Food for Thought

So, what’s your diet like?

Is it Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, or more M&M-based? Whatever it is, if you’re feeling good and it’s making you happy, great!

But here’s the bigger question: what’s the rest of your diet like – aside from food. How healthy and beneficial are all the other things in your life?

Think of anything you ‘consume’ as input. That can be the books your read, the TV shows you watch, the podcasts you listen to And since most people have these ‘magical’ devices in their pocket 24/7, you can add in news and social media feeds, online games, and specialty apps to the equation.

We ‘ingest’ all of those things, and all of those things (just like food) have an impact on our mood, performance, psyche, overall health, and ultimately who we are. Input equals output, as they say. So, it’s good to know exactly what you’re getting.

Something as simple as music, for example, can increase or decrease our heart rate based on melody, BPM, and volume, and all of those things have an impact on our mental state. It’s the reason your masseuse plays Yo Yo Ma instead of Metallica when trying to get you to relax during a session (and the reason you may want to listen to the latter and not the former when you’re actually working out).

Just like a food diary, it’s not a bad idea to write down and review all the other inputs of your life: the newspapers and magazines you read, the news stations you watch or listen to, the websites you visit most often, the apps you spend the most time on. Chances are that what you’ll find is a lot of junk calories – things that are taking up time and space in your life (like Twinkies in your belly) but not giving you much substance or value in return. If and when you can, drop them and replace them with something more substantive, like going for a walk, meditation, journaling, or actual face time with a friend.

And sure, we all crave some cheap reality TV and cake (often at the same time), but if those comprise the bulk of your day, every day, and become the norm, then we’re probably not doing our best to lead a happy, healthy, complete life.

Take a minute to reflect on your ‘other’ diet. Review it the way you would the ingredients in your favorite energy bar. And when you ingest it, take a minute to see how it makes you feel, and establish whether it contributes to your overall health, or not. In the end, you may be getting a lot less than what you bargained for. – Tom Trevino, MBS Personal Trainer