I want to talk to you about “independence” from a health perspective. My dream for you is that you no longer need to obsess about what foods to eat, count calories, worry about where your food comes 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 health fears and obsessions 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 create healthy habits, our daily health related fears and obsessions will subside and no longer totally consume us. As the obsession fades, confidence in our health choices and happiness become our new norm!
How do we gain INDEPENDENCE from obsessing over exercise? There is a small group of you reading this who LOVE exercise; you can’t go a day without it. For you, not exercising would be worse than going a day without brushing your teeth! If this sounds like you, you have already gained independence from exercise, 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 yourself that exercise is torture
- Working out by yourself
- Finding active things 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.
- Focusing on what you CAN do rather then what you can’t.
- Celebrating the small changes in your level of performance.
How do we gain INDEPENDENCE from obsessing about food? This is a much tougher issue that for many people, has deep seeded emotional issues that go back decades. Please realize that what I’m writing today 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 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 for habitual poor food choices later on in life)
- Eating when you are emotional rather then hungry (easier said than done, I know)
- Investing in local farms and supporting their hard work
- Looking at your body as the most amazing machine that requires the best 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. Let’s face it – life is best lived with those we love and cherish. 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 members to mentor on a given subject that you know more than 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!
I could keep going, but I will end it with this. 150 years ago our 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 2014, but there is a lot we can learn about INDEPENDENCE from past generations!
Here’s to gaining our independence – together!
If you are ready to get going, I have a new 28 Day Fresh Start program that was designed for our local Madison programs, but because of the high demand we have also made this virtual for just $19. Click here to join our in-person Fresh Start challenge or to join us virtually.