John McCabe, a raw food author made this statement recently:
People shouldn’t think about following a healthful diet as a restriction. If anything, an unhealthful diet is restrictive. An unhealthful diet restricts you from experiencing the amazing health you can own by following a healthful diet. In fact, the more healthful your diet, the better and less restrictive your life can be. The healthful diet opens doors, and eliminates restrictions."
When you look at the above photograph, it becomes clear that our everyday choices, one by one, add up until one day they reach critical mass and become our reality. Now, I'm sure the woman on the left didn't realize that that's what she was choosing each time she either smoked or ate unhealthy food, and yet, on some level, I'm sure she knew, but just was in denial that it would happen to HER because it was so far off.....until that day of reckoning came...
We have so many conflicting desires:
We want to fit in and eat what everyone else is eating--not always just because it tastes good, but because we have a desire for connection and don't want to stand out as different.
We want to be healthy and fit, but we also want our houses and cars and lifestyle which requires us to work long hours in jobs that may not support those goals...and we haven't made good health our top priority.
Then there's the seductive food labeling...which is downright misleading and often omits valuable information. Did you realize that a movie theater popcorn contain this many calories?
But, ultimately, at the end of the day, we are creating our lives, one day at a time, one bite at a time and our attitudes become our reality.
Do you have an attitude of deprivation and scarcity when it comes to diet and exercise?
Most people do. When rewatching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, it was interesting to hear the viewpoints most people have towards their health and diets and how fatalistic they were and how they were unwilling to give up their "comfort" foods.
The process of change is both and art and a science. An art, in that we need to relearn how we view things and see it from a different perspective and a science, in that it's GOOD information that gets us there....
We don't truly know how bad these foods are for us and how good the healthy foods are for us because the true art, or shall I say, CON JOB, has been done by the slick marketers on us since birth and through McDonald's attaching our emotions of security, comfort and feeling nurtured to foods and substances that do anything BUT.
Learning to see the truth requires an act of will and of courage. An act of will since as you can see from the above video, the information isn't always readily available.
An act of courage because you may be the only person on your block who knows this information and is acting on it and you may be viewed as weird by those who haven't seen what you've seen yet.
That's okay. They will see your decision in your new glow, new energy, new slenderness, new youthfulness.
It is encumbant on the rest of us, however, to share what we know with our neighbors and friends because it's the right thing to do; what they are eating is hurting them and their families and causing needless suffering.
Hurt feelings now are nothing compared to the suffering of a child with cancer or a young woman grieving the loss of a mother to breast cancer who won't be able to attend her wedding.
Our life choices in this area make THAT BIG of a difference.
Self-love and self-care mean making these choices for yourself...and also indirectly giving permission for others by seeing your example by making it "cool" to eat fruits and vegetables and sharing with them how to eat them (most people don't know what a persimmon or real fig look like).
Exercising is also something that most people view as a waste of their time. Many would rather go to a dentist.
Sadly, they don't appreciate what they have until it's gone and then they become a burden to family and their world's become very small, indeed.
What is it that you want out of life? What is your life purpose? Why are you here on this earth? Who would grieve your loss if you were gone? Who's lives would be impacted without you in it?
Answering those tough questions brings into clear focus our "why" for finding the inner strength for loving ourselves enough to be our best.
I love being strong and fit. I have planted fruit trees that I would like to see mature. I have four cats that depend on me for their survival and to have a good home and have become quite attached to me. I take an interest in widows and people without their own families and those people would not have my companionship if I were gone.
I am married to a wonderful man of 20 years who grew up with a very sick mother who died young and he deserves a healthy wife.
I have no mother or father or children to take care of me when I get "old" and thus need my health to be vibrant into my vital years....
I need to be a healthy example to those that I come into contact with on a daily basis so they can see it CAN be done and my purpose in touching lives and helping making it better will be realized...
We can change. We do it all the time. Habits and familiarity are good because they bring about stablility and predicability, but we can find new ways of enjoying life that are also good for us.
We can redefine what's "cool" and what's "fun" and we don't have to let the TV or media do it for us. In fact, get off the couch, turn OFF the TV and go outside and plant a garden and live your own life and ride your bike down by the river....with someone you love...
There are thousands of people across the country, in fact, the world, who are not waiting for someone else to live their lives for them, but are creating the kind of lives they want just by setting small goals and reaching out for them one day at a time..
You CAN do this. No matter how many times you may have failed before, THIS time will be different.
Choose life. Choose vibrancy. Choose joy. Find your purpose and go out and SHINE....