Disclaimer: This article contains statistics, case studies and information that has been gathered online using various sources. This is my own personal research and not the view of every mindset coach.
– Written by Mind-1 (Gurdev Lota) –
Imagine you buy a brand-new car, you might hope to keep it for about 10 years. It is the car of your dreams and it is shiny, looks cool, has a great sound system with all the extra’s you could ever want. When you open the door and sit inside it has that new car smell, the seats are comfortable, and it feels great!! Then after a few short years, it starts to give you problems, rust starts appearing, the electrics begin to fail or worse still the engine has an issue. If you were in that position what would you do? Well of course you would rush back to the car garage where you have purchased it and demand it be fixed. After all it has not even reached half-life. It is not acceptable to you because you expect that the car will be in much better shape at this stage of its 10-year life.
Well, what if you were that car? What if it was you that was experiencing health problems at the age of 40? Maybe you have developed skin conditions, stomach and digestive problems or a disease. Worse still maybe you have developed confidence and mental health issues because you are no longer happy in your own skin and body. You have become an unhappy person with a more pessimistic outlook on life. You are no longer that fun and lively person from your youth with hopes and dreams. Would any of that be acceptable? The answer just like the analogy of the car is NO!
What is interesting is that for many people, this is their reality at the age of 40. It is considered normal to experience health (physical and mental) problems at the age of 40. There are widely held beliefs that at the age of 40 it is ok to have poor health and that it is not possible to change. In some cases, it is even expected that by the age 40 you look tired, worn, be overweight, grumpy and to be experiencing some health problems. Why would anyone want to live their life like that?
At the age of 40 you are still young. If you live to 100 years, at 40 you are not even at half of your life and if you live to 80 you still have another 40 years to live. At the age of 40, you should be in the best shape of your life, ready to live the rest of your life in consistently good health. You should be delivering your dreams and inspiring your family and friends because you have reached a higher standard of living in both your personal and professional lives.
Sikhs in the UK
- 91% of the subjects were classified as overweight.
Physical activity (PA) plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Comparisons between first and second generation Punjabi male subjects showed that the two groups are equally culpable in not engaging in work-related or recreational PA, but for the second generation this is significantly lower. Low PA is a contributory factor to increased risk and prevalence of NCDs among this population and a public health concern. Efforts to increase PA in this group should continue.
- British Sikhs have a higher proportion of those that exercise only once a week or less to never.
This group is most prevalent in the 35-49-year bracket but exists through all age ranges up to 64. It does not change until you get over 65 when retirement & time allow you to do something differently.
- 10% of Sikh women have been diagnosed with mental health issues compared to 5% of Sikh men
- 80% of Sikh women and 68% of Sikh men know someone who has experienced poor mental health in the past year
- 77% of Sikhs find their lives stressful – 35% of Sikhs said their job was the major cause of stress, and a further 27% said it was due to family responsibilities
The mindsets and belief systems developed about our health are set at an exceptionally low bar. We choose to survive by relegating our physical and mental health. We actively make choices that result in us becoming unhealthy and then accept it as ‘normal’ or place the consequences as ‘out of our control’. This has negative implications because we are often reinforcing unhealthy stereotypes to our peers and also passing down these weaker mindsets to our children and youth.
(Source: Public Health England)
A Time to Reflect
“A well looked after physique is a status symbol just like a Mercedes/ It shows you live your life to a higher standard, you work hard, you have self respect. You know how to maintain balance.”
When our actions do not match our words we risk weakening the mindset of our local community and our children, by consciously teaching them to accept and how to maintain poor health. This is often a pattern that continues through many generations, but right here and right now we can change this behaviour. We have some shining examples in our community that teach us a great deal about good health, even in the later years of life. The two examples that stand out for me are Fauja Singh and Rajinder Singh.
Fauja Singh – a London based Marathon runner at the age of 109!
