It’s Never Too Late To Take Control of Your Health

It’s Never Too Late To Take Control of Your Health

If you’ve ever given up on a New Year’s resolution, said ‘yes’ to junk food (again and again) or whispered to yourself, “I can’t do it ,” this column is for YOU, because you can have a healthier happier life. We’ve seen proof.

We have met amazing folks through Dr. Mike’s work at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center and Dr. Oz’s work with his patients and guests on the Dr. Oz Show. They’ve accepted the do-over challenge and are living proof that anyone can turn their life around and stick with it!  The most important thing they’ve learned: A health do-over doesn’t take Super-Hero willpower.  There are science-based, real-world-tested strategies that get you past the rough spots.

So here are four of our favorite people who were able to overcome physical and mental challenges (by using those real-world tested strategies) to achieve successful do-overs. We’d like you to meet them and be empowered by them -- so you can do it too!

Val: Breaking food addiction
When Val’s weight soared from 135 to 215 after two pregnancies, she developed type 2 diabetes. She was scared she’d lose her health and her marriage to her loving, fit husband Calvin. 

The do-over strategy that made the difference: Getting a buddy.
Val contacted her best friend and asked her to be her daily supporter using email, texts and phone calls. Every day Val let her know when she’d completed her 30 extra minutes of physical activity and sent her a daily diary of her meals and snacks. “It kept me from lying to myself, because I couldn’t lie to my friend!” And sharing your daily achievements with a buddy creates a natural high that helps you create new brain pathways to replace the old, addictive ones.

Rocco: Bouncing back from a backslide
We’ll never forget Rocco, a 270-pound man with diabetes and serious cardiovascular disease. He appeared on the Dr. Oz Show and agreed to let Dr. Mike coach him through a major do-over.  Rocco shed plenty of pounds and in the process got his diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis under control.

The do-over strategy that made the difference: Having a purpose. Like all humans, Rocco slide back every now and then. Dr. Mike would step in to help him get right back on track, with a simple reminder: “Rocco, think about your grandchildren.” Having a “WHY” is a huge incentive to stick with healthy habits: Rocco was determined to stick around to see them grow into happy, healthy adults with kids of their own. 

Grandma: Every little step counts
As “The Enforcer” on The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mike met this Grandma who wanted to drop pounds and clear up a laundry-list of health issues. The challenge? She was in a wheelchair almost all the time, taking just 64 steps on her own in a typical day.

The do-over strategy that made the difference: Small changes. Dr. Mike suggested she add a few more steps every day. Over two years, she made it to 10,000 a day – the number recommended for great health and weight control. She got rid of her wheelchair after two years, and her walker after that. She dropped 40 pounds, virtually eliminated her arthritis pain and got better control of her diabetes.    

Janelle: Stay inspired
Janelle was plagued with gastrointestinal problems and other nagging health issues. So she overhauled her diet, got a buddy, started walking and logged every bite of food she put into her mouth.

The do-over strategy that made the difference: Staying inspired.She taped this motto to her bathroom mirror: “We simply have two choices each day: 1. Make excuses or 2. Make something happen. The choice is yours.”

These may seem like simple tricks -- but they have complex, profound effects on your willpower. So enlist a buddy, identify your purpose, set realistic goals and get inspired! Your do-over can start today.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

How to Find Dr. Right
How to Find Dr. Right
One of the most important decisions you will ever make—and you'll probably make it more than once—is choosing the right doctor. YOU: The Smart Patien...
Read More
How can I avoid having to wait for my doctor's appointment?
Shelley Peterman SchwarzShelley Peterman Schwarz
Call the doctor’s office to see if the doctor is running on schedule. If you know a delay may be...
More Answers
7 Little White Lies That Can Harm Your Health
7 Little White Lies That Can Harm Your Health7 Little White Lies That Can Harm Your Health7 Little White Lies That Can Harm Your Health7 Little White Lies That Can Harm Your Health
Lying to your doctor about unhealthy habits or embarrassing symptoms is common, but can have serious consequences. Here’s why you should tell the trut...
Start Slideshow
Dr. Peter Hulick - What Is Personalized Medicine?
Dr. Peter Hulick - What Is Personalized Medicine?