4 Pillar Plan, Dr Chattergee

I know, I know, another year another self help book. Last year I read a book about happiness and gleaned only suggestions to declutter (which never happened), photograph children’s art work and order photo books (which equally never happened but I think is an excellent idea) and I was inspired to read more and blog about children’s books. It hasn’t exactly changed my life but you have to keep going.

The Four Pillar Plan is about health and was bought primarily because I like a bloke off the telly. Surely this can’t be as bad as the 5:2 diet book or Davina’s Sugar Free recipes, both of which have been consigned to the charity shop box.

On the upside I read this one in a single day and loved it. I really think it could work if only I had some will power. I haven’t really starting doing any of it (obviously) but in theory…

The idea is there are four pillars of health and if you don’t focus on any one of the pillars it may adversely affect your health. Dr Chattergee strongly believes lifestyle is the biggest medical problem out there and it makes sense to me. I’ve done a bit of a personal lifestyle assessment so here goes.

  1. Sleep – I can sleep for England. I’ve also been ill and haven’t slept properly in quite a while so it’s hard to tell how bad my sleep is. I think it’s ok though. He gives loads of hints and tips and I’ve hardly done any of them yet, apart from ‘no tech 90’ (no computer or phone for 90 minutes before bed) and no phone/computer in the bedroom. I haven’t cut TV out for the 90 mins yet but you have to start somewhere. This morning I would have reached for my phone first thing but it wasn’t there so I reached for a book, read two chapters then fell asleep again which definitely isn’t what he was getting at, but I appreciated the extra rest. He also likes naps and I’ve been doing that for most of the last month. Ok so he also wants me to wake up early and at the same time every day but man it’s still the holidays. I’m also doing a gratitude journal before bed which I’ve done before but never stuck to – it’s supposed to put you in a positive place before you drop off. At his suggestion we are also doing a chat at dinner about what’s made us happy, how we’ve made someone else happy and what we’ve learned. So far we’ve learned that I cook too much and the girls need to empty their own bins.
  2. Relaxation – again not something I really struggle with – I do have quite a bit of time for myself although I don’t always spend it effectively. I’m spending more time playing piano and reading and more blog posts (which I imagine could get annoying) but hey it’s a hobby. I’m going to schedule in meditation too since it can’t hurt.
  3. Food – well this is a chuffing nightmare. I’m supposed to limit processed food (not too hard) and sugar (ridiculously hard), but I only got the end of the box of After Eights last night and I’ve got a chocolate orange and a bag of chocolate coins to go. Also God knows how I get my youngest daughter to eat cabbage, kale and broccoli but I’ll be presenting it in a variety of hidden ways and bribing her with millipedes or something. I’m not going on a diet ever again so this needs to be a proper change. I’ll learn to embrace the spinach if it kills me (surely it can’t be that bad).
  4. Exercise – this one is vital. I feel like I haven’t moved in a month at least. I’m tired and achey. Although last night I dreamt I’d broken a rib from all the coughing so at least my stomach muscles have been getting a workout. The nice thing is this book isn’t telling you go and run 10k a day (I mean who would, right?) but it does tell you to do glute exercises for a couple of minutes a day, up the movement (walk in the morning) and fit in some HIIT (eek this is a problem I admit but I’ll start with the walking…)

My husband (when fit and well) is hopeless at sleeping and relaxation can be a challenge. He has 3 and 4 covered though, where I’m completely the opposite. I’m sure my two are way harder than his.

This isn’t a resolution by the way. If it were I’d have chuffed it up already. It simply seems like a good, not impossible idea and doesn’t involve me running a marathon or drinking kale smoothies.


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