He attributes his physical fitness and longevity to abstaining from smoking and alcohol and to following a simple vegetarian diet. He has been quoted as saying “I am very careful about different foods. My diet is simple phulka, dal, green vegetables, yogurt and milk. I do not touch parathas, pakoras, rice or any other fried food. I take lots of water and tea with ginger……I go to bed early taking the name of my Rabba (God) as I don’t want all those negative thoughts crossing my mind.”
Rajinder Singh – aged 73, from Harlington, known as the ‘Skipping Sikh’
Simple eating is best for healthy living. A vegetarian he only eats boiled veg, some fruit, dark chocolate and also brown rice. He drinks lots of water, he loves his brown bread. He has turmeric, garlic, black pepper, onion and eats this raw! His daughter Min Kaur says he is a strong believer that eating less is best and to eat organically as possible. He used to be a farmer in India so he’s always kept the same way of eating as he did in India. He doesn’t eat any junk food. He doesn’t drink tea but has light coffee.
Let us take note and learn from these examples. We can live our full lives with better health if we focus on physical and mental wellbeing. The mind and body are connected, and we can transform our community by taking inspiration from those in the community that are already excelling in these areas and taking action through educating ourselves. If we remain humble, whilst constantly learning and raise our level of self-awareness then improvement can be achieved through small consistent steps that can easily be maintained throughout our lives. This approach has shown to be more affective then inconsistent big action that cause us to go back and fourth yoyoing through life.
What action can be taken?
“You cannot control what comes at you, but you can control your thoughts, feelings and actions. Maturity is reflected through your responsibility.
We are lucky to have some visible role models in the Sikh community like Fauja Singh and Rajinder Singh. To be a Sikh is to be a learner and we have the opportunity to raise our standards through learning. Learning is not just a task we complete at school, but a way of life that enables you to reach higher levels. We live in the information age with an abundance of easily accessible personal development tools, which can include books, websites, articles and even social media. We also are more connected than ever which makes it easy to find support groups of like-minded individuals. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to connect and communicate with people to find the right coaches or educator that can help you to achieve your optimal physical and mental wellbeing.
My Journey of Self-Awareness
After I graduated, I found myself placed in many professional development courses but what really excited me about these was the personal development. I was quick to recognise that learning never stops and that learning is one tool that you can use in different areas of your life to get results. I was becoming a better version of myself through the corporate training I received primarily because it was expanding my understanding of a positive mindset. I then continued my own personal development journey to better understand my mind so that I could improve my life and to help others where I could.
There was a pivotal moment in my late 30s where I had to complete a health check. It suggested my physical health was not as good as I thought despite the perceived ‘balanced’ life I thought I was leading. The problem was a clear lack of awareness and understanding of my unhealthy habits. I had clearly focused too much on my career and development of the mind. I later realised It was not a very balanced lifestyle at all, even though I thought a balanced lifestyle consisted of exercise to undo the daily consumption of unhealthy snacks, processed foods and weekend indulgences of fast foods and takeaways.
I am also pleased that I took the opportunity for a health check, it led to an increased awareness of my health and better nutrition, even though I have limited time with my family, my career and my passions. As I was getting noticeably healthier, I found that friends and family were also searching for similar support and guidance. It is very common for the modern Sikh to be pressed for time when you consider their career, families and lifestyle.
Nobody plans to be unhealthy but somehow it creeps up on you. Therefore, in order to help those in need I now run a monthly 21 day positivity challenges through Herbalife which has bought together like minded individuals into a community who are also achieving better health for themselves. Like ripples in a pond these individuals are also achieving positive change and influencing others too. You cannot assert positive change in the community, you must attract it. This means people should get excited by the prospect of a healthier life because they see other people taking control and that it’s possible to be healthy and feel good in themselves, regardless of age or gender.
I also have a strong reason and purpose……my two young daughters Harleen and Bhavneet. It is important to me that I set a good example and help them to establish better behaviours by unconsciously absorbing the positive things that I do. I also want to be active in their lives and share experiences with them. I can only do this if I live and promote a healthy lifestyle myself.
