E2: How does someone start the path to wellness?
Rich: Don’t overthink it. Just begin.
It’s starts with a decision. A willingness to change – not for others but for yourself. Because optimum health isn’t for people who need it – it’s for people who want it. Follow the decision by setting a long-term goal, and then identify interim “stepping stone” goals towards that end that are achievable. Then execute this plan with consistent small “doable” actions taken on a daily basis. Because small steps, over time, move mountains.
And don’t be afraid to go public with your goal. Surround yourself with positive role models and a community that is supportive and will hold you accountable. Reward yourself for achieving those stepping stone goals. And most importantly, remember that nobody is perfect. If you misstep, simply jump back on the wagon immediately and move forward. Flog yourself for failure and you’ve made a second mistake – a common occurrence that all too often takes people out of the game altogether.
One of the most powerful pieces of advice I can give – and something that has helped me tremendously – is to approach it one day at a time. Instead of thinking: Oh my god, you mean I can never eat a cheeseburger ever again for the rest of my life? Shift your thinking to: Maybe I’ll have that cheeseburger tomorrow, but today I’m eating lentils and they taste great. The more you can root yourself in the present moment and avoid future projections, the better your chances for long-term success.
Finally, make it fun. Because getting Plant-Strong is not a short-term destination-oriented diet fad. It’s a lifestyle change. Embrace the journey, because sustainability is the name of the game.
E2: How does someone balance their life in such a way to cultivate and maintain wellness?
The ultimate question! For me, balance is a fickle lover – something I am always pursuing, yet constantly challenged to achieve. I lead a very busy life – marriage, four kids, practicing law, writing a book and long hours training for endurance competitions leave me little room for error. But when any one of the important aspects of my life is out of whack, my foundation is weakened. So prioritizing my time – and my wellness — is paramount.
Many people say to me, I want to eat right and be fit, but who has the time? My answer? I don’t care how busy you are, we all have the time; it’s simply a matter of priorities. Take a hard look at how you spend every minute of every day. Identify time spent on things that don’t advance your goals – late night television, surfing the internet, long lunches, whatever. I guarantee you there is fat on that bone (pun intended). Make some cuts and shift a few priorities. I’m not saying it’s easy, but growth only happens when you are willing to step outside your comfort zone. And the satisfaction that comes with this growth is more than worth the price.
That said, striking a balance with this lifestyle should not be burdensome. With a modicum of planning and organization (see tips in my book!), living Plant-Strong is more than feasible to create and maintain no matter how busy or challenging your life may be.
E2: Who/what has inspired you?
Other than Rip, the Plant-Strong King?
My inspiration comes in a variety of unusual shapes and sizes. From small private victories to those that accomplish massive feats. It’s my daughter writing her name for the first time and the unmistakable look of pride on her face. It’s watching an athlete struggle through adversity to finish a race with head held high despite coming up short. It’s an email from someone I don’t even know explaining how they got off their blood pressure meds by changing their diet. And its entrepreneurs who build businesses where nobody said it was possible.
But thematically, I revere those who know deeply who they are – those who are spiritually connected and deeply in touch with themselves; those who – in whatever shape or form — live a pure and unadulterated passionate life free of societal pressures and constraints fully actualized in their true and authentic selves in whatever form that takes. This remains my greatest aspiration.
Thanks Rich! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for part 3!
Let’s hear from you, we want to know, who inspires you?