Having Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach

There’s a saying I always think of when I take too much food in a buffet line: “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”. And it seems like no matter how many times I’m in this situation and I say this to myself, I have a hard time learning to take less food. 

One of the more recent times I was in a buffet line I thought about this pretty hard. I took my plate and I quickly glanced down the line to see exactly what it was that looked good to me to help me scoop out proper proportions so that I knew I would finish everything I put on my plate, and get a little bit of everything. 

This saying, though, really started to mean a lot more to me as time went on. Because I think many people, myself included, often find themselves constantly seeking out new opportunities and grabbing for each one right as they come. Not realizing the amount of work involved later, or failing to taking into account other opportunities that may come our way in just a short amount of time, and sometimes they are ones that we may actually want more. 

When we take too much food and put it on our plate, we don’t leave room for the unknown that is ahead. We’re hungry, opportunists, and in the excitement of the moment when our salivary glands are pumping, reason subsides and impulse takes over.  

Sometimes we get lucky – what happens to fall on our plate at the beginning of the line ends up being the thing we want most and most of, and we don’t even take some items later down the line and instead just focus on that one main dish. But most of the time, we forget about all of the sides. The smaller, more manageable portioned foods that come in more variety, which too are very tasty. 

So when we sit back down at the table, we’re left with huge plate fulls of entrees with very little on the side.

So we start eating ravenously and with passion on something that seemed so exciting all but a few minutes ago, but then we’re left with a whole other piece of steak that we didn’t finish since we took too much at the start. 

All of this time and space we used to fill up our stomachs with this seemingly amazing food is soon not even finished and we’re left with half eaten portions, with nothing else to pick at. 

And it’s those side dishes we don’t make enough room for that often times compliment and make the main dish taste even better. 

We need to remember that there are times where spontaneity and impulse should be encouraged and cherished. There are times when it’s great to take everything on at the risk of not finishing it later. But we must also remember that a quick glance at what might be ahead can help us take on and pursue smaller, more manageable projects/tasks that still lead to the same larger goal of being satisfied and successful in our own way.  

We can always get seconds if we want more, so we should always plan on finishing our firsts. And when we go back for more we’ll be even more informed and careful about what it is we really want the next time around. Or we may find out that we’re full enough as is. 

All to say that with food and with life’s opportunities and ventures, a careful and rational assessment of what may come to help choose, realize and take on what is most important to us, will help us live a stronger, healthier, and ultimately happier and more satisfied life. (And stomach.)

Reflections on “Making a (Temporary) Change”

This past week from Monday to Friday I decided to make a change. I didn’t use any social media, I didn’t text, I meditated, and I didn’t eat meat. Here are my reflections on my week:

1. No Social Media

For the whole week I shut off all of my notifications, sounds, little red numbers that pop up next to the app – everything. I cannot begin to express how great of an experience this was. The most important takeaway for me was that those little, tiny, red numbers on the top corner of the app are extremely addictive and infectious. At least for me, every time I get that notification, I would immediately feel like I had to check it, even just so that pesky red button would go away. Turning all of these off was an amazing experience. I had absolutely no urge to go on these sites because I had no idea what notifications I had, and what was going on. And I didn’t care.

I’ve realized that I really don’t have a reliance on social media, but I have an unbreakable urge to go on these apps and sites the SECOND I am alone or in an uncomfortable situation. Not using social media allowed me to break that habit and actually enjoy what was around me. I would suggest everyone to do this. Even for a day. It has been one day back on social media and I already want to turn off the notifications again. It makes you feel so much more relaxed and allows you to check these apps on your own time. 

2. No Texting

I was a little disappointed with this aspect of the week. While I didn’t text anyone, I did check messages in case there was anything urgent I needed to call the person back about. I really enjoyed calling people and having people call me. I like talking on the phone so much better than texting because it’s more personal and meaningful to me, but I did discover the importance of easy and quick communication. Many times I had something quick I wanted to say that would be something to text but I couldn’t and if I called I either would know the person is busy or it would just be a bother. Moving forward I definitely see the convenience of texting but I will try to turn off the notifications more and answer them more on my own time. If something is so important and urgent, I see no reason why not to call.

