“The first wealth is health.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this!” Lois exclaimed with tears in her eyes as she wrote the check for her insulin.

“Frank and I had such big plans for our retirement.  We were going to travel.  We were going to experience things.  We were going to volunteer.  We were going to make a difference with our lives…”

“What happened Lois?” I asked, trying my best to show my heartfelt concern.

“We were the envy of all of our friends.  Frank has such a great job, and we were making such an excellent living, and one day, one awful day, I guess the stress and his weight caught up to him.  After his heart attack, he was forced to retire early, and what little we had in savings just disappeared.  Now with my diabetes…”

Her voice tailed off into nothingness.

I wish I could say that conversations like this are a rare occurrence at my pharmacy, but unfortunately they are all too common.

Studies show that as many at 25-50% of Americans retire earlier than expected due to health concerns.

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When this happens, two things become true:

1) Earnings during the peak savings years are lost, and

2) Health expenses take a disproportionate amount of one’s savings and retirement income.

After Lois left the pharmacy, I took a look at her receipt.  She was in what the government calls “the coverage gap” so her Medicare Part D didn’t cover the $415 charge for the one box of insulin pens.  There are 5 pens in a box.  For Lois this is a 25-30 day supply of insulin.  She uses another similarly priced type of insulin as well.

Add to that the cost of Frank’s medication and it’s no wonder she was in tears.

“That was hard, wasn’t it?” one of my coworkers whispered as she put her hand on my shoulder.

I couldn’t help but gently pound my fist on the counter.

Suddenly I came to an amazing realization:

All of my life, I’ve been somewhat neutral.  

I’m done with neutral.

I’ve always encouraged people to make smart health decisions, but I HAVE NEVER ACTIVELY TRIED TO PERSUADE PEOPLE to work hard to try to avoid the fate of Lois and Frank.

I didn’t want to run the risk of annoying or alienating my friends and family.

I like being popular.

How selfish of me!

I’m done being selfish.

I have to tell you something.

I want you to protect the goose that lays the golden eggs and I want you to keep the eggs! 

Your most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income.  You can lose everything, but if you still have an ability to earn an income, you can get everything back.

In other words, your health is directly tied to your most important asset!

That makes you the goose.

Do you have a plan for protecting your health?

Here’s mine:

THE FIVE SIMPLE CHANGES FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY GOOSE:

1)  The Goose Needs A Lot Of Water-Your cells are 70-80% water and need constant replenishment and detoxification. Current recommendations are 1 ounce of water for every two pounds you weigh.  If you weigh 200 pounds you need to drink 100 ounces of water every day.

2) The Goose Needs A Lot Of Sleep~Stress kills!  Without adequate sleep the body simply cannot recover properly and actually produces dangerous chemicals and toxins.  Besides, you are infinitely more productive when you are well rested.

3) The Goose Needs Friends~One of the greatest health and wellness factors is a sense of happiness and overall well-being.  Studies are quite clear that our connection to others is far and away the most important determinant of  joy and satisfaction.  Do whatever it takes to enjoy the people you care about as often as possible.

4) The Goose Needs A Sense Of Purpose~Helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves improves our outlook and gives us a feeling of belonging and inclusion that can only come from giving.  Want to feel better and be healthier?  Give more!  The opportunities to help others are simply limitless, therefore there is no limit to how good you can feel.

5) The Goose Needs Proper Nutrition~The science is immutable.  The human body needs powerful antioxidants to fight disease and repair the cell damage caused by the oxidative stress resulting from daily living.  The recommendations are to eat 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.  If that doesn’t fit into your schedule or your budget, consider taking Juice Plus which puts those fruits and vegetables in capsule form.

Obviously missing from the above list is exercise.  But, I said “anybody” and I said “simple”.

Once you start with these 5 changes, you’ll want to move more.

You’ll begin to see that your health improves one smart decision a time!

Protect your most important asset and it will protect you!

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