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Fit for Life: Avoid Complications. Simplify

Sunday, January 27, 2019


I am about 1/2 way through a book called “The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” and on the cover of the book the words “Living Fully, Loving Freely” are written in bold letters under the title.

I picked up the book because one of my coaches Todd Durkin kept posting quotes and lines from the book while he read it, and many of what he posted sparked my interest.

The book does have some religious overtones, but the basic concept I have gathered so far is that we are all capable of living our best lives when we get our thoughts and actions on the right track.

“The Right Place, Take Whatcha Got and Make Whatcha Want, The Margin of Greatness, The Necessity of Positive Thinking”, are the headlines of some chapters in the book, and every chapter delivers something to think deeply about. The last chapter I read, gave me an idea for this week’s article.

My thought is that life is designed to be simple, and it’s us that make it difficult. We make it difficult because we have a habit of giving in to instant gratification, suffering from comparison syndrome, and living in a disorganized state all the time.

Remember in school when the teacher used to test us on what the basic necessities were?

We were drilled that food, air, clothing, and shelter were all we needed to survive.

Which is true, however, I want to enhance that list a little and go into some deeper detail and explain how we make our lives more difficult.

Let’s start with food, and how we complicate that and in return, how food complicates our lives.

When we eat what the earth naturally produces, it will simplify our lives by keeping us healthy and free from most of the diseases, and medical conditions the ail us and send us to the doctor and pharmacy.

We are designed to live off the earth, not from a laboratory or factories.

Do you think Oreo Cookies, or Jimmy Dean sausages were direct products of mother earth?

Hell no.

However, we give in to instant gratification, eat what we think tastes good, then suffer the consequences later.  Things like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, food allergies are all triggered from eating garbage, or man-made products, and the worst part is that we do it to ourselves.

Talk about complicating your life and giving in to instant gratification by eating something harmful that tastes good for a second.

Shelter is something that provides protection from the elements and predators. A basic 4 wall house with a roof and a way to produce heat is all we really need, yet we need to keep up with our neighbors and coworkers and have a bigger and better one than them. Bigger and better also equals more up keep, maintenance and higher taxes, causing us more stress and anxiety in order to keep up with the payments. Many people live beyond their means and nothing can complicate your life more than that.  Having more than you really need is a direct result of comparison syndrome. You want it because you saw that someone else has it, not because it’s needed.

I just visited a second world country on my vacation, and even though the people were poor, they were happy. They were happy because they don’t know of any other way. They have nothing to compare their lives to. Everyone was equal.

The land was rich with farms that produced organic vegetables, the people were educated, and the crime rate was nonexistent. The houses were small and dilapidated, yet the occupants took pride because they were passed down from previous generations. 85% of the population owned their houses outright and didn’t have ridiculous mortgages. I can’t really say that socialism appeals to me, however there is something to be said about living a simple life.

People even complicate fitness and exercise by listening to every infomercial, reading every magazine, and trying to follow every fad diet on the market, looking for the “quick fix”.

I tell the folks that come to Providence Fit Body Boot Camp that health and fitness is simple but not easy. My 4-component philosophy is to eat clean, non-processed food, drink enough water, get to bed on time, and move your body for 30 minutes a day.

That’s all you need to do, and when you belong to our community, we design the exercise and nutrition program for you. We work you hard and push you out of your comfort zone, so it isn’t easy, but it is simple because we do all the thinking for you.

I like nice things and like tasty treats just as much as everyone else, but I am making a point that everything complicated in our lives is because we bring it on ourselves.

Life was designed to be simple.  Eat simple food, live in simple homes, drive inconspicuous cars, and dress for function not style.  However, when we make the choices to go above our means and needs, we need to own it, take responsibility for it and stop complaining when our lives get complicated.

I always say that when I retire from the rat race, you will find me near the shore on the west coast either waxing surfboards or making cappuccino with a smile on my face.

I want to ride off into the sunset on a horse named simplicity, however it will take a few complicated years to get there!

Committed to your success

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


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