3. Mediation

Meditation has always been important to me. Taking some time to really center yourself and just relax. I tended to meditate at the end of the day before bed. I have problems slowing down my mind when I try to sleep, so this did wonders for calming myself down and getting ready to fall asleep. Instead of reflecting on my day, I was relaxing body and letting calmness overcome me. It was extremely helpful and I will continue to make these 5 and 10 minute mediations a part of my daily routine.

4. Vegetarianism

This aspect of my week was to learn about other people’s perspectives and remind myself that I am doing all of this to learn and grow. All I can say is that this part was really tough. I without a doubt could not survive as a vegetarian. While I have heard that the first few weeks are the hardest, it was miserable. I felt tired the entire week, sleep didn’t recover me as well as it did before – I would wake up feeling just as tired as when I went to bed and not refreshed at all. I craved meat, not because of the taste as much as I just wanted sustainable energy again. I felt that if I ate some meat I would be energized the way I did before I stopped. I was eating tofu, kale, quinoa, falafel, carrots and hummus, peanut butter, eggs; just about everything that was healthy and vegetarian (because it is very easy to be an unhealthy vegetarian) and I still felt hungry every hour and tired all of the time. My performance in the gym didn’t suffer at all because it was only a week, but I did have to drink coffee more or take preworkout more than usual during this week because I was so exhausted. Definitely won’t be doing this part again any time soon but it was a very enlightening experience. Though I find myself questioning those who are vegetarian just because even more now, but again, maybe if this was a 3 week experiment I might have felt better.


All in all I did enjoy this experience. I am definitely going to be implementing some things I learned and absolutely making some changes in my lifestyle because of what I was able to discover. It was a very calming and interesting week and just one of the ways I plan on testing myself in the near future.

What I need for success

HATE self help books that say: “Do these X Number of Things and You Will be Successful!”. There is no one path to success, and NO ONE can tell you what to do in order to be successful.

However – there are things, habits, and tips that people have that can help you kick start or get you to understand and recognize things that you as an individual need in order to be successful in your own way. Everyone has a different definition of success and everyone has their own right to one. But here are my 5 things that I keep in mind and I do in order to help guide my success and help me live a better life. These things are by no means prescriptive, but I hope there are takeaways here that you can learn from and possibly implement in order to help guide your own success.

1. Sleep

I know what my body needs when it comes to sleep. Over a life of sleeping a lot and sleeping a little, in order to get through the day with enough energy to keep focused and tackle whatever life throws at me, I need at least 8.5 hours of sleep. AND, if I’m not in bed a half hour before I want to fall asleep, I won’t get the actual amount of hours I set out for myself.

Knowing what your body needs when it comes to sleep is the most important thing you can do for yourself. If you don’t sleep enough – or even too much – this can have harmful effects on your day. You won’t feel focused, you may skip some activity because you’re too tired, and it can cause a lot of harmful affects on the body.

Regulating sleep is also very important in how energized you feel. This means going to bed and waking up at fairly consistent times each day. So if I want 8.5 hours and go to bed at 10:30pm every work night, but then on the weekends don’t go to bed until 2am but still get 8.5 hours of sleep, this messes up your cycle and it will make for very rude awakenings on Monday morning.

This isn’t to say you can’t have a late night and have fun on the weekends – just be wary of your sleep cycle throughout the week and weekend. It’ll also help you hate Mondays a little less.

2. Go to the Gym

It’s probably clear from the title of this blog, and my first post, that I like going to the gym. But I truly believe that exercising is the key to unlocking all of life’s possible successes. Now by this I don’t mean playing basketball with your friends once a week. While this is GREAT and I strongly encourage activity that is dynamic and fun, I am talking about going to the gym to sweat, to grind, and connect with your body by yourself. Giving yourself time to listen to the machine that is your body and to become one with it in an animalistic, primal way.

In order for myself to feel successful and to feel my best to promote the most success, I know I need to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. This allows me to lift the way I want to lift, give my body enough rest, and put me in a place at which I feel best. It’s also a realistic number. Anyone can say they want to go to the gym 6 days a week, but this will only leave you feeling like you have failed. If you set out to accomplish a number like going 2 times a week, complete it don’t skip any days, and exceed it by maybe going even 3 or 4. That’s ideal. Then, you can reassess your target amount of days and move forward.

I tell everyone to go to the gym. It keeps you young, it can be incredibly existential, philosophical, and enlightening. But only if you make it that way. Don’t dread going to the gym. Look forward to going and making yourself better. (And, at least, it’s one day down and one less to go to reach your target gym days.)

