Do you know what it actually feels like to thrive?
If you're a normal citizen in the 21st century, you probably don't know what it feels like to actually feel good. We wake up, we start with massive amounts of screen time, we add caffeine to get moving. We then consume, a seemingly endless supply of sugar and junk food, eating all day or not eating at all until we feel like we're about to bonk (empty gas tank).
Our days are peaks and valleys of stimulus, mood altering food and drink, rinse repeat until something hits a wall, usually our happiness , our relationships with our wife, kids, co-workers or our health get's so bad we're forced to changed. The heart attack hits us and we're left wondering, how did I get here.
The struggles show up, so we double down with whatever we can get a hold of that's socially acceptable and then redline until it just stops working.
How far do you want to go before the death wobble starts?
The elements of change
My story starts with me trying to get a handle over what felt like depression and anxiety. I had a loving wife, great kids, I was making money, but I still felt terrible. I was 30lbs over weight, at one point, drinking every day, eating like a garbage disposal, moving my body, but not with any regularity. I was the modern man.
So I started to systematically remove my dependencies to get to the bottom of how I felt. Alcohol went first. But then food came in with a vengeance. I'd eat junk when I was happy, I'd eat junk when I was depressed, anxious, worried, upset, bored, pretty much any reason. I love crap food.
Then the darkness felt too heavy not to do anything about. I called my doctor and started the real work of understanding of what needed to change in me. Her first directive to me: Get a handle of what I ate and how I ate.
This changed everything.
I discovered that the following elements were essential in my health journey. It's not something I made up, it's been medically proven and once I gave myself over to it, everything began to change.
This was all about learning what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and then seeing and feeling the results of eating fuel that was nutritious and healthy
Food wasn't the only part. It was also breaking down the habits that I was slave to my whole life. I had to relearn new habits and work on them every single day.
I first saw how powerful this was in getting sober and it it's the same effect with food. We listen to each others stories, we encourage, we share, and then we change.
This was a game changer. Being lead by someone who knew the path, who knew that success was on the other side of the internal blocks, I've seen it as a client and as a coach.
What you want is out of your comfort zone, but not out of your reach.
It all stared with a mid-life crises
Why did I still feel awful? I had a strong spiritual life. I had amazing wife, wonderful kids, fantastic friends, community, I was even gainfully employed and yet, it still felt like a heavy blanket was constantly wrapped around my brain.
It took a couple of clues for me to begin to understand what was happening.
Clue 1: I was skinny fat and I had the data to prove it.
At my heaviest, I was 210lbs. For some of you, you wish you were that weight, for me, I was red lining my body and I didn't even realize it.
Like lots of folks trying understand where they came from, I took an online DNA test. Once they released the health information, I was shaken. I had a slight increase risk of Alzheimer's and I was also pre-disposed to be UNDER weight than the rest of the population. That means, my 30lbs overweight as someone else 50, 60 or even 100lbs. Genetics had given me a fast metabolism, but my brain was still jacked from the poor fuel.
Clue 2: My normal American diet was making me feel like crap and I only ate more to try and make me feel better.
I was standing in my doctors office and telling her how I felt, physically and mentally. She started with really simple question: What do you eat during a normal week?
Hmmm.. Oh, I have a home made green drink most mornings, but I also eat out (and really heavy) all the time with pizza, french fries and burgers. I'm not talking value meals from fast food joints, I'm talking, the very best junk food that my city has to offer,. Not to mention my 2-3 night a week habit of a large mug full of ice cream right before bed. You're welcome, body.
She looked at me and said, right, let's start with your food. Most of what you're feeling will clear up once you start eating right.
I've lost weight before, but it just seemed like a layover between how I normally ate. Which was a major problem, because I needed a new normal. And odds are, if you're reading this, so do you.
So what changed for me? I did what you are doing and sought out an expert, someone to help me. I knew a health coach and I called him him and said, I'm in my late 30's, I've at least 30lbs over weight, I'm having increasingly worse health problems. Just tell me what to do...
Are you ready to do the same?