Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Obesity is not the problem, it's the solution

             Yes, you read the title right. Obesity is not the problem in our bodies. Obesity is actually our bodies protecting itself from the chaos we put it through. I feel like the more I learn, the less I know. I’m constantly trying to learn more. In any free time I have in my crazy life, I’m most likely reading a book on nutrition or watching a documentary on the foods produced in this messed up world. In a way, I’ve actually done more harm than good by educating myself. A few months back, I actually gave myself an eating disorder of sorts. I was afraid to eat because I knew exactly what was in my food. I knew exactly what it was going to do in my body down to the cellular level. I was deathly afraid of carbs. Animal protein? Uhhh, no way. And don’t even get me started on fat! The problem is there is so much bullshit out there. How do we know what’s true and what’s not? We don’t. I truly believe we are, for the most part, completely fricken clueless when it comes to what is good for our body and what’s not. That’s why I stick to a diet based off of what Mother Nature has given to us (and yes, sometimes that includes locally grown, hormone free chicken or grass fed beef… sue me).
                I’ve had one single question since I started my research and studying on health and nutrition, a question that no matter where I looked I couldn’t seem to find the answer. There are people all over the world who live off of the earth. There are some people who live off of animal fats and muscle… And that’s it. And there are also people who only have fruits and vegetables available to them. If you look at these people, their diets are so different, but they all have two things in common; One, they are free of disease and illness and two, they don’t eat processed foods. No MSG, no hormones, there’s no antibiotics in their meat; there’s no chemicals in their fruits. They are, for the most part, CHEMICAL FREE. This is where the rest of the world fails. There is so many chemicals and just plain crap in the foods we eat. And the scary part is very few people are aware of it.
                I have people message me or come up to me and ask me questions all the time about my diet and exercise routine. My diet? Whole food. My exercise? I just move as much as I can. It’s literally that simple. But what people don’t understand is the whole foods part. I tend to get frustrated with people when they don’t understand. But I’ve recently come to the realization that when I first started this journey, I had no clue what was in food, what was good for my body and what happens to the food once it’s in my body. “Spirulina? What in God’s name is that? Wheat grass? Sounds like something I want to smoke. Kale? Ohh yeah that green shit, I’ve seen it.” It has taken me years of educating myself to fully grasp the concept. To most, it’s not that easy. For me, 5 years ago, it wasn’t easy either. I started out with weight watchers eating half a doughnut, counting my points and thinking I was healthy. I’m so angry that proper nutrition isn’t taught earlier in life… Or at all! We were always taught “drink your milk! Eat your dairy! Don’t forget to drink your orange juice!” It sickens me. People are clueless and it’s scary. Thank God the UK is now at the top of the list for the World’s Most Obese country and the US has been knocked down to number two. I’m ashamed to live in a country that has its priorities so fucked up. (New post about reasons to give up dairy coming soon!)
                Okay, I’m done ranting for now. I would like to write a whole post on the world’s obesity problems, but this post is an update on how my cleanse is going. I said I was going to write everyday but I found that this was way more personal than I thought it was going to be. I decided to write in the safety of my journal for the past two weeks instead. Most of the things I’m working on are not things I want to share with the public but I will say that the past two weeks have been one hell of an emotional roller coaster. This cleanse is a focus on me. Pampering myself, loving myself, learning thought processes that I never knew existed.  Learning to love myself has been the most difficult yet most empowering thing I have ever done. Years and years of self-doubt and self-consciousness has left my inner demons fighting every step of the way. Who knew it would be hard to like yourself?! As the days go by, I’m finding it easier and easier to say nice things to my body. Your cells have ears and their listening to everything you say!
                Taking time for me has also been a challenge. I’m so used to putting all my energy into making other people happy. I always ask myself “what will make them happy?” never before have I asked “what will make ME happy?” Funny thing is, when I asked myself that question, I had no clue what the answer was. That’s been a major focus for me. What the hell makes me happy? I actually had to sit down and write a list of all the things I love. It was harder than I imagined. This is what I came up with:
1)      Family time
2)      The sounds of a summer night
3)      Working out
4)      Walking
5)      The stars
6)      Getting lost in a book for hours
7)      Talking with a close friend
8)      Being outside
9)      Sunshine
10)   Fuzzy blankets
11)   Driving with the windows down and the music up
         Odd, yes. But these are the things that make me really happy. If I woke up tomorrow with only these things in my life, I would be content. I spend so much time focusing on others, I forget to do what makes me happy. Helping other people is easy, it’s what I’m good at. I love fiercely. Often times it gets me into trouble, other times, It’s the best quality about me. My life is focused around others. Even my job is about taking care of other people. Yes, I love taking care of other people, but there’s a time when taking care of me becomes more important. I can focus on me but still have time to make my mom dinner at the end of the day.  Balance. That’s what I’ve learned. My life needed balance.
        Through meditation, I’ve had a few unwanted emotions that I’ve been shoving down find their way out of my steel bolted wall. Some of which is bitterness and anger. I didn’t realize I was holding on to so many poisonous emotions until they came out. Bitterness from my past; all those people who’ve done me wrong, starting from the girls in middle school to the ass hole last week. I’ve been holding on to it. My body has been feeding off of it. One thing I had to focus on was forgiving. I sat down one night after work and wrote a letter to all the people who have hurt me in my life. I wrote down what they did, what I felt at the time, what I’m feeling currently and the last sentence always said “I forgive you and I forgive myself.” It took my hours. But when I was done, such an odd sensation came over me. Like running cold water over a burn; I felt relief… Some of the things I was writing down, I had completely forgotten about until that moment when it all came spilling out of my pen. So many things that I’ve shoved down hoping to forget all came pouring out. It was poison to my body.