Top 5 top Nutritional tips for my 21 day challenge
1. Stay hydrated – Up to 60% of the human adult body is water (the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water, the skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery at 31%). Each day we must consume a certain amount of water to survive, around 2-3litres depending on your gender, size and activity. All of the water a person needs does not have to come from drinking liquids, as some of this water is contained in the food we eat. Water is free & healthy.
2. Balanced Meals to match your lifestyle – When we talk about balanced meals we’re talking about two key areas – Macro & Micro nutrition.
- Macro’s: Carbohydrate, protein and fat are macronutrients (macro means large), so these are the nutrients that we need to eat in relatively large amounts in the diet as they provide our bodies with energy and also the building blocks for growth and maintenance of the body.
- Micro’s: Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients, which are essential nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly.
3. Breakfast – Get your breakfast right and you will start the day with the best possible chance of maintaining good eating habits. Get it wrong (by eating too many carbs like cereals or parontay) and your body will go through a roller coaster ride of sugar and insulin release which causes you to want to snack for energy. This is a vicious cycle because you are just encouraging more ups in your blood sugar with downs due to insulin release. Now if you get your breakfast right and follow a simple meal plan of breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner, you’ll be in control and your energy will be stable and abundant. No overeating and no fat gains.
4. Protein – An essential macro nutrient that! Protein-rich foods tend to make people feel fuller than foods rich in carbohydrates or fat. So including a lean source of protein with a meal can help to minimise feelings of hunger and decrease overall energy intake. It’s also essential to help build muscle mass so if you’re engaging in physical activity getting the right amount of protein is essential – it is recommended that a person that lifts weights regularly or is training for a running or cycling event eat a range of 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
5. Supplementation – There tends to be mixed responses to supplementation. On the one hand it’s a great way to ensure you can get what your body needs, it’s focused & direct and can complement a balanced life style particularly if your body is lacking something like vitamin D. There’s also views that we can get everything we need from the foods available to us but do you know what you need from what foods specifically? There’s also mixed views around the nutritional values (and pesticide & micro plastic effect) of mass produced fruit & veg available in UK supermarkets vs organic or home grown, which is generally considered better. There’s definitely some truth in this, have you noticed how food back in Panjab is more flavoursome and actually makes you feel better too! Getting the right macro & micro supplementation has many advantages to give you a stronger foundation in your daily nutrition alongside healthy meals you prepare for yourself. This is particularly true if you’re time pressed and busy juggling work, kids and family life in general and your health comes at the bottom of that list. Be the best version of yourself by taking care of yourself.
Mind 1 Service
Being healthy is 80% Nutrition, 20% Workout and 100% MINDSET!
I run 21-day challenges with a community of people to help build & embed a positive mindset and healthier eating habits. The 21 day challenge works because we work, together.
What are my 5 top Mindset tips for my 21 day challengers?
1. It starts with you! A healthy body and a healthy mind cannot be borrowed from someone else, you can’t attract it unless you act on it. It starts with YOU!
2. Mind your language! Should do’s & could do’s ultimately lead to won’t do & didn’t do. There is no try. Be definitive in your language, phrase your intention in the positive to deliver action – I WILL DO, I CAN ACHIEVE, I START NOW. Mind your LANGUAGE!
3. Take Action today! We don’t know what the future holds. In 2019 who would have predicted the Covid pandemic and the ‘new normal’ of 2020. Tomorrow never comes. Take Action TODAY!
4. Be with better! You are the people you associate with. If you want to move to a better place in your health, associate with people who are achieving what you want. Be open to feedback and be coachable. Be with BETTER!
5. Be patient. How long did it take to become you? You can’t undo & change all of that overnight. There is no magic pill. If you’re looking to learn and achieve something that lasts you must be willing to go on the journey and have the right attitude. Be PATIENT!
It’s never too late to make the change you want, choose to take control of your life and become the best version of you. Remember being alive and living life are two very different things. Live Life!
If you would like to know more you can visit Mind-1 or if you would like to contact me you can find all my contact details on my page here.