In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.
I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.
Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.
The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.
Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.
But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.
One line in the article stopped me.
So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.
I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
Connection isn’t created by the things we go get, it is created by the things we go back to. So my invitation to you is simple. Don’t due something new. Find something you’re already doing with your friends, and families, and your intimate relationships, or within your communities, and do that thing over and over and over again. Do it with intention. Do it during the good times and do it during the mundane. So when the inevitable emotional storms hit you have your ritual to go back to. You have your very own anchor of connection.
As a Physical and Health Education major and a personal trainer throughout University it was kind of embarrassing to find myself in a place where my scale hit 272 lbs around 2 1/2 years ago. Now part of this can be blamed on my sedentary lifestyle while I was at home dealing with my anxiety and sleep issues but much of it was to blame from my lifestyle throughout my 30’s. My 30’s were busy building up my speaking ministry, lots of travel, lots of work, lots of bad choices in restaurants, lots of second helpings during mealtime and the busier my life got less and less exercise.
Yesterday when I hit my scale and it said 231.8 I was pretty excited. My goal was to lose 40 lbs and then I would reevaluate. There have been a number of people who have asked me over the past few months how I was losing the weight. Perfect question for a little blog. Here is what I did.
Diet and Exercise. That’s it. No specific diet or specific exercise routine. Just watched what I ate and exercise daily (if I could)
Diet – I made simple sustainable changes in my diet
I stopped drinking calories. No more pop (soda for my U.S. friends), no more orange juice, no more apple juice etc.
I stopped having a second helping of any meal. This was always hardest at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving
I began to have 1 smoothie a day to replace a meal (usually breakfast ). I bought a Magic Bullet which has been awesome. You can have hundreds of combinations of smoothies. My favourite is Protein powder, fruits (your choice), Progressive VegeGreens & PhytoBerry powder, Cocoa (this makes it taste like a chocolate milkshake), flax seeds, omega 3 liquid, yogurt and sometimes a banana. Below is a picture of what I would usually put into each smoothie. It is important for me to note that my smoothies were for health as well as weight loss. I choose to add those healthy items to my smoothie for my wellness.
I began to try and have 1 salad as a daily meal (usually lunch). See image below. Every salad was different. Lots of veges and always protein included ( chicken, egg etc)
Eating out at restaurants I always blamed as a reason but this was really a choice for me. When I am on the road speaking, I now eat pita’s or schwarma’s when I can. If I am stuck out at a burger joint I would have a burger, side salad and a water.There are lots of better choices at restaurants. It is still hard to make the right choice when I am out, sometimes I crave fries so I will allow myself what I call a handful and stick to that.
I cut down on evening snacks before bed
I cut down on my consumption of bread. When I have eggs I now only have 1 piece of whole wheat bread with it. Not 2 or 3
I drank lots of water
For snacks I would have fruit, nuts (small handful of almonds or sunflower seeds)
I switched margarine back to butter
I cut out all Aspartame from diet
Exercise – I try and exercise daily
I took up running when I was 38. I continue to love my runs (2-3 times per week). Below is a screen shot of the running app I use called Endomondo. I also bought a heart rate monitor
I started using an app on my phone called MOVES. It tracks how many steps I get a day. The minimum you should have is 5000 and the suggested is 10,000. Some days when I was working from home I would only get 1200 steps a day. When I was out I took the stairs anytime I could. I would park farther away at a mall or grocery store so I could add in more steps. Little changes add up over time. Below is a screenshot from yesterday.
The days I was not running I added in weights. I was using the 2 weight routines from the P90X workouts. I also had a few other stretching and cardio routines I would add in to change up the routine.
Cheating: I also cheat in my diet and exercise. Last night I had a burger and fries for dinner (with water). Sometimes I take a day off of exercising. You can treat yourself once in a while, just not everyday.
For me these changes have been ones that are sustainable in my life. It is a new healthy lifestyle that I hope to continue. I have set a new goal of 220 for my weight. I don’t really know what the perfect weight it as everyone one is different. My goals now are to keep up my healthy lifestyle. Being a guy who is 6’6″ tall I think that around 200 might be perfect for me.
Nietzsche once talked about for anything great to happen there needs to be a “Long obedience in the same direction” So what can you change in your life today? What is one thing you can switch to move you more towards a health sustainable lifestyle?
Love to hear in the comments what has been helping you in your journey towards a more healthy lifestyle. What has worked for you? What has not?