Did you drink the 'kool-aid'?

“If you drink the kool-aid, you’re going to eventually get cavities.”
-Matthew McConaughy, actor

And there’s also another quote- “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” I’m referring to what can seem like ‘a quick fix’, whether it’s a weight loss program, exercise program, re-set your mind, etc. Then if it eventually doesn’t work, or we feel ourselves backslide, we blame ourselves - ironically, that program was made to fit EVERYONE. Not YOU as the individual. So then we get into the rut that the only way we can look/feel a certain way is by sticking hardcore to this program.

However, even then we may hit a plateau there, and it’s onto the next. Or, you’ll just change it up and try everything at once. South Beach Diet bar in one hand, researching ‘top diets to lose weight’ with the other, thinking through how many calories you already had that day, factoring in an hour on the elliptical, and dreading going out with friends because you may really go over your calorie intake and now you’ll never reach your goal. Crud. But maybe I’ll try the Zone diet bar… yeah. That will help. This was spring freshman year of college.

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Result? I lost weight. Great, right? Except now I felt I had to be so hyper vigilant that to some extent (not always apparent, but I felt it) I had moments of being distracted from the whole social outing, for example, contemplating which food was going to be the cause of my demise- it’s exhausting.

Fast forward about a decade later and I wanted out of this merry-go-round. And the only way out is through. That’s tough shit. That’s the work- aka the ongoing, consistent, dedicated work that can be so rewarding, yet the kool-aid seems more tempting than ever. I sought help, and even then had a few sips of kool-aid. Except with all that I learned, especially with another pair (or two) of eyes to shed insight, well.. it loses it’s flavor and eventually just becomes tasteless (or gross).

Here are 3 tips on how you can avoid (or recover from) a root canal:

  • Ask yourself what it would mean to lose weight- Then challenge yourself to name something other than looks. What reason would make you so happy that you would want to nourish yourself to such an optimal state of physical and emotional well-being? THAT reason will make you put down the kool-aid.

  • What is a healthy habit you already doing that you know works really well for you? How can you build on that- choose ONE thing to stick with.- For example, do you drink water? Eat vegetables? Surround yourself with positive people? Go to the gym? Find time for yourself? Maybe none of these and figure now you’re totally doomed? No worries, everyone starts somewhere. Where would YOU like to start? They’re all going to be healthful options, but what is YOUR instinct telling you? That’s the same instinct that’s going to help you get back on track, re-route, and optimize your overall life.

  • Drink the kool-aid- Do the cleanse, diets, exercise program, getaway, etc. - Maybe something really calls to you and it’s worked in the past, or you’re just curious, and actually not doing it seems more stressful, etc. Great. BE PRESENT. You don’t get a root canal by drinking a cup of kool-aid, only when it’s consumed over and over and over time. Actually, the great thing with all these methods is that they may provide clues on what works for you, such as how weight watchers is known for it’s support system, and a certain diet is an easy keyword search for recipes. Get curious about what’s truly helping you thrive both nutritionally & in your lifestyle.

In cultivating all of this, you may find your energy shift towards what really makes you happy, which is actually a really freeing feeling. Like feeling the presence & calm even if you happen to be in midtown Manhattan, or in the perceived rush of life. Chances are you already know A LOT. Reach into that reserve, as it has been psychologically proven to boost your confidence in moving forward. Let’s gather those resources, capitalize on what you know, learn from what didn’t work, and create a plan where you can make the most out of your experience.