Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Two years ago, my daughter decided that she wanted to be a cheerleader. One month before tryouts, we learned that most of the girls trying out had been receiving private lessons all year. I found my daughter a coach, and we started the expensive lessons. The night of the tryouts, I waited with her at her home for the email with the results. She was not chosen. We were both so hurt that I actually shed a couple of tears on the way home.
My daughter woke me up the next morning when she called to inform me that she wanted to continue the private lessons. I told her that there was no reason because she did not make the squad. She told me that the girl in her mirror informed her that she could make it the following year if she continued to practice. After a year of practicing, which included a broken arm, she made the cheer team.
As a physician, I have seen many people with less-than-favorable health. These patients have no desire greater than improved health. The most common new year's resolution I hear in my office is, not surprisingly, better health—but making it happen proves difficult for many people.
The magic mirror was a mystical object featured in the famous "Snow White" fairy tale. The Evil Queen could magically receive answers to various questions by asking the figure in the mirror. Chances are that everyone who reads this article has their own "magic mirror." You look into one of your many mirrors every morning when brushing your teeth. A person appears in that reflection who has the solution and power to make all your dreams come true. The requests are not going to happen with the snap of a finger or click of a heel but can be accomplished over time with persistence and dedication.
In regards to our health, we can successfully set long-term goals for improvement. Let's apply the "Magic Mirror" concept.
Meet with Your Medical Provider
When you question if you should keep your annual appointment for your yearly screening or doctor's appointment, ask the person in the mirror. When you question if you should take your medication, ask the mirror. The person in the mirror is going to give you the correct answer. That person may even tell you to not only do it for yourself, but also for your family who loves and needs you.
When you make a decision as to what to eat, you almost always know if it is a good selection. Take out your makeup mirror and ask the person you see if going to the fast-food restaurant for that burger and fries is a good choice. If you really listen, that person in your mirror is going to tell you that it is not.
Ask the mirror in the morning if perhaps it is a good idea to walk before work. Most neighborhoods are safe in the early morning hours, because all the "bad guys" are asleep. For improved safety and motivation, start a neighborhood walking buddy system.
Taking an honest look in the mirror can be a difficult thing to do if you don't like what you see. Most of us struggle with self-confidence. Make 2016 the year that you finally conquer the fear of the person in your reflection. Each morning, look at yourself and say three positive things about what you see. If you say them enough, eventually, you may start to believe them.
The consistent theme of most fairy tales is a happy ending. By trusting the person in your reflection, you are showing trust and believing in someone who has your best interest at heart more than any other person. If you believe in the person in your mirror, and pray for strength and guidance toward your health goals, your resolution this year, just as your fairy tale, can come true.