Be Light and Healthy

Insanity

Posted on: March 27, 2011

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein

Due to the fast pace of modern society, many of us are living whirlwind lives.  Time swiftly passes as we transition from season to season and year to year.  Dazed, we wander through life wondering where the time has gone.  We look back and major parts of our lives are a blur.  We move through life unaware that we are squandering precious time on meaningless activities.  Our time is sacrificed trying to keep up with society’s demands instead of fulfilling our own basic needs.  Like hamsters continuously running on a wheel yet going nowhere, we numbly live the same day over and over eating the same foods and doing the same activities without questioning why we are feeling unfulfilled and lacking joy in our lives. 

As life rushes by, we neglect to slow down.  We feel inexplicably unbalanced and don’t recognize that we are vibrating at a much faster rate than the calmer and slower rhythms of nature.  Sometimes we get stuck repeating a behavior.  Our behaviors become so ingrained in us that we fear changing our routines to take us in a different direction.   Often it’s even a good behavior that we’ve become bored with or no longer need yet continue to do because we’ve done it for so long.   Maybe a strategy that worked well for you previously or at a different time in your life is no longer working.  It’s also possible that you’re yearning for something more. The goals in your life may have slowly changed, but you haven’t paused to realize it and allow new ideas to seep into your mind.  Or maybe you’re following a strategy that was recommended by a well-meaning friend or “expert”, but it doesn’t truly serve your individual needs.  Because we are living fast-paced lives, we neglect to slow down and realize that an established pattern is no longer optimally benefiting us.

Successful, sustainable life strategies begin by honoring yourself and your unique needs.  Take a moment to honor and appreciate yourself.  Determine what would nourish you physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Slowing down, turning inward, and listening to your heart will allow you to identify the lifestyle that will uniquely fulfill your needs.  Investing time to reflect permits you to realize that it’s time to adjust course and pursue a different path.  Your life is an amazing journey and experiencing joy is an integral part of feeling complete.  Experiment and try different things to determine what serves you best and makes you happy and healthy.      

Before my weight-loss success, when the desire to lose weight periodically descended upon me, I always did the same thing – crash dieted and jumped on the exercise bandwagon.  It was an insane cycle that began when I was a teenager and inevitably failed every single time. This strategy repeatedly catapulted me back to my old ways and left me disheartened and unhealthy.  Through the years, I’ve seen many people subject themselves to the insanity of the same cycle I yielded to for a good portion of my life.  I was not honoring myself when I repeatedly chose this strategy in an attempt to reach my goals.  It wasn’t until I took the time to truly consider what I wanted and looked at how I could realistically attain my goals that I was able to successfully transition to a sustainable healthy lifestyle.   I’ve come to learn that I am someone who benefits from small changes though for years I denied this characteristic of myself and succumbed to the recommendations of so-called experts who write books and purport to have the magic formula to weight loss.  There is no one magic formula that works for everyone.  In fact, what worked at one time in your life may no longer work for you due to the many ever-changing aspects of your life.  The desire for quick weight-loss results drives people to embrace “get thin quick” plans that set them up for failure.  Any diet that requires you to forsake the foods you currently love in favor of foods that do not appeal to you will not propel you in the direction of success.  Realistically contemplating your unique body, goals, and daily routine prior to modifying your lifestyle will set you up for success. 

Abandoning or foregoing exercise because we detest it is another tendency many of us experience.  If you hate the type of exercise you’re doing, it’s highly unlikely it will become a sustainable part of your life.  In addition, if it can’t be easily integrated into your routine, you won’t make it a habit.  I can think of a well-known celebrity who has lost and gained weight numerous times.  I recall seeing interviews with her talking about how much she hated exercising.  When she’s in great shape, she looks fabulous; however, her weight losses tend to be fleeting.  There are some people who are highly-disciplined and subject themselves to a routine they hate; this method does not resonate with me.  I don’t hate exercise, but admittedly, am not the most intense exerciser.  I have no desire to spend hours at the gym.  I exercise because it makes me feel good, and I want to stay healthy.  I like my exercise routine, am in great health, and have maintained my weight loss of 100 Pounds for over 8 Years.  In addition, I can see myself doing it for the rest of my life.  When I get bored, I periodically try different activities for the sake of variety.  If I were looking for different results and my goal was to look fabulous, continuing to follow my current routine and expecting different results would reek of insanity.  I would clearly have to re-asses my strategy and kick it up a notch if I had different goals and wanted different results. 

In addition, if exercise can’t be easily integrated into your life, it won’t become a habit.  My routine is to exercise in the mornings.  Occasionally, I will exercise in the evenings.  Because I seem to have more energy at the end of the day, I believe I get a better workout at night.  However, I also know that exercising at night does not fit my current lifestyle.  Consequently, I choose to exercise in the morning.  It’s not the perfect solution to my exercise requirements; and I may not be obtaining the optimum benefits of an evening workout, but it’s significantly better than not exercising at all.  Being realistic about your current lifestyle is an important factor in your lasting success.  

I invite you to pause and reflect upon areas of your life that have become integrated into your routine but may no longer serve you.  Are you deriving joy and positive benefits from the way you spend your time?  If not, try experimenting with different foods and different activities to attain the results you desire.  Small, daily changes have less impact on your lifestyle and allow you to build momentum as they become a part of your life.  By starting slowly and realistically incorporating small changes into your unique lifestyle, you will set yourself up for long-term success and happiness.  In addition, I invite you to forward this blog to your friends and sign up for weekly e-mail updates at www.belightandhealthy.com to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.  When you sign up, you will receive an e-mail requesting you confirm your subscription.  After you confirm, you will begin receiving weekly updates.

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