Last night I was listening to this talk on brain health while I was cleaning up my house and Dr. Amen said something that I thought was really powerful to share. It was fundamentally about finding out what makes you happy and what drives you forward in your life. He said;
“If you don’t live the message of your life, you are a bad messenger”
What do you really care about and what do you love? What would you do if there were no perceived limitations and money was no object? Whatever you really care about – well you need to live it!! You need to do it, you need to share it and you need to be it. Be the change!
Dr. Amen was relating this to health and how if you are working for a health company or if you care about other people’s health in any way you cannot be overweight – you are a bad messenger!
When I was at University studying business I took a special interest paper in nutrition. The lecturer probably had a doctorate in nutrition science but she was morbidly obese. She would huff and puff down and up the lecture hall steps and then she would talk a lot about the food pyramid and ‘functional foods’. She was completely stuck in the ‘science’ of food and not what creates great health. She briefly discussed vegetarianism as being a good healthy option but being very time consuming because of all the extra vegetable chopping! Something she didn’t have time for! If you don’t have time to change your diet and eat healthier now well one day sooner rather than later you might have no time left.
We have become so far removed from health in our society that we forget what healthy people and children look like! It is now ‘normal’ to be overweight and to have skin problems and to age prematurely due to the damage we inflict on our bodies primarily through lack of exercise, bad food choices and negative thinking.
I really think it all stems from brain health which is what Dr Amen was discussing. When you feel bad you don’t want to exercise or eat well. But how can our brains be healthy if we are eating food with a whole bunch of additives and living on pharmaceuticals? Every drug that you take armed with all of the food additives and pesticides makes for a deadly cocktail in our bodies – absolutely deadly. If we can’t think straight how are we going to be able to make good choices?
I think everyone has some huge aha moments throughout their life and I feel so so lucky that mine came early. When I was 18 I was in my first year of University and I felt really bad all the time. I was partying and drinking several nights a week, I went to lectures in the city during the day and was exposed to vehicle fumes and second-hand smoke, I wasn’t eating well, I always skipped breakfast and had trouble getting out of bed every morning. I was permanently on antibiotics due to repeated tonsillitis. There was a large Boarders bookshop near my university where I sometimes went on my breaks. One particular day I randomly ended up in the health section and picked up two books – one was on juicing and one was on how what you eat affects your mood, which I bought. For some reason, I felt really excited reading these books. I started making small positive changes in my diet and in my overall health from then onwards and it really changed my thinking.
It really is never too late to start making positive changes in our health. Little small changes every day are more sustainable and long lasting than making a huge change all at once. The amazing thing about positive change is that it has a ripple effect on everyone around you. Near the end of his talk, Dr. Amen talked about how we are all fighting against an unhealthy society and how we need to make every choice count not just for ourselves but for everyone else who depends on us! So powerful!
What changes are you making to become a wellness warrior in your own life?
(Photo: Carolinie Cavalli)