The One Car Theory

If you’re like most Americans, your diet and lifestyle habits are not as healthy as they could be. And if you’re like most Americans, you are more concerned about the needs of today than the state of your health five or ten or twenty years from now.

You can abuse your body up to age 35. After that, it abuses you.
Chinese proverb

Far too many diseases and health challenges are predictable and self-imposed. I’ve talked to so many people who are suffering today because they didn’t think their bad lifestyle habits would ever catch up to them. If you’re in need of a wake-up call, here’s a great one from Dr. Doug Graham:


What if you only had one car? It would be issued to you by the government when you turned eighteen. Any automobile of your choice. That auto would be your only auto and would have to last you for an entire lifetime. If it wore out, it could not be replaced. Once gone, you would be reduced to other methods of getting around, or borrowing rides from other people. One car and only one for your whole life.

Would you take care of your car or would you abuse it? Would you change the oil regularly, keep it clean, park it in a garage? Of course you would take the best care you possibly could of your vehicle. No going out to the drag races on Friday night. Only premium fuel for your motor. Tune-ups, antifreeze, lubrications, maintenance, always you would choose nothing but the best for your automobile.

Would you let your auto sit idly for a year? Never. Would you push it to the limits to find out how fast it could go, or what the roughest terrain is that it could possibly handle? Absolutely not. If you were given only one car for a lifetime of use, it is clear that you would never abuse it, you would always take the best care of it you possibly could. You would provide all the necessary maintenance and care your car needed and deserved. Right?

What if you only had one body?

Yes, the thought of overhauling your diet may feel overwhelming but remember the old saying, “If there is no change, then there is no change.” If you want your health and your quality of life to significantly improve, then you must make some fundamental changes to create that new reality. The key words are “quality of life.” Lifestyle changes are less about future health than about improving the quality of your daily life right now.

Your health is an aggregate effect of both your good habits and your bad habits. If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly, good for you. But don’t kid yourself that you’re going to come anywhere close to optimal results if you also have a bacon double cheeseburger every week and down a candy bar every afternoon. Yes, incorporating healthy habits certainly helps. But if you don’t also eliminate the bad ones, all you’re doing is slowing down the ongoing accumulation of toxins that have been building up in your body for years.

When it comes to food choices, there is no right or wrong; there are only consequences. If you choose to eat T-bone steaks, double-cheese pepperoni pizzas and hot fudge sundaes, that doesn’t make you a bad person. However, because we live in a cause-and-effect world, eating that way will probably make you feel nauseous and bloated and predispose you to illness. Simply put, whatever you put in your mouth leads to certain inevitable consequences. However, if you choose to accept those consequences, it’s nobody else’s business.

Be kind to yourself and take all the time you need to gradually make better and healthier choices. Your body is an amazing work of art. It has an intelligence all its own and is constantly struggling and striving to maintain optimal health. Do what you can today to make its job that much easier.

If you do not take care of your body, where do you plan to live?


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4 Responses to “The One Car Theory”

  1. ArrVee Says:

    all too often we disregard the operating instructions of the Maker, until it is too late. By then, our warranty period has already expired, and we are already in maintenance mode, which will cost us more. This especially applies to the “engine” of our body – our soul. We should feed it only with the high-quality fuel of positive thoughts and goodwill, and protect it from contaminants that can make it clog or corrode from the inside out. We should not burden it with unnecessary baggage in our trunk, as this will make it waste energy and increase its wear and tear. We should check our oil regularly for signs of internal problems, and have it changed regularly in the oil-change confessionals.

    And every now and then, we should let it sing, to blast out the cobwebs, see what she can still do, or just revel in the music of its exhaust soundtrack:

    “… So put me on a highway
    And show me a sign
    And take it to the limit one more time …”
    – The Eagles

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Very eloquent and creative, ArrVee! You’re absolutely right in that we need to regularly check under the hood and make sure our engine is humming with the sweet music of love and devotion!

  3. Kath Says:

    Philo, yet again you give us “lots” of food for thought. I’ve just spent 50 minutes going through all this post and I don’t allocate that amount of time lightly! I love ArrVee’s contribution but I love that you have fed us, body AND soul!

    thanks agian

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m glad this post resonated with you, Kath! I think Doug Graham’s analogy is great and thought it might serve as a wake-up call to others. Food for thought indeed!

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