OK, so I resurrected this post. I’ve been listening to some podcasts while I run on the Nordic. One of my faves is The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. He is a fitness/health expert and although I know he’s way above my pay-grade so to speak [actually way above everything. He’s smart, young, healthy, fit, strong, rich, tattooed, compelled, etc. and I’m waaaay not any of those things]  . . but he’s interesting to listen to. And it makes my 30-40 minutes go faster.

[I also listen to my church stuff . . . Conference talks, Gospel Doctrine lessons and their counterpart commentaries, Shalene Johnson, lot’s of stuff.]

Something caught my interest the other day while I was listening to Shawn Stevenson and I want to write about it here so that I can come back and reread it when I’m having a hard time with health/wellness. I’m paraphrasing what he said and what stuck in my mind:

What do we have to do to make healthy living / healthy habits a part of us? [Bad habits are so easy. It seems like they are just part of our lives, but good healthy habits have to be worked on.] Good habits have to be learned and practiced. They have to be remembered. We have to think about them!

He talked about four stages of learning. This is so fascinating. The first stage is Unconscious Incompetence. Relating to eating and food, this is a stage where I was when I was a child. I just ate whatever there was. I ate anything and everything. I just assumed it was good for me. Eventually we move into the second stage, that is Conscious Incompetence. This is where I realize, I know that what I’m doing is not healthy, that what I’m doing is not benefiting my health and wellness. It’s when I realize, sheesh, I’ve been doing this wrong for a long time. The third step is Conscious Comptenece. It’s when I know what to do but I really have to work at it. I have to put conscious effort into doing things that are good for me. I think this is where I am right now. I know I need to exercise more and eat healthier. I have to consciously push myself to not eat a fried Snicker bar [kidding . . . yuk!] or a big bowl of Moose Tracks. So this is where a healthy life starts to happen. It’s where I finally recognize that I have to do/act differently than I have in the past or I’m going to be stuck right where I am. When I become more aware of what I’m doing/eating, I have to put conscious effort into making a healthy change. Then I will eventually reach the stage called Unconscious Competence where things start to fall into place without requiring so much thought. I might actually unconsciously eat or prefer something healthy without having to really think too much about it. I might wake up and want to exercise instead of forcing myself to exercise. I might recognize that I feel better when I eat right and move more.

The other night I was binging right before bed. I ate a bowl of wheat checks [admittedly not a bad food choice] but eating that late triggered the ‘need’ to eat more. I moved into ‘punishing mode’ and grabbed a huge handful [seriously two hands-full if I’m honest about this] of Easter jelly beans. That gave me heartburn because I was on my way to bed and all the acid moved up into my throat when I laid down and made me miserable all night long. A couple of nights later I remembered how miserable I was and decided to not eat late at night.

This is easier for me to recognize with food. I consciously try to not eat Moon Pies, Honey Buns, double-stuffed crust pizza and the aforementioned fried Snicker bar. But I need to also use this in my relationships. I keep thinking I need to be at the stage of doing what’s healthy for myself without having to consciously think so hard about it. I need to take care of my emotions. I need to feel satisfied about where I live. I need to feel good and content with my decisions. I need to defend what I believe to be fair and true. I need to feel safe. I need to feel normal.

Sheesh, I’d settle for just being able to feel.

It’s amazing to me that I have gone to this place of self-preservation and so much of me is just-plain turned off.

[OK, that’s why I needed to put this into words, so that I can come back and read this in a year. I don’t even want to think that far ahead, because I know the immediate future is going to be totally crappy.]