Did you know you are creating new cells every day and that with exercise and the proper foods, your body has the capacity to transform itself. How? It first starts with our thoughts. Thoughts are things and when our thoughts do not harmonize with our actions, there is a problem. Book I of How to Eat to Live states, “good health cannot enter our bodies until we have the proper food in the body and the proper food for thought. If we do not have the proper food for our way of thinking, we still cannot enjoy peace, good health, joy and gladness of heart” (p. 57). I heard a student minister from my hometown describe thoughts not harmonizing with your actions as “cognitive dissonance.” Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of “uncomfortable tension which comes from holding two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.” When we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief, we create conflict. What do we believe?
Do we believe that exercise is good for us? If so, why is the obesity rate so high in America? Do we believe that eating the best of foods is what is truly “best” for us? I’ve heard some people say, “It’s too expensive to eat healthy. I don’t have the money to eat healthy.” Are these valid reasons? No. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad explains it this way, “Eat the best food you can obtain. Never deprive yourself of good health, at the price of cheap food. Just remember, when you are feeding your stomach with cheap, poison foods trying to keep a dollar in your pocket, you are not saving a dollar in your pocket. It will only go to the hospital, the undertaker, and for the ever increasing drain on the families’ savings in purchasing drug pacifications for the ill body from eating the wrong food.” (How to Eat to Live Book II p. 77).
Once we get our minds used to thinking purer thoughts, we are going to desire purer food. We will get to the point where we say, “I can’t even fathom the thought of eating pork or a fattening pepperoni pizza.” In the January 2007 issue of “O” magazine, Oprah Winfrey said when her trainer, Bob Greene, asked her why she was overweight, she said she was overweight for the same reason everybody else is, [she] answered smugly. “I loved food.” She writes, “It took me a while to get to the truth. I didn’t love food. I used food to numb my negative feelings.” I commend Oprah for sharing her struggle to help make others stronger and more aware. For some of us, our weight issues may stem from other health problems or medications we are taking, Whatever it is, try to get to the root of it so that you know what is “hindering you.”
Next, look at exercise as your friend or as a gift. Do you realize that the more you move, the easier it is to lose weight. Ever notice that a person who works most of the day in their yard or garden, does not have a weight problem. I rarely see an overweight postman delivering my mail (I’m talking about the ones that walk not ride in a car all day.) Walking is the best exercise because it’s easy, free and doesn’t place a lot of stress on your joints. After 10 minutes of exercise, you are almost guaranteed to feel better. Instead of using food to feel better, (which is what a lot us use it to do), do something good for your body. Get a check-up from your doctor and do not wait another day to improve your diet and lifestyle.
In a day where we are seeing people who are younger and younger dying of heart attacks and disease, we can’t afford to continue practicing the same “death style.” Minister Farrakhan says, “Beloved there is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. Don’t say, I’ll do it tomorrow, because you do not know anything about tomorrow. All that you have is this moment in time. Make up your mind now! No more swill or filth in the House of Allah (God).” (Quote from the Dec. 5, 2006 issue of the Final Call Vo.26. Number 9)
If you need some extra inspiration, call the Right Four Life Program every first and third Saturday at 9 pm. to hear health advice from a team of experts. (To tune in, call (712) 432-8700, Pin 483-0091#.)
May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, health, wealth and happiness.
(Audrey Muhammad, is a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor. Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan. Send questions and comments to [email protected])