The Forgotten Key to Longevity and Good Living – Episode #3

Hello, and welcome back. I am Dr. Mark Smith, the Good Living Doc, Thanks for coming back. This is episode 3 of the Good Living Doc show. Welcome.

So far on episodes 1 and 2, I laid the groundwork for all of the episodes going forward, and if you haven’t heard those episodes, you probably should go back and listen to them because they really give you a fundamental understanding about where I’m coming from when it comes to my beliefs as far as health conditions, disease, symptoms, and I outlined – especially in episode one called Weak, Sick, and Stupid, the difference between the approach toward health problems when you change your understanding of the human body. And everything that I do is based on that fundamental belief that the body is intelligent. And, that’s not always how the health professions operate.

The disease care profession treats the body like it’s weak, sick and stupid. And so in episode one, I draw a distinction between the two beliefs and show some examples about how the approach toward health problems changes depending on which type of belief you hold.

If you believe that the body is weak, second stupid, you’ll act toward disease and symptoms in one way, and if you believe that the body is intelligent, you’ll act in a different way.

And then in episode 2, I continued on with that groundwork in an episode called Science of Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness, and I recapped a lot of science that has been put forth and illustrated by the major medical associations across the world – and especially in the United States – .that shows that even though nutrition and fitness and those kinds of things aren’t really addressed very much in the medical world, there is quite a bit of research that shows – and is displayed – by these organizations showing that the research is there. And nutrition, exercise, fitness, and wellness, the wellness lifestyle is actually very, very effective toward decreasing our diseases. And two of the major health problems that are reviewed in that research is heart disease and cancer.

And the evidence is there that if you live a wellness lifestyle and you treat the body as though it’s intelligent that you can drastically reduce your risks of developing these conditions and dying from these conditions.

That was episode one and two. Please go back and listen to them if you haven’t. They’re important.

In episode three, I want to dive a little bit into what I consider to be the most important and fundamental idea when it comes to achieving longevity. Now, what’s longevity? That’s a weird word. You don’t hear that word very often, but longevity basically means living a long life. And living a long life really isn’t enough.

Longevity isn’t really enough. That’s not really what we’re after. Because if you live 30 years in misery, unable to have any kind of quality of life because you’re wrought with disease and symptoms and pain, we haven’t really achieved anything because we want to live long but we want to live well, And so, we’re going to talk about the concept that I spend my days trying to get people to understand and embrace when it comes to good living and living long – living into our later years in wellness and vitality.

Now this is a health and wellness podcast and we’re going to talk about disease and we’re going to talk about symptoms. We’re going to talk about a lot of different things. Some are very controversial. Some are things that you haven’t heard before. Some things may challenge your beliefs. And some of the things, some of the concepts, you really need some guidance when it comes to implementing into your life. And I want you to understand that I’m not your medical doctor. And so, I don’t want you to take what I say here as personal health advice or as personal medical advice directed at you because I don’t know you…I’ve never examined you…and so, you can’t take what I’m saying to you or saying on this podcast as medical advice. So, please don’t attempt to diagnose, treat or cure, any kind of illness or disease or symptom in yourself or anyone else based only on what I say. Don’t change anything until you have some guidance and until you continue on with this research.

So let’s talk about this concept that I try and spend my days teaching to people – trying to get them to embrace.

Health Maintenance Leads to Wellness

I have probably 3 categories of people who come to see me after the first time they come and see me. Reasons that people come and see me for the first time vary, but I’m talking about people after they’ve come and seen me for the first time. The people who walk through my front door can be categorized into three different types.

The first type of person is someone who waits until they can barely walk to come in here, or their problem is so severe that they just can’t wait anymore. People make jokes…you know…when I’m talking to them. And they say, “Oh, you know I wait until I can’t stand it anymore before I come and see you…and they laugh. And I don’t laugh, because those kinds of people never really get to a state of wellness in their lives -because they’re constantly chasing their problems around. They’re constantly putting band-aids on their problems and so they never really get out of the pit of pain and symptoms and disease because they’re always playing defense with their problems. They wait and wait and wait until they can’t wait any longer.

