Your Health Issues Won't Be Solved With Goji Berries

Do you eat Goji berries?

Do you wonder if you ought to?

Do you think that maybe your health would improve and that your ailments would resolve if only you regularly ate Goji berries, Chia seeds, Hemp hearts or [fill in trendy health food of the moment].

I'm here to tell you that a lack of Goji berries likely isn't your problem.

I call the Goji berry question (should I be eating them???) - fiddling with the margins. It's small potatoes, insignificant.

What does that mean?

It means that when you're on a quest for better health, you need to look at the BIG STUFF first; you have to go for the health changes that will give you the most BANG for your BUCK.

Worrying about Goji berries is a detail that you don't need to consider right now; right now what you have to think about is that box of Macaroni & Cheese you eat for breakfast a couple of times a week.

Or maybe it's that Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte with extra whipped cream you have EVERY SINGLE DAY. (No, you don't need a bucket of sugar and fat with your coffee.)

Photo by Dushawn Jovic on Unsplash

The Pareto Principle (aka the 80/20 rule) says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort.

TRANSLATION: 80% of your positive health results will come from 20% of your effort.

That's not a lot; only 20% effort, for 80% results. Those are awesome odds.

What you need to do is determine where that 20% is.

Think about it, right now. Go on, do it - what ONE thing are you quite certain that if you stopped / started doing it, would have a really positive impact on your health?

I'm going to guess it's not "eat Goji berries".

See, Goji berries are details. They're for tweaking an already optimal situation. They're for someone like an Olympic athlete; someone who doesn't need just 80% results, they need 100% results (or more) if they want to win.

Those are the people who need to fiddle with the margins, and worry about 'health hacks'.

The rest of us just need to focus on the BIG STUFF.

You're not training for the Olympics. Photo by Rinke Dohmen on Unsplash

I spent 30-years of my life struggling with binge-eating because every time I tried to develop healthier habits, I found so much advice that I was overwhelmed.

I thought that in order to get healthier (and thinner) I had to eat some magical food (aka Goji berries) or magical combination of food (Goji berries only with Hemp Hearts under the light of the New Moon.)

Worrying about the details - aka fiddling with the margins - caused me to binge because making health changes felt so overwhelming. The amount of things I thought I had to change was suffocating, so I felt defeated at the outset. That meant I either didn't start with the health change, or I started and quit almost immediately (and subsequently stuffed my face with all the forbidden foods).

I thought I had to strive for perfection, and that if I didn't maintain that perfection (Goji berries every single day!) then I would fail (read: get fat, sick and unhealthy).

I wish someone had told me that striving for perfection is the opposite of health; that the healthiest thing you can do is just to make your best effort most of the time, and then not worry too much of the rest.

That's the good enough approach to health. It's not the Olympic athlete approach, but it's the approach that should work just fine for most people.

We live in a world that's too largely focused on the all-or-nothing approach. When it comes to your health, you're either a gym rat who snorts protein powder, or a couch potato covered in Doritos-dust.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Where's the middle ground here? Where's the 20% effort you can make to get 80% of your results?

That's what you need to focus on.

Goji berries is micromanagement. Unless you're an Olympic athlete, your health DOES NOT need to be micromanaged.

Go for the big stuff first; that one thing that will move the needle in a positive direction. See how that works, see how you feel.

If you want to do more after that, fine. Keep tweaking, maybe even start eating those Goji berries.

But details - aka Goji berries - should never be your starting point; get traction on the big stuff first, and that momentum will carry you towards other positive changes.


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