Secrets of Weight Loss: Part 5: Rituals
July 17, 2023
Secrets are Really Insights
This is the next in our series of the “secrets” of weight loss. And, as you have gathered, weight loss is really fat loss or optimizing your body composition. Leaner is better. Leaner is healthier. And “secrets” are really insights – a deeper understanding of the process of enhancing your lean body mass and, simultaneously, burning off both subcutaneous (between your skin and your muscle) fat and visceral (inside your body among your organs) fat – the most toxic fat.
The theme of this newsletter is your process. Most people live chaotically with no rhyme or reason. The first main point of this newsletter is habit. Of course, you can have bad habits (neurotic or self-destructive habits like smoking, for example). Or, you can have good habits (positive or constructive habits like brushing and flossing, for example).
This newsletter is about taking habits to a deeper level: to the level of ritual. The concept of ritual incorporates the idea of mindfulness. Mindfulness means to be fully present as you go about your life.
And an even deeper level yet is nurture. When you think of nurture, think of a garden. You cannot have a lush, beautiful garden overnight. A truly beautiful garden takes literally years of nurturing, of being a good steward. Only in this case the “garden” you are nurturing or cultivating is you. And not just you, but your future self.
To arrive in your 80’s or 90’s lean, fit and clear-minded takes literally decades of nuturing. The image I get is a Zen Garden or a bonsai tree – mindfully shaped and nurtured on a daily basis for literally thousands and thousands of days.
You are the result of the sum total of your life’s daily habits good, bad or indifferent. You know one of our mantras is: your body does not lie. The condition of your health, your body and your mind are proof of who you are when no one is looking. Like you can’t fake a blood panel. You can’t pull an all nighter and have triglycerides of 29.
If health is a value for you. If you are serious about your health, you have to begin by escaping the gravitational pull of conventional wisdom. A trip to the mall provides massive evidence of how disastrous conventional wisdom is with Weight Watcher diets, eating lots of whole grains and, of course, avoiding saturated fat. Once you get serious about your health, you quickly realize it is not just going to happen by itself. To get truly healthy in this country takes real commitment. You have to make some deep and permanent changes in your life.
You have to establish some healthy habits. For example, you have learned that the root cause of all degenerative disease is inflammation – this includes heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and weak bones. A major source of inflammation is an unhealthy mouth – teeth and gums. A fundamental habit of real optimal health is brushing and flossing every day. Brushing with a thorough toothbrush like a Sonicare. Brushing with baking soda periodically. Brushing with toothpaste that does NOT contain whiteners which actually scratch your teeth and make staining worse. Flossing with unwaxed dental floss, getting below the gum line and wrapping the floss around each tooth. As my dental clients like to say: only floss the ones you want to keep. Healthy gums do not bleed when you brush and floss or when the dentist cleans your teeth. I get my teeth cleaned every 3 months. Health is a lifelong commitment carried out one day at a time. Healthy gums also include at least 3,000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids. That is just one reason why I include a high-quality vitamin C as part of the ten most important supplements on my Online Store on my website. By the way, I personally take 8,000 mg of vitamin C and I take 3 different kinds of vitamin C – but that’s for another newsletter.
As you well know, it takes a lot of work to establish and to maintain a healthy, constructive habit. But even the best habits can become robotic and mindless. So, the next step is to evolve your healthy habit into a healthy ritual. A major difference between a habit and a ritual is mindfulness. Mindfulness means that every single time you brush and floss, you are present. You are not spaced out or distracted. We live in a culture of distraction. Non-stop music, TV, social media, and constant notifications. The average person checks their email and/or social media 77 times a day. The average person has zero tolerance for silence or solitude. Don’t believe me? Try driving with no radio, no music and no books on tape. An absolutely quiet car. Optimal health is also doing your Heavy Hands for 30 to 60 minutes 5 or 6 days a week for decades as I have since 1982.
Which segues into my third point: the nurturing of your future self at 80 or 90. It’s decades of doing things like mindfully brushing and flossing every single day. Driving in a quiet, peaceful, mindful car every day. It’s reading literature and/or non-fiction like history or biography for an hour or two every day – being a live long learner – versus watching 6 or 7 hours of mindless TV like the average person does. It’s drinking water instead of alcohol. It’s avoiding sugar and processed carbs. It’s starting every day with a JDD shake like most of my customers have been doing since 2007. That’s how you arrive at 80 or 90 without dementia and or hip replacements.
One of my values is to live a contributory life. To make the world a little bit better than if I hadn’t been here. That is why I love to share positive healthy information. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I never know who the ready student will be who reads this newsletter. Love is the spirit of encouragement. You can do it. You can establish one more healthy habit.
You can turn that habit into a ritual by being fully present and doing that habit mindfully. And you can begin to accumulate days, weeks, months and years nurturing your future self. As T. S. Eliot said: Build a life to rejoice in.
Thank you for listening. We are all in the same boat. With love and encouragement, we can all make the journey a little more meaningful.
Photo by Chris Ensey