By David Valentine, co-founder of Rethink and partner/practitioner of the Veritas Lifestyle and Veritas Life Adventures
What you think about you care about, and what you care about you will pursue. In that same line, what you think about has an enormous effect on how you look. A 2008 psychological study linked depression with obesity. As someone famously said, “People who are obese have a lot of tears they haven’t cried.”
There’s also extensive evidence to prove that your diet directly effects your mood. Not to mention the health of your soul impacts both your physical and mental health. Blood sugar, fat, and sodium all have a bearing on how you feel physically and emotionally.
During the beginning of every year huge swaths of people decide to lose weight. This is the year they’re going to get it right. Lose those extra pounds and change their lives. Yet an overwhelming majority of them fail to keep their resolutions. Are people just lazy beyond belief? No.
You are a whole being.
I believe the reason so many people fail to reach their weight loss goals is because they fail to see they are holistic beings. What we eat, our activity level, our time spent in meditation, working through our own insecurities, and being emotionally present all play a role into our weight. This is why if your goal is to lose weight it’s vital to understand that what you’re actually saying is your goal is to be holistically healthy.
This is the reason why when people say something to the extent of, “I’m going to work on my spiritual life,”they lose sight of who they are. You can’t separate soul, from the body, or emotion from the soul. Every part of who we are is intimately connected with the other parts. If you sprain your ankle it effects how the rest of your body is able to function.
Now if one part of who you are gets healthy when it’s been neglected it does make the other parts somewhat more healthy too. I’ve talked with many people who lose an incredible amount of weight after they’ve seen a counselor for an extended period of time. I also have several friends who have found that God speaks to them on long runs through the woods. The problem is if we just address one or two areas of our lives and neglect all of who we are our gains can be short lived.
Taking a holistic approach to life.
We all have personal goals for academics, careers, and our personal lives. A great first step to accomplishing those goals is to become healthy. My wife and I have declared 2015 our year to become healthy. We have weight goals, but we also have goals for our emotional and spiritual well being. I’ve begun making meditation a key part of my weekly routine alongside improving my diet, regular exercise, and working through my own emotional baggage with several close friends.
Less than two months into the new year I’ve lost 8 pounds, my business has already doubled our sales for all of 2014, and I feel more peaceful than I’ve felt in years. I’ve decided that it’s more valuable to become fully healthy over the full course of 2015 than work really hard in 1 specific area (such as changing my diet or exercise habits) in order to achieve quick temporary gains.
You are a fully integrated mind, body, and soul. Take the time to nurture the health of each part of who you are. It’s the only way to achieve lasting change, and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.