Why Give a Damn:

The first rule in Tractor Trailer school is Don’t Back Up. You can spend more time saving the planet by adopting the belief system of the eighteen-wheeler.


The author of this post, Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy.

Who knew we could learn health wisdom from people who are not exactly known for their health?

The first rule in Tractor Trailer school is Don’t Back Up and then students in a 602 Hour Advanced Commercial Drivers Course spend 300 hours learning how to do just that. Fifty percent of a truck driver’s education is practicing and planning for the thing a driver knows he/she must try so very hard to avoid. Backing up. To get out of a tight squeeze. To undo what has been done.

Who knew we could learn health wisdom from people who are not exactly known for their health: Truck drivers: The sitting, the smoking, the donuts, oh my!

I don’t drive an eighteen wheeler but if we were friends, business partners, seat-mates on a flight to Chicago you would probably hear me say this; Don’t get sick, don’t gain weight, don’t eat that Cinnabon because if you do, you are going to have to back-up. I usually introduce myself to the Cinnabon eater first — desperate times need desperate measures.

Stick with me here.

Don’t eat that Cinnabon because you are going to have to back-up.

It’s hard to avoid illness. There are germs everywhere, tainted food, kids who kiss us after sitting next to Typhoid Mary in their kindergarten class. There are car accidents and slippery tubs and clumsiness that keep orthopedic surgeons in beautiful houses driving beautiful cars. Viruses, injury, and car accidents strike when we are minding our own business just living our lives. I have a friend who got into a fender bender while eating a pea pod. Unfair!

It doesn’t matter how you encounter it, the end result is the same, lost time, miserableness, and if you had to visit the hospital then there is usually pain and embarrassment. I had a rogue kidney stone attack where I found myself vomiting on my EMT, begging for pain medication and explaining my unshaven legs to the most adorably handsome intern in the ER. When I felt better I wanted to send out apology and disclaimer cards to all involved.

I found myself vomiting on my EMT and explaining my unshaven legs to the most adorably handsome intern.

My point is this, there are hospital visits you can’t avoid, but consider the ones you can. If your immune system is fortified by a diet rich in anti-oxidants from the salads you order, your core strength is supporting your lower back, and your driving is made safe because you sleep. You, my friend, can move forward in life. You can smile and create clean drinking water for a third world country.

You’re going to hate me for this but if we think like a truck driver, if we spend fifty percent of our lives working to avoid illness then we can drive forward feeling amazing, and if there is a speed bump, we are prepared to handle it. When I say this I’m suggesting eight hours of sleep and then sneaking health into the rest of the cracks. I’m not saying devote half-of your day to health, I’m saying create a fabric of health in your life.

You, my friend, can smile and create clean drinking water for a third world country.

Because if you don’t. If you don’t plan on getting sick, of backing up, then when you are in a tight squeeze you will have to spend 100% of your time backing up and that is so much more time consuming than driving forward.

Take it from the truck drivers, don’t back up, but if you do get stuck between a rock and a hard place, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and agony by giving yourself a little healthy wiggle room.

I’m not saying devote half-of your day to health, I’m saying create a fabric of health in your life.

About the author

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin

Ann is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked extensively in psychometrics, statistics and psychology. Ann is the author of On Maggie’s Watch & The Dog Year (Berkley Penguin, 2014).

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Let me know what you’re thinking people. How do you create a fabric of your health.

  • layj

    I love articles about health, thanks Ann for sharing! I think it is true what people used to say: you are what you eat. My life has changed ever since I became a clean-eater and a health-conscious person. I used to be overweight until I realized that my body does not appreciate when I feed it with junk food- not just weight problems but mood swings too. A little change in your habit will make a great impact in your life. So today I challenge you to hold that cinnabon cravings and try to eat more fruits instead! I promise you this: you’ll feel amazing. Love your body and make the change, people!

  • omholtj

    Great article! These days it seems like health is the most important topic with some, and hardly even a consideration with others. This article is unlike the rest that you can find on other sites as it offers a new way of sticking with your resolutions/healthy eating/exercising, etc. It is often forgotten that it doesn’t matter why/how you broke your diet or exercising regime, what matters is how to get back to your plan after you have fallen off track. By teaching people how to “back up” in the appropriate way, along with healthy eating and exercising, I believe a large group of people would be more successful in their healthy living ventures.

  • Shih Chi Tseng

    This article makes me remind myself, because I always think I am still young, so I do not need to worry about my health. However, it is not true. It is necessary for people to take care their health, no matter what age they are. When you are illness, you will not be the only one who is suffer in the pain. The people around you will have same feeling as you, because they are worrying about you.

  • natebbeard

    The fabric of health I’ve created in my life usually relates to either transportation or fun. I ride my bike almost everywhere I go (easy to do in Boulder), and I love playing soccer, hiking, and skiing. Transportation and fun are only part of the motivational force that reminds me to stay healthy though. I built a fabric of health on finding what I’m really passionate about: helping people. And I need to help myself before I can help others.

  • Cassie135

    It is always good to be prepared in life. This article made me realize it is good to be prepared when it comes to your heatlth as well. Take all the precautions you can because if you don’t you will most likely end up paying for it in the end.

  • TallPaul14

    Great article Ann! Sometimes we think that “being healthy” involves a complete and painful overhaul to our lives, but in reality being healthy can be as simple as creating that fabric of health that you mention. I myself have tried to add in some time for a walk or run, and started packing healthy snacks instead of eating greasy quick eats. It really is the little things that make a difference, especially in being healthy.

  • caoam

    It is great that this article encourage people to take care of their health. Health is really important for each of us, but because of the busy world today, many people forgot that. As I get older and as my health is not so great because of my bad eating and sleeping habit in the past, I started to realize that I need to pay attention more to my health. Taking care of your health does not mean that you need to focus on it the whole time, but it is rather how you could enjoy your life better. I totally agree with this article.

  • hanj5

    This article is a good reminder that I need to continue to eat well and exercise regularly. Thanks Ann!

  • SamanthaSesnon

    Definitely a good reminder that health needs to be part of a lifestyle and should be kept up on a consistent basis.

  • thangha

    It is really hard to live a healthy lifestyle because of our busy schedule everyday. This article just reminds me of how important our health is. I have to spend some of my time for eating and sleeping better. Thank you for this post.

  • Hanna Boyd

    I agree @caoam:disqus that focusing strictly on health throughout every minute of everyday could be overly taxing. If you are able to successfully weave health into your lifestyle, it becomes second nature. My question is whether there is a formula to do so.

  • mcniffm

    I think I get the reference to the truck drivers and backing up. What I got out of this reference is that it takes more time getting back in the right direction when you back up in whatever your doing in life. Interesting perspective.

  • chrinsmas

    Drinking water for detoxing, having more vegetables than meats, using stairs instead of using an elevator. These are how I create the fabric of my health. I believe in the phrase, “You are What you eat.”

  • hem1

    I like your connection between truck drivers/backing up and being healthy/getting sick! I agree with it completely. If we prepare ahead of time and maintain our health, we wouldn’t have to get delayed as much when we get sick. Great reference!

  • greatelk

    What a fun way to promote overall healthiness and making wiser decisions! This article came just in time for a good start to the year.

  • ignatius epriladinata

    It’s a great
    article to remind all of us to live healthy.
    I believe no one wants to be a rich, famous, and really highly respected, but
    his body is covered by a deadly disease. Therefore, it is said that the
    greatest wealth of life is healthiness. If we don’t have a healthy body, whatever
    we achieve would be meaningless. This article opens our eyes to reflect on how
    important it is to have a healthy body, because by having a healthy body you
    don’t have to waste your time and money. We can keep going forward if we have a
    healthy body.

  • Claudya Febriani

    Great reminder for me to live a healthy life. It’s always better to prevent than to cure. However, I don’t really get the relationship between truck drivers, health, and back-up. I guess you should define what is back-up before relating it with truck drivers and health.

  • anp042

    The body is our temple. Living healthy should definitely be a part of our everyday lives because whether we’re aware of it or not, it has a huge effect on our productivity and creativeness. I’ve read countless articles on the benefits of sleep that are targeting a businessmen who most likely don’t get the sleep they need. I think I’m pretty good at eating moderately healthy and staying fit – there’s a little more work to be done on the sleeping part.

  • Lindsay Burke

    I found this article very interesting because of its unlikely comparison between living healthy and the mentality of a truck driver. I think that it is a great lesson to learn that it is important to prepare for the speed bumps and instances where you might have to “back up in life”. This notion could be applicable to more areas in life than just with health, although it does hold true to creating a healthier mindset. The more you prepare yourself for any given situation, then the less you will have to slow down or look back when the situation arises.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Thanks Lindsay, my cousin is a trucker and we were talking about the backing up issue. I couldn’t help myself 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I was trying to say if you get sick because you haven’t taken care of yourself you have to stop, back up, fix your health and then you can move forward. If you take care of yourself and don’t get sick then you don’t have to waste the time backing up and move forward all the time. BUT you have to plan for it like truckers to.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Thanks greatelk!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Yes, that’s right, you got it!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Thanks mcniffm. That’s exactly right. Just trying to get people to think about things in a new way.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    You are so welcome hanj5.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I wish there was a formula. You have to work to your strengths. Since I am most energetic in the morning I do my hardest tasks then, have readily available foods like fruit and vegi’s available and I work out then so I don’t have to shower twice. You might be totally different and it might change each semester. Health is a process that will continue your whole life so we have to be very flexible with our formula 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    TallPaul14 Definitely you got it. I don’t want people to think of health as a painful overhaul. It is a simple fabric. Thanks for your comments.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Natebeard thank you. I hope some of the other posts I’ve written help a little. Thanks for your comments here!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I’ll take that challenge!

  • And the other point, I got from it was: You inevitably will get “sick”… a common cold, a twisted ankle, we can’t operate at 100% all the time – but the healthier & more well-rested you are the quicker you can recover (the less you’ll have to “back up”…

    And this line made me laugh so hard: “I found myself vomiting on my EMT and explaining my unshaven legs to the most adorably handsome intern.”

    Every woman’s worst nightmare!!!!
    Thanks Ann!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Ugh, it was horrible. I still feel chagrin. Thanks for the addition there Sandy, that’s right!

  • Samantha Tran

    As a student, it can be difficult at times to prioritize health when it is easy to sacrifice maybe a few hours of sleep here and a well balanced meal there.. And unfortunately it is the times I do get sick that remind me that prioritizing health will ultimately pay off in the long run as this article emphasizes. Interesting read, thanks.

  • Jane Park

    Interesting comparison! This article made me question why it is that people have the tendency to always back up. A combination of bad habits that we possess forces the necessity to back up in our lives (eg: going on a hike with family, realizing how out of shape you are, vowing to exercise more often to be in better shape, quitting the exercise routine two weeks in because you “don’t have time” or are feeling lazy). I came across this quote from an article in WSJ a while back: “Instead of saying, ‘I don’t have time,’ try saying, ‘It’s not a priority,’ and see how that feels.” The writer includes the example of going to the doctor: instead of saying, “I don’t have time to go to the doctor,” saying, “I don’t go to the doctor because health is not a priority,” makes you think about things differently.. Health should be always be a priority!

  • Michelle Spruch

    This article reminded me a t-shirt I saw once that said “You’re body is a temple, not a winnebago”. Especially during this time if the year, when it seems like most people on campus are sniffling, I appreciate the reminder to invest in our health and not “back up”.

  • Rebecca Kahler

    Interesting article! It is always easy to push aside matters of health because other tasks seem like a more important priority; however, in reality your health is always privy to your ability to complete any other tasks. This is a great reminder to always consider your health, even in such a busy time of year.

  • IndartoEpriladinata

    Yes, I agree that health is very important. Therefore, I
    always try to spare my time to exercise and eat healthy foods even during
    hectic schedules. Nonetheless, some people do not realize that their routines
    such as diets can greatly affect their elder life.

  • Grantrobinson15

    Interesting application of this seemingly unrelated concept that truck drivers are drilled with initially. I think our health is taken for granted sometimes but it needs to be a much bigger part of everyones life. If we are all healthy, then we can spend our time helping others and solving some of the worlds greatest problems.

  • Hanna Boyd

    @annwertzgarvin:disqus I completely agree that it’s a kind of “to each his own” situation when it comes to the fabric of health in each individual’s life. I laughed at your sidenote about the morning workout to avoid two showers in a day because that is my exact thought process. Thanks and loved the post!

  • I like the thought of having healthy wiggle room. I will definitely take into consideration the process of backing up and begin implementing risk avoidance tactics in my everyday life. Thank you for this wonderful post!

  • Brian Tanudjaja

    Compelling analogy! This article is a good reminder that we must never forget to take care of our health. Often time, we are too busy immersing in our busy life that we fail to recall that we also need to prioritize our health. I agree that prevention is significantly better than cure. A slight change in our diet, a 30 minute work-out, a walk in the park, and other things that only cost a small portion of our daily time will prevent us from “backing up.”

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I love that quote! It’s perfect for this post…thanks for that. 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Jane, I saw that article too! I’ve often thought that lack of time = lack of priority even though it sounds harsh. What a great addition to this post. Thank you.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I’m so hoping that everyone see’s that taking care of health is actually a time saver!
    Thanks!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    That’s exactly what I’m trying to say here. Just a slight change here and there will save time later on!

  • bmdillon

    What a nice idea that fits in with a Jesuit education! Cura personalis is the idea of taking care of your person. I’m a firm believer that you must help yourself before you help others. If you’re not at your best, distraction is inevitable. I like the humor incorporated in the article, as well. I laughed out loud at “Typhoid Mary”!

  • susantok

    Thanks for the wonderful post Ann! When I started to read the post, I did not know what is the relation between truck driver and our health, especially truck drivers usually work in a stressful environment. However, after reading the post I get the relation between comparing truck driver’s backing up and recovering from illness. Wonderful!

