How closely have you been looking at your own health? Human beings have an innate ability to tell themselves little white lies, to listen to the noise inside their minds rather than the quieter voice deep within. We choose not to listen when we have our fourth or fifth beer. We look away from our waistlines when ordering fast food.
But what is the cost of overlooking our health? And to what degree should we really be treating our bodies as temples if we also want to have fun? What we are missing is the understanding of how good we feel when our health is in order, and how much it resonates with every single aspect of our lives. When we feel good, we look good. When our inner health is in alignment, our minds are healthy too. We are open to the positives in life, and we are ready for the challenges.
When we are young, it is all too easy to feel invincible and to think that we will always be free of care when it comes to our health. But those who are smart will pay attention to their bodies and reap the benefits in later years.
You get out what you put in
Chinese herbalist Chung Lin once said that we shouldn’t treat the things we ingest as “good” or “bad,” merely as “strong” or “weak.” Things such as alcohol or fatty foods are considered strong, so we should only have a little. Fruit and veg are considered weak, so we can consume more.
The lack of processed food, chemicals, pollution, and other environmental factors was sufficiently lower some decades ago. When humans had less exposure to these things, it mattered less that they smoked or drank. The food was what we now call organic and the air was cleaner. In general, even if a person did smoke, it was not adding to an already-polluted system.
Nowadays, there are so many preservatives and chemicals in everything that we have to actively search to lead an organic and unprocessed existence. Body types vary and some people can tolerate much more abuse to their system than others. Some people have healthier organs to begin with. Yet on a whole, the person who realises early that they need to take care of their body and be conscious of what goes into it is the person who will get the most out of life.
Rock Stars vs Health Stars
“Live fast, die young,” was the motto — is the motto — of many young stars. Youth is wasted on the young, so they say. So who are some good examples of people who have seen the error of their ways, perhaps in the nick of time?
Movie star and singer Jennifer Hudson lost 80 pounds after joining Weight Watchers and dramatically reducing her food intake. “I throw the pancakes across the room!” she confessed to Yahoo! Style, regarding her way of approaching things that aren’t good for her. “I don’t let the food intimidate me. If it’s too much, I just get rid of it, but I make sure to watch what I put in my body.”
Singer Lana Del Rey was an alcoholic at the age of 14 but managed to clean up her act and become sober by the age of 18, enabling a maturity beyond her years and a successful career that has persisted into her 30s. “I was a big drinker at the time,” says Del Rey. “I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on ‘Born To Die’ is about these wilderness years.”
Nutrition is a form of education, and we should always be encouraged to listen to our bodies and what they are telling us. Living fast and dying young may seem glamorous in the throes of youth, but it’s those who understand what’s important and prioritize health that get the most out of life in the end.
- Try to eat fruit and vegetables with every meal, or try mostly veg on your plate.
- Learn about nutrients and what foods are good for you.
- Exercise a little bit every day.
- Find things that make you laugh.
- Exercise positivity — be mindful of negative thoughts.
- Keep “strong” foods to a minimum.
- Find your healthy balance between what you love to do and what is good for you.
- Listen to your body and what makes it feel good!
Featured photo credit: Pablo via pablo.buffer.com