Healthy Living Day 10: Meditate

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This is Day 10 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world work together to improve on their diet and fitness in January 2015. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all tasks and posts.

Healthy Living Challenge

Hi everyone!! 😀 It’s now Day 10 of our 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge. Only four days left before the challenge ends, so if you haven’t been joining us in the comment threads, now’s the time to do so! Once this challenge ends, the comment sections will no longer be active since the posts will be archived. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage with other like-minded participants (fufu, Vicki, Swann, Lina, Maryna, AvocadoRulz, Maria, Glenn, Miss Elf, myself, etc.) and work together on your health and fitness; the last time I conducted the Healthy Living Challenge was three years ago, and I don’t foresee a new run of the challenge for the next two years at least.

Now, let’s get started, shall we? 😀

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Challenge Tasks to Date

My Day 9 in Pictures

Here’s a recap of my Day 9 in pictures:

Veggie patty wrap and Grapes

First meal for the day: Veggie patty wrap and grapes. I left home 45 minutes earlier today to take away food (in light of yesterday’s lesson), but Subway ran out of bread so I had to get the wrap in the end! -_- Better than nothing though; tomorrow will be better!

Dragon fruit, Salad, Ginger tea

Mid-day meal: Salad (lettuce, pineapple, mushroom, sesame seeds, cucumber, sunflower seeds, and vegetarian bacon bits), dragon fruit, and ginger tea! 😀

Curry pumpkin soup with bread

Curry pumpkin soup with bread. My first time having this soup I think; it’s surprisingly good! (Ate a small piece of bread with peanut butter later in the day, though not in picture.)

I felt surprisingly full today despite not having ate a lot. I think the wrap was very filling, and then the salad was very filling too (mushroom and veggies tend to have that effect). I didn’t finish the dragon fruit (nor the ginger tea for that matter) and kept the unfinished fruit in the fridge for tomorrow.

By the way, in Day 8’s post, I shared that my complexion has improved since the challenge started. If it was even possible, my complexion feels and looks even better now! I did get a couple of pimples today (which is normal for me; usually I would get one to two large pimples and several zits / small pimples every two weeks, and I believe this is quite typical for Asians in tropical climates), but this aside I’m actually very happy with the effects of my improved diet on my skin!

While my original motivation for improving my diet was overall health and wellness, seeing the all-round benefits on my body in just 9 days (better skin, weight loss, no bloatedness, frequent and easy bowel movements, possibly healthier gums) is making me quite excited — it’s basically affirming the value of my decision and letting me know that I’m moving in the right direction towards better health. I’m actually very sure there’ll be more good things to come (maybe healing of old scars (I got one on my right hand), thicker hair, improved eyesight (?!?!), who knows???), so let’s see what’ll come next! 😉

Reviewing my 14HLC goals, they are

  1. Exercise at least three times a week – My next exercise is planned for Sunday / Day 11! I plan to do one of the YouTube workout videos with Ken!
  2. Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet – Check!
  3. Eat salads more regularly, ideally once a day if I can – Check!

Check out other participants’ amazing food logs and progress updates in Day 9’s comments section!

Healthy Living Pitfall: When Your Days Get Derailed

Yesterday’s task was to identify your healthy living pitfalls, and participant Susan posted this heartfelt comment:

My biggest pitfall is what I call “domestic disturbance”. That could mean anything from an argument with a family member or a child getting sick or a major item breaking down and needing emergency repair. This week, it was a major disagreement, followed by days of angry tension and feelings of despair and grief. I could not focus on the challenge at all, so I didn’t even post anything all week. I’m still looking for that way out of despair. I have been reading all of my inspirational material daily, but so far, I’m still stuck.

Reading Susan’s situation, I felt very empathetic to what she is going through. I’m sure we all have times when we have big goals and plans that we’re ready to act on — only to get derailed by some disruption.

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Now, when we’re living with others, or we have a long string of responsibilities, or we have dependents, it’s normal to have days upon days of external disturbances. In fact, for many of us this can be a multiple-times-a-day affair!

The question then isn’t really about how to “cut away” these disturbances since they are a natural result of our life’s setup, but how to get ourselves back on track when these disturbances happen. This is where meditation comes into play, which is our task for today.

Day 10: Meditate

Meditate

So far in the challenge, we’ve focused on healthy living with regards to our diet and fitness. From drinking enough water, to eating (at least) five servings of fruits and vegetables, to creating our calorie list, to calculating our TDEE, to creating our ideal meal plan (and following it), to working out, these pertain to the physical aspects of healthy living.