  • Stephen Chandra Owen

    I think that health is a very important element in our life. I also felt that health is invaluable and can not be bought with money or anything else in this world. Thank you Ann for posting this post. It reminds people that prevention is much better than cure.

  • Anthony Putra

    Interesting metaphor comparing seemingly two unrelated things into a great analogy. I also agree that we should try preventing illness in the first place instead of focusing on the cure when it happened. Keeping yourself fit, everyday, is a great way to stay healthy

  • lamt5

    The focus of modern medicine has been to find quick fixes to the problems that we run into. There is a pill for almost every symptom a sickness can cause. However, this article highlights the important point of prevention. It will be interesting to see if there is ever as much an emphasis on sickness prevention by pharmaceuticals companies as there is on remedies once a person is sick.

  • milburnkatie

    I love this, thank you Ann! I think a lot of people are trying to be more health conscious these days and I cannot say enough how important it is. In a world where we can simply drive to a window and pick up food in just a few minutes, which seems to be the only thing we can fit in our busy schedules, it is almost easier to eat fast food every day. However, the trick is to ease into a healthy lifestyle as you mention.

  • Liemd

    Illness is unpredictable sometimes. I know some of health conscious people are still getting sick for some reasons. However, there’s no harm of trying to prevent them either. Time is limited resource we have and we certainly don’t want to waste it in the hospital.

  • nornesa

    The crux of this article is to be cognizant and awake
    in one’s life by making healthy and important choices to avoid the need to back
    up and undo those moments you could have avoided. I think it’s important to keep moving forward
    in life but mistakes are okay, and sometimes necessary to act as a barometer so
    that we can gauge our learning and know when we need to move forward or back
    up. A goal is to avoid making the same mistakes over and over in favor of
    healthy and sound choices to keep you moving forward. The article provided an interesting analogy.

  • awatwa

    This article is like another wake up call for me. I do understand
    its importance, I do see the trend, and I do want to change my unhealthy
    behaviors such as addiction to coffee, soda, and cigarettes. I guess what’s
    hindering me is that I only dream about the big changes and fear if I can do it
    all, but omit the fact that a small changes would do a lot as long as I keep
    moving forward. Overall, small wins will rule the big game

  • ignatius epriladinata

    It’s a great
    article to remind all of us to live healthy.
    I believe no one wants to be a rich, famous, and really highly respected, but
    his body is covered by a deadly disease. Therefore, it is said that the
    greatest wealth of life is healthiness. If we don’t have a healthy body,
    whatever we achieve would be meaningless. This article opens our eyes to
    reflect on how important it is to have a healthy body, because by having a
    healthy body you don’t have to waste your time and money. We can keep going
    forward if we have a healthy body.

  • jsuuu

    Life is unpredictable, the artical really gives us a new viewing angle of our health condition. Yes, think like a truck driver, “never back-up”. it is worthy and time-saving for just prevent the illness than go to hospital and cure afterwards. The author highlights the importance of prevention for us, especially for young people who do not care about their health conditions. Ann reminds us that someday you will have to pay back for your bad life behaviours which you have right now, when you are pain and embarrassed in the hospital when you grey old.

  • tayler_schroeder

    This made me think about how I taking care of my health right now because I am currently sick. I realized I am “backing up” by the foods I have been eating and not getting enough sleep. I am going to work on making small changes to my everyday life to improve my health.

  • nvuong

    I could definitely learn from this article. I spend too much time racing ahead that i dont stop to think if that is the direction i should be going, and i have to back myself up in order to get back on path.

  • Sara Sanchez

    This article can be related in a work/school environment. When working on a project, I always make a plan: identifying objectives, stakeholders and resources. This would also include risks that may arise. By planning out for those risks, time will be spent more efficiently and the plan will flow smoothly and “healthy”. Great article!

  • ohtanim

    I really appreciated this Ann. With the hustle and bustle of our lives it is really important to reiterate taking care of our health. In our lives whether it is working a full-time job or as students we are always fearful of getting sick with the fact we do not have the time to afford getting sick. But by taking the right measures, personal health wouldn’t have to be such large of an issue.

  • nguye107

    Thanks for the article! Despite the development of health care nowadays, it’s still so much better to take care of your health rather than to wait until you’re sick and take medicine. Not only taking care of our health prevents us from illness, but also benefits us in a long term. Not to mention, getting sick can decrease the efficiency in working or studying.

  • Alex Szlamas

    I never would have thought to equate my experience of attending truck driver school with life, but hey, I guess that’s why these articles are here. I completely agree with the concept of creating a fabric of health in your life. Clean living for the last several years has definitely worked for me, but I never thought of painting it this way; the perspective being offered here is far superior to that of attempting to lecture everyone else on how to live.

  • goanthony

    The environment around us is a really important factor that affect our habit. I think the truck driver article is one good example to illustrate how the environment affect our lifestyle and habits.

  • Hairong Zheng

    Thank your for the post! I agree that health is very important to every person. One of the premises for hardworking and being successful is to stay healthy, like truck drivers do. Although we may not get into serious situations involving other’s life, we may still affect our daily life great life if we do not keep ourselves healthy. It is the same principle in working and studying for me that taking some break when doing my job can help me be more efficient.

  • Dinglin Wu

    Backing up, thats something we do so often these days, most people does not even realize it. Especially with all the wonderful resources we have today backing up is just a day-to-day event. How shall we avoid backing up is the real question. Wouldnt do one thing once and get it perfectly done be a great solution and yet we still get sloppy and messes things up for ourselves.

  • jrmsmlbg

    Awesome article! I haven’t really thought about taking steps to avoid backing up from situations. And if I do ever get stuck in between a rock and a hard place, I knew to prepare to have some wiggle room. That wiggle room is necessary in saving the time and effort from putting all the energy in backing up. Great wisdom.

  • nguyenb7

    now that I have read the article, I clearly can say that being a truck driver is one of the hardest job ever. Thanks for the article, it reminds me that health is gem that every individual have to treasure and maintain regardless of your job and conditions of life

  • Alexanderia Horton

    When I first read the title, I figured that the article would take about leaving the past in the past and moving forward but nope! We did a 180 and talked about the immune system, Though I agree with most of what has been said, one has to remember that as you begin to “take care of” your self, it may start out as 70% since you haven’t before. Then it can become 50%, 40%, 30% and so on as you become healthier.

  • Keiichi

    It is true that backing up is most avoidable time in your life. Before you become serious sick or disease, you could think more about your health and try to be more healthy life style.

  • mollymorrisey

    I agree that taking care of yourself is important and when you’re healthy, it is easier to help others, but sometimes you need to step back from your situation in other ways. There’s more than just one route forward and stopping or stepping back might be an opportunity to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.

  • Jen_Lynch74

    Agreed! I definitely need to drive forward more instead of backing up and “create a fabric of health in my life” daily. I always consider myself a healthy person when it comes to my diet and exercise but I find myself “backing-up” when it comes to stress management, dealing with past issues and taking “me-time.” I know that having better stress management skills and taking some time for myself will lead to a happier, healthier me which would then benefit the others in my life (children, co-workers, etc) – I just need to do it! But for those unavoidable situations, I will make sure my legs are shaved! 🙂

  • weidmankl15

    I can 100% relate to the same thing! I always thought that eating the right foods and exercising would be enough to keep myself happy. I also find myself “backing-up” when it comes dealing with issues from the past. I have a hard time letting things go and taking time to only worry about myself. Even though I know that I should focus on myself more and do things that make my happy, I still find myself “backing-up” and worrying about things that don’t truly matter or shouldn’t be stressed about. It’s easy to talk about “not stressing” or “me-time” but it’s actually DOING IT that is the part that I need to focus on! Wish me luck!

  • Zach Perkins

    I agree that it will take more time at first to develop healthy habits. Once these are established, we can start to live our lives normally and do the things we want while maintaining those healthy habits.

  • justin bowers

    I definitely agree with Ann’s point about moving forward and not back. It’s not easy trying to change your habits in a few hours, but being consistent and slowly finding a way to become healthier is the best option out there. As she mentioned, there are things out there that are out of your control and that’s okay, but there are many other important things that are in your control and being able to control and manage it the best way you can is so crucial. For not only yourself, but for the people around you. Health affects everybody. One question I have is if someone were to become a truck driver or anything job that consumes a lot of your time, what are some ways to make sure you stay as healthy as possible or are you completely doomed?

  • LaurenSE

    I too agree with Ann about keeping the forward motion rolling and not having to trek backwards. I also think you bring up a very good point, your habits won’t change in a matter of hours, it will take time and practice. It is a lifestyle change and it is not always easy, but dedicating yourself to becoming a better you is worth it, and should be done. I also really like your question, how would a truck driving, living such a sedentary life, keep up with a healthy lifestyle? What sort of actions can they take, when most of their day is spent sitting in one spot? What other advice does anyone have to help someone stay focused and prevent the backwards motion?

  • ghilonipt09

    I agree with both of the above comments regarding habits. They do not change in an instant of time, it takes time and setting a goal is only your friend when it comes to breaking a habit. As LaurenSE said you must dedicate yourself, which is motivation to do something to change your own lifestyle. No one else is going to change it for you. I always say take a step forward and stay positive at all times, yes it is good to take a step back but moving forward with things is the best action.

  • Drew Cox

    I agree, forward is so much easier than backwards. Such an interesting topic and comparison used here Ann. But non the less it gets the point across to many! We struggle to realize how eating bad doesn’t necessarily show change now, but will most likely show terrible changes to our bodies in the future. Changes we wouldn’t dream of. No-one wants to look obese or struggle to find ways to look like the ideal american. It’s the life choices we make earlier in life that affect how we look as we age. Exercising is only half the battle, eating right is where the real champions are made! How fast you think it would take someone to completely block up an artery eating such cinnabons?!

  • Jack Delabar

    Ann, fantastic article and view on life! That is a comparison that I would never have thought of, but once you made it, it makes perfect sense. Do the right things and make the extra moves in your life to prepare yourself for when imminent speed bumps appear. That way, when controversy (such as sickness) arises, you have prepared yourself and your body to handle it adequately. If an individual that isn’t getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet gets the same sickness as a healthy person, the duration of the sickness may be longer because of the lack of preparation and care they have shown. This doesn’t just apply to health, though. If you cheat your way through college and don’t learn anything, then its going to be a rough transition once you’re tossed out into the real world! Any other connections you could make involving the asphalt cowboys? They’ve seen it all, I’m sure if I thought long and hard enough, I could make a few!

  • Kait Harman

    Ann, that was a super interesting comparison and a very catchy attention grabber. When I first started reading this I thought to myself where in the world could she be going with this? Health matters for everyone! Everyone needs to be aware that once you eat unhealthy foods, you can’t always back up and when you can it is hard! Don’t put yourself in that situation to begin with is what I took from the article. How did you think of these two things to compare?

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Great article! This was a very catchy and interesting comparison, and is so true. I kind of have my own version of this philosophy that I use for my health and fitness. “If you do the things that you need to do everyday, you will never be behind.” So rather than putting things off, or skipping a workout, just do it. I do not think that I know of one person who has gone and worked out and said that they feel worse than they did before they walked into the gym. Health is such a powerful thing, it can make you feel like you’re on top of the world, or stuck in the middle of a desert with no water. If I could get a chance to ask Ann Garvin a question regarding this article it would have to be, how did you come up with such a great comparison between truck drivers and health?!

  • jkailing

    This article was very interesting and I like the thought of
    never backing up, and always trying to prepare and allow yourself room to move.
    In things like health I don’t think people really appreciate until it’s gone
    because it’s so easy to take it for granted. No one can prevent injured, or
    sickness so the best way to go about it is to prepare yourself for these things
    so that when they do happen to you, you will be able to recover from these misfortunes
    faster than an unhealthy individual. Preparing yourself might take more effort
    at first but it will pay off in the long run. One question I would have to ask is, what is
    the best way to prepare yourself for these health issues?

  • WolfgramKA06

    I loved this article. It reminds me of how I make eating healthy and exercising a habit. Once you develop a habit, you do not think about it has much and it’s easier to accomplish other things throughout the day. I wish more people would realize the importance of getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and working out. Although those unexpected illness occur, they become a lot easier to deal with, and most likely prevent the domino effect of sickness when developed habits are there. My question to you is, do you ever think it is necessary to “back up”? I mean, sometimes people just really need to reevaluate what they are doing, take a step back, and take there efforts in a new direction. It’s a great analogy, to keep going forward, but as you mentioned in class before, relapse is a step of overcoming a bad habit. So by moving back, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing as long as you eventually move forward.

  • strakaJA01

    I totally agree with what you are saying! Once you make something a habit, it is hard not to do (as habits are hard to break). The challenging task then is to develop a good habit. I think this is especially hard for college students. Sleep, though it should be a number one priority, gets shoved to the side because in college, things like getting good grades, having a social life, and working to make money all take precedent over sleep. People have that “I can sleep when I am dead” mentality. Of course, life is different for each person. I think that most people realize the importance of getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and working out but because these three things are not a priority in their lives, they tend to over look them. I would ask Ann Garvin, how do you think a college student in today’s high pressure world is to successfully get enough sleep, eat healthy, and work out? In another article of yours you mentioned “cheating” as a method…is this the only method?

  • Willie

    I totally agree with your comment that sometimes stepping back is necessary because sometimes you cant see a situation clearly because maybe you are too emotionally involved so your judgement is not totally clear and when your judgement isn’t clear bad things can happen.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Amen! This one definitely hits home for me. I have first hand experience with poor immune system due to poor diet. It truly does directly effect one another. Its unfortunate that it takes a lot of people getting really sick or injured to realize that how important your health is. Creating a fabric of health in your life will most certainly change it for the better. How do you avoid backing up?

