Feeling frazzled? Disconnected? Overloaded?
What about, oh, how do you say it, …. fluffy? Overweight? FAT.
Yeah, me too. To both, actually. Which is why I made two easy changes to turn both these problems around. Like, right-round, baby. Right round.
I started noticing about six months ago that I was distracted in normal, everyday conversations. I was tweeting, or thinking about tweeting, or blog post ideas, views, shares counts, etc. Basically being a horrible listener and not caring about it.
I was also starting to develop a bit of a “shelf”. A paunch. The “spare tire”. Beer belly. A GUT. It's not that I was overeating, it's that I was eating the wrong foods: Sweets, processed foods, sweets, bad fats and, ohyeahdidimention, sweets?
Both of these factors contributed to a lifestyle I wasn't very happy with. Maybe you've felt the same? You've been glued to your iPhone, iPad, iMac–iWhatever–and it's starting to take a toll. You've been cramming your maw with food that doesn't “do your body good”?
If that's you, you're not alone. Here are two easy changes I made to create the space needed in to live differently. Maybe they'll be the changes you need to change, too.
Change #1: Screen-Free Sundays
The first change I made was staying offline from Saturday evening to Sunday at 7p. No social networking. No blogging. No email. Nothing.
It's usually around 24 hours, but that's not the main point. The goal of this day is quite simple:
- Disconnect. It's not good to have one's mental space constantly tied up by online activities all the time. I need time to disconnect and take a breather. Abstaining from all online activities for 24 hours helps me do this.
- Get earthy. Seeing as most of my job involves being online, I use this time to get my hands dirty. Literally. Mowing the lawn; small fix-it jobs around the house; going for a jog on the gravel road by our home. Whatever. Anything that doesn't involve a computer and reminds me that I do, in fact, have a healthy set of hands to work with.
- Reconnect. This is my favorite part. I use this time to focus on being with my family. My wife and son get the benefit of my undivided attention. Some times, we'll go over to my parents house and spend time with them, my sister and brother-in-law. Simply put, it's a time to focus on building and strengthening relationships.
Change #2: Sweet Saturdays
The second change I made was cutting out all sweets during the week. The only day we eat candies, cookies or cakes in our house is on Saturday. One day. Oh, but what a glorious day it is!
You have to know how big of a change this was for me! I was a self-admitted sugar addict. I'd eat just about anything sweet, to the point where I was stashing 1-pound bags of Starbust and Skittles underneath the seat in my car! Shameful.
Here's what the change meant:
- No sweets. Pretty simple: Eat all the sweets you want on Saturday. Every other day? Nothing. It was hard (really hard, in fact). But as my body acclimated to less and less sugar, the less I needed it.
- More protein. I increased the amount of protein I was eating to cut down on hunger cravings. Upping the ‘tein keeps you fuller, longer. A must if you have a mega-sweet tooth like me.
- Toss 'em out. We literally do not have sweets in our house. If they're in here, I know I'll track them down and eat them like the sweety sweets they are. It was a tough change to make at first, but absolutely essential to fight those cravings. When your willpower breaks like a cheap kiddy's toy, no access to sweets is a must!
As a result of these changes:
- I feel more alert and focused.
- I have more energy to do the tasks online that I need to do, when I need to do them.
- My relationships are stronger and I feel more connected to the person sitting in front of me.
- I'm reminded that I'm not, in fact, a machine. A brother's gotta breathe, yo.
Secondarily, I've also lost a little bit of weight. My mood isn't as shifty as it used to be when I ate sweets all the time. I've since come to learn of the connection between sugar intake and mood, how one deeply affects the other. The body was made to enjoy sweets, not survive on them.
Do any of those changes resonate with you? Are there any changes you need to make in your own life to be a better you?
Yours don't have to all start with the same letter, but they do need to be changes that you think you can stick to. Please share!.