid altogether the onset of many serious diseases.
So these healthy lifestyle choices are the focus of the next portion of this book. We will see which screening tests make a difference in detecting what might be going wrong with your health, what toxins could impact your health, and what nutritional supplements may or may not help protect you from developing diseases.
Perhaps you are already battling health problems. Can you be physically ill or battling a chronic illness and still thrive? Absolutely. The state of your spiritual life is the most important key to thriving. When we are right with God, it helps all the other factors fall in line. Think of the apostle Paulwhom we know from his writings battled physical challenges. Despite the problems with his physical health, he was complete in his relationship with Christ. Plus, even if you are battling a serious disease, there are still healthy lifestyle choices worth considering that may enhance your life and help you to thrive. Don't let your condition keep you from reading on.
Through my many speaking opportunities on the topic of healthy lifestyle choices, I have found countless women who want to thrive. I know you want the same blessings, so together let's find answers that will work specifically for you. As we go through the following chapters, I challenge you to find at least one change that you can commit to making, or one supplement that you can commit to taking, and decide to start right now!
Remember, Jesus came so that you and I might have life and have it more abundantly. It's your call. Shall we start thriving?
Thrive! A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle by Carrie Carter, M.D.
Copyright © 2002, Carrie Carter
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.