That’s like not going to the dentist for 50 years, and finally your mouth is so miserable and you’re in so much pain that you can’t wait any longer, so you finally go to the dentist because you need some relief. But relief does not equal wellness. A lack of symptoms does not mean that you’re healthy. And a lack of disease doesn’t mean you’re well. Those are not opposite sides at the same coin.

But if there’s no attention paid to your life and your health and your body until it breaks and then you go to some kind of health practitioner and you say “Put me back together again. Help me, now. I can’t wait any longer.” That’s a mess.

And unfortunately, you can do some things to help relieve symptoms in these people, but if they don’t change thing, they don’t ever climb out of that hole. And so, on the surface, they may feel better for a time, but they’re always declining. They’re always in a state of decline. And these are the people who get worse as time goes on, and a lot of the time they don’t understand why.

Now, the second category of people, are people who are a little more proactive. They come to see me a little bit more often. They don’t let their problems get too far gone. But they still wait until they have some kind of symptom that they’re trying to get rid of before they come and see me. They’re still trying to eliminate their pain or reverse their disease.

I had one guy who was a diabetic and I worked with his diet for a long time and I got his lifestyle changed around and he was doing really well. For three months he was doing this work and he was doing really well. He was following my advice and he was doing really well with staying committed. Because when he went to the medical doctor, his kidney function was declining. He was starting to get into kidney failure. And that scares people into action, so he’s like “I’m going to do what you tell me to do. Great! Let’s do it.” And he did it.

Within 3 weeks, his blood sugar was normal. And within a few months, his kidney numbers were improving. Now you would think that this would be a sign to continue on, but he didn’t. He went back to his old lifestyle because he was getting better. He saw improvement, so he went back to living how he did before. And the next time he went to the doctor, his kidney numbers were down again.

If you’re constantly chasing your symptoms around, and your health problems around, you never really climb that ladder. You never really reach a state of wellness which is really the goal here. But there are people who are a little bit more proactive and I see them more often, but they’re still chasing their symptoms. They’re still reacting to their problems.

And then there is the third type, and the third type of people thrive. Years ago I put up a white board in one of my rooms. And I put it up there so I could write some quotes on it or some kind of interesting health…you know, whatever…thinking it might spark some conversation with people about different health topics. But I’ve had the same phrase written on it for years now. I haven’t changed it for years. It’s probably so embedded in that white board I probably couldn’t clean it if I wanted to at this point because it’s been there for so long. And it says…

Everything we want to last requires maintenance.

Everything we want to last requires maintenance

Think about that for a minute. All the things in our lives we spend time and money to maintain. The easy one to think about is our cars. We have to get our oil changed in the car. If we don’t, it’s going to blow up one day.

Now you don’t have to get your oil changed. You can drive it without changing the oil. But that car is not going last as long as it should or could if you were to maintain it…if you were to do the tune ups and do the oil changes and all the things we know that go into maintaining the health of the car.

Most of us spend hours every week maintaining things in our homes…cleaning things up and replacing parts….trying to make sure things last as long as we can get them to because we don’t want to have to pay for a new one. We don’t want to have to pay for a new furnace, so we maintain it.

But when it comes to the human body…when it comes to me saying to people, “You know, maybe you ought to pop in here and let me do my thing before you start to have pain, or before you start to have symptoms. Maybe we should do this on a pretty regular basis so that you don’t get to this emergency situation.”

Just like getting your teeth cleaned. Why do you get your teeth cleaned? Because you’re trying to well, number one, have a pretty smile. But number two, to keep all your teeth from rotting out of your head. You want to avoid that blow up, and that’s what maintenance is all about…health maintenance.

Everything that we want to last requires maintenance and that includes your body. But for some reason, we view maintaining our body, which means basically going to a health professional when we’re feeling good…because we want to keep feeling good. We want to be better.

Health Maintenance is seen as a scam

That seems so backwards to a lot of people. And it was even to me for a time because I grew up in the medical model and we only went to the doctor when we were sick or we needed some kind of medicine. When our health started to fail, or some kind of symptom popped up that we didn’t understand, we went to the doctor

But on a regular day, we weren’t running into the doctor going, “Man, I feel great! Give me some pills so I can stay feeling great!” They’d look at you like you’re crazy.

