Big Life with Ray Waters Neal Campbell no

Disclaimer – I am not a doctor…..I’m guessing you probably knew that….

Health and wellness were not on my radar for most of my adult life. I had been an athlete growing up, but once I stopped competing in sports I completely stopped exercising. As for my diet…..I love food. I come from a family of big people (most of my dad’s aunts weighed over 200 pounds) that loves food. I like eating when I am happy, sad, depressed, energetic, frightened, alone, etc…you get the picture.  Food has been my friend.

The combination of not exercising and eating too much of the wrong types of food led to me putting on two to three pounds of extra weight a year for about 30 years. You can do the math. It is not good. So a few years ago, I realized it was time to get a handle on my health and wellness. If I want to live a big life I need to make sure my health is as strong as it can be. I can’t travel the world and do the things I want to do if I am grounded because of my health.

I am grateful for doctors and medicines. But, sadly many people I know depend on the medicines without first seeing if they can affect a physiological change with their own behavior.  I discovered from reading countless studies, books, and blogs that the best place to begin was the food I was eating and the exercise I was getting. I don’t want to depend on meds to keep me healthy if I can get the same results by eating clean foods and having a daily workout routine. I have known people who have been on up to 20 medications a day for years, suffering chronic pain, barely able to work. And, I have seen some of those people change their diet and within a few weeks see the pain leaving and in a few months be completely off of most of their meds. It happens all the time.

The food you put into your body really matters.

I’m aware of the fact that why people eat more than they should is a very complex psychological issue.  I’m not going to tease out all of the complexities of that in this blog. You and I know obesity is one of the biggest problems facing our society. More than ⅓ of all American adults are now classified as obese. Approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) children and adolescence aged 2—19 years are obese.

Please don’t think that my primary concern for you or me is that if we are heavier, fashionable clothes no longer hang well on our overweight bodies.  The consequences are much more far-reaching than that, including increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and some forms of cancer now being related to obesity.

And for you skinny readers who have great metabolisms, there is even something called skinny obesity where the weight doesn’t show up on you but because of the food you eat your insides are aging at an advanced rate.

Food is not just about calories. It determines how you are going to feel during your day. I know many who suffer from what I call FLC syndrome.

FLC Syndrome – You just ‘feel like crap’ –  and much of that can be traced to what we eat. The strongest drug you can take is the food you eat. It has the power to change your brain chemistry and your hormones. It can work for your good or for your bad. If you put junk in you’re going to get junk out.

Here’s a good rule.  If it was made in a plant don’t eat it, if it was grown on a plant from the earth eat it.

It’s so simple…. Look at foods…. If it’s an apple there’s no ingredient list, there’s no nutrition facts label and there’s no bar code on it. It’s just a big red delicious piece of fruit. Eat what is natural. When you do that it’s not just so that you can lose weight. It can transform your life and begin to repair your body.

The opposite of this is to eat what typical Americans eat. Fill your body with high processed carbohydrates, soft drinks, fast foods and excessive alcohol. And you know what that leads to….THE FLC SYNDROME . You feel like crap and you’re sitting on the couch all the time unable to get up. You can’t do anything to live a full life.

Dr. Daniel Amen is an American psychiatrist, a brain disorder specialist, director of the Amen Clinics, and a New York Times bestselling author. He recently said, “There are two hundred studies now that report that as your weight goes up, the actual physical size and function of your brain goes down.” If you have a fast food diet, odds are you’re going to have a fast food mind.

Helpful Hint — I am successful in my eating when I fill my house with good healthy things to eat. Things like fruits, vegetables and high quality meats now fill my cupboard. Look online to discover the good foods list and just flood your refrigerator, your pantry, your office, your backpack, your car, your cubicle and your purse with good food. Then you never have to go hungry.  After a few days of eating clean, your palate starts changing and it’s wonderful how good the healthy foods begin to taste. How amazing would it be if you craved the stuff that actually makes you feel good and have energy and vitality at the end of the day?

And I get rid of all processed unhealthy foods. It cannot live at my house.

A good mantra for us all is this…..When you eat good – you feel good  – and then you can do good.

My next blog post will talk about the workout component necessary for living the large life.

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