You made it! Give yourself a pat on the back. Really, DO IT! You’ve earned it. It’s Day 7 and we’ve covered a ton of ground over the last week. You’ve made significant changes and have set the stage for living the life you want to live. You’re now armed with the tools and information to go beyond this 7 day journey into a full fledged 30 day experience. Don’t stop now! You’ve already done the hardest part — now it’s time to “chop wood, carry water” and keep moving toward your goal.
“But, I’ve done the 7 days, do I really have to go a full 30 days?”
Here’s the deal, although changes happen quickly when we start eating, sleeping and moving in accordance with a paleo lifestyle, we are human, often impatient, and want a PROFOUND change. In order for those profound changes to take place we need to give the process enough time to really take hold. On a psychological level, we also need to do this long enough that we can set up new patterns and break from old behaviors. So, hang in there, you are doing great!
Just three more things
There’s just a wee bit more that I want to cover in this course. True health involves much more than just paying attention to the foods we eat. Yes, our bodies respond incredibly well when we feed ourselves whole, unprocessed foods, and when we sleep 8-9 hours in a pitch black room, but that’s just the start. We also need physical activity (we need to move around), we need healthy social interactions and we need sun.
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail:
Ah, the Sun — that bright orb in the sky that many fear will strike us dead with skin cancer. Well, it turns out that not enough sun can be just as harmful as excessive sun exposure. We need healthy, incremental sun exposure for many of our bodily processes to function properly. It appears the best way to prevent skin cancer is to tan gradually, a little each day. Clearly, you’ll want to use common sense. You don’t want to burn. If you’ll be out in the sun all day wear a hat and a long sleeved shirt, and grab an umbrella for shade (or find shade under a tree). Again, you don’t want to burn.
We humans are highly social creatures. Our social interactions play a big role in our lives, impacting many of the choices we make.
If you find yourself surrounded by people who are negative or aren’t supportive of the lifestyle changes you’re making you’ll have a tougher road ahead than someone surrounded by a supportive network.
Are your friends and family supportive of the changes you’re making?
Jim Rohn puts it this way: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Read that statement again. Now reflect on that a bit. Who are those 5 people in your life? Are they supportive of your health and lifestyle changes? Do they value taking care of their own health? If you surround yourself with people who are active, and eat well, it makes it that much easier for you to do the same.
If you decide that it’s time to expand your social network and make a few new friends, try a few of these suggestions to meet like minded people:
- Schedule your WOD classes in your agenda and stick with it.
- Talk to other people interested in Real-Food or other health oriented interests.
- Sign up for an outdoor adventure: kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, fly fishing…you get the idea!
Walk. It doesn’t need to be much more complicated than this. Our ancestors walked an average of 5-6 miles PER DAY. Roughly 10,000 steps. Sadly, many of us today can count our daily steps in the hundreds. Get outdoors and walk. You can start slowly and work your way up. Grab a pedometer or use an app on your phone to track the number of steps each day. As a bonus you’ll likely get some healthy sun exposure in the process.
If you’ve got the walking thing dialed and want to amp things up a bit start with some strength training. Resistance training with weights helps increase muscle tone, which in turn increases your metabolism. You only need two or three days per week of a full body program to see remarkable improvements in your strength, endurance and body composition. If you are working out at home you can do bodyweight movements that are safe for your fitness level. Buying a few dumbbells and perhaps a TRX strap will open up a huge number of movement options.
There you have it! Food, Sleep, Sun, Community and Movement.