“Awareness is the greatest agent for change”, said Eckhart Tolle. And as uncomfortable as it may be, I agree.
When it comes to your health, ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance for your health usually shows up as a big smack upside the head (figuratively speaking of course…I successfully parent three boys, age 15 through 20, with a look we call “Monster Mama” rather than take to the smack upside any body part).
Ignorance for one’s health can often sound the alarm via a blood test or a body part that seems to misbehave, or even a diagnosis that feels dire. No one wants to be blindsided by any of that. And according to research, you don’t have to be.
“Lifestyle-caused disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer now kill nearly 50 million people annually, more than twice as many as die from infectious disease.” (Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time by Mark Hyman, MD)
Ok…that sounds like bad news, right? Oh hell no. That sounds like an opportunity. And if you disagree, we need to go for a power walk and have a mindset-boosting chit chat.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with just paying attention. You just do you and record. There is so much to discover when we slow down long enough to pay attention to all of the things we do and think and say…(and don’t do, think, and say)…in any given day. Do this over time, and it becomes even more interesting.
Ever fall in love?
Remember how you watched and listened and thought about the person with such intensity. It was amazing. It was surreal. They were like some phenomenal archeological find that you were uncovering. And you soaked it all in. Well, do this with yourself. You are worth it. No one has ever been so worth it.
This is step one in a health journey. Which is my estimation is a self-love journey. And this discovery trip is a journey worth taking.
Here is some guidance on “Your Investigation of You”:
1 - Grab a notebook. It does not need to be fancy, just dependable.
2 - Keep it handy. Bring it with you wherever you go. Do not depend on memory. Your memory sucks when it comes to this. Research backs me up here.
3 - Use any or all of these prompts to investigate YOU:
- How was your sleep? (quality and quantity.)
- What/when did you eat? This should include portion size and any relevant nutritional information you may have at your fingertips (no need to do research).
- How did you feel before you were eating? While you were eating? Were you hungry, bored, antsy, or upset?
- Were there any events that led up to you feeling this way?
- Who were you with while eating?
- What were you doing while you were eating? Were you watching TV, talking, working, or doing something else? If you chose to sit and be without distraction, take note if that was hard for you to do.
- How did you feel 1 to 2 hours after eating?
- What did you drink throughout the day? Please note amounts.
- What kind of physical activity or exercise did you partake in during the day? How did you feel during? How did you feel later?
- Did you practice any mindfulness or breath work today?
- What was weather like in the case that it effects your mood?
- How effective did you feel today?
- Bowel movements…how often and description?
- Consider what you wanted to get done with your day, your mental clarity, your ability to relax when you wanted or needed, any agitation, etc.?
- How did you spend your time? When were you in a flow state? When were you frustrated? When were you easily distracted? Note what you were doing at each of those time.
- As you end your day, any reflections?
4 - The last and most important thing here….DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF. Just record.