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Friday, November 11, 2011

Bushido was the code of conduct of feudal Japan.  The Samurai, or warrior class of the society was held to strict standards.  Much of that is recorded in a book called "Budo Shoshinshu", written by Daidoji Yuzan.  The translation of this book, entitled The Code of the Samurai, starts out with a statement that seems confusing, but has incredible significance to one's daily life.  "One who is a samurai must before all things keep constantly in mind, by day and by night.....the fact that he has to die."  Sounds morose, I know.  If you keep this in your mind, as you go about your day, however, you will live a much better life.  

     The idea behind this is that you must live............REALLY live your life.  You have a duty to yourself and to those around you to be healthy and fit, to be productive.  You want to die, whether it is unexpectedly from some tragic incident, or at age 105 quietly in bed, knowing that you did right by your life.  If you have had, at some point, an incredibly busy day where you accomplished a lot, you naturally feel good at the end of the day.  You can't help it.  We were designed to work, to be productive, to be healthy and fit.   With the right mind-set, you can be productive in many regards no matter your physical condition.  You only have a duty to, as the Cub Scouts' motto reads: "Do your best."    That's all anyone can ask.   To do your best, though, you need to give your body what it requires.  Good food, plenty of exercise, good sleep.     Forget about "dieting".  That's a great way to make yourself miserable for a while, to yo-yo up and down with your weight, and a way to spend a few hundred dollars on some "plan".   Sit down, figure out your caloric need, adjust it for your physical activity, plan a small calorie deficit, as I've shown in other posts, and stick to it.  Eat what your body wants and needs.  No more, no less.  If you go over a bit, ramp up your physical activity for the day.  Your body will find its way back to a healthy weight level.

      The samurai knew that they had a duty to their superiors to be able to produce.  Activities that rendered the body inefficient, such as inactivity and overeating were not favored.  You have a duty to be able to perform up to your particular level of physical activity, if the need arises.  The main benefit of being able to fend for yourself, as your ancient ancestors did, is that you will feel better, both mentally and physically.  If you get a chance, read "The Code of the Samurai".  It may give you some perspective.  You can find it on the  "I Recommend" link to Amazon on the lower right side of this page.

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