Nutrition

Calorie Counting – Is It Really That Important?

The short answer would be ‘it depends’.

If you have had even the tiniest of experiences in weight loss or ‘toning’ your body (i.e. building muscle) you would have been told to stick to your daily calorie target. You would also have been told about the concept of ‘calories in’ vs. ‘calories out’. In order to lose weight the calories consumed should be less than the calories used up.

Although this concept is very true and correct, simply looking at calories is not automatically going to give you good health (even if you’re achieving your fitness/weight loss targets!).

Calories post

Why is that? Because each calorie has its own nutritional value. That means that, depending on its source, a calorie will have a different composition of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water). And so calories from fat will function differently in the body compared to calories from sugar.

Sugar, the simplest form of carbohydrates, requires very little digestion and goes straight into the bloodstream. Now, the body can only process the sugar at a certain rate and it also has a limit as to how much sugar should be circulating in the blood. Too much sugar in the blood can cause a range of serious metabolic derangements in the body and so our bodies try really hard to remove excess sugar from the bloodstream (in fact, our bodies work best when we have less than 1 teaspoon of sugar circulating in the bloodstream). And so the body will first use as much sugar as it can for energy and then the rest will be stored as fat.

Blood sugar

On the other hand, calories from fats are released more slowly because fats take longer to digest and absorb (some say up to 8 hours!). This allows the body to use up the energy released from the fats in small batches, avoiding the flood of energy which then has to be stored as fat.

To make things more complicated, it is not just about the macronutrients (those required in large quantities) – proteins, fats and carbohydrates. We can think of these macronutrients as the fuel and building blocks of the body. However, it is the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which act as the gears that enable the body to use the fuel and function properly. Thus, a calorie which contains mostly macronutrients but little or no micronutrients is also of little use to the body.

And so we go back to the beginning – not all calories are made equal. If you’re just interested in weight loss, eating anything within your calorie target could still help you lose weight. However, in addition to losing weight you may also deplete the body of the vital minerals and vitamins, the gears of the body, which affect how your body functions and ultimately your health!

Oh, by the way, did you also know that calories from different food sources are burnt differently? We’ll talk about this and the various factors which affect how we burn calories in part 2 of this post. Stay tuned!

Nutrition

What is Functional Nutrition and Why Should You Care?

Nutrition – the word itself conjures images of strict diets and weight scales, doesn’t it? And yet nutrition is about a lot more than just that.

Over the years nutrition has started taking a more prominent spot in the worlds of health and medicine. Not just in the treatment of digestive diseases, but for a wide variety of ailments and health situations.

Functional Nutrition post

At the forefront of change is a new discipline called ‘Functional medicine’ – I spoke about it in an earlier post. In a nutshell, functional medicine relies heavily on nutrition and lifestyle interventions before turning to pharmaceuticals.

Why are these changes happening now? Because people from both sides of the field (i.e. patients and healthcare providers) are starting to realize that the current system doesn’t work.

To put it in the words of the great biochemist and author Dr. T. Colin Campbell, most countries today have a “disease-care system” rather than a healthcare one.

Current Western medical models are too focused on the individual parts of the human body (reductionism). Although this approach can tell us a lot about how specific organs work on their own, it doesn’t reveal much about how they all function together in the complex human body. For example, knowing how the neurons in the brain work doesn’t really help us understand why we react emotionally to our favorite song.

Reductionism
From T. Colin Campbell’s book “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”

We need to see the full picture to truly understand what is going on. And we can do this through functional medicine and functional nutrition.

How? Functional nutrition goes much deeper than food labels and diet plans – its main focus is finding the root cause of your symptoms and resolving them. A nutritionist trained in functional medicine will use advanced laboratory testing and other assessment techniques to create powerful and highly personalized therapeutic interventions.

The first step in the functional approach is to take a detailed look at the patient’s history – not just the physical symptoms but also other predisposing factors, such as past stressful life events. Stress is a huge factor in many (if not all!) diseases.

The next step would be lab testing to confirm (or exclude) possible underlying causes of the symptoms. As the saying goes – “test, don’t guess”.

Based on all of the information collected, a functional nutritionist will then start investigating what is the root cause. Where are all of your symptoms and ailments intersecting? Is there a common factor, pathway or axis? Are there any imbalances in body functions and systems?

