Manila, 15 May 2019 — Why do many leaders I admire look trim and fit?
A few years ago, I started a Body Dialogue to release weight and engage a healthy lifestyle.
Since then, I have learned a lot, especially about the use of foods that score low (<35) on the glycemic index. Many of these foods have earned a permanent spot on my shopping list. By integrating these into my diet, I was able to release weight and change to clothes several sizes smaller.
Until today, I keep working on making healthy food choices and adopting healthier ways of living. There is always more to learn and experiment with.
Like last week...
When I was inspired by a fellow coach who told me how her life had taken a healthy turn after practicing what she read in Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist at the University of California in Berkeley.
Two weeks later, I can say that what she told me was also right for me.
Deep down, I have always known that sleep is healthy. However, as my workload increased over the years, and my curiosity grew ever bigger to learn more on my leadership journey, I saw myself economizing more and more on sleep because of the many things I want to read, do and accomplish every day.
During that same time, my passion for coffee also grew.
For a long time now, I love enjoying good quality coffee. Not just any coffee, mind you. That’s how, less consciously, as I deprived myself of adequate sleep, I would benefit more from the properties of coffee that make it the most widely used psychoactive stimulant in the world.
... and abused, according to Walker. It is consumed so widely, he explains, that it is in fact the second most traded commodity on the planet, after oil.
Sleep as Superpower
As he shares the latest discoveries of science in his book, Walker makes a compelling case to sleep more hours and drink less coffee.
Sleep, says Walker, is our superpower. Who would want to keep diminishing that power?
To make a long story shorter, I decided to start regulating my coffee consumption downward and my hours of sleep upward, as part of my Body Dialogue to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
In my experience, growing into a leader in the 21st century calls on us to make such changes in all aspects of our lives, including a healthy lifestyle. In the leadership literature, this is called self-regulation, and it is a key step on the way to becoming the leader we want to be.
No wonder, then, that many of the leaders I admire nowadays look trim and fit. They already integrate a healthy lifestyle into the choices they make every day. The result shows in their shape, trim and fit.
It’s encouraging to see that many leaders today have also become advocates for sustainability, practicing that less can be more in the quest to take better care of our planet.
Yet, I learned from Walker’s book that when it comes to sleep, it should be the other way round. More is better.
Call To Sleep
With his sense of humor, Walker even explains that he doesn’t mind at all if you fall asleep while reading his book. It is something he recommends you to do.
If you can’t wait to read the book, start by watching his TED talk Sleep Is Your Superpower.
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