Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mind Games

You’ve heard it said, maybe a million times, we are creatures of habit. The road to a healthier lifestyle is simply about breaking the bad habits and developing good habits. Once a habit has become established it becomes second-nature and no longer a struggle. A personal example is my habit of not eating breakfast and only eating a piece of fruit and something high protein like sardines for lunch. This has now become so ingrained that I never feel like changing the regime and if I do it is a bit of a struggle.

The problem today is that people have acquired a plethora of bad habits. They do things that are bad for their health without even thinking about it. What was once a rare treat is now part of the daily regime, which is a shame in that rare treats are now, well, rare in themselves. I remember when cashew nuts, fruit juice, restaurant meals and chocolate were great luxuries.

At the end of the day success depends on the outcome of the mind game. Unless you are very lucky a persistent and consistent approach to life is absolutely necessary to achieve your goals. The reason for this is because this is the only way to develop a habit. A habit is analogous to regularly putting money in the bank – a little by little great things can be achieved over time. It is essential, of course, to identify what are bad habits and what are good habits. The analogy of the bank can be applied to eating but in a bad way. People eat just a little too much each and everyday and before they know it (literally) they have a very impressive store of fat. This didn’t just happen over night. No, no, no this is the result of years of over eating every single day.

When I look at the general condition of people I see walking around the mall it strikes me that most people have become misshapen, many grotesquely so, as a direct result of poor eating habits. Other habits, too, have contributed to this freak show such as smoking, drinking and shunning exercise but far and away the single most contributing factor is a poor eating habit. Not a single day passes that I don’t spy a person walking by and think to myself, why, why, why have you done this to yourself? Isn’t your body the most precious thing you have?

Yet the solution is so simple - win the mind game by developing good habits.

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