You may be surprised how intricately all systems of our body are connected. For example, food intolerances (e.g. lactose and gluten) can cause headaches and migraines with mild or minimal symptoms in the digestive tract (which may be missed easily). A traditional doctor may just prescribe you a medicine for the migraines, without really looking into the root cause.

In other cases, a person may be experiencing a range of symptoms, however standard medical tests would come back “in the clear” and the person would be told that there is nothing wrong with them. This is usually because most lab reference ranges are for end-stage disease and not for optimal health – just because something isn’t marked red on the test result doesn’t mean that all is ok!

Another example is the link between inflammation and many “incurable” chronic diseases:

what-is-chronic-inflammation-jan-overbay

As you can see, a functional nutritionist is committed to finding the root cause of your symptoms and resolving them, no matter how long it takes. They are also committed to working together with you, listening to your story and how your body feels. And that is why functional nutrition and functional medicine is the answer to some of the problems in health and healthcare today.

Nutrition, psychology

Is Your Food Making You Depressed?

No, I don’t mean that “boring, bland, diet food” (although healthy food is not boring, but more on that later). What I’m talking about is your standard food intake. You know, the “wholegrain” sandwich and pasta, the takeaway pizza, the “healthy” rice bowl or potato mash – those kind of things.

How can they make you depressed – they taste like happiness right?! Well, despite the short-term boost in mood, a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet can lead to something called insulin resistance.

Insulin Resistance Depression

Insulin resistance (IR)

What is it? IR happens when the cells in your body are not responding to the hormone insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, takes excess glucose from our blood stream into many cells throughout the body.

When your cells refuse to open their ‘doors’ to insulin, the excess glucose remains in the blood wreaking all sort of trouble. Here’s just a few of the issues caused by IR:

  • The cells run out of fuel. Yes, our cells need glucose to produce energy and function properly.
  • The cells become malnourished. When our cells open their ‘doors’ to glucose, they also let in vital nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins. These nutrients are also needed for proper cellular function.
  • Burnout of pancreatic cells. The beta-cells of the pancreas are responsible for producing insulin. These cells are stimulated by excess glucose in the blood. Constantly high blood glucose levels will force these cells to work overtime, pumping out as much insulin as they can until they start to burn out and die. The result: reduced capacity of the body to produce insulin. This is the beginning of diabetes.

IR and brain chemistry

OK, we now know that both insulin and glucose are needed to take nutrients into our cells. But how does that relate to our mood, brain chemistry and depression specifically?

You may have heard that our moods are regulated by our brain chemistry. What that means is that certain chemical molecules can affect how our brain cells function. Such molecules are called neurotransmitters – they transmit ‘information’ from a nerve cell to another nerve cell or a muscle cell or any other cell in our body.

Neurotransmitters are made inside the brain from amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and other compounds. To get inside the brain, the amino acids have to pass a protective barrier called the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This process requires sufficient amounts of insulin and the cells to be sensitive to insulin’s actions.

The important neurotransmitters for regulating our moods are serotonin, dopamine, adrenalin, acetylcholine and GABA. Here’s how two of them are made:

Serotonin Synthesis
Serotonin synthesis

Audio from Dr. Oscar Coetzee, Masters in Human Nutrition lecturer and clinical nutritionist.

Dopamine Synthesis
Dopamine synthesis

So when the cells in our body, including the brain, are not responding properly to insulin fewer amino acids can cross the BBB leading to a drop in the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. This alters our brain chemistry and can lead to many emotional and psychological symptoms including the below:

Neurotransmitter Symptoms 1Neurotransmitter Symptoms 2

So here you are – what you eat can make you depressed by altering your brain chemistry! Of course there are more factors including stress, addictive and toxic foods as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These will be covered in future posts, so keep an eye out if you’re interested!

Nutrition

What is Alternative Medicine and Where does Nutrition Fit?

Alternative medicine has been on the rise for several decades now and it seems that it will keep growing in the foreseeable future. The most recent addition to the alternative medicine family is Functional medicine. Why is it different? Because it offers something traditional medicine doesn’t – that is working on the body as a whole to eliminate the root cause, rather an as isolated systems of organs and suppressing symptoms.

So what’s the big fuss? Let’s take a look at the current healthcare landscape.

Functional Medicine 2

Functional Medicine Final

 

Conventional Medicine

Western medicine or allopathic medicine is the dominant approach to health are not only in the West but in any developed country (thanks to globalization). These paradigm treat the symptoms of disease rather than the root cause. The National Cancer Institute’s describes allopathic and Western medicine as using “drugs, radiation or surgery to treat symptoms and disease. These can also be called conventional medicine or mainstream medicine.

