How many headlines and emails subject lines like that do you see every day? Tons, I bet.
They’re almost irresistible to open, aren’t they? You just have to know what the latest “one thing” is.
Because of how seductive that is, I go against the grain a little when I exhort that it’s never just one thing. (I’ve never been one to go with the grain. 😉 ) Instead, I coach and train so that that integral pillars are put firmly in place FIRST. From there, we can (and do!) optimize.
I approach it like that because it’s what really works. Because I want to help people produce real, lasting, happy results…truly transformed bodies (and minds!) that are fully charged for a robust life and your biggest purpose.
I so often see people fussing with the latest little hack that sounds good, but won’t actually give them the fullness of what’s possible: sustained strength, energy, and leanness. And resilience and vibrancy. And confidence and joy.
Of course I understand the appeal of The One Thing. Doing just one thing—especially one relatively small thing—sounds so much easier than considering all the pieces of the puzzle. Especially if you initially assume that any fundamental change must be overwhelming (or hard or tasteless or whatnot), as so many health “teachings” senselessly reinforce (I am so happy to dispel those unfortunate myths!)
The idea that there is one magic bullet that will give you the fountain of energy, youth, health and leanness has a long history. Unfortunately, it also has a pretty poor track record.
Deep down, we must know it really doesn’t even make sense…but it’s so alluring, so hopeful, so sexy…we just cant resist the bait.
Our whole society, especially when it comes to health, is acculturated to this attraction for a single-point solution. It’s fascinating.
One diet. One workout. One pill. One practice. One powder. One fat, one protein, one secret ingredient. One ancient remedy. One cleanse. One broth. One strategy, trick, hack, angle. It’s everywhere, always.
The thing is, you’re inevitably disappointed. Inevitably, The One Thing doesn’t ultimately change your body, your energy or your life. (It certainly doesn’t change your mind or spirit, which is where a lot of the action often is.) It can’t, almost by definition. It’s not whole. There is so much it doesn’t take into account.
The fact is, if you’re not eating, moving, sleeping/resting, transmuting stress, and nourishing yourself in other essential ways, consistently…no one thing you put in your coffee or your smoothie is gonna do it for ya.
Even focusing more fully on just one aspect of self-care—just your diet, just exercise—usually doesn’t produce all the results most people want. Because all aspects interact, and when you neglect other pillars while focusing on just one, you get the classic “one-legged chair” imbalance. Then, once again, you may become frustrated and give up, wondering why your efforts didn’t bear fruit. “I did the diet!” “I did the workouts!” But something else was probably missing.
(Think about it: How you sleep and rest affects whether and how you exercise. How you exercise affects your sleep. How you eat affects your exercise, and whether you get results. How you exercise influences your food. Your food can impact sleep, and sleep definitely impacts how you eat! And stress affects all of those, and they all can cause stress if imbalanced. And so on.)
The real magic comes from spot-on integration of these self-care cores. Enough and not too much. What to do, when, how much. Holistic alignment. Getting them working together, for you and with you.
And the thing is, that can be done—and without the struggle or complexity so many assume. This need not be complicated. It doesn’t mean addressing the “eat / move / sleep/ de-stress” pillars in some hyper-complex way. Just the opposite.
It means putting basic building blocks in place for those essentials—and seeing just how much difference that can make.
In all my years of working in this field, I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon. Often when people do know they have unhealthy habits or lives, and are determined to change, the first thing they grab for or gravitate to is something at the extreme, outlying fringes. Something supposedly “cutting-edge,” hyper-specific, and not particularly livable.
For example, if they’re eating total junk and they know it, and commit to change, they rarely consider just, you know…starting to do some healthy essentials that almost everyone could agree on. (Because yes, even radically different approaches often share, at bottom, a set of core practices. Which no one wants to talk about because it’s not “news”; only differences and iconoclasts are news/salesworthy.)
They don’t just start eating whole unprocessed food, more veggies and fruits, appropriate quantities, less sugar and unhealthy oils. And moving and sleeping more. It’s like that would be too boring, or too simple. Like it would somehow feel like not enough (even though for many people, it would be plenty).
Instead, they “go on a plan” that involves something like zilch carbs and inducing ketosis…or fasting…or meal shakes…or bone broth…or an uber-specific nutrient focus. And usually, something with a cool name. I think this makes them feel like they are “really doing something.”
I’ve even seen marketers selling “the hottest new ways to get more energy that no one knows about” outright claim that “eat right, exercise, get more sleep and manage stress” is :::yawn::: so boring, so ordinary, soooo passé—that “everyone knows about those things, and is doing them already.” Outrageous.
No, no, no. Everyone does NOT know, and many of those who do know aren’t living it. If they were, the entire Western world would look different; the face of healthcare would radically transform.
We have the data: less than 3% of Americans can even claim all four simplest, most established elements of a heart-healthy lifestyle (this is highly relevant, since cardiovascular disease is still America’s number one killer of adult men and women). So please. Don’t even.
As for the single-point gimmes and grabs: look, some of the “hot” hacks and tweaks you hear about can actually be nice boosters or soothers. (Some aren’t. Discernment is key, too.) Certainly it’s not that they’re all useless. I use, and try, performance-enhancing tweaks.
But none of those things is very useful in a vacuum, isolated, when you don’t already have a working system and a healthy foundation. Anything that’s good for you is even better with the basics in order. Performance-enhancing tweaks are just that—tweaks. You have to have something TO enhance!
