Here’s the choice we all have. We can either be a part of the 80% of Americans who don’t eat properly, sleep enough, make time for healthy relaxation, don’t spend quality and quantity time with friends and loved ones, and simply live in the illusion of health. This group is likely ill, overweight, emotionally stretched, take an overwhelming amount of daily medication, sit and watch their blood pressure and cholesterol levels soar while their energy plummets.
Or, we can take the more difficult yet beneficial path, optimizing and reclaiming our own health, promoting our fitness and wellbeing, and adding years of good living to our lives.
It’s up to us to either choose the passive path to illness, only changing when it’s nearly too late, or take the right steps NOW to actively defend our health and keep ourselves on a pathway to wellness. We just can’t do both.
The data is alarming:
More than 69% of Americans are overweight or obese
20% of adults meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity
50% of adults in our country suffer from at least one chronic illness
Psychological research points to the astonishing fact that 80% of Americans are “just getting by” when it comes to wellbeing and life satisfaction. Only 20% are “thriving.”
More than 50% of Americans take at least one prescription medicine at any given time.
Being healthy, fit and having a positive sense of wellbeing places us in the minority. One of my regular reads, “Experience Life” magazine, promoted a truly remarkable revolution in do-it-yourself health, ”Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act.” Here are their 10 revolutionary “truths”:
1. The way we are living is crazy
2. There are powerful social, economic and political forces undermining our health
3. The time for complicity is over
4. The resistance is alive and well
5. Being healthy is a revolutionary act
6. This is not about six-pack abs and skinny jeans
7. Inaction is not an option
8. The best defense is a good offense
9. Forget about quick fixes
10. Solutions in the mirror may be closer than they appear
Makes you want to read more Experience Life and join the transformation revolution, right? Only if you want to repossess your health, (which, by the way, is number five among their 101 ways to be healthy.) Interested in some other revolutionary thinking?
Try these: “Practice medicine without a license,” “Aim for 85%,” “Redefine your goals,” “Embrace play,” “Find your fitness edge,” “Say ‘no’ to sodas,” “Identify real hunger and beware of artificial hungers,” “Beware the USDA food pyramid,” “Rest up,” “Invest in your health,” “Go easy on the sugar and flour,” “Focus on action, not outcomes,” and ”Make being healthier easier.” Each one of these, and all 101 of them, has interesting information on their website, too much to include here.
Thinking like this just might help you make the right choice to become “healthy, hopeful with high vitality,” someone who gives up fast food, learns to cook, become more active, chooses health care providers who support health not just cure illness, and teaches children the value of the bodies they were born into.
Our society makes being unhealthy far too easy to not join this revolution.

Author's Bio: 

Michael R. Mantell earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.S. at Hahnemann Medical College, where he wrote his thesis on the psychological aspects of obesity. His career includes serving as the Chief Psychologist for Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and as the founding Chief Psychologist for the San Diego Police Department. He served on the faculty of UCSD’s School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry.

He provides behavior science coaching for sustainable strategic outcomes, in mindful, values driven and positively adaptive ways to business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, individuals, families and fitness organizations to reach new breakthrough levels of success and significance in their professional and personal lives.

Michael is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, the Chief Consultant for Behavior Science for the Premier Fitness Camp at Omni La Costa, and served as the Senior Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise. He travels the world speaking with fitness and health professionals to provide the most current thinking and tools for behavior change. Michael is an Advisor to Fitwall, Rock My Run, amSTATZ, speaks for Rancho La Puerta, and the Asia Fitness Conference and Expo, in addition to numerous other fitness-health organizations throughout the nation.

He is a best-selling author of three books including the 25th Anniversary updated edition of his 1988 original “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, P.S. It’s All Small Stuff.” He is listed is listed in’s 2013 “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.” His fourth book is due out soon.