  • DuCharmeDR11

    Living a healthy lifestyle really comes down to prevention. When we create a cushion for when the unexpected strikes, we have a greater opportunity to fight back and bounce back to our normal state. The one argument I pose with this article is that relapses are not necessarily a bad thing. Learning experiences are what make us human, but being healthy comes down to our intent behind decisions, how we react to past decisions, as well as actually making a point to change our ways for the better.

  • Alyssa Borgrud

    I can totally relate to its article. Between college, working three jobs, and being in a Greek organization my days are pretty well packed. It is hard to get the right amount of sleep and make all the healthy choices. Starting small and working your way up to making your life more healthy is what so many people need to work on. You have to start somewhere, so all of the little changes will eventually add up. What would be your advice for someone that hasn’t previously lived healthy but wants to turn it around now and make a few healthy changes in their lifestyle?

  • Connor Driscoll

    This blog contains nothing but truth. The information here is valuable to so many of my friends who spend their time drinking and getting zero sleep (life in reverse) and then they wonder why they got sick. The key message I take away from this is eat right, sleep, exercise, and let the rest take care of itself. If you get sick after that, well that is life. But control what you can control rather than letting poor health consume your livelihood. How can we as health educators convince others to stop judging those who may be unhealthy but are trying to make some changes to their lifestyle? I feel that far too often those attempting to change are discouraged by others’ negativity.

  • treehugger90

    That’s legit! I certainly agree with you Ann because people do put their health on the backburners until it’s too late! When I was younger I use to weigh 170lbs and I decided enough is enough and began to work out and eat a well balanced diet. Before I new it I lost over 40 lbs and it clicked in my head; might as well start young so I do not have catching up to do in the future. So now I am a die heart health nut and that is what drove me to pick my career path in human performance, and health education!

  • Kendra Larson

    I could not agree with you more! I know people close to me, or just people on social networks, that eat like crap, sleep like crap and do not take care of their body. It aggravates me to no end! And When people sit there and complain because they have all these problems like, “oh I’m fat” “Oh I keep getting Sick” Ext. Ext. It makes me want to knock them over the head and say, then you need to do something about it! If you don’t like something, change it. If you keep getting sick, change something in your life to help prevent it! I want to make a difference in these peoples lives, and help encourage them to make better health choices, but a lot of the time, I don’t know how. How do you do it Ann? How do you get through to people? Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I don’t get through, but sometimes, occasionally I do. Then I have a little party in my mind.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Support with no judgement. Lots of support!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Yes, you are so right. Relapse is a step of recovery. that is a good reminder.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    It’s one method. Use all of them! The more the better!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Ha! I guess it depends on the other things going on in their life. A long, terrible feeling life if you ate nothing but the cinnabon.

  • masterdan55

    I completely agree with you! People seem to ignore the problem until its happening to them, by then its to late, your already sick. The key like you said Ann, is to maintain your health and not put it on the back burners. The main point here is to take care of yourself and your body! Its very important in later years of life to have a healthy immune system or have those habits of good eating and exercise. How do we as educators encourage younger kids, parents, and colleagues to part take in exercise more often? Its our job to make them want to exercise.

  • turbo_frey

    Thank you Ann! I fully agree with you that we need to practice more primary prevention measures so that we can avoid illness or injury. However, this rarely happens and people later pay for it in life. It is truly sad that more is spent on tertiary prevention than is spent on primary prevention. It is hard to “back up” in life though. What’s done is done and we can only fix the problems we’ve created. The question is, how do we change this within health promotion and actually make people change their health behavior?

  • jack lomax

    Prevention is cheaper than the cure. How much man hours do you need to put into eating healthy/acting healthy etc, compared to getting into that shape after you’ve wrecked your body. When you aim at being a healthy person, the man hours = none. Its not an effort, or a workout, its a way of life. However, when your body sucks because you’ve destroyed it, the effort getting it back to a healthier you is a ton of work! And as a person, without that determination, you can be susceptible to failure. Why let your body get into a position where it wants to fail when you can prevent that and keep it as a well oiled machine.

  • lepkowskjj29

    Thank you for this article. I really agree with you about not wanting to back up and to try to spend some time preventing yourself from the things that you can prevent yourself from in order to not waste time in backing up. I liked the simple little things that we can do to get started in preventing us from backing up such as getting 8 hours of sleep, strengthening you lower back, and eating healthier. How can we get more people to make this behavior change?

  • Daniel Preuss

    If only people could live healthy lifestyles in the first place….

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this article Ann! I totally agree with what you are saying in
    this article. I think that people should treat their bodies better by eating right and getting enough sleep. I am trying to eat healthier now so later in life, I won’t have to deal with sicknesses. I also try to exercise at least four times a week to stay in shape for a healthier body. I don’t understand how so many people can go eating junk food all the time and not even workout. It is so bad for your body. It will affect that person in life now and later in life. I am trying to prevent those sicknesses for me now so I don’t have to deal with them. A question I have for you is how do we tell people how to live a healthier lifestyle?

  • Leahrebout

    “It will never happen to me” is unfortunately too common of thinking in the world right now. People, myself included, are not very good at planning in advance. We need a rude awakening of the reality that it probably will happen to us if we do not start to change our lifestyle. This article was just that for me so thank you very much for sharing! I certainly do not want to have to regret not making a change and having to back up later when it could be too late. What do you think is the easiest thing to start with in order to plan ahead for our health?

  • Cory Zaeske

    Such a simple phrase but so powerful! We all need to understand the concept of “don’t back up.” Everyone has regrets and mistakes in their lives but avoid as many as you can. Drop that 3 sodas per day lifestyle and swap it for a water and then you will never have to back up from that dreaded heart attack. And you are going to live longer too! Everyone could use a little wiggle room when they get stuck and these small tips can help. Do you think that sleep is the biggest determining factor in getting a healthy lifestyle going?

  • AmandaBrom

    This is so important
    for people to understand. If you don’t start being active today and changing
    your life for the better you will always be going backward trying to change
    what you created. Many of the health problems Americans’ have today can be
    prevented by changing their way of life. Stop going to eat at the place that is
    the most convenient, and have a home cooked meal. The little habits you
    change throughout the day will always keep you moving forward in life. What do
    you think is the hardest step for people to change their lives for the better?

  • byrnesbk24

    Its funny that I come upon reading this particular blog when you happen to have gotten sick yourself. Speaking of, How are you feeling? I hope much better. Anyway, great point in this blog, trying to control what we can and moving forward is important. We tend to think of this AFTER something bad has happened. I remember the day I decided to get back into strength training/ working out, I threw my back out. In that moment I was like “well this is enough, I never want to go through this pain again”. I knew that getting my core back into condition was the first step into preventing it.

  • Marian326

    As a former school bus driver, I concur that backing up is dangerous,
    and should be avoided at all cost, not only in driving, but in our lives
    in general. Thank you Ann for your perspective on avoiding backing up
    where our health is concerned. I for one know how hard it is to try to
    get healthier after realizing that my body is not as healthy as I had
    thought it was. Even as a very active adult, and one who tries to eat healthy,
    my health is not where it should be. I hope that the young people that
    have read this blog, and attend your classes, take notice and start down
    the road of healthier living.

    As college students it is imperative to plan ahead for our future in the job market. We spend time picking classes, polishing our resumes, and working to keep our GPA up. We may even start networking, because it is not only what you know but who you know. What we seem to forget to do is to plan for what we will be eating, how much we will be sleeping, and how much we need to move everyday. These are the three things that will carry us through to the finish line as healthy, productive members of society. Do you think an employer wants to hire someone that is not able to plan ahead, or someone that is not in control of their own health? Being healthy speaks volumes to those around you, which one day will include your employer. What is your lifestyle saying about you?

  • Janna Bartels

    Thank you Ann for this article! A lot of health issues are preventative! I have this picture of me trying to back a huge truck bed back into a loading dock… it includes many tries and redo’s. I don’t want my life/health to be that way. Health living is a lifestyle and takes determination and focus. I don’t want to be a “back up” girl!

  • Trevor Boyle

    Your absolutely right if we focused more on doing things to better ourselves we can avoid lots of unnecessary doctor visits. In your nutrition class last i learned a lot about how eating a play based food diet can help prevent cancers, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. I don’t not eat a strictly plat based food diet but i do eat a whole foods diet where i get all my nutrients needed. Why is that if people know that by doing simple things like exercise and eating right can help prevent illnesses why do they still keep their bad habits?

  • Chris Williams

    I totally agree that it’s important to live your life right so you don’t have to back up because backing up in just to hard. I really like the metaphor with the truck driver comparing to health. It added a good understanding. I believe that it’s imposable to stay 100% healthy through your life, but I do believe that living healthy will help staying healthy. My question for you would be, what are ways you stay healthy? What are some long term health goals you have?

  • Jennifer Lynn

    Thank you for a great post Ann! This makes me think of life as a sort of game. Eat the correct foods and sleep 8 hours and you will win. I mean of course there is going to be that cold you can’t avoid or that slippery patch you didn’t see on the sidewalk but if you follow a few healthy rules you will be well on your way to winning. I think we can all look at this and hope we will be free of illness and feeling good about life. Ann what do you suggest if you do become ill, in terms of diet? Should we limit ourselves to fluids?

  • Sajwanih

    This is a wonderful analogy that can and should be applied
    to most anything. Thinking of “backing up” as an analogy to human rights for
    instance, this goes along with the UN’s concept of a “progressive realization”
    mandate that requires countries and states to move expeditiously and
    effectively towards an improved state of human rights, and prevent regressions
    backwards. This also applies to corporate short-termism through the idea that the
    costs of not considering the bigger picture can result in more overall
    consequences for everyone, as we have seen in scandals like Enron or even the
    Financial Meltdown. The commitment to constant improvement of both
    one’s self and one’s environment is something that has made us humans so
    successful as a species and we would be woe to forget it.

  • Rebekkah Houda

    This was great! I never thought about it this way! There are so many what-if’s in this world that you may as well try to change the unhealthy choice’s to healthy ones! However, I don’t know that eating 100% healthy or that all exercise is going to help some people just have horrible healthy even when they workout! Thank you for the article!

  • Amanda Laatsch ?

    This is a great article to read when considering your
    health. Why back up when you don’t have to? It‘s better to do something right
    the first time rather than have to pay the consequences later. Having to “back
    up” takes more time than just driving the path you need to in the first place.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Justin, I completely agree with about it being hard to break habits in a few hours. It is pretty much impossible. I have been trying to stop drinking soda for years now and just can’t. Have there been any bad habits you have found to be hard to break?

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Ann, thank you for sharing this interesting article. I found the analogy in this article to be fascinating, and to make full sense. I experienced exactly what you went through, and couldn’t agree more about how the truck driver must avoid backing up given its risks. Today, when I was heading home after class, there was a serious accident on 59 (between Milton and Whitewater). Police ordered all cars to turn back anduse different routes. A semi-truck had to drive backwards for about halfa mile, which took about 15 minutes. I thought it was a strange coincidence to
    read your article after that happened on my drive. I also really liked the
    attention-grabbing headline. This will help people remember your article when
    they see a truck.

  • ghilonipt09

    I think the key to staying healthy is having a set routine and build in enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Those 3 components are the key t having a healthy lifestyle. Most college student do not even have 1/3 of those components. If you have not changed your lifestyle, how can you change and become a healthy person?

  • Chris Williams

    To change and become a healthy person you have to first look at the three keys you stated. Getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition is very important to be healthy. There are some things that are non-preventable risk factors, and can not be prevented by livening a healthy life. Do you think that most people don’t chose a healthy life because they think that they have more of a risk of getting in a fatal car accident?

  • Chris Williams

    I agree that some people have horrible health. I think that when you sleep the right amount of time, exercise regularly, and have a nutrition diet you are more likely to live a healthier life. I know that there are non-preventable risk factors, and that can allow you to be unhealthy and you have nothing to do about it. As I asked someone else, Do you think that most people don’t chose a healthy life because they think that they have more of a risk of getting in a fatal car accident?

  • Chris Williams

    I don’t think backing up is the most avoidable time in your life but it’s hard to avoid. Most of us as human beings are more attracted to living the poor way of living a healthy life. most of us like to not eat foods that are not healthy for us, we tend to not get enough sleep, and we always skip that work out. That being said I believe we can think about our health and about what might happen to us if we don’t live healthy to allow us to live a healthy life style.

  • weidmankl15

    I like when you said “makes me think of life as a sort of game” because that truly is what it is. If you do the things that are good for you, you will survive or WIN! Of course, like you mentioned, there are always things that come along that we can not prevent, but if we take the best “healthy” action towards that problem, we should make it out just fine.

  • Ryan R

    Thank you for sharing this article and interesting life comparison, Ann Garvin. I am in complete agreement that making your health a focus now is more important than trying to fix it when it’s already in shambles. If I had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I would ask you how many truck drivers you have seen eating a donut.

  • Haley Horn

    Thank you for sharing. I love this analogy. I never knew that truck drivers learn to avoid backing up. But it is so true when you think about it. I tell my friends all the time, the most important thing you have taught me, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” That is literally my favorite saying now. Like you said, some things are unavoidable, but the things you could potentially avoid, try to!

  • Ryan R

    Well, I’ll tell you this, Ann Garvin. I won’t be using cloth and linen. Instead, I will take your well-formed advice and apply it every day for the rest of my life. No more steps backward, Ann Garvin.

  • pinsolera

    Absolutely. I also think that sometimes people don’t buy the more expensive food because of the lack of fund reserves. But my philosophy is this: I would rather pay a little more for food now and spare myself a hospital visit than pay not as much money and have medical bills up to my neck.

  • Chris Williams

    That is interesting way to think about that. I would also rather pay more now instead of paying for a hospital bill that is because of my poor eating habits. It’s interesting what our health means to us and how much it cost to be and stay healthy.

  • pinsolera

    It truly does. It stinks however that organic and healthier food is so much more expensive. But, even if we don’t buy organic, it isn’t terribly hard to eat healthier as I’ve experienced. Just takes some creativity!

