Does it serve me?
This question alone has helped revolutionize my personal eating habits, though it works for creating more mindful sleeping, drinking, and moving habits, too.
Like everybody else on the planet, I enjoy eating. Food is Awesome. The thing is, it doesn’t all make me feel awesome. A lot of it tastes pretty good and makes me feel pretty bad. I mean... not bad enough to make me stop eating it. There was a time when, if I enjoyed the taste and it was available, I’d eat it. End of story.
Then I started to ask, “Does it serve me?”
I want to live an Awesome life - today, tomorrow, and hopefully for another 23,000 days or so. I’ve never been very interested in being “healthy” for healthy's sake, or even living as long as possible. I’m more interested in feeling good. Feeling as awesome as possible every day so I can be as productive as possible, have good energy, be in a good mood and have the best possible relationships. Eating Real Food helps serve that purpose. Eating stuff that’s void of nutrients or has negative effects on my body in any way doesn’t serve me. It’s actually negatively impacting the way I feel, and ultimately the way I act.
So, I’ve been trying to be more mindful about what I consume and why. This requires thinking about both short-term and long-term effects, although, for me personally, I tend to focus on the short-term which is easier motivation and ends up affecting the long-term in beneficial ways anyway. I’ve noticed that I feel sluggish and crabby when I consume too much sugar or coffee. Doesn’t serve me. I’ve noticed that when I eat or drink too much at night I feel like crap in the morning and have a hard time getting moving. Doesn’t serve me.
For a long time I ate a cookie and drank coffee in the middle of the afternoon because I enjoyed the taste and the ritual. But I realized it usually made me feel bloated, I wasn’t hungry for dinner, and I could be irritable because I didn’t feel very good. Didn’t serve me. I didn’t stop the habit of the afternoon snack because I wanted to lose weight or cut out the sugar and live longer (although I’m enjoying those benefits now as well!). I simply realized it didn’t make me feel Awesome. The brief moments of enjoyment for my taste buds resulted in sub-optimal Awesomeness for the next few hours.
I’d encourage you to try out the “Does it serve me?” mantra for a few days and see what kind of impact it has. Ask it throughout the day, whenever you’re considering eating something. If the answer is “Yes,” then enjoy it! Food is Awesome! If the answer is “No,” kick it to the curb. Why would you want to choose something that keeps you from Maximum Awesomeness?
As with everything in our 30-day journey together, we’re recommending it because we’ve done some experimenting and found that it works for us. So, give it a try. Do your own experiment. See if it works for you. What’s the BEST that could happen?