For a common sense approach to changing your physical, financial and emotional health, “Should I Fire My Doctor: Eleven Essential Elements to Living WELL Aware,” by Patricia J. Sulak, M.D., is an easy-to-read book packed with the wisdom of the ages.
The book’s introduction gets right to the core of the question when Dr. Sulak writes, “Should you fire your doctor or primary care provider? This is a legitimate question. Is your doctor (MD, DO), nurse practitioner (NP), or physician assistant (PA) maximizing your health or doing no more than simply diagnosing and treating disease?”
Sulak, an internationally recognized physician, researcher and medical school professor with more than 100 medical articles under her belt, attempts to answer these questions and wrote this book based on her presentations on Living WELL Aware.
But be prepared. Sulak pulls no punches. She is passionate and direct with her readers and doesn’t talk about anything that all of us haven’t experienced in our lives at one time or another. With each turn of the page a light bulb goes off as the reader feels a connection to her words. Sometimes the realization sends tremors to our sedentary lives of denial, but her words are a wake-up call for everyone ready to make a change.
Dr. Sulak said she was inspired to write the book because of the many requests she received from her conference attendees. “People wanted a book. They wanted to know ‘where are the things’ I talked about in the conference,” she said.
With her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Waxman’s, encouragement she took on the challenge and completed the book in 2013.
In her book, she wants her readers to know there is a choice, a way to live a healthy lifestyle which could decrease the amount of medication a person takes, or eliminate it all together in some cases.
“We can’t always control what is put on our plates, but we can take ownership of whatever happens to us through mindfulness,” Dr. Sulak said.
“Should I Fire My Doctor,” illustrates 11 essential elements for living in today’s fast-paced, technological society. But Dr. Sulak is quick to say, “One size does not fit all.”
“What works for one person might not work for another,” she said.
Dr. Sulak’s book reaches out to everyone, healthy or unhealthy, but is especially a guide book to those suffering from what she calls “self-induced” diseases such as obesity, Type II diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle diseases.
“Obesity leads to hypertension, diabetes, stroke, degenerative joint disease and surgery,” she said, passionately. “We are keeping the medical profession in business, and some people end up in a nursing home.”
Sulak said smoking is still the No. 1 killer of Americans, but it is predicted to be supplanted by a sedentary lifestyle, “which leads to obesity.”
Through her 11 Essential Elements, Dr. Sulak discusses what we need to do to have a fuller, healthier and happier life. It’s important to know, however, that Sulak didn’t always follow this advice and admits to indulgent behavior such as poor eating habits.
“My typical diet was Mexican food, pizza, sandwiches, and I skipped breakfast,” she said.
She shared this lifestyle with her husband, and together they decided to live their lives well and aware and began an exercise routine that includes Yoga for balance and flexibility, and learning how to eat healthy.
Her book not only discusses the physical health side of living well, but also the emotional. Her 11 Essential Elements for Living WELL Aware are:
1. Normal Numbers Now, referring to blood pressure, cholesterol values, fasting blood sugar and ideal body weight.
2. Critique Caloric Consumption.
3. Make Movement Mandatory.
4. Address Adverse Addictions/Halt Harmful Habits.
5. Meticulously Manage Money and Minutes.
6. Graciously Give our Gifts.
7. Forgive: Family Friends, Foes and Ourselves.
8. Passionately Pursue Purpose and Priorities.
9. Stifle Stress/Sever Suffering.
10. Periodically Pause, Ponder, Plan and Pray.
11. Seek and Secure Support.
“The things I talk about are applicable to everyone; the physically fit or those with self-induced disease,” Dr.Sulak said, adding. “People are meant to move. But you don’t need supplements or exercise equipment or be a member of a gym. You don’t have to kill yourself trying to be healthy.”