Let’s start out with a little visualization. How do you feel when you know you’ve eaten too much food? How do you feel after you’ve exercised and eaten well? That in short should give you the answer to the question posed in the title, but I’m going to take that a step further.
Every day we make choices, what to wear, who to talk to, how to spend our free time, how to spend our time at work. Each one of these choices contribute to our well being. Some things we have little control over, such as what assignments we are given at work. But others, like what we eat and how we spend our free time, are completely up to us.
Food is one of the essences of life. Many of my best memories have centered around food. I have emotional connections to certain meals. I like to eat. But that doesn’t mean that food should control my life.
It seems like we are often told that in order to live healthy lives we have to give up the foods we love. That, to me, isn’t healthy. If you feel forced to give up all the food you love, how likely are you to return to it in a weak moment? In my personal experience, the answer is very likely.
Living a healthy life, and that includes living with your mental well being, shouldn’t be about swearing off your favorite foods. It should be about finding that balance that gives you the tools you need to be healthier and live happier.
There’s this book out there called French Women Don’t Get Fat, I’ve only read snippets of it, but what I’ve read rings true. French women don’t deny themselves the food they love. Seems contradictory to losing weight, doesn’t it? But here’s the kicker, they only eat three meals a day.
French women don’t snack, and French women rarely have dessert. Their children are only allowed one snack per day as well. They have three square meals and they take their time eating them. They enjoy their food more than most and eat the things they love. Not only do they eat at regular times during the day, but they eat slow enough that they fill up faster. This keeps them thin.
The other thing about French Women, they don’t exercise. But they do walk everywhere they go, and they buy lots of fresh ingredients for their meals. It’s not about going to the gym, it’s about moving more. That’s what French women know.
Getting healthy shouldn’t be about going on crash diets to starve yourself. Getting healthy should be about changing the way you look at food and exercise. No one who’s lost weight, and kept it off, has gone on these crazy binges of eating nothing. It’s about changing your mental attitude, and adjusting the way you live.
Happiness and health come in the same neatly wrapped bow. We can have both, but we need to change our perspective about what healthy is, and start living it. Only then will we find true happiness in our lives.