ZWL is so much more than the Zen of Weight Loss. True, it started as an effort to help people who wanted to lose weight. Today the ZWL approach stands on the highest mountain and hollers — Life! . . . Gotta Love It. This week we look at a Zippy Wonderful Life.
If your life isn’t lively and peppy it can’t be too wonderful. The ZWL approach to life is not only about weight loss, but wonderful living. Being healthy and fit. Being strong and active. If you aren’t Zippy then a wonderful life is going to be hard to come by.
Here are my recommendations for how to get more Zip into your day. ZWL assumes you are healthy and that chronic exhaustion is not an issue for you. Likewise it is my hope that today you’re in a state of health and joy. However, if you’re not feeling too great (as long as your doctor certifies you as healthy) you can safely follow the ZWL recommendations below.
1. Wrong Foods. This is a loaded subject. The wrong foods for me might not be the wrong foods for you. For example I cannot eat fruit regularly without my body reacting to the fructose. It doesn’t work for me. I get tired and ultimately gain weight. On the other hand, I have a friend who thrives when she eats fruit. The only way to discover what is wrong for you is to keep a journal. Eat and then notice how you feel later. If food leads to a negative reaction — I believe we can safely say that exhaustion from eating is a negative response — then you may be onto something. Don’t eat that specific food again. The other thing that can cause problems with food is when you don’t eat enough, or you try to subsist on things like coffee. Recognize if you reach for more coffee later in the day — it could be a pattern that leads to exhaustion. If you’re tired track back to the last time you ate. It might be time to sit down to a healthy snack.
2. Lack of Sleep. Everything from too much to do, cluttered rooms, worry, and control issues can keep you from getting the sleep you need. Sleep is absolutely necessary, and often we try to function on less rest than we should. The same way a parent establishes sleep patterns for infants — you need to establish a pattern for getting good sleep. Some people say they can function on 4 – 6 hours of sleep. Experts and their studies say 7 – 9 are necessary. Choose your magic number and follow the results. Make yourself establish a pattern of brushing teeth and settling down. See what happens.
3. Too Tired to Exercise. The worse thing you can do is stop moving if you’re tired. Find a happy medium. If your ordinarily run 15 miles a day, but exhaustion has taken hold then try to run 3 or walk 5. Movement is what you need to burn off trapped tension. Then next time you want to blow off exercise due to exhaustion do a little walk and observe how you feel afterwords.
Notice, Recognize, Track Back, See, Follow, Observe are all words for zen. See? You can be zen and you didn’t realize it. Change comes when we are mindful (another word for zen). You can’t drive anywhere without paying attention to the road. What makes you think it could be any different with your health? Don’t be afraid to be zen.
Client Light Bulb Moment of the Week: “I suddenly realize that being zen isn’t an affront to my religious belief. ZWL is just trying to get me to pay attention and notice everything — particularly the blessings God sets before me.”