An extremely important component in learning about your individual health needs and getting to know how your mind and body works; is becoming your own healthcare advocate. You can read it here.
I’ve written about my thoughts on why it is so difficult to be and stay healthy. You can read it here. I’m expanding on each of the eight points I made, because I have a lot to say. What I write about, comes from my own personal experiences and observations. As individuals–our health–needs to be approached as such.
2. Our lives are so hectic (or so we think), that we eat in our cars, while at our computers, or in front of the television. Here’s a new concept; turn the television off, turn your computer off, turn your phone off, and just eat. Savour each mouthful, taste the food, be mindful. Show gratitude for the food you eat. Enjoy some conversation over the breakfast, lunch, or dinner table. Make eating a pleasurable experience. You will begin to build a routine that way, which will only lead to other positive changes. Take charge and be consistent, give it a chance. Nothing happens in a day or two, obviously.
For some of us, yes, life can be hectic, can’t it? I’ve read some articles about the word ‘busy’. We’ve all been busy, haven’t we? Do we really know what makes us so busy? Have we actually sat down and made a list of activities and allotted times? Probably not, because we are too busy.
How do you feel about cutting back on those things you do or have, in order to be less busy? It scares me a little. I’ve become so accustomed to what I have and do, that it makes me a little nervous to think of what would replace it; abyss, nothingness, loneliness, boredom. I will wager that boredom frightens people. That is one thing that does not bother me.
You are aware that we have created our own hectic schedules by adding all the latest, greatest technologies, and anything else we can think of? Yes, we did it all by ourselves. By constantly feeling the need to be in contact with everyone, all of the time, has left us bombarded by text messages and links to funny stuff, and other crap. Our laptops are open almost all of the time, and pull at our attention, our desire for an escape from reality. Mine is open right now. Sigh. The T.V. is left on even when no one watches it, so the noise seeps into our brains unconsciously.
It’s no wonder we feel like our lives are hectic!
We spend so little time by ourselves, that when we are alone, we scramble for the nearest piece of equipment in order to create the illusion of company. Unfortunately, we’ve added this to our eating schedules as well, or lack of. Unless we are at a job with set breaks, we tend to eat unconsciously. If we are not on some sort of schedule, we basically eat all the time, or hardly at all. Little snacks here and there, with bigger snacks in between, giving a false impression of a meal. If we hardly eat during the day, then we end up binging in the evening, and leaving no time to prepare something decent.
It’s called a ‘Plan of Action’. The only way to make behavioural changes is to have a plan of action. If there are no goals, you have nothing to strive for. This will take up a small amount of time throughout the day, but is essential in beginning to understand yourself.
- Write down the times you eat (any time you put food into your mouth)
- Write down what you are eating (including amounts)
- Write down what you are drinking (including amounts)
- If you are really into this, jot down some calorie and fat totals while you’re at it
- Make a note of what activities you do throughout the day, this includes active and inactive (don’t be shy, write it all down and include times)
- Do not eat healthy the day you start this (you want a baseline of your bad habits)
- Have a family member or friend do it with you (bonus: you may be doing better than they are)
- Do not weigh yourself (you already know you’re more than you should be because you are wearing the ‘couch potato sweat-pants’)
If you continue to do this for a few days, a pattern will start to emerge. You will get emotional, so have a box of kleenex handy. It is not pretty to look closely at your downfalls, or how many you have. Study them and learn from them. These are the things you do to fill the void in your life, the excuses you keep using to avoid being healthy, and this is the pattern you will fall back into when you fall off the wagon. Awareness is key. You may even stop yourself from falling on occasion–boost to the ego! You’ve probably discovered some of your emotional issues along the way, and this will further aid in your awareness.
How many times have you sat down to eat without any distractions? I’ve been doing this on and off for a while now and I can tell you, it is just as enjoyable, if not more so, to simply eat your food as it is to be watching a show while eating. Only now, you will be conscious of what you are filling up on. Once that happens, your choices at the grocery store begin to change. Your awareness has grown. You feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally when you’ve eaten something healthy. In a sense, healthy food can be comfort food also. Comforting because you don’t feel like crap afterwards.
This plan of action will jumpstart your self discovery and hopefully lead you to some conclusions on what you need to do to make some changes. Again, keep starting over, however many times you need to. I start over all the time.
Any other suggestions? Comments are always welcomed and encouraged!