Alternative Medicine

There are many paradigms which fall under “alternative medicine”. According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), this approach goes beyond just treating symptoms and aims to achieve optimal health. Osteopathic healthcare consists of conventional drugs, surgery and special osteopathic manipulative techniques. These techniques are hands-on – an osteopathic doctor would use their hands to stretch or apply gentle pressure on muscles and joints.

Holistic medicine encompasses body, mind and soul into its practice. It treats the person as one whole, rather than the sum of its parts/organs/systems, and thus the name holistic. Like osteopathic medicine, holistic medicine looks for the root cause of problems, rather than just treating symptoms. It includes physical, social, psychological and spiritual elements of health and disease.

Naturopathic medicine has self-healing at the core of its paradigm. It uses therapeutic methods (including nutritional, manipulative, homeopathic and botanical therapies) and substances to assist the body in healing itself. It also focuses on identifying and eliminating the root causes of disease and ill health.

And finally, integrative medicine is the marriage of mainstream and alternative medicine. I believe integrative medicine incorporates all of the above. Some of the top interventions used in integrative medicine are nutrition, yoga, supplementation, massage, meditation and acupuncture.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is a systems-based method, linking physiology and function. It takes into account the patient’s lifestyle, genes and environment when looking for the root cause and developing a treatment plan. It is often confused with integrative medicine, because of their many similarities, including a patient-centered approach.

I really like the definition below from  this article on Deepak Chopra’s website:

“The Textbook of Functional Medicine defines FM as the ‘prevention, early assessment, and improved management of complex, chronic disease by intervening at multiple levels to correct core clinical imbalances and thereby restore each patient’s functionality and health to the greatest extent possible’.”

Functional Medicine’s 6 Core Principles:

  1. Recognizing the individuality and genetic uniqueness of each human being
  2. Supporting a holistic, patient-cantered — rather than disease-cantered — approach to treatment
  3. Searching for a dynamic balance between body, mind, and spirit
  4. Acknowledging the interconnectedness of all internal body functions
  5. Seeing health as a positive vitality — not just the absence of disease
  6. Striving to enhance the health span, not just the life span, of each patient

There’s a good analogy of functional medicine as a tree: the leaves are the symptoms, the trunk is the clinical imbalances, and the roots are the environmental and genetic dispositions.

Functional medicine was found on the premise that dysfunctions on multiple levels (psychological, physiological, etc.) precede disease. Part of its approach is to define disease in terms of how the individual’s genome interacts with the environment and lifestyle and how that is expressed in physiological function.

A typical course of action would be to correct physiological imbalances and change the environmental factors (including nutrition) which undermine optimal function.

Back to Alternative Medicine

All of the outlined medicine paradigms have one goal in common – to restore and maintain optimal health. Alternative and especially functional medicine aims to go beyond the absence of disease and towards 100% function of the body.

Illness-wellness continuum

Where does nutrition fit into this? Nutrition fits in each and every model. It is a core component of osteopathic, naturopathic, holistic and functional medicine. It can also help many hospital in-patients and out-patients in their recovery from invasive treatments or to counter-balance the effects of medications. Nutrients affect us not just on a system level but also on a cellular level. We need good nutrition in order function optimally and support our bodies to maintain homeostasis (balance).

I believe all of these approaches can work together under a funnel approach. At the top of the funnel we have the less invasive/aggressive approaches: osteopathic medicine, holistic medicine, naturopathic medicine and functional medicine. In this way most of the chronic diseases can be prevented and reversed, the burden on public health systems and hospitals can be lowered and patients can actively participate (and choose) their treatment plans.

At the bottom of the funnel would be the remaining approaches: western medicine, allopathic medicine and regenerative medicine. Let’s not forget that A&E doctors save lives every day! That is why we cannot completely eliminate traditional medicine – we still need it for emergency and severe cases. However, I would rather see them as a last resort.

The “funnel” approach as I would like to call it will limit the number of people requiring medications and surgeries, free up more time for the allopathic doctor so that he/she can focus more on their patient’s care and thus improve their service. And this is why non-mainstream medicine will continue to grow.

