My body is my temple. I cherish it. I feed it well…um not all the time but like 90% of the time. I’m faithful to the gym five days a week and I’m not the girl that you see spending their time on treadmills. I’m the girl you see sliding plates on the squat rack. I’m the girl growing quads, growing an ass (you read that right), and chiseling my back and abs to perfection. Yes, I’m that girl, and no I’m not knocking treadmills, but they won’t do for