About a month ago, Ellen Page gave an amazing speech at the HRCF Time to Thrive conference and said many memorable things. The one sentence she said that really stuck out was “The world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another”. In this speech she was referring to her struggle of coming out because she was different; consequently, this quote has become a daily reminder to me. As of recently, I have been applying it to my life. It may not be what Ms. Page was referring to, but honestly, any act of kindness, no matter how grand or miniscule a gesture, can be the most influential — and guess what, this quote can be applied and related to health and nutrition.
To tie this all together, I will be referring to my recent experiences. I’m not doing this to come across as smug, but I will merely use myself as an example. This may differ from person to person, and from what I have noticed, it has made a huge difference in at least one person’s life.
About a year ago, I started to really examine my eating habits and physical lifestyle. I improved my regular eating habits to supply my body with more wholesome and nutritionally beneficial foods, while at the same time, I increased my physical activity, began to see fat loss from my figure and felt more energetic, lively, and happy to say the least. Then recently, on a random afternoon driving home from work, I gave a homeless and hungry man one of my favorite treats (Annie’s Friends Bunny cookie snacks). I asked him if he would accept them even though the box was half empty. He was so happy to have even been offered food and had the biggest smile on his face. I would like to believe that it wasn’t completely due to him receiving food, but from an act of kindness. I don’t know how many cars had passed him before he got my treat, but he was SO HAPPY, and in turn it made me happy and I felt something in my heart that I hadn’t felt in the longest time; Humility.
This isn’t to say that I have felt like I was important in the world, but something about sharing a small act of kindness with someone and feeling the gratification brought me down — in a good way. I see people everyday, jaded by the hardships, betrayal and disrespect, that treat others so horribly and display negative attitudes towards others and the world. Yes, the world is a hard place to live in and there are many trials and tribulations that we will inevitably face, but I strongly believe that the life you live is a reflection of your attitude. Be a light in this life because kindness and happiness is contagious, and if not that, it will at least start something whether it’s a thought or a small act like opening a door for someone. From what I have noticed, kindness does not go unnoticed about 90% of the time. I wish it was 100%, but people will be people and everyone is different.
Now how does health and nutrition tie in with being kind? Health is a psychological and physical concept. When our body is not healthy, our thoughts are effected and the reasons we do some things are altered. I have seen people who do kind things but showed reluctance to it if the act was not reciprocated. Yes, it’s easy to do something like open the door for someone or pick up his or her fallen pen because you know it is nice, but when you expect something back, it’s selfish. Unfortunately I used to be a culprit. This was because I was insecure and was searching for something that would make me feel good – the psychological aspect. I had to figure out a way to make myself feel good without the influence of others. That does sound selfish, but we must take care of ourselves in a healthy way before trying to take care of others so that we are able to be that light that I was talking about earlier. So I searched for the reason why I was insecure and fixed it. Thus I changed my eating habits and ultimately changing my mental state.
Food and mental health are very much intertwined and what we feed our bodies will feed our minds differently. This doesn’t mean restrict yourselves of foods that you enjoy because they aren’t classified as healthy, but eat nutritiously, enjoy the food you eat, and stay active to put the food you eat to good use. You’ll undoubtedly reap the benefits for you and others.
So, finally, to sound off this essay of an entry, let’s take Ms. Page’s advice and be less horrible to each other. Let’s do this out of kindness and without expectations and take care of our health to feed our body and mind.
XOXO – TheCristinaEve
Eat well, stay active, be happy, and be a light.