Is there importance in committing to a healthy lifestyle?
Any change in lifestyle is going to take some form of commitment. I think that’s a fair assumption. When it comes to diet this is a given. When that diet is really a lifestyle, that commitment takes on a real meaning within yourself. You have to go inwards and truly believe that you can do it and you have to seek the support of those close to you and those around you. When it is something that is outside the boundaries of conventional thinking, that commitment becomes almost a gauntlet. Those around you that are thinking of you and your well being will question your beliefs. Never more so than when you say you are giving up the list of food groups that we have been told for years are perfect for our wellbeing and good health. How you react to this and how you deal with comments can define how well you commit to changes you’re making. After all, no matter what you are doing it is your choice and you walk your own roads.
My start to health was a pretty sharp turn. I had reached the point where something had to be done and I am the kind of person that throws everything at something once I’ve set my mind to it. Everyone around me thought I was a little crazy but they know this about me and so let me get on with it which I’m grateful for.
Once I got through the first three stages of the Caveman Diet as expressed by Matt Emery on his site I was very strict about what I was eating. I had a reason. I had to lose a lot of weight and nothing was going to deter me. Full Commitment.
That first month or so was pretty hard going. I suffered what is often referred to as Carb Flu. If you haven’t heard that term before it is the sensation that you go through while the body becomes accustomed to burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. It consists of a variety of cold like symptoms. Everyone is different but the majority of people suffer headache, fuzziness, fatigue and common cold like aches. It wasn’t fun let’s be honest here, I think my nose was running more than my one year old… Parents, you’ll understand that’s a lot of tissues to go through.
Once I travelled through these initial stages I had to commit to the lifestyle… Fully. This was how I could stick to it. I found that as time went on it was easier to be strict with myself although I did miss a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, along with the routine and social aspects of these. I had an objective so this made it easier to commit fully to this lifestyle.
Fitting it in with life
At that time I was enjoying some time out while being a stay at home dad. This also made it easier to commit fully to what I was eating and also take time out to move a lot during the day. I wasn’t exercising heavily, I was walking a good three miles most days. It was well placed having my son, Flynn in the buggy while he had an afternoon sleep.
Things changed when I went back to work. It meant that I lost some of the convenient control over what food was around me. I also had the added element of socialising with work colleagues. Being close to numerous pubs and bars made it easy to finish work and have a cheeky glass of wine or two. This is where most of us find ourselves and committing to a healthy lifestyle can be, at times, compromised when you enjoy socialising. Peer pressure and wanting to let your hair down occasionally certainly play their part. I’m not any different. I remember having a toasted sandwich and a coffee for lunch one day. Purely for convenience, although I paid the price. I felt dreadful and was flying the rest of the day although not in a nice way. For days I beat myself up for that slip up. It didn’t last, and over time I have learned that I’m not perfect and I do lapse. As long as I can be strict 80% of the time I go easy on myself.
So. What do you do?
I say live a little here and there. You can’t commit fully forever to this. We’re only human. I have my slips as I call them and I’m happy to admit it. Take a look at my Instagram page and you’ll see enough pictures of red wine to hold me up. Albeit they are lovely photos in beautiful settings which surely justifies the reasoning to have a small drink… Somebody back me up on this before I dig myself a hole.
Staying committed to a healthy diet or lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be 100% hammering away at a compulsive and rigorous diet plan. We are all human and every now and then we may want a piece of bread or a white potato.
Wow. Bread. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love bread. It’s awesome toasted and according to scientific research a nutritious and yet cheap meal is a toast sandwich… Yes, I am being serious, see what the BBC say on the subject although it pains me that they suggest margarine as a healthier option to butter.
I used to miss bread but the gluten really does play havoc with me and once you commit to not eating it you soon recognise how it is not the body’s favourite substance yet this is for a later post to go into detail.
The long and short of what I want to say is that it’s your choice at the end of the day. If you want or need to lose weight then commit fully. Do it for yourself. If you just want to be healthier and happier go the 80% route. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up just get back up and go again.
You make your choices and you have to stand by them. I know from my experience and the experience of others that an ancestral lifestyle works. Commit fully for thirty days and let me know how you feel. Break it down into smaller time frames if you need to. Commit fully, if only to show yourself that you have the power within you to do something for you. Imagine what else you could achieve in other areas of your life. Don’t just commit to this. Commit to start that something that’s waiting inside.
Bit sized chucks can lead to something much larger, it doesn’t matter as long as you do it for YOU!