The power of small

It is 12:03pm. I recognize my behavior as the Sort-of, Kind-of-Worried Phase. The hands of the clock are inching their way into the future, and I know I have to stay rational. What’re five more hours? I tell myself.


Today, I’ve decided to steer my boat 2° to the left.

If two boats are on the same path and one veers off just 2° … over time, that two degrees equals a massive difference in the distance of your destination. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because I stole it from Anthony Robbins.)

There are a million reasons why everyone should have a sense of their own wellness. Did you know our genes control 20% of our health and old age, but 80% is controlled by our own hands?

Eighty percent!

A Harvard study proves that if we do the five basic things our doctors always tell us, we can extend our life span by 14 years on average. And the five things are the easy stuff—eat healthily, get regular exercise, get enough sleep, don’t smoke or use tobacco, reduce your stress.

(Well, not *easy* per se. A client once directed me to break an AP-style rule for the article we were publishing on a major media platform because they felt “using all caps showed emphasis,” and well, that near killed me.)

OMAD. This is my  .

One meal a day. 

No snacks. No mini-meals. No protein shakes or smoothies, or energy bars. No bread and butter pickle chips. No spoonful of chunky peanut butter. Not a single chocolate chip. And I’m OMADing for a week. 

For the biology geeks: Going back 6 million years, our bodies were designed (or evolved) to respond to adversity. But we’ve removed that from our lives – we’ve removed adversity because it feels good. 

But we need adversity (we. need. adversity.) to be resilient and fight disease. When we face adversity, the body turns on these ‘adversity hormeses’ response’ genes (aka, longevity genes). And when they turn on, what they’re basically doing is making the body fight aging and disease. But by eating through the day, we’re doing the opposite of living adversity. We’re living “contently.” For the record, eating with the traditional mindset of having breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus two snacks in order to think clearly and have mental acuity, etc., is a myth. I’m not talking about children or malnutrition or starvation. I’m talking about the typical “healthy” adult. And I am only talking about lengthening the window between meals. Think about it for a minute. If we’re always satiated or fed, our bodies will say, “Heyy, I just killed a mammoth, no problem. I don’t need to worry about survival. I’m just going to go forth and multiply and screw my long-term survival.” But by making the body freak out a bit by thinking it’s facing tough times, like being hungry, well, I’ll tell ya’, the data backs up the claim that this is the way to be healthy in our 80s and 90s. 

I know that’s just a tiny snippet of information (and I understand not everyone wants to live to be 80 or 90), but it’s compelling data. And there is a ton of information published on intermittent fasting (IF) that covers everything from why it’s excellent to why it’s stupid. From what it does to what it does not do, how you do it, to how you do not do it. There are studies, trials, research, testimonials, philosophies, rules, podcasts, blogs… I promise if you seek it out, it will show up in your feed.

(Unless someone really wants to know), I am not really wanting to talk about why I’m doing it; but I do want to tell you how it’s going.

Day One. (Technically, Day One started last night at 5pm.)

From 5pm to a little before midnight, I made it without thinking about food. In fact, it is eye-opening how easy it is to not snack before bed. Who knew!

When I woke up, though… 

7:59am: My first thought, “coffee doesn’t break a fast, does it? DOES IT??? Shit.”

9:12am: I tried the first trick of the day to distract myself: Hellooooo, INSTAGRAM!  

9:27am: I tried the second trick of the day: I shall drink water, feel full and be merry for the remaining 7+ hours. Well, I drank water and then I cursed at the plants, fluffed the pillows, and paced the floor. I was starting to feel a little snippy.

10:05am: “So what if my best feature touches my lap when I sit down, so what?” 

11:49pm: It’s practically Noon. If I go to the gym, that’ll kill an hour, and, well, then it will practically be five o’clock!

12:17pm: The gym, the gym, the gym. Just go to the gym. Food is not everything. 

3:16pm: Either an old-fashioned train is approaching my house, or Arizona is experiencing an earthquake. It’s hard to tell where the rumbling sound is coming from.

3:40pm: I’ve accomplished nothing today. Nor in my entire life.

4:32pm: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

4:41pm: I am NEVER. AGAIN. doing this.

4:52pm: OH MY FUCKING JESUS.

4:59pm: …

5:31pm:  Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, Everything that’s wonderful is what I feel when we’re together, Brighter than a lucky penny … *sing it with me, everyone!


I’ll do this again tomorrow, for sure. But, weirdly, when five o’clock rolled around, I almost didn’t want to eat. I did eat. But I sort of didn’t want to. Suddenly I was more aware of what I was putting in my body—and it needed to be worthy of my 24-hour fast. I think I’ll start making incremental changes in other areas of my life and see what happens.

The moral of the story: Steering your ship 2° to the left now and then may not be an aggressive or huge move, or it might be massive.

Swallowing the sun.

Every time I complain about the summer heat in Arizona, 72 friends from Rhode Island tell me, “But you don’t have to shovel sunshine.”

I have three words for you: “dangerously hot conditions.”

(And the danger is as real as rocks.)

A few days ago, the Arizona Department of Public Safety reported a state trooper stopped to investigate a pile of “debris” on Interstate 17 near Camp Verde. It turns out it was a delirious golden eagle. The bird — about the size of a beagle — was unable to fly.

Birds are dropping out of the sky from heatstroke!

Let that sink in…

It’s 117 degrees today.

A bubble of sweat just rolled down my forehead, past the arch of my eyebrow, over the bridge of my nose, and parachuted into the inner corner of my left eye. And I have ice in my bra. My AC unit is mounted on my roof—and under direct sunlight all day. All week long, the temperature inside my home has been an even 82. With no sanctuary, every night, I stand directly under the fan and wonder aloud how people who lived ‘pre-air conditioning’ managed to stay alive during the summer.

I’m trying not to complain, but I have ice in my bra, and I feel another droplet of sweat speeding toward my other eye.

Besides perspiring, I’m restless. I’m overwhelmed. I’m underwhelmed. I’m feeling unfulfilled. I have serious feelings of nostalgia, chronic reminiscence about the past, emotions of boredom, and intense feelings of regret. And I am doing my best to not drag everyone I know into my liminal void.

I blame mid-life and fluctuating levels of estrogen.

I’m half kidding.

I’ve taken on many projects the last couple of weeks – and some of these projects come with substantial responsibility. Perhaps a smidge too much commitment to put on one fragile human psyche. It’s like asking someone to swallow the sun. It’s too much.

Instead of eagerly working on my projects, I’m distracted by the thought of not having cold water. That’s right, we get hot water out of the cold tap all summer long. Who lives like this? And why am I acting like this is something new?

I admit I am camouflaging my self-imposed stress with talk of the weather. But indeed, it runs deeper. It always does with me.

You see, I inherited my father’s stoicism. While I thrive on others’ perceptions of my competence, I am just fooling everyone. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. At different points in my life, in various forms, I have, at one time or another, been consumed by a subconscious insistence on symmetry, order, and above all, perfection. Toxic perfectionism. These dark sentiments usually only make an appearance in moments of intense anxiety. And right now, fear is running amuck. I’ve saddled myself with a project and a goal, and I am not delivering. And it’s eating me up. 

At this point, swallowing the sun would be easier. 

All I want to do today is sit on my laurels with a cold glass of water.