6 weeks into the healing of my broken hand. I am typing now, but it is not comfortable. I never realized that a dislocated finger and fractured metacarpal could disrupt the entire body. Now, I know how very connected all of our parts are to everything else in our body. When one piece or part is out of whack, the entire system is affected. Lesson Learned. Got it. And that brings me to Blog #6
Bruce and I travel all over the world speaking the gospel of behavioral change. The key tenant to changing behavior is mindfulness. Being thoughtful about our actions and how those actions will affect our outcome. Eating donuts for breakfast is not a health-promoting behavior, for example. To change that behavior, one must think about the donuts and its lack of health benefits, then make the choice to eat it or not.
This past weekend, Bruce and I were in Chicago leading a Tabata Bootcamp training and as we usually do the morning of a training, we hunker down in the breakfast room of the hotel with our soy milk, muesli, gogi berries, almond butter, and any fruit we can find at the “free breakfast” buffet. (If you have ever had the pleasure of listening to one of Bruce’s nutritional lectures you will recall him saying, “If you see a FREE breakfast advertised at a hotel – run away – there is no real food at a FREE breakfast buffet” ) And this morning was no different. White bagels, sugary cereal, packets of oatmeal, waffle maker with white waffle goo, milk and more milk. And the people walking in to eat their free breakfast were equally unhealthy. We felt like we were in a hospital ward. So much obesity in such a small room. We wanted to scream – STOP eating this garbage! You are killing yourselves and your children! This is NOT FOOD.
Do they not know? Do people not know that food is either health promoting or harmful. Has no one ever provided this information to these folks or could it be that they know about the science yet still don’t want to change their behavior? We saw one family eating waffles, eggs, donuts, and ….red bull. I overheard the mom saying that this “DIET” syrup she was pouring onto her waffle wasn’t bad, as she sipped on her “Diet” coke. There is more nutritional research now than ever before promoting a plant-strong diet. Junk food carries with it a red flag. Milk and meat are NOT considered health promoting and yet, people eat as if they haven’t been privy to any of this information.
Or do they just not want to listen? I don’t know. I seriously am at a loss. The health club craze and the obesity epidemic are rising at the same rate. How nuts is that? More people are speaking up about plant-based diets yet fast food chains and “convenience food” is everywhere. Are we making any impact at all?
Behavioral change happens when there is a disruption and a willingness. Sickness is a disruption. How sad is it to think that someone needs to get sick in order to make a change. Would it be better if sickness doesn’t have to be the catalyst? And yet even when someone is diagnosed with a debilitating disease, change is hard – for some, it is impossible. There needs to be a mind shift that everything is directly related and connected and that our actions cause a reaction – either good or bad – and that we have the power to lead the charge.
Bruce and I left that breakfast buffet feeling empty and sad. We left wondering if what we are doing makes any difference at all. With such lack of connection to behavior and health, we question if we are talking to ourselves and making no difference in the lives of others. We pondered this all the way to the training. There our thoughts shifted quickly, as these trainers were hungry for knowledge. They were eager to hear our message. They took action and relayed their new found knowledge to their families and clients and to themselves. They affirmed that our message was being heard, loud and clear. I cannot wait to see how many lives they change with their new excitement.
Affect one and you affect many. Help one person and you help many. Or at least you encourage people to stop and be mindful that their actions mean something. We are all connected to our actions. What we do does matter and how we tell the story can affect others. Every moment is a teaching moment. That morning at the free breakfast was reaffirming that Bruce and I are on the right path. We are hopefully driving mindfulness and connection toward wellness.