“…Secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person” is what they say on an airplane during the safety demonstration.
Which got me wondering, how many of us follow that advice in our own lives? Do you take care of yourself before taking care of others? If “putting yourself first” sounds too selfish or too hard, you’re not alone. Most of us have at some time put ourselves last, when it comes to taking care of our needs.
It has taken me many years before fully grasping the importance of putting myself first. It all started in 2014. I was in the middle of training for a half marathon and came across an article from 5280 magazine. They had a story about a Denver trainer who was named one of the top trainers in the state, Emily Schromm. She ran this 21 day Superhero Challenge for $21. The core principle of this challenge is to be your own superhero. To be your own superhero means that you don’t rely on a diet, pill, shake, person, etc. to make you happy. You are THE ONE, and the only one that can make yourself happy. The only one that can change your situation for the better.
For $21 you get online access to her and a daily video from her on subjects such as nutrition, wellness, or the workout of the day. During these 21 days your goal is:
- to remove sugar and processed foods completely
- to increase your water intake
- to eliminate alcohol
- to eliminate grains
- to move every day for a minimum of 10 min
She provides tons of resources such as weekly meal plans, grocery lists, recipes, snack ideas, etc. – all based on a Paleo’ish diet. You get access to a private Facebook group of current and past ‘superheroes’ and lots of support!
Where else can you get access to all of that for $21!?! To me…that sounded like a good deal! So I signed up (and have done so 3 more times since). This was my first introduction to Paleo and the start of finding my cape!
In the midst of this 21 day program I started learning things that challenged everything that I had been told about healthy eating. I started questioning all that I knew…it was scary and confusing and most of all infuriating.
My curiosity grew when I heard things like: “You need to eat fat, to loose fat”; “You need to be a fat burner instead of a sugar burner to increase your energy”; “Sugar wreaks havoc”; “Eating foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol will cause heart disease, is a myth”.
The more you know
If this sparks your curiosity and you want to learn more, I suggest reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. This was the first book I read on the subject. I thought the author did a great job of explaining in simple terms, why our current diet doesn’t work and why Paleo can.
If you are looking for a quick read, here are a few links to check out:
NOTE: Paleo may not be right for you and that’s okay. We are all different – with different needs. I do however encourage you to open the door and explore the realms of your being. Find out what is right for you!
Don’t make change too complicated, just begin!
For me, this all started with the curiosity of learning something new…to make me better. It wasn’t about being selfish. It was necessary to get me in a place where I could fully help those around me.
When we shift our attitudes, we can change our entire lives. During my first superhero challenge, I felt so good that I told myself:
“This is how I want to feel, and I will do what it takes to continue to feel this way. It matters what I put into my mouth; it becomes who I am and what I think and do. Therefore, I am going to treat myself with love and feed myself more natural, vital foods.”
It was the beginning of a health change that continues to reward me every day. I wear my cape proudly!
When was the last time you did something just for you, for the betterment of you? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Even 15 minutes of dedicated time can be a game changer! Drink one extra glass of water a day, take the stairs, meditate, eat your lunch outside, add two vegetables to every meal – do something that will nourish your mind, body and soul!
For more ideas check out: 55 Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy Busy Busy
You are a superhero!! Grab your cape! Let’s do this!