  • Chris Williams

    Yeah it does take creativity! I just look up healthy dinners and try to make that for my self a lot of times but not as much as I would want to.

  • TeamGarvin

    I agree with you Chris backing up is not the most avoidable point in your life. It may be one of them, but it surely isn’t the most. To me the most avoidable point is repeating the process. I always try to learn from my mistakes. I try to avoid making the same mistake twice.

  • TeamGarvin

    If you really look at it though is it that expensive to eat healthy? Processed foods sometimes cost more than buying the ingredients to make it. Also this way you know what’s going in your food. You will save more money making your own meals than buying them already prepared. They will be way healthier also. I like how you think though I would rather pay now while I am healthier than pay down the road when old age catches up.

  • pinsolera

    I understand. Sometimes, it can be a pain trying to look for healthier meals. But you know as well as I do that you feel so proud of yourself that you feel great with a healthy meal and how good you feel after you eat it.

  • Kevin Weber

    I agree. Backing up won’t get you anywhere. By sticking to a path, you will be able to accomplish what needs to be done. Great point when you say its better to do something right the first time, rather than paying the consequences later.

  • Tyler Pierce

    Ann, this analogy help paints the picture very well. Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep can help decrease all the affectable factors in our lives. I will definitely keep this analogy in my mind when I am having a struggling day with these three key points. A question is, if you are spending 50 percent of the time avoiding sickness, does that mean you are only spending 50 percent of the time being healthy?

  • Jeremy Demos

    It all seems so easy when you put it like that, but what do you tell those of us with issues getting a full night sleep even after eating well and adding exercise?

  • Nathan Gillette

    The same point goes its easier to keep up with your health than catch up with it. I am a strong believer in that however struggle with the little things that cause illness. I think a lot of college students damage there bodies during those 4 years of binge drinking and in time spend the next 6 years trying to recover. Does ones body recover from all those years of punishment? I don’t know sure hope so. I think i have wasted a lot of time backing up and quiet honestly can feel it know. I am striving to get back on the highway set the cruise. Never thought i back up until i thought about it!

  • Sharmaine A.

    This article is completely understandable. Its about picking and choosing your battles. That’s what I take from it. Focus more on the things you can prevent and stress less on the thing you know you can’t. Those things that are inevitable are most likely those things that will quickly pass anyway. The things that you fail to prevent early on are the thing that come out to be the most time consuming. People could save time, their health, and reduce their stress by taking precaution.

  • Reece Raethke

    Backing up takes more time and effort than taking measure to avoid backing up in the first place! If we can make efforts to be healthy in our daily lives maybe when it comes time to back up it will only be a few feet rather than trying to make a Y-turn on a narrow road with a cliff on one side.

  • kkachel

    I have done my share of backing up. Winter weight gain has always been a problem for me. When I get upset about this, I usually say to myself that I will get rid of the excess baggage when spring comes around. But with some recent long winters, I cannot afford to wait until spring to get rid of the extra pounds.
    For several years, I would snowshoe quite a bit during the winter. I have set a goal for getting back to snowshoeing this next winter.

  • Kyle moore

    This was a great article. I thought the idea of backing up or trying to make up for something was amazing because I know that feeling after I try a piece of pizza or ice cream. I love these foods but I know that they do not benefit me in many ways. So why do people do these things and eat these foods but then complain or say wow shouldnt have done that? Well can be related to willpower or sleep deprivation. But those are different topics. If we want to be real, we can explain that people who choose to eat these things dont noramlly feel they have to make a change or fix it after they are done.

  • hensella

    I agree, it is a great analogy. I think it’s better to try to do things right the first time and not have to worry about backing up. When you do have to back up, it usually takes a lot longer to get yourself out of the predicament.

  • Aaron Ackerman

    I believe the biggest key to exercise is developing a routine. If every day at a specific time you set aside time from your daily routines to workout I believe you will do just that. However, if your mindset is I will work out if and when I have a gap in my day, is something that will hardly if ever work. I was in that mindset for a period of time until I decided that at 6am just about every day of the week I have nothing going on. So I dedicated that time to going to gym and made it a routine. Sucks at first but after a while you do not think twice about it.

  • Aaron Ackerman

    Thank you for sharing this article. I compare it to choosing an apple over a bag of chips at lunch, may not help you that day but over a lifetime can make a huge difference. It is little things like that, that can help avoid “backing up” in the future. And I read once I do not know the accuracy behind this but it stated what you eat today you feel the affects three days in the future. Do you happen to know if this true? If so I feel like that could be great motivation to look at your body’s health as a long-term project.

  • Robert Murdock

    This article really puts into perspective making healthy choices. I use to regularly eat a bowl of ice cream at night, boy was it delicious. I would notice I felt bloated afterwards. I didn’t always feel the best in the morning when I woke up. So instead I had a bowl of fresh cut pineapple to satisfy my sweet tooth. I fould I didn’t feel bloated and flet much better in the mornings. I think it’s these small changes that are how I avoid having to back up.

  • Eric H

    This is a great analogy. We should never want to back up because then we will have to take time to move back to where we once were. We should always strive to move forward. I get tempted sometimes to eat unhealthy or miss a few days without working out. Then I remember and think to myself, why should I go backwards and have all my hard work go nowhere? We can always avoid backing up. How does one motivate themselves after backing up so much that they are in a ditch?

  • Justin Shelton

    This article is very motivating in the sense that it shows that if you make healthy choices that won’t cause you to ‘back up’ you will live a better life. By backing up you will use time that you could be using to go forward and ultimately not make as much progress as you had the potential to.

  • Travis Ricci

    this article is awesome showing that we all need to be prepared to handle any speed bump that comes onto our tracks you cant avoid certain things in life they are bound to happen but when they come right at us its about the ones that are prepared regardless of how big that bump is you keep moving forward not backward.

  • Sydney Sipos

    Backing up is the worst. I started running back a few years ago, and worked my way up to running three miles 3 days a week, eventually finishing a 5k I entered. Then, I hit a snag when I got a sinus infection that took me out of running for about 6 weeks. I’ve been trying to catch up (with limited success) ever since. Though the Typhoid Marys are unavoidable, there’s so much we do to ourselves that is avoidable – we just need to take the precautions before we end up having to back up again.

  • Kevin Semler

    Life is too short to be backing up. We shouldn’t have to live our lives in regret, or living or lives not in regret, but paying the price for our choices down the road. It takes little to make changes in your life that will stand out in the later years, but making these small changes will help reduce the amount of time you have to backup

  • Ronny

    this article goes to show that there are a lot of situations in our lives that can avoid the “back up” but I also think that this can simply be another saying for we learn from our mistakes.

  • Brady Sexton

    A commitment to health can create a buffer zone until you reach the opposite end of the continuum of sickness. The healthier you are, the longer it will take for your body to break down to the point of heart disease or sickness if something unpreventable occurs.

  • katrina brown

    “I’m not saying devote half-of your day to health, I’m saying create a fabric of health in your life.” I love this quote. Its strangely reminds me of something i try to live by in terms of my clothing choice every morning. I wake up every morning not to put on a pair of sweatpants but to dress my best because that way i feel my best all day long and i have one less things to stress about through out my day to day life because when i look like crap i feel like crap. That is just an alternative approach to the concept of preparing yourself and creating a “fabric of health”.

  • Brooke Gregory

    This article seems to follow your trend of eat healthy, sleep well, and move forward. All through college I have procrastinated, pulled all nighters, ate fast food, drank, all while knowing it wasn’t the greatest thing for me to be doing. I’ve made it through but I think it is time for a change. I really should be avoiding sickness with my vigorous semesters but I haven’t been. It is sad I am realizing this now because the worst of my classes are done, but maybe I’ll be able to hammer out an awesome senior year just from taking this one class.

  • LeiderGM20

    This reminded me of the quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Super great message to send people, that if they don’t want to “back up” life. Eat healthy and take care of yourself if you don’t want to spend some quality time in a hospital later. However, many people think about the here and now, living in the present and not thinking about what happens later in life. The whole “YOLO” mentality. That all being said, I thought this was a great point of view and how to look at reasons to stay healthy. Thank you!

  • Steffiheuer

    Thank you for your article. I agree that our time should be better spent trying to make healthier choices throughout our day. If we did this we could avoid so many trips to the doctor and actually be able to do the things we want to do in life. I know that spending time backing up is not ideal for anyone. If we avoided those times where backing up was not needed we would be happier I believe. Making us not on physically healthy but also mentally healthy.

  • HelpHealth002

    Thanks for writing this article Professor Garvin! I really like your point of creating a “fabric of health in your life” and not just devoting certain hours in a day. I’ve seen it all too often where people say “Oh I ate an apple and some carrots this morning so I can go eat McDonald’s now and I’ll be fine”. It just doesn’t work like that though! To be truely healthy, you need to be healthy 24 hours a day. A healthy lifestyle needs to be woven into your life as a permanent, daily activity, just like brushing your teeth everyday before you leave the house. This is a great article to read for anybody who has ever tried to excuse eating unhealthy food because they ate some fruits or exercised beforehand. What do you advise people do to keep themselves from caving when they are bombarded with advertisements for greasy, sugary, artery-clogging meals?

  • Ryano313

    This article was very insightful. I agree with how we should be spending more time doing the things necessary for us preventing the doctor visits and such that are actually preventable. Every one has a different immune system, some stronger than others. Like you said, everyone is going to get sick here and there where we can not do anything about it. It is all just a part of life. Doing the little things though can help having more of a healthy lifestyle.

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    Something that I absolutely hate more than almost anything is having to go sit in the hospital and be a patient. It truly is so embarrassing and painful (in most cases) and so beyond unavoidable. And I hate that, I hate that things happen in life sometimes. But I see now that certain things I do in my everyday life could make the hard scenarios less difficult and less painful. An example that would in a way relate to this is the last time I donated blood. I was a little worried about it because the first time I donated I passed out sitting on the toilet in the woman’s bathroom afterwards. This time, I didn’t want something like that to happen, but I prepared myself in case it did. I ate a large a hearty meal and drank lots of fluids. Due to this, my body was MORE prepared than I expected. When a donation would usually take about an hour, I was in and out in twenty minutes. My body had enough of a supply of fluids that I had a super quick blood flow and everything went perfectly. Now to apply this type of theory to my day to day health habits.

  • Skowronssj06

    That is a great analogy. If we keep our health up our immune system is up and when we encounter those germs and sick beings around us, we can fight it off as a bump in the road. I personally would rather get healthy and move forward with little bumbs then have a poor immune system and have to back up in life.

  • Catey Navarro

    I will never forget one time when I was sick I couldn’t walk up my stairs without feeling like I was having an asthma attack. I was huffing and puffing like it was no ones business. I also remember it took me a while to get back on my feet and exercising like I had been! It was frustrating and unfair. Now moving forward I can honestly say that I am working harder so that I don’t have to back track. I am trying to focus on the little things like washing hands, flossing and wearing my seat belt.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    I think this article uses a great analogy. So many people don’t realize that the more unhealthy habits they have, the harder it is going to be to back up when they finally decide to make a change in their life and form more healthy eating and exercise habits.

  • Aarynn Bosshart

    I love the quirkiness of your writing. My favorite line in this blog was, “I found myself vomiting on my EMT, begging for pain medication and explaining my unshaven legs to the most adorably handsome intern in the ER.” I stopped and read that part out loud to my husband; he got a good chuckle. I think your main point here is that we should do all that we can to avoid the controllable health concerns, so that when unexpected concerns come our way we are better prepared to handle them. Is that right? For some reason I was having a harder time following this blog – especially during the Cinnabon section. However, I think the gist of what you were preaching here is to make health a substantial part of every area in our lives, so that we can avoid unnecessary illnesses/diseases/injuries.

  • hasselbemj31

    I really like how you compare our health lives to a truck driver. It is a lot easier to drive forward rather than backing up. This was a wonderful comparison and I could really relate. It makes sense that things happen in life that we can’t control and that we just can’t do anything about it. But why make it harder on ourselves by eating fast food and not exercising. Some people say, “well I’m going to die at some point.” Why push death sooner or motivate it to show up earlier than it wants too. We as humans seem to always want to take the easier way out in life so why do we complicate our health and constantly try to back up rather than simply just drive forward.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    This a great way to look at health and an excellent analogy. Thank you, Ann! There is an old saying that goes, “if you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards.” That was in my head as I read this blog post. Most of us like eating sweets because they taste delicious and they don’t know how bad it is for you. If you want to feel good, eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. You get more out of them and you WILL feel better.

  • Ananda Conlon

    While thinking about poor health decisions as backing up an 18 wheel truck, it makes positive health decisions look much easier. Another way of looking at it is that even if you make a poor decision, it doesn’t mean that you cannot turn your choices around for the rest of the day or the week. Some people try to justify poor habits by saying that they will start making good decisions the following day or week. When thinking about an 18 wheel truck, it is easy to go from reverse to continue forward very easily. This helps combat the urge to continue pushing out a positive change. Positive changes can happen at any time.

  • karinaz10

    I think this is great! People don’t realize that what they do to their body now will affect their lives in the future. I learned the hard way. Being tiny all my life, I never thought weight would be an issue. But here I find myself 15 lbs heavier than I was two years ago. If you don’t take the little time now to prevent yourself form having to back up, the cost will be greater later. It was easy for me to gain the weight, but terribly hard to loose it.

  • earose14

    This is actually an awesome way of thinking. Not taking care of your health and getting sick is always the worst especially when it seems like it takes twice as long to move forward past it. Staying ahead of your health and not choosing bad decisions and having to back up is the best plan you can have. All you have to do is keep in the back of your head how horrible it is to back up. I do agree that taking time to back up is much more time consuming than driving forward. Thanks for sharing!

