I truly believe that the remedy to our health care crisis begins with Americans, not governmental intervention and more bureaucracy that mandates socialized medicine. Our Founders agreed. They never could have imagined a government micromanaging civilian diets by creating a Food and Drug Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thomas Jefferson once quipped, "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now." Our Founders' health care system was a very simple one: take care of your health.
We don't need to pay hundreds of billions of dollars through new taxes to provide universal medical coverage. If anything, I believe the government needs to discover more ways to motivate personal responsibility and disease prevention, encourage the states' role as stages for new market-based ideas, support county and community health collaborations, and challenge the private sector to seek creative ways to bring down medical costs.
Most of all, if we took better care of ourselves, we could reduce our personal and national medical costs, and live longer and happier at the same time. That is also exactly why I've endorsed the Total Gym for over 30 years and devoted an entire chapter in my new book "Black Belt Patriotism" to "Be fit for the fight," which contains for the first time my personal diet and workout plan as well as 50 years of fitness knowledge that can help you overcome the obstacles to being a better you in 2009.
A short time back, a friend sent me one of those Chuck Norris Facts that circulate the Internet. It read, "Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip." Whoever wrote that fact has not seen me when I am watching a football game at home. I can tear the bag open during the first quarter and ask myself by halftime, "What's this empty bag doing in my hand (while licking the salt from my fingertips)?" I won't even tell you how quick a bowl of ice cream can disappear in the second half!
I'm a believer in new beginnings. That is why I'm an advocate of New Year's resolutions. Now, before tuning me out about fresh starts, hear me out. The potential to fail is always present. But so is the potential to succeed and soar to the next level. And studies show that our successes actually happen more often than we think.
A University of Washington survey conducted a number of years ago showed that 63 percent of the people questioned were still keeping their No. 1 resolution after two months. That's great and hope-filled news.
Whether you want to exercise more, lose weight, stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, make a new spiritual commitment or make new friends, don't ever quit striving to better yourself each and every year.
Or, as Benjamin Franklin put it, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." If you do, I believe you too will find the power and discipline to eat just one Lay's potato chip! Of course, except during football games!