How to stay consistent
“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currants, maybe waves at a time. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and lows.”
-Drew Barrymore, actress
Nature has designed the birth of a new baby chick out the egg such that it has to constantly peck and peck at the egg until at some point, the egg cracks and then it enters the world! However, if an outside force cracks open the egg, the chick is not mature enough and dies. Similarly, if you open up or mess with a caterpillar’s ‘cover’ (aka the larval skin) instead of giving it the time needed to become a butterfly to speed things along, it will die. Both of these scenarios require patience, and trust that whatever is going on is required in order for these creatures to thrive. When it comes to our metabolism, sometimes what we think may speed things along, may actually of hindrance.
Looking outside for the best diet, food, supplement, etc. to get us to where we want to be may not result in such severe consequences (though crash diets can really mess with our metabolism in which to bounce back to what our body really needs can take longer than usual), but it can rob us of our ability to truly understand what our body needs, and the time it takes for us to get results. We know how different we are- from our DNA, to how we grew up, to our life experiences, and how our millions upon millions of DNA can change over time (we influence over 90% of our health), that the whole world is not on a single diet for that reason! Further, there’s so much information out there as to the ideal lifestyle and habits that we can really make ourselves nuts (and probably a bit anxious) in wondering if this new healthy fad is really ‘doing anything’? And we’re our own worst judge. Oy.
The development of these two animals depend on consistency, trusting their instinct that what they’re doing is correct, and that when the time is right, they will hatch into more than what they ever imagined. Then, another cycle begins again in which now they need to survive at this stage. How? Same thing- trust their instinct, learn from mistakes, and/or learn from others. Of course a diet or health food may have worked for a bit! Then our body adapts, and that’s when we hit a plateau. Except if we didn’t take care of the deeper intricacies of why a concern is present (i.e. the common thread amongst concerns or ‘annoyances’, emotional concerns, additional risk factors), then searching for single answers is like playing ‘wack a mole’ with our health. That plateau can bring up another issue and we’ll have no idea if we’re really ‘getting better.’ Plus, now what do you try?
Here are 3 strategies to have confidence in your own specific healthy actions!:
How do you feel at your best?- Take a few minutes and write down how you’d love to feel on your perfect diet. All the activities you’d like to do, flow of thoughts/ conversation, social events, etc. What does ‘your best’ mean to you? Whether it’s right now or down the line, know that it can change. Cliche, but it’s part of being human- that we can evolve and change.
What diet(s) have you felt best with?- Write down all the diets, health fads, cleanses, etc. you’ve tried. Think of all the foods you enjoy. What matches how you feel? It may be one diet, it may be a mix, or maybe none of them. In that case, what habits are you doing now that you really enjoy? In looking at the bigger picture, we begin to understand and love our own complexities in that taking this time helps hone in on what we need to be consistent with in order to get to that next level of health.
Pick 2 aspects that you feel good about- This will help give you a baseline. Finding foods & habits you know you feel really good with and aiming to keep those consistent for the next 2-3 weeks will bring awareness and alignment into understanding if they’re helping you feel the way you want, and if you’re achieving your health goals. That said, this would be the minimum time because like the time it takes for anything in nature to develop, resembles our body (part of nature as well) in that those thousands of signals need time to recalibrate into a natural flow. However, if you’re feeling good over an extended period of time and have a ‘slip up’, chances are you’ll notice, and then it will be up to you how you want to course correct should the same or similar scenario appear in the future.
Consistency is key to all success, except it can be really hard to trust what’s right, for how long, etc. especially as nowadays we’ve been told we have the attention span that’s less than a goldfish. Working with someone else can help further guide and teach us to expedite those realizations & keep motivation in developing consistent effort (and save us time & energy as that professional knows more of what those important habits need to be), which also helps us focus on what we love to do! Then, should we get bored, adapt, or plateau set in, they can redirect us! Consistency sounds linear, but it doesn’t have to be- growth still takes place even if we take a break. The chick pecks when it wants, and eventually hatches. When we find the right diet and lifestyle, not only do we develop as we like, but we are also setting ourselves up for how to listen to our intuition in finding what we need should we need to learn again. And if you’re still not quite sure, here’s what to do.