  • lpierce34

    As someone that personally does WAY too much backing up in terms of poor choices in diet, I really enjoyed this article. I loved the part where Galvin talks about cinnabon and thinks don’t eat that because you will just have to back up later. I am a huge foodie and especially have an extremely strong sweet tooth. When it comes to dessert, I can’t nt have it and I can’t not finish it if its good. But this is a very interesting idea and I think I will try to remember it next time I am eating out etc. I know dessert is not good for you to have every day, but It is so good I have an impossible time saying no. This actually reminds me a little bit of Mindful Eating, a practice in which you think about what you are eating before you eat it and why you are eating/for what purpose.

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    Thank you for the article!
    I think that this article is a gentle reminder to plan ahead in terms of staying healthy. No one can avoid the common cold, but if you eat healthy, take lots of Vitamin C and get enough sleep, you can help prevent getting sick. One question I would have is: how can you make up for a “speed bump” that comes up without prior warning?

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks Ann.
    I think this is redundant for me but might be a good article for someone who doesn’t have as much knowledge in this subject or who is not in your class. I live a healthy lifestyle so when i hit a “speed bump” I don’t get too far behind. It doesnt take time away from me.

  • knapprl17

    This is a great way to view health and what we should think about taking care of our bodies. If we can do little things to make our selves a little healthier it will give us a little more wiggle room when we have to back up, have those unavoidable accidents. I will think about this article the next time I have a decision to make that has an impact on my health.

  • warnlofjc20

    I really like the idea of “not backing up”, it seems like one of those things you just don’t think about doing and then when you eventually find it you end up kicking yourself for not finding the most obvious solution which is prevention. For those trips to the hospital that you can avoid, taking care of yourself and not having to back up are definitely the best medicine. Thanks for posting!

  • Nathan

    Thank you! Health is so important to us, and people don’t realize how hard it is to get in shape after they have been inactive. I don’t know how we can convince people to change there life styles though.

  • mankobj22

    I really enjoyed your comments on living a healthy life 50% of the time in order to avoid getting sick and having to devote 100% of your time recovering. This idea implies that doing the small things on a daily basis such as eating vegetables or brushing your teeth, can help you avoid giant catastrophes such as developing a severe disease or needing a root canal later in life. If we each put forth even a little bit of energy now, we can sustain our lives for quite some time to come.

  • Jessica White

    I also enjoyed that comment. Applying it to the rest of the article, it is certainly easier to recover from “back up” because of a common cold or the flu rather than fighting a severe infection that lands you in the hospital. If we stay healthy and work at it regularly, the small illnesses won’t take as long to get back on track either. Something like eating vegetables or brushing your teeth, as you said, are the small things that will make a big difference in the long run. I think it is just hard for people to grasp the concept of prevention versus treatment; being in the here and now instead of preparing for the future.

  • CoachDavis24

    It’s a very interesting way to think about health. I hope it helps people see the true importance of health and how it helps you out later in life. I don’t want to spend my elderly days having to be taken care of. I don’t want to be going in reverse. I want to enjoy being old. I want to be able to exercise still when I’m old. In order to do that I have to take care of myself now.

  • Brad Vogel

    It would be awesome if college life allowed for this! I would never have to back up ever again! I wouldn’t have to save money by eating food I know will only kill me quicker. If I didn’t have to commute, I could take advantage of more that the campus has to offer.

  • ReneeBinder

    The first thing that came to mind when reading this article is when people go on diets and then have a mess up day and say “oh well I’ll start over tomorrow” or “my diet starts tomorrow”. I have heard this from so many of my friends and myself. What I have learned from this is that diet and exercise need to be part of your daily routine and your life. This will prevent you from having to “backup” all the time.

  • Nicole Myers

    Great point! I also have heard this from so many people myself and I am not going to lie, I am guilty as well. Diet and exercise are equally important but we also need to throw sleep into that equation also. Truck drivers especially. They work so hard on the roads trying to stay awake when really if they got more sleep a lot of accidents could be prevented. This too will prevent them from having to “Back up” all the time.

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for this article, I agree that prevention is key to living a healthy lifestyle, however as other people have commented, it is hard to keep up with eating the right foods for some people, mostly because they either don’t like it, don’t have the money or they just like the junk food more! Although I agree 100% with your article, the phrase ‘easier said than done’ comes to mind.

  • Trista Radloff

    I think this is a lot easier said than done. We first need to realize that we do have a problem with our eating habits that lead to health concerns like diabetes. We are used to eating fast food every week or more. We are used to drinking 3 soda pops or more. We are also used to the buying processed food like boxed mac and cheese and hot dogs. We need to first learn why it’s a probelm and then learn tools on how to fix it.

  • Tracy_Werner

    This article makes me think about all the little things I do on a daily basis to prevent getting sick! I taught dance for 3 years to kids of all ages and had a routine of applying hand sanitizer before and after every class because those little germ-infested kids loved to hold hands… I now use hand sanitizer at work regularly. I also make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and also get plenty of sleep. Instead of staying up all night watching my favorite show or talking to a best friend, I save those sleepless nights for when they are really needed, like finishing writing a paper. I know it’s not possible to avoid backing up, but I at least expect it to happen every once in a while now which makes it more manageable.

  • Kent Miehe

    It’s very hard to move TOWARDS better health, but there are very easy things one can do to avoid moving BACK into bad health. People think that it’s too hard to try to improve their health but continue their bad-eating habits for example that move them in the wrong direction. If people create a lifestyle that simply doesn’t promote bad health habits, slowly but surely they will move forward towards better health. However, what is the best way to create this lifestyle?

  • danac501

    thank you! I believe a lot of people don’t think about trying to prevent something from happening because that takes time as you said. But people need to see that preventing takes less time then when it happens. Like an example if you eat a good diet, get enough sleep, some exercising then when you get sick you will probably be sick for a couple days because your immune system is strong. But if you don’t and you get sick expect to be out for a week. And let me tell you if your a college student like me missing a week of classes will put you back a whole at times and that is stressful on its own. I agree with you just start out by making a health a little bit of your time and it might get easier as you learn to know what to do.

  • Kyree Brooks

    I agree with the lines of “create a fabric of health in your life…” because people need to think in some ways of their health. For example, if someone starts working out and suddenly stops, how will they succeed in going back working at that same pace, quickly? It would be very difficult! This article gives me all the facts that lifestyle health is essential and key. Thank you.

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    I agree with this article and thank you for sharing. This in a way relates to prevention care. Over the weekend my Grandma had to go into the hospital because she forgot to take one of her many medications. I’m not sure the exact science of what happened to her but she is okay now. This would not have happened if she would pay the $40 bucks a months for the nurses to give her the medication she needs, so she doesn’t have to keep track of it herself. It is important that we all leave “wiggle room” before being stuck in these situations. She could have saved time, money, and avoided harming her health by using prevention care. It is important to stay healthy and be prepared for when sickness happens. What are some great ways to avoid illness that isn’t too time consuming?

  • Charles Fischer

    I do like the analogy of an over the road trucker, who may have the worst lifestyle, and diet know. Yes sometimes we or our bodies make us stop what we are doing, (full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes) and slow down, take better care of our selves before we run into an internal torpedo, also know as a blood clot.

  • Kaylee Raucci

    Thank you for the post! I love that all your posts come back to the same topic, health! It’s so important to me and you and everyone else on this earth. I do know a thing or two about truck drivers, my dad is one, and he is prepared to back up when he needs to and get unstuck from a rock and a hard place. I like your analogy on this post. It seems 100% valid. When you eat that donut or drink a soda, you need to be prepared to back up and regain your health. Eat a banana or hydrate with water after, and find healthier solutions for next time and every time after that. Because if you don’t you’ll have a lot of backing up to do. I think to make this analogy more advanced, for you already healthy people, you can go gluten free for some meals, or try organic foods that are even healthier for you. So you can continue to go forward forever.

  • Alex Prailes

    I feel like I am always saying this to myself right before I’m about to eat something I shouldn’t. I sit and think of all the time I’ve spent at the gym or how much time I will have to spend to compensate for whatever I’m eating. It’s true moderation won’t kill you, but all that hard work definitely makes me think twice about what I’m eating.

  • Amanda Wood

    While reading this article all I kept thinking about was my iPhone. Bare with me now, there is reasoning behind this thought. Okay, so it is important to back your iPhone up to your storage cloud because it holds all of your important stuff on your phone like your phone numbers and pictures and sends it to a safe cloud where you can refer to if needed. Then when accidents like dropping your phone in the toilet happen, you have everything you need in a safe place, untouched. Also if life happens and there is no more room on your phone, it allows you to delete everything off your phone and add more numbers or take new pictures to create new relationships and memories. Now to tie it back in with this article, the idea that we should back ourselves up is basically saying help yourself so if “life” happens you will be able to handle it.

  • Alise Brown

    I think this is a good article to read. Going backward is only looking back at what you have already done and you’ve done it there is no need to go back. Moving forward in life is the only way to have a fulfilling one.

  • Travis Mattice

    I am not really sure what to say about this article. I feel like not everyone can avoid backing up. Even the most healthy people end up going backwards. Some people just get more sick than others and I think its more than just being healthy or not. It all depends on how your body handles things. But I do agree that there are things that can be done to lessen your risk of moving backwards.

  • d_millyy

    Thank you for this article Ann. Travis, this article isn’t about avoiding the inevitable. It’s about doing things that will help prevent sickness or injury that can be avoided. Ann even states that obviously sometimes people are going to have to back up but, avoiding that when you can it’s important. So my question is can you find examples where avoiding backing up would be preventing something that can be prevented. An example would be getting enough sleep.

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    I love how this article is about preparing yourself for situation so if the worst happens you know how to handle it. Even the healthiest people encounter tough times in illness, but the difference from the healthiest people and the average person is they have (most likely) prepared for the illness so when they have to “back up” they know how to handle it in a responsible fashion.

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    I don’t think this article is necessarily about avoiding illness. I’ll agree it does somewhat have to do with avoiding it and I agree with you some people just get more sick than others. But the way I interpreted the article was how you react to the illness and if you are prepared for it. Backing up in a Semi is terrible, but when they have to do it they are well prepared for it. Just like we will get sick. It’s inevitable that you will get sick with something at some point. But hopefully when that happens we are prepared to react appropriately and responsibly.

  • Adam

    I enjoy this comment. Learning from your mistakes is huge. Trial and error along with not making the same mistake twice will result in forward progress. Learn from your errors and better prepare yourself in the future!

  • Abbey Stibbs

    Right now I am taking Garvin’s Current Topics in Health class, and I have realized through all of her lectures and all of the presentations and videos that we have watched, and all of the articles I have read of hers, and on this website, that health is hands down THE most important thing in your life. I have realized that health comes first. I may not be the perfect healthy person, but throughout this semester even, I have made some dramatic changes when it comes to my health just from all of the things I have learned. Since I made some of these subtle changes (eating more fruits and veggies, actually eating a breakfast, drinking water only) I have felt my body make a huge change. I still have some work to do, but since I feel so great, I want to keep going, I want to keep moving forward. There is NO backing up for me!

  • thomas kearney

    I like how you started the article off with the truck driver interpretation. I feel like truck drivers have a hard time maintaining a strict diet because they are always on the road and they have certain times to be at certain places. Fast food quickly turns into their best friend in this situation. I fee like you hit it right on the head when you brought up not being able to avoid all EMT visits but having the power to avoid some of them. A healthy immune system can go a long way.

  • Hillary12

    This article gives a very interesting insight on how to think about health. If I would’ve thought every time I ordered pizza or drank a beer and skipped the gym freshman year that this is all something I’ll have to undo later on maybe the freshman 15 wouldn’t have come so easily. Doing everything you can to stay healthy would end up being less time consuming than being sick and trying to undo the things you’ve already done. If this was thought about all the time I think people would overall be much much healthier.

  • Leahrebout

    I agree I’ve been there done that, the procrastination, eating unhealthy the whole nine yards. I am working towards making a change but it’s hard to keep up with it. I think we really need to commit to the changes knowing the health benefits we receive from it.

  • Leahrebout

    “It will never happen to me” is unfortunately too common of thinking in the world right now. People, myself included, are not very good at planning in advance. We need a rude awakening of the reality that it probably will happen to us if we do not start to change our lifestyle. This article was just that for me so thank you very much for sharing! I certainly do not want to have to regret not making a change and having to back up later when it could be too late. What do you think is the easiest thing to start with in order to plan ahead for our health?

  • Taylor

    I totally agree with you! I wish I had thought about what I was doing freshman year and what the long term implications were going to be. I am glad that I have realized that actions such as skipping a workout or binging on pizza are going to cost me time in the long run because I will have to back up. I am glad that I realized this now before I am no longer capable of backing up.

  • hirthjp18

    I liked the idea of giving yourself some healthy wiggle room. By doing the things you need to stay healthy you are giving yourself a better shot when you get sick or hurt. The fact is everyone gets pushed up back at times. When your doing the right things you don’t get pushed back as much and your prepared for it.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I felt this was a very interesting way to look at being healthy. If you make smarter choices involving the things you put into your body will help to avoid the “backing up” and challenges to get yourself moving forward again. The more you continue moving forward with a healthy lifestyle the more you could avoid different struggles that could hold you back.

  • Schudakp21

    Backing up is such a bad thing in health. Its always nice to have a little wiggle room but make sure you control it. If you dont end up controlling it then you are backing up. But if you have a little piece of candy once a week or something, it can actually be pretty motivational and you can keep moving forward towards yourself being healthy. I really enjoyed reading this article. If you keep spending time unhealthy that can be so much lost time that you could be spending living a happy healthy life.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Awesome post! I love that you say create a “fabric” of health in your daily life, rather than saying health is everything, health should be on your mind 100% of every day, it is everything. Because if you focus too much on it, I think it can cause too much stress and doesn’t let you see the fun things in life, or let you enjoy the little things that make your world turn. The entire idea about listening to the truck driver, “don’t back up,” wow, what a great example to use. This is a great thing to remember throughout the rest of life because not only in health, but in pretty much anything else you can think of (marriage, jobs, kids, etc.) it is so important to always have a vision of the future, and to know there will be tough times, whether it’s being able to pay bills, or keeping yourself healthy. All in all, backing up is something that will really only cost you time and extra effort if you allow it to happen. It is important to be prepared for the road to come. A question I have is, what is the hardest thing you have had to back up on, such as losing someone you love, overcoming an illness, getting fired, etc.? Are there circumstances where you have to take more time than anticipated to get over something? Thanks for sharing!

