Fooling our Brains

I read your story on the internet, and then started following your blog during your body beast routine. I find you to be an inspiration. I do not game, nor do I really know what eve online is. I am thankful to have found your blog. I am trying to start a program. About a year ago I started P90X, and lasted for 34 days. Some background on me. I have four kids, work full time and I am a full time student. I am married. We also have two dogs and three cats. Busy is an understatement. I recently purchased Tony Horton’s 10 minute trainer in the hopes of starting this program. I need to do something, as I have gained 50 lbs and currently am not happy with that. I have started eating properly this week and plan on continuing that. I was really just hoping for you to give me tips on how to start something when I feel like I barely have time to catch my breath. Thank you for sharing your story.

– Amber

Darlin, thank you for stepping up and sharing your story. It’s not always easy to ask for help, or to make one’s self accountable; putting ourselves out there can be very scary.

I’ve previously shared some of the severe mental/emotional extremes I put myself through in order to succeed, but today I’m going to go through a bit of a long-winded story to make an obvious point. I only say obvious because it’s something so inherently simple we all overlook it. Hear me out with an open mind please.

This morning I woke up and began my regular routine:

  • stumble to bathroom, lift lid, sit down, do my business
  • wipe, stand, pull up pants, clean seat, flush, wash hands with soap
  • get dressed, go downstairs
  • have pre-workout drink
  • go to gym
  • workout
  • post-workout drink
  • go home
  • shower
  • etc, etc

Seems like a pretty boring and straightforward list, and it is. Not once did I think about any of it. It’s become such a habit over time that I really don’t feel awake now until I’m about halfway through my first set at the gym.

The irony here is that not a single thing on the list is something I’ve always known how to do. I had to consciously focus to learn each one of them. I had to repetitively keep doing it until it stuck. At that point, it became second nature. Read the list again, only this time thinking about the first time you learned each item.

  • Did we always know to lift the lid and sit to do our business? There was a time we just shat ourselves and let our mommies clean it up
  • Learning to wipe, also something important we don’t give a second thought to anymore but we’d never think of not doing it
  • Washing our hands after we go to the washroom. Some people never learned this hygienic behaviour and as a result, have a hard time remembering to do this now, though they could still teach themselves
  • Getting dressed before going outside
  • etc, etc

I did mention it would be longwinded but with a purpose. Our minds function best through habitual repetition. We never outgrow it or get too old for it. Think about it even in regards to your career. Every time you start a new job, there are new procedures and processes to follow. You learn to follow them, to adapt, because to not do so results in the loss of your source of income. Therefore, it’s important.

Why is it then we don’t put the same emphasis on our health? Without our health there is no source of income. Without our health, there is no life with our children. Without our health, there is no energy so we will always feel like we are just playing catch up on our lives.

There’s an old quote, I don’t remember who by, but it goes something like this:

If you want something done, ask a busy person.

Busy people always manage to find time to get things done. I digress.

PROPER NUTRITION

I cannot stress this enough. Proper nutrition is the single most important thing to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just about how much to eat, or what to eat, but also knowing when to eat what. For example, you shouldn’t eat fruits in the afternoon, but many people do, thinking well it’s fruit, so it has to be good. Nope. Your body doesn’t know how to process that much sugar that time of day so converts it into stored fat. That’s just one example.

You should be eating carbs in the morning only, healthy fats in the afternoon/evening and proteins all day long. Veggies are freedom food for the most part, and you should hydrate 1 litre of water for every 50 lbs of body weight. Eat smaller meals every 2 – 3 hours during an 8 hour feeding window, fasting the other 16 hours per day.

No sodas, no juices, no processed foods, nothing from a box or bag. Eat smart. What goes in comes out, plain and simple.

Prep time takes too long? It takes me three hours once per Sunday to prep food enough for an entire week.

SLEEP

Eight hours. That is what your body needs every night at a consistent time. It’s how our bodies recover. Get some sleep.

EXERCISE

Keep it changing. Keep it intense. Keep it short.

I’m still digressing. You asked how to find time to do all these things. Let me ask you a few questions then:

  • Would you ever let your child starve because you have no time to make a meal?
  • Would you ever let your child go filthy because you have no time to wipe their butt or bathe them?
  • Would you ever let your child suffer by keeping them up all night every night, not letting them get the sleep they need?
  • Would you ever kill yourself and leave your child alone in this life?

You probably answered no to the first three and thought “Roc, WTF?!” to the fourth. Here’s the thing though – not only are you killing yourself, you’re showing your children how to kill themselves too by example. Yeah, harsh. I know.

That’s how seriously you have to take your health. That’s how motivated you need to be. You’ve let yourself fall into some dangerously bad habits. Your brain and body are now your enemy and will try to sabotage you at every step. You need to be determined. You need to have mental discipline. You need to remind them both that you are in charge, not them.

That is why I digressed. To give you little tidbits of information to get you started on your journey. Educate yourself. In this day of information, ignorance is a choice. Make the time. Tony Horton’s 10 minute trainer can work, I’ve watched my own wife use it, but it only works if you do it consistently.

Hell, even doing a fail set of pushups/situps/squats every chance you get throughout the day will work. Before you know it, you’ll be doing hundreds of them per day because it’s a habit you’ve trained your mind into.

So how do you keep going? How to you remain consistent? How do you find time to live a healthy life? You just do. There is no other answer. It has to be as important as wiping your ass, as important as feeding your child. Make it a critical part of your daily routine and you’ll be amazed how quickly you stop thinking about it and are just out there doing it.

You inspire me. Fly strong.

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3 responses to “Fooling our Brains

  1. Absolutely awesome article as Roc is top notch in knowing his stuff and what works and what doesn’t. Thanks for spreading your knowledge Roc as it helps me stay on top of my game as well in my teachings. Also, you always inspire and motivate me 🙂

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