This Isn’t Your Practice Life. (Stop Eating Like It Is!)

This meal took time to prepare (15 whole minutes), but investing in my life makes me smile.
This meal took time to prepare (15 whole minutes), but investing in my life makes me smile.

This isn’t your practice life. I stole that line from a friend’s Facebook status update. She heard an acquaintance say it. He picked it up from a former coworker. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d seen it or heard it somewhere, too. Good advice, packaged nicely into a single-sentence sound-byte, travels fast. But how many of us are actually living this advice?

I spent my last trail run mulling this over. It’s so easy in our work-a-day world to get bogged down with the daily stress of life, to forget about being passionate, and to simply go through the motions. I see clients do it all the time—and I’ve noticed it’s being fed by their eating habits.

They are bypassing the produce department in the grocery store, filling their carts with 300-calorie boxed meals, and thinking they’re making the healthy choice, one that will make their lives easier (and, therefore, happier). But instead of filling up on bliss, they’re feeding into a dull, drab existence. That box—loaded with sodium, colorants, flavorings, and artificial preservatives—isn’t nourishing a bright, positive life, because the ingredients inside are merely pretending to be food.

Many of us sit around and think the world is happening to us. In reality, we are creating our own existence. If you want joy, if you want passion, you need to nourish your body with the most vibrant foods you can buy (I’m talking about vegetables, people!), and create a happy existence from the inside out.

Despite what all those clever marketers want you to believe, there aren’t nearly as many nutrients in packaged, processed items as there are in fresh, whole foods. And there certainly isn’t any joy in nuking your dinner. Just imagine how depressing Thanksgiving would be if the family simply waited 3 minutes for the turkey dinner and then scurried off to the next conference call.

Whole foods take time to prepare. But I believe what you spend in the kitchen will multiply in your soul. You are sending a message to your body that you deserve to be cared for; you deserve to be well fed. In order to go out and do great things, you need to feel great—and that feeling begins by fueling your body with the most nourishing foods possible. This isn’t a practice life, so why are you eating like it is.

How will you nourish your life today?

To Do List: Buy Bananas, Motivate New Runners

It's amazing how a t-shirt and some bananas can kick off a conversation about the ego.
It’s amazing how a t-shirt and some bananas can kick off a conversation about the ego.

I needed bananas, so I stopped by Whole Foods on Tuesday. I thought I’d simply run in, grab what I needed, and get out before being tempted to buying anything else. Instead, I found myself chatting with a woman near the fish counter about her exercise routine. (She noticed my t-shirt—a little black number promoting butt-kicking New York City fitness studio As One.)

When the topic turned to running, she said, “I’d love to be a runner, but I don’t think I can do it.” It’s a typical mental pattern that afflicts runners and non-runners alike. (How many times have you talked yourself out of trying something new?)

That little voice inside of you that says, “But I’ll look stupid,” and asks, “What if I fail?” is your ego—a powerful thing that uses fear to keep you from pounding the pavement. Fear is a pretty darn convincing tactic, but it doesn’t have to stop you. To calm her ego, here’s what I suggested to the woman in grocery store:

Ask yourself three questions Do I believe that I can’t run? Is it really true that I can’t run? Am I going to let these false thoughts hold me back? The answer to all of these should be a resounding, NO! If you can put one foot in front of the other, I promise, you can run.

Acknowledge the fear and go for it The anxiety that you feel before running for the first time is real, and it’s normal. But that shouldn’t hold you back. Just tell your ego, “This is scary, but I’m going to do it anyway.” Say it out loud if it makes you feel good—I do it every time I line up for a road race!

Give yourself a physical out It’s OK to walk when you get tired during a run. In fact, there’s an entire method built around run-then-walk that has been used successfully by thousands of marathon finishers. (Google “running coach Jeff Galloway” for proof.) Plan to run for one minute, walk for two, and then repeat. This will get you (and your ego) started on a healthy new path!

What gets you up and running ? Has your ego ever gotten in the way of your goals?