I am reading a book at the moment called Shape Shifter, by Geoff Thompson, it's a 'self help' book. I used to read a lot of these types of books when I was younger, trying to learn of better ways to live my life. I also went to night classes and did Psychology, Stress Management, and Counselling. I realised quite early on that the only person who is responsible for how my life turns out, is me.
Chapter three in the book is titled, Food for Thought, and opens with the words, 'You are what you eat'. Dont you just get fed up of hearing that, it's rammed down our throats every day in the media. The government plays God by preaching what we should and shouldn't be eating, and that excess alcohol, drugs, junk food, and smoking is bad for us. We have heard it that often, we don't listen any more.
I hope Mr Thompson does not mind if I borrow a few words from his book, he talks a lot of sense in a simple language.
"Mahatma Gandhi believed that the secret to building unlimited holistic success was in developing the correct palate. If you control your palate, he taught, then all the other senses will fall into line. When you control the senses you control yourself and once you can control yourself you can control the world. However, if you cannot control something as basic as the food you eat how are you ever going to get your head around the big issues such as health, wealth, and happiness?"
"What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat fundamentally affects who you are and what you think. The wrong foods - or even the right foods eaten in heavy portions, can force the body out of it's natural state of balance. This makes it difficult to think positively, and makes it almost impossible to function normally."
I haven't enough room here to go into great detail, but the main message in this chapter is that food is purely fuel for the body, that's all. It's not about never having a beer, or a pizza, or a pudding. It's about moderation, about not eating food that your body does not need, taking the pressure off an overworked digestive system.
I don't have a relationship with food, it does not rule my life, I am not constantly thinking about it, and I am certainly not addicted to it. Food is the fuel that keeps me alive, so I try and eat the best I can. OK, I ocassionally fall off the wagon, too many crisps, too much chocolate, but these instances are becoming less and less, and I am pleased with myself when I pass them by on the supermarket shelf. I am also pleased that I view smoking as poisoning the body, so I have never indulged, neither have I dabbled with drugs, for this activity poisons the mind as well as the body. My little pleasure is an ocassional can of cider, or a bottle of wine, I only drink them because I like the taste, not because of the effects they might have. Of course all this is no guarantee that I will live to a ripe old age, at the end of the day it's the cards you are dealt, but I do hope that if I look after myself it will help.
You might be wondering where all this psychological (I call it comonsense) talk is leading. I feel very sad when I hear of people who have wrecked their lives through over indulgence. Very sad that people have neglected to look after their own bodies. It's even more heart breaking when you know a member of your own family is heading down the road to self destruction, and you can only stand by and watch them throw their lives away.
I heard yesterday that my brother, who lives in India, is dying of cancer. Sadly it is too late for him. I have known for many years that his unhealthy lifestyle would be his downfall, but I could do nothing. He is only 59, and I may never see him again.
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