Cj over at CJS Fitness got me thinking today. We are all making plans. Resolutions. As if life has a starting line and the starting pistol will suddenly sort it all out. We have all been guilty of living in the past or worse still, living in the future. Resolutions are all about the end point. That is nice to have but it certainly isn’t neccesary and in truth it is probably nothing more than a distraction. What we need is to practice consistency, add some intensity…and bang…Progress.
The Scare Mongers are out in force this time of the year. Playing to all your fears and weaknesses, blackmailing you, beating you up with an endless list of your shortcomings. Lose weight, get fit, add muscle, be taller, better…all for the inclusive price of…you know the copy.
And then there are the “nutritionists” admonishing your weakness for junk food whilst plying you with endless supplements, potions and pills with powerful qualities that will lift your depression, help you lose weight, gain muscle, sleep better… medication with a different name…do you see a pattern here?
Marketing 1 – You are sick, weak, incapable, you have a problem, you need help…
Marketing 2 – Here are the reasons why – the foods you eat, your lack of exercise, your lack of motivation, the way you live…
Marketing 3 – Here is the cure for your disease…it requires your commitment in the form of cash. Yes…you can buy a better you..
There are a few simple things you need to get in check. Things you need to do, consistently. None of them involve putting your hand in your pocket, they involve putting your head in the game.
You owe it to yourself to engage your critical faculties. You do not want to be someone elses failed experiment. You need to make the changes, develop the basic program, take charge.
Consider this – How much time do your spend focussed on breathing? Yet the simplest of activities can have the most profound effect.
I know, exercise, kettlebells, sandbags, ropes and club bells sound so much sexier than breathing. Or diet, low carb, protein rich, D3, alkalising, hemp, fishoil…But Stop!
Here are the bullet point basics. Forget all the other stuff til you get this in check.
- 90% of your energy comes from breathing. Check out Perfect Breathing for some excellent resources. (Re)learning to breath will have more impact on your health than just about any other activity.
- Cook your own meals from scratch before you start down the road of taking any supplements. If you can’t feed yourself you are not taking your health seriously. Ready meals and supplements are made in laborotories. Real food is prepared in a kitchen, over a camp fire, picked from a tree. Read Michael Pollans excellent NYT article Unhappy Meals to get an insight into all this nutrition based mumbo jumbo. Then remember his simple advice – “Eat food, mostly leaves, not too much”.
- Do something every day that moves you. Yoga, tai chi, bodyweight training, take the stairs, walk to work. Just Move! Even better, find a simple program and stick to it. A little, done often will produce big results. Check out the 100 Rep Challenge for simple daily challenges.
- Drink water. Yeah…tap water. We are 60% water…what harm can it do. A cup or two of coffee or tea each day wont kill you but soda, energy drinks and lo-cal soft drinks will confuse the hell out of your body and mess with your metabolism. Green tea, herbal tea, water, they are your friends.
- Talk to your friends. Find someone to share the journey with. Whether you realise it or not, someone, somewhere sees you as a role model. Be a good one. And don’t be scared to ask for help. We are, by nature, generous, helpful, compassionate, whatever the news media might want you to think. (Oh yeah..switch off the TV)
- Everything is lifestyle. No, not stupid, crappy daytime tv, paparazzi, soap opera, me me me, celebrity rag mag lifestyle…living, breathing real-lifestyle. Check out Frank Forencich’s excellent Change Your Body Change The World for an excellent meditation on the current human condition and his antidote, there are a bunch of superb articles on the website.. Go watch the clips at Erwan Le Corre’s MovNat and read his thoughts on the human zoo for an inspiring look at the alternatives. We are so much more capable than we begin to realise. Every single one of us.
Get to grips with these fundamental changes and you will never need to make another resolution in your life.