Complete wellness; ditch the doughnuts, save the marriage

OPINION—A couple on the verge of divorce reached out to their ecclesiastical leader for support because they were so unhappy in their marriage.

During their visit, their leader asked them to help him understand what was going on. They reported a general lack of motivation and energy, which specifically affected their ability to work on their marriage. This wise leader began asking them about different areas of their life: social networks, spiritual practices, physical well-being, etc. As the couple thought about these different areas, they said they felt they had a good social network and they were trying to progress spiritually, but they admitted not taking care of themselves physically.

In fact, they said, for breakfast they usually grabbed a doughnut and a soda on their way to work. The leader asked the couple to consider the implications of their nutritional habits, and he challenged them to make a concerted effort to eat healthier.

They reported back to their leader a few weeks later and to their great happiness and surprise, their marriage was doing fantastic and they were optimistic about the future. If this leader would have told them to simply increase their spiritual practices or take a communication course (both valuable interventions in their own right), it would not have had the profound impact that changing the couple’s eating habits did.

One incredible truth portrayed in this story is that a change in one area of our life can make a huge difference in other areas of our life.

Sometimes, we are too narrow-minded in how we view health. We tend to overemphasize our physical well-being or our spiritual well-being or our emotional well-being instead of looking at our health from a  comprehensive approach.

If we really want to be well, we must be balanced in the different areas of our life. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to improving wellness. Each person’s definition of optimal performance is subjective and depends on their experience and their goals. Also, each person is unique and responds differently to treatments.

It seems the current health care model is largely pathogenic in nature and largely ignores the importance of preventive practices that could alleviate certain diseases and much suffering. Each of us has goals of where we want to be in different areas of our life but in order to realize our potential, we have to be honest about where we currently are. As we engage in this introspective process, we start to see the gap that exists between where we are and where we want to be. Once that realization has been made, we can start the progress toward achieving very specific goals.

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Chad_Olson (Cami-HP's conflicted copy 2014-09-24)Written by Chad Olson for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.

  • Chad Olson is a Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in helping couples and families reach their full potential. He also helps individuals struggling with pornography addictions in their recovery. He is married and has four amazing children! Some of his favorite things to do include spending time outdoors, teaching and spending time with family.



St. George Health and Wellness website

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Koolaid October 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Donuts are the problem? This story sounds more like a mixture of fruits and nuts.

  • that guy October 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    If she is going to leave you because you put on a few pounds. Ditch the wife and enjoy the doughnut. Because she never loved you in the first place.

    • Dana October 21, 2014 at 5:38 am

      Ditch the husband. He’s starting to look like a doughnut.

      • Koolaid October 21, 2014 at 8:29 am

        While he’s looking more like a donut, she’s looking more like a silicone injection job with masculine features, providing she’s from St George. Women in these parts are looking meaner, leaner and more masculine every day, even with their implants

        • Dana October 21, 2014 at 10:04 am

          Koolaid, don’t talk about your wife that way, just because she wears the pants in the family. Have you forgotten your vows.. For better or worse, …In sickness and in health…. Through botox and implants.

          • sagemoon October 21, 2014 at 11:22 am


          • Koolaid October 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

            …. until donuts do us part. Amen.

  • My Evil Twin October 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

    “In fact, they said, for breakfast they usually grabbed a doughnut AND A SODA on their way to work. The leader asked the couple to consider the implications of their nutritional habits, and he challenged them to make a concerted effort to eat healthier.”

    A doughnut and a soda? No wonder these folks are screwed up. You don’t eat a doughnut and drink a soda! You eat a doughnut and drink a cup (or five) of coffee.
    Sheesh, you Mormons sure do have a different way of doing things! 🙂

    • sagemoon October 21, 2014 at 11:22 am


    • Zonkerb November 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Yeah like anybody cares what you think

  • MrSmith October 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Wow! I must say that I live amid some troubling individuals…

    I agree with everything the op said and would add that a small amount of exercise (a morning walk) together will make the biggest impact on your marriage than any advice from a counselor. I speak from experience.

  • anon October 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm


  • anon October 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm


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