For the larger part of my life, activities such as eating and drinking were all done in mind with regards to what I looked like. I wanted to be slim and stylish; to look good in my clothes. I wanted to be the best version of myself on the outside.
And there’s nothing wrong with this, especially considering that looking good on the outside certainly can impact how you feel on the inside.
Looking good can indeed help you to feel good.
But I’ve learned over time that this feeling will only reach so far. There’s a reason why people who are overly vain are often called shallow. If you want more than a fleeting pick-me-up as you pass by a mirror, you have to focus on more than what you look like.
When I eat or move nowadays, my focus is on gaining energy.
I think this began as I become more interested in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). No matter how fit you are, nothing can quite prepare you for the exhaustion that comes from a roll. The weight of another person’s body as they pressure you; sweep you; grab at arms; try to choke you unconscious. There’s just nothing like it. And the more I did, the more acutely I became aware of the impact that my diet had. If my eating habits were poor, the can’ts; too tireds; must stops; all flooded in.
My wish to become better at BJJ; to see what my body could do if I was treating it better; was enough to incite a change. So instead of opting for the dreaded low-fat yogurts
(Side-note: They’re usually laden with chemicals and much worse for you than the full-fat versions) I instead just tried – and try – to eat as many wholesome, unprocessed, varied foods that I can.
When I eat, drink and move, I try to notice the impact on my energy levels and my mood. I find they’re intrinsically linked. I try to maintain 80:20 approach, allowing myself weekly cheat days and guilt-free splurges, because experience has taught me that if I don’t bend in this way, I eventually snap.
As I get older, I become increasingly aware of how important it is to have as much energy as possible; in every area of life.
When you have energy, you make things happen that wouldn’t necessarily happen if you were feeling tired or exhausted. You have ideas; connect with others; notice details; get more done!
Being particularly energetic in just one day alone, you might surprise yourself at how much you achieve. Just imagine if you kept this up for a week, a month or a year. Imagine the kind of progress you could make towards a goal, if you had that little bit more energy each day!
A week or so back, I used Joe Rogan’s analogy of your body being like a sports car – one that you can ‘soup up.’ Your food here is your fuel – it’s what keeps you running. If your car is full of cheap, crappy fuel, it’s not going to perform well. If you’re running on empty, you may not perform at all.