Seems like every time I talk to someone about my new lifestyle choices, inevitably the excuses start to flow. It’s almost as if by being around me, people feel guilty for not living the way I do. Now if our discussion is about how they eat at McDonald’s eight times a week and their house is going to be on the next episode of Hoarders, I’m totally okay with the guilt I apparently create. But for the people who have made different, but not less healthy choices, I wish they’d feel more at ease. My lifestyle is dramatic, and I honestly believe that this is the best way for me to live, but everyone is different, and needs different things.
Once in a while, though, I do get to chat with someone who loves what I’m doing and wants to know how to get started. Diving right into the list of things to accomplish can be terrifying, so I like to start with a little philosophy. The phrase “it’s all in your head” definitely applies here. If you can get through the mental blocks, the practical bits come way more easily. Here’s how it goes:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The consumerism mindset is a hard one to break. Shopping, spending money, and accumulating stuff can all become very real addictions. The good news? Minimalism is addicting too. Jack and I began our downsizing quest three years ago, and we’ve never once wanted to go back to owning more stuff. If anything, our desire to live on less (and less, and less, and less) has grown.
This applies to your health, too. Runners report becoming addicted to the “high” of their exercise of choice. Veteran vegetarians will tell you that they crave veggies and fruit rather than meat (even if they loved meat to begin with). People who eat gluten-free eventually stop wanting gluten products. Jack and I accidentally gave up soft drinks one day and have never looked back. God designed our bodies to love and crave that which is good for us. The detox may take time, but the other side is absolutely greener, and every bit as easy.
So if you’re making a big change in your life, and struggling through initial withdrawals, hang in there. It gets better – a lot better. Imagine yourself drinking 64 ounces of water a day because you want to. Imagine a life where you were fit and lean and healthy, and none of the maintenance felt like work. You can enjoy a healthy, balanced lifestyle, if you power through, and let your brain do the rest.