EMB #103: how our environment affects our lifestyle

How our environment affects our lifestyle is a major factor when we talk about health and fitness.  I bring it up because it’s all so important in the big scheme of things.  After all we are products of our environment.  I bet there is a large percentage of people that are doctors or nurses because their parents were.  Professional athletes certainly have a large percentage of children that are athletes at some level if not pro.

Olympic athletes train with Olympic athletes for good reason, because they push each other to be better, they know what it takes to be the best and they live this decision every day.  College athletes whether it be baseball players or football players, hang out together, they eat together, they watch sports together.  Some might say it’s because they have a lot in common which is no denying but the fact of the matter is, this is their environment, they have the same habits, the same rituals and the same lifestyle.

We get in the corporate world and it’s no different, if you’re headed for drinks after work there’s a good chance coworkers or people in the same field are going with you.  If you have a huge steak and beer for lunch and you’re heading back to the office I could almost guarantee you you’re not alone.

That’s great, now that I’ve gotten my point across of how environment works what am I getting at?  I’m getting at we’re the same way, it doesn’t matter where we are or what we do, our environment positively or negatively affects who we are.  Anyway we look at it, we live our environment every day.  What I’m getting at, we can change ourselves and accomplish our goals by changing our environment.

Let’s say we’re overweight for example, which is a by-product of not so healthy choices, the foods we prepare, consume and our activity level.  Well not completely; most people would say change the way you eat, change the way you exercise; I would say not only change the way you live, but change your mind set as well.  We have routines, things we do day in and day out and we don’t even know it.

To make healthier decisions, to be more active and to live better, I believe is far more important than most of our end goals of losing weight.  What we need to do is make changes to our lifestyle.  If you’re used to grabbing a pastry and coffee in the morning which sounds cliché although so apparent in our north American lifestyles this is a habit you formed.  If you’re used to grabbing lunch not making it, coming home and pouring a drink because you had a stressful day, these are habits formed.  A habit formed could be adjusted but there has to be some substance behind it.

This all leads to our environment.  You spouse, roommate or other half probably does the same thing you do after work.  Your friends probably crack a beer after work too and there’s a good chance when you purchase that morning coffee you’re not buying just one.  This is no different for active people; I often hear those muscle bound, testosterone junkies getting a hard time because they hang out at the gym instead of working out and leaving like most others.  It’s better than hanging out at the bar though isn’t it?

This is their lifestyle, this is their comfort zone, inspiration, its their environment.  They hang out with other people that wear tank tops, grunt and flex their muscles at the gym, it’s what they do.

It’s absolutely no different than a group of white collars meeting for drinks after work on thur night.  We are attracted to likeminded people.

Do you think a group of runners hit the bar after a long day of work, think hikers or mountain climbers usually grab a steak and cocktail for lunch before they carry on with their day?  Sure it happens once in a while but not on a consistent basis.

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The kicker to all this, the way you change your lifestyle if you want to live better or feel better or even if you want to work with a suit all day and go for beers after work is change your lifestyle so it’s more like those you aspire to.  If you want to be a mountain climber you start hanging out with mountain climbers.  You see what magazines they read, what websites they visit, where they go after work and where they climb on the weekends.  You want big muscles and to hang out at the gym, you talk to them, ask them about their workouts, spend time with them, learn about supplements and do some experimenting!

These are the things that need to be done to change who you are.  And I only say change who we are because that’s what most people want.  They usually don’t want to lose 10lbs or 40.  They want to feel better, they want to live better, they want to feel comfortable in clothes and not cringe when they look in the mirror; they want to laugh with their friends and eat out and not feel self-conscious.  Unfortunately, our minds say we need to lose weight to do all these things, but the fact remains we want these changes in our lives, we just don’t know how to go about them.

What it is we need to do is simply make some changes.  And I say simply because I mean simply; make one small change today, don’t think about it, don’t stew on it or figure out all the reasons why this won’t work.  Do one thing today and do it well and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.  The greatest intention is action, and without action we don’t have much.  It’s going to take some time to build sustainability, that sustainability will need consistency.  So again the best thing you can do is something today, something right now and build off it.

* This is the first segment of the show, if you’d like to hear the rest click on the link below.