Is it just me, or is the health/wellness/fitness industry ALWAYS changing?
Eat less, move more. No don’t do that…you’ll go into “starvation mode” and hang onto fat!
Coconut oil is so good for you! No, wait! It’s bad…no wait, it’s ok, but it doesn’t do all of those great things to our insides like they thought.
Plant based diets are the way to go for optimal health and vitality. Nope! Ketogenic, Paleo, or just eat meat and fat to keep the pounds off!
Make sure you get your 60-minute workout in 5 times a week and make sure you do cardio and strength training. Eh, no. Just work out incredibly hard for 20 minutes 3 times a week moving heavy objects. That’s all you need! (And do it barefoot.)
Of course, I am exaggerating to make a point here.But, more than saying that one statement is true, and one is total BS is something that we just can’t say for sure. The fact is when it comes to wellness and results, what works for me may not work for you…or your spouse, or your co-worker, or your personal trainer at the gym.
But having someone tell us exactly what to do has to end eventually. We just can’t follow plans and programs forever. Once we start to “slip” we usually go back to our old ways because we just can’t stick with the “rules” perfectly forever.
Now if you realize this to be true, and it makes a little sense, please keep reading because I have some homework for you!
Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, or maybe you want to get fit.
Maybe you want to decrease stress in your life, or maybe you want to get more sleep.
Maybe you want to treat your diagnosis with good food to help your body stabilize and heal, maybe you need to get your blood pressure and lab values into a normal range.
Whatever it is that motivates your desire to seek out some healthy habitudes, you have probably read some articles, talked to some friends, hired a coach, followed that blogger;), went to the doctor, bought that book you saw on the Today Show or tried some sort of new program. I know I have done this…and my guess is that you have too (just a few times;)
If you are still striving to find that sweet spot where you are maintaining a healthy weight, are strong and active, inflammation and illness are well managed, and food/diet/workouts do NOT consume you, but rather are passive because it’s just what you do…I strongly encourage you to start studying YOURSELF, rather than the newest plan or program.
Let’s say you’ve just bought a new diet book off Amazon. One that was recommended to you by a neighbor. He just lost 30 pounds on the plan, and his arthritis pain is way down. That book has been your Wellness Bible for the last 6 weeks as you have followed it to a T. However, you haven’t really seen the scale move, you are not pain-free, and you are always hungry and fighting off temptations of sugary treats. However, you think if you just keep at it, something has got to change. What’s the definition of insanity again??
Ok, so let’s say you decide rather than to give up completely you choose to stick mostly with this plan but play around a little. You decide to cut dairy out of your diet for the next 2 weeks. Everything else you keep the same. No more morning granola and yogurt goodness, no more half ‘n half in your coffee, and no more cheesy delights. Within 7 days you notice a huge difference in that some of your joint swelling and your arthritis pain is down. It’s averaging about a 3 instead of a 7. Whoa! Wierd?!! All I did was cut back on my dairy. I’ve even sneaked a few bites here and there, yet I still feel so much better! Because you are feeling better, you have the motivation to move more. Walking 3 nights a week after dinner becomes the bonus round you needed! Within a month you are down 5 pounds and feeling really great. You decide to add in more activity. You log onto Habitude Fitness and decide to do some of those crazy HIIT routines she’s always posting. You do them every morning before work. Ouch…after just a week your knees and back begin to ache. Instead of stopping the routines all together, you decide to do them just twice a week in addition to your evening walks. Wow! Pulling back really helped. No more knee and back pain! I think I’ve found a good balance that is getting me some results and I FEEL GOOD!
This is just a small generic example of someone playing around and trying to figure out what the heck actually works for them!
Here’s how you can start:
Research, study and chat with others.
Take a little bit from here and a little bit from there that really resonates with you.
Research some medical studies on your personal diagnosis and health/family history.
Talk with your doctor or specialist.
Account for your current lifestyle and how you spend your time and make some realistic goals.
Sprinkle in your own intuition.
Pay attention to how you FEEL as you’re trying these new things.
All of these habitudes can help you to create the PERFECT PLAN! Did you get that?? THE. PERFECT. PLAN.
The HUGE downfall to this approach:
It takes time and a lot of trial and error to go about wellness this way. This is not a 30-day program or get fit/lose weight fast approach. (You know where to find those. That stack of books in your closet?? LOL!) Sometimes you may even feel worse before you feel better if something you try doesn’t agree with you. However, even a flop will reveal something important to you. With this approach, you have to be willing to put in the work, experiment with trial and error, and really track your results (mentally, physically, and emotionally) to see what is working and what’s not.
The MASSIVE payoff:
If you figure out what works for YOU; YOU and YOU alone and are willing to adapt it as you change and your life changes, you will have a passive approach to wellness. Instead of being on or off the diet wagon; you just are. You just are healthy. You feel good. You sleep well. You feel strong. etc…etc…etc…
Take any area of your wellness and start studying YOU. How do you react to ideas, workouts, programs, foods, habits, entertainment, enrichment, etc? When something works and gives you the feeling and results you are after. BINGO! This is what works for YOU, and you are creating THE. PERFECT. PLAN.
I have no qualms about Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, CrossFit, marathons, yoga therapy, intermittent fasting, kale everything, or late night snacking…IF…
if it works for you and you are feeling alive, healthy, and well!
I bet the title of this post got you, huh? Glad you read on anyways! The program is YOU and the rules are YOURS:)
So, who’s ready to start studying?!