How To Stay Healthy
By Leo Gura - February 12, 2014 | 1 Comments
The important psychological and logistical factors you have to think about in order to stay healthy for life.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org and in this quick self-help segment I am going to talk about how to stay healthy.
Alright, so what is the bottom line? What is it that causes some people to be healthy, to take care of their health and to really get that part of their life dialed in? While other people, not so much? In fact, most people I would put in this category. It’s not just “not so much”, it’s that they have miserable health. Even if they’re not showing signs of miserable health yet, the way that they’re treating their body, they’re relationship to health is so poor that you can just see the trajectory that they’re going down.
I hope that’s not you, but if it is, we’ll fix that too. So here’s the bottom line: what I want to cover here is the psychology of staying healthy. Because that is more important than one specific technique about what food you should eat or what kind of exercise you should do at the gym.
Here’s the bottom line: the reason that you’re not healthy and you’re having difficulty staying healthy is because you have bad psychology about health. You’re not really valuing it. You’re not in touch with why you want to be healthy.
Awareness Of Health
This has been a long journey for me because I was overweight my whole life. Through college I went through a process where I lost about 65 pounds in five months. I got very health conscious back in college. I just kept with that. I kept it growing and growing and every year I just feel myself getting more in touch with my health and valuing my health, my body, my fitness more and more.
So as I’m going through this process of psychological change, I can see very clearly why people who try to diet or who try to go to the gym for new year’s resolution type deal, or try to get fit for their upcoming high school reunion, you know when I see this, I can see why those people are struggling so much, why those people aren’t healthy.
First of all, it’s hard to be healthy. To be healthy means you have to put your attention on this, this takes awareness. If I take my awareness off my health, then I’m going to stop going to the gym. I’m going to stop preparing my healthy meals. I’m going to stop shopping for the good types of food. I’m going to be careless, I’m going to be casual.
I’m just going to do what? Well, I’m going to stop at McDonald’s for a quick snack. I’m going to want to go to Starbucks to get something there. I’m going to go to a restaurant and order some big desert, or some meal that’s not healthy for me. My health is going to deteriorate and deteriorate to the point where I’m just going to be doing what society makes easy.
And society, unfortunately, society in America and other first world countries, we make it very easy to eat the wrong things. We make it very easy to not go to the gym. We have all this unhealthy food around us. We have all this disinformation about food around us. We have ads about unhealthy food around us.
We have all these distractions that keep us from going to the gym. We have all these commercials telling us that the gym should be easy and effortless. That is all playing on your psyche. It’s basically putting you into this very un-resourceful state, where you don’t even sometimes realize that what you’re doing is unhealthy.
Get Educated About Health
So the first step I would say, is to start getting educated. If you’re interested in this topic, one of the things I started doing was reading about nutrition. I started reading about fitness. I started watching work-out videos on YouTube. I started reading books about nutrition. I started researching different types of diets that are out there.
And then I started experimenting. Throughout this process you’re going to start to see patterns emerge. It’s challenging and sometimes it’s frustrating, because there’s so much different and conflicting health advice out there. You could probably find 100 videos right now on YouTube about how to lose weight and half of them would conflict with the other half.
That’s kind of the state of nutrition and our understanding of nutrition and weight loss at this point in human development. There’s a lot of stuff out there that does work. What you’ve just got to do is sort through some of it. See what works for you. Adopt the things that work for you and use them, and throw away, discard, the stuff that doesn’t work.
The Why of Health
But start with the psychology. The most fundamental question is: why do you want to be healthy? Why is that important to you? Have you actually stopped and asked yourself that? Don’t just dismiss the answer to that question and take it lightly. Because for me, there’s something deeper there as I’ve gone through this transition.
At first it started out as, I want to get healthy and I want to drop fat. For me, looks were important because I was so overweight my whole life I didn’t even know what I looked like in my ideal form. I didn’t even have an image in my mind of what I could look like. And that crippled my self-confidence. It crippled my ability to go out there and date and have relationships.
That was so crippling for me that I said, “You know what, if I can get my fitness and health into shape, then I’ll be able to go out there and date and have more self-confidence, to like how I look, be able to dress in nice clothes.” For me, that was enough motivation to get me going. That was a good reason.
And today, I look back at that and I kind of laugh and I chuckle a lot. I think that’s kind of nice, it’s a good place to start, it got me some good results, but it pales in comparison to the depth that I’m at right now. Where I’m at right now? Let me tell you.
Your Body Is A Temple
The reason that I take care of my body right now, I go to the gym and I eat really healthy because I care about my body. I see my body as this machine. This is one of the most amazing machines on the planet. The complexity, and especially the human brain, the way the brain works, when I see that that’s something beautiful. I want to preserve that.
For me, the food I’m putting into my body is directly correlated in my mind. I can see that if I take a Big Mac and I eat it and how I feel after I eat a Big Mac, I can literally feel my body deteriorating from the inside out. These are the images I’m drawing in my mind, this is my psychology that I’ve created. This makes it very easy for me to avoid the Big Mac. It’s just that simple.
But, there’s layers of depth here. One is just taking care of my body, just for its own sake. I want to treat my body well. I want to treat my body like a temple. Treat your body like a temple, not a wooden shack, as Jim Rohn would say. Treat your body as a temple. I’m trying to adopt that more and more and really soak that into my subconscious so that everything I’m doing to my body is improving it.