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    great response! being in control is a great way of saying it. controlling your healthy life style is important and having a piece of candy every once and a while is not a bad thing it does almost motivate you to do even better.

  • Luke Drumel

    Who woulda thought truck drivers could have such useful advice but its so true! I sometimes have a constant struggle trying not to back up and getting caught in a tight squeeze where if I do it feels like the world is falling down all around me. So each day I try and remind myself to keep some “healthy wiggle room” so that if I do get caught in a jam it’s not the end of the world.

  • hicksjd11

    It is so much easier to move forward than it is to back up. Backing up is us trying to fix our mistakes and make things right again. While this is definitely more easier said than done, if we focus and think more about the decisions that we are making, we can reduce the amount of backing up that do.

  • hicksjd11

    Wiggle room is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We all make mistakes but being prepared and accepting these mistakes makes the backing up process a lot easier.

  • ReneeKirch19

    You make a great point in this article, and I love your analogy to backing up a 18 wheeler truck. In our lives, we can only do so such to avoid getting sick. Getting sick is inevitable because we are human. For the health fair, I focused on the topic of germs, and let me tell you, I have never washed my hands so much in my life. It is amazing the amount of germs that are out in this world, and on things we use everyday. A single cell phone contains billions of germs, and we touch our phones all day! It is impossible to escape germs, but it is easier to do our best to avoid them in the best way we can. How do you suggest we “create a fabric of health in our lives”?

  • Schudakp21

    Yeah, even from personal experience, I have found I lose motivation to keep going when I am not seeing any reward for it. A little piece of candy is a little personal reward that can keep me happy until the results I want start showing. But you can’t keep making that 2 and then 3 and then 4 pieces of candy a day. It really is all about controlling your rewards and making sure you keep your motivation up.

  • Guest

    I think it starts with little steps and it’s always a work in progress. I

  • Dannielle Wagner

    I think that we have to actively try to put ourselves in situations that allow us not to back-up, but to move forward. I know that I have recently stopped eating as healthy as I normally do and that is causing me to back track…If I can progress my health in one way for one day…I think that’s successful because let’s face it I am not going to exercise 2 hours everyday…i won’t eat just salads, but I will try my best to get the sleep that I need and I will try to exercise at least 3 times a week, and I will limit the amount of processed foods that I consume. Nobody is perfect, but we can try our best to NOT back-up.

  • Dannielle Wagner

    I agree…if I can learn from a mistake that I made and move passed it…that is a huge step. I think we have to actively try to avoid backing-up because it’s so easy to do.

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with your opinion. There is a book by Bob Knight called “The Power of Negative Thinking.” It focuses on the negative things and trying to avoid them. I agree that we have to be able to put ourselves in a position so that we can follow through with our decisions and avoid falling back. Sure, some people may take a step back once in a while, but it’s all about taking more steps forward in the end.

  • Eric H

    Thanks for the post. This is a great analogy. People make tons of progress by exercising and eating healthy, but then sometimes quit doing this and end up backing up. They set themselves back further than where they started and now feel like they are in a hole too big to get out of. Now all the hard work done before is useless. People need to avoid the backing up and keep progressing forward.

  • Eric H

    I agree. Thanks for the post. We can avoid backing up. We don’t back up out of bad luck. We choose our behaviors and have to live with them. However, there is a huge struggle for some people. Some people have a very hard time quitting cigarettes or alcohol because these are addictive behaviors.

  • Another great article, Ann! We really can’t avoid sickness or injury. They are just another part of life that we have to be able to overcome. However, if we do not have the tools at hand (such as a healthy lifestyle, strong body and mind, and intrinsic motivation), overcoming the obstacles can hold us back from thriving in this world. I really liked how you encourage us readers to not do a complete 180 and change our lifestyle drastically, but to instead start building up a “fabric of health” in our lives. Every small, minor change toward improving our health will help us in the long run!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • hmcavey

    I love this article because so many people I know, roommates especially, see the difference in how I try to live my life versus theirs. Now I’m not saying my attempt at living a healthy life is full proof but I do make conscious decisions throughout the day to make an impact. It’s easy to pick the wrong route and not think twice about it until the day finally comes where you get unnecessarily sick or act in a way that easily could’ve been avoided if you made the RIGHT choice.

  • Cossioj14

    I like the way you put this “backing up”. We have the power to avoid backing up but many of us get lost in the “indulgences” of life. Now, I think you have to enjoy yourself every once in a while even if it means backing up.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    agree you have to be able to control because like you said one candy bar can easily turn into ten.

  • Abby2017

    The truck analogy was great. Also eating healthy is important to living a healthy and productive life. It is sometimes hard to eat healthy because people think that it is too expensive. If you just shop at the grocery store and look hard enough it is easier to eat healthy. Also fast food places are everywhere and they have cheap prices for food because they buy it in bulk and huge quantities. Planning meals to cook is time consuming, but it helps you eat better and cheaper.

  • DuchAM21

    I liked how Dr. Garvin related this lesson to truck drivers and backing up. She makes an good point that if you can live a healthy lifestyle, as in getting enough sleep, and eating healthy, then you should not have to worry about backing up in life, and focus on moving forward. Illness is not only a burden, but it also makes us backup, and lose more time than most of us can afford.

  • Bjackson5

    Since this was an analogy about steps to a progressive life, not backing up should be the first logical move. Going further than that, people have a very poor tendency with their risk assessment. Since the human body is so durable, a few cokes throughout the day doesn’t seem harmful. The point of this article is that the Truckers plan to avoid backing up. Which is exactly how humans should view avoiding chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    What I get out of this blog is that there are proactive things you can do to keep healthy and keep moving forward, and there are also things you can avoid eating/doing to keep from backing up or hurting your health. It’s good to know that these things go hand in hand. Just because someone is a loyal veggie eater, doesn’t mean they can binge drink at the bar every night. Also while there is a lot out of your control, there is also a lot you can control.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    I love how you relate this to a truck driver. It shows how we can’t prevent some setbacks in our lives no matter what we do, but there are many that we CAN! If we keep ourselves as healthy as we can, chances are we won’t get sick as often, nor have any major “backing up” to do. Controlling what we can is important because if we don’t, chances are we are gonna have to do a hell a lot more of backing up than necessary. We will face the unpreventable things, because everyone does, and the PREventable things. The people that don’t try to make a difference will be set back so much farther than those that give a damn. These people may be stuck in a hole so deep that when they decide they want to change, no matter what they do they can’t get out of what they got themselves into. The ones that work at being healthy will be able to recover from the unpreventable things they are faced with and continue on with a healthy lifestyle.

  • BastarKm06

    I am not a person that likes backing up at any point in my life. I disagree however, because I’m not sure I see sickness or disease as backing up in health?

  • Michellelele123

    I definitely agree that it is easier said than done!!! Who wouldn’t want a hot bod and no hospital visits?! It’s so hard when we’re in a world where the odds are against us- with fast cheap food and lack of physical activity

  • leeana liska

    For me, the most memorable line of this blog was “if there is a speed bump, we are prepared to handle it”. Like Garvin stated above, illness is unavoidable, but if we stay on top of our health, when it comes time to fight, we can handle it and not lose productivity. In addition, staying healthy physically and by eating a healthy diet, illness can be a little more preventable.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I agree with your comment. Moving on from past mistakes is very hard to do, but once you do, it is a huge accomplishment. Trying to avoid backing up is a great idea, yet very difficult to do. I also agree with you that backing up is so easy to do.

  • Alexa A Dralle

    I agree with this 100%. I wish people could understand how important a healthy lifestyle is, and actually be able to stay on track taking care of themselves. For now, life is all we’ve got and unfortunately, people take it for granted.

  • struckml03

    I agree completely with what you are saying. Although, after we think about all this, I think it is good to back it up. We just have to take small steps. We can do anything we set our minds and hearts to.

  • Kayla Martin

    Life is full of unexpected happenings. I have had many things happen to me that I wasn’t prepared for but should have known would have happened. I have stress fractures from working out too hard. I have popped my ear drum in an airplane then again at conference 2 months later because I thought it was healed. Things happen its life learning how to deal with it is the hard thing. No one wants anything bad to happen to them, I am one who never wanted to get hurt because it would effect my swimming. You need to learn to regroup getting stress fractures is my body’s way of saying your are working too hard.

  • Colin HIckey

    I really like this post. I find that not backing up can relate to more than just your health though. It is an extremely good example and I agree that it makes for a healthier person. Using the same example though, I think that we can use this to guide a lot of things in life. Whether it is from writing a paper, to running a marathon, if we prepare for it, then when we get stuck it is easier. I think that in any situation, backing up is not a good option. It is always good to keep moving forward.

  • Jessica Peardon

    I really liked this post and it was an eye opener for me. So many people including myself want to be healthy and try to be healthy. But, they don’t try hard enough. They still eat junk and then they workout and in the end you aren’t moving forward. You will never get better. I need to devote at least fifty percent to my health so that I don’t have to go back to move forward.

  • hansends21

    This article definitely has truth to it from my experience. My last year of high school I became very lazy, did not eat well, drank a lot, the whole nine yards. It was never to an extreme, but none the less I was not paying well enough attention to my health. Then, as a result, I noticed myself getting sick a lot. Now in college, I exercise daily, eat pretty well, and I rarely ever get sick, or if I start to feel sick, I can usually fight it off rather quickly.

  • Sara Fuller

    That line also caught my attention! Its like if life were a battle and you are the soldier. You’re not just going to through yourself into the crossfire without being trained to handle it. You train hard to win that battle, you have great fighting skills, eat well, and exercise. Then you conquer that darn speed bump like a boss.

  • leeana liska

    That was a great simile Sara! I think that you just described what Garvin was trying to get across in this article perfectly. It’s all about getting yourself ready to fight because that’s our only choice. Our bodies natural reaction to stress is to fight and it will biologically do everything in its power to save you, but staying healthy by eating and sleeping right will only make the fight easier.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I like how you say, ” I’m not saying devote half-of your day to health, I’m saying create a fabric of health in your life.” In terms of your overall health, being mindful of things that you can do to help yourself not get sick, or injured, or risk your safety is important to living a longer life. Maybe not always the most fulfilling life if you are constantly thinking and worrying about your health, but if you are creating a ‘fabric’ of health, that is something you won’t regret. For me personally, I sometimes like to think about how much exercise I will need in order to burn off certain types of foods that might have an influence on gaining fat weight. It is just something simple to keep in mind. Thanks for the blog Ann!

  • Garrett Nelson

    Great example of how poor choices can influence how we heal our body. I would agree that I have experienced a few of these habits in the past as well. The most influential “poor habit” that contributes to sickness for me is lack of sleep. When I stay up all night and mess with my sleep pattern, I definitely feel more prone to sickness. On top of that, drinking and being out in the cold doesn’t help either, but sleep is one of the most important aspects of keeping up your health status. Thanks for sharing!

  • catec18

    I’ve heard the debate between healthy food is expensive and healthy food is reasonably priced and have never really had the time to look into it. But Ann talks all the time about eat food that you like. Health foods are abundant and by picking food that taste good, like for me that would be carrots or red peppers, and having it replace a $4 bag of chips that I can eat just as fast, it seems like healthy food is reasonably priced. I again agree that paying while I am healthier is much easier than paying when I am sick. Paying while I am sick makes me think of the “kick me while I’m down” phrase. Like if it wasn’t bad enough, now I have bills to pay! Starting simple by just snacking healthy I think is a great way to start.

  • Kendra Larson

    I always enjoy reading your articles because they always bring forward a postive and life learning message. I know a lot of people that are my age and they say, I do not have to focus on my health until I really need to. When I hear them say this, I think…why wouldn’t you want to focus on your health right now so that you can prevent health issues later? it just blows my mind. There are so many people that do not change their bad habits until something happens in their life, and then thats their turning point of changing. Through starting early on eating healthy, excersing, getting enough sleep, and focusing on other healthy habits, you decrease the risk of having health problems as you get older. Starting a healthy living plan early sounds like a pretty good plan to me.

  • Anthony Davis

    I believe that majority of people are going through life and believing that everything is perfectly fine until something bad happens such as needing a surgery or having a heart attack. Nobody values their health until they feel the impact of their bad health options. I think that backing up is the worst part in life but if you are safe to begin with valuing healthy options backing up doesn’t have to happen as much.

  • FalkinerRR23

    I also agree that it is a lot easier said than done. We all know that fast food, processed food and pop is not good for our bodies but we don’t necessarily do a great job of changing our habits. We hear everyday that we should do some type of exercise and eat healthier but it just goes in one ear and out another.

  • Lindsey Kessler

    And it’s also hard for people to prevent something that we aren’t feeling now. If we’re feeling fine, we can’t imagine that grilled stuffed burito from T Bell will give us heart disease. We think our bodies are invincible. We also don’t see what the food we eat is doing to the insides of our bodies… out of sight, out of mind.

