Healthy Step 2


How do you tell if someone is in control of their body? If they are, they will:

carry minimal body fat
have a slender waist
move quickly
have just one chin
not have have a pot belly
not sit still very long or watch much TV

Our bodies advertise our self-control. Remember the example of a ship without a strong captain, with chaos on deck? That is what I think of when I see a de-conditioned person going down a buffet line, choosing pizza and corn dogs and ice cream, ending up with processed food with thousands of empty calories but no real nutrition. Those people at the buffet have monkeys in the wheelhouse!

Where does this lead? The people below are loaded up with soda pop and hauling it around on their battery powered scooters. Will this be you?

Or perhaps this 90 year old couple below would be more to your liking.

There is plenty of support for you if you like the “soda pop” route. You can take advantage of handicapped parking, social security/disability, Medicaid, and paid-for assistive services for people to come to your house and help you bathe. Because you are visiting Thindex, you probably prefer living a long life to the fullest, becoming strong while avoiding diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease and osteoporosis.

The “soda-pop” people in the example are not in control of their lives. When we do nothing we become soft, maybe riding a motorized scooter and watching TV all day. Instead, you have decided to improve your Thindex number, change your attitude and your body, eat fresh foods and try new activities and meet new people. You have chosen to participate in your own life, instead of letting your life pass you by.


Taking control of your life starts by taking control of yourself for just one hour at a time: start by banishing negative thoughts. Rap of your knuckle on a table, snap a rubber band around your wrist or a give a quick shake of your head (like a pitcher makes when he waves off a sign from a catcher): discomfort gets your brain’s attention.  Mildly painful stimuli causes your brain to switch gears; rather than feeling bad and giving up, you can stop “stewing” and start moving forward.

By training your brain to take control of negative thoughts, you break up the mental pathways that have been spreading negativity (like thoughts that you will always be overweight and weak because you have failed so many diets). Negative thoughts are not facts, they are only thoughts, and you can break the habit of believing them.

Once you have established control you are ready to take the next Healthy Step, and start getting things done that you have been putting off for months, maybe even years! Appoint yourself the new captain of your boat. Toss out the monkeys, lock yourself inside your wheelhouse and assume command of the crew.

Are you ready to do some reading that can change your life? Some recommended reading is offered in the book section of Thindex. I heard that salespeople know that the more time you spend together, the more likely you are to buy something. The time you invest in reading these books will give you a much better chance of being successful in this journey to better health. Spark and The China Study are good books to read as you get started; these books have some technical data and language that you may not comprehend, but that does not matter. You will understand the points that the authors are making without getting bogged down in the details. You only need to get the general picture, catching and remembering the highlights.


Assignment #2: Homework: List some decisions, or lack of decisions in your life that may have been influenced by having monkeys in your wheelhouse.

1. Food choices you tend to make

2. Friend choices you would like to have not made

3. Education choices you would have like to have changed

4. Marital or significant-other choices you would have changed

5. Job choices you would like to “do over”

6. Bad habits you would like to have avoided

If you could go back in time and not have been influenced by “monkeys in your wheelhouse”, how would your life be different? Would you be thinner, stronger, happier, wealthier? Those monkeys may have had a bad influence on more than your exercise and food choices.

You are at the end of the second Healthy Step. Are you going to read the recommended books? If you say “no”, then you still have a monkey or two aboard and you need to deal with them to make progress (look carefully: sometimes they hide in a drawer or closet!)

Write a paragraph explaining the choices you would like to “do-over”. See you at Healthy Step #3, when you have “come clean” with yourself, are in control of your wheelhouse and are reading the recommended books.

Mistakes I made from age 1 – 10


Mistakes I made from age 10 – 20


Mistakes I made from age 20 – 30


Mistakes I made from age 30 until now


Which mistakes were made because I allowed monkeys to make “low road” decisions for me?

The great thing about the past is that it is over. When you gain control, strengthen yourself and get healthy, you can enjoy a better future. That is why we are both here, so let’s get this done!

Excuses need to be used with mistakes so they need to be in the discussion of performance. Check out my blog on excuses back at the lodge under “blogs”.

My dog Casey is scratching at the door. See you soon. Joe



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Lodge Overview

Welcome to Thindex – your guide to better health and life.

This website is a little off–the–wall (like all of us, maybe). I'm not trying to sell you anything, and I'm not trying to collect information about you.

The purpose of this website is simply to help you improve your health and, ultimately, the quality of your life and eventual destiny.

That's it. No hidden agenda.

This website is my push to get you to change So, come on into the lodge and feel free to browse around for a bit. I hope that you find the information helpful.

Joseph R. McFarland MD

What you can find in the Lodge:
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Where do I start?

Thindex is an easy going website, focusing on your health improvement. Getting healthier isn't complicated or expensive. If you do it without outside help you will have a much better chance for permanent lifetime success.

  1. step one: Click on "Calculate my thindex". Enter the data requested. You will need an accurate time that it takes for you to walk or run a mile to get the complete data for your thindex. The dot between the green and red lines is where you fit in to your age group. Hanging close to the green line is where you want to be. Below zero is not good unless you are very old. Most Americans will be below zero.
  2. Step two: Use the information from Step one to make a decision about improving your health and destiny from this moment on.
  3. Step three: Cruise around the website and check a few of my blogs, the videos, the guest lecturers, pollution and diet news. Also check the rose of the day and Casey's Corner for kids.
  4. Step four: You can use this site and the 9 health steps to move yourself towards better health. Or you can do your own thing and check your progress with our calculator.
This site is put together by Joseph McFarland MD. As an Orthopedic Surgeon, I have seen some nasty wounds over the last 40 years. I have never seen wounds as bad as what we Americans are doing to ourselves by eating unhealthy foods and not getting nearly enough exercise. These wounds can heal if you reverse the cause. The information you need is all here and it is all free.

Calculate my Thindex

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Health Steps: There are 9 progressive health steps that ease you slowly towards better health.


Blogs: A variety of health topics


Guest speakers: Talks by a variety of diet experts


Recommended reading: Diet and exercise books in which we believe.


Rose of the day: Daily rose with comments that you can mail to friends or enemies, telling them how you are doing.


Casey's corner: Pollution and general advice for young kids.


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Why pick on soda pop as the first thing to eliminate as you go through the health steps?

Look up Sylvia Booth Hubbard – soda. She lists an even longer list of soda pop related problems. "Thirteen new ways colas ruin your health" (protected)

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Potatoes are a good starch source but when overheated above boiling produce acrylamide , a known carcinogen. These products are oversalted and some still contain trans fats which cause arteriosclerosis.