        Learning to love, and actually love myself, not just saying it, was the biggest challenge by far. But it’s funny, the more you tell yourself how fucking awesome you are, the more you start to believe it. When I first started saying that I loved myself, there was always this voice in the back on my head saying “ha! How can you love those thighs? What about your man shoulders? What about the eyelid that droops lower than the other one? Who would love you?” After planting the thought of loving me into my head, overtime that voice got more and more quite. When I say that I love myself, I truly do. I appreciate my body for what it is and I accept myself; man shoulders and all. The concept of loving yourself is literally the key to everything. Hating yourself is like drinking poison every morning. It does you no good what so ever. Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience and what you will become in life. Just as the saying goes, “you are what you eat” You are also what you think. So think positive, think happy, think love, think laughter, think kind, think peace and think forgiveness. You might be surprised what these little changes in your thinking bring your way. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Power of Your Own Mind

             Aries Day 6: ‘My heart shares the joy I feel for my beautiful life.’  Words by aaryaa at aatmaani.com - astrology for Self-development.

              So for the next 21 days I’ll be embarking on a journey; a journey to heal my mind. I have a ton of goals for myself. Some of which I’ve had for a long time but have never seemed to be able to accomplish. For example, Yoga and meditation. I used to be the type of person who was so close minded to the power of such practices. My brother has been shoving meditation down my throat for years but the stubborn side of my brain kept telling him that it doesn’t work. It was only within the past few weeks that I’ve been seriously contemplating the idea. The more research I did, the more books I read, the more I started to be convinced. I realize now that the stubborn part of my brain is exactly the problem.
                I’m so tired of hating myself. No matter what I do, I can never seem to get past the same road block. I’ve had so many self-esteem issues my whole life. I’m ready to change that. I want to radiate positivity and I want my happiness to be contagious. I want to enrich the lives of the people who surround me. I want to get rid of the negative thoughts about myself and about others. I want to unlearn and relearn thought processes. I want to finally forgive the people who have done me wrong in the past and more importantly, I want to forgive myself for all those stupid things I’ve done. I want to get past my past. I want to move forward in my life.
                Driving has always been my escape. Never underestimate the power of just driving with the windows down and the music up. The other day, I was trying to clear my head, so I went on a drive. The weirdest thing happened to me. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with love. Love for my family, for my very few close friends, my many new friends, the trees around me, the sky above me and the ground below me. I was so filled with joy and love I almost broke down in tears. There was not a cell in my body that had hate, anger, sadness or bitterness. It was like a high I’ve never experienced before.  I want to feel like that all the time. I want to be the Justine that my mind has never let me become. I want to be happy.
               So for the next 21 days I’ll be cleansing. It’s not just a food cleanse, but a cleanse of my mind. A cleanse of negativity and anger; of sadness and of bitterness. I will learn to forgive, I will learn to forget and I will learn to love. I’ve never felt so sure of anything in my entire life. I’ve come so far in my journey to find optimal health and happiness. I feel like I’m so close to a break through. I just need to keep pushing. I will be writing every day for the next 3 weeks, so keep an eye out for my posts about progress. You better watch out, I might turn into a Yogi/Buddhist/hippy/meditation freak. Haha just kidding, that will never happen. I’m still a Pendletonian at heart. Now I’m just a Pendletonian with a twist! 
#journey #happiness #meditation