I heard a wonderful speaker on Sunday and she gave me the idea for today’s message.
So many of us are always watching out for others, helping them, doing for them, yet we ignore our own health needs and body. However, if we aren’t well and strong, we can’t be of help to anyone, and we are doing a major disservice to ourselves.
A wonderful analogy she used was describing the acorn and how it is totally programmed to become the oak tree. It already knows how tall it will be, how many branches, how many leaves it will have…or the ducks egg, it is already programmed to have yellow feathers, orange feet, be so tall, so thick, etc. Look at every animal, it grows to look exactly like all of the other animals of its genre, the same with trees, plants, and so on.
In the same way, at conception our DNA laid out the color of our eyes and hair, how tall we will grow, the size of our hands and feet, and all the other physical aspects of our body.
We alter this plan by adding in foods that make us fat, or that put so many chemicals into our body that we can’t overcome the onslaught. Our cells begin to break down, or they mutate into something that isn’t natural to us. We develop diseases, many of which can be reversed by simply taking care of ourselves and loving ourselves enough to alter our environment in a healthy manner.
Unlike the birds, plants, and other animals, we also put our thoughts into the mix, which can then lift us, or drag us down. There is an amazing subject called psychoneuroimmunology. It’s incredible to read how our thoughts will alter our physical lives, even causing disease or death.
So, how do we nurture our bodies?
1. Drink lots of water. We are 80% water, and drinking too little water will cause dehydration, affecting our brain, heart, all of our organs, and even cause our skin to wrinkle.
2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein that hasn’t been bathed in toxins such as growth hormones and massive amounts of antibiotics. It is said that we are living in a sugar crisis, and when you add chemicals such as asparatame to the mix, we are poisoning ourselves. The less processed foods you eat, the healthier you will be, and the more raw foods you eat, the better your body will respond. As a nice side benefit, if you are overweight you will start to come down to your proper weight, without having to go through major dieting.
3. Exercise is something to many of us seem to either avoid altogether. I even know of a man who won’t drive on roads that are winding because he needs to keep turning the steering wheel!! (Really, this is the truth…talk about no exercise!)
You don’t need to become and endurance athlete or an Ironman Triathlete to stay healthy, and you don’t need to train for a marathon or other major athletic event. If you haven’t exercised in years, start simple, such as parking at the back of the parking lot or taking the stairs whenever possible. Do you love music, then dance around your living room. Or maybe you can just go to the neighborhood pool and do some water aerobics — they are fun, really beneficial, and you don’t even sweat!
Remember, after you exercise that you need to force out the lactic acid you developed. It’s easy to do yourself, and stops those aches and pains that can prevent you from enjoying your life.
4. Deep Breathe. Many people take shallow breaths that only fill the top of their lungs, preventing sufficient oxygen getting to all of the cells of their body. Here’s a trick: put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Now, breath so your top hand doesn’t move, and your bottom hand moves in and out as your belly expands from the deep breath. If you lie on your bed, or sit in your chair and breath this way for just a few minutes a day, you’ll immediately see a difference in the way you feel.
5. Be True to Yourself! Say “yes” when you want to do what someone is asking you to do….and have the courage to say “no” when you don’t want to do it. Many people are in circumstances where they are forced to put others ahead of their own needs, so much so that some people don’t even know their own likes and dislikes. Take some time alone and start to ask yourself questions, such as “how do I feel about rain? …the ocean? …dogs? …what type of music do I really enjoy?” There are some good books out to learn about yourself.
6. Meditate. Even if this means just turning off the TV and other noise and being quiet in yourself for a few minutes a day. Eventually let that time expand so you will be able to calm the “100 monkeys making popcorn” in your brain.
7. Have Some FUN! Laughter adds years to your life, and it feels so good. Watch a funny movie, read the comic cards in the card store, find a friend who laughs a lot, and spend some time together.
You are a magnificent person, come to know who you are, care for yourself, and allow you to love yourself unconditionally!