"How do you treat your body?"




There's an old adage; we are what we eat. What determines what we eat? We are given one body for life, and how we treat it will affect everything we do until the day we die.

Some regard their body as a temple, while others never stop and think about how they treat their body and end up abusing it. What makes us different?

One of the factors that determines how we treat our bodies is our perceptual filters. All information coming into the brain is filtered; some is allowed in, and other information is kept out. This is determined by a number of things – our socioeconomic status, where we live, our gender, our culture and our education are a few.

Our brains actively filter that incoming information so that it "makes sense" according to our values and beliefs. These filters play a huge role in how we live our lives. What we think about something influences how we feel about it. It doesn't matter whether our thinking is right or wrong.

For many, their diet changes monthly, simply because they believe the information that accompanies the latest fad – low fat, low carb, high protein, high fat or so on. All food contains one or more of the main elements necessary to maintain health. Even people with higher education can be susceptible to food fads and superstitions regarding food, even though these beliefs directly contradict the available science.

Emotions act as filters. An experiment was done by one university showing the effects of the emotional state on how the body responds to cholesterol. Actors were hired to play two couples who had been close friends for years. They were sharing pizza and talking about old memories. A blood sample was taken prior to the meal and another after the meal. The blood after the meal was tested for cholesterol. It was there, but when tested later, it had disappeared. Something had broken it down.

The experiment was repeated, but this time they were to act as if they were enemies instead of friends. They ate the pizza. This time, the cholesterol did not dissipate within the blood sample. The only variable was the state of mind, yet the cholesterol in the blood was measurably affected.

It becomes obvious that to really be healthy and do the best we can, we have to take into account beliefs and mental attitude concerning food. Your beliefs about why you eat what you eat (and the amount) as well as the quality of the water you drink, and the exercise you choose or shun, will all contribute to how well your body performs. It will also determine how long and how well your body serves you. If you examine these beliefs, it will help you understand why you don't eat those greens but have room for dessert!

Let's suppose you are given a car, and you are told it's the only one that you'll ever get for the rest of your life. This car must last forever, so you better look after it well. What kind of maintenance would you decide to do on this car? How would you drive it or take care of it? You will only have one body in this lifetime. The food you put in it is the fuel.

Are you going to use the good stuff, or the quick and the cheap? It's your choice!

Making small changes daily and monthly can add up.

Karen Russell Certified Health Coach/Nutritionist and owner of Karen's Gluten Free Living, Sedona, AZ



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