Don’t dread Birthdays. Look forward to them.
Birthdays for most people is like having a date with an Alligator. So unless the Alligator appreciates a good conversation, the focus of the date quickly turns to survival and limb preservation.
In fact, some people when they turn a big milestone even start counting their teeth each morning just to be sure.
But for the most part, you get to decide whether you allow your mind and body to become crinkly and jingly or have it stay fit, slim and awesome for life.
It’s much like how you take care of a brand new car. If you feed it the right stuff, have it serviced regularly, take it for a jog every morning and treat it right all of the time, it’ll purr away like one smitten kitten for a very long time.
But if you kick it’s tires every chance you get, feed it soda pops and junk food and service it only when it starts coughing and gasping, then don’t be surprised if it either dies on you in the middle of a railroad track or kicks you out of the driving seat altogether.
And with the human body, if you get all the “basics” right, the rest is pretty much “self-sustained” (provided you haven’t completely fried any of those vital organs with Cigarettes or something).
The Maintenance regimen:
If you showed up late to the race as I did, there’s some catching up to do. But you should never get sold into the “get it all patched in 90 days and start living” mindset because that’s a surefire way to lose all hope and hair in as little as 24 hours.
The right way to do it is to transition over to the light side of the Force slowly and sneakily. That means you continue doing all the dark stuff as before. But you start cutting down on the evilness progressively and in light doses as the weeks’ progress. And those cutbacks you replace with the good stuff.
For instance, if you’re a huge fan of Cookies (as I once was) and you’re currently running on around 10 cookies per day, then for the first week you would cut that down to 9 cookies and substitute the 10th with a Carrot, a piece of Broccoli or something just as healthy. And on the second week, you would cut back by a further cookie and replace that with something healthy and so forth until you’re totally “clean”.
It’s basically the principle of Kaizen in motion.
But regaining your youthfulness has two moving components to it: the mind and the body. And you can only make real progress when the two are in complete harmony with one other and not operating on different agendas.
The biggest (and somewhat squishy) piece of the puzzle is the mind. That’s not to say that you can just listen to a Motivational CD and attempt your first marathon straight away.
You can rev-up your mind all the way to 5th gear. But if your legs are still stuck in 1st gear (or reverse), then you’re not gonna get very far.
So, fueling your mind is where it all begins. It is what sets the “psychological cobweb cleaning” process in motion. It is also what enables you to push beyond your limitations and temptations when your Body wants to call it a day and indulge with another piece of cheesecake.
Now, the mind-feeding process is always a two-course meal. So you would have the main meal which comprises of one juicy slice of motivation or inspiration and several crunchy pieces of spicy knowledge nuggets.
Then for your desert, you would have something much more soothing and cooling for the mind and soul but also leaves you on a natural high for hours, like hypnosis or meditation.
And given that most folks have 3 or more meals a day, that’s what we’re gonna aim as well for the mind.
In fact, you can feed your mind while you eat by tuning into an awesome video seminar or by getting plugged into an audiobook.
I happen to be a little biased toward video/live seminars as they offer a far more engaging and immersive experience than all their counterparts.
Also with audiobooks, our minds have a way of sneaking out for a quick game of blackjack or roulette, something we would not normally experience with video seminars. But if you’re driving around or doing some housework, then audiobooks are more effective at keeping accidents to an absolute minimum.
Then when you’re done with the main course, you can finish up a soothing session of guided meditation or hypnosis.
Meditation or Hypnosis helps you to release tension and develop an inner calm that helps you to enjoy life, sleep better and be more productive in just about everything you do. They accomplish this through deep diaphragmatic breathing and the power of positive focus.
And if you’re not sure about where to start or want an audio program that you can just plug into and not do anything, then start out with a few sessions of “life flow” and take it from there.
Feeding the mind with the right stuff also means eliminating all the junk we’re accustomed to feeding it, such as the news (a.k.a. Adventures of World’s Worst Incarcerated Escapees), Soap Operas (a.k.a. 101 Ways to screw up your Family Life) and Reality Dog Shows (a.k.a. What to do if the Fire Truck doesn’t arrive on time).