So, the idea that I want you to come and see me when you feel good, and pay me money when you don’t have an outward problem…people view that as a scam. They think scam. Why would I come to you if I don’t have a problem? People say that to me all the time, because sometimes people will come in and I’ll say, “Are you having pain or are you maintaining?” And they say, “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t in pain.” And they laugh, you know, and I think well, this person either doesn’t understand the concept of maintenance or doesn’t care, or I haven’t explained it well enough.

But maintenance is what’s going to help you achieve wellness. Once you get beyond chasing symptoms…and you know what are symptoms? Symptoms aren’t the problem. Hardly ever are the symptoms that you’re feeling the problem. Symptoms by their very nature are effects. And so, treating the effect, or concentrating on the effect or trying to chase the effect away does not help the body become any healthier.

Pain is an effect. Pain is not a thing. It’s not an entity. It’s not something that gets into your body and takes over. And it’s not a mistake. It’s an effect of something else. So if all I do is treat someone’s pain, they’ll never reach a state of wellness. Because wellness involves going beyond that. And starting to understand that there are things that we can do with our bodies that help them function better…and be healthier. And if there’s no cause, if you get your body to a point where it’s healthy enough that there are no causes for symptoms then there won’t be any symptoms. Does that make sense? Is it silly? It sounded silly when I said it. But if there’s no cause, there’s no effect. So we can’t concentrate on the effect. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

Why can’t I eat candy for dinner?

We have to try and raise ourselves high enough with our function and ability so that there is no cause of causes, there’s no cause of effects. See what I’m saying? I was thinking about this the other day, like what are we doing this for? What’s the point here? Because I know people who are so committed and so strict with their lifestyle, they will not eat anything that’s not good for them. They won’t eat anything that didn’t come from the Earth. It’s whole food, all the time…whole foods and vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds.

I mean, that’s all these people will touch. If I invite them to a dinner party, they bring their own food because they want to make sure that they’re eating what they know is good for them. I’m not like that. I like things that are bad for me. But I try and live this 80-20 lifestyle. And even some years ago when I was really strict, I was living a 90-10 lifestyle which basically means 90 percent of what I put in my body is whole food, organic, from the Earth…meat, fruit vegetables, nuts, seeds, and the like…and then 10 percent I can play around with…I can do whatever.

If 90% of what you eat is good for you, your body isn’t going to be affected by the 10 percent that’s not. Your body is just going to deal with that. If it’s the other way around and 10 percent of what you eat is good for you and 90% is bad for you, that’s when you’re going to have a problem. The body can’t handle that. So I try to strive for an 80-20 type deal because I like things that are bad for me too. But I have to make sure that I’m giving my body what it needs or else the things I eat that are bad are going to affect me. They’re going to start affecting my health.

So, I was thinking, I like Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. They’re my favorite. I can eat a family bag of those. You leave a family pack of those in front of me, you’re not getting it back. So, I’m not some superhuman that could just put my hand up and be like, “Stop. I’m not eating that because I am a wellness practitioner and I don’t do that.” So I thought, you know, a lot of people feel this way too, you know. We’re all going to die at some point, so why why shouldn’t I enjoy myself? Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself every second? Every minute of the day? And eat whatever I want and do whatever I want.

Good Living Requires Health Maintenance

Why am I eating vegetables? What am I going to eat this salad for? I mean, I like this salad, but I don’t like it as much as Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. I could eat a bowl of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and throw that salad in the trash. Why don’t I do that? And the answer is good living.

I don’t want my body to become junk. I want my body to stay strong, and to stay vibrant. And we know the things that make us not strong and not vibrant. And if we do too many of those things, we’re going to be not strong and not vibrant because…I’m in my 50s now, and my body doesn’t work like it used to as it did in my 20s, but I can still do whatever I want. My body’s still strong. And it’s still vibrant. And I want it stay that way.

Because when I’m 80, I want to be able to still do the things that I want. I don’t want to be trapped in my easy chair because of pain. Or strapped to an oxygen tank because I can’t breathe. I want to be able to do the things I want to do with the people that I love and enjoy those years of my life.

