I’ve been stressing the importance of eating clean whole foods in all of my messages. I am also an advocate of avoiding fake foods like trans fats as well as artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and preservatives. The foods we eat are used by our body to regenerate itself and fuel bodily processes so fake foods clog these processes up and cause us to feel sick and tired. The body is meant to be able to handle and regulate the natural foods. All these fake foods just mess with your body and brain chemistry.
With our weakened health, it’s easier to lose focus on what’s important and lose our joy. I’m the worst about this. I’ve always been a quiet, easy to please, eager to please kinda gal. I’ve been very hard on myself and I take it very personally when someone is not happy with me. My shyness has always impeded my people skills and my ability to make friends and really connect with people. I sometimes find myself going back over conversations and wondering if what I said came out like I meant it to. Did it come out catty or mean?
I really care about people and want to help them reach their goals, but I have a hard time connecting with them and conveying that care. My lack of ability to connect with people also effects the way that I deal with (or should I say don’t deal with) stress. I like to just hold it all inside and dwell on it. Unfortunately when you don’t deal with stress very well, it affects your brain chemistry. Unscientifically, all those neurotransmitters get all messed up leading to depression.
Since I was a kid, I have suffered from irritable bowel syndrome due to stress and other food irritants and as well as on and off depression. Yes, I did have some things going on that made me stress and I didn’t deal with it well, but I think my brain chemistry is just a little easier to get messed up than others. Others have allergies that they have to be careful of and others have alcoholism that runs in their families. I have a tendency to get depressed. I lose focus of the good and focus on the bad. Yes, once I got to a certain point with my depression, I had to rely on medicine to fix my messed up brain chemistry, but most of the time I could have stopped it before it got to that point.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from dealing with and beating depression, it’s that no one can take our joy and our power. We have to give it to them. Little things start to add up and rob us of our joy that we feel from our own accomplishments. We all know people who are constantly negative and unpleasant to be around. They come out of the wood work especially around the time when you are trying to make a change for the good. Whether it’s eating healthier, drinking less alcohol, exercising more, or just trying to exchange one bad habit for good in any way, they have to have something to say. We’ll call these people the “French fry people.” They block all your good intentions the way that French fries clog your arteries.
Our society today has gotten to the point where the French fry people take everything that everyone else does and make it about them. Regular people say, “Really, you’re training for your first marathon? That sounds like a lot of work. Good for you!” French fry people have to say, “Really, you’re training for your first marathon? Ugh! Why? That sounds like the worst thing ever! I don’t even like to have to drive that far in my car!” Instead of, “Oh man, that’s awesome that you were able to say ‘No, thank you!’ to the tray of baked goods at the office party. I need some of your will power!” they have to say, “Oh man, that cake was sooo good. I can’t believe you didn’t have any. I can’t live without chocolate!” I won’t even get into the fact that what they really meant was, “I can’t delay instant gratification for the long term good side effects, and you’ll find me asleep in my cubicle or downing a pot of coffee in two hours when this sugar high wears off.” Sometimes I wonder if these people think that their greatest talents are converting oxygen to carbon dioxide and creating a bunch of hot air- so they have to do it as much as they can, everywhere they can. Why do these French fry people think that they have to chime in about your goals?
Honestly, most of the time these people are just jealous because you are a reflection of their weakness. You are doing something that they themselves can’t or won’t do so they have to make you feel bad about it. Or maybe you’re trying to do something that they don’t really care about or don’t find interesting so they have to tell you what a waste of time it is. It’s okay to tell these people that your life and hobbies are not about them. It’s okay to tell them that their opinion is just that, opinion, and not a statement of fact. It’s also okay to avoid these French fry people or cut them out of your life completely. Cathy Savage calls this the “Bless and Release.” Don’t be nasty to them, just let them go. Don’t hang out with them anymore. If it’s a family member, that’s a little harder, but you don’t have to talk to that person every day. You don’t have to give them the full details of your goals when you know they’re just going to be negative. Just pull back a little. They will probably eventually come around and either join you in your quest to better yourself or they’ll at least support you instead of sabotage you. If they don’t, at least you’re not wasting your time following them around trying to get their approval.
On another note, if our kids went to school and came home crying that someone had made fun of something about them we’d be so angry and incensed that someone would mess with our angels. We might even call the school or the bully’s parents and give them a piece of our minds, especially if it happened on a regular basis. Then, when clearer heads prevailed we’d sit our kids down and tell them that that person is just a bully and that they should ignore his or her comments and listen to the complements that they get on a regular basis from their teachers, family, and their real friends instead. Also, as adults, if someone were to say something to you about your friend behind their back, you’d more than likely stand up for your friend. However, we don’t do this for ourselves at all. We let others comments about us or attitudes toward us get under our skin and fester like an ingrown toenail.
That’s what happened to me time and time again. I didn’t deal with stress very well and I just kept letting it building up. I LET people, my lack of people skills, or situations steal my joy. Luckily, I had started exercising on a regular basis in college and then in the Army so I had the natural endorphins to help me fix the stress that was wreaking havoc on my emotions, but even exercise didn’t help me all the time. I truly believe that the great nutrition from the Isagenix shakes and supplements as well as eating clean have given my body and my mind what it needed to stay healthy. But even with the exercise and proper nutrition, the most important thing is my own attitude. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep my joy and my gratitude.
We as Americans are the most overfed yet undernourished, overmedicated yet chronically ill, abundant yet ungrateful society and we’re paying for it with our health. There are third world countries that have better health and more happiness than we do. Why? Gratitude! They remember what’s important and they’re thankful for what they have. They don’t dwell on what’s going on with everyone else.
So, as I’m getting ready for the New Year and preparing for my next competition season, my resolutions will not be just related to my physical goals or even those of growing my business. I truly want to be grateful for what I have. I want that to shine through in my connections with people. As a mom, I want to be an example of joy and gratitude to my kids.
I hope you’ll join me in my quest to get rid of the French fry people (the less people listen to them, the less they’ll talk). I also want to remember everything that I have to be grateful for, and be an example to my kids of gratitude and joy. Depressed and sad is no way to live.
Questions? Comments? Please let me know.