Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What is healthy living?

Silhouette of Scales with Business People on One Side and Childr
Silhouette of Scales with Business People on One Side and Childr

Does anyone know how to achieve healthy living? What does it mean anyway?
To some it relates to weight, nutrition and fitness. For me, it brings a sense of peace, tranquility and balance back into my life. But how to achieve it.
Here’s a little metaphor. Imagine a goldfish in a bowl, the glass is murky, the water is green with algae and try as it might, it cannot see a thing, it wades through muck where clean water should be and eventually it stops moving. The options for the fish are simple, stop moving, then die. Would you have noticed the fish?
Some of us might notice that a layer of grime is depositing on the bowl, others may not. And some may not even notice because they are too busy until the fish has stopped breathing and is floating on the top.
When you plant a little seed, it needs soil, light and water. When its a hot day and I walk in the polytunnel, I can visibly see what is happening to my plants, they wilt. To reach its inborn potential, each seed needs a variety of variants such as warmth, water and nutrition and if you miss one of these, you will grow differently. Some do not make it to germination, others die because a fungus attacks them, others flourish. Whats the difference?
I always had this idea that my weight was the problem and it is, but it was only a symptom of something not going quite right. I thought it was nutrition and to a certain extent, it was. The amount of sugar, fat and additives that have arrived in our foods are horrendous. They were placed there with the intention that ‘ that is what the customer wanted’ and in the meantime have done untold damage to our bodies. I have observed what sugar did to my body, how sugar influences the behaviour of my children and our brain chemistry. I am sensitive to foods and their toxins and I know that when I eat bread from a shop, I have a reaction. What exactly is in it? Why does it have to be that way?
The more sugar we eat, the more we want. Our bodies adapt and the mechanisms for turning starch into sugar switch off ( why would they bother if you are giving the body and instant fix). When that instant fix runs out, the body demands another fix, so you get cravings for chocolate and sweets. This happens because your mechanisms for turning starch into sugar have been turned off. Slowly but surely, we and our children, through fast foods, are becoming addicts. Addicts to convenience foods, addicts to quick fixes and we forget that our bodies have an ability to repair and nurture us. Slowly as the goldfish, we stop moving, we find breathing harder and we can no longer see the clear picture.
And you cannot just stop. Since your body has shut parts of it down and on the other hand screams for quick fixes, you feel trapped. When I was working full throttle ( and it was like that) I had the strange feeling that eating more would give me more energy. Wrong! The quicker the fix the better until I got to the stage of just breathing.
This may all be obvious to you but it was not to me. Noone had actually taught me how to look after my body. Do we teach our children? We try, there is a motion to get people to eat 5 a day, to move and drink more water. At the same time, our children spend a lot of time learning using their minds; their bodies and souls are left a bit behind. To function they need quick fixes and they are available> We would rather not deal with behaviour that is off the scale, we give in and lose our ability to say NO!
I have seen a gradual change in my children, they have calmed down, they want to go outside for cycle rides and they want to fulfill their potential. Lets make it easier and change the water.
Technology is a wonderful thing. New scales can now give you the information you need to see how much you weigh, what your bodyfat content is, what your hydration percentage is and how healthy your body is. Its not a case of eating more or depriving yourself of food, its a case of looking at what you put in your body as fuel and how you use your energy and finding a balance to enable you to see clear and fulfill your potential.
It sounds overwhelming and it is and yet, with every small step you take to change small aspects of the imbalance, the scales stop swinging madly and gradually reach a state of balance and calm.
Could that be healthy living? As an afterthought, could the earth similarly be out of balance?


Mimi said...

What is a polytunnel?

MacBerger said...

Thanks for your comments they were just what I was musing about this morning. I want to lose weight and eat better and respond to the symptoms and it is a lot scarried to look at why those things are so hard or why life got that this place anyway. Thanks for the brain candy.