As we celebrate the 4th of July and Independence in America, I am eternally grateful for the men and women who have died protecting the country, along with the earlier settlers that risked their lives to come over from Europe.
I want to talk to you about “independence” but from a health perspective.
My dream for you is that you would no longer have to obsess about what foods to eat, counting calories, worrying about where your food is coming from, what type of exercise burns the most calories, how many calories did that workout just burn, where to get coffee or alcohol, what the number on the scale reads, and so on.
How do we get INDEPENDENCE over these things that cause us stress, consume our thoughts, and clutter our mind?
I don’t believe there is a single simple answer, but I do believe as we educate ourselves, and slowly over time create healthy habits, the daily obsession doesn’t consume us, but rather we just live in a state of healthiness.
How to gain INDEPENDENCE from exercise?
There is a small group of you reading this who LOVE exercise; you can’t go a day without it. It would be worse then going a day not brushing your teeth. You have already gained independence from it, but for the rest of us (including myself) we need to stop doing a few things and start doing a few other things.
-Obsessing over how many calories a workout burns
-Telling ourself that exercise is torture
-Doing it by ourselves
-Finding active things that you enjoy doing that don’t seem like work at all. For me this is basketball and football. I am drenched in sweat after and hardly notice the effort I had to put in.
-Getting together with other people and pushing each other and building healthy camaraderie.
-By focusing on what you CAN do rather then what you can’t.
-Celebrating the small changes in your level of performance.
How to gain INDEPENDENCE from food?
This is a much tougher one that has deep seeded emotional issues that go back decades for many people. Please realize these are just a few things I could say on this topic.
-Buying processed foods
-Drinking sodas, alcohol, juices, and just about every other calorie laden drink
-Going to the fast food joints on a regular basis
-Telling yourself that healthy food costs more (it might cost a little more initially, but you will pay greatly with your quality of life later on)
-Eating when you are emotional rather then hungry (easier said then done)
-Investing in local farms and support their hard work
-Looking at your body as the most amazing machine that needs the right fuel
-Eating until satisfied not stuffed
-Writing a food journal for at least a couple weeks, this shouldn’t have to be a lifelong thing
-Trying new fruits and vegetables
-Cooking more at home
Lastly, I want to talk about your community and support. This is almost the opposite of independence. We should realize that life is best lived with those you get along with and love. Let’s call this CO-DEPENDENCE, but not in the “only follow others” mentality.
How to gain CO-DEPENDENCE with positive people and community:
-Spending significant amounts of time with people from your past who no longer align with your current values and goals
-Trying to convince others that your way is the best way or the only way
-Trying to please everyone and saying “yes” to everything that comes your way
-Trying to do everything yourself. It is ok to ask for help
-Believing that you don’t have anything to offer to the world or your community
-Telling yourself you are the only one in your situation
-Asking for help
-Sharing your story and your knowledge with people who are interested
-Stepping out as a leader even if you don’t feel like one
-Seeking out groups of people who have similar likes, interests, and healthy hobbies
-To find one or two friends or family to mentor on a given subject that you know more then they do about.
-Believing that you have the power to create your future and your friends, and it is your responsibility to get out there and make it happen instead of waiting for things to fall into place.
I could keep going, but I will end it with this. 150 years ago our great-great-great-great-great grandparents weren’t writing in their food journals, stepping on the scale everyday, trying to figure out how many calories their dinner was, or how many steps they got on their pedometer.
They were out there living life to the fullest; working hard, appreciating what they had, and living in the moment while planning for the future. There are moments when I would love to go back to the 1800’s and just get a little taste of what that was like. I am sure I would like to come back to 2013, but there is a lot we can learn about INDEPENDENCE from past generations!