Your Body is Your Temple
Imagine this. You’re trying to build a house. You don’t have a lot of experience in homebuilding, but that’s ok – there’s a lot of information out there, and after all, tons of houses are built every year.
Only… instead of developing an exact blueprint and a construction plan and following the instructions, you decide what you want to work on in the kitchen first.
How Hard Can This Be?
After all, the kitchen is a very important part of the house, and you really care about what it looks like, so you want to take care of that first.
But then, you realize you need a bigger garage than you thought before. Now expanding the garage becomes your number one priority.
Then it starts to rain on your little building project, and you start freaking out because you don’t have a roof yet. This is a real emergency, so you forget about the kitchen, you forget about the garage, and you start building the roof.
The only problem with this is that because you didn’t have a construction plan, you aren’t working from a strong foundation. Without a proper foundation, the whole darn project is rickety and falls apart.
This sounds absolutely stupid, right?
No one would go about building a house this way.
Everyone knows in order to build a house, you need to think of all the things you want to accomplish, then create a blueprint, then create a construction plan, and then follow the steps of that construction plan one by one.
You would never put step 256 in front of step number 2.
It just wouldn’t happen.
Why, then, do we take this pick-and-choose approach to our health and fitness?
For many people, it takes a total collapse – a giant health crisis – to pay attention to these things. They’re unsexy. You’ll never see someone featured on the cover of a magazine because they have perfect cholesterol, so we ignore them in favor of the more superficial aspects of fitness instead.
In the Western world, we live in a very health-conscious society. Billions are spent every year on industries like health, fitness, dieting, beauty… and that’s not even counting one of the biggest industries of them all – medicine.
What If We’re Going About This Approach Completely Wrong?
What if the reason that it feels darn near impossible to break a 6-minute mile or to finally see your abs is that the foundation of our health and fitness is lacking?
Remember – without a proper foundation, everything is rickety and nothing is achievable.
This theory of foundational wellness is the key to every other kind of wellness. It’s one investigated very thoroughly by Dave Asprey in his book Game Changers.
If you’re not familiar, Dave is a biohacker, author, and president and CEO of the Bulletproof company.
At one point in his life, he was over 300 pounds. He attempted to change with conventional fitness wisdom. He thought he could improve his fitness just by eating right and working out, but he did not have foundational wellness, so losing the weight was an uphill struggle.
When he decided to focus on other aspects of his health and wellness, however, everything changed. His weight problem was no more. He could do activities he previously thought impossible. He is now at the peak of health.
When Dave and I sat down recently, I asked him what we need to focus on to build a strong foundation for wellness. He told me that in order to stay healthy and vibrant and to live a long life, we need to stop focusing on our six packs and finish times, and start focusing on the things that could potentially kill us and then work backwards from there.
In his estimation, the top four things that are most likely to kill us are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
If you can take steps to avoid these things, then statistically, you’re way more likely to live a very long life then someone who feels these diseases are inevitable and doesn’t take charge of their health.
Even more interesting – it turns out that diabetes can be a precursor to the other three. This means that if you get all the elements of health that influence diabetes in check, you thereby reduce your risk of all four killer conditions.
Here are just a few things you can start to do if you want to fix your foundation and avoid diabetes:
Know Your Numbers
As they say, what you can measure, you can manage. Get the data you need to find out where you are right now. You’ll have to consult your doctor for some of this. The important things you need to start tracking are body fat, blood sugar, sleep, food and water intake, and exercise. Once you establish a baseline of where you are now, you can then improve your stats, and in turn, other numbers like cholesterol and blood glucose levels should improve, too.
Try Intermittent Fasting
If you’ve read any of Dave’s books, you probably know he’s a big proponent of intermittent fasting. I also think the science behind it is very sound. Basically, our bodies were never intended to eat and digest and eat and digest for the majority of the day. Instead, we were intended to have shorter windows of time for eating and digestion to occur, and longer periods where the body can repair itself and engage in other activities. If intermittent fasting seems hard, just know there are many methods available. You can find the one that fits your lifestyle best.
Limit Processed Foods
Let’s go back to our house analogy. Even if you did have that fantastic foundation and plan we were talking about, if you’re using terrible building materials, you’re still going to get a bad result. Processed foods are terrible building materials for your body. Eat real food that fuels your body if you really want a strong foundation in good health.
Pay Attention To Sleep
When it comes to the pillars of health, many people already know about food and exercise, but one key area they are quick to ignore is sleep.
After all, in our culture, we’re told that achievement is more important than rest, so we push ourselves long after our reserves are shot. This affects every aspect of our health negatively. Look at how much you are sleeping and how restful your sleep is. Once you get restful sleep over a long period of time, you may be surprised at just how wonderful you feel and how fast you see results in your other areas of health, too.
While we live in a health conscious society, we’ve spent too many years focusing on the wrong aspects of health. It’s time to take back your long-term health and wellness. A shift in your approach can help you get the vibrant, happy, and long life we all dream of.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored