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Motor City Motivation

Life is the most amazing race - something we all participate in without an application process. The great thing is, if the proper route is taken, everyone is entitled to the grand prize, that of abundant life and health.

Have you seriously asked yourself where you are on that road to wellness or for that matter, if you even have the correct directions in order to arrive there safely? Often the road is difficult, strewn with obstacles and road blocks. The destination, itself, may seem distant, the directions unclear, but one thing is for certain – regardless of the length or difficulty of the journey, unless the first step is taken, the destination will never be realized and you will be left sitting in the dust.

The nutritional dietary highway is overflowing with massive amounts of information on how to achieve abundant, radiant health. There is information out there on every kind of imaginable diet – some science-based; others, absolutely not. However, today, in scientific circles, evidence-based research has found that eliminating processed foods, trans fats, foods laced with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, reducing sodium intake, as well as animal protein, while at the same time increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with nuts, seeds, grains and legumes will not only result in a healthier, better life for you, but will also eliminate many chronic diseases, as well as reverse others. Remember, the final destination is that of abundant life and health – and it can be yours!

Whatever nutritional pathway you follow, if it creates stress, because of its rigidity – stop, re-evaluate and start over. Stress is a MAJOR road block! Frustration with your diet will not result in abundant life and health. Recognize that everyone has their own biochemical individuality, their own free will to choose the path of least resistance. The pathway that makes sense and feels right to me, might not make sense or feel good to you, much like when the pesky GPS lady repeatedly tells you to turn right, when you know you can reach your destination by making a left. Your route might be different from mine, but with the proper guidelines, the destination, along with its rewards, will be the same.

Perhaps the easiest way to locate the best pathway for yourself is to focus on your own personal nutritional preferences. Ask yourself these key questions and write your responses on a separate piece of paper.

What specific food qualities do you most value?

(1) What specific qualities do you enjoy in the food you currently eat?

What textures, colors, flavors, quantities, temperatures of food appeal to you? What are your favorite foods? What food satisfies you most? What foods can’t you live without?

(2) What is your ultimate goal for changing your diet?

Is the desire for change related to your weight? Is the desire for change related to your health? Is this change your idea or is someone pressuring you? Are you willing to change your current path for the sake of your health?

(3) Do your answers to those two questions mesh?

Can you create a map leading to a life of health and wellness with your responses from these two questions or are they at direct opposites with one another? In order to get on the right road, the responses to those two questions must be carefully evaluated, reconciled and aligned. No one can arrive on the west coast by driving east. Look seriously at your likes, dislikes, can do’s and can’t do’s and create a working, interactive map for yourself.

Create a Vision for Your Life and Health

As you travel down the road of life ten years from now, how do you want to look and feel? Do you want to be a sizzling sexy senior or a growling grumpy grannie? The choice is yours.

According to the World Health Organization, health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, social well-being, and the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life.” Although nutrition is a major component in your overall well-being, it is not the only one. Think of, and include in your vision statement, any or all of the below areas of relevance as they apply to you and your vision for abundant health:

• Your level of physical fitness

• Your mental/emotional health

• Your state of mindfulness/awareness

• The quality of your hair, skin and body

• The quality of your food

Include in your vision statement, the virtual image of yourself as seen in your mind after you have achieved those values you are striving for. Close your eyes and visualize the way you want to see yourself in ten years, then write down exactly what you see, using this as a sort of commitment to yourself.

Create Your Own Personal Mission Statement

Value is about knowing what you want and like; Vision is about seeing the pathway leading to the destination and how you will look once you have arrived; Mission is about the path you will need to take in order to reach that destination. For example, “I like San Francisco….I see it way over there on the west coast….and here is my itinerary!” Creating your own personal mission statement is as simple as that. Evaluate your values, your vision, including a virtual image of that vision in your mind, then merge them altogether to formulate your personal mission statement – those directions that will take you to your desired destination.

Journeys are often filled with challenges, but those which have been carefully and thoughtfully planned and researched, especially the very long ones, go so much smoother and create so much less stress compared to those that are not. Who would think of traveling to Europe without consulting numerous guide books and many maps before hand?

I remember my first trip to Europe several years ago. Weeks before the trip, I sat for hours at Border’s, pouring over guide books, checking maps, rail schedules, car rental options, hotels and finally decided to go, for the most part, with the recommendations of Rick Steves. What he wrote just made sense to me. We landed in Frankfurt, rented a car and sped down the autobahn! The trip, even with two pre-teen daughters, was calm, peaceful, and life-changing. Rick Steves was a wonderful guide. Although we took a few detours and made many decisions without his help, we had an amazing two weeks and arrived safely back in Frankfurt without incident.

None of us would embark upon a vacation in a foreign country without proper research and guidance, so why would we embark upon an even greater journey, The Amazing Race for Life and Health, without first gathering every bit of necessary data needed to assure a positive outcome?

As you prepare and continue to gather information for your race, please also think about the following points which will absolutely assure you of a positive and fruitful finish:

What positive steps have I taken thus far on my wellness journey?

What challenges might I expect while striving to reach my goal?

Who or what will support me on my road to wellness?

What specific things am I doing to care for myself during this journey?

What specific positive affirmations can I make to help me achieve my goal?

What will be a specific first step to get me on the right road?

Since I am also a firm believer in the power of laughter, I would be remiss to not mention including a huge helping of it everyday on your journey. Laughter will lighten your load, increase your joy and make traveling toward your destination a pleasure, instead of a pain. Reach your arms and hands heavenward, throw your head back, take a deep breath and laugh at life for absolutely no reason! In fact, LAUGHTER might be the most perfect, totally unadulterated fuel additive you will ever find to make your engine run more efficiently and smoother.

Ladies, start YOUR engines!