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Be In Control

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Be In Control



In the lyrics of Janet Jackson’s “Control” song;

This is story about control
My control, Control of what I say
Control of what I do
And this time I'm gonna do it my way
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do
Are we ready?
I am 'Cause it's all about control,
And I've got lots of it


Just like Janet Jackson, most of us hate being told what to do?  As a kid sometimes I was rebellious and would scratch and claw when ordered around.  As an adult whether you are at work or at play when someone ask you to do something you really don’t want to do (like your trainer), it takes a conscious act of will to smile and say, “sure, I’ll get going on that right now, I’ll give you 2 more burpees.”

All of our lives involve a certain amount of following orders regardless of who we are or what we do. The thing about being told what to do is that it gets to the core of what everybody fights against, being controlled.  If you are doing what someone else wants, you are relinquishing control over your own actions to that person.  We do this all the time as part of the social order, to maintain peace, get things done, support the status quo etc.  Have you ever been in public and witnessed a kid throw a temper tantrum over a piece of candy and in order to get the kid to stop crying the parent will give in and give them the candy? This is another form of control. But the question is who is controlling whom, is the parent gaining control over the child by giving the candy or is the child controlling the parent by crying until he gets the candy.  Control is subjective depending on the circumstances. And both parties may feel as if they have control over the situation which is ideal.

In the context of medicine, control is at the center of what frustrates doctors and patients alike.  At the doctor-patient level the doctor wants the patient to do one thing and the patient wants the doctor to do something.  Hopefully they are on the same page or even in the same vicinity, if not somebody has to relinquish control. Are you willing to relinquish control? Because in most cases the doctor is looking out for your best health interests and by not allowing that control you could be putting your health at risk.

Your doctor can say, “I want you to start taking this blood pressure medication,” but what he is really saying is, “Do this, you don’t have a choice!”

If you do it, that is, if you fill the prescription and do as “directed”, you relinquish a little control to him for the benefit of your health.  If on the other hand you have no intention of doing what the doctor says, you maintain control at the expense of your health, but the doctor must now accept the fact that he doesn’t have any control over you and come to some understanding over how you can work together.  Doctor-patient relationships often fail because the doctor or the patient do not seek to share or relinquish control.

For years as a trainer I was adamant about clients doing it my way, you HAD to follow a meal plan, you HAD to do PT test, you HAD to have a body scan. I knew all these things would benefit you and help you achieve your goals much faster.  However, overtime, I came to the realization that everyone is different, we are all at different points in our lives.  Our minds may not be open or ready to do one or all those things, with each person having their own various reasons. I find that when you allow people full control and let them make decisions over their life with regard to their health and fitness, they either see that their way is not working and is preventing them from achieving their goals, or they realize I hired a professional to help me and I will allow them to give me the knowledge I need to achieve my goals.

Quick story. Many of you saw the post of Britney’s before and after. Britney started this year intermittent fasting and doing the Keto diet at the same time. I didn’t approve and expressed this to her however I didn’t make her feel bad for her choices. I told her I would support what she was doing as she followed those plans. Britney strayed often from the diet like most people do, but then she had a health scare which resulted in her landing in an emergency room. She confided in me, she stopped all the dieting and stayed consistent.  As a result, Britney has dropped several clothes sizes, made red team (our most athletic team), her health issues are under control, her skin is clearer, and she is the happiest I have seen her since I met her years ago. Britney keeps me on speed dial when she is at restaurants and is tempted to indulge in a not so healthy choice. I literally will talk her of the edge until her healthy choice of food has arrived.  She is now being asked by all her friends, “what are you doing, you look amazing?” Britney is truly in Control!

When the balance of power shifts too much in one direction people start to feel that control has been lost.  Frustration and burnout are the result.  Patients feel the same way when they must enter the health care system because of illness or injury.  They feel carried away by the grinding gears of testing, imaging, and treatment without any sense of control over what is happening to their own bodies.

When it comes to your health you have FULL control until you start to neglect and abuse your body. The majority of us are born with no health issues. We often go through our teen years abusing our bodies with of junk food, as a young adult we might party a lot, incorporating drugs and/or alcohol, or sleepless nights studying.  By the time we reach adulthood scary diagnoses may pop up such as “PRE” high blood pressure, PRE- high cholesterol and the most common PRE diabetic. These are warning signs, saying, either change your eating habits and or your sedentary/reckless lifestyle or else someone (the healthcare system) will be in control of your life. In order to make our health system better and working for us, we must start realizing that as human beings who like to be in control, often we will work with others who like to have control. Figure out which systems work best when you listen to yourself or others.  To be the best and healthiest, we must listen to our trainers, healthcare providers and most of all we must listen to our bodies. No Mess

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