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.

2 Replies to “The power of small”

  1. I whole heartedly agree! What I find interesting is what other hidden or unintended behaviors or habits show themselves.
    I haven’t been exposed to the 2 degree to the left concept until you wrote about it , however, it has been a part of what I do for quite a while.
    Small changes in behavior, perception and practice can make a big difference over time.

    1. Making small, incremental changes in how you think about eating, how you eat, and, I throw this in as an extra, exercise can make a big difference in slowing down the aging process, for sure. The science backs it up 🙂

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