Day 1: A New Year and A New You

Editors Note: Chuck Garcia is launching the January 2012 collection of daily blog entries for the “31 Days of Wellness”, our annual celebration of the New Year, and the opportunity to start anew as we ring in the New Year. Enjoy, visit us daily, and send us your feedback.
Dr. Joe Galati

In addition to other excellent books recently posted on this blog, I am going to recommend 2 to jump start your new year.

When asked how to develop a better body, our hero and YourHealthFirst guest, the late, great Jack Lalanne once said, “It all starts with the organ between your ears.”  He went on to reiterate that if you want to change your body, you must first change your mind.  I once overheard a personal trainer in my gym tell his client who hadn’t seen any results from habitually logging mega miles on a treadmill, “If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you got.”  Not the best grammar (hey, this is New York City), but his point is well taken!

It’s a New Year; it’s YOUR year, and time to take control.  Your New Year’s resolution is:  TO CHANGE MY BODY, I MUST FIRST CHANGE MY MIND.”  Remind yourself that fitness, weight loss, and good health begin in the mind and are ultimately reflected in your body.

Where to begin?

In my own life, when I decide to change anything, I often start with a book that is informative and inspirational.  The reason I prefer books to other mediums is that books can be kept in a brief case, back pack, etc.  You can read it, re-read it, refer to it often until the actions you are looking to change sink in and become a part of you. I read fitness books the way I read text books in college.  I highlight and take notes on the most important things.  Next, I summarize everything that has been noted and condense the book into small, actionable items.   After a few weeks those behavior patterns stop being something you simply read and become YOU! Put these words of wisdom into:

Sometimes I’m a slow learner and need constant reinforcement until the subject I am studying is firmly rooted in my mind.  Consequently, I am asking you to read two books that had a significant impact in the way I think about health and fitness in this order:

  1.  The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.

Time to Get Primal

Mark is also author of a great website I read regularly:  .   He describes the journey through human evolution and describes how we should eat the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors did.  He presents a well thought out nutrition plan and complements it with a great framework for fitness.  As integrated fitness and nutrition plans go, this is hands down number 1.

  1. Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas

This is the best book on modern nutrition I’ve ever read.  She not only presents a framework for optimal nutrition (the primal way) but discusses many of the diseases and health issues (and remedies) for the abysmal way we eat in America today.

Nora Gedgaudas has a website as well to learn more. In both cases, you will begin to think differently on how to view health, fitness, and most importantly nutrition.   Note the common word in both titles: PRIMAL, and consider the definitions:

1. original: first or earliest, and often basic “the primal instinct for survival”

2. basic: most significant and primary

We’re starting from scratch and going back to basics.  Best to start with PRIMARY.  We’ll then move into SECONDARY.  This is how you build a battle plan (this is war)!

Forget all the ridiculous diet books on the book store shelves.  Drop the fads and resist the conventional wisdom that led us into this awful obesity crisis.  Save your money and don’t think of this as a diet (first 3 letters are DIE).  This is a permanant LIFE PLAN, not a temporary diet that you go on and off.

This is the first step (PRIMAL) to begin a lifelong journey to optimal health and fitness.  Good luck on your resolution.  Check in regularly and let us know how you are doing.

2012 is YOUR YEAR, YOUR MIND, and YOUR BODY.  Keep reminding yourself: “TO CHANGE MY BODY, I MUST FIRST CHANGE MY MIND.”  Happy New Year. 


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