The Spinning Plates Of Healthy Living
It Comes Down To Choice
Some people quit drinking but keep eating junk food. Some go on “healthy” diets but keep getting drunk on weekends. Some start meditation but keep smoking or quit smoking but turn to unhealthy eating. We’re all full of little ironies. We strive to improve in one area and forget another. If we make a big change in many areas it can quickly start feeling like we’re spinning plates. We jump into a diet and avoid the carbs and fast food, don’t forget to hit the gym today, yoga on Tuesdays to make sure we stay limber, meditation is a great idea every day, got to get that blog out, there’s that thing we need to get done for work, have to make sure the kids get a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, and didn’t we want to try painting this week? How do we do it all?
This is not about any productivity hack or an app that swoops in to save the day. These do not exist. All of our health and lifestyle choices are just that, choices. We choose if we eat healthy, whether we drink alcohol, hit the gym, meditate, smoke or make art. If we truly want to do it, we make time. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it’s a choice. Anything we want to do requires planning and sometimes even a strategy. If we want to eat healthy make a meal plan, buy healthy groceries, avoid situations that put pressure on you to order shitty food. If you want to work out make an appointment with yourself and keep it! If you make a schedule beforehand you can keep it and you can also use it as an excuse to decline invitations to other things “sorry, I have the gym at the time.” You can also do it with a friend and hold each other accountable. You can gamify it and put some money on it. Stopping or slowing down drinking is tough as well. I stopped drinking about six months ago and there are a lot of social situations where either I’m out with friends, family or my work colleagues and I’m simply ordering club soda. For some reason it makes both sides uncomfortable. This is worth a post of its own. Anyway, I can be pretty abrupt so I simply decline plus I have the extra excuse of holding solidarity with my pregnant wife. This can be difficult to stick to but again it’s a choice and if we want a beer with a friend once in a while it’s your call as well. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Ironically, knowing I have the choice to have a drink or eat something I said I would helps me make choose the better option. I tell myself that I made a promise to myself and if I can’t keep a promise made to myself who can I keep a promise to? I’m awesome why would l lie to me? #selfhighfive
We also need to remember is that these changes don’t all happen over night, they don’t happen all at once, and this last point is very important, there is no finish line. We are always striving to be better, healthier, happier. We don’t need to make trade offs when it comes to our health and happiness. We simply need to choose then start making those subtle improvements over time.