3. Eat

This is something that everyone knows, but often doesn’t understand why this is so critical for your life, and for your overall success. Eating regularly and routinely, like going to the gym, keeps your body in line with itself and regulates your entire system. Eating right also gives you more energy throughout the day, will improve your sleep patterns, and keep your mind sharp and focused. If you don’t know what you should be eating and are curious if you are eating right, talk to someone who can help. If you sleep a lot but still don’t feel energized of focused, or you aren’t reaching your fitness goals, chances are you aren’t eating right, so again, talk to someone.

I am the last person to tell you that you should become a health nut and only eat foods people ate in the cave-man era, that stuff just isn’t practical anymore and it can be expensive and extremely time consuming. Instead, I really believe in the idea of eating foods you like to eat, that will give you the nutrition your body needs yet doesn’t make you throw up at the sight of another cup of broccoli after eating it at every meal for a week. “Everything in moderation” is an idea that is set up to fail. It is an immediate excuse to splurge here and there on things you know you shouldn’t be eating. You can still eat a lot, and a lot of tasty food, while also eating healthy. You need to find out what healthy foods you like and what combinations of foods taste the best and focus on making those the center of your diet. Knowing what your body needs and making sure you are putting that in your body, as well as some sweets or guilty foods you can’t live without (the occasional Yodel, for me), you will feel great and great about yourself. And, because you’re exercising at least twice a week and even though you know you shouldn’t, go ahead and eat that extra piece of cake at your friends birthday party, too. Don’t be lame.

4. Be nice

Here’s another piece of wisdom I’d like to share with the world. This is one of the most important lessons anyone, at any age, can, and should learn. The goal here is to be nice to everyone and every thing. Your neighbors, your co-workers, the planet, everything. NOW. This doesn’t mean becoming a pushover and people pleaser just for the sake of it. This will only leave you frustrated and angry at everyone and everything which is the exact opposite of what we want here.

What I try to do is to be positive and nice 24/7, while still communicating frustration and discontent. This means always approaching a situation positively and nicely, however when something makes you angry, or is unfair, or is wrong, you must express your feelings. Communicating frustration and discontent does not translate into being mean. It simply means you need to know when someone has crossed a line and still express it in a nice and “friendly” way.

You will win more friends, colleagues, and people who will do you favors this way. I cannot stress how important this is in life.

5. Do something you’re scared to do

This is often the point I need to explain most when talking about these points to people. And it’s for good reason. Because who wants to do something that they are scared of? But this is the most important piece of advice I can give.

I find that doing something you’re scared to do is crucial in discovering yourself, your passions, getting the most of life and becoming successful. What I mean by doing something you’re scared to do is: once a month you should force yourself to do something that you are nervous doing, something that forces you to step out of your shell and expose yourself and feel vulnerable. Whether it is singing in front of a group of people, or asking someone on a date but you’re afraid they’ll say no – do it. Just once a month.

What this does for the mind cannot be understated. Tackling your fears, even just little ones that make you nervous, opens your mind up to what you are missing out by over thinking. We can’t constantly disappoint ourselves by not doing the things that make us nervous that we know we want to do. It will lead to regret and sadness. Exposing yourself and becoming vulnerable boosts your confidence and ability to become the best version of yourself.

The high of doing something you’ve always wanted but were too scared to do cannot be replicated by anything else. Feeling good about yourself and not caring about what other people think, understanding that people aren’t out to judge and make fun of you, accepting possible rejection are all lessons you need to learn through experience. It’s the only way you can learn these lessons.

So go ahead and ask that person out. Make the first move. Go ahead and perform your talent to a live audience. You’ll only find yourself wanting to do it all again and you’ll be even better at it than the last time.

 


 

Again, my goal here is not to tell people what they need to do in order to succeed and if you don’t do them you’re a failure. Just try these things out for a little while. Use some, use none, use all – these are things that I’ve learned to be instrumental in feeling successful and to form the best version of myself. We’ll all have days or weeks where we can’t do it all. But jumping back into the routine as soon as you know you will have the time, do it.

I encourage everyone to think about what they need to feel successful, and what will help you achieve your measure of success. I hope that my list has either brought new things to your attention or that it has helped you recognize the importance in creating a routine to feel better about yourself and striving to live by it every day.