There are no vegetarian Lions

body life mind Jun 26, 2020
hungry lion

‘It’s not so simple, you know?’ said the woman in my yoga class who has been yo-yo-ing between perfectly healthy to borderline obese for about 20 years. She was talking about my blog post, “Unleash your inner goddess

She has a point. Mindset is everything, and mindset is very hard to change. My weight loss was a bi-product of a lifestyle change - I really dislike diets and all the guilt that is associated with food in our society.

Our relationship with food is one big hurtling train ride into doom. Do you know why we like eating in front of the television? Prehistoric humans were simultaneously hunters and prey: gathering and keeping our eyes on the horizon during meals kept us alive.

But today the danger lies elsewhere: We don’t notice what we eat. Or how much we eat. High carb-loads fuel our sugar addiction; even the humble cracker breaks down into a simple form of sugar.

Eating has become something we do while keeping ourselves amused. We are constantly reminded that food exists. It is virtually impossible to walk 100 metres down the street without seeing an image of food: Every bus stop, shop entry, billboard reminds us that it’s time to eat.

If you are overweight, it is not your fault. But it is time for you to wake up.

We are what we eat. I mean literally. What we eat gets broken down in our digestive tract and distributed to different parts of the body. If we run on Coca Cola, pizza and wine, with an occasional obligatory helping of salad: that becomes the sum of our parts. We then live with constant sugar crashes, low constant pain throughout our body we’re probably not even aware of, cramps, skin problems, low energy levels and our sleep patterns suck.

Type 2 diabetes, so common now, used to be known as adult-onset diabetes because you got it over the age of 40. And when you got it, there was a good chance that you’d be blind by the time you are 60 or have an amputation because of bad blood circulation.

Today even teens show pre-diabetic signs. Primary school children are obese. We cannot even begin to comprehend the consequences and the pain they will endure in their shortened lifetime.

It's not news to us. And yet we continue to crave the wrong food. And giving up on it feels like a loss. We struggle with continuous guilt. We look out for “sugar-free, low fat, no fat” on the food packaging in the hope this will be healthier when in actuality we would die if we ate a no-fat, no sugar diet.

Even the word ‘diet’ is misconstruct. Diet used to describe food that a species needs to stay alive. There are no vegetarian lions. So there is a dog diet, tiger diet, fish diet and human diet. Only, for us, diets have now become the word for a regime that withholds something in order to lose weight as quickly as possible.

Ultimately the concept of diets doesn’t work, and who gets the blame for it? You do. You didn’t follow the diet, it’s your fault. You have no staying power. Try exercising with it — oh, you stopped after a week because your knees hurt? You must be a loser.

Let me repeat: it is not your fault. It’s a combination of perpetual visual reminders to tingle your tastebuds, combined with outstanding marketing by the food industry.

Nowadays foods are linked to situations and events: Easter was not always associated with chocolate. Every school child has to bring in cake on their birthday. At Christmas, we give ourselves collective permission to “not remember what day of the week it is, feel unable to leave the sofa, remove the top button of our trousers and wonder if Baileys could count as breakfast” because everyone is doing it, and we have been told it’s ok.

I am writing this in June 2020. Many people gained an incredible amount while being quarantined, and joke about it. This should have been an opportunity to make the big changes we never had time for. But instead, our diets became crap. It is ok. The telly says so.

We ARE what we eat. And a healthy diet is a matter of changing psychological behaviour patterns and recognising them. When you generally get all the nutrients you need, your choices become healthier by default. You’ll find that some aisles in the supermarket have gone completely off your radar.

This change is all about raising your frequencies, reduce your boredom, increase your connection to other people and restore balance in your life. Next time you crave a packet of chips, start with drinking a glass of water and call a friend; by doing that you'll realise whether you simply needed hydrating or used eating as an emotional need, instead of being actually hungry.

I have raised my health frequencies with essential oils and a strict self-care routine that became as normal as brushing teeth. Above all knowledge was my ticket to change.

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