My God, talk about “Blessings”
Counting Our Blessings
I would like to introduce you to my family.
From the left: Patrick, Irene, and Sam (1); Brandt, Heather, Ryan (4), Ben (6) and Jaysen (9); Craig, Mika, and Chloe (6 months); and then Mary and I. These people are my life. No sacrifice is too great to continue my good times with them. I would eat cardboard for one more fun day, really!
I am approaching 66 and Mary will be 67 years old this coming year (2013). We don’t feel old. We can do everything now that we did in our twenties. Mary water skis, I windsurf, and we both play hard with our five grandchildren. “Good luck” and “blessings from God” must be given credit for our current conditions. I am thankful for this, but over these two fate changers I have no control, so I rely upon those few things I can alter.
Life was not always so good for me. I suffered a debilitating stroke at 18 and underwent major abdominal surgery at age 24. My dismal history includes a cholesterol level of 338 mg/dL and an extra 60 pounds of body fat. Once it seemed that I was destined to a short miserable life. My bad fortune had little to do with luck; I was eating myself to death with a diet of beef, chicken, hotdogs, milk, and cheese.
Food changed my future. Mary and I have been eating the McDougall Diet for the past forty years. Recently we have been calling ourselves “starchivores” to focus on the large amounts of pasta, bread, rice, corn, beans, and potatoes we eat. Our entire family eats in a healthy way, too, which brings Mary and I great peace of mind.
How did I make and maintain these miraculous changes? I followed the simple advice championed in the 1980s by First Lady Nancy Reagan: “Just Say No.” This slogan began as a means to reduce teenage drug use, but I have found that it applies to all conscious behaviors for my patients and myself. The most difficult step is to decide—I mean for real—that you are not going to do that harm to yourself anymore. Case closed.
Mary and I are dedicated to getting as much out of life as possible and staying healthy while we do it. Towards these goals, how we eat is paramount, followed by choosing clean habits (alcohol and tobacco), exercising sensibly, and getting a little sunshine. If you feel the same dedication, then you can fulfill your bucket lists, too, cheating disability and death for as long as possible. Our New Years wish is for fortune, in all its forms, to turn in your favor as it has for us.
2012 John McDougall All Rights Reserved
Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center
P.O. Box 14039, Santa Rosa, CA 95402