“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree
Have you ever felt so fed up with the way you are living that it felt like rock bottom? Sometimes we have to reach that place to finally make the necessary changes that will bring us to where we want to be in life. Rock bottom looks different for each of us. It doesn’t have to be a major event like a drug overdose or stint in jail. It can simply a glance in the mirror at a body you no longer recognize. It can be getting winded after walking up a flight of stairs. It can be isolation from your friends and family due to debilitating depression.
When the way we are living is causing us so much pain that we cannot continue, we are finally free to start over again and pursue the things that will make us happy.
My personal journey towards health and fitness was a not a particularly dramatic story. I wasn’t 200 pounds overweight. I didn’t have an eating disorder. I wasn’t suffering from any chronic disease. But in early 2011, I came to the realization that I simply did not feel good on a daily basis.
I was constantly lethargic and wasn’t sleeping well. I often suffered from lower back pain, stiff muscles and headaches. Exercise was once something that brought me a lot of joy and satisfaction, but I stopped going to the gym. I had put on about 15 pounds of extra weight and was beginning to slide into a prolonged depression.
I was making poor lifestyle choices. Unable to generate energy from the way I was living, I became dependent on Red Bull. This in turn made it more difficult to sleep at night, so I would have to repeat the process the next day in order to feel alert.
My life had begun to revolve around digital technology. I would spend all day in a cubicle at my dead-end job staring at a computer screen, only to come home and spend the whole night on my laptop or my smartphone engaging in mindless activities that added no value to my life (Angry Birds, anyone?).
I was fed up with myself. My choices were no longer bringing me the life I desired and were leaving me with pain and frustration. I decided then and there that I had enough. In my adolescence and adulthood I had always been a health conscious person, playing sports and working out. I decided it was time to reconnect with that part of myself.
I went online and started reading anything I could get my hands on related to healthy, effective living. I was absorbing it all, but it wasn’t until I learned of the Paleo Diet that my life really began to change. The idea that we are still, genetically speaking, hunters and gatherers really hit a nerve for me. It made intuitive sense that the way back to health was to start being a human again; being out in nature, eating plants and animals, unplugging from modern technology and getting a good night’s rest.
The first thing I did to take back control of my life was I shut off my computer off and took a walk through my neighborhood. That’s it. Nothing deeply profound. But the simple act of deciding to change my life, taking action, getting the blood flowing to my legs again, and breathing fresh air was incredibly energizing. That one action sent me down the path to health and wellness that I am still travelling to this day.
When we consider changing our lifestyles for the better, especially when it comes to diet and exercise, we can become overwhelmed. There is so much information out there in the ether, especially on social media, that we might not know where to begin.
Don’t stress over it. Just begin.
Even going for a walk through your neighborhood is a great start, as I discovered.
You have to determine your own definition of rock bottom. You will know once you have hit it. You will be jolted out of complacency and compelled to start making changes for the better.
A lot of guys wait until their wife or girlfriend has broken up with them to start making positive changes and get back in the gym. Perhaps they became too comfortable in the relationship and let themselves go. We’ve all done it before.
My question is, why wait until disaster strikes? Why not decide that rock bottom is right now and start taking action toward making positive lifestyle changes?
We all have the ability to do it. The fact that you are reading this right now is a sign of progress and shows that you are contemplating change.
Now go take that first step toward bettering your situation.
Be awesome and be vital.