I'm sitting here on my couch, typing so fast that I'm basically punching the keys on this keyboard, and it's because I'm jacked up with excitement and enthusiasm.
But before I tell you why, I should give you an update on our growing community…
We now have over 1,200 members in our little group of superhumans. Welcome to the team, everyone! (Note: if you're new, you can join for free here.) We're building an incredible community together and I couldn't be happier to have you here.
But having you here is just the start. What I'm really excited about is our mission together. Our community is on a quest to answer one central question: “How do you live a healthy life?”
And because of some recent discoveries, which I'll share with you in a moment, I'm beginning to realize that you and I have an incredible opportunity to take control of our health, our happiness, and our lives … and maximize them to the fullest.
To explain why this is true, I have to share the surprising results from a $300 million clinical trial on diabetes.
Here's what happened (and what it means for you and me)…
The Shocking Results of a $300 Million Diabetes Study
In 2001, a group of physicians and researchers began the largest diabetes study ever conducted.
Named the ACCORD Study, it tracked more than 10,000 diabetes patients, split them into different groups, and tested a range of drug treatments and therapies on the patients in an attempt to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Each patient was treated for five years, with new patients entering the study continuously from 2001 through 2005.
When the numbers were finally crunched, the results were shocking…
You see, the researchers started with the goal of lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, but what actually happened was the exact opposite. In fact, in 2008 the National Institute of Health prematurely ended part of the study due to an unexpected number of deaths from one style of treatment.
You read that right: the drug treatments and therapies weren't just unnecessary, people actually died because of them.
In this press release from the National Institute of Health, the people in charge of the study admitted to the danger of the treatments by claiming that their results “showed a higher risk of serious adverse events.”
Before you run off and claim that clinical trials kill people, however, there is one important thing to understand. The results of the ACCORD Study simply back up what many other studies, surveys, and anecdotal stories have already claimed: that many of the drugs being prescribed to patients are unnecessary and potentially harmful.
And it's not just drugs. In fact, this New York Times article states that orthopedic surgeons believe that around 1 out of every 4 procedures performed is actually unnecessary.
To put it simply, many of the drugs and procedures that are being used to treat patients aren't working. In some cases, they are actually hurting your opportunity to live a healthy life.
So what can someone like you or me do to live healthier? What's the best way not just to treat our illnesses, but to ensure that we stay also to live healthier in general?
What Did Work for Diabetes Patients
Many of the patients in the ACCORD Study who enjoyed the best results made the following simple changes: they ate better, exercised more frequently, and they lost weight.
Diabetes patients aren't the only ones to benefit. Obesity studies, cardiovascular disease studies, cancer studies — they all show significant improvements and virtually no side effects from behavior changes like eating better, exercising more, and even intermittent fasting.
In other words, behavior changes don't just allow you to reduce the risk of disease in the first place, but they offer a proven way to reverse illness even after it has happened.
Whether it's diabetes or cancer, muscle gain or fat loss, or unhappiness and depression, there is scientific evidence that proves that you hold more healing power in you than most drugs.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't praise drugs for what they can do. The purpose of this article isn't to scare you away from getting a prescription or to say that all medical procedures are unnecessary. My sister had leukemia when she was three years old. Chemotherapy and the wide range of operations that she underwent saved her life. So, I know first–hand that pharmaceuticals and surgery have an important place in medicine.
But I believe that the time has come for us to realize that the vast majority of health problems that we face are not the result of being dealt a bad hand, but rather the result of the daily choices that we make.
This is about a lot more than just diet and exercise. All sorts of behaviors — your feelings of poverty or powerlessness, the amount of stress you endure on your job, the value that you contribute to society, and many other daily habits — they all play a role not just in how you feel, but in your physical health as well.
To put it simply, the health you enjoy is simply a reflection of the life you live.
How to Make Behavior Change Easier
The future of our health does not hinge upon the production of a wonder drug or a biomedical engineering discovery. The future of our health is in our own hands. It's in our ability to take control of our lives, change our behavior, and connect and contribute to the people around us.
The people who live the happiest and healthiest lives are the ones who embrace their ability to heal themselves.
Of course, changing the actions you take on a daily basis isn't easy. That's why I view it as my responsibility to share proven strategies that make those changes easier.
That's why we talk about how habits form, about the power of keystone habits, about the need to start with identity–based habits, about the impact of a supportive community, and about focusing on lifestyle choices rather than life–changing dreams.
Heal Yourself: Put Your Health In Your Hands
I'm on a mission to put your health back in your hands.
The way we act, the foods we eat, the people we connect with, and the work that we create — these things affect our physical health in ways that we are only beginning to understand. But we do know this: if you embrace your power to live healthy, then you'll be far better off than if you didn't.
Science is beginning to prove something that we previously ignored: that our actions determine the diseases we suffer from, the allergies that annoy us, the health of our children and grandchildren, and virtually every other area of our physical and mental lives. And when it comes to healing most illnesses, our behavior is just as effective as the vast majority of drugs.
Imagine a world where your new exercise habit removes the need for a prescription drug.
Imagine a world where your healthy diet reverses your weight gain, relieves the stress on your joints, and eliminates the need for knee surgery.
Imagine a world where you relieve stress from your job by doing something artistic each evening, perhaps painting or writing, and as a result you lower your blood pressure without medication.
Imagine a world where your health and happiness are determined not by getting the correct diagnosis or discovering some magical cure, but by daily choices that are completely within your control.
Imagine what your life would look like if you maximized these opportunities. You would literally climb mountains, run marathons, lift heavy things, and live a fiercely physical life. You would be grateful for what you have and genuinely happy for the successes of others. You would contribute more to your community, your work, and your family.
This is a world where you would embrace your ability to heal yourself and you would fulfill the quest to live a healthy life. And it's exactly the type of world that our community is working to create. I couldn't be happier to have you along for the ride.