One of the best decisions I made in my life was in 2019 to join the Optimize Coach program. Since then, I’ve learned how to optimize my life and my health. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to optimize my impact on the planet.
Brian Johnson created Optimize to share ancient wisdom along with modern science to change the world, one person at a time. The inaugural Optimize Coach program had over 1000 coaches from all over the world, from all walks of life. And he changed every one of our lives, definitely optimizing his impact.
Honestly, I joined Optimize just to have another notch in my belt of credentials. I had other certifications, but I wanted something that would potentially “seal the deal” for me when attracting participants. And you know, maybe I’d learn a thing or two which would prove worthwhile.
But I discovered a way to optimize my life. I am client zero. Change my life, change the world. And in the process, optimize my impact on the planet.
Change Your Life, Change the World
ZooFit is my life. And it started with the idea that I couldn’t take care of the animals if I didn’t take care of myself. This is absolutely true– you can’t take care of whatever is important to you if you don’t take care of yourself. But it’s much bigger than just “what you love.” You can literally change the world. Make it a better place. I can optimize my impact on the planet.
Chief Seattle once said “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” What we eat and how we move doesn’t just affect our health, it changes our very world.
Eating Better to Optimize My Impact on the Planet
ZooFit was born by my desire to optimize my health while having a better impact on the planet. I stopped consciously buying processed food to eat healthier. But my inspiration was to stop consuming conflict palm oil (which is in all our processed food) to save orangutans, elephants, tigers, and other Asian wildlife.
Throughout the Optimize program, I got even more empowered to eat healthy. The food industry is not on our side. They do not care about our health and well-being. And frankly, the food industry cares even less for the environment. Which is really weird to me, because, you know, without the earth…how do you grow food? But it really does cement my resolve to eat healthy foods. Not just for my personal well-being, but to support local farmers and producers. To promote a healthier world in general– from the soil to the people and everything in-between.
Learn more about Saving the Rainforest by Eating Green here.
Moving to Optimize My Impact on the Planet
I am not a very motivated cyclist. It’s really easy to sway me from putting on my shoes, and helmet, and making sure I have enough air in the tires, and plenty of time to get where I’m heading, and so on. But wanting to have a better impact on the planet changed my mindset. It certainly helps that nowadays I am only a five-minute bike ride from all my appointments. I don’t view the biking to physical therapy or the grocery store as a chore. It’s actually a joy.
I already had a mentality of loving exercise when I started the Optimize program, but learning more of the benefits to movement (not necessarily exercise) helped me see the light. Well, more light. And more enjoyment of exercise.
But, once again, it’s more than just appreciating and loving my body and what it is capable of. It’s loving the earth and all the creatures in which we share our home. I enjoy walking more. And that in turn helps me appreciate the environment more. Which inspires me to do more actions to preserve nature. Which gets me outside more. And the cycle continues on and on. I drive less, reduce my carbon footprint, increase my cardiovascular health, and actually double the benefits of exercise by doing it outdoors. What’s not to love?
More Ways to Optimize My Impact on the Planet
A healthy planet starts with a healthy me (and a healthy you). Eating and moving are just some of the pillars to a healthy, happy life. The true foundation upon which all fundamentals rest is sleep. Get enough rest, and many of the other elements all fall into place.
Believe it or not, I’ve found a way to connect sleep— along with dozens of other healthy habits– with conservation. Shutting down electronics at least an hour before going to bed, cooling our bedrooms, and minimizing noise and light are all ways to get a better night’s sleep. These methods are also small ways to reduce our energy use in the home.
Meditation helps us focus more, gives us clarity of mind, helps us solve problems, and enhances our mood. I liken it to station-training our brain. With these benefits, though, it’s easier for us to find solutions to environmental challenges we face. We are calmer, more positive, and more approachable. I think we can be better shining exemplars and influence others by meditating and walking the walk rather than just talking the talk.
+1 for the Planet
This second year as a coach, I’m taking things up a notch. I am looking for ways to influence not just my own life (eliminating sugar, cutting out television, spending quality time in nature and with my family). I’m looking to help change others’ lives as well. And after the most powerful graduation event (500 other Optimizers in one space, doing the Spartan race together as a team), I wanted to connect to other Optimizers…like, all the time.
I decided to try to organize an Eco-Optimizers group. And I laughed out loud when I read one of the other coach’s response. “Oh, I don’t do as much big-action conservancy work as you.” What? Me? Big-action?
I often forget how small little micro-wins add up. Over the years, little by little, I’ve removed palm oil, plastic, and now sugar from my diet. Not just for health reasons, but environmental. In fact, conservation was my main motive for getting healthy in the first place.
I ride my bike more than most people not because I’m a fitness nut, but because I am a polar bear nut. Connecting my actions to conservation and creating positive feedback loops where conservation reinforces my healthy behavior.
The Brian Johnson of Conservation
Often I watch Brian Johnson on Optimize and am just in awe of all his protocols and commitment to those protocols. And I think to myself what that one coach said of me- “I am not as big-action focused as he is.”
But Brian isn’t focused on big-action. He got that way little by little, spiraling up, +1– moment to moment. Just as I have in my conservation mindset.
Which basically makes me the Brian Johnson of conservation. You can make a huge difference, too. You don’t have to start at the highest level of conservation possible. We start where we are. Doing what we can.
How can you eliminate one car ride in your schedule this week? What one food product wrapped in plastic can you cut out of your diet? Can you shut down your electronics 10 minutes earlier tonight and go to bed earlier? What is one small thing you can do, starting today, starting right now that can have a positive impact on your health, and optimize your impact on the planet?
Sharing My Experience, Wisdom, and Love
I know I am doing great work. During the coronavirus quarantine, instead of gaining weight, I lost 25 pounds. I recently achieved my ideal waist-to-height ratio (waist less than half your height in inches). These gains have been incremental, and honestly, have compounded from literally years of working on my nutrition, exercise, and healthy habits. It’s not big-action. It’s a bunch of micro-wins, +1 here, +1 there.
But I have success. I have hope for my future and the planet. And I share my experience, wisdom, and love with others through ZooFit. Today, tomorrow, and forever.