No WHAT Without WHY

Wants are going to fizzle out, or go nowhere, without WHYS.

What do you want? Why do you want it?

I always wanted to be happier, healthier, fitter – but I never stuck to it until I had a real reason, and one that was really important to me – or even a life or death thing, like changing my diet.

I had no degenerative disease (that I know of, but things percolate for years before showing up, usually) but I was so mentally distressed that I was at a point of wanting to kill myself, which had never crossed my mind before. I didn’t really want to die but sometimes it was so incessant that I really believed I did.

So there was my reason – I wanted to live, and in order to do that, I had to get healthy, and I knew my diet was the place to start.

But now, my goal is to be even healthier. In fact, last night I realized my goal was to be “Healthy as FUCK.”

But why? Why am I suddenly able to stick to an exercise routine, especially jogging/running which tends to bore me after 5 minutes? I can push past it now and enjoy it.

This is a really good thing to break down for ANY aspiration you may have – be like an obnoxious toddler and ask WHY until you get to the DEEPEST reason.

I already know why I want to eat well. So, why do I want to be fit?

To be healthier, leaner, stronger, more youthful. For longevity.

Why?

So I can live longer to experience more. So I can say YES to anything and be able to keep up. So I can look great for a very long time. So I will be self-sufficient and mobile until I die. So I can escape people who want to harm me. So I can be capable and independent.

Why?

So I can experience more. To be happy. So I can take part in more things without getting tired. Self-confidence.

Why?

So I feel like I am really living.

Why?

To feel free.

Generally all my goals come down to the same thing: Freedom.

And why do I want freedom? Because I want to really live – this flips back and forth: really living, freedom, really living, freedom, etc.

So I know those are my base reasons for doing pretty much everything.

I learned this method a long time ago in a little class I took, and we ended up writing our “Why” words on wooden boards (mine was Freedom), and then over a half hour we revved ourselves up and learned how to break the boards with our hands. Once you do that, you feel like you can do anything! I kept that board for years, and it was a good reminder that my ultimate goal was freedom, so I can do all the things I REALLY love to do.

I am not completely free – true freedom in North America is a complete illusion – but I am definitely on my way, and I have a lot more freedom than most people I know, because I focus on it.

To know the WHY is a good way to figure out if your desires and pursuits are even worthy of your time. Your base reasons may be completely frivolous and you won’t even know it – you may realize that you want something for such a backwards reason – like buying shoes because you want to be loved, or wanting to go sky-diving so people think you are brave, but those are not really things you want to do for your SELF.

So what is your WHY?

Maps + Update for May

I find that getting motivated and sticking to goals requires some SPECIFIC goals.

Like when I initially went raw, I had a timeline for myself:

Feb 1st, 2008, vegan, no refined sugar. Every week I would cut something else out – tofu, rice, potatoes, bread, other sweeteners like cane juice, etc.

April 1st, 2008, 100% raw vegan.

It worked, I stuck to it. I’ve had some little ups and downs but generally I have been raw for over 4 years with some minor blips. And I have never returned to refined sugars, cheese, cakes, etc – nothing like that. The worst I got was some baguette in Paris.

And so it is June 1st – I have been low-fat for the whole month of May, with the exception of today – it was a bit of a celebration, and also a good-bye – a good-bye to potatoes (which I used to help me stay low-fat this month, occasionally), and a good-bye to salt. I have been eating it way too much (I
don’t want to eat it at all) and I can push out my stomach so far that I look pregnant – that’s how bloated I am. When I gave up salt before I lost 10 lbs in a week.

Now I am dropping the salt. I am keeping low-fat and back to 100% raw.

I am also very proud of my exercise dedication this last month, and my chart has really helped – I took it seriously and wanted to make sure I filled it as much as possible. This was doable because I had very specific goals instead of “I want to be 80/10/10” – why? Without a why, I had no real reason to stick with it.

This last month I have discovered the following:

With low-fat, I get ZERO menstrual cramps. I finally found out the mystery of why I have had awful periods since going raw (everything else improved, that got worse – I had no issues with menstruation before raw, only after).

With low-fat…I can run.

Seriously, in my whole life whenever I have attempted to run, or jog…I lasted a minute at most. When I was trying to be a runner in 2000, I never improved much – I could go 30-60 seconds and have to take a break. This month I was inspired to go jogging and would improve every time. At first I could only go a minute without a break. The next week (I only went every couple of days) I could do 5 minutes without stopping – this for me was amazing.

Two days later (doing nothing on those two days except some arm weights) I went 20 minutes with NO breaks – I was BAFFLED. All this in two weeks of going every 2-3 days. I improved so much, and felt so good, that I started to ENJOY jogging. Now I WANT to go. Now I WANT to be able to do it for an hour! A new goal!

And why am I exercising? To be fit. To have a lean body. To stay healthy. To have strong bones. To have good endurance. To work out my heart – it’s a muscle, and it needs to be worked. To move lymph fluid. To prove to myself I can do something I thought I could NEVER do.

Also when I am low-fat, my skin is better. When I have no salt, my skin is better and my stomach is leaner. So is my face. Food tastes better. I can eat lettuce by itself and it’s amazing. Avocado starts to be delicious without anything added.

And on and on.

Which brings me to the map.

Along with my simple chart, I thought it would be fun to have a simple map I could just add any goal to and then mark specific steps over the month – this way I have something to follow instead of being all haphazard – maybe some people can just be like “Okay, this is this and I’m doing it” – for me, I like to have a basic idea to follow.

Little steps are much easier to reach, and to break down a big goal to small steps makes it a lot easier to get to the “end” – the whole reason I managed to run that 20 minutes the first time (which I would have thought impossible, especially since my max before that was 5 mins) was that I just kept saying “Okay you can make it to that tree…okay now you can make it to that driveway…okay now make it to that post” and eventually I thought…wow, I am almost at Oak street! Maybe I can make it there! Then I did, and I thought holy crap, I am still moving! Maybe I can make it all the way home! And I did.

ALL BECAUSE I USED POSITIVES – not “Oh god, I can’t do it, I’m so tired, omg I need a break” etc – I pushed myself maybe 10 steps at a time, and focused only on those 10 steps, and that got me all the way.

I have no doubt that I can reach one hour now. Maybe not within the next week, but that is my new goal for the next month or two – I am going to stretch it to two, but if I do it before then, AWESOME.

Same with my diet – over the next month I want to really simplify it – first week no salt, and any combo of fruits and greens, low-fat. 2nd week, still no salt, no fats, 3rd + 4th weeks, mono-meals of fruit, salads in evening, low-fat every couple of days.

In July, when it’s blueberry season, I want to do a week of JUST blueberries. Like 10 lbs a day. Oh my god I cannot wait.

I also want to drink 2 litres + of water per day and get as much sleep as possible, earlier the better.

I am going to photograph my physical progress and write down my daily and weekly changes, then share them at the end of the month.

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Regarding the rest of my goals in the past month, I did quite a bit of writing – I only missed 12 days of the month for writing fiction, and I only missed 6 days of writing for the blog. I only missed 5 days of exercise. I stayed 80/10/10 (with occasional potatoes) 30 days of the 31 – today being my bye-bye to salt and fancy foods. I had a bit too much fat today! Oh well.

So, bye-bye to May! I enjoyed you and the first sunny days of 2012. June is going to rule!

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I have been finding this guy’s videos hella inspiring.