Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world. – George Bernard Shaw
My windows weren’t always clean and bright; they were dirty and foggy for years. It wasn’t until I cleaned up my body that my mind became ‘clean and bright’. For years I tried diet after diet in pursuit of becoming ‘skinny’. Unfortunately my pursuit of losing weight never got me far. Once I lost my 5-10 lbs I would go right back to my old ways of eating and socially drinking. As a result of not making a lifestyle change I would gain back the weight and a side effect of regaining this weight was feeling insecure again. My heart would race when entering a room full of strangers and even shopping in the mall alone would make me feel anxious. I remember feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and no amount of make-up, hair spray, or new clothes could change this.
I needed to hit rock bottom before I could decide to make a lifestyle change. Rock bottom happened in 2004 and this is when I gained 40 lbs in less than a handful of months. I gave up on fighting my addiction to food and just threw in the towel. Life was too stressful and if there was anything that I could rely on to help everything get better, it was food. I experienced months and months of self-sabotage. This vicious cycle would begin with eating, then feeling better to feeling uncomfortable, upset, disappointed, helpless, and hopeless and back to feeling good again each time I gave into eating copious amounts of food.
Something needed to change and I knew this but I knew I couldn’t do it alone. My change happened when I moved away from Canada to South East Asia. With the main motivation and encouragement of my boyfriend (now husband) I was able to create small habits of eating right, eating often, and exercising. The more I practiced these habits the better I felt and the better I felt the more ‘clean and bright’ my mind became. This is when I became present.
It may seem strange that all my years previous to this I wasn’t living life in the present but I wasn’t. I was living my life in the past and the past is what determined my future actions, thoughts, and behaviours. My perspective on life was negative; I always assumed the worst in every situation and I often over-reacted in most situations. But what I noticed when I started to become a healthier version of myself was a domino effect occurred with my mind. My body and mind were experiencing a direct correlation with one another. In other words, the healthier and more fit I became, the better my body looked but more importantly the better I felt. The better I felt the more clear my mind became, the more present I was, and the more positive my thoughts and perspectives became.
The moral of my story is that until you clean up your insides you can not clean up your outsides. When you are in a position of carrying toxins in your body you will also be in a position of carrying toxins in your mind. When you are full of toxins you will act, think, and behave in toxic ways with or without your consent. When you put toxins out into the world they are bound to come back to you which will only make you more bitter and negative.
Just as Ian Maclaren says “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Almost 10 years later I live my life in the present, I see the positive in every situation, I am confident, happy, secure, and most importantly healthy.
Inspire and Be Inspired!