So start out by listening to or watching a Seminar every morning and by giving it a top-up sometime during the day (preferably around meal times). Then finish the day off with a session of hypnosis or life-flow. Feel free to throw in some “brain desert” into the mix as well for the extra invigoration but nothing Zombie related.
And always start out easy. For instance, if inspirational audio programs scare you, start by listening to just 10 minutes a day for around 30 days and then start increasing the listening time by 5 minutes per week and so forth.
This might sound too simplistic on the surface, but the reason why 90% of people don’t see their plans come to fruition is because they try to do too much too soon. Lasting change always starts with nugget size bites and an unwavering commitment to stay the course no matter what.
The Human Body is the most incredible machine there is. And it was designed to perfection right down to the last nut and bolt in our creator’s top secret manufacturing facility. The problem is they forgot to pack in the instructions manual.
And that’s why many of us are struggling with weight issues, relationship issues, health issues, wealth issues, spiritual issues, style issues and even video game issues.
Fortunately, we can trace back to our primal blueprint and find all the answers without having to go all Caveman and Cavewoman in the process.
So, what’s for Lunch?
We are herbivores by design, which is why we can’t do that cool retractable claw thing that Wolverine does or have fangs to puncture a neck or two when we get thirsty. This might also explain why red meat is now said to be the leading of Cancer and a contributor to countless other medical conditions. It can’t be because drug laws don’t apply to animals.
So as herbivores, our natural diet “should” revolve around Fresh fruits, Vegs, Greens, Nuts and Seeds (the stuff that comes straight from trees, not cans, cartons, tins or bottles). I suppose you could also grab a few eggs as well for the extra protein, if the Chicken are out shopping or busy surfing the web.
The rule is simple. If we eat what Mother Nature’s already given us, in the way they had been given to us right out of the gate, proportionately to how nature had provided them to us, then getting out of shape isn’t something we’ll have to worry about any time this millennium. But if you were taken hostage by a group of Gourmet Chefs who viciously use you as their sole food tester, then upon release you can start reversing the process by reverting back to some of these “primal principles”. But you might wanna leave out all the prehistoric fashion and hygiene related wisdom out of the equation, though.
Back to the Stone Ages…
So, way back in the day, aside from eating the right stuff, we spent a
a good chunk of our time either running toward a meal in delight or running away from various unfriendly meal seekers in terror.
And we’re not talking about some casual jog or a scenic walk either.
We’re talking about teeth shaking, hair flying, ear wiggling,
World record-shattering sprint speeds backed with all kinds of screams and profanity.
Being on the run much of the time also meant that there really wasn’t all that much time for them to walk into their favorite Restaurant and order a nine-course meal. In fact, for the most part, there was no such thing as a “meal”. It was all a series of snacks and nibbles.
Now, when you combine these regular sprints (which conceptually translate to modern day “Interval Training”) with “clean eating” and combine them with bucket loads of fresh drinking water, you have yourself one fit, trim and sizzling hot Body for life. And all without the need for a gym membership or exercise equipment.
And since whatever food our ancestors “stumbled upon” or “accidentally” choked had to be physically carried back to their lovely families, the “weight lifting/strength training/body sculpting” aspect of their workout was also taken care of by default.
In fact, back in those days being able to carry an Elephant on his back was considered a prerequisite for marriage for Men (unless he owned a Yacht or a Helicopter).
Saved by the Lunch Bell
With regards to how much to eat and how often, it was all about having a delicate balance between eating just enough to sustain themselves for a reasonable chunk of time, whilst not being stuffed to the point of becoming an easy snack for a passerby Predator.
And in terms of volume, that would normally translate to around one to two fistfuls of food. But when Vegs and Salads come into play, portion sizes don’t matter as much as they barely have more calories than a regular old toothbrush.
Live awesome. Feel Terrific. Die when your to-do list is completely empty.
