ISSUE #2: Making It Look Easy & 5 Reasons It’s Not

I hope you had the chance to watch one of the documentaries that I mentioned last week – or perhaps, like me, you went down the rabbit hole and are now exploring every food documentary you can find. I know one reader who took my advice and watched Forks Over Knives last week. He texted, “Crazy stuff. Seems irrefutable evidence to eat from the earth. Dairy was the big shocker to me.”

One of the things with a movie like Forks Over Knives is that they make healthy eating look so easy. They follow a few people who are making lifestyle changes, under the watchful eye of doctors that show them how to shop and how to cook. Then over the course of a few months they’ve lost weight, stop taking their medications, and, most importantly, regained a love of life – all of which we see take place in 2 hours.

It’s so easy, right?

Wrong!

I was thinking about what makes healthy eating so hard and I came up with my top 5 reasons;

#5 – Knowledge – I’m not talking about why we need to eat better, I talking about how. For the most part we know what foods are bad for us, we just need help learning how to make better choices.

#4 – Taste and Cravings – It’s not our fault! These foods are designed by scientist that are much smarter than us. They know exactly how to make food – or I should say, food-like substances – that appeal to our taste buds and our brain.

#3 – Money – Unfortunately, unhealthy food is cheap. Just watch TV for 10 minutes and you’ll see a commercial reminding you how much food you can get for under $10. Then the following commercial will be for a pill you can pop for your health issues. Yes, unhealthy food is cheap, unless you factor in the long-term health costs – and the government subsidies.

#2 – Convenience –We’re all super busy just trying to juggle commuting, earning a living, and getting the kids where they need to go – not to mention fitting in our own activities that bring us joy. Somewhere along the line spending time in the kitchen drew the short straw and was replaced by pre-packaged processed foods and fast foods.

#1 – Social Pressure – Ever not eaten one of the doughnuts that makes its way to where you work? Or ordered a salad when all your buddies are getting a burger and fries? Trust me, it’s not easy. Social pressure is real.

I’m not going to expand each of those areas this week, but I do want to touch upon this idea of social pressure. If you find yourself nodding along, thinking “I can totally understand that.” Then you understand what sports psychologist – and host of my second favorite podcast, Finding Mastery – Dr. Michael Gervais coined FOPO or Fear of Other People’s Opinion. In the same vein as FOMO or Fear of Missing Out (not being able to focus because we’re afraid we’ll miss what others are doing), Gervais claims that both are holding us back from reaching our full potential.

I’m not sure where I first heard it, but I really like this idea; “People would care a lot less about what others think about them if they knew how little others think about them.” Seriously, people are worried about their own problems and they’re not thinking about me – or you.

If that doesn’t work, I stop and think about where we’re at as a society – one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet one of the sickest – and that usually does the trick.

What I’ve been reading now: 
Goal Setting: 8 Strategies of Elite Performers by Dr. Michael Gervais

Quote of the day: 
“My work ethic is the single most important factor in all of my accomplishments… [giving] 40% effort may be satisfactory, but that’s another word for mediocrity… schedule your life like you’re on a 24-hour mission every single day.” – David Goggins from Can’t Hurt Me

Chad Austin