I know that this is on your mind because it’s on mine sometimes. I definitely thought about it more before I decided to get healthier. What is the point of spending more money on organic food? Hadn’t my grandmother lived all these years without it?. Also aren’t we constantly getting conflicting information about what’s healthy and not? Ugh. In the past, I would take something out of my diet momentarily, not see any changes and then use that as an excuse to indulge more. We are always hearing about people who live a healthy lifestyle, eating well and exercising and then drop dead at a young age from a heart attack. In my career as an addictions therapist I have definitely seen many people ravage their body, existing on coffee, Skittles, cigarettes and other substances and continue to keep on trucking. Where’s the justice? I used to think if I wasn’t going to be granted a long life, well why not just live for today? I mean isn’t that what mindfulness is all about? Live in the present. Well this is what I learned along the way….
For me, I don’t eat healthy and exercise to live a long life.. I have no idea when or how I am going to go. I just accept that this is part of the life cycle. It’s gonna happen one way or the other. I do these things because I care about how I feel now. When I ate whatever I wanted, my quality of life was poor as I often felt ill, tired and cranky. I had no idea why. Doctors sure had no answers. They threw a label on it and told me that it was due to stress and emotions. In the mid 90’s they suggested a low fat diet (well that was all the rage then) and I lost weight. If you know me, you know that my constitution is petite. It’s genetic and also a result of living an active lifestyle. For me losing any significant weight loss is not pretty. It wasn’t until I sought out the help from holistic practioners that things shifted. If I continued to only seek out help that was covered by my insurance then I would still be sick today that’s for sure. Putting energy (and that includes $) into your health is key if you are going to move towards a better quality of life.
Quality of life, for me, has become very important. I am realizing more and more as time moves forward that the way I had been living in my last chapter was stifling my spirit. I now look forward to sitting down and having a cup of virtual tea with you all and talking health. Ideas to share with you come up spontaneously throughout my days. So much that sometimes I have to take out that little note sectioned in the handy IPhone and write down ideas. This was never the case when I was feeling sick, stuck and angry. This is why I have chosen to call myself an Integrative Wellness Therapist. Wellness is about overall health. To me the term connotes a sense of quality of life. Sometimes when we hear wellness we think longevity but mostly we think a life well lived. I used to think a life well lived was eating a lot of my own baked goods, tons of cheese, amazing fresh baked bread, pasta, etc. Now that I am healthier, I realize that it’s the absence of the symptoms I have that help me live a good life.
And to cap this all off, I will say I did a mini interview with my grandmother yesterday. She is 93 turning 94 soon. She has lived a long healthy life. She eats “macaroni” regularly, indulges in some yummy scali bread regularly and has a glass of wine with dinner. I asked her what has kept her healthy all these years. She just looked at me like I asked her some ridiculous question. (she is a very funny lady:) All she could talk about was all the fun she had over the years with her sisters and my grandfather. She talked about bowling, laughter, getting together for dessert at each other’s houses, etc. I mention this because in today’s day and age of eat this, don’t eat that obsession over eating healthy. Eating healthy is nice but living a loving life to coin a pop culture phrase….is priceless.
A life well lived comes down to a life lived with love. My post yesterday, Give me Some of that Good Ole’ Lovinsays it all. When it comes down to it, it’s love that makes the difference in a life well lived. So be mindful of what you eat. Choose choices that make you feel alive but above all get yourself some that of that good good lovin!