By Jamie Kirk
It’s funny how when you are younger, the stuff our parents said did not make sense. It sounded like they were Charlie Brown’s teacher (you know that irritating voice from all the TV specials). I often reflect on the little clichés and little pearls of wisdom that I was too young and stubborn to digest – and one of the many that rings true is that the “inside reflects the outside.”
This has so many meanings, but the most poignant one is that what is going on inside of us, manifests on the outside of us and vice versa. Our bodies are a machine, and if you put junk in it, junk will come out of it. If you are full of worry and bitterness, it shows up in your relationships with family and friends. If you are unforgiving and mean-spirited, you seldom have good luck (if you believe in luck) and infrequently are presented with opportunities to seize.
Equally is true if you are sowing seeds of peace and joy, you tend to attract a certain type of energy into your space. If you volunteer in your community and give to people less fortunate, you tend to be treated differently by strangers.
Notice how you feel after a large pizza versus how you feel when you eat a kale salad with apples. It is VERY different. The salad will leave you fulfilled, but most of us feel lighter and energetic. However, when you devour a pizza, with all the trimmings, you feel lazy and unmotivated.
When you don’t manage your eating habits, you are asking for trouble. When you are maintaining a healthy diet, you are indeed treating your body like a temple, and your body will respond accordingly. Our bodies have a way of showing us when we need water when we have consumed too much alcohol, when we have had too much sugar, too many carbs, and have been heavy on the salt. You may not believe this, but you can tell by looking at a person’s eyes if they drink or smoke too much. You can tell by a person’s fingernails if they are drinking enough water, and you can most certainly tell by a person’s “tire” if they have too many sweets at the midnight hour.
Instead of showing people what we are not doing, we should show them how well we can take care of ourselves. Show them how you have the energy to work out in the morning because you are eating healthy snacks. Show them how glowing your skin looks because you are eating foods high in antioxidants. Show them the muscle in your arms, legs, and abs, because of the protein you are consuming at moderate levels. Show them how healthy your hair looks and feels because of the amount of fish you have consumed.
And that’s just the outside. Eating healthy will in most cases help you become more engaging with others, being more pleasant and realizing that things are happening through you and not to you. Putting the “right” foods in your body will help you make better decisions because you won’t be operating out of fear. Good food equals better brain power, so folks will think you’re brilliant.
There is no quick fix for living a more productive and rewarding life. Life is filled with good days and bad days. While eating healthy is just one piece of the “living my best life” puzzle, it is one that we can control. Let’s be more intentional in our choices. Being deliberate to refrain from the third cup of coffee and getting an all-natural drink. Being deliberate to refrain from a bag of chips and a soda and going to get mini snacks and water. Just really being intentional at being happy and uplifting to others by eating in moderation and not eating until our bellies are full. We have the control; we just have to exercise it, even when no one is looking, by making good choices.
Okay, that’s enough of a sermon, just wanted to get the message across that the outside and the inside are more connected than we think. We have the choice to put in our bodies whatever we want. Just realize that how we value our health, has a direct impact on how much we value ourselves.