“It’s November 10th, feeling like fall with this 40-50 degree weather. I survived Halloween and was able to reject ‘most’ of the candy that came my way. Mainly because I was conscious of my plan to change. I was able to listen to a podcast from Greg Gassman (founder of CrossFit) and Chris Cooper recently and Greg had so many points that stood out to me. I am going to highlight and elaborate on some of those points.

Greg states he would rather ‘you eat right and don’t exercise than exercise and eat like $#!@’. This is so true. Why put in all the effort to exercise and not back it up with proper diet. The old saying ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ holds so much meaning. Often when patients are trying to tell me how they are implementing lifestyle changes, they tend to point out how they are walking more, exercising more and being more active, but all that does not matter if you continue to consume processed foods and sodas. The exercising is the easy part, and we Americans are looking for fast and easy.

Greg also points out that there is no ‘3rd element’. We have nutrition and exercise and that’s it! However, we tend to keep searching for more, such as, supplements, the magic pill, or things like ice baths. We feel the need to want to rely on ‘something else’ to help us get healthy and perform better instead of what really matters – what you eat and how you move!!! This is basic stuff people, but yet not easy (or at least perceived as not easy). I am  not against supplements, such as fish oil etc, however, until you have tried the basics of nutrition to control cholesterol and triglycerides, I agree with Greg, you shouldn’t be adding a ‘3rd element’.

Greg also mentioned ‘non-responders’. This was a term that actually made me laugh and one that I will be using from now on. You see NO results. This happens over and over again in the when people are trying to get fit. They never align the fitness and nutrition and don’t see the results they are looking for. They often get frustrated and ask for a ‘3rd element’. Maybe a pill, supplement, or something they saw on TV from Dr. Oz. They are searching for a quick answer, yet the answer has been given to them over and over and over. Cut out the processed foods, quit drinking sodas (including diet drinks) and move more!!!

I feel at this time the best way to get people to change is to hold them accountable, show you care and follow through. Greg mentioned to ‘have them write it down’. This offers accountability. Log your meals, keeping track helps with awareness and accountability. I would even go further and say, as a doctor,  meet your patients at the grocery store instead of the doctor’s office. Demonstrate ‘how to squat’ (or get out of a chair) in the office. These are things patients need to know. They are already aware they need to change and eat better, so knowing what one needs to do (and education) is not the missing piece. I feel the missing piece is the accountability.

This accountability can be found in many different forms. It may be a friend, a spouse, a gym, a doctor (rarely), a nutrition program or even an app on their iPhone. They set goals, the measure their goals, and they have someone looking over them to ensure they are meeting their goals, and/or redirecting them continuously.

So I am challenging YOU and MYSELF to find the accountability that works for you.  Stop looking for the ‘3rd element’ to get you healthy and fit. Go back to the basics, eat what is natural and not processed. Learn to move, and move correctly and often. Develop some variability in order to keep from getting bored, and when you fail, pick right back up and start over. WE CAN DO THIS AND WE MUST!