by Sean Croxton
Maybe this will do the trick.
For the past week or so, I’ve woken up with every intention of writing. I’ve set aside two hours a day for it on my Google calendar. I have a list of notes and several outlines for a series of blogs about Chris Kresser’s Health Baby Code e-course. (Chris is on UW Radio tomorrow, by the way.)
I sit. I stare at the screen. Fingers on the keyboard.
This isn’t what I imagined. I thought I would finish writing The Dark Side of Fat Loss and just get back into the same routine. But life has a tendency to throw us curveballs.
I’m having a moment (a 10-day-long one) of inertia. Maybe you can call it an impasse, or a fork in the road.
One of my Facebook friends called it “project hangover”. Sounds like a trip to Vegas. But after cooping myself in my room for 4 months, staring at my iMac, and trying to string together the right words to make a complicated topic (fat loss) easy enough for everyone to understand, a hangover is actually a perfect way to describe it.
A few days ago, I got an email from my friend and writing coach Luke Shanahan congratulating me on finishing DSFL. Having written several books of his own including Deep Nutrition (with Dr. Cate Shanahan), he included the video below to describe what it’s like to finally emerge from the writing trenches.
See that guy’s head flopping all over the place? That’s how mine feels.
See him stuck on the stairs flopping around like a fish, not going anywhere? That what I’m doing.
Over the past week, I’ve started reading at least 5 books and finished none. I’m uncertain as to where I want to put my focus. Food and health are fun to study and write about, but how many ways can one guy suggest that you Just Eat Real Food, go to bed on time, reduce stress, reduce your toxic load, and exercise?
I’d rather not confuse the hell out of people with blog posts regarding how cholecalciferol increases aromatase, which perpetuates toenail fungus while increasing permeability of the left ventricle of the blood brain barrier. (Totally made that up.)
That’s not my thing.
What’s really been on my mind is a moderate shift of my attention away from matters of diet and toward those of human behavior. Because in the end, as awesome as all of this information may be, it’s not worth the screen it’s written on if the majority of its readers don’t DO it. They want to do it. They just don’t. Some would say they can’t. They try to make the changes, then they go right back on auto-pilot and sabotage it all.
Why do people (including myself) do the things they do?
That question fascinates the hell out of me. Earlier today, I recorded an email-list-only (sign up in the upper right) with Morley Robinson. If you listen to the radio show, you may know him as “my main man Morley from the 847”. During our call Morley said, “Getting people to change their religion is easier than getting them to change their diet.”
That’s hella real.
And ironically for some, diet is a religion.
Morley’s right. Most of this stuff has more to do with what’s going on between our ears than what we put into our mouths. When I ask myself “what’s next?”, my mind wanders toward the path of more effectively assisting people with the psychological component of regaining health and fitness. It’s a gaping hole in this industry, another one of those things that people seldom talk about. I imagine that makes it underground, right?
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action” – Herbert Spencer
On another note…
Last night, I broke out my old tattered copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I think Chapter 1 should be required reading for everyone in the health blogosphere as well as the researchers and writers whose findings we blog about.
I won’t say why we should read it, since my reasoning may be misconstrued as criticism. I’ll let the author say it:
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
Respect the journey. Each of us has our own.
Anyway, I gotta get back to getting my Healthy Baby Code on. Don’t miss the show tomorrow. And be on the lookout for my How to Make Healthy Bebes! blog.
Feeling much better now, like I finally mustered up the nerve to jump in the pool. It’s cold at first. But I’m warming up.
I was just thinking today how it’s disappointing that I’m the only one in my circle of acquaintances who really takes nutrition and wellness seriously. I know a couple that would like to think they’re into it, but they’re really not. I remember Morley saying on one of the shows that people simply just don’t care about this stuff, and until they do, it’s a pretty worthless attempt to try and get the masses to understand, let alone change.
This part gets more theoretical: It feels from my seat as if we’re all isolated people, a minority, and if we really want to have a nutritional utopia, we’d have to form our own town where we grow everything organic, raise our animals properly, get enough sunlight, eat all the bacon we want, and avoid grains and sugar, and processed vegetable oils. Of course, the 30 bananas a day crowd would have their own island filled with banana trees somewhere else in the world, LOL.
But anyway, I hear ya Sean. Personally, I have a really strong distaste and lessened amount of respect for anyone who can’t or won’t take control of their self, esp. their diet and won’t make an effort to get healthy, or at least maintain a normal weight. I read this post on another site by a fitness trainer a while back saying he wouldn’t work with any client who wasn’t going to give their 100%, because if not, they simply weren’t worth working with, and I feel that if I were in that kind of situation, I would kinda feel the same; making people aware, telling them to do this, and not that, stop listening to the “fat is bad” mantra, and having them go home and keep on doing the same thing.
My point isn’t that I don’t have a heart, but to bring up the question about when do you just give up on the masses, the people who couldn’t care less? Is it ultimately a waste of time? That’s probably up to the individual, but perhaps it is, and perhaps this stuff will stay underground, at least for a little while longer.
P.S. I for one would be really interested in hearing some of that technical stuff you mentioned. Keep up all the awesome work and stay true!
True words Sean. I know what you mean about being fascinated with human behavior. That is the reason I started a Masters program in Sport Psych a couple months ago. With regards to your impasse, read the chapters on Vata imbalance in that Ayurveda book I gave you. We are all especially susceptible to giving in to disorder, chaos and distraction in this crux of the seasons. Autumn and Winter are the most etherial seasons in nature. Like above (season) so below (you).
Right on the money Sean !
A little bit of psychology would probably help to get the message out without looking like fools and getting the ones we care about to change behaviors for the best.
Fascinating topic Sean and one I’ve thought often about in my practice. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d give my highest recommendation to the work of contemporary philosopher, Stefan Molyneux from http://www.freedomainradio.com – I’ve found it invaluable. His 5 part video piece titled “The Bomb in the Brain” sheds light on your questions as it relates to food addiction and such, YouTube it when you get a chance. Cheers!
I’ve had a lot of trouble getting motivated lately too. If I just do it it’s not that bad, but I keep putting stuff off and before I know it it’s the end of the day again.
I think the key is just to find a way to make it a habit. With eating healthy, for example, it’s not something I have to “do” anymore, it’s just part of who I am. I think some people make a habit out of their work ethic in the same way.
Keep up the good work Sean,
Dead on about the psychological aspect of it. Knowing what you should do is easy, doing it is really difficult.
I would definitely recommend OSHO for becoming less mind. Live in the present and action takes over activity. Thanks for a special post man!
Hey you do a fantastic job. Thanks for sharing your block it is good too know that you have your low times as well as highs. You will find a way you know you always do. Thanks for all your imput and your infectious energy.