I have been asked, very frequently, about why and how I accomplished such a radical lifestyle change in a fairly short time.
I never felt I had done much, at all, yet others seem to believe that I died in one spot and resurrected in another as a different person. Even a few of those that were beside me throughout that part of my life, are asking. I really feel it wasn’t (and isn’t)
anything radical or difficult. All it took for me to realize that my body was demanding change was a stroke. Simple- right? I admit, the stroke was minor but it was the kick on the backside that was my wakeup call.
My doctor wanted me to find my own way to a healthier life and report to him what I was doing. The idea being I would more
willingly use information I had found. In the past, patients regarded his guidelines as “doctor’s orders”, resented following them and gave up because of that resentment.
So, how could I find a diet that I would recommend to myself? How could I make myself like it? Would I be able to include
my wife without making her feel like a captive? These and other questions were soon to be disregarded.
It was during this period of indecision and confusion that another life changing event occurred and opened more doors- cancer.
After surgery and radiation treatment, the Cancer Care Center conducted a class to help patients re-adjust to life after cancer. (Entitled, “Cancer Transitions” and sponsored cooperatively by “The Wellness Community”
and “The Lance Armstrong Foundation”.) In this program I learned that diets are out. In fact, diets can be dangerous especially when self- administered. Instead, a change of lifestyle that involves much more than temporarily depriving oneself of a few
things. Also, the lost weight comes back very often. What is needed is a “lifestyle adjustment”. This phrase was strange to me but I was soon to learn that those words can be magic if taken
seriously. The strangest thing about it is, you don’t give up anything.
During the six weeks of class, I would put the knowledge together in my notes. From those notes I began my program of eating
moderately, daily exercise and concentration on wellness. To accomplish this, I recalled and put to use a word I learned over thirty years ago in Jaycees. YAGOTTAWANNA! It’s really not a word but I found its value to be immeasurable. When things got tough
yagottawanna made me see them through.
Yagottawanna make the plan. Yagottawanna see it through. Yagottawanna maintain it. Yagottawanna
like yourself for it. Yagottawanna love your family so much that you’ll include them. Yagottawanna live! That non-word is nearly branded into my daily activity.
Now, we have “lifestyle adjustment” and “yagottawanna” as operative words. What could be next? How about GOYA? That’s not
the brand name of some excellent products. Notice it is all upper case letters. Another acronym? Yup! It means,
Get Off You’re A--!
Lifestyle adjustment, yagottawanna and GOYA are doing very well for me and they are used nearly every day. Sure, there’ll
be slip ups but returning to the routine is easy just because I use these words.
Before I reveal my plan and lifestyle, I want to emphasize this is my program. Your needs may be vastly different from mine.
Get a physical to be sure of your abilities, wellness and dietary needs. Once started, you should have a follow up appointment within three or four months to be sure you are ok and every six months after that for your lifetime.
Lose surplus pounds
Exercise 30 minutes in the morning and walk briskly for 30 minutes in the evening. (These are minimums.)
Create a healthier menu using the foods we enjoy and keeping moderation foremost.
Whenever I can, tell my family I love them and how important they are.
Thank God every day that I have been given a second chance to make my life right.
None of this has been difficult. A firm desire to apply it is all it takes. I recently regained seven pounds of the twenty
two I had lost. I goofed but I am back on track.