  • Kyle Gettelman

    One thing I would have to play devil’s advocate for here, is the fact that taking risk and giving in to chance, is one way to create a much HIGHER chance of backing up, but its those that have done a task, “backed up” (started over), done it again, and repeated the process many times, that have done such great wonders to this nation/world. Why is backing up looked at like it is such a bad thing. While going through some advanced tactic training with the service, shortly before my deployment, the biggest lesson I learned, and still live by today, was…”the WORST decision you can make, is NO decision.” Even though there may have been a better route, making any decision is better than not at all. We need to be able to understand that backing up is no bad thing. That we can look at it, as a learning experience for many new chances in life. One point on top of this I would like to point out, is that by backing up, once started, we get a new view on things. For some people in this world, it takes an extreme to get them to initiate, or move in a different direction. Those people would be lost, or stuck, without backing up. As much as I liked parts of this article, the general comment, (OVERALL) I would have to disagree with.

  • Radaya123

    You have to develop a new way of thinking, which is hard if you don’t know who you are, then change your health. The ultimate goal is to develop a healthy LIFESTYLE where one focus on preventive care.

  • Chelsea Haffele

    I agree that it isn’t all that expensive to eat healthy if you’re doing it right. Is a bag of apples really that much more than a bag of chips? No! It seems expensive because a lot of times we feel we have to buy both and buying the fruit on top of everything else we always buy is what is making it expensive.

  • afallon14

    I agree that it is a lot easier said than done. Being in college you don’t really think about what you’re eating because most people aren’t thinking about eating healthy because it is expensive. It was much easier to throw something in the microwave than to make a meal that is good for you. Knowing that we need to eat better and exercise is always in the back of peoples minds.

  • Anniep1023

    In all aspects of life, it is important to always move forward rather than backward. In terms of health and wellness, it is never too late to change your mindset and begin moving forward in a more positive and healthy lifestyle. By moving forward, you are better able to work towards your goals and will reach them sooner, compared to living an unhealthy lifestyle and moving father and father away from your goals.

  • mindhamrr11

    Interesting article. It’s very clever how you compared truck driving to a persons health, and I agree with the general idea of eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising in order to prevent future health problems.

  • MattDennert

    People might take this the wrong way when you say avoid getting sick they might think try and avoid every kind of sick not just the ones we can prevent.

  • Ashley Gardner

    This was a great comparison. I’ve seen from experience how unhealthy truck drivers can be. I would at a restaurant right off an express way, so a lot of my customers are truck drivers. They always seem to be ordering the worst things. I get it, who doesn’t crave junk food on road trips. I am guilty! But, after reading this article I will be packing my car with healthy snacks that will support my body, instead of putting it in reverse.

  • Anthony Davis

    I agree with you Eric, and I would also add highly caloric foods to the list with cigarettes and alcohol. Because individuals form habits over a lifetime I think that they have no reason to stop until something unfavorable happens and it is too late.

  • gaulrappkj17

    This article is interesting. There is no way to avoid getting sick sometimes, it just happens. In fact, life happens. What I want to know here is what can we do for ourselves and thus for others to make our health more of a priority?

  • RadebaugVP02

    I think we all need to plan. By this I mean plan ways to get around tough situations regarding your health before you are in them. If we plan we can know how to react the right way ahead of time. Knowing “backing up” is completely avoidable should be gift to us, it gives us the opportunity to not have regrets among other things.

  • Taysia Justus

    The comparison to the truck drivers is great. If you don’t get yourself into tight situations you won’t need to get yourself out (back up). Therefore if you’re eating healthy regularly, there will be no need to face illness later in the future.

  • mindhamrr11

    I think the idea of healthy eating should be done more importantly to avoid a lot of “backing up” later in life rather than as you are going through life. Eating healthy to avoid obesity and heart disease is more important to me than eating healthy for a strong immune system. I say this because sometimes you just can’t avoid getting sick just because you come across virus or you are extremely stressed from finals week. However, that doesn’t mean having a strong immune system isn’t important to me. During the winter when viruses are going around much more often, I like to take Emergen-C to boost my immune system and avoid “backing up.”

  • Emily Krueger

    I agree with your comment that we should all take as a learning and teaching moment in life. But most of the time people can not move forwards just fall into the trap of backing up because it easy and less painful.

  • BEATYSM25

    I think prevention is the key when it comes to health, and this article touches on exactly that! By laying a strong foundation, we will be able to build taller and stronger. And let’s face it, prevention is so much easier than “backing up” in the long run. It just takes effort, which I think is the kicker for many people. But if we invest in our health right now, we’ll be so much better off in the long run of life.

  • Dena Keizer

    I agree! We often only think about the present and what we eat today when really, we need to be consciously thinking about what healthy things we can consume that will benefit us in the future as well.

  • Dena Keizer

    I totally agree with you. Today’s American society is very much focused on bigger is better and not only does that include material luxuries but it also includes portion sizes. Many people, myself included try to fill up on food that isn’t always the best food for you. For instance, i LOVE my mom’s cheesy potato casserole so much that whenever she makes it i load up my plate with it but then always regret the amount food that i just shoveled into my mouth. It’s ok to eat a little bit unhealthy at times but those foods should be small portions and if you’re still hungry then you fill up on healthier things such as fruits and veggies. It’s all about knowing what the alternatives can be.

  • wegener61

    I completely agree, and I really like that “out of sight, out of mind” analogy. Too often we overestimate what our bodies can handle, and we fuel it with garbage that only detracts from what we could be accomplishing if we lead a healthy lifestyle.

  • SkylerZahner

    This is a really feel good article that is great motivation. I like how they compare healthiness to a truck driver and how to look forward to this healthiness and plan out your life accordingly.

  • JeremyWahl

    i agree with you but being a college student, you hardly look at what you are eating because you are always hungry and it is buffet style at the dining halls while it is sometimes expensive to buy your own food. there is always atleast one choice at the dining hall that is healthy but is usually not appetizing so the other food is what is always picked. The way i feel after eating junk food is horrible but when i eat clean and exercise i feel great.

  • Ryan Dow

    We very shortly talked about practicing various things. But after reading this example it showed the effects of practicing.

  • flaschbm09

    I totally agree with this! Recently I have had to deal with being sick and having to go to the doctor’s office. First I was having headaches, then it turned into laryngitis and well you get the point. I had to try to schedule these appointments around school and my internship, often finding myself having to leave early in order to get an appointment. Basically, I’m trying to say that no one ever really plans to get sick or realizes that the things they do will affect them later on. We need to change this mind set and start thinking about it more.

  • Elaminsj25

    I do think people, including myself, spend a lot of time undoing things that have already been done instead of trying to avoid things. It definitely would be good to get into the habit of doing all you can to avoid “backing up.” I will try to spend a bit more time “thinking like a truck driver” and hopefully this can improve my quality of life.

  • Jaglerjn22

    Of course it’s easier said than done. Even though we all subconsciously know that organic food, fruits and vegetables are better for us than junk food…it’s more expensive and less available. I think our society, especially nowadays, knows what they need to do…but with all of the poverty stricken states and cities, it’s easier to afford and just more convenient. It’s very sad…

  • Jaglerjn22

    I think that sometimes, it’s hard to avoid ‘backing up’. There are obviously some things that affect our lives that can’t be avoided and will require some backing up. But to prevent things that would require a little bit more backing up may take a little more work initially, but less time to take care of it after. Hopefully by thinking of things in a more positive manor and trying to avoid ‘backing up’ will help in the long run!

  • Jaglerjn22

    I wish it were easier and more convenient to eat healthy on campus. Like you said, there usually are one option or another that are healthy…but a lot of the times they aren’t as appealing! Which is sad…they should have more options that are healthier all around. I wish there were more appealing options on campus that aren’t as expensive either. The crap/junk food usually tends to be cheaper…which is sad!

  • Jaglerjn22

    I agree that planning is something that should be emphasized. By planning things out and avoiding certain situations could avoid issues in general. I hope that by learning these tips that I learn to do my best to avoid as much ‘backing up’ is, in all things!

  • ryanstorto

    This was a interesting comparison as I have never heard of anything like this. I like the phrase don’t back up because it helps you be healthier now which will make you healthier in the long run. It would be nice in the future though to look back and be proud of your past life choices rather than regretting them.

  • Michellelele123

    I feel like a hypocrite every time I eat junk but it is so cheap and it’s addictingggg! I did a 10 day no added sugar challenge and didn’t realize how sugar is basically a drug until that!

  • kwit21

    This is great. I would have never thought of how a truck driver could teach us about health. It is a great way to think about it. I agree too. We always want to keep moving forward usually as fast as we can. We can best do this is we take care of ourselves and prepare. When you do get stuck, it is never easy getting out, even more so if you have to go backwards to get out. I think to move forward more efficiently, we need to take care of ourselves to take care of the rest of the world.

  • Austin Jones

    this article has changed the way I view making small choices towards fitness. If health is something you truly want, you want to avoid backing up as much as possible. addictive behaviors can be hard to kick sometimes, but if we dont start them in the first place, we’ll never have to back up

  • barema28

    Backing up a car is hard, I cant even imagine backing up a semi-truck. Trying to avoid it would be the best option and thats why I really liked this post. Yes, somethings happen even if you are healthy. But most sicknesses that happen, can be avoiding by simply getting enough sleep and eating well.

  • Jaglerjn22

    I can’t imagine doing that and how difficult it must have been! You pick something up from the store…and oh, can’t eat it! Sugar is a drug and it’s in sooooo many of the foods we eat. I wish the cheap and addicting stuff would be more expensive…being a college student, I probably wouldn’t buy it then if it were more expensive than healthy food! Because if it were more expensive…why would I pay more to poison my body?

  • Michellelele123

    I only lasted 9 out of the 10 days but u wouldn’t believe what has added sugar! Canned vegetables, whole grain bread, plain bran cereals, even the “healthy” yogurt has up to 26 grams a cup!!! It was so hard and now I’m so aware of all the sugar even though I continue to eat it :/ and to answer your question about paying more to poisen your body, sugar is a drug and so addicting so even if prices went up I’d probably cave and still buy it! Haha

  • Jaglerjn22

    I still give you props for attempting that! I wouldn’t even know where to begin! I mean…I know it’s in a lot of things, but I wouldn’t even think about those things that you named. Crazy! And oh don’t worry, I would still definitely cave to buy the poisoning foods for my body too…they just taste so good!

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    Great post! I agree with this because when you are already busy with many things going on, getting sick and falling behind is the exact opposite of where you’ll want to be. We need to realize that our bodies can only handle so much until we end up getting sick.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I love this article! I never thought of actually avoiding illness through a healthy lifestyle. When I workout and eat healthy I always aim it toward having a good body, but this has opened my eyes to the bigger picture. There are so many benefits from living a healthy lifestyle that should really make me want to put down the cheeseburger. When it comes to a company or being hired, they do not want an employee who is always sick all the time even if they do spend long hours at the office, because what good does a sick employee do.

  • Michellelele123

    Have you ever thought about trying the challenge? Even just for 3 or 5 days? My class tried it after watching the film Fed Up!

  • Jaglerjn22

    I will definitely look into it! I haven’t thought about it until now… I’ve heard of other attempts that people have done to eliminate other types of food/harmful things in their diets, but never actually partook in them!

  • Michellelele123

    For me, honestly, being in college right now, going out and drinking was the hardest thing to stay clear of. I ended up going out one night and ordering vodka-waters and adding a bunch of lemons and limes to it….normally I would order it with juice or soda, so I was cutting out over 100 calories per drink plus any added sugar, but the vodka shot calories alone still add up haha

  • Katie Germain

    I definitely agree with this! As college students we believe that our bodies can handle anything. We buy foods that are convenient to make, not realizing how unhealthy they are, and we usually just buy whatever is cheapest at the store. I think we need to start realizing that our bodies are all we have and we need to have healthier mindsets.

  • Jaglerjn22

    That’s impressive! And very smart…there are the little things that we can do in order to cut back on our sugar intake. It doesn’t even have to deal with drinking…however that is a good example. Soda, candy, cookies, and even juice are things that I know I am guilty of that I don’t NEED but I enjoy them…I wish I didn’t, and I know if I cut these out I would feel better about myself.

  • Michellelele123

    Doing this challenge made me especially start paying super close attention to labels and make small changes…such as instead of buying any pasta sauces I cut up and steam tomatoes and other veggies as the sauce to whole grain noodles!

  • McKenzie Foster

    This article makes some good points, you can’t control everything in life. There will be times in life where shitty things happen such as illnesses and accidents that are not always preventable BUT there are things in life that we can do to take precautions and prevent those unfortunate events from happening. Instead of staying up late at night watching that one more episode on netflix, go to sleep so you can be well rested for tomorrow and eat your fruits and veggies to gain a healthy immune system. Im not saying that you will absolutely not get sick by doing these habits but it sure will give you a lesser chance of getting sick or having an accident.

  • Jaglerjn22

    I am sure that is a very good way to take baby steps! That sounds amazing! And I’m sure it’s great knowing what all goes into your food instead of guessing on what some ingredients in a container of sauce might be! Little tips like these will make all the difference once they become second nature! Can’t wait to start trying some of these ideas you’ve given me!

  • Austin Jones

    I thought about my bod in the same way you did Sam! wow working out and eating healthy has so many perks, not being sick is a huge one for me! i hate being sick, it makes me want to do absolutely nothing. I never want to be that employee that is known for being sick either!

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing! I agree that while there are many things with our health we can’t avoid, there are even more things we can avid experiencing. We seem to always get caught up looking for things to do for our health that we end up falling into the trap of taking lots of risks. People think that there’s some secret formula to have a healthy lifestyle. It’s really not as hard as people think. One of the easiest steps people can make is, like you said, do the little things that help prevent backing up. It will only lead to you (and your health) moving forward.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! We always hear the saying of doing things in moderation. We then often get caught in the situation of having many unhealthy things in moderation. You are right in the fact that it is hard to see things ahead of them happening to us. This is one of the keys, however, in not backing up. If we can make this difficult yet impactful change, our health will greatly improve. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! People know that certain things aren’t good for them, but they think that if they only do it once or a few times that it won’t affect them. This is a trap that many of us fall into, because it usually leads to us doing those unhealthy behaviors more often. It is challenging to do, but if we can catch ourselves before we fall into this trap, we can turn healthy behaviors into healthy habits. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! Many people don’t realize that being healthy and in shape helps us with more than just looking good. We feel better mentally and, like you said, can avoid sickness more often than others. When we put our health into context, it can be a lot easier to say no to unhealthy behaviors. Once we realize the things we can avoid from staying healthy, it doesn’t seem that hard of a thing to pursue. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! Avoiding the things that cause us to back up can be very challenging to do. However, if we don’t realize the benefits of avoiding those things, improving our health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will only get further away for us to achieve. Making that difficult choice to kick those addictive behaviors might be the most important one we can make for our health and for our lives. Thanks for sharing!

