“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”—Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Most people aren’t and that’s okay. This journey isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most people. There are plenty of other blogs out there that will provide you with more comfortable, mainstream, politically correct advice that better lends itself to watercooler chitchat and cocktail party drivel.
But maybe you don’t want to be like most people. Just maybe, you want to be the best version of you possible; the person you dreamed of being as a kid, the person your kids think you are, or the real you visible during brief periods of authentic self-realization (near death experiences, health scares, or one too many glasses of wine).
This is Not Going to Be an Easy Journey But It Will Be Worth It
Attaining the body and life you want will be difficult and time consuming. Living an extraordinary life means making extraordinary sacrifices. It will require questioning mainstream beliefs about what is “healthy” and what is “dangerous”. Many of your friends and family members will think you are crazy. You will be the odd man out much of the time, eating things some people think are strange while avoiding popular addictions most people “can’t live without” (e.g. bread, cheese, sugar, alcohol, etc.). You will be spending more than ever before on high-quality food while spending less than ever on egoic trappings of modern consumerism (the latest iGadget, that new car, a bigger house, etc.).
But the upside far outweighs the downside. By changing how you eat, move, and think, you are going to:
- Lose heaps of body fat without you having to starve yourself or spend hours at the gym.
- Build strong muscles with less than an hour of exercise a week.
- Have a zen-like ability to process stress, conflict, traffic, etc.
- Sleep like a rock and wake up energized.
- Have more energy and drive than ever.
- Have the libido of a teenager.
Everything You Think You Know About Health is Wrong
This may sound like click-bait hyperbole, but nearly every popular belief today about what is “healthy” is dead wrong, or at least highly misguided. Much of the “common sense” health wisdom you have acquired in your life so far has been the product of “shoddy science, sketchy politics, and shady special interests” (as Denine Minger puts it in the subtitle of her book Death by Food Pyramid), not the ironclad, irrefuctible “science” mainstreams institutions claim.
In fact, very little true science has occurred in the field of health for decades. Instead of trying to disprove hypotheses, most health related research today aims to uphold, not question, preconceived notions. Any evidence incongruent with the status quo is thrown out.
Instead of throwing out evidence, it’s time to instead throw out untenable beliefs about what constitutes a healthy body and life. Here is but a brief selection of the most common misconceptions that are standing between you and optimal health:
- “The key to losing weight is eating less and exercising more.” Wrong.
- “Meat causes cancer.” Wrong.
- “Vegetarianism and veganism are best for both humans and the planet.” Wrong.
- “Salt is bad for you.” Wrong.
- “The sun is bad for you.” Wrong.
Empty Your Cup
According to Buddhist lore, a highly knowledgeable scholar named Tokusan once visited a Zen master named Ryutan wanting to learn more about the mysteries of Zen Buddhism. During the conversation, Master Ryutan began refilling his guest’s teacup, but didn’t stop as usual when nearing the top of the cup. Tea began spilling over the brim, running all over the table. Caught off guard by this seemingly careless mistake, Tokusan shouted, “Stop! The cup is full!” To which the master calmly replied, “Exactly. You are like this cup. You are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full. I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”
We are embarking on a journey of true learning, growth, and transformation together, but to successfully make the journey, you must first empty your cup of what you think you “know” about health, nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, etc.
Ready? Let’s begin.