We live in the mountains of Northern California, an area with an abundance of wildlife—deer, bobcats, rabbits, raccoons, and even the occasional mountain lion. Seeing so many animals in their natural environment reminds us of how creatures can thrive when they’re living free and in touch with their instincts, maintaining their edge to survive. We all feel most alive when we’re maintaining our edge; when our bodies are fit and happy our minds follow.
We have a difficult time viewing animals in zoos. In captivity, they’re in an artificial comfort zone and often become deadened and depressed. Are humans any different? Is sitting on the couch, watching show after show and eating prepackaged food aligning us with the rhythms of nature? Is sitting at a desk all day keeping us mindful or maintaining our edge?
Modern life is easy in many ways, almost too easy. But most of us can’t live in the glorious wild and still pay our mortgage and get our children to school on time. Here’s a statistic: wild pigs have 5% body fat while domesticated ones have 45% body fat. Which kind of pig do you want to be? And how can you get there?
The good news is that you can align with nature and your intuitive instinct without giving up all technological advances. You can start by not jogging yourself to death on a treadmill or starving yourself with fad diets. There’s one simple question we always ask: How much is enough? When it comes to exercise, the quality of your workout is key, and you shouldn’t need more than 30 minutes a day. Remember, animals in nature aren’t working out all the time to achieve leanness, strength, speed, flexibility and perfect posture. The Happy Body plan uses simple free-weights (dumbbells, rocks at the beach or bottles of water in your hotel room) and targeted exercises you can practice in any environment. The food plan is based on eating just as much as you need, utilizing fresh, healthy food. Since today’s world is driven by constant anxiety and fear of not having enough, most crucial is the last element: relaxation. If you aren’t calm and centered, your body is flooded with cortisol and the wrong kind of hormones. Unaddressed stress leads to haphazard or extreme exercise and mindless or emotional eating. And this is the cycle that shortens our lives.
The beauty of The Happy Body is its simplicity. It’s our way out of the zoo that’s killing us with comfort. Since we have access to too much, we need a guide that helps us make the hard choices which enable a fulfilling, authentic life. The wisdom is in controlling yourself. Living in abundance without control is death. We can see the effects of overconsumption on the environment; it is also devastating our bodies.
One of our clients, Jamis, was a restaurant owner who would eat constantly. As he said, “I was at war with food. I hated food. I hated the fact I ate it all the time, I was never hungry and was always looking for the next thing to eat. Now I authentically am hungry and have a great relationship with food.” You can see having too much abundance ruined this person’s natural instincts and made him hate the substance that keeps us alive—until he took control.
Jamis also said that getting out of bed was depressing, and that “he was on this deathbed.” Many of our clients feel this way when they first come. They’re overweight or weak and underweight, in pain, sick, and depressed. They’re out of sync with nature and have lost their own innate vitality. Through our chosen lifestyle, we can control the quality and the length of our life. Our client felt he was given a second chance and he took it: “The first few months were a struggle, the last few months were pure joy.”
He said that he finally felt powerful: “Now I really look forward to each day. I’ve got a lot of projects…I’ve got stuff planned out for years!” As people become healthy and feel powerful, they also feel part of the world again and capable of facing the truth. They also know how much is enough, and that overconsumption starts with individuals. If everyone on this planet could control their excesses, we would enjoy the power of enough and know that it is all we really need.
Watch Jamis’s full testimonial below:
What does enough mean to you? Are there any areas of your life where you could reevaluate what is enough?
Leave your response below in the comments.