Now, if we are to summarize all of the above into one waist busting, health bursting, brain boosting, hair bustling formula that we can apply on a daily basis in the modern world, it would look something like this:
1. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours – Whilst making sure that you have plenty of room to breathe (diaphragmatically). It’s recommended that you check the parking spaces available after each bite, rather than eating everything first and then wondering if you still have enough room to breathe.
Also eat slowly and chew your food properly as this helps you get the most out of your nutrient intake and makes you feel like you actually had something to eat. The same rules apply to smoothies where you should always nibble as you sip for the calories to “register” with your system.
With regards to what to eat, aim for a combination of salads (infused with eggs, natural spices, and healthy oils) and fruit/veg smoothies. Use plenty of greens in both and try to add as many different types of fruits, vegs and greens into the mix as possible along with a handful of nuts and seeds.
But if that’s got your brain cells flying around in circles, grab a NutriNinja, NutriBullet or a Vitamix and start out with some of the recipes you find there.
And feel free to have a Coffee made with fresh milk and honey during the day.
But never as the first thing in the morning though as it can damage your intestines (in a much similar way to that of Cigarettes and Alcohol). Yep, I found that out the hard way.
2. Drink a glass of water every hour – A glass of water every hour keeps the Doctor away for a very long time. But feel free to take a break while you sleep. And ease up a few hours before getting ready for bed. Otherwise, you’ll think of me in a not so loving way, every time you have to stumble your way across a dozen Cats, Sheep and Dogs in order to visit the “pond”.
3. Refrain from munching on both cute and ugly animals – Go Vegetarian or Vegan if possible. You wouldn’t put the wrong type of fuel in your car or even feed it a can of Soda on a bad day. And you certainly wouldn’t give a Racehorse a bag of Doritos just before a race.
So why mess up the only engine that you’ll be given this lifetime?
4. Take time to “breathe” – As mentioned earlier the best way to carve a slice of time to breathe is through a session of guided meditation or hypnosis.
Meditation and Hypnosis also come with a ton of other health and sanity benefits.
5. Workout for at least 20 minutes a day – If you don’t take your legs for a spin regularly, they’ll start to corrode and make all kinds of cranky noises.
The bones also become as brittle as cookies and in no time you end up with all kinds of aches, pains and lingering medical conditions.
So, don’t let your body turn into a Snowman or Snowwoman without your knowledge. Put it to good use and often and you’ll get to keep and enjoy all that you were created with for life in good as new condition. In fact, you might even find yourself feeling more and more youthful as the years’ progress, literally.
I would recommend starting out with a daily slow walk around the block (for the first few weeks/months) followed by a slightly faster walk the following few weeks. Then transition over to a solid 30 minute a power walk. And finally, when you notice your legs power walking by themselves while you’re reading a book or something, move onto something a little more fun and exciting like P90X3. P90X3 takes care of all aspects of fitness starting with your hairstyle all the way down to your pedicure (well… Almost).
And if you wanna add a little more oomph into the mix, get yourself a Bullworker too and inject a few extra workout sessions into the week. The Bullworker, by the way, is what’s often referred to as a complete Gym-in-a-stick. It’s a great substitute for weight lifting without the usual toe crushing accidents. But as lacks the cardiovascular element, it doesn’t help as much as P90X3 does with weight related issues.
6. Feed your mind the right stuff – Listen to or watch something motivating every day or as regularly as possible during the day. And stay away from TV shows that affect your blood pressure or eyesight.
7. Keep your cool – An essential part of cultivating a beautiful mind is also refraining from going crazy with the Gardening Tools. This is normally a byproduct of what’s been fed into the mind 24/7. But if you had been an active member of Darth Vader’s Book Club for several years prior, then the new programming may take a while longer to kick in, in which case you’ll have to keep a good supply of ice packs at hand to keep the engines from overheating.
So now that you have the health and fitness chapters from that missing “Instructions Manual” it’s time to put them to good use, regain your