Friday, February 12, 2010

Hope, Religion and Nutrition

I've just discovered that our moving date has been pushed back another week and as I've been so popular lately (lol!), I thought I'd keep blogging for another week before I set off into the sunset. Plus, I despise moving, so a small opportunity to procrastinate is one that I'll take.

This morning I taught RPM and picked tracks with the theme of "love" - for example, I played "I Could Have Loved You More", "Young Hearts Run Free" and "Heaven", which was great fun. I'm thinking of adding in the remix of a song called "True Faith" tomorrow morning for the Hi-Performance crew.

The concept of "true faith" is something that has been resonating with me over the course of the last few days, faith in my ability to live a fulfilled life, which for me spills over into the area of health and fitness. I believe that there is a strong correlation between religion and the pursuit of health and fitness.

My definition of religion in the broadest sense is how you choose to live your life. For me, Jesus' greatest commandment, "love one another as I have loved you", is the direction in which I try to travel. For me, I find comfort in my faith - that no matter what you do or what happens, that God's love and forgiveness is unconditional ie it's never to late to start becoming what you might have been.... You can substitute the word God with "Universe", "Buddha", "Allah", "Spirit" but the general concept is the same. As we all know, with the practice of religion, there's a huge scope - from the more traditional Religions that we all know to newer branches of religion with different and sometimes extreme ideals - the more radical versions are also known as "cults" - which to me is a pretty extreme word.

I believe it to be the same way with transforming your relationship with health and fitness. So many of us want to cling to a shred of hope when it comes to changing your physique. We can then latch onto anything that sounds good or anything that sounds like we will finally have "the answer". We can look for anything that promises us the hope and care we are after. Often with nutrition and health practices, devotion can escalate to cultish levels, where extreme results are often promoted - remember that woman that claimed to live on air a few years back? More often than not, long term success is based on the less exciting cornerstone of "moderation in all things".

Marketing types have recognized these characteristics for years and have used the notion of giving hope and a fast result to many a hapless subject. Like religious zealots, supplement marketers will use evocative language to promote their own products/ideals. The woman living on air - from memory, was either promoting a book or health camp where people spent thousands of dollars to learn the "secret".

The latest trend from what I can see is terming foods "living" or "dead" - the language is again evocative - what are you going to do if you pick up something that is "dead" or you don't have time to eat "living" food? Surprise, surprise, the answer is in a supplement that (surprise, surprise) the person who coined the phrased is associated with. I must say that from what I've read "living" food seems to reflect healthy, whole food choices whereas "dead" food reflects highly processed "junk" foods that have little or if any nutritional value. It's actually quite a fun way of differentiating between food that is likely to help vs food that is likely to harm - the concept is pretty clever - however the emotions that it possibly invokes if you happen to eat something that is "dead" makes me wonder if this is the continuum:

Eat something dead-> feel guilty for eating dead food --> look for an answer/antidote to stop feeling bad ---> Supplement offered claiming to "fill in the gaps" or whatever ---->consumer buys supplement ---> company profits from consumer's lack of self confidence/belief.

Bottom line is that the power of the dollar rules!

And as for the "Secret", well the truth is that its contents aren't particularly mind blowing - you eat well (and if you're not sure of this, sourcing your info from credible sources), you make training as something natural as brushing your teeth and the hardest component - you learnto equate your choices with honouring yourself and your beliefs as much as you can (this is the lifelong process in learning to live lean and love life - the other two pieces are the easier parts).
My belief is that if I'm buying eggs, I'm for the chooks!

Au revoir for today.


ss2306 said...

Brilliant post Liz.

The "secret" is inside each and every one of us. If only we'd learn to trust and believe in ourselves.

You forgot to mention God could even be the cat!

In the end "it's just food for fuck sake" and a little bit of this or that ain't gonna kill anyone.

Moderation is the key even including moderation I've recently heard.

Au revoir. A bientot.

LizN said...

Yes, definitely the cat!

Totally agree on the "it's just food for f**k's sake" philosophy.

Self belief and trust and pixie dust!

Jadey said...

"Love one another as I have loved you".... Liz, I'm not judging, merely asking the question.. Has your display over the past few weeks been loving? He also says turn the other cheek. I think it's time to rise above. Start giving your readers encouraging writing maybe, isn't there enough hate, criticism, strife & bitterness in the world already? I'm also reminded daily by my mum "always try & walk in peace, be a peacemaker not a trouble maker".. Wise words.

LizN said...

Hi Jadey, thanks for your comment. I do appreciate you writing as I have a great deal of time for you.

As Tolkein's Gandalf from Lord of the Rings said, "I am no conjurer of cheap tricks".

I think you need to read the posts again. It's not about being loving, it's about telling the truth on all counts. I will take authentic over loving any day when telling my story and my truth.

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is tell the truth on all counts. Not everyone is receptive to this of course, but if it makes someone stop, think and reevaluate, then it was worth it.

Liz n

Anonymous said...

Really nicely said Liz. I too would take the truth over love anyday.

In regards to this and the past few blogs I have wondered for a long time why people who care about this person haven't told her what they REALLY think of her actions and making them so public?

If one of my friends was so obviously unbalanced and crying out for help, I would do everything that I could to help them. Often the truth hurts but as they say it can also set you free.

Jadey said...

Hi Liz,

I see your point and agree with truth however... what I'm probably more trying to say is, it could be done in a better way perhaps, I agree with sharing your point of view and I don't know what's gone on with this 'hater' whoever it is and don't really care to know as it has nothing to do with me... BUT... as far as the Juice Plus goes, if you don't like the product, or don't agree with research or whatever may be the case, that is fine but why have to "name and shame" someone who is trying to get others to live a healthy life whether it be through a supplement or not.

I can only speak from my experience, I have nothing to do with Helen Frost or any of the other people involved however, what I can say is from experience...

After being so incredibly unwell due to low cal eating and three hours of intense training a day for comp, finally, after spending about $7000 on tests, tablets and doctors fees, I took juice plus in between three lots of blood tests and that was the only I had changed at the point. I had two blood tests and things got worse, I took juice plus for two months and the hymocysteine (however you spell it) levels were completely changed, along with other levels of key things and the only thing the doctor put it down to was the juice plus after reading about it. Because I had done nothing else yet. We were waiting on more test results...

So, I think for me, it's a personal choice and I have felt better than ever, my skin looks amazing and my hair and nails are growing and I personally have never felt better.

So, I guess I think, try it and then make a call maybe... Otherwise, that's cool if it's not for you... but there's a fair bit of research to back it that's all...

Jadey xx

LizN said...

Hi Jadey,
Thanks for writing back and considering my perspective. I'm going to PM you on FB about your experience with Juice Plus.

As I said in my last post, there's probably no harm in taking Juice Plus if you're a healthy individual, but if you suffer from certain conditions or take certain medications I would consider exercising caution. That not only goes for JP but for any complementary medicine you may be taking.


Jadey said...

Yep, agreed. Got your message too, will write back soon. xxx