Confession: someone has turned off the lights in this pit of despair that I just fell into and I can’t seem to find the switch to turn them back on. Although, I am not exactly sure if I want to. Who truly wants to expose the inside of a filthy pit?
Many of us are lucky enough to have the feeling of being healthy, and I believe that for the most part, many of us (at least those in MY audience) know what to do in order to keep ourselves riding the wave of wellness. I also believe that most people do a much better job of maintaining a stable, constant, unwavering, anchored, durable, enduring, set in stone (I just had a face-off with the thesaurus) routine in their lives than I do. In fact, this scenario seems to happen to me quite frequently: I will throw myself into a new promising environment, a refreshing overhaul, a rejuvenating life transformation, full force, here I come, and then, after making resolutions to carry on with all the vigor and passion I began with, I fall into a pit, climb out, and repeat steps 1-3. Over and over again. This is what keeps me, and many others like me (maybe I am just kidding myself into thinking there are others like me by looking in the mirror at my reflection) from moving FORWARD rather than just going around in circles and wondering why that pit is still at the end of every loop.
This morning, while my dad was munching his regular, predictable, yet-not-at-all-boring morning yogurt and granola, and I was sipping another greens drink and having a banana with hemp seeds in an effort to launch myself into another cleanse bandwagon, one I will likely fall off in about an hour while licking Krispy Kreme donut frosting off my fingers and reaching for another Little Debby snack (run-on-sentence alert), he enlightened me as to the latest and greatest of health research.
“They” took a bunch of rats, took them out of their meaningless existence as scavengers in the wild, into the world of science and the “betterment of humankind” and taught them how to run around in a maze. After the rodents were sufficiently trained and running through the maze like smart rats rather than chickens with their heads cut off, they fed half of the group fructose like it was going out of style (which it isn’t, for the record) and half of them really healthy stuff (probably kale hemp coconut smoothies, if I had to guess).
The ones that they fed the fructose to, big surprise here, couldn’t remember how on earth to run the maze that they had once excelled at. The ones that got fed the healthy, happy, hippy organic grass-fed tofu burgers, flew through it with flying colors. To finish off the ever-so humane testing, they then filled the entire group of recently dumbed-down rat’s bellies with Omega-3’s, though still making them sip fructose cocktails, and then made them run that silly maze again. At this point, who knows if the rats were just trying to get these scientists off their case, or if their fructose-induced amnesia was really counteracted by the Omega-3’s, but they ran the maze as they once had, prior to all of this bingeing and purging. Nearly perfectly.
There are two morals to this story, and then it will help me weave it into my whole grand plan here:
1. Fructose (especially when it’s high) makes you dumber. People, rats, probably even crows. Sugar fries everything: six-pack abs, brain cells, blood vessels, and hearts.
2. There is hope for even those who have lived their lives on Rice Krispy treats and lollipops. A healthy diet, mind, with time, and the perseverance of making it a ROUTINE / LIFESTYLE has the power to transform.
Now, I know what you’re thinking because this is what I am thinking too, and I know everyone thinks like me. In this case, I know what you’re asking, “Emily, how can I be the healthiest version of myself?!” Well, I am glad you asked, because I just got to thinking about this the other day. I started by thinking, “Who is the very healthiest person I know?” It’s the person who feels good at the end of the day about what they have done throughout it. It’s the person who feels good upon awakening in the morning knowing that they are going to do great things throughout this one as well. It’s the person who is living true to themselves. It’s the person who is devoted to this true self lifestyle, and not simply chasing each new healthy marketing, latest big ticket item, scam after the next.
This is where I fall in the pit. Thankfully, I have you all here as witness right now so you’re not going to let that happen. Instead, we’re going to walk around it. Hand-in-hand (which by the way, I read yesterday about the healing power of holding hands, tune in next week for my hands-on, double blind study results).
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of chasing one “too-good-to-be-true” feeling after the other, letting the honeymoon experience of the juice fast yoga retreat weekend getaway in Bali melt away only to chug six margaritas and a plate of tacos when the relationship ends and you realize real life has begun. As the writer of this blog “Three Cheers For ‘Boring’ Love” writes, “Rinse. and repeat.”
We often tend to see “real life”, maintenance, ritual, routine, predictability as BORING. Preferring new shoes, new cars, life-altering experiences, and transformative revelations. This tendency is where the terms, “I’ll start tomorrow,” and “I need to take a 20 mile jog to burn off that three-person banana split I just clogged my arteries with…” come from.
But where does true love, true health, true healing lie? I believe it is in these two words that have been pervading my consciousness as of late: Devotion. Commitment. Waking up each and every day and knowing you will live it well. A routine that makes you smile. A predictability that is comfortable and simultaneously has you laughing and having fun.
Remaining true to yourself and that which you are creating, and not allowing the latest whim, the whiff of popcorn cooking, the temptress of being lazy, to entice you back into the pattern. The pattern that leads to the pit.
I’m in the pit today. This time, I want to go the way that I do not go. I have ample time, I even have the resources. Conditions are perfect, give or take a few carrots, and I may have just made the decision that I will gaze into the eyes of these here morning celery juices indefinitely…..for me, the spark lies in each and every predictable, yet exhilarating sip.