Saturday, January 9, 2016

Healthy Intentions

The holidays are behind us and many of us have made our New Year’s Resolutions…and many of us have already broken them.  According to statistics, the top resolution people make is to lose weight.  They start the year doing just fine.  They’re eating healthy and working out.  And then it gets old, the temptation of all our favorite foods starts wearing on us, and then we’re right back where we started from.   I’ve been on this merry-go-round many times over the years myself and the only thing my resolutions gave me was a sense of disappointment and frustration. 

We think that the coming of each new year has some kind of magical quality to it and if we start something January 1 of each year, then we will magically be transformed and accomplish whatever it is we are hoping to do.  Actually, there is no such thing as time.  Time is just a man-made system to control…well…time.   In reality, what we think of as time is all the same to the Universe.  Therefore, we can really start any time we choose.

According to Vocabulary.com, the word resolution means, ‘a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner.’  We make a die-hard resolution, but when we blow it, we give up and go back to our old ways because we think it’s too hard to follow through.  What happens if instead of using the word resolution, we used the word ‘intention?’  Vocabulary.com describes it as ‘an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.’  The word intention doesn’t have the desperation or finality of resolution; therefore, it gives you a little more wiggle room to just try your very best.  If you goof up, you can just start over without the thought that you blew your New Year’s resolutions so you’re done with them until next year.

After just experiencing a bout of bronchitis over the holidays that left me hacking until I had a headache and broke out into a sweat, I’m more determined to get my health in order this year.  Like many, I ate way too much holiday junk food with the excuse that it’s the holidays, so if I want to enjoy the holidays, I have to eat all the holiday food.  Also, when I’m under stress and eat too much sugar, I usually get sick.  I have an Associate’s Degree in Natural Health and Nutrition; I know better, but I still do it. 

I also see way too many people around me who are struggling with the most awful health issues and they spend a lot of time and money at the doctor’s offices and/or hospitals.  Some get better, but many don’t.  Why?  It’s simple really.  We’re not being proactive in our own healthcare.  We’re eating and drinking whatever we want without any thought to consequences of ill health.  Many have become addicted to unhealthy foods and drinks and have no desire to eat healthier.  I’ve had an addiction to sugar and chocolate most of my life, so I know how it feels, and it can be just as difficult to overcome as alcohol or drugs.

On my spiritual journey, as I’m learning more about just how wonderful and magnificent we are as spiritual/human beings, I know how important it is to take care of these vessels that we were given while here on earth.  We’re only given one body in this lifetime and it’s up to us to take care of them.

Many know that I’m a vegetarian and I believe this is the healthiest way to eat, but I certainly won’t tell others what to do.  There are countless websites and health books out there and you can find one that resonates with you.  But we all know to cut out the high fats, sugars, white flours, fried and processed foods, and so on.  We also need to get our bodies moving.  If you don’t have time to work out but you do watch TV, then just get up during commercials and do a vigorous walk in place for each commercial for just one show. 

We can only do the best we can and we’re going to slip up here and there.  Being healthy mind, body, and spirit should be a priority in our lives.  Buddha said “To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”   Our body’s health definitely affects our state of mind.  When we’re healthy physically, we feel better mentally and emotionally, and it even affects our spiritual life for the better.  As the Arabian proverb states, “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”  

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper January 8, 2016.

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