PRITIKIN PROGRAM TO STAY FIT AND SLIM: TAKING STOCK AND SETTING GOALS
Pretend you're the manager of a general store. It's the end of a busy Thursday and sales have been brisk all week. You check to see how much flour you've got left, how many carrots and potatoes - are you getting low? Better order some more stationery and notebooks, too - those last three customers nearly cleared you out. What are you doing? Taking inventory, what any smart businessperson does to make sure things run smoothly. There's a good chance you do the same thing at work: You keep track of what you need, what you're about to run out of, what you've got plenty of at the moment.
So why not do the same for yourself - why not take stock of your health in the same way? You can start by determining how long it's been since you had a complete checkup - including a blood test that told you your cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels. How much of the "good" (HDL) cholesterol do you have and how much of the "bad" (LDL)? Are you experiencing excess stress? Can you identify what's causing it? Are you tired, do you get headaches, are you irritable? Do you usually rush through meals and "grab a bite" without thinking about (or really enjoying) what you're eating? Are you sleeping well? Do you get enough exercise?
Out of all this should come a pretty clear picture, as well as an equally clear idea of what you might need to do about it! But remember, that doesn't mean that if you finally acknowledge you've got to lose 20 pounds you should agonize over the fact that you can't lose them instantly. Setting a goal is its own particular triumph; achieving the goal is another kind, one that always takes time, perseverance, and patience. Don't expect the impossible. Do, however, expect the possible - which may turn out, especially on the Pritikin program, to be miraculous enough!
To make things easier, we've put all our suggestions for monitoring your progress into one quick-glance chart. On the left you'll find methods to monitor blood pressure, exercise, blood values, and weight; in the center, indications of what "on track" and "off track" mean; and finally, on the right, what to do to get back on track if you've gone off. Refer to this whenever you take your good-health inventory.