Too many times I’ve read about how I have to count calories or how I have to get a certain number of hours of exercise a week or how I need to meticulously measure out my food so that I can have the correct number of carbs to protein to fat ratio. All around us, people are telling us that we need to obsess about how we look and what we eat and what we do and frankly, I’m sick of it.
I suppose some people can live like that. I know of people who actually enjoy combing through spreadsheets and plugging themselves to electrodes to get the optimum information for health benefit. But more than likely, that kind of crap drives you crazy. For me, this particular style of health consciousness is unsustainable. Even thinking about it almost puts me into a full blown panic attack.
But I’m going to let you on to a little secret. Come here. A little closer. Right here.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT!!!!!!!!!111
No, seriously. Stop it. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s someone being put off of a healthy, awesome life because they feel like they have to be a chemical engineer just to lose a few pounds.
You only have one life, why would you spend it writing notebooks full of data? Life is meant to be enjoyed! I don’t know about you but I don’t enjoy obsessing over things. Don’t you think you’d be a lot more likely to stick with something for life if you felt relaxed about making healthy choices?
So you’re probably wondering what you can do instead. I mean, how do you know how much you’re supposed to eat if you don’t track it? How do you know if you did the right number of squats (that is if you actually like squatting) if you don’t write it all down and keep some sort of record? How do you know if you’re getting enough sleep unless you use some sort of sleep app that records your REM patterns?
- Eat food that doesn’t come from a factory.
- Eat it when you’re hungry and eat it until you’re full.
- Do activity that you love to do until you’re tired.
- Get enough sleep.
That’s it. That’s really all you need to do.
Now, I understand that these things aren’t easy, but they are very simple. If it were that easy to do, then you wouldn’t need fitness advice, we’d all be swimsuit models.
But I need you to get these things into your head and push out that need to obsess over this.
So, together, we’re going to explore a few ways to help you get over your addiction to obsession.
1. Focus on the journey, not the outcome: One of the reasons we obsess over health and fitness is because we have some sort of ideal in mind. We want to get to X amount of pounds or we want to be able to run X number of miles. The problem with this is that in order to get there we feel we need to plan every moment out or we won’t be able to achieve this goal. But usually, we get about a week or two into it and we get frustrated with the process, especially if life doesn’t work out according to our plans. Instead of focusing on the summit of the mountain, focus on enjoying the climb up. This is the only way you’re going to be happy with your results. The summit will always get higher, You never reach the top. So you might as well enjoy the journey.
2. Gradually reduce your anxieties: Sometimes, people need to be shown the right path before they can go out on their own. That’s okay – everyone works differently. Some people need to learn the scales before they can make beautiful music. But if you obsess over learning the scales, you’ll beat the creativity out of yourself and you’ll never learn how to play beautifully. If you need to count your calories because you have no idea what a serving looks like, then go ahead and do it. Use an app like myfitnesspal or use a notebook. But try to do this only one time per day. Reduce the amount of time you spend recording your info and then spend the rest of the time enjoying your day. Once you get the hang of what it is you need to achieve your goal, then throw that part away and get on with it.
3. Ask yourself, “Is this sustainable?”: The only way to maintain your health is to keep doing exactly what you did to get healthy in the first place. There’s no way around that. If your goal is to lose weight and you finally achieve that, you don’t get to go back to scarfing doughnuts while watching 7 hours of TV a day. Life doesn’t work like that. So when you’re counting calories or doing burpees or running a billion miles a day, think to yourself, “Can I do this for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then stop doing it. Because eventually you’re going to anyway. And isn’t it better to have some sort of control over it than to accidentally overdose on pizza because you’ve decided one day that you’re sick of logging every ingredient in your 90,000 ingredient salad?
Creating anxiety for yourself over health is counterproductive. But everything is going to be okay. Together, we will learn how to incorporate this simple lifestyle into our daily lives and before you know it, you will be living a healthy happy life without ever having to write a single damn thing down.
What do you obsess over? Leave a comment below.