I’ve been thinking about this idea for a long time. I posted this in the Whole Life Challenge blog this week and wanted to share it with the rest of you:
When it comes to food, we’ve been taught there’s basically one way to choose what to eat – how it will affect your body. Whether it’s calories, fat, carbohydrates, or some other nutritional highlight du jour, we’ve been trained that if we can just refine the perfect formula, everything else will fall into place.
How food affects your body is pretty good, as criteria goes. It actually is important. It’s just not the only thing to consider. Given how important food is as a living part of our human experience, it would make sense to have criteria that takes everything into consideration, wouldn’t it? What if we could make choices based on food’s full impact on our lives, rather than just it’s physiological effect on our bodies? I think we can.
Consider there are four areas of your life. If you think about it, everything in your life fits into one of these categories. They are Body, Spirit, Community, and Environment.
Your Body is your physical body, where we make all of our decisions from. Your body, after all, represents your physical survival. If you don’t follow solid guidelines for nutrition and personal care, you can devastate your body. What’s good for your body is objective. You put something in and something happens – you lose weight, you gain weight. You feel energized, you get sick.
Your Spirit is your inner experience. Feel free to think of this as your Mind if you don’t like spirit. It’s what you think, how you feel, what you believe, what you like. It’s subjective and it’s purely you. No one else can measure it and the only way they can see it is if you describe it to them. Because it’s internal requires a heavy dose of personal honesty to navigate its choices.
Your Community is your culture, your relationships, your traditions – all your interpersonal experiences. It’s like the world’s spirit. It’s also subjective, and has been created by human imagination and interaction. It binds us a gives us a shared background to care about each other as well as to live and strive together.
Your Environment is the physical world. Just like your mind has a body it lives in, your community has a body it lives in. That body has to be taken care of just like yours does. The choices you make have an impact. The things we do can energize the world or make it sick.
Part of the challenge in the Whole Life Challenge is to take the rules that you’ve been given and discover how they fit into the whole picture of your life. It will not be sustainable if what you eat only nourishes your body. It’ll work, for survival, but if you never nourish your mind or spirit, you don’t thrive.
The balance you will learn to strike over these 8 weeks will be one that has a positive impact, not only on your body, but on your positive experience of your life. It will be one that supports your relationships and that connects you to your community, your culture, and your traditions. And hopefully, it will even be one that is sustainable for you and the several billion people who share this planet.
Ideally, broccoli would soothe your soul, cupcakes would carry the benefits of kale, an overstuffed Thanksgiving dinner would have the perfect macronutrient balance, and everyone could eat wild caught salmon from an endless wellspring of plenty. But that’s not our world. All those things have a place, but if you’re truly going to have lasting health, it has to be inside and out, top to bottom.
So ask a lot of questions, try a lot of things, make some good mistakes, and ultimately learn how to make choices that are a contribution to yourself and your world. At some point, theory ends, you survey what’s really there, and choosing begins. You have to eat, so do your best to strike the ideal balance, and go for it. It won’t be perfect, so don’t get too stressed out about that. You are here to strive. If you continue striving, it’ll be perfect all the way through.
Squat cleans (135/95)
And Coming Friday
1500m Row at 7.5 RPE
B) 3RFR on the 3:00
Max Effort Bench press (BW / ⅔ BW)
**30 sec cap each round**
C) HSPU skill practice
D) EMOM 10
Odd: 10 T&G Deadlifts (40%)
Even: 20 Butterfly abmat situps