I have always been one to advocate the importance of taking good care of yourself, physically AND mentally. But recently it has been on my mind more than normal. Perhaps it’s been the attention of the CrossFit Games process where I ate like relative crap, skipped workouts and moved across the country while training to compete as one of the “Fittest In The Word” (obviously didn't work out so well). Perhaps it was my near death experience a few weeks back when I flipped my car. Perhaps it’s been connecting with a whole slew of young athletes who have no idea what health actually means (generally not their fault at all on this one...ahem...parents...). Or maybe it’s being around a decent number of people who just let things slide, over and over again until all of a sudden one day it all comes crashing down on them. Whatever it is, I have been reading, researching, studying and talking more and more about what it takes to be a healthy person, and I have come to find that it’s all about a shift in perspective if you want good and lasting results.
First things first: I have never, and I repeat, NEVER met a human being who truly knows how to take care of him/her self both physically and mentally (myself included here!). I have talked with a good deal of people who are on the right track (serious CrossFitters are the closest I have seen), and I have met a real lot of people who think they know what they are doing, but this is so easily the most difficult thing to recognize in life. If I had a nickel for every time someone explained their “healthy” lifestyle to me to get my opinion and it involved sneaky amounts of complex carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol, lack of sleep, high stress, imbalance, and splotchy activity I'd be a millionaire! So often do I wish I could just violently shake these people while screaming, “just read a book on health and fitness and your life will be 100% percent better! Seriously, like any book!” Shoot man, I'll buy it for them!
But, who am I to define health? I have my opinions; I have my beliefs on the best ways to live if you want to have a life filled with activity, not too much body fat, general happiness and fun relationships. But I am not everyone else and it’s not up to me to dictate how you want to live your life. Unless you ask, unless you want help, unless you are doing something that is clearly detrimental to yourself and others around you, I have come to the realization that there is nothing I can do. All I can do is whole-heartedly believe in what I passionately know to be true, support the people who want to get better, and not talk down to and alienate myself from those that don’t. I say this last part because I also believe that a person who chooses to do something unhealthy will eventually be motivated to make some form of change. And when that change is wanted to be made, they, like everyone else in the worked, deserve help and support from others. So, to all you people out there striving to be healthy, wanting so badly to fight the craziness of bad food and inactivity in the world; don’t be a source of fear and conflict to those who are not like you. Rather, be a source of inspiration and motivation.
I little piece of cheesiness I like to share with people when talking about how to lead a healthy lifestyle goes like this: When we are born we are given nothing but two guaranteed things: our bodies and out minds. We are not guaranteed family, friends, wealth, food, cars, houses and on and on. If we get those things, they are all additional gifts that we are lucky to come by and have. If you can take a step back and see that the only two things we enter this world with are usually the things we take most for granted, your life will instantly become that much better. Make a priority of giving both your body and your mind the most care, and it will be impossible for things to be bad in your life. Every pesticide, every bite and sip of processed poison, every lazy day in front of the TV on your couch in the blasting AC, every car ride (you get the picture here) deteriorates your body and mind just a little more. Take the time to take care of them, and you will be rewarded with a truly healthy, happy, positive life.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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