A Call to Discipline


Becoming disciplined is quite frankly the best way to control your health. But before we delve further into exactly what becoming disciplined means, we need to make an important distinction: the Super-humans versus the Disciplined.

Super-humans are incredible. Super-humans once ate bacon cheeseburgers at McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner before turning it around and going vegan. Maybe they bought a two-month frozen meal package or meal replacement shakes and actually stuck to the plan the entire time. They bought that new gym membership and went from never stepping into a gym to working out 7 days a week. They have every meal, workout, and medication calculated so perfectly that they always look and feel great no matter the scenario. Seriously, hats off to the Super-humans.

This message is not for those lucky few, and I do mean few, who can turn it all around in one swoop. This message is for the rest of the people who want to regain control of their lives in ways that are gradual, but lasting. Embracing the disciplined lifestyle is about making enough small changes so that they you can reach your goal of becoming an new self.

As it pertains to weight loss, new studies have shown a large number of successful dieters will eventually regain the weight they’ve lost and then some.  Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle mass, control your diabetes, or any combination of the three, life changes are going to have to be made.

Somewhere buried amongst the old adages that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that it takes 30 straight days of an activity for it to form into a habit exists the unforgiving truth: small, permanent life changes are necessary in order for you to reach your goals. Disciplined people are prepared to make these changes for good.

The key to these small changes is to be realistic with yourself about your current lifestyle, and to find viable components of that lifestyle that you can make tweaks to long-term.Here are a few examples of ways you can make that fantasy version of your healthy self into a reality.

When it comes to exercise, commit to taking the stairs, commit to making a day like Monday (rain or shine) a workout day.

After committing to one mandatory day of exercise, it will be easier to fit in 2 or three other days in the week when it’s convenient. When thinking about diets–njoy a cheat meal: if you worked hard to stay on course with healthy, clean food, then enjoy a cheat meal. You must keep the cheat meal to a MEAL. Not a whole day, or a whole week of binging

Use this commitment to not just cut out the foods you love, but as an opportunity to try new foods. Eating chicken, brown rice, and veggies can be monotonous, challenge yourself to cook up tasty, new, and exciting healthy meals.

For diabetics, set a schedule so that your basal rates are adjusted not only 1 or 2 hours prior to a workout but also a few hours following your workout.The best way for your blood sugars to be consistent is if your pre-game/pre-workout meals are consistent.For a full week once every two months, keep extremely diligent notes of your blood sugars and activities. Release your inner perfectionist. This will allow you to make easier generalizations in the future.

Outside of these quick tips, keep looking for ways to become more disciplined and reach your goals. Coming to Lyfebulb and becoming part of our online community is the first step. Together we can continue the fight!

Making The Pact

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When is that time of year, when you especially dread heading to the gym? Whether it’s the beginning of the New Year, or the beginning of swimsuit season, gyms, running trails, and salad bars galore are filled to capacity.  Many people will want to better themselves, only to fall to the unrelenting prophecy of not sticking to their goals.

A relatively new app named “Pact” (formerly “GymPact”) was created to combat this cycle with its three-part system:

Step 1: Committing

Step 2: Meeting your Goals

Step 3: Reaping the rewards

Each week you, the user, make a pact to participate in a healthy activity such as exercising more or changing your diet. But here’s the kick, you also have to set a monetary amount (you connect through a card or bank account) that you have to pay if you don’t reach your pre-determined goals.

The Pact app tracks your progress, whether that entails gym or other fitness center check-ins, outdoor runs, walks, bike rides, or activities measured by wearable tech devices and apps. The app integrates with other fitness tracking devices such as,  RunKeeper, Jawbone, UP, Fitbit, Moves, MapMyFitness, and MyFitnessPal.

As a reward for meeting your weekly healthy-living goals, you earn real monetary compensation from other members who aren’t as disciplined as you and hence don’t reach their goals.

The concept itself is certainly not new, and is derived from the economic concept of a commitment contract. The commitment contract is used against one’s internalities. Most people opt to maximize their utility in the present, ignoring long-term health down the line. Ordinarily this would equate to saying “I’m tired, I don’t want to go for a run,” which is exactly what makes you happier in the immediate future, but ruins your long-term interests.  Commitment contracts allow participants to grapple with the true monetary cost of their actions. Even if it’s simply to gain money back, participants are irrationally more likely to stick with their commitments.

Using personal contracts such as “Pact” literally puts your money where your mouth is. That is enough for some people to get serious about attaining their goals. Will similar incentive contracts work for diabetics trying to check their blood glucose levels more often, or multiple sclerosis patients remember to complete physical therapy every day at home? Remarkably, yes. Most reviews are glowingly positive that the added incentives helped users reach their goals. However, participants must be aware some users have had technical difficulties with the app. From reviews it appears occasional users and “Pact” quitters may be having trouble disconnecting.

Commitment contracts can be ran from a number of services including “Pact” as easily as it could be run from a home or office pool. The key is hard, unwavering, and unambiguous goals set in advance, matched against something that motivates you, namely money. While the saying may be old fashioned, utilizing the old Carrot-And-The-Stick approach to living healthier is an approach that shouldn’t be ignored.