We’ve been on the same topic all week, so why not? How do these mysterious Instinctive Norms fit into your physical health plan?
Same way they fit into mental health. And success. You become what you think about.
I’m talking about what you think about subconsciously. Again. See, we don’t look at the subconscious mind as a well-spring of health and fitness, or a purveyor of misery and despair.
It is though.
So what Instinctive Norms does the U. S. society I’ve been exposed to most of my life encourage?
Our Beliefs About Health
A while ago, I wrote about how health may not look like what we think it does. [link] Sometimes, it looks like getting out of bed and getting food. And then getting back in bed.
Yet with the constant bombardment of visual media, “health” means thin.
“Fit” means muscular and toned.
“Eating healthy” means grains are part of a balanced diet. Even if never eating them reduces my pain level and contributed to 30+ pounds of weight loss so far.
See, we internalize so many of these beliefs, and we don’t look at them. I had to find a medical history in my family that led to a correlation with problems digesting grain, that only THEN gave me the idea that, hey, maybe I’m actually mildly poisoning myself when I eat this stuff. Without that correlation, I don’t know that I would have noticed.
So yes, our beliefs absolutely effect our physical health.
Exercise & Food
What do you need for healthy bones? You probably said calcium.
What about healthy muscles? Did you say protein?
Energy? That’s easy! Carbohydrates, of course.
Technically this is all partly true. I say partly because all of these are half-formed concepts based in specific scientific studies whose results became socialized into little clichés about food and eating and health.
Know what you really need? Even I haven’t memorized the list. In fact, my father-in-law just helped me move my mother-in-law’s shelf full of medical references for herbs, vitamins, and other physical remedies to an accessible place downstairs. All manner of scientific information for herbal remedies and their studied effects on the body are held in one dark blue volume the size of a paving slab.
One of them is called the Vitamin Bible.
What about daily exercise? Well, everyone knows a gym membership and personal trainer are the way to go.
Or, you could start walking to work, if it’s within a mile or two of your house. Really. I’m not kidding. Can’t lift, bro? Start with some yoga and work up from there.
Get your heart pumping using your body’s natural actions and rhythm. It helps.
What kind of beliefs do you hold about physical health that are preventing you from reaching your goals? How do you intend to find the ones that are hiding from you? Let me know in the comments below!