April 16, 2024

Power Outage: Energy, Food, Fitness and Mental Health

“Be good to yourself. If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”  Kobi Yamada

How are you doing with those 2011 fitness goals? Taking small steps or have they been set aside? As we begin the second month of 2011, some have already put aside goals of fitness/energy.

Last week’s blog discussed aspects of energy, provided information for an energy audit, and mentioned Tony Schwartz, author of Way We are Working Isn’t Working. Remember the importance of energy in combating depression or anxiety.

He writes of managing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy,  with physical energy as the starting point.   Often  the fitness resolutions are set in the form of a weight goal. Media has trained us to be concerned about weight.   It is easy to set a specific weight and a specific time line.

These goals though become easy to ignore.   We have set weight goals many times   and have often given up rapidly.  There is evidence that even when successful,  95% of the time we regain the weight. To make it worse, as pointed out by  Judith Lutz in the Jan-Feb Psychotherapy Networker, article Recipe for Life by Judith Lutz,   research is clear that  the yo-yoing of weight increases a person’s percentage of body fat. The article also notes the somewhat startling research that   being over weight is not the cause of poor health as we are lead to believe. A major study by the Cooper institute in Texas (10 years and 26,000 men and 8000 women ages 20 to 90) demonstrated that mildly obese men were half as likely to have heart attacks as lean unfit men.

Fitness then is the key. Fitness is not as convenient to measure. What is your blood sugar level, your blood pressure, your cholesterol level? What is your resting heart rate or how far can you walk, run or ride a bike comfortably?   

Swartz talks of our “Immunity to change”. This is reference to the fact there is always a competing commitment we allow to take precedence. It may be the TV show or sugar or another convenient bad habit. A friend asks me when I return from  a bike ride…”are you going to live longer or will it just seem that way?”  This question demonstrates immunity to exercise of non exercisers.  

We often know the basics yet don’t do them. We know to eat breakfast but do not. We understand what makes up a healthy diet yet will eat as  inclination comes on, being immune to change. Often we eat by reflex, not related to hunger. Then we eat what is convenient…not noticing what we are actually hungry for.  

Where to start? Start small and simple.  Consider a simple goal. Maybe it is to eat breakfast daily. Perhaps you can begin to eat one  more fruit and/or one more vegetable per day. Or maybe it is to walk 20 minutes 5 days a week.  

Get started today with a manageable positive change in your fitness. Grow the base of your physical energy.  Grow some new energy habits. Begin to get over your immunity to change. 

Next week:    More on physical energy…Improving sleep.  

Stay warm and safe,



  1. i love it