  • HutsonZW

    I agree with this, America is all about choosing what is easier not what is more healthy, fast food is a major contributing factor in this. It doesn’t help that some people this is how they have grown up or that this is the only way people can get food.

  • purperoar21

    I love this analogy, what I’ve gathered so far in my health promotion classes is that prevention is the root of promoting health. Focus less on how to undo something but rather set them up to take pride in what they do and not regret it or suffer the consequences. What people consider to be “undoing” something is likely to not be as effective as not doing it in the first place. Prime example would be the Cinnabon, some people feel as though their intentions lack flaw because they plant to undo it by working out later. When really, their method of redemption doesn’t suffice or make up for the damage that has been done. Very insightful and creative way to look at health promotion.

  • Much like many of your other articles, this hits home for EVERYONE. You can’t change the world from a hospital bed the same way as you would if you were well and actively trying to. The world is filled with too much uncertainty to take a chance on things that you know little about, like processed foods and dyed drinks. I agree, individual health is a vital part of changing the world.

  • The odds have ALWAYS been against us! Back in the day, it was either you had food or you didn’t. Either you had clean food and water or you didn’t! Now, we have an ABUNDANCE of food and very few healthy choices.

  • Everything adds up. But don’t just think about the calories, think about how every aspect of those drinks affect your body. It’s really easy to blow it off if you don’t notice immediate affects.

  • Julia

    I like the statement, “I’m not saying devote half-of your day to health, I’m saying create a fabric of health in your life.” I think this is a good way to put everything. Individuals that could care less about their health usually care less because they don’t want to give up that Cinnabon their eating. They don’t want to give up something good all the time, but health isn’t about doing it all the time. It’s about doing everything in moderation. Do you really want that Cinnabon? Fine, eat that Cinnabon, but 1. know the consequences of eating it day after day and 2. remember to consume junk food in moderation.

  • Warhawk88

    This is an awesome article Ann! I was pleasantly surprised to see it was you at the bottom of the article. With every health class that i take i become more and more conscious about what i am feeding to my body. Lately i have been trying to really distance myself from junk food. I have never been a huge soda drinker so i never had to give that up. People always think about health with the state they are currently in. Smokers will say, “Well they havent killed me yet haha”. Well that quote may be true but i dont think they will be laughing when they develop a cancer or have their throat operated on. I really like the the idea here to avoid backing up. You never know what health issues you might run into throughout your life, but id rather have some control over the ones that we can control than choose not to.

  • Warhawk88

    I definitely agree. We need to start teaching our younger generation the importance of their health. If we can get them on board with living a healthier lifestyle we can get back them back on the right track. You only get one body in this world and they need to take care of it. Life is a precious thing and not a lot of people understand that until its too late.

  • Warhawk88

    I’ve been told over and over again, why put a price on your health? Go ahead and put a price on anything else you want to in this world but the absolute last thing you should ever do put a price on is your health. I love that mentality. It has definitely worked out for me!

  • Ashleigh Hartlaub

    Focusing on the don’t back up method is awesome! People would rather think go forward in their earlier years because they think they are invincible. But they don’t realize that then in the later years they will be more focused on not backing up that they will fall over from all the health issues they could have prevented. Sneaking in health isn’t hard and I have even been able to do it in college.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I usually go to the doctor only when I am really sick. I need to invest more time taking care of myself. I’m trying to cut out the red bull and the chewing tobacco. I’ve realized that it is important to making better choices, because it will ultimately affect my future. When I’m feeling down about myself or just about ready to give up, I just try to take one day at a time. I just try to change one thing that I am unhappy with. It’s important to move forward and get yourself out of a tight spot, just like a truck driver. Making life changes that will benefit your health and well being is extremely important.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I am guilty of making poor choices when it comes to food. It’s easy to run through the drive thru. I feel bad about it, because I know that I would feel better if I just made a meal at home. I always make excuses that I don’t have enough time to make a lunch or eat dinner when I get home. I’m trying to get better about eating 3 meals a day and not skipping out. I am also trying to take action with my health. I only have one life to live so it’s important to go to the doctor yearly (not when your sick), make better choices, and don’t take any short cuts when it comes to eating healthy.

  • CPanella1

    I agree that in order to make a change you have to have a severe incident happen to stop that change. Could be as simple as one time I threw up a Hershey’s bar after eating it so now I won’t eat them anymore or as devastating as my aunt needing surgery on her lungs and arteries to get her to stop smoking cigarettes. If she could have found a reason to stop beforehand she wouldn’t have had to go through the surgeries possibly. We may not be able to prevent everything, but we sure don’t eat and act like we even try to stop it.

  • Will Ettl

    I believe that as a college student we are all focused on getting good grades rather than whether or not we are sick or not. We care about studying super late and waking up early and not getting our sleep. But in reality we all need to focus on what is happening to our body rather than just giving up on it. Even though we need to study and we also need to realize what we are doing to our body at the same time

  • Alex Marski

    I do the same thing! as being a college student when you go out it is hard not to drink and enjoy the night with your friends. even though it doesn’t taste good ordering a vodka water and adding lemons and stuff like that compared to a vodka red bull. You cut out so many calories each drink and it adds up over night and not to add you feel much better in the morning without sucking down sugar all night.

  • Nathan Tessar

    I agree with that too. It is easier said than done. Diabetes is increasing each day and I believe we have the mind set of “its never going to happen to me” but in all reality it can easily happen to anyone of us if we continue to eat and drink as badly as we do these days. Teaching the youth as we grow and learn more about these struggles this is key for the future.

  • Michellelele123

    Yes I definitely noticed that too, no sugar crashes!

  • maxfunny

    It is easier said then done but it is hard to not just grab a go bag of chops and a soda. I try to use the saying I want to be…. I found if I ever find myself with a hard decision with a easy answer I ask myself that and find out it is easier to do it with a goal on mind.

  • Leah Renee

    Most people don’t prioritize health until they are sick. I am one of them. I didn’t care about taking care of body until my body gave out. Even now, when I’m feeling great, it’s so easy to forget how quickly it can change. It’s not easy to make sleeping, eating healthy, and exercising our top priorities but they need to be because without them we are constantly backing up.

  • Emily Krueger

    I agree with the article comment that we should all take as a learning and teaching moment in life. But most of the time people can not move forwards just fall into the trap of backing up because it easy and less painful. Overall, just try to forgive and forget about the old issues in life.

  • Paige Cuchna

    So simply said but like you said its true. Eat healthy, be active, exercise don’t sit on the couch and eat a bag of potato chips. Treat your body the right way before anything serious happens! i know injuries and sickness isnt always preventable but someone that eats mcdonalds rather than veggies has a much higher chance of getting sick.

  • Marlee Williams

    It’s so true that we can make so many choices to prevent getting sick or ending up in the hospital. Eating healthy and getting enough sleep may sound like hard things to do, but it’s actually REALLY easy once you start making the effort to do it because you realize how much better you feel. I used to stay up super late watching Netflix and then I’d be tired all day. Once I started going to bed at a decent time and getting more sleep every night, my life changed. I could be so much more productive every day because I wasn’t constantly nodding off or wasting time on naps.

  • Marlee Williams

    It’s so unfortunate that usually something bad has to happen for a person to realize they should stop a bad habit. Life would be much easier if people realized this before getting sick, needing surgery, etc. My friend has Type I diabetes and when she started college, she took terrible care of herself. She drank all the time and didn’t check her blood sugar as often as she should have. Her blood sugar ended up being severely high one night when she was out drinking and she ended up in the hospital. It just sucks that that had to happen for her to realize that she needed to start taking better care of herself.

  • Marlee Williams

    My mom actually makes an amazing cheesy potatoes as well and I hate that something so unhealthy tastes so unbelievably good! But I agree 100% that we need to watch our portion sizes. Fast food restaurants do not help with this at all. They offer HUGE portions of high calorie, unhealthy foods so it’s up to us to realize we can’t be eating this all the time.

  • Marlee Williams

    It sucks that the unhealthy stuff is so much faster and easier to grab than healthy foods. Like you said, it’s way easier to grab a bag of chips and a soda than it is to bake chicken in the oven and steam vegetables on the stove. It’s up to us to realize that even though eating healthy takes more time and effort, it’s worth it in the end because it will be adding years onto our lives.

  • Marlee Williams

    That was a really good idea to order vodka waters instead of vodka with a juice that’s really high in sugar. One night my friends and I researched the lowest calorie drinks to try to make better choices when we do go out once in a while.

  • flaschbm09

    Taking it one day at a time is a good thing to do. I know that I often forget to do that and just let things and stress pile up. I often tell other people to just take a deep breath but I tend to forget to do that myself.

  • Desiree

    never thought of health that way, I really liked it and I agree we just have to push ourselves forward instead of getting stuck when backing up. its hard too at the same time because many people find it hard to move forward, they may think that backing up is the easier way out but I feel like people need the extrA push

  • maxfunny

    I have found that in order to really get your nutrition you have to really set about a hour or two a day inprder to prep you own food to stop grabbing what’s fast and eat what’s good.

  • Thumbs_up

    Great! It is possible to reduce our chances of getting sick changing very small habits which we have in our day. Change it and do not change back.

  • Paige Cuchna

    Ive never thought about ordering water instead of juice or even pop which is so much worse. Vodka alone has a lot of calories and adding a drink high in sugar is not going to help.

  • Michellelele123

    What did you guys find when you researched it?

  • Tyler Hebert

    I enjoyed listening to the story in class about Ann vomiting on her EMT. Definitely one of the stories to remember. I think making a schedule for every week is one of those best ways to create a healthier life style. Making a schedule will help you get 8 hours of sleep, make sure you are eating three meals a day, and getting stuff done when it should be getting done. When people are living healthy lifestyles and being productive, they are less stressed and they are happier with life.

  • Brady

    Very funny, yet spot on metaphors. The comparisons can’t help but attain a laugh and truthfulness. Always remember to not back up, and learn from your mistake if you ever do.

  • Brady

    Careful saying highly caloric foods. All depends what kind of food, and in what moderation. I definitely agree though about everything else.

  • kolinjk29

    I agree with your comment here. Moving on from my past mistakes is very hard to do, but once you do it is a huge accomplishment and you will feel much better about yourself. Trying to avoid backing up is a great idea, yet very difficult to do. It is something that is sometimes hard to avoid. I also agree with you that backing up is easy to do if you are prepared for it. It’s interesting what our health means to us and how much it cost to be and stay healthy. This is a issue that people need to realize and start taking more seriously. It will greatly benefit you in the long run. Great points!

  • kolinjk29

    I agree with you here. As a future educator I want to prioritize health in the classes that I will teach. Getting the message out early to children will help practice healthy lifestyles for lifelong success. So many schools are cutting back on health and P.E classes which is ridiculous. If anything schools should be offering more classes that incorporate exercise.

  • kgonyo

    It may seem obvious to eat well and exercise regularly, but many people still choose not to do it. One of the points that stuck with me was the idea that so many illnesses and injuries can occur accidentally, so why don’t we take more care to prevent the ones that we can prevent?

  • Tyler Mueller

    I never thought of it this way, but it completely makes sense! I remember the first time I had to try backing our boat into the water and it was extremely hard to do that so I couldn’t imagine doing it with an even bigger truck! The saying of this blog makes perfect sense though and that is to do things the easy way first so we don’t have to pack pedal. A good example of this is eating healthy now because once you start eating shitty it is extremely hard to change. On top of that the health consequences you will be stuck to face will make it even harder. The same goes for exercise. If you exercise at a young age you will probably stick with it throughout your life. If your a person who liked to make excuses at a young age you probably will continue to make them throughout your life. The main message everyone needs to get here is to take the easy way out, and try not to back your self into the corner early in life!

  • Steven Hass

    The title definitely drew me in. It was a very interesting read and your stories are pretty hilarious. Besides that, it still has a very strong core message. Treat your body right, and you won’t have set backs.

  • Steven Hass

    I totally agree. Sadly, most of the time it does take a bad event or scare to get someone to rethink what they are doing. We’ve all seen it from people in our lives, and by that time it is too late.

  • Steven Hass

    Absolutely right. I think the hard part is trying to get people to actually realize what they are doing is not good. Often times with younger adults we think that we are invincible to the hazards and that we will just deal with them at a later time.

  • Steven Hass

    I agree, and I think that how people grew up is a whole different problem, and would take some looking into to see how to fix that problem. There are so many factors that play against us, it is very hard to stay on the right path of health.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I love this article. People always say to treat others the way your would be treated i love the way Ann puts it and says treat your body like you would treat your dog. You wouldn’t feed your dog cinnibon why would you eat it. We have to stand behind our choices and live with them.

  • Jpl89

    Every time I find my self in a bad situation that is worth reflecting on, I usually m able to identify a few things that I could have done to prevent the situation, and how easy it would have been to just take those few extra steps to avoid disaster. That show I feel right now trying to write all 70 of these blogs before midnight…I could have avoided this disaster.

  • BEATYSM25

    I agree with you. Oftentimes I think the hardest part is getting somebody to recognize they need to make a change. Habits become so ingrained, and people may not even know how good they could feel in comparison to their current state. Unless people recognize a change needs to be made and are willing to make it, we as future health care professionals cannot make them change.