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Why Your Energy Level Is So Low

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Sometimes my energy isn’t there.  There’s a lot of places my mind goes when that energy isn’t at the level I want. When the energy isn’t happening, my mind often races. That makes me feel even more tired. I suspect at times, maybe it’s my age. Other times I cling to the idea that maybe I’m just naturally lazy. And then, sometimes the lack of energy makes me hungry for things I shouldn’t be eating. Tail spin…..

I guess it isn’t just the lack of energy. It’s the uneasiness that comes over me, when I just lay there motionless. Sometimes my chest hurts a little. I think about what I should be doing. I compare myself to other people who seem to have more energy.

Still sprawled out, I compare myself to an earlier stage in my life when I had loads of energy. I used to get more done before 9am back then, than I do all day on certain days. Irritating.

But then when I think about it……it isn’t everyday. It isn’t really even more than 1 day per week. But when it happens, it feels horrible. It feels like it is everyday when it happens. Lack of energy feels like a big a hole in the earth that drains your livelihood and male energy.

The fact is that your available energy is a function of a lot of different things. You’re a combination of mind, body and emotion. All of these things need to be satisfied.  As a matter of fact, this is how I run my life on most days when I’m not tired.  I’ve noticed that when I take care of my physical, intellectual, and emotional needs I’ve really got a lot of energy. Let me explain what I mean and how I do it.

1. Physical

I eat less than 2000 calories per day on the average. I eat complex carbohydrates…meaning I eat fruits, vegetables, grains,  and beans. This is good because the glucose levels are released into the blood on a more even level throughout the day.

If you are eating simple sugars like donuts, sugared drinks, candy or cookies, the glucose is released immediately into the blood. When you’ve released them all, then there is no energy available readily. And then…you feel very tired.

I exercise 4 or 5 times per week. I use about 500 calories on these days, just on exercise.  These are the days when my energy level is even higher.  Yesterday I did not exercise and today I feel a little tired. No problem. I’ll just hit the gym today. ‘ll do a quick workout that usually takes 35 minutes (see my workout routine). Since the weather is not great here, instead of walking my 4 miles outside, I’ll do it on the treadmill. This is my backup plan.

2. Intellectual

A lot of people would be surprised to think about  needing to use your mind everyday. You may think that you read everyday or spend time on the internet everyday and you get plenty of information. Well, in fact, you are using your brain. However, how much of what you read is really someone else’s opinions or versions of the truth.

You may ask yourself, what does thinking have anything to do with your energy? Creativity and ideas come through the mind. These are a natural form of energy that gets channeled through the intellect. When you don’t use your brain, you’re essentially sitting on a powder keg of thought energy that never gets released. This is almost like mental constipation. This has nothing to do with your educational level. We all have the intellectual need at birth to process thought energy. This is about using what comes naturally.

I spend time reading and writing everyday. As a matter of fact,  I’m usually reading three separate types of books on a daily basis – something about fitness or weight loss, something for professional development and something spiritual or related to emotional balance. When I write something, I research my material and think about how other people can use my information to their benefit. Imagining what I will do or create that day is also part of my daily thinking. Release your energy by real active thought.  Turn the TV and computer off.

3. Emotional

Yesterday, I spent nearly the whole day working alone since I was writing and preparing for my clients today. I went out yesterday evening with some friends. As I mentioned above, I did not exercise yesterday. So the energy was not really high.

As the evening progressed and we were joking and laughing, I noticed how much more energy and fun I was having all of a sudden. Only then did I realize how much I really needed to hang out and be just a “guy” for a while. What a concept! I guess having fun is important after all.

Have you ever noticed how much emotional energy you have tied up in projects that have not been completed? I have a pile of receipts on my counter that need to get filed away. It would take me all of 15 minutes to do this. When I finally do file these receipts away, I will feel a lot more emotional energy available to me.

This one pile of receipts is no big deal, but when you have a few of these unfinished projects going, you may be draining a lot more energy than you might reason. I am sure you know what I mean.

Here Is What To Do

Everyday, these three areas of your life (physical, emotional and intellectual) need attention daily. So everyday, make sure that you do something specifically to contribute to yourself energetically. So, let me give you my examples for today.

1. Physical - I will walk 4 miles on the treadmill and do my chest, biceps and shoulders workout. I will also adhere to my daily 2,000 calorie limits.

2. Intellectual -  I wrote a book review today for a book that I have read recently. I’ll also spend about an hour  reading a book today now by Judith Orloff entitled “Emotional Freedom.” And of course, I wrote this article.

3.Emotional - I am a professional musician and I am practicing with the guys in my band tonight  – Mountain Ash. We always get a lot of work done, but we are very open, connected and passionate about our music. We always have a lot of belly laughs mixed in with work. I will probably have a beer also, but it will not violate #1 above.

So, I suggest that you also  consider doing one of each of your 3 basic life functions above everyday. I believe you’ll see what I mean after the first time you do them. When the habit is there, you won’t even need to think about it anymore. Steve Pavlina has also written a good article on the same subject of energy and diet.  Check it out.


Take The Weekend Warrior Challenge

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Frank_HeadshotIf you think that you eat and drink  too much or exercise too little on the weekend, you aren’t the only one. Worldwide, there are many fat men (and women) hanging their heads at the end of the weekend, after marathon eating bouts. This is especially apt for those of us living in the frozen north where snow still covers the ground. We frequently eat for sport here. Some guys even know in advance, despite their quixotic weight-reduced vision for themselves, that they will be heavier at the end of the weekend.

Here is a chance to kick that lame habit. This coming weekend, I am participating in a world wide event called the “Weekend Warrior Challenge.” The weekend is the time of the week, when habits soften and discipline wains. The goal of the challenge is to band together and encourage each other to maintain strong habits.

As part of this event, each of us are creating 2 or 3 measurable and specific fitness or health goals that we will adhere to this weekend. For example, here are mine:

  1. Maintain calorie intake below 2,000 calories on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Complete 5 complete gym work outs this week (already at 1 on Monday)
  3. Walk a total of 20 miles this week

Since I keep my daily calories well  below 2,000 calories during the week, I am just extending that practice to the weekend. Since I am an active male, my calorie requirements are between 2,400 and 2,600 calories per day. So you can see the above food intake keeps me at a calorie deficit. So my goals this weekend are to complete a week long goal of exercise, and maintain low food intake that I had already started earlier in the week – actually Sunday.

The details for the event are at Weekend Warrior Challenge . This event is just a bunch of nice people helping each other out and having some fun. Check it out and see if this works for you.  Everyone is welcomed.

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