Make a Natural Resolution

Shrimp and VegetablesOne of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight or become more fit.  If you are truly overweight (which is relative) or not active enough, these are good resolutions to make, and January is a great time of year to start.  However, like many resolutions, it can be difficult to keep if you don’t have a plan, or if what you’re planning isn’t realistic or feasable.

So I’d like to propose that this time around, you make a different kind of resolution.

Remember back when you decided to let your hair be natural, or at least choose less harmful means of accomplishing your style choices?  It was something you did, and found relatively easy to do because it was specific, and you knew for certain that it was good for you.  You understood at your core that the hype about hair is just hype and that whether you chose a style that was curly or straight, there are better ways of getting there than obsession.

Well, here’s some news for you: it’s the same with food and exercise.  Just as your hair needs care specific to your needs and desires, so does your body.  There is no one style fits all hairdo, and there is no one size fits all fitness.  Your needs can’t be fulfilled with a box or powders.  To figure out what’s good for you requires looking into your family’s past, humanity’s tried and true traditions regarding nutrition, and shaking off body-mind repression.  You found the joy in your natural or at least non obsessed looking hair.  Now it’s time to rediscover the joy of food and of movement.

When approaching weight loss and fitness, and on the other hand, acceptance and self confidence, there’s a lot of hype on both sides.  I’m about to blow a few things out of the water, that are not going to make me very popular, or you once you start doing for yourself, but well, y’all know me.  I have to tell it like it is.

1. Much of the time, our bad body image is because something inside us, when we look in the mirror, says that something really is wrong.

You are wonderfully made by your Creator, whether you believe that’s evolution or God or both.  It is not wrong to understand that and accept yourself for who you are.  However, if you know deep down that you are not being the best you that you can be, your mind will start going through loops and hoops to either wrongfully justify it, or make you feel worse than you should.  Your feelings will run in extremes with little room in between because you know something is up.  Even if, like I was, you were convinced that there was nothing non extreme that you could do about it, something will nag at you.

Since ancient times before anybody knew what an endocrine system or a hormone was, folks knew from trial and error and their own feelings what made them feel okay when they ate it, and what felt like poison.  People who didn’t move enough or eat the right things acted crazy.  Healers weren’t always sure about the specifics, but they were pretty spot on most of the time.  Modern medicine is only a couple hundred years old, and today they’re finding out that most of the old ways were the right ways.

When you look in the mirror, you’ve got thousands of years of human experience and adaptation staring at you.  Deep down you know when you’re not well, and your mind is crying out to you, “Fix this!”

The problem is that most of us don’t know how.  Now I’m going to get into that.

2.  Calories are not your problem.

Regulation of caloric intake is something people do naturally.  Like dogs, cats, cows, and every other animal on earth, humans do not overeat unless something breaks.  What is usually broken, especially in American Black women, is that we aren’t being properly nourished.  Since most of us are mostly West African and Native American in ancestry, we have specific nutritional needs that are not usually being met.

Darker skinned people need much more Vitamin D from both sunlight and food sources because our skin is a natural filter.  In order to use that Vitamin D efficiently, we also need good amounts of Vitamin A, K, and other oil soluble vitamins.  We also need certain minerals that we don’t get because the salt that we normally use has been overly refined.  So much is missing in our diet that if I spelled it all out, it would take many more pages than this one article.

Suffice to say though, the solution is nutrition.  If you get proper nutrition, you don’t have to think about calories, just about how you feel.  It’s easy not to overeat, or to recognize when you’re eating for hunger or for comfort, when you have what you need.

3.  Eating well is not more expensive.

For starters, when you eat well, you can eat less.  The cost of some things that may be more expensive are offset by the fact that you’re not buying junk or overly processed foods anymore.  It costs less to buy a pound of ground beef, a sack of potatoes, some tomatoes, lettuce, and some fresh bread than to buy 4 burgers and fries at a fast food place.

What gets us confused about the expense of healthy foods is that health foods marketed as such, end up costing more because they can get more money out of people who are afraid of fat.  When you lose the obsession, you learn that having food is a blessing, and that you can make do with the cheapest ingredients, if you know how to cook them properly.

To get started on your quest for a more natural diet, visit CookingSlim.org.  If you’re already on a natural/African/Native American or other anachronistic nutrition plan, feel free to contact me to add your link.

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