Now, healthy living isn’t just about having a great diet and great fitness regime, though these are crucially important (or we wouldn’t be doing so many tasks on them in the challenge!). Healthy living also involves having a positive mind and soul. When you’re constantly weighed down by negative thoughts and emotions, it doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is or how rigorous your fitness regime is — you’ll ultimately still be weighed down in life by your negativity, which will eventually manifest negatively on your body too. (Consider how the root of emotional eating often lies in emotional baggage, and how negative / fear-based people often suffer from more physical ailments than the average person.)

This is where meditation helps. If you’ve never meditated before, it is an amazingly simple ritual that can create huge, positive ripples in your life. Get this — the one common habit that strings together C-level executives of Fortune 500 companies is meditation! Consider the following quotes:

“Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.” ~ Ray Dalio, billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates (the largest hedge fund firm in the world).

“It’s almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul.” ~ Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco Systems

“I walked away feeling fuller than when I’d come in. Full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy. Knowing for sure that even in the daily craziness that bombards us from every direction, there is — still — the constancy of stillness. Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.” ~ Oprah Winfrey, who sits in stillness for 20 minutes, twice a day

“You don’t have to believe in meditation for it to work. You just have to take the time to do it. The old truth is still true today, ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ My advice? Meditate.” ~ Russell Simmons, American business magnate

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What exactly does meditation do and how does it help? The truth is that for whatever negativity we receive in life, our body has the ability to cleanse itself of them. When we meditate, we’re creating this space for our mind and soul to process the stimuli (both positive and negative) that we’ve been bombarded in for the past X hours/days/weeks/months/years (since we last meditated), to dump the negative junk, and to rejuvenate themselves. In essence, meditation really helps us to remove the negative baggage from our minds and souls.

The most awesome thing? It doesn’t take any work on our part, except setting aside 10 to 20 minutes a day (or longer, if you can), sitting in stillness, observing the reality, and letting our mind do its work.

Now, let’s get started! 😀

Your Task: Meditate

There are MANY forms of meditation and MANY ways to meditate, so if you’re familiar with meditation, simply meditate in any way you like for today’s exercise! If you’re not familiar with meditation, follow the five steps outlined here: How to Meditate In 5 Easy Steps. The simplicity of these five steps means that you can do this meditation anytime and anywhere!

Meditate for as long as you want, till you feel cleansed, purified, refreshed and good to go. I recommend 10 minutes to start off; if you are game for a longer duration, try 30 minutes. The longer, the better! (Once I went for a Vipassana retreat and underwent almost 100 hours of intense meditation! Through the process, I worked through A LOT of latent memories and thoughts I didn’t even know were there!!!!)

As you meditate, observe all the thoughts going through your mind. Don’t engage with them (i.e., entertain the thoughts or introduce new thoughts). Simply sit and observe these thoughts as an external observer of reality. You’ll find a thread of thought will typically circle in your mind for a few minutes (or longer if it’s deeply wedged inside), after which a new thread will take its place! The longer you meditate and observe, the more thoughts you’ll see floating through your mind! Every time a new thought appears, it means that the previous thought has “floated” away and exited your consciousness (i.e., it has unlodged itself from your mind and soul)!

PE Articles on Meditation

I’ve already written a lot about meditation on PE, so these are articles to read in your own time:

For those of you with Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program, meditation is one of the tasks in 30DLBL too! Refer to Day 21 for the task on meditation (and more of my thoughts on it on p. 175–176).

Next, Follow Your Plan for Day 10 (Take Pictures Too!)

What tasks have you set for Day 10 of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan? Do them today!

Take pictures of your healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-day snacks if any — and share them in the comments section. 😀 After all, a picture tells a thousand words, and when you share photos of your healthy meals, it inspires others to eat healthily and gives them ideas on what healthy food they can have too!

Post your initial comment sharing your results for today’s challenge task, then add on throughout the day as you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or if you’re doing any workouts. Attach photos of your meals by clicking the image icon on the bottom left of every comment box. As you add on to your comment thread, be sure to click on the reply button directly below your original comment so that you reply to your own thread (as opposed to starting a new thread).

Share Your Results (and Photos!)

Share in the comments section!

  1. Your experience with meditation today and how long you meditated for
  2. Your progress with your healthy living plan today
  3. Pictures of your meals
  4. Pictures of your workout (if any)

Do check out the other participants’ comments too and share a word of encouragement or two. We’re all in this together, so let’s support each other as a group! 🙂

After you’re done, proceed to Day 11: Identify Your Food Struggles!

Image: Women running, xxx

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