The food you shove in your mouth to satisfy your belly is only part of the equation.
Primary food. That’s the stuff you surround yourself with, such as your friends, your job, and your proximity to a brewery.
You can eat the healthiest food around, but if you’re surrounded by overbearing stress that upsets your sleep, then you won’t feel good at all, and you’ll probably feel snacky for some empty calories.
It’s really hard to be completely healthy if you hate your job. If your job is in control, instead of you being in control, then you really don’t call the shots, your job does, which makes it hard to have control over your food. If you’re stuck in front of a computer for hours, and you hate it, then you might feel sluggish--take control and grant yourself time to walk around for a break.
If you’re at home, and your job is sitting beside you on the couch, weighing you down, keeping your from relaxing, then you might be tempted to stress-eat some potato chips dipped in ice cream.
If your boss is an angry boob who drives you nuts, then you’ll probably find yourself stuffing your sorrows with those stale cookies that have been in the employee lounge for a week.
Most difficult, you’re on the road half the time, passing fast food after fast food, so you stop at the TGI Fridays for a basket of wings (and beer, of course). The “road” isn’t kind to people interested in being the boss of their food, rather than the other way around.
Friends and Family:
First, there’s the one we all deal with: the friend who really isn’t a friend but who finds his way into your life more so than your friend friends. Dump this dude, pronto. He’s nothing but a stress-inducing leach, slowly sucking your health away like a Browns fan on a Sunday afternoon.
Take a sec and re-evaluate your relationships. Do the joyous moments outweigh the crummy ones? Do you feel in control, or are you in the backseat, being driven wildly down a road you hoped to exit ten miles ago? Are you acting, or are you reacting?
Now, most of us have a responsibility to our families. We are bound by blood to make sure our families are healthy and happy. But again, if this is a drain, and you can actually distance yourself, then do it. You don’t have to abandon them completely, but you can try to slide in a few breaks here and there—something that will make the familial relationship healthy again.
Broccoli and apples and almonds are great, but without putting that stuff to work, you’re not getting the full benefit. Be Active!
Think about when you were younger, dudes. You were outside playing, riding your bike or running around the kickball field. During the winter, you did the same, but in the basement, breaking lamps and stepping on G. I. Joe figures.
Now, you sit at your computer, reading about daily events on your phone, while drinking a soda. F-that!
We need to get back into the rhythm of moving. Just cuz we’re 40 doesn’t mean we have to give into the stereotype of feeling old.
I hate when people say, “I’m getting old”—especially when they’re 35! You’re not old! You just quit moving around, so when you do move, it’s a shock to your system.
No doubt, finding time to move around, walk or run or swim, takes time, but it’s up to all of us to make the commitment. You want to feel stronger and look better? You’re gonna have to put that body to work.
It takes all three of these to be completely healthy. You need a diet of primarily whole foods, wholesome relationships, and a whole lot of moving around.
Of course, you don’t need to go all out, a hundred percent, on all of these at once, but start thinking about them, become aware of the different parts of health. Which one drags you down the most? Adjust one and see how it affects the others. Experiment.
And don’t try to perfect them all! That’s a one-way ticket to Doomsville.
Easy does it. Start taking those walking breaks from time to time. Don’t answer the call from Uncle Budinski, who you know is gonna ask you to pick up his dog treats for him. And check your work email at home a little less (and never after 8 PM!).
Structure your surroundings so that you’re in the driver’s seat. It’ll help that healthy food digest a whole lot better.
Oh, and chew your food dammit!