Most athletes know this—trust me, they do not just do the sexy performance tweaks and ignore foundations of food, movement, recovery, and rest. They don’t just put tart cherry or beet root in a smoothie, and hope it repairs their muscles. They don’t just add maca or matcha or coconut oil.
I’m not saying never do those things. I’m saying, for goodness sake, start at the base, and move up from there—not the other way around.
What do I mean by the basics? Enough real food, often enough. Moving enough, not too much, the right balance of the right kinds. Sufficient rest, and efficient recovery intervals. Transformative stress reducers. Perhaps judiciously supplementing—not with the faddish herb or oil of the moment, but select choices that are suited to your body type, your issues, and the results YOU want.
It also includes mindset and inspiration—the foundation of all foundations. Not just knowing what to, but wanting it, loving it. This also includes NOT focusing on your “weight,” which is a meaningless euphemistic reference to nothing in particular—and instead naming what you really want to lose or gain (fat or muscle).
It’s fueling your whole body, and nourishing your whole life.
When you slide these cores into place, then the optimizing “tweaks and hacks” won’t be aimless, random minutiae. When you do find enhancements suited to you, they’ll land in an environment primed for benefit.
Otherwise, it’s like…detailing your car seats—without putting fuel in the tank—and expecting better performance. And yes, folks really do that. Like, constantly. (You?) 🙂
Or it’s like getting a bunch of add-ons and apps…when you don’t have an operating system!
This is what I see going on in our culture, almost relentlessly.
It might even be (heh heh) the ONE THING that is getting in the way of your healthiest, fittest, most life-ready body.
It’s so ubiquitous, I even made a graphic to illustrate the issue. (Grab a free PDF here.) You know how there was a Food Pyramid? (Since replaced by the USDA Plate.) A pyramid reflects this point well. Because I see SO many people starting at the tippy-top, when there are gaping holes at the base. And all your results drain out of those gaps.
Tricks at the pyramid tip may (or may not) be cool, but know this: they are NOT the place to start. Not if you really want the body that suits the life you’re here to live. Work from the foundation up, and you’ll build the best.
Basics may not seem sexy. But basics are hella sexy when they work and you get the body you always wanted to live in. 🙂 In my opinion, there’s nothing hotter than a well-fueled body and life.
And the path starts at the ground floor. Really.
Of course, even basics get adjusted for you. When I work with clients, of course we customize food, movement, sleep hygiene, stress management and so forth. But we’re customizing the main acts, not random minutiae. We’re prioritizing. You pick—and enjoy—low-hanging fruit.
And I promise you—I really do!—that it is NOT harder to address the whole. It’s easier, because you don’t spend your life endlessly “trying this and that.” Because you finally get results.
You can really care for yourself, love yourself, give to yourself. You can really KNOW with confidence what your body needs, and PROVIDE it, happily—so you get the energy, strength and leanness you’re looking for.
That is not harder than trying every new micro-tweak that leaps from every new headline—and wondering why it’s not producing.
I did a Facebook Live on this a bit ago. Catch that video here, in two parts:
Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/robyn.landis.7/videos/10154809439133305/
Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/robyn.landis.7/videos/10154809476543305/
(If getting the key pieces working together for you—to have the body and energy you want and need for your best life—is something you might like support with, contact me for a complimentary Fuel Assessment consultation. Learn how beautifully this can come together for you. I’ll learn more about you, too, and your concerns and goals. If you’re interested and it’s a fit to work together, I’ll explain how. Whether it is or it isn’t, I always leave you with insight and helpful next steps. Promise. 🙂
My passion is to help you make a well-fueled body and life a natural, joyful choice.
Not a giant overwhelming blob, but step by key step—with clear core priorities sifted out from the teeming mass of “what everyone says.”
To your power-fueled body, your nourished life, and the energy to drive your dreams!
FREE EBOOK: www.nourish.university/motivationgift
ROBYN LANDIS is an ACE-certified fitness professional, personal trainer, health coach, Ayurvedic educator and bestselling author. She is a mind-body transformer who helps people LOVE getting the body and energy that’s fit for their dreams—without hype, regimens, extremes, or concern for irrelevant “weight.”
Robyn brings science, spirit and common sense to untangling the “health hairball.” She simplifies proven essentials, and ignites your own powerful desire to use them. Her unique, trademark Conscious Inspiration™ process has helped thousands overcome health-info confusion, overwhelm, and resistance, and transcend the issue of “motivation.” She tirelessly dissolves destructive myths about health and fitness, and models joyful self-care, embodying and advocating a radically vibrant, radiant vision of “ wisening.”
Robyn’s books (including Herbal Defense, cowritten with KP Khalsa, one of the country’s foremost plant medicine experts) have been published in five languages with a combined 200,000+ copies in print. Her vision is to uplift and uplevel the way we think, talk about and DO healthy living—and how we teach kids to understand and revere their bodies. She writes, teaches, speaks, coaches, trains, facilitates and designs programs. She offers individual and group coaching, including “NOURISH U: 9 Weeks to More Energy, Less Fat and a Super-Fueled Life.”
In addition to transforming how health/fitness professionals and individuals alike approach the concept of “motivation” (a radical shift that makes healthy living a natural, joyful choice)—Robyn specializes in helping women over 40 achieve optimal hormonal health for glowing skin, lower bodyfat, energy, and JOY—and helps men at midlife who’ve “let themselves go” get back in shape so they’re primed for performance and pleasure in their next phase of life. Her clients learn to integrate food, exercise, rest, meditation and traditional healing, and become deeply happy getting exceptionally healthy™ —with energy to spare and the health to thrive and live fully.