“Cowboy Up” by Deborah Duncan

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Health Fitness Revolution is proud and honored to introduce TV Show Host Deborah Duncan as a contributing Author!  Enjoy her first article:

So I heard a conversation the other day between two people with opposite opinions on a sensitive topic… Healthcare. We have to decide in this country whether healthcare is a privilege or a right and we have to decide at what point we as individuals should assume some responsibility. This brings me to the argument I overheard. An employee was upset that they were being asked to pay $50 more a month for their share of health insurance because they  smoke. They did not think it was fair and thought it was a form of descrimination. For clarification sake, smokers are not part of the protected class covered by civil rights legislation. The other employee, who is not a smoker, made the point that smoking has been substantiated as a detriment to ones health so why shouldn’t they pay more if they “choose” to do something that is proven to greatly increase the chances for cancer and heart disease.

Other employers have gone as far as to increase rates for, or not even hire people who are overweight because we know the chances for type two diabetes are greatly increased. In fact,  CVS pharmacy just made headlines for requiring employees to get screenings and disclose information about their weight and blood glucose levels. Although it is controversial, you can argue that it makes since when your company is footing the bill for your health insurance. Type two diabetes is the leading  cause of amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and can lead to blindness and other declining health issues. With that said, it was just a matter of time before insurers  and employers would start charging overweight people a different rate for something some feel is within a person’s control to change.

Both these situations bring to light a bigger conversation that we should be having. Most all of us have some fear over what can happen to us health wise but we give no thought to what we do to ourselves to cause our health problems starting with our food. Socrates had it right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” As a friend once told me, Dr. Russell  Martino,  ”We are digging our graves through our teeth.”

Changing habits is hard. I recently asked in a Facebook poll, “What is your excuse for not eating right or exercising?” The majority of people said the reason they don’t do either is because… they have type two diabetes! News flash, if you exercise and eat right, the diabetes in most cases goes away! Don’t eat right + don’t exercise + gain weight = type two. Why in the world is that so hard? Why would most people rather pop a pill or administer some insulin rather than do what your body needs and wants. No matter what medication you are taking, the impact of diabetes marches on if you do not change your diet and activity level. Those two things are free and proven to work! Somewhere along the way we have handed control of our health over to a bottle or a syringe that simply keeps you hanging on. It does not get rid of the problem and does not improve the quality of life. As cardiologist, Dr. Kota Reddy often notes, many of the patients who have suffered from heart attacks and have type two diabetes are also taking insulin, high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Obviously it didn’t stop the disease from progressing. A simple change in diet would have been much more affective than any pill or surgery.

With these killer diseases at epidemic levels and a healthcare system that can’t afford it, we have to institute our own healthcare system called personal responsibility. Yes it is hard to not have a bread-a-licious,  super cheesy day. It just can’t be every day. I know! Them’s fighting’ words for some folks including a close friend who says, I just don’t understand. She is  losing her eyesight and is becoming immobile because of diabetes, but getting her to change her diet is a battle.  I get it. Comfort food and convenience are worthy adversaries. I just had to finally ask myself whether that mouthful (several mouthfuls actually) was worth my life. The answer is no.

As we say in Texas, you gotta cowboy up. No more excuses. No more blaming others. At the end of the day, no one on their death bed says, ” If I just could have had one more slice.”
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Deborah Duncan
Health Fitness Revolution is honored to have TV Star Deborah Duncan as a Contributing Author: When you look at how Deborah Duncan grew up, it is no surprise that she ended up in the communication business. Raised in a military family, her early years were spent in Taiwan and Japan. As her family constantly moved around, young Deborah attended five different elementary schools. At each school, determined to learn everything about her “new friends,” Deborah honed her interviewing skills. She completed grade school in San Antonio where her father retired. Deborah then enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin and earned a degree in Radio-Television-Film. After a couple of years in radio, Deborah made the switch to television as a reporter at the CBS station in Austin and then became an anchor at the ABC station. She later moved to Dallas, where she started a talk show called "Good Morning Texas" at WFAA-TV, the sister station of KHOU-TV. Deborah and her co-host were eventually asked to anchor the morning news. After three years, Deborah moved to New York City to co-host a talk show for Lifetime Television called "Our Home." Although she loved New York City, her heart was still in Texas. When ABC executives approached Deborah about doing a talk show for possible national syndication, they wanted her to do the show out of New York or Los Angeles. Eventually, they agreed that it could start in Houston. When she finished her contract with ABC, Deborah decided it was time to return to her roots in the business, and that was news. In December 2002, Deborah joined KHOU-TV Channel 11 as an anchor on 11 News This Morning. After six years at the news desk, she returned to the talk show format as host of Great Day Houston. The show, produced locally by KHOU-TV, airs weekdays at 9:00 a.m. on Channel 11. Deborah Duncan is the recipient of many local and national awards for television excellence, including two Emmy Awards, two Gracie Allen Awards and a Telly Award, amongst other honors. Her achievements on the air, however, are transcended by her commitment and dedication to community service. Deborah is passionate about many causes and chairs numerous community events. In addition, she serves on the National Board of Directors for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and is a Board Member for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP).

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