The circle of optimal

Physical

Healthy body – healthy mind. We are what we eat. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – there’s probably a 100’s of well known sayings that extol the virtues of being physically healthy. Without a single doubt, looking after this body that we live within is a primary contributor to feeling well and a huge step towards being our optimal self, but what exactly does it take for us to consider ourselves as being physically fit, or even at the very least, not physically unfit!

The great news here is – not a lot. In fact, there’s just 3 different factors we need to address, and they all have massive positive side effects as well as allowing us to nurture a healthy body – diet ( and when I say diet, I mean in the sense of watching what we eat – not going on an actual diet ), fitness and sleep.

I could write pages on each of these 3 sub categories – so lets keep it top level for the time being.

Diet

I’ve tried every single weight loss diet out there – and I mean EVERY single diet. No surprises coming up when I say that I could not sustain one of them. Sure, most worked in the short term – but after that initial weight loss, I relapsed back to old habits and the weight always came back with a vengeance.

In hindsight, there were always negative side effects to these diets – maybe a loss of energy, maybe lack of sleep – or maybe just insatiable cravings that limited my mental capacity rendering me inefficient at work. Nothing worked.

So I began to study. Study what food actually does to the body, what damages us, what helps us – where is the balance between a healthy diet and a detrimental diet – what I discovered changed my whole perception of the way we traditionally approach “healthy dieting”.

Basically, if we eat what is good for us, makes us feel energised, fill us full of healthy nutrients, enables us to physically and mentally operate at the highest level we can – it’s a good diet. If it doesn’t achieve all those things, but it does lose us weight – it’s not a good diet. Simple as that.

When I fine tuned my own diet I found a myriad of benefits – I right sized myself – so I believe I’m now at my optimal weight and size, and have been for some time. It feels great.

I don’t suffer from any hunger cravings – so I don’t end up eating rubbish that has a bad effect on my health and impacts on my weight.

My mental capacity has improved massively – it comes back to the “we are what we eat” phrase – put good stuff into your body and it has far reaching effects to the rest of our physical and mental CPU.

My energy levels are higher than ever. I feel optimal.

This doesn’t mean I’m like a Duracell bunny from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep – it just means that when I need to be on my A game, I am. When I need to chill and relax, I can. When I need to have long periods of focus and attention – I can.  Food plays a massive part of that.

Fitness

Sleep

I used to love touting the fact that I could survive on minimal sleep per night – some nights even have no sleep as long as I got enough caffeine into me to keep me going. As if all this was a good thing. No wonder my life was deteriorating at such a rapid rate…

You see sleep is one of the most important daily ( nightly ) functions we do as human beings – and in this increasingly fast paced 24 hour global society we all inhabit, it’s becoming more and more neglected, the effect of which I strongly believe we don’t fully appreciate yet.

Put simply, when we’re in good, deep sleep, our body repairs, resets, processes and recharges. If we don’t give it ample time to do this EVERY day, we begin to be far from optimal. If we don’t do this sufficiently over any length of time, we not only don’t reach our optimal level, but we can become very ill.

Mental

Environment

Our environment has such a profound and consistent effect on how we feel, how we operate and our general wellbeing, it amazes me that we don’t spend more time ensuring that our daily environments are the best they can be for us!

As with this whole program, your environment is a very personal and bespoke thing – what makes you feel great, relaxed, safe, motivated….optimal…will almost certainly be different to what works for me.

Spiritual

Right from the off let me clear something up – when I speak about being spiritual, I do not mean religious. Whenever I talk to people about finding some spiritual guidance, the first comment I invariably get back is “but I’m not religious” – it’s got nothing to do with religion, although if you do practise some form of religion, you’re more than welcome to incorporate it into your spiritual routines.

Purpose

Do not underestimate the value of having a purpose – without a purpose clear in your head, the motivation will not be there to give 100% to all the other area’s in The Circle, and almost without a doubt, you won’t achieve the best you that you can be.

Let me explain

A World  class athlete needs to train daily, and to train hard, in order to compete. They may have to wake up at 5am and be at the track for 6am. They may miss out on social events, they may have to endure a strict dietary regime and they may have to push their body through all manner of pain barriers to knock vital milliseconds off of their lap times. It’s a big ask of anyone isn’t it?