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Launching today, you are invited to visit our new website called Meridian Living Well at meridianlivingwell.com It is a section of Meridian devoted to health and well-being, giving you ideas on how to live a life filled with vitality, healthy eating, and practices that can make a difference in how you feel every day.

Latter-day Saints should be the healthiest people on earth with our wonderful health code and clean living—and often in studies—our health is targeted as one of our great strengths. What is clear, however, is not only should we be the healthiest people, we must be. The Lord has sent us with a great work to do, and when we are exhausted, achy, miserable or sick, our capacity to do is diminished.

Our hearts are willing, but our bodies protest.

We want to live well, enjoy our families, and arise to shoulder the wonderful responsibilities that are upon us as covenant children of God. No wonder we are to take our vitamin pills and hold on for the challenging ride ahead!

But how and where and what to do to take care of ourselves takes active study and understanding. Our bodies did not come with a product manual and the warranty is only for a healthy lifetime if we are actively taking care of ourselves.

So here comes my confession.

I confess that I have spent most of my life taking my health for granted. My body seemed to go and go with high energy and never cry out for attention. I had friends tell me about practices, ideas and products that really changed their lives, and, honestly, I thought, “I’m so glad that works for you, but I don’t want anything changed.” I just assumed my body did not need that kind of attention from me. Why change anything or do anything when my body cooperated so nicely with my demands? Why rock the boat on a craft that was steadily sailing?

I wasn’t a big advocate for my own health because my body was already doing that job for me without bothering me much. Of course, anyone reading will know this is perfectly naïve—and I’ve grown much wiser over time—because things happen and stuff changes and bodies run down.

When my husband, Scot, had a heart attack at 42 and was diagnosed with diabetes by the ENTs who came with the ambulance, life changed. Over night, health became one of his passions as he scanned websites, followed medical journals, kept up to date on every advance in the care of his disease. He didn’t want it to dim his life if he could help it.

Besides his mother had given him some counsel—and since she is a very wise woman, (and is now past 100) he took it seriously. When he told her he had had a heart attack, she took his hands, looked him squarely in the eyes and said, “Well, Heber J. Grant said If you want to live a long life, get an incurable disease and learn how to take care of yourself.”It was a stunning lesson.

Scot wrote, “Though I had always been good at taking care of myself, from that moment I determined I would become a fierce advocate for my own health and I would do everything in my power to keep up with the latest research and figure out all the ways I could help myself. I was in charge (with faith and prayers) of me and my well-being. I could not abnegate my position of chief attending physician to myself. I would follow my Mother’s admonition from that moment on. And I have.”

I watched him over the years as he was perfectly disciplined with his meds, tried new products and sifted through what helps and didn’t help—and then one day things began to happen to my body, too, that I don’t remember asking for. This wasn’t a menu I wanted to order from. I wanted to say, “Thank you very much, but no thank you.”

Asthma and allergies? No thank you. Aching muscles and fatigue? No thank you. High cholesterol? Extra no thank you. Both my father and oldest brother had had open-heart surgery.

I realized I, too, needed to be a fierce advocate for my own health and go on that journey to learn what would invigorate, enliven and help me. At last, I wanted to be proactive and smart about my health rather than be a passive goldfish, whose main interest in life was to be fed.

In that bid to take more responsibility for my life and myself, I could be my own fierce health advocate. I use the word fierce here because I mean with real intent and dedication, knowing that my body is my God-given stewardship.

Do you know how many people have abdicated that role altogether? Author Jordan Peterson says one of his rules for living is “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping” and added, “Imagine that a hundred people are prescribed a drug. Consider what happens next. One-third of them won’t fill the prescription. Half of the remaining sixty-seven will fill it, but won’t take the medication correctly. They’ll miss doses. They’ll quit taking it early. They might not even take it at all.”

On Meridian Living Well we will be talking about what you can do to treat yourself well. We will have helpful articles as well as point you to products that really work that you might not know about or may not understand what they do without more information.

These first pages have information about an exciting new allergy treatment where you brush your teeth instead of taking weekly shots. They talk about detox and its remarkable effects on your body. You’ll learn more about why nitric oxide is so important for your body—and there are videos about what you can do with oils to enliven your own health. Since Scot and I have discovered oils, we use them every day, but we had to learn how and why.

The Meridian Living Well articles will show up on Meridian, but they will be housed on Meridian Living Well, so you can check there for new health information. You can also sign up for our Meridian Living Well email on the front page of the new website at meridianlivingwell.com Many of these articles will be product-related, so you will know what to expect.

We decided to launch this new resource because Scot and I knew we had to be very healthy to do what we want to do in life, and some products and practices made so much difference we wanted to share. Hope you’ll enjoy.