It’s like you had a performance car, if you had a million dollar collectible automobile, it was the last one left on earth, would you put good fuel into it? Would you take it to a car wash once in a while? Would you put low mileage on it? Would you rotate the tires on it? Would you make sure you put in the right oil when you do an oil change? And make sure you do frequent oil changes? You would, because that’s something you see as precious, it’s valuable.
Thinking About Longevity
What you’ve got to do is start to see your body that way. So that is one part of it. For me the other part is that I actually want to live a long life. I don’t just want to live a long life, I want to live a long and prosperous life. Where I’m active, I have energy, and I’m able to go out there and do all the stuff that I want to do. Because I have so much that I want to do with my life. It’s ridiculous how much I want to do.
I don’t have time every day to do the stuff that I want to do. I want to travel the world. I want to build businesses. I want to go out there and talk to people. I want to motivate people. I want to interact. I want to experiment. I want to have all sorts of crazy hobbies. And try out and read every book out there on every topic. That’s more stuff than I could ever do or fit into ten lifetimes.
I just don’t like the idea that when I hit 45, I’m going to be struggling with an extra fifty pounds of weight and I’m going to be so tired that I’m not going to be able to walk a flight of stairs. I’m going to be so crippled with potential diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and all this other stuff that’s out there, or cancers, that basically my life is going to be cut short. I want to extend my life as many years into the future as possible. I want to give myself the highest quality of life that I can get. For me, that’s a big one.
Another big one is brain health. When you start to do the research and you start to realize how connected the health of your brain is to the health of your body, you start to see, “Whoa, this is really important.” You start to get another reason why you want to start work on your health and stay healthy.
The way that I look at it is this: my brain is really important for me to have the kind of impact that I want in my life because I’m an analytical type of guy. That’s my biggest strength, so I’m using my brain all the time.
I’m using my brain to come up with ideas. I’m using my brain to run my business. I’m using my brain when I’m interacting with people. I’m using my brain when I’m reading. I’m using my brain when I’m meditating. I’m always using my brain. So every extra little edge that I can get to my brain performance is huge for me. This is my consciousness that we’re talking about.
So that means that as soon as I spot something that’s hurting my brain performance, I cut that out of my diet. I’m very cognizant of that. I want to maintain strong healthy neural connections throughout my whole life. I don’t want Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t want brain tumors. I don’t want to become listless and have memory problems. I don’t want to become so feeble when I’m in my fifties and sixties that I’m not able to go out there and create the things that I want to create.
In fact, I want to be on top of my game today. Because there are things I could be doing right now in my diet that if I let loose on than I will not have the kind of performance I have right now. I’ll not be able to make the same quality videos that I’m making. I’m not going to be able to go out there and write the same things that I’m writing. I’m not going to be able to go out there and give the kind of speech that I want to give or whatever else I am working on right now in my life. I couldn’t do that at the same level of performance.
So when I realize that, and I make that connection in my mind, that’s a huge reason to stay motivated. Of course there’s many others: looking good, I like to look good, I like to have a good physique, that’s important to me.
My performance in bed: sex, I like to have stamina when I’m having sex. Have amazing crazy sex? Why not? You only live once, make the best of it right? I don’t want to be some fat-ass having sex. That’s ridiculous! That’s stupid. Why would I want that? To me, if I sacrifice a couple of Big Mac’s so I can have amazing sex, that’s a worthwhile tradeoff. So, there’s that one.
What’s Your Why?
What is it for you? Maybe there’s some other one that I haven’t really connected with. Maybe, for example, I don’t have kids, but maybe you have kids and one reason that you want to have good health and good nutrition, and practice good fitness, is that A) you want to set a good example for your kids so that they’re growing up and seeing how it is and so they’re not overweight and not hurting themselves. B) you want to live long enough to see them get married, and you want to see them have their own kids.
You want to see them at their graduations and you want to see them killing it at their career. You want to see all that and so you just want to live long enough to see that. It’s a very good reason to practice good health.
Then you know what else, maybe you want to have more energy. Maybe you’re feeling like right now you’re a little bit groggy, listless, your mood is down because of the food you’re eating. So now you feel like you’re not on top of your game. You’re not able to educate your kids the way you want to. You’re not able to take them to soccer practice or to do this or do that and you’re missing out basically. You’re short changing them and you’re short changing yourself on the experience you could be having with your family.
All of those are really good reasons to get and stay in health. Now I didn’t go into the technical details of what you’ve got to do, what diet you’ve got to eat, or what exercise you’ve got to do at the gym. But I wanted to cover the deeper psychology.
Start Right Now
I want you right now to sit down after this video is over and write down your top reasons for getting healthy and for staying healthy. I’m promising you that this is the key. Once you start tapping into this, you get the motivation. Then it becomes much easier to resist all those convenient things that are out there for us, tempting us and breaking us away from the path that we want to be on.
First, decide on the path and why you want to be on it. Then you’ll have enough reason to deal with all that other stuff. There are plenty of videos out there that will tell you which diets you should be on, which workout regimes are going to be the best for you.
Alright, this is Leo, I’m signing off. Go ahead and leave your comments, ‘like’ this, share this. And of course, check out Actualized.org for more advanced personal development videos where you can sign up to my newsletter.