Last week, I blogged about hepatitis C in the past 20 years. Today I want to make this personal—not just about me, but about all of us. Let’s look ahead at the the next 20 years. What are we doing to stay healthy?

In December I had some borderline lab results suggesting that if I don’t lay off sugar completely, my doctor is going to be taking out her prescription pad. Personally, I’d rather walk more and eat less than take a medication I can avoid. So, I took out my copy of Skinny Liver and made some changes. I gave up my beloved half and half and started drinking my coffee black. I told my husband he could have the rest of my favorite cookies because his cholesterol is low. I made a few other changes and in 3 months we’ll see if it mattered.

The lab test isn’t the only motivating factor here, it’s this: “A recent study found that half of those cured of hepatitis C developed signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).” The study was small (101 participants) and not long term. However, I’m actually not surprised by the results since many of us are sedentary. Our cholesterol levels are low because of hep C, and once our liver function is restored because of treatment, our cholesterol levels rise. Roughly 25 percent of the general population has NAFLD, and the U.S. population is headed to higher numbers.

The fix for fatty liver includes losing weight, eating a low fat, healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, and regular exercise. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep also helps.

Hoping we all get fit, stay fit, and have a healthy year ahead.