That’s why we choose the salad. That’s why instead of watching two more episodes of the show, I go to bed. That’s why I get up in the morning and work out instead of sleeping another hour and a half. That’s the reason that we do it. That’s longevity. That’s wellness. That’s what we’re after. That’s what we’re doing this for. And in order to reach that you have to have maintenance. You have to maintain yourself.

And unfortunately, as we’re children growing up in school, and even…you know…in sports when we’re young, no one ever teaches us how to maintain our health.

I mean we all know we’re supposed to eat well and we’re supposed to exercise. There’s guidance out there for that. There’s science now. That was one of the great things about the internet. There’s a lot of bad stuff about the internet. The internet’s ridiculous a lot of the time. But one thing that it did for us is it put all the science out there for everybody to read. You can go find the same studies that I can find.

And so we know the things now, through science, of the things that we’re supposed to do and the things that we’re not supposed to do. So there is science out there. A lot of the science is debunking a lot of the things that I was brought up believing. So science is good thing. We have to focus on some of that too.

I’m trying to find answers just like you

It’s all about reaching our older years in health…good living. I’m the Good Living Doc. That’s what I’m going to try to do with this show. That’s what this is about. I’m trying to reach it just like you. I’m living this and learning and experimenting and experiencing along side of you. And I’m trying to find answers for myself as much as I’m trying to find them for you. And so my desire to pour into research and to do these recordings…it’s not just for you, it’s for me too.

Maintenance for the body is not a scam. Sometimes it’s necessary. We have to find and learn the ways and change our beliefs about this idea that you’re supposed to wait for your body to blow up before you do anything about it. And that’s what maintenance is about.

We don’t want the car to blow up. We don’t want a mouth full of cavities before we go to the dentist. We don’t want the furnace to go out when it’s 10 degrees outside. Maybe where you live that doesn’t happen but it does in Indiana, and I’ll tell you what, it’s not fun when the furnace goes out when it’s 10 degrees. That’s when I’m calling you because I need a warm place to be.

So, a lot of what we’re going to talk about in the show has to do with maintenance. And I want you to really kind of think about your ideas about maintenance and how you really feel about it, because what you believe about maintenance is going to dictate how you act. It’s going to dictate the choices you make going forward.

The earlier you start, the better. The earlier you start, the better off you’re going to be. There are limitations of matter, yes. Our bodies have limitations. And yes, genetics play a role. But the body is not weak, sick, and stupid.

The body is an intelligent organism. It was designed for health innately from birth…to be healthy… to be vibrant…to to be strong…to be able. And so our job is to figure out what does that. What what do we provide the body with to ensure that that happens?

Everything you want to last requires maintenance.

The Good Living Tip for Episode 3

I hope I gave you some things to think about here. and wires. We’re going to stop here. Actually, I want to do this thing too. add this to the end of the show. I have an episode three tip for good living. Okay? This is my tip for the day.

Don’t let yourself get dehydrated. I see a lot of people who come to me and some of their problems could very easily be reversed and controlled by getting enough water. It’s a simple thing to do. It’s easy. And so make sure you’re getting enough water…clean water.

Dehydration can cause sugar cravings. It can cause headaches, muscle pain, muscle cramps, dry skin, fatigue, light headedness, confusion, and low blood pressure.

And if you have any of those things, you might want to make sure you’re hydrated and see if that resolves the problem. That has nothing to do with, well I guess it does have something to do with maintenance. Because making sure you’re hydrated is part of the deal. You have to stay hydrated.

I’m going to stop there. Thanks for showing up today. I appreciate you listening until the end. My name is Dr. Mark Smith. I am the Good Living Doc. Go to my website at All of my episodes are there, as well as transcripts of each episode in case you are someplace where you can’t listen or you’d rather read it.

So as you go forward today, think about maintenance. What can you do to maintain your body and your health. We’ll be talking about it in the future. You can bet we’re going to talk about it. Until then, take care. I appreciate you being here.

Want more of the Good Living Doc?

Subscribe to get Good Living tips and info in your inbox.

WE DON'T SPAM! Read our privacy policy for more info.