Monday, September 28, 2009

What is the purpose of this blog? Plus, physical inventory

Given my intentions, outlined in my last post, you may be wondering what purpose this blog can serve toward those ends. Mainly, I intend to use this blog to help me keep track of changes and progress (or regress, I suppose) and to keep me focused. It will also allow me a place to form and write ideas, so crucial to growth. This is my self, watching.

So, it seems to me that taking an inventory of where I am currently and a direction I'd like to go seems like a good idea.

Physical situations are the easiest to put into words, so let's start there.
Physically, I am far from perfect health. I am out of shape and have not had a regular exercise regimen in over 4 years. I don't get enough sleep and I handle stress much more poorly than I would like. I am addicted (yes, addicted - addiction to food is a topic for another post, though) to a number of foods that I am well aware, intellectually, are unhealthy for me, such as products made from wheat/other gluten-containing grains, corn, dairy, etc., and chocolate. These foods in turn hurt my body's ability to maintain balance and health. I suffer from headaches, allergies - which manifest in many forms, including itchy, painful eczema that comes and goes in varies places on my body - joint pain, poor concentration, lack of energy, ennui, physical depression, indigestion, nausea, reoccurring infections, bladder pain, and to top it off - hypothyroidism. I am slightly overweight, with no stamina and occasional difficulty breathing, and my skin and hair do not have the luster I remember them once having. All of these are symptoms of a body that is overtaxed and undernourished.

What would my vision of myself as truly healthy look like? This is an ideal collage project - I suggest you try it!
-I would have radiant skin, smooth, springy and full of moisture and life. My hair and nails would have natural shine to them and be far less prone to breaking and peeling.
-I would have abundant energy to do many activities, and feel tired only when deserved, as after a long hike, or at the end of the day.
-I would have little trouble staying focused on a project - at work or a personal pursuit - for long periods of time.
-I would be able to run without stopping or feeling horribly fatigued and out of breath after a short period of time.
-I would have no joint pain.
-I would no longer have headaches from allergies, food, fatigue, or poor posture or eye strain.
-I would have comfortable, light-feeling digestion with no nausea/indigestion and healthy, regular, easy bowel movements.
-I would not feel like I depend on food for satisfaction or comfort (this is getting into emotional areas!) and would eat truly nutritious meals and snacks every day, even eating out.

Essentially, Healthy Me would have a ton of energy and look and feel great!
Gosh, that sounds nice, doesn't it? But so, so far from where I am! Ah, how will I get there??

Well, really, I believe it is so much simpler than most people think. In my mind, there are really only four steps:
1) Increase intake of nourishing foods in your diet.
2) Decrease intake of foods not nourishing to you.
3) Move your body, in many ways and often.
4) Cleanse old toxins and build-up out of your body.

You'll notice nothing about calories, specific foods, exercise quotients, or anything like that in there. That is because our needs and abilities change and when we set strict numbers, it's easy to sabotage ourselves. And our progress is never linear, so we can't say "Always do better than the week before!" The best we can say is, "Keep going!" If we waste too much time thinking and focusing about our failures, we don't devote time and energy to SUCCEEDING! So stay focused on improving, not on getting to a specific goal. Only chose specific goals if they help serve YOU... you are not and should not be a slave to an arbitrary goal! Sure, I would love to lose 10-20 pounds, but I'd much rather be radiantly healthy and energetic, whatever my weight, so I'll take or leave the weight loss!

Alright, that's a good starting point for the physical inventory. I'd like to get some hard numbers to look at, too, namely my current weight and body fat percentage and possibly some other numbers, such as how many push-ups I can do and how long I can run without stopping. Possibly some pictures of my current physical state. These will give me a baseline so I can assess my progress in a more concrete way, to keep me going, and to remind me of some of the things I'd like to improve going forward.

Emotional/Mental/Spiritual inventories and goals to come!

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