It's all over my blog, it's in my 5 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss, it's on my bio hanging on the wall of the gym where I work part-time, and it's coming out of my mouth constantly when I talk to clients. But, for some reason, most people don't think it's important. Okay, I get it, just because I say it doesn't mean that you should believe it. But, since you're doing my challenge, I challenge you to do it today!
Take a little time today to learn about something that you want to change. I, once again, have to use my recent experience with going raw as a "for instance". Never a big fan of fruit and definitely not a veggie lover (although now I loooove fruit and like veggies pretty well!), the thought of going raw was not very appealing. However, I had heard enough whispers in the health world about it to know I needed to give it a closer look. So, preceding and during that first week that I went raw, I spent every spare moment reading about or watching movies on the subject. When I was at home chopping fruits and veggies, I had YouTube videos playing in the background. As soon as I put my son to bed at night and got everything done, I sat down and read on the subject until I was ready to sleep. Movie night with the boyfriend? Yup! Raw food. Driving in the car? Raw food podcasts. I absorbed the information until it became such a part of my thought process that I felt compelled to reach for the fruit bowl. This is how I have changed every single thing in my life so far. I've become obsessed with it.
Educating yourself on a subject does two things. First, it makes the abstract real. Knowing "fruits and vegetables make you healthier" is much less motivating than knowing "fruits and vegetables are the building blocks of life, each contains a much more complete list of macro and micro nutrients necessary to function at a higher level than any other food group, and when your body has life giving foods instead of dead things to nourish it, it is free to fight disease and slow the aging process, not to mention uncloud your mind and lift your spirits (true story!)." Second, and perhaps even more importantly, the more you read/watch/listen to what's important to you, the more it shifts from your subconscious to your conscious mind. Two of my favorite quotes that talk about this are "Thoughts become things" and "Energy flows where attention goes." What we think about is what we are telling both our subconscious and conscious mind to pay attention to. So, if we are constantly thinking about pizza, that is what we will continue to think about. We will notice every pizza joint, every pizza conversation, every reason and excuse why we should eat pizza. Likewise, if we are constantly thinking about fruits and veggies, we will start to find "excuses" to have just one more salad before we give into the pizza craving.
Okay, so my example was eating raw. But you must find what's important to you. If you want to quit smoking, first educate yourself as thoroughly as you can on the effects of smoking on your health. But don't just focus on the negative aspect. Instead, after you are certain you understand the effects, tuck that knowledge under your cap and start seeking out things that you would enjoy doing that require clean lungs. I used to smoke in my early/mid 20s, and had since I was a teenager, then I found a fun aerobics class with awesome music and a meditation at the end that I loved going to with my mom. I was very overweight and out of shape at the time but I just loved it and enjoyed so much how I felt when I was done. However, I would get into my car afterward and light up a cigarette. After a while, I started to really pay attention to how good my lungs felt after I got done working out and how sticky and yucky I felt as soon as I smoked a cigarette. I finally quit smoking and then started paying attention to how it didn't feel like I was breathing through a straw during aerobics after a few days and then how I could take deeper breaths all the time and it finally felt like the air would go all the way to the bottom of my lungs where it didn't before. Focusing on the positive effects of not smoking helped me finally quit. I ended up dropping out of that aerobics class and didn't start working out again for a very long time. But it drastically improved my health because I never started smoking again.
So let's get our brains in the game. Pick your subject. What are you going to educate yourself about? Need some ideas? Here's a few things to get you started if you're not quite sure where to start.
- Effects of sugar (or other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.) on the body
- Raw Food. Your goal doesn't have to be going totally raw. It can simply be wanting to add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet. Here's my blog post on raw food to get you started.
- Going wheat free
- Importance of a good night's sleep
- The benefits of exercise. Here's some posts of mine on the subject:
- Exercise is Magic
- Learn to Love Exercise
- The Case for Morning Exercise
- Just Move
- There is also a wonderful book available on audio called "The Spark" by John J. Ratey that really breaks down the scientific reasons why exercise is so wonderful for your body AND your brain.
- The science behind willpower. An amazing book to check out on this subject is "The Willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal and "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Another pretty good book is "Excuses Begone" by Wayne Dyer.
- And for anyone involved in a nasty breakup (or on again/off again relationship) who's finding themselves unable to resist the urge to send just one more crazy text or "farewell forever" message, check out these books (and they're all available on audiobook as well):
- "It's Called a Break Up Because it's Broken" by Greg Brehrendt and Amiira Ruotola, this one is my favorite!
- "He's Just Not That Into You" by Greg Behrendt. Anyone who has read my blog knows of my own experience in this department and I understand just how destructive this can be to your health (mentally AND physically). If you fall into this category, I highly recommend that this is what you focus on (educating yourself) because as long as all of your focus is on another person, you will never be able to improve upon yourself.
These are just a few ideas but make sure you pick something that is important to YOU. Knowledge is power! Your body is the single most important thing you will ever own in your lifetime. Take time to learn about it. In doing so, you will appreciate it so much more and, in the process, you will be less apt to do something damaging to it. Don't just learn....BECOME COMPLETELY, ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND ROMANTICALLY OBSESSED WITH YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING!!!
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