Day 8: Live By the Rule of Inclusion Instead of Exclusion

The Live Well 360 30-Day Challenge: Day 8 - Rather than focusing on what you need to avoid, make health and fitness decisions based on what will help you feel best.

They make mental lists of reasons for working out and for eating healthy foods revolving around things they want to avoid and disease and health problems they are scared of instead of lists of reasons that revolve around living life with maximum passion and energy. Again, this pattern of setting goals of empowerment versus self-defeat pops up. This sort of fear-based thinking creates a toxic relationship with food and with fitness, which as you would expect, will stand in the way of making fitness and health fun. It is also where the cycle of deprivation and binging in its various forms first begins for many people.

Making health and fitness fun

In a world where your alarm goes off in the morning, and you wake up to Ryan Seacrest telling you that in a few short years a large percentage of our population will have diabetes (welcome to my morning), it’s tough to ignore all the focus on what we should be scared of and what we need to avoid. But you do have a choice. You can decide whether or not to let something affect you. You always have the choice to let it go. Today I encourage you to stop basing your health and fitness decisions off of what you want to avoid, and instead begin making every decision based on how you can live a more fulfilling life. What foods are going to give you the most energy and help you to feel your best? How much energy, clarity, and feel-good endorphins would a 30-minute workout add to your day?

A different approach to the holidays

This is a really important topic to think about, especially during the holidays. As you approach the next party or buffet table, stop making mental lists of foods that are “bad” and all of the things that you want to avoid. Instead focus your attention on making choices that will allow you to feel your best, to think clearly, and to have energy so that you can have the best time visiting with family, friends, and colleagues, through this time of celebration. Stop beating yourself up over your “bad” decisions and instead appreciate what you did this time better than the last. When you remove feelings of deprivation, you remove the feelings of guilt and you end the toxic cycle, opening yourself up to a world of possibilities, where little by little, baby step by baby step, you gravitate naturally to a lifestyle of decisions that will help you to feel your best. In what ways have you shifted your thoughts about health and fitness from exclusion to inclusion?
Who completed today's challenge? Check out the entire Live Well 360 30-Day Challenge series.
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