IntegratedMedicine

 

lifestyle

2018 Wellness Trends

2018 Wellness trends

Here we are at the end of January and there have been plenty of new trends in the health and wellbeing field. Industry experts predict that 2018 will see moringa (a “super” anti-inflammatory green) replace turmeric, collagen overtake protein powders and “nootropic” (brain boosters/cognitive enhancers) supplements climb the top of the popularity list.

Other trends include the focus on gut health, supporting your mitochondria (cell power houses) produce more energy and sleep optimisation. But I’m not going to discuss these here because these trends may work for some people but they may not for others. This happens because of our biochemical individuality – we are all unique in terms of genetics, current health status and environmental & lifestyle factors.

With that in mind, I have picked a couple of trends I found interesting and could perhaps be applied to most of us. Let’s take a look:

2018 Trends - Tech

I’m really happy to see that disconnecting from social media and technology is deemed to be one of the top wellness trends for 2018. According to top wellness websites Mindbodygreen and Well+Good this year more and more of us will turn away from social media platforms and tech gadgets in a bid to reduce stress and break away from harmful addictions. As technology and apps improve their designs and features to keep us hooked, we aim to retaliate by returning to the real world and stimulating our brains with real interactions and fostering new communities.

As more and more evidence suggests smart tech is to blame for stress, anxiety, depression (and even rising teenage suicide rates), we have become determined to break free from tech chains and companies & entrepreneurs are taking notice. Catering to this trend are a growing number of co-working spaces, phone-free social clubs, wi-fi free cafes & hotels and “analogue” travel destinations (Check out Villa Stephanie in Baden-Baden, Germany —which blocks all WiFi signals from your room by embedding copper plates in the walls — the Mandarin Hotel Las Vegas’ ‘digital wellness escape” where phones are left at the front desk and glamping startup Hipcamp for totally off-the-grid places).

But we are not completely turning our backs to technology – rather we’re choosing when and how we use it (#we’vegotthepower – literally). Sleep-tech innovation now enables us to rest our weary bodies on smart mattresses which can track your sleep cycles, adjust room temperature and wake you up only when you are in a stage of light sleep. And if you don’t want to part with your existing mattress you have a choice of sleep trackers, apps and gadgets like Apple watch. Another helpful tech category that has recently emerged is femtech – female health apps (from cycle mapping to fertility and conception apps, there’s something for every woman).

2018 Trends - Self-care

Part of the motivation for these changes in technology use and demand are due to our increasing awareness for mental and spiritual wellbeing. The rise of “self-care” marks a new direction for the yoga/meditation/mindfulness trend. More and more people are looking to engage in a slower pace of life. We are just beginning to accept that it is ok to not have a thousand goals on your list / not exercise everyday / not sacrifice sleep / not put yourself last. Scheduling daily or weekly me-time is gaining popularity because it gives us time to recover, get some peace of mind and be fully charged and ready to help and support those who need us.

Mindfulness industry
From Mindbodygreen.com

Meditation and mindfulness are welcoming a lot of new kids on the block – knitting, journaling, colouring,  home bath ritual products, taking the time to sit and enjoy our food or even just having lazy mornings in bed! Oh and there’s this new thing called breathwork which is not new really, but instead derives from the way yogis use breath to further their practice. It is becoming popular because, unlike meditation, it does not require you to be in a calm mental state. In fact, you can use specific patterns of breathing to calm down or boost your energy and thus improve your mental wellbeing.

Breathwork
From Mindbodygreen.com

Related to the rise in self-care is the increasing demand for affordable, natural, “green” beauty products. Big corporations like Target, Procter & Gamble and Unilever are finally giving a lot more prominence to chemical-free products (perhaps in the hopes to cash in on consumer’s demand?) and improving transparency on label info.

2018 Trends - Green Beauty

It’s not just about cleaner, organic products though – we want our products to be high performing. Not only are we looking for products which match the efficacy of non-natural products but we want them to nourish and protect our skin from the sun and pollution. Enter “skin-barrier-supporting” and “microbiome-enhancing” serums which promise to build our skin’s defence against environmental toxins and improve its function. These products use ingredients such as lipids, ceramides, adaptogens, and even live bacteria to help our skin adapt to our environment.

Ultimately what these trends show us is two things – 1. we, as consumers, have the power to change entire industries and 2. investing time in our wellbeing is an important (and growing) aspect of health.

The most important thing you should keep in mind when making any health related decisions is that you are unique and only you can tell what works for you.

Life Coaching, Motivation

Mind Over Matter

You may be shocked if I said that you create your own reality or you may be not. But one thing is for sure – the power of our thinking is acknowledged more and more as a major influence to our quality of life.

The most familiar example would be stress. When we are stressed we think and act in a certain way, but also we see the world in a certain way. We become more aware of negative things around us, we start to worry about them and somehow “miraculously” they become a reality.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be in control of this reality? To change what we don’t like and remove the stress? What if we could?

The well-established fields of psychology and neuroscience along with new comers such as NLP and quantum physics all point that there is proof that our thoughts create the reality we experience.

Of course, each field has its own way of explaining this. From the molecular level of biology to the energy vibrations level of physics there is proof that our thoughts can materialise physically.

But perhaps a more simple and easy way to understand this is through the lens of psychology & NLP. Through this lens you can view how we create our reality in four steps:


Step 1 – Experience through our senses

We experience the world through our senses and send some of this data to our brain. Our senses are actually very limited – for example we can’t see ultraviolet light. Therefore we don’t really see everything the world has to offer (i.e. not the absolute reality, but a perceived reality).

Step 2 – Meaning making through conditioning

Out of the 400 billion bits of sensory data received every second (yes, every second!) our brains can only process 2,000 bits of data. I guess this deletion is for our own good – imagine feeling the clothes on your skin all of the time! That would drive us insane!

Apart from deleting information, we are also very good at distorting whatever information is left by categorising it into groups of data and then generalising these groups on to future experiences. For example, if we categorise someone we’ve met as “fun”, then we will assume that they are generally fun all of the time and we will act accordingly.

How we distort and generalise information depends on our conditioning – that is our upbringing, memories and personality; our beliefs, values and expectations.

Step 3 – Emotional state through thinking

After deleting, distorting and generalising we are left with thoughts and these thoughts affect the state we are in. Our emotional state affects us physically and mentally. 

For example, when we are angry we can notice that as we think more and more negative thoughts about the person, object or situation that caused the anger our heart rate and breathing speeds up.

“Emotion is the fuel for action.”


Step 4 – Life outcomes through behaviour

Based on what we think and feel we act and our behaviour produces results (both good and bad). It is these results that affect our reality or, if you prefer, our current experience of life. 

Now we have come full circle and can see the logic in how we create our own reality. Of course, the information here is overly simplified and there are many books from different fields that describe the process in a lot more detail.

But if there is one sentence you should take away this is the one:

Our conditioning affects our emotional state which in turn influences our behaviour and the outcome of that behaviour.

Life Coaching, Motivation

Why do People Fail?

In the last post we talked about the philosophy of NLP and the basic principle of focusing on what you do want, rather than on what you don’t want.

So if success was so easy to achieve why do so many people fail? Let’s see…

How many times have we taken advice from the wrong people? And by wrong, I don’t mean bad – just that they themselves haven’t achieved their goals or success. Basically, they advise you on how to achieve something they haven’t achieved themselves! If you want to achieve success, always look for a successful person to use as a role model.

Others want to achieve success from within their comfort zone. They are not willing to change the way they act and think. And yet, how many success stories have we heard where the person in question decided to do something different which led them to their success? Success doesn’t come overnight. It takes long-term, consistent efforts to not only learn but adopt new knowledge and behaviour which produces the new results we want.


And then there are others who won’t even attempt to achieve success until they have a ‘solid’ plan (whatever that means). They keep on planning their route to success, but they never really start the journey because they don’t have all the means or a part of the plan hasn’t been figured out yet. Now, planning is good and can help (trust me, I love planning!), but you will never know if your plan will work until you try.

Don’t be like those people! Set your goals, get advice from the right people and step out of your comfort zone. What’s the worst that could happen?

Life Coaching, Motivation

What is NLP?

You probably already know about my certification and you’re wondering what exactly is NLP?

Well it is good to wonder… because when we ask questions we learn new things. And when we learn new things we grow, which is a good thing, is it not?

Definition of NLP

Back to NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming. What is it?

Well there are various definitions, many going along the lines of “a set of tools or techniques to structure our internal systems and deal with obstacles in order to achieve our desired goals”. 

My personal favourite is the one from Chris Howard, NLP Master trainer & author:

“An owner’s manual for the mind”

It can be described as a set of skills and techniques which would help a person overcome a problem. These techniques work with the mind and cause a change in behaviour.

Basically, NLP uses certain communication strategies to help one achieve greater success in all areas of life.


Philosophy of NLP

When it comes to Neuro Linguistic Programming, the main focus is on the process of our thinking rather than the content of our thoughts. 

Yes, the focus is on the “how”. How we perceive the world. How our conditioned mind affects this perception and our thoughts. How our thoughts affect our behaviour and, in turn, the lives we live. 

The “why” is considered as irrelevant. Ruminating on why we ended up with things or situations that we didn’t want in life isn’t going to help us to achieve what we do want.

It is much better to focus your thoughts on what you want to achieve or something that helps you solve the current problem.To sum it up, a driving principle of NLP is using positive language in our thoughts and directing these thoughts towards our goals. For example, instead of saying “I don’t want to get fat”, say “I want to be fit and healthy.”

Simply, focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. 

Life Coaching, Motivation

Life is Like a Cake – the Result Depends on You

You know sometimes you sign up for things with certain expectations but you end up with unexpected results? Yeah, happens right?

Well, last month I attended a life coaching and neurolinguistic programming course and boy was it intense!
We learned about the power of the mind, how we perceive reality, the importance of how we use language both in our thinking and in conversing with others and so much more!

I’ve always had an interest in the science of the human mind. Why do we do what we do? A question that always popped in my mind when observing others.

There are many avenues to study human behavior, but it all starts with our minds! So, learning ‘the language of the mind’ as I like to call it, seemed like a valuable investment.

Yet, as you know, knowledge is power and that can sometimes be scary. Yes, with such knowldedge comes the responsibility for change. Here’s a metaphor to help get my point across:

“Many people have described life as being like a cake. Many ingredients can go into a cake, but the finished cake is down to what we do with those ingredients. We all have different life situations, but we can choose what we do with those ingredients. Some people have many fantastic ingredients, but the cake is a flop. Others have few ingredients, or less desirable ingredients, but are great cooks and make wonderful cakes.”

When we look at our lives and the results we got so far, do we see ourselves as the cause – “I made it happen” – or did life just happen to us? Are we powerless? Do we not have the choice to cause results? 

The philosophy of NLP is based precisely around that. Our conditioned mind drives our behavior which in turn produces certain results in our lives. Therefore every conscious and unconscious decision has affected our lives in some way.

Then, it seems logical to focus our thoughts and decisions towards the things that we want no?

We are powerful, we are the cause!
P.S.

If you would like to learn more about NLP and Life coaching, please feel free to send me your questions on inspiredbymiranda@gmail.com

Motivation

New Year What? A Different Reality on Being a Healthier You

Instagram makes it seem like everyone is smashing through their workouts and joyfully gulping down their protein and detox shakes, as if they have magically erased all memory of the delicious smell of pizza and the rich taste of burgers…
But the reality is often different (for me, and I hope for many others). One week in to the new year and I have come to realize that going back to a healthier lifestyle is easier said than done. All the talk about sticking to new year’s resolutions, makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong (and why I’m still eating burgers at 10pm)…

Well for starters, I didn’t really make any resolutions… Yes, of course, like everyone else I planned to go back to being healthier. But there wasn’t any specific resolution or timeframe. The truth is after months of free eating (following my exit from competing) and weeks of not working out, I knew I had to make some changes sooner or later.

However, I didn’t want to make any new year’s resolutions because they rarely seem to work. In fact, research shows that people generally fail at all of their resolutions by the 15th of February. Not really effective for long-term lifestyle changes, right? So may be I’m not doing anything wrong after all…

Here’s what I’m thinking: if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing now. Date, time and place become irrelevant to your goal, or at least as to when you start working towards your goal. I say this from experience. For months, if not years, I struggled with digestive issues until one fine autumn day I woke up and started eating a clean, plant-based diet. Boom. No more waiting and wondering when is the right time (that time will never come, fyi). I felt so much better and wondered why I didn’t start sooner.

But before we can start making any external changes, we need to reconsider our own beliefs and motivations. Sometimes it is necessary to reframe our internal view in order to find meaning and worth in those new goals we have set for ourselves. Because if you don’t truly see the value in changing your lifestyle you are already setting yourself up for failure.

And it is here that I, and many others, struggle the most. The mental battle is a tough one, no matter what level of fitness you’re at. But instead of dragging our feet and curling up with fear, it is time to pull ourselves together and take baby steps. 

There’s nothing wrong with falling off track multiple times or slowing down the pace of change. As long as you’re moving forward towards your goals & dreams, you can give yourself a pat on the back and keep moving  🙂