Yesterday I attended a class led by Sam Thorne, a health coach who helps people ground themselves, reach their goals, practice awareness, and live a balanced and fulfilling life.
Sam is immediately likable and has an aura of good energy. He made it easy to get past that immediate “Who is this guy anyways?” barrier and internalize all the information he shared.
I learned a lot about myself and ways to be healthier and more balanced during his presentation. I also learned how to think about health in a better way. Sam considers exercise and nutrition as only two parts of a larger whole of health (see the picture of the Wheel of Life in the second section).
In this post, I’ll go over my two most important takeaways from Sam’s presentation, as well as provide information that can help all of us live a healthier life.
My takeaways from Sam’s healthy lifestyle presentation
Two things became immediately clear to me upon the conclusion of Sam’s presentation…
Gyms aren’t fun. Sam said that if you want a healthy habit to last, it has to be fun. For nutrition, this might mean buying food at a farmer’s market or trying new whole foods and exciting natural drinks (pitaya, jicama, hazelnut chocolate date butter, mushroom tea, kombucha).
For me, going to the gym isn’t fun. It’s a hassle…
Wasting time getting to and from the gym. Needing to wait to use certain equipment. Narcissists walking in front of your spot to check themselves out in the mirror. Needing to cart all your shower supplies there and risking getting foot warts. Paying overpriced membership fees.
So, instead of maintaining my gym routine I’m going to return to doing what I used to do and enjoy: home workouts, running, action sports (i.e. paintball, snowboarding).
Satisfy small cravings consistently. I used to do this but switched from occasionally eating unhealthy foods throughout the week to eating them all on Saturdays. I call this cheat day and binge on whatever I want.
Obviously this is quite gratifying on Saturday but Sunday through Friday I have cravings I can’t satisfy. These are often innocent cravings, too, like a beer to unwind while watching a show or a piece of cake for someone’s birthday. Waiting this long to satisfy cravings causes me a shitload of stress for no good reason.
The only reason I do cheat day is because I read about it somewhere and it sounded like a good idea. There are plenty of healthy people though that indulge in “cheat foods” throughout the week. After all, I used to be one of these people and I felt good while doing it.
Healthy lifestyle tips for everyone
When you have a craving, drink water. Most of the time when you crave something like coffee, alcohol, or sweets, your body is dehydrated. Most of the time, after you drink water, that craving goes away.
Tip: If I’m craving a beer or soda when I know I shouldn’t have one, I drink carbonated water. It mimics the initial feeling you get from beer and soda.
Don’t follow food trends. There are a bunch of trends right now – high fat, low sugar, gluten free, etc. This is sure to change in the next 5 to10 years. So, instead of following trends, eat what makes you feel good. If you eat whole wheat toast (with gluten) and whole fruit (with sugar) in the morning and feel good during and after you eat it, keep eating it.
Move more. Many people sit to work. This is terrible for the back. To realign the back, get up and move every hour. Do some stretches. Walk around the office. Switch to a standing desk for a little.
Measure key areas of your life. Sam shared something called the “Wheel of Life” during his presentation. He uses it with all of his clients to help them find fulfillment in many different areas of their life.
People think about nutrition and exercise when they hear the word “health,” when health is actually a word that should encompass your entire lifestyle. The goal of the Wheel of Life is to measure how successful you are now in each important area of your life (on a scale of 1 to 1-10).
I’m going to start measuring each of these areas on a quarterly basis. The mission will be to increase each area by at least one point each quarter. To do this, I’ll lay out specific tasks I need to complete.
During his presentation, I asked Sam if it was possible to have all 10s and he was confident that it was. It just takes practice.
Be more present. 80% of our thoughts are about the past or future. To stay more in the present moment, you can practice meditation and mindfulness. (There are apps for this.)
To me, meditation means being okay with doing nothing. I’m constantly moving, worrying about the future, regretting the past, and I don’t take enough time to focus on now. If I did, anxiety about the past and future would naturally go away.
Tip: People aren’t waiting on you as much as you think they are. They are too busy worrying about themselves.
Play the “why” game. Why do you do what you do? This is a good question to ask yourself over and over again. I guess it could be called something like the “why?” game. Whenever you think you’re doing something for a specific reason, you ask why. Then you ask why you’re doing it for that reason. You keep digging until you can’t dig any further and discover a truth.
For example, right now I’m creating a video course to help people find remote jobs. To complete the mission successfully and in a short timeframe, making money from the course isn’t a strong motivator.
So why am I creating the course? Because I like working remotely. And why else? Because I like helping people solve problems and enrich their lives. Bingo.
My motivation should be to help people – not just complete the course and make money. When you find your real reason for doing something, it’s easier to get that something done. You’re also less likely to be stressed by it because your intention isn’t focused on something negative like greed, rather by something pure and good.
Balance out your life with Sam
When some of my funds free up, I’m definitely going to give Sam a call. Having someone on my side to help me work through things is something I’ve wanted for a long time.
Not too long ago I considered getting a psychologist but they never really helped me in the past. I think someone like Sam would really be able to help me out. He’s more down-to-earth and doesn’t try to force anything. He looks for the good that is natural within you and then does exercises to stimulate it.
So, if you’re looking for someone to help you live better and complete goals that are meaningful to you, go ahead and check Sam out.