What we think and say to ourselves becomes our destiny—good or bad, right or wrong, weak or strong.
In the same vein, I loathe the statement: You are what you eat.
Let me drag out my eating-disordered-chubby-kid-fat-adult-weight-struggling soap box and dust it off for this one.
First, who said we are what we eat? Who was that? And where is that person, so I can personally kick his ass?
(I said his ass, but it was probably some snooty perfect-looking messed up mom with a ciggy sticking out of her mouth, trying to make her chubby daughter feel badly about her thighs in the 1950’s). I digress. Oh, and I did actually research the meaning of this phrase, and it goes waaaaay back and it was a dude who said it. If you are bored, check it out here.
At the same time, I totally understand the meaning behind it. Basically, it’s the notion that in order to BE fit and healthy we need to EAT good food.
Guess there is some truth to that statement, but here’s where I get tripped up.
I did a Facebook Live in one of our groups recently, and I talked about the Five-Minute Journal that I am using as part of my morning routine. For anyone who has followed me for a while, you know that it is with great pain I say “morning routine” and “meditation.”
That being said, however, I have been doing a very small, very easy morning routine for 30 days. I took my routine from the prior post and expanded it with the Five Minute Journal. In my journal, I was focusing on FOOD and WHAT I ATE every single entry.
Whether it was regret, shame or atta-girl, I was commenting on my food intake: Every. Single. Day.
The long circular path of this story is that writing made me realize how pervasive food is in my life. Not that I didn’t know this (I mean, really), but I have come so far… and I didn’t realize what an obsession food still still is for me.
Writing down and spending some time with my words has allowed me to see what house I am living in.
I am what I eat. But not in the way I thought.
Rather: I am what I think about. I am what I obsess about. That is good or scary, depending on what is going on!
I thought it might be helpful to share what I am currently doing in my morning and nighttime routines. I have noticed that I feel much more clear, my “house” is stronger, and the words in my head are kinder when I am doing these things.
Maybe it will help some of you get started on something, if you’ve been resistant like me.
Here’s my Current Morning Routine:
- Alarm goes off
- I hit snooze, but I do not go back to sleep
- Instead for the 8 minutes that the snooze runs, I lay in bed on my back (I remove my pillow under my head and lay flat). I take deep breaths and focus on breathing only. This removes the wave of anxiety that rushes over me with the alarm.
[Essentially, that is my meditation, although I don’t feel like calling it meditation quite yet!]
- When the alarm sounds again, I sit up, turn on my lamp, and I grab my Five Minute Journal
- I scribble in it (it usually takes me three minutes)
- I am done, and ready to conquer the day.
So what exactly is the point of writing in the journal?
Back to the words we say being the house we live in. The Five Minute Journal is a quick instance to start your day with the WORDS that you WANT to be your HOUSE.
We get to choose where we LIVE. We are no trees. And we get to choose. No matter how stuck we might feel, we can change and move and grow. We can change professions. We can change cities, houses, routes to work, socks and shoes. We can change habits and thoughts and friends. We can change what we see in our social feed and what noise we let in (or keep out).
Step one is getting our head wrapped around what we can control, and how we are not stuck. By setting future affirmations and declarations (there’s a space for gratitude, daily affirmations and what we’d like to accomplish), we set our brains in motion.
Since the inception of The Same 24 Hours Podcast almost a year ago, I have been asking the same question of most guests. “We all have the Same 24 Hours, but what we do in those 24 Hours is what makes us happy, healthy and successful. What is something you (the guest) does in those 24 Hours that makes life good?”
And I swear 90% of the time, it’s meditation or some form of morning routine.
I am not alone there, either.
Tim Ferriss’ book, Tools of Titans and recent Tribe of Mentors has the morning routine and mediation at the forefront with its interviewees. It’s a thing, y’all – I’m not telling you anything you haven’t heard yet.
However. Tony Robbins doesn’t meditate per se (he primes). And Tim will tell you that meditation is different and personal for everyone. As will Dan Harris (author of 10% Happier) and pretty much anyone pushing meditation. Pushing meditation? Like it’s a political agenda. Sorry, I didn’t mean that.
But when you are resistant to something–like I was about traditional meditation in my own narrow-mindedness–I felt like it was an agenda.
The moral of the story on meditation and all of this is simple.
Meditation and the morning routine grew in value for me, when I tied it to the Hafiz quote: “The words you speak become the house you live in.”
I realized that through my morning routine, I rebuild my house every single day. I could start over. I could frame it however I wanted.
In that way, my version of meditation and my morning routine (in the way that works for me) has become valuable.
Additionally, the nighttime routine is a bookend. There is real value in having positive bookends to the start and end of each day, as I am learning as well.
Since starting CrossFit in December, my body is especially sore, so I am spending more time caring for my body at night and my mental state.
My nighttime routine is:
- After dinner and homework and bath for kids, we all go upstairs (family reading time, kids to bed, etc.)
- Departing for upstairs after dinner keeps me out of the kitchen and also away from my computer–both which are easy to get out of control, eating and working around the clock. I have a strict no laptop in the bedroom rule, and this has helped.
- First, I wash my face or take a bath.
- Next, I put on jammies, and I stretch. Right now, I am digging ROMWOD, which is a daily video combo of calming music, breathing and stretching – about 15-20 minutes – and then I roll any problem areas with the foam roller
- Third, I hang upside down off and on for 10 minutes (best money spent in the last 6 months is my inversion table. It’s helped my bone sport and compressed disc in my neck big time. This is the one I have. Only coincidentally it says IRONMAN – it had the best reviews for the $200 price tag.)
- I write in the Five Minute Journal (it takes me 2 minutes), because it has an evening component to it.
- Then I may watch the news or read until I am ready to sleep
It sounds like a long list, but really it’s just:
wash face, stretch, hang upside down, write a few words, then relax.
This little routine has been pretty helpful for setting up the words in my head… to build a better house.
What routines do you HAVE, or what routines are you ready to START?