Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning

Don’t you wish it was always that easy?  Taking a pill and your problem is solved?  Maybe in 30 minutes…or 7 days.  Presto-change-o: fill the prescription, take the medicine.  And you’re all better.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

If only it were that simple.

Even medicine doesn’t always work that way.  I’m sure we’ve all had situations where we tried one medicine and it didn’t work.  So we had to try another – maybe even a third – before one did the trick.

What about other types of prescriptions?  Like, say, diet?  People say it’s a simple matter of making sure calories out are greater than calories in.  And that certainly helps.  But really it’s not as simple as all that.  Why?

  1. Calories are not all created equal. Sugar and other simple carbohydrates that turn to sugar quickly actually can cause your body to create fat stores to try and absorb the blood sugar spike.  So, your body deals with different types of calories differently.
  2. Our bodies are not created equal. Each person has unique DNA that deals with fat, protein, and carbohydrates differently.  Thus, a nutrition plan that works for one person will not necessarily work for another.

What does this have to do with you?  What if you’re not sick or on a diet?  Why should you care?

Well, because we all sometimes wish we could simply follow a magic formula to solve whatever problem we’re facing.  A prescription.  And the internet is filled with people promising all kinds of instant results – if only you buy whatever they’re selling.

Are you old enough to remember that powdered stuff called “Instant Breakfast”?  You mixed it with milk and drank it instead of making and eating a regular breakfast.  It came in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and egg nog flavor.  It was filled with chemicals and sugar, and tasted totally fake.  (Of course I liked it as a kid.)  It promised instant results, and didn’t really deliver.  But it WAS faster, I’ll give you that.

Prescriptions are so tempting, aren’t they?  It’s easier to take a pill.  Buy a lottery ticket.  Whip breakfast up in the blender.  It takes more work to live a healthy life, earn money, and make your own food.

But as easy as the instant method might be, how much more rewarding is it to put in the work?  And how much more likely are you to have a positive result?

In Episode 073, we explored the difference between a plan and a prescription.  Prescriptions are great for repeatable events.  Like, you have strep throat, so you take an anti-biotic.  You can follow them blindly, even mindlessly, at times.  They don’t require the same amount of work.

The problem is they’re not so great where analysis is involved.  Experimentation.  Variability.  That’s where you need a somewhat loose plan.  It’s also where you need to concentrate, commit, and put in the work it takes to figure it out as you go.

Don’t drink chemicals to save time.  Don’t buy a lottery ticket when you could be working.  And don’t use a prescription when you really need a plan.  One that works with who you are and want to be.

Is there a situation in your life right now where you’ve been looking for a prescription and really need a plan? Share with the community and we can brainstorm what it could look like.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Hi Kathleen, no need for a plan at present, but I just had to comment on Instant Breakfast. Chocolate! Memories are flooding back—nothing to do with your point, but a delight on a Friday afternoon after a long week. Thanks for priming my pump! :)

    • Too funny, Laurie! My sister was the chocolate fan. I liked egg nog myself. And it probably was the most fake of all! Glad the memory gave you a good break, especially after the tragedy near you. My prayers go out to you all as you try and make sense of something that frankly doesn’t.