Physical and mental performance.
As entrepreneurs, we are our business. Our performance, passion and vision all serve the purposes of our business. How we show up for ourselves is how we show up for our business. For our customers. To play at the top of our game, we need our mind and body to be in sync.
The Secrets & the Traps
No one tells us that we need to be healthy to achieve peak performance, like athletes. Or we haven’t been paying attention. It’s easy to neglect to our health when these headlines get our attention. Every time. For example: “Hustle Your Way Into Millions”, or the opposite “Grow Your Business With Ease and Grace”.
Don’t you feel guilty not growing your business with ease and grace? Don’t you feel overwhelmed when you “hustle”? That’s what I’m talking about.
Having had health issues all my life until recently, I’ve been careful to avoid the trap of wishful thinking. I know better. No one can imagine playing any game without good health.
Peak performance requires us to be healthy, so that we can handle all the ups and downs in our business. Understanding this basic idea, I designed health into my business model.
As an introvert, I’m uncomfortable about sharing my personal health journey. But if my lessons can help you, I’m more than happy to share. We all want to make our struggles and lessons learned useful, for ourselves and others.
The Keto Diet
I did a “Keto experiment” at the beginning of this year. More and more studies and findings have proved the benefits of the Keto diet. It’s not for everyone. But for people who experience inflammations, mental fog and weight issues, the Keto diet is worth trying. My weight was never an issue. I did it for three reasons: for mental clarity, physical performance and discipline building.
I enjoy being creative and innovative. I also want to be able to remember people’s names. From simple daily things to formulating strategies with clients, I have to think fast. Staying sharp also can prepare me to work and serve till the minute I drop. As least that’s my intention.
Having Alzheimer’s disease in my family makes me aware of our vulnerability. Alzheimer’s is becoming an epidemic. Our choice of our modern-day lifestyle likely pays a factor in our exposure to Alzheimer’s. If we learn how to make better choices, we may reduce the risk.
Running a business or two can be taxing on our bodies. We need all the energy we can get to keep us on top of our game. What’s the best way to generate instant energy? To me, it’s running. But I can no longer run, after an Achilles’ injury.
When I found out the Keto diet can increase energy and reduce inflammations, I wanted to try it right away.
Before starting the Keto journey, I practiced with a weekly juicing plan. Every Monday, I had vegetable juice. It was hard not to eat. I LOVE food. Food is my “religion”. I tend to overeat and then feeling sick, so often. The juicing plan gave me a way to practice disciplining myself. Usually, after the juicing day I felt energetic for the next few days. Then Friday came and the cycle of suffering from overeating started again.
The Keto diet helped me shift the game. To start, I read the book The Keto Reset Dietby Mark Sisson and his blog, “Mark’s Daily Apple”. I also did other research to understand all the good and the bad about the diet. Once I trusted the science and the results behind the Keto theory, I jumped right into it.
Knowing other people’s results might not be my own, I customized the approach. My main goal was to be physically fit and cognitively alert and sharp. I intended to stay on the plan as part of my lifestyle instead of as a short-term diet plan. So with the goal in mind, I started the Keto experiment in February this year. The diet calls for the elimination of sugar, grains and refined vegetable oils.
My Keto Journey
My experience was that I felt great the first day and then had no energy for the rest of the first week. Low energy and loss of appetite lasted for another two weeks, when I experienced the so called Keto flu.
Starting from the fourth week, my energy and appetite slowly returned. The best part was, I had no craving for desserts. After two months with no sugar, everything tasted extra good. I felt energetic daily. My voice projected louder.
My memory was sharper than ever before. For example, one night at an event I remembered the names of ten people, effortlessly. Usually, I can hardly remember any one’s name right after the introduction. I also noticed some inflammation in my body healed quickly.
Back to the “New Normal”
After three months, I chose to transition out of the Keto experiment by adding back more carbs. The Keto plan was restrictive when eating out with friends and family. So a more flexible diet strategy is my choice going forward, mixed with the Keto plan a few times a year.
I’d still enjoy some ice-cream or cookies sometimes. But I do feel I have less energy the next day after eating heavy sugary food. Knowing there’s always a trade off and feeling the downside right the next day, I now make better decisions and choices in terms of food.
Staying healthy with high performance is still my priority. Knowing what’s possible is the most empowering part of the Keto experiment.
What I Learned from the Keto Diet Experience:
1. It’s not for everyone.
2. If it works for you, it’ll make you feel good and look good.
3. People can feel your energy from your voice.
4. You can still enjoy delicious food and feel satiated.
5. You’ll more be productive when you stop thinking about food all the time.
6. You’ll make better food choices.
Besides food, our daily movements, sleep, and stress level all play a major part in our health. It is a challenge to pay attention to all these areas in our busy modern lives. But to be able to think long-term and play the long game, we need to stay on top of our health. I’d encourage you to pay attention to your health. Are you up for the challenge? If you plan to try the Keto diet, do some research first to see if it’s right for you.