Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are You Afraid of Better Health?

I overcame a great fear the other day -- my fear of mashed potatoes.

Seriously. Mashed potatoes.

These weren't just any mashed potatoes. They were the ones that had been gradually changing color in a Tupperware container in the back of my fridge since Christmas. This past Christmas, I had the good fortune of partaking in three separate Christmas dinners. As a result, I enjoyed many meals of leftover turkey and fixings. Finally, sometime toward the end of January, I called it quits on Christmas dinner. The last holdout was one small container of mashed potatoes. It has since been lingering behind the orange juice and yogurt, not really in the way and usually obscured from view. On those occasions when I noticed them, I would pause, say to myself, "I need to throw those away. Later." Then I'd slide them back out of the way and close the door. I just didn't want to deal with them. Every time I looked at them, I could tell that finally opening up the container was not going to be pleasant. When I finally did it, it was very unpleasant. But I did it, and now I don't have to deal with it anymore. And I have Tupperware container that I can use again.

So, what does this have to do with health?

Better health means change. And life changes -- even positive ones, and even easy ones -- can be scary. Maybe better health will require you to change parts of your lifestyle that are ingrained and you know will be inconvenient to change. Maybe better health will nullify some of your excuses. If you become healthier, you may not fit in with your current group of friends. Perhaps others don't believe you can change your life, and you're afraid of their nay-saying. Or, maybe, (fill in your own fear here.)

Now is as good a time as any. Reach back to the back of the fridge and clear out your old, green mashed potatoes. Don't be afraid. It'll be OK...

Wishing you a vibrant week,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

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