I’ve been reading this book “Own the Day”, by Aubrey Marcus. The Founder and CEO of Onnit, an as they put it, “Human optimization company”. They deal with many aspects of human health. From Kettle Bell workouts, mace training and body weight flow routines. To supplements, retreats, seminars, pod casting, apparel and of course literature.
It’s taken me a year to read. For a couple different reasons.
First, it inspired me to try new, simple nutritional additions in my routine. Or at least make the attempt. Sometimes miserably.
One suggestion that had a tangible effect, was, every morning having a big glass of water mixed with pink Himalayan rock salt and lemon. Before ingesting anything else. I mean, do your business first, then hit the water, salt lemon mix.
It’s affects are amazing. It wakes you up a little more organically. It gives you a nice boost of natural energy. When I was doing this consistently, I noticed an hours long difference before I had my first coffee. I didn’t need it, but I like it, so… at some point it’s “YUM” time right?
The second reason is that, in a way I don’t want it to end. It’s the first book that I’ve read, to really inspire me, at the least, to attempt to recognize, confront and overcome some of my unhealthier habits. Both mentally and physically.
I’ve also hit ruts. The regular distractions life throws at you. Not enough money coming in, so you have to put in some over time. The kids spend half their time here, the other half with their mom and rotating shifts at work. You know the usual. I’m not complaining either, just saying, some times you can’t commit 100% to your personal goals. So yeah, I’m hanging on to this book for as long as I can.
Finally, it’s brought me out of a lot of those ruts. Seemingly catching the right advice for the personal situation, that was pulling me down.
Clearly I highly recommend this book.
My point is. On my journey I’ve found it hard to find information with substance and direction. Most of it was general. I was really looking for a specific, step by step guide on how to deal with whatever I was engulfed in.
I would obsess over it, dive into as much research as I could. Looking for an answer to everything from, talking to my kids about divorce and separation, to trying to deal with the emotion of that separation, to changing my lifestyle, to starting over. I felt lost and overwhelmed, searching for answers to unanswerable questions.
Realizing at some point through all this research and analysis, that the information I was looking for, was really the sum of all the things I had delved into. There was the analytical, educational and philosophical advice presented in the pod casts I listened to. The articles on parenting techniques, the videos of workout routines and nutrition. They were all a part of the whole. I had to keep myself well rounded on a personal level, in order to handle my responsibilities as maturely as possible.
Here’s a couple examples…
With The Kids
I have 3 kids. Two girls and a boy. As a close friend once put it. “It’s like you have a second full time job”.
They very rarely need or want the same things at the same times. They hardly agree on the same games or toys to play with and they never agree on what movies we should watch.
The thing that gets under my skin the most, is the bickering and the fighting. So after trying a few things, Like, yelling (that didn’t work!), time outs, separating them and loss of privileges. I found that for my kids, most of that was a momentary fix. Not really leaving a lasting impression of the lessons they were meant to impart.
So I eliminated the yelling and started to utilize time outs in their rooms. They had to stay there until they were ready to be their happy self and re join us. I incorporated with that, a policy where, if they fought. The punishment would be for the guilty parties to give one another a hug and kiss while saying “I love you”. This would have to happen immediately after one or both parties, stood up from a seated position. Every time they got up to get a snack, a drink, go to the bathroom… whatever, they had to remind each other that they loved each other.
I decided to do this because I was getting sick of being frustrated and Mr. Yelly-Pants. So I thought it would be a good experiment. See if it changed their behavior. It did. It brought on a sense of unity. They still act up and fight from time to time, but it’s definitely gotten easier to deal with and way less frequent.
It’s a work in progress, but intermingling the different theories and methods, then putting my own, “How can this be entertaining to me?”, spin on it, has really made a world of difference. It’s much more lighthearted and calm. The issues have become learning opportunities rather than fights.
For a little while whiskey was a really close friend. The emotional and mental devastation from divorce is deep. Coping is tough and it really does make you question your existence.
With your emotions pulled to their limits you have to deal with, mediators, lawyers, some times councilors, and even the legal system. Which all seemed to have a bit of a biased view about the awareness I have of the extent of my responsibilities. As if I had displayed in any way, an attempt to skirt any of them.
That’s not me. But neither is wallowing in self pity. So eventually, after a few too many nights in a bathrobe with that bottle of whiskey, I had to turn it around. I stepped back out, connecting with friends. The left over angst and tension, I dissolved by working out. I read blogs and articles about how to cope. I tried meditation and I changed my diet.
All of these changes were a struggle. I’d set plans to, work out, hang out with friends, try new things like meditation and that lemon, salt water cocktail. When it came time to follow through. I’d lose all desire. I would feel a heaviness, not wanting to attempt the task and just sit back down on the couch. I had to force myself to get involved and attempt an activity. Once I did, my mood changed, eventually realizing the enjoyment I was depriving myself of.
It took physical exertion, the companionship of friends and the intellectual thirst for understanding, to construct my pillars of support.
Fitness and Nutrition
When I decided to adjust my lifestyle to the healthier side of things. I was really geared up and focused. Trying new foods. Adding vitamins and some supplements to my diet.
I didn’t start doing all this over night though. I knew I wanted to see what I would look like with abs. I thought about working out and changing my eating habits for probably a year before I actually took action.
I would tell myself, “Tomorrow is Sunday. I’m going to party tonight and change my life tomorrow”. Tomorrow would never come. I’d scold myself repeatedly for not doing anything but hope that, I would magically morph into what I envisioned.
Finally, after months of over thinking, plotting, planning and avoiding. I put my big boy pants on and started. I started by forcing myself to work out the moment I got home from work. Kids being home or not. It had to get done. Plus, I think it helps to have your kids see you put in work and see results.
No matter how opposed my mind and body were to exerting themselves. I just did it and jumped right in. By the end of it, I felt considerably more positive about life as a whole. The more consistent I was, the more I wanted to get that “lift”. With all the crappy issues going on, on the fringes of my life, my work out became my meditation, my confidence and my release for pent up aggression.
To clear my head of doubt, fear and anxiety. I would tell myself, over and over, “just do it man, you just have to do it”. “Nothing happens if you don’t do it”. I’d repeat it as I drove home, while I was getting on my work out gear, all the way up to the point I found myself face down in the push up position. Ready to put in the work…
With all the noise of life, we’re pushed to the limit with information overload. Excess of access is unlimited. Anything and everything is at our fingertips. So trying to pin point one way to get a result, is futile.
It was up to me to put together a structure of all the theories and practices I had researched and analyzed. It was up to me consciously observe what worked, what didn’t, how it made me feel, how it effected the kids and whether the overall out come was emotionally beneficial for all of us.
It’s a hard line to walk.
My failures have been plentiful. I’ve emotionally reacted when I shouldn’t have. I’ve let my ego get in my way, many times. Though, no matter how many times I fail and fall back, the end result, is a greater evolution of my maturity and ability to maintain patience in the face of adversity.