< Improving My Health
April 15, 2010
Today is day 7 of my new health regimen. I have to say that the experience has been very enlightening so far. I’ve maintained the discipline of eating every two and a half to 3 hours, and have chosen to mainly eat the portion controlled meal replacements that came with the program. I’ve actually only had one “lean and green” meal that the program recommends outside of their own products in the past week. I have to say that it has been a week filled with distinctions as I really pay attention to how I react on all levels to this new way of living.
The first two days I was amazed at my mental and physical reaction to embarking on this journey. My health coach, Greg Rex, had warned me before I began that I could expect to feel hungry, sluggish and even sick the first two days of the program. And his warning was correct. By the end of day one I was feeling hungry, tired, a bit nauseous and had a headache that was not severe, just one of those dull aching headaches. Day two was pretty much the same feeling.
What surprised me the most during those first two days was my desire to eat. As I mentioned in the last article, when I am Djing I usually don’t eat my first “meal” until 12:30 in the afternoon, and then nothing again until around 6PM. What I didn’t mention is that when I am not Djing there are many days where I don’t eat anything until 6 or 7PM. So I began to explore “why” I was hungry. What I noticed was that it wasn’t that I was “hungry” as much as I just kept thinking that I was. I was constantly thinking about something to snack on.
The next thing I noticed were “triggers” that would start me thinking about eating even though I wasn’t hungry. As an example, I was driving to get my hair cut, and there are two restaurants near the place that I get my hair cut where I enjoy going to eat. Now even though I had just eaten one of my regular meals about 20 minutes earlier, I noticed that I had a very strong desire to go to one of those restaurants. It made no sense as I thought about it. I had eaten, I wasn’t hungry and I was committed to this program. Yet I had much more than a “thought” about going to one of these places and eating, it was a “desire” to.
Have you ever noticed in the past when you have attempted to make a major change in your life that you seem to come up with every reason not to do it? Even when you have looked at the impending change logically, you have investigated the benefits of making the change and the costs of not changing and you have started off with tons of enthusiasm? And even having done all that preparation, these “excuses” seem to pop up and run you off your new path? Or maybe after you have begun, all of a sudden you find yourself back in the old “habits” and can’t understand how it happened?
That is what I noticed happening. I already knew the costs of not changing the behavior; I knew the benefits and had thought long and hard before making the commitment to the process. Then all of a sudden all these thoughts and “habits” started raising their head. Thankfully I realized that if I were not making sure to be “self-aware” on this journey, monitoring my thoughts and feelings about the process that I may have easily “fallen off the wagon”.
I think that is one of the challenges that many people face when they commit to making a change in their lives. They are so focused on the destination sometimes that they are not paying attention to what is happening along the way on the journey. Now I do believe in maintaining focus, but I also believe in “mindfulness” as we progress. Only by being aware of what is happening will we know when we are going off course and when we need to change our approach.
By day three, there were many changes I was already noticing. My energy had dramatically improved overnight. The headache was gone and I felt more alert and had much more mental clarity than I have felt in some time. I even noticed that my eye sight was improving. I wear glasses when driving, and over the past month or two before starting this journey I have noticed a significant decline in my ability to see things that were 6-8 feet away from me clearly. By the third day, I was seeing things at that distance clearly again. I also was becoming much more aware of the smells of food (not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing as it really made me desire the food I was smelling) when I was walking by restaurants.
Days four and five were pretty uneventful. I had settled into planning my day ahead as to what I would be having at each meal and using the alarm on my Blackberry to keep me on schedule with eating every 3 hours. Everything had turned into a relaxed flow by this point. I was also weighing myself each day, mainly out of curiosity and each day I was dropping weight, except for one when I went up a pound.
Yesterday was day six and I had one of my greatest distinctions yet while I was visiting a dear friend Thomas. He and his girlfriend Lisa invited me to stay for dinner. I had my concerns at first, but what they were preparing was exactly in line with the “lean and green” suggestions of the program. As we were having dinner I was enjoying every bite of the healthy food that we were eating. I had the portions at the size I was committed to eating to stay true to the program. The food was tremendous as Lisa is a great cook. Based on the taste alone, I know I could have eaten more, but I stopped at the portions I had committed to.
The distinction came a few minutes later as I noticed how full I was from the small portions I had just eaten. In the past it would have been so easy to continue to push food into my mouth just because I was enjoying the taste so much. Now this may be common sense to many of you, but for someone who has eaten based on the idea that “I have to, to stay alive” rather than because I was someone who ate with a healthy attitude this was a revelation for me. By slowing down, and actually enjoying the meal I was given rather than trying to inhale it between announcements on the microphone, I was feeling filled in a very different way. It was a feeling of being pleasantly full, and also feeling like I my body had gotten just what it wanted, no more, no less.
At the end of week one, I have already seen amazing benefits and have lost 8 pounds. On to week 2!
< Improving My Health