I’ve come to a place where my health is so important to me. Some people think it’s an obsession, others think it’s kinda cool, but majority of the people I know just don’t get it. For the longest time, I neglected my body. I shoved junk food in but still wanted my clothes to be like a size 4. I didn’t exercise or have a generally healthy lifestyle for most of my life. Until recently. I decided to make a lifestyle change but not because I wanted a ‘summer bod’ or because I wanted to shed a few pounds. I genuinely wanted to change my body. Give it a complete makeover and take care of it while I’m here on this earth.
This is not a popular option for most people in their 20s. I made excuses for myself when I went out to eat by telling myself it was okay to eat chips & salsa because that’s what you do at El Nopal and that’s what tastes good and that’s what other people I’m with are doing. It wasn’t until today that I realized I really DON’T have to eat foods that everyone else is eating. I don’t have to do what everyone else does. I can make my own way and my own path, although less traveled, for the sake of my health. In a world of growing health issues, generational diseases, and more, it’s time to take back my health.
Listen, I used to be one of those people who thought jokes like this were funny.
But deep down I wanted to be in better shape than I was willing to admit. I wanted the healthy look without all the work. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s a response from a typical product of the immediacy culture. But I am here to say NO MORE. I am taking action for a long term healthier lifestyle.
When you’re 16, you think you’ll be and feel that way forever, but you don’t and physically can’t. You grow up and unfortunately grow out too. When you’re 16, you truly don’t care that fast food is ruining your ability to function later in life. I know this all seems dramatic and I’ve been there too. I used to think people always made things out to be more serious than it actually was. But truthfully, I was in denial. I honestly didn’t know how food really affected me and my ability to function everyday until now. For example, everything good that comes from life must be taken care of and kept after. Flowers die without the right kind of sunlight and temperature. Pets wouldn’t make it without the food and care from their owners. It’s literally the same concept with food and our bodies. We can’t survive in life without the right conditions.
We’ve accepted that grocery stores sell us food that have a shelf life of 7 years. We’ve accepted that it’s okay to buy food that someone else made in some dark, cold factory in mass production. We’ve let major companies dictate where we spend our money just so we can get energy from a sugar high. They want us to be addicted. It’s actually scary to see how the food industry controls where we spend money. Think about it people!! It’s mad that we let random people make what goes in our bodies everyday all for the sake of a quick sale! I know it’s nearly impossible to completely cut ties with these types of food, but it’s definitely food for thought.
I believe in questioning the norms. Let’s ask questions instead of just doing what everyone else does or tells us to do. We’ve let sugar, processed foods, and the companies they come from, control our lives. It’s not always easy to live a healthy lifestyle, especially when our world is literally filled with all the wrong foods, but it is possible. And is most definitely rewarding.
This is a side by side body scan of the inside of a 250 lb woman (left) and a 120 lb woman (right).
*PSA: this post is not a body shaming post but an alarming reality about how we treat our bodies with the food products we eat.*
Despite these thoughts, I’m really no expert. I’m still in the process of detoxing my body from all the fake food that doesn’t actually satisfy my body. If I ever need a reminder, I look at the rolls of fat on stomach, legs, and arms. Then I remember that that cookie I ate when I was 12 is probably still lingering on my body. That’s not what I signed up for when I ate that cookie. I really just wanted to taste it without actually dealing with consequences of fat. Oh hey, I spy another response from a product of the immediacy culture. But somehow cookies STILL scream at me to eat them. Chips and salsa still excite me when I think about them. That flavor is still so dang good. There is a time and place for those comfort foods and it’s not multiple times a day.
We can make excuses like, “I’d rather die a fat, happy 55 year old gal who ate whatever than live to be 75 by eating salad and being miserable all the time” but that’s TWENTY YEARS you can add to your life for the sake of you AND your family, not just for you! AND who says eating salad makes you miserable?? The energy and nutrients from eating foods that are good for you make feel so good throughout the day. Healthy foods have always gotten a bad rep. And the the problem is that we’ve tasted the ‘forbidden fruit’ and can’t go back to what our ancestors thrived on. We’re addicted to sugar, simple carbs, and empty calories. We might as well stick a needle in our arm and let it run through our bloodstream.
PEOPLE, we can fight against this! We can go back to what was literally here for us from the beginning. God put fruits, vegetables, and plant based foods here for a reason. There is a way to heal our bodies, heal our sickness, heal our depression, heal our addictions. But it takes awareness and it takes A LOT of work and commitment. We can’t do this alone. I’ve tried and failed so many times. Support is absolutely vital for this lifestyle. There will be hard days and maybe even some relapses, but it is possible to fight this addiction and let our bodies reward us with a satisfying life.