Getting Out Of One’s Own Way

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Over the past several years, I’ve found myself settling back into a routine I thought I had left behind: eating poorly, relying on caffeine and sugar as my “fuel” for the daily work grind, and kicking back in my free time with alcoholic beverages. My daily “ritual” didn’t seem to be that much different than that of large sections of my peer group: it was all “normal” ways to stay productive, unwind, and generally “enjoy life.”

My body was crap. It felt like crap.

My spirit felt like crap, too. And then being constantly exposed to toxic content on the Internet just added to my net crapness.

It was time for me to get “clear” again. Not just clear of alcohol. But coffee, sugar, processed foods, and stress.

Caffeine was a particular bugaboo of mine. I knew coffee increased cortisol production — the cortisol signaling to my body that it was under “stress” and “attack” and needed to produce more insulin. As the cortisol consumed my blood sugar at a fast rate, I ended up feeling more hungry. The cortisol also raised my blood pressure.

My high-caffeine diet was making me fat. And it was also raising my blood pressure.

I’ve had a “clean” diet before, with amazing results both on the outside—going down more than 6 dress sizes—and on the inside, with a drastically lowered cholesterol and triglyceride level.

But after almost three solid years on that diet, I made a lot of little excuses for why I “needed” to fall back on these socially-approved depressants and stimulants. The coffee made me anxious, so I treated the anxiety with alcohol. The alcohol made me groggy, so I treated it with more coffee. And then at one point, I “poured” prescription meds for anxiety & depression on top of this brew. And that’s…a lot of that is what society considers “normal.”

It’s been a month since I’ve drank any alcohol—outside of a tiny amount from kombucha. It’s also been a month since coffee has touched my lips, though I do have a black tea from time to time so I’m not a monk or anything. I try to stick with basic foods—basically, anything where I can easily tell what the “ingredients” are. What are the ingredients for an apple? A damn apple, that’s what.

I have restless moments, but I go to the gym and I sort of sort it all out there. A workout at the gym & a glass of wine both offer altered states of consciousness. You will definitely have an altered state of consciousness after a workout at the gym.

I’m not perfect, and I cannot tell you that I will never in my life go back to drinking a beer or a cappuccino. But I do know—I understand the science behind it—that these things will put my body at a disadvantage. Notice: I am not preaching to you that they will put your body at a disadvantage. But they will certainly put my body at a disadvantage.

I’ve just read an alarming article that said my generation (X) will be sicker than the previous one—and that statistically, we will die earlier too and have a worse quality of life. A lot of this is tied to our diet and lifestyle.

And then for the millennials, the forecasting is even worse.

We want to fight against the System—and I think we should—but first we have to stop fighting against ourselves. We have to get out of our own way. I’m not perfect, but I’m going to try.

More to read about on Butterfly Language:
Online Spiritual Hygiene
10 Low-Cost (Or No-Cost) Resources For Self-Improvement
Small Changes Lead To Big Changes