Physical Health & Mental Health
As sophisticated, thoughtful human beings we like to think we are above the primal urges and desires. That as a modern man we don’t have to think about things the same way as gorillas and chimpanzees. And part of that is true, we aren’t throwing our poop at each other. Well, I should say MOST of us aren’t throwing our poop at each other. There are some pretty crazy people out there.
But the reality is we are still animals. We have come along way, finding religion, art, science and so much more. At the end of the day, we are still animals. We base most of our decisions off fear, happiness, excitement, desire, group acceptance and so on. And there is one very specific area where this is most prevalent, our confidence.
A person’s confidence can be affected by numerous different inputs and outcomes. None more powerful than our physical health. For anyone who has been very overweight there is a deep mental toll this takes on our being. As well as our body. I personally have someone very close to me, that was bulimic for many years. Of course, the physical toll was terrible on her body. But the mental devastation was where the real damage was dealt.
Now that is a pretty extreme example, but it clarifies my point. How we look, how we feel and how well we treat our body is directly correlated to our mental health. In fact, I would go as far to say they are more than correlated, they are one in the same.
If you treat your body like shit, your mental health will go to shit. On the flip side, if you condition your body through exercise, eat nutritiously and fill in your gaps with a select few supplements, your mind will reap the benefits. This may sound shallow, but I’m not concerned with how things sound. I’m concerned with what is the truth.
If you are overweight, you will spend a significant portion of your day thinking about how your clothes look on you. Thinking about if you look terrible. Thinking about how you shouldn’t have eaten that previous cookie dough tube. And all of that mental energy is lost on insecurity and desire to be different.
You may not even notice it but when you’re severely overweight or underweight you are thinking about how you look instead of thinking about the person right in front of you. There could be someone spilling their guts to you or telling you they love you. But instead, your mind is on “can they see my roll under my shirt.” Being unhealthy literally takes away from focus on others.
All of this is draining, and it keeps you from speaking up. Saying something at work about a great idea you have. It keeps you from talking to that crush you’ve had for over a year. It hinders our careers, it shortens our life, it makes us miserable! So why aren’t we investing in it today?
Right now, you could start doing something for yourself that would make you stand up in front of a crowd and speak. It can push you past those uncomfortable silences. It can get you a raise at work! Yes, there have been numerous academic studies that leaner, more muscular, healthier people get raises, bonuses and advancement in careers that their overweight counterparts don’t get.
Is that fair? No. But is it a reality? Yes. Again, we are human beings and we crave acceptance. And one thing all humans desire is a fit healthy partner. This is for purely biological reasons, and it makes sense. Healthier mates create better offspring. Again, this is a tough pill to swallow but we have two options. Say that it’s not right and we should be able to look however we want OR work with our biology and get fit! Build our confidence, get accepted by more people, be desired by more people.
In every instance I choose to live in reality. I choose to live a healthy fit active lifestyle. I choose to make the most out myself, my career, my family life, my friends. Every aspect of my life. And I think you should too.
Raise your standard of what healthy is and I promise the reward is greater than you can imagine.