I wanted to write a post about the motivation to eat and live healthy. This is something that bugs me a bunch so I wanted to see if I could organize my thoughts with my fingers.
People often approach healthy living, or eating, with one of the following mindsets:
1. A root canal with no pain meds available. They should do it, but once they think about the process, the tooth doesn’t seem to hurt as bad. So they either do nothing, claiming that they want to live and enjoy life, or they endure the ‘necessary evil‘.
2. A sprint. They hit healthy eating hard and fast, look for quick returns and then stop ‘running’.
3. Necessary for a self-esteem boost.
All of these are so negative. … and if you have read any of my stuff.. I don’t like negative. Gritting down, support groups, fad diets, pills, and self hate are unsuccessful. Just look around at what people are doing and, except for some people with short-lived weight loss, people following these methods are not healthy or happy.
The old-fashioned truth about health and weight loss is healthy eating and exercise, but I believe there is more to it. I propose that health and happiness comes from ‘creating my own life’. This is strongly tied to the intentional living concept, but it also relates specifically to lifestyle and food.
What is the difference? So often I see people fall into 2 traps:
1. Getting life handed to them. They do what they are ‘supposed’ to do with school and work and other obligations they feel they ‘should’ do, and/or they get lots of life handed to them by TV, movies, internet and other forms of entertainment. They exist with ‘shoulds’ and entertainment.
2. Following someone else’s ‘life’. Someone they see or read about is successful in health or weight (or money or any other area of life) and they mimic it to try to get the same results. This is huge with diets. ‘This person does…..’ or ‘This books says I should…’ They know the results they want and look for a ‘road’ to get there.
Though it looks like #2 should work it is still very hard to follow through with. They are working for the result, but suffering through the process.
This is where intentional living a lifestyle really comes in. Really analyzing — What do I want for my life? Why? How does it fit? What do I love? Where do I want to spend my energy? Where do I want to end up?
Most people, if asked, want to be healthy and live longer without disease and consistent drugs. So most people, health wise, have the same goal, however for each person, healthy living is going to look different. Don’t get me wrong, I think many ways and diets people are trying are unhealthy. The principles for health are still the same for everyone.
1. Less stress (good or bad)
2. Less preservatives or processed foods
3. More fruits and veggies
4. Less or no animal products
5. Sunlight and fresh air
6. Physical as well as mental exercise
7. Positive outlook (life isn’t that hard and it isn’t out to get me)
8. Loving relationships
9. Relationship with God
Healthy people have more of these figured out than unhealthy people. Everyone is at a different point of the line of healthy and unhealthy. They are not both clearly defined groups. There is extremes on both ends, but most people are somewhere between. I believe the more all 9 of these areas are worked on, the closer to health I get.
That said, applying these principles has to be individual. This is what is so important to a lasting lifestyle change. Take exercise for an example, there are hundreds of ways to do it. One person might love group classes at a gym, someone else might want team sports, someone else wants to be by themselves. Someone likes outside, and someone else likes inside. Someone likes practical like gardening and walking to work, while someone else wants recreational. …. The list can go on. The idea is, go out and find your groove, what works for your life and your personality. …. scrap booking or basket weaving is more physical and mental exercise than TV.
Food is huge with this also. There is countless healthy foods and ways to prepare them. What do like? How do you like it? How does it make you feel? Everyone is different.
It is REALLY important to surround yourself with positive influences in all 9 of these steps. I find lots of motivation and mental exercise reading non-fiction. I love reading about health, and, the more I read about it, the more I want to live it. For me reading is a way to surround myself by a lot of these principles, but there are lots of other ways too.
How I like to see this concept is ‘living in my destination’. Instead of health and weight being this process to get too, that is painful and long, take some time to dream about what your life would be like if you were healthy. What would you see yourself doing, eating, and enjoying? Where? How and how often? With who? Live as close to that as possible. Create your own life and live it!