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Restaurants – They don’t care about your health. They don’t want you to live long. They just want you to live long enough to come back. If you are eating out, you are guaranteed to be taking in more fat, salt and sugar – sometimes all at once and all in a gut-busting amount of calories. It takes a lot of energy and education to eat a healthy meal out. A simple salad can have more fat than a hamburger. And how are you to know? And even if you manage to get something that is lower in fat, getting something low(er) in salt is impossible. After all, no respectable cook will make anything without salt. 

Gyms – They are perfectly happy taking your money month after month despite the fact that you never use it. Each January, the regular crowd of gym-goers endure the (temporary) influx of new gym members. But it need only be endured for a short time. We know full well that by the time February ends, you will no longer be in our parking spots or taking up our machines. But the gym will continue drawing your money.

Health Insurances – Don’t believe the ads that say they care about you and your family’s health. They are for-profit for a reason. They only care about their shareholders – and that is not you. If they do act like they care about your health, it is because it helps their bottom line. HMO? PPO? POS? Deductible? Copay? Coinsurance? This is what I do for a living and I barely understand my own health insurance. 

Banks – Really? Do I need to explain this one? Banks take your money, invest it in the stock market and make more money. So why leave your money in the bank? Stop giving them your savings so they can make more money and offer you nothing in return. Learn the basics of investing and put your money in a mutual fund instead.

Food Companies – They put their lies right on their food labels. Don’t believe them. Gluten-free popcorn? All popcorn is naturally gluten-free. Lower salt ketchup? Still with way too much salt; lower is not the same as low. They are downright deceptive and it is difficult to cut through their BS. Instead, read “Nutrition Action”, the health letter from CSPI, a nonprofit organization devoted to truthful information on the foods we eat. Their articles on falsehoods in labeling and advertising are eye-opening. 

Yourself? – Stop calling yourself stupid, fat, ugly, or any other negative word. Stop concentrating on your deficiencies and all the ways you do not measure up. Stop looking back at your past and all the things you did that you can no longer change. Stop being your own greatest enemy. The world is hard enough without you standing in front of a mirror circling all the parts you hate. In a world full of things that don’t love you, this is the one you can control. The one you should control. Of all the things that don’t love you, you should be the one thing that does. Unconditionally. Flaws and all.

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