“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” -Confucius

“Complexity is your enemy.  Any fool can make something complicated.  It is hard to keep things simple” -Richard Branson

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Going All in is Hurting You

We Americans like to overcomplicate things.  Our “Go Big or Go Home” mentality has skewed the way we operate each day.  We feel that we need to make dramatic changes to succeed at our goals.  You see it every day in diet culture.  So many people have fallen victim to the quick fix promises so many fad diets make.  These diets force us to completely change the way we eat.  Once we implement the diet, our old way of life is not recognizable.  The same goes for fitness.  When we decide to change our fitness program, we feel we need to start an entire new exercise regiment.  Our old habits, good and bad, go out the window.

What happens?  We start strong.  Everything is right in the world for this honeymoon period.  We start to feel the confidence build as we see some results.  After this honeymoon period, we get exhausted.  Our efforts and results go to shit.  We begin to get discouraged.  Inevitably, we get to the point of “Screw it!”.  We revert to our former habits.  We lose the results we gained over a short period of time.

Think Differently

You see, humans are not built to completely change over night.  Our bodies resist quick changes.  Going from 0 to 100 is not sustainable. We get burned out physically, mentally, or emotionally. Instead, we are built for slow, gradual change.  Taking small and simple steps over time not only offers results, but removes the stress and anxiety of doing it all at once.  Our body can adapt to these slow, small changes and allows us to incorporate them into our lifestyles.  Going about it in this way removes  the pressure of wanting results yesterday.  We become more patient as a result.

Ever hear the “KISS” principle?  It means “Keep it Super Simple”.  Quick changes and complexity makes completing tasks more difficult.  However, simple changes pave the way for an easier road.  This road offers clarity, peace, and confidence.

We make everything more complicated than it should be  The internet is filled to the brim on different diet plans and exercise plans to choose from.  We add more information by tirelessly doing more research than needed.  Most people consult a handful of diet books and multiple professionals.  People over think their diet and exercise plan.  We label foods as good or bad or even forbidden.  Complicating your diet and exercise will lead to confusion, frustration, and ultimately failure.

Through this exhaustive research, we have created preconceived notions on different foods. For example, people label foods with gluten as “bad”.  In reality, gluten is only a binding protein that SOME people can’t digest.  Also, people dodge red meat because it is said to cause cancer.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  OVERCONSUMPTION of overcooked red meat can lead to health problems. A lean steak every now and again will not hurt your health. My favorite that I hear all the time is that “fruit will make me gain weight because it has sugar.”  Sure, fruit has natural sugar.  But, it also has fiber, water, and nutrients your body needs.  The amount of sugar in fruit will not contribute to weight gain if you eat it in moderation.

Simplify It

So what are you to do? Aim for simplicity when making changes.  Some simple changes you can make include:

  • eat in moderation: cut your portions down to half
  • switch out sugary drinks for water
  • exercise for 15 minutes more than you usually do
  • eat 2 more servings of fruit and vegetables
  • take a walk instead of watching TV after dinner

There are more ways to simplify a lifestyle change.  Reflect on your weak points.  Make a simple goal.  Decide to commit to it for a while. See what happens.  If it does not work, adjust your efforts and continue on your way.  If you achieve results, continue the behavior and add a new simple change.  Over time, you will get to where you would like to be!

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