When we do everything we’re told to get healthy and it just doesn’t work, what do we do next?
We eat what we’re told to eat, avoid what we’re told to avoid, pound the pavement, hit the gym, and nothing. No change. We might start to think, “That’s just how I am.” We might say defiantly, “That’s me, that’s fine, and I like it!” It’s our reality, and we need to accept it. Even if it’s not where we want to be.
It’s important to like who you are. You’re likable!
But it’s not as good to give up on the truth
that you can be inspiringly healthy and feel great.
Especially when the big obstacle is that we might be following the wrong instruction manual.
There are some fairly common misconceptions about healthy behavior that drag us down, keep us at the doctor, and hold us where we don’t want to be. Some of these conceptions come from popular wellness culture. Some from beliefs we held in medicine 15 years ago, but have since been proven incorrect. Often these things aren’t instantly damaging, and are just fine in moderation. A little of nearly anything is pretty much fine.
But in our natural drive to be healthy, we might do a whole lot more of something than just a little. So it’s important to know where all these guidelines come from, and which ones might be weighing us down. Here’s a start.
10 “Healthy” Behaviors
That Might Not Get You Healthy
1. You exercise hard. You refuel hard. Repeat.
2. You know your calorie counts and tally them at every meal.
3. You’ve got a bathroom scale. You’re on it every day.
4. You’re up on the latest diets. You give them all a try.
5. Yoga might feel nice on a rest day, but you know you need to push it hard. No pain no gain.
6. You read your food labels carefully at the supermarket.
No fat or low-fat only. If it’s got oil, you’re not going near it.
7. Vegan food only. It’s so great to eat chicken and beef made of soy. And that goes double for desserts.
8. For meals on the go, you always carry some food bars.
9. You need your protein. You know plants don’t have enough,
so you get your daily serving of meat in there.
10. You use the internet as your primary source of health information.
Keep in mind that some of these might be working just fine for you. But when things aren’t working, or you think they can be better, you have it in you to turn everything around. Here’s a start.
10 Healthy Behaviors
That Will Get You Healthy
1. Exercise easy, so you get to release stress rather than add it to your system.
When you let go of tension and aggression in you life – including in your health practices – it becomes much easier to tune in and become a more effective caregiver of you.
2. We’re told to count calories, but for most of us, this is a good one to let go.
This is true in part because all calories are not created equal. And even more, it’s true because how our body handles food begins with how we handle stress. Stress – not calories or lack of exercise – is the #1 cause of obesity.
Eat real whole foods as much as you can, including plenty of things that grow in the earth. Focus on how you feel, and respond to that.
You’re not a number on a page.
Life is bigger than this.
3. Throw out your scale.
You can aim for numbers or you can aim for feeling good. Try the second.
Of course it takes practice to tune into how you really feel, but you’re worth it. Begin by slowing down just a bit, breathe deep, and allow your body to move with your breath. See where this takes you.
Diets fail without fail.
They belong to someone else, not to you.
Begin with your own feeling. Experiment. Try things. See what works for you, and make your own food rules. And expect things to change.
Getting to know you and taking care of what you find
is your chance of a lifetime.
5. Rather than running away from ease, try running toward it.
If you work in a way that puts tension into your body, your health is likely to suffer and your injury rates rise.
Instead, practice in a way that lets tension leave your body; no pushing or struggling. Your athletic performance will improve, and so will your health.
6. Eat plenty of foods that don’t come with a label.
If it’s got a label, it’s not exactly food; it’s something constructed. That’s fine, but you want to get back to things that grow in nature as much as you can. And when it does have a label, keep it simple. You shouldn’t need Google to figure out what’s in there.
7. Vegan doesn’t mean healthy. Stay close to nature.
Vegan food — in particular the pretend foods, heavy sauces, and desserts — is some of the most dense stuff you’ll find. Great if you’re going to war, but not for everyday life. So after you eat, it will often feel like you just swallowed a cannonball.
Stick with simple, stick with nature. You’ll feel much better this way.
8. Food bars often have scary things done to their ingredients.
Do you know what a “protein isolate” is? Again, stick with nature. Have a banana. Eat a few nuts.
9. Plants have just as much in the way of essential amino acids as animal meat.
Get your protein from wherever you like, but it can be useful to drop the misconception that plants aren’t enough. Keep in mind that your body doesn’t take muscle from a cow leg and put it on your arm. It breaks all protein sources into amino acids, and reconstructs them as your own body.
Really, we all know we can’t eat enough plants. And for the rest, keep trying things, and keep paying attention to how you feel. Here’s a start
Slow down, breathe deep, and connect with you.
Give yourself a chance to really feel into your body.
Begin to sense the difference between your surface psychology, and what your body is really telling you.
Respond to your body in real time.
Eat what makes you feel good.
10. Don’t make Google your primary source of health information.
There’s a trick to this one. The internet is great. Here we are talking about health, sharing stories, and inspiring each other. But this isn’t the primary source.
You are the primary source
of your own health information.
We’re here to support each other, but nobody will ever know how you feel better than you. So be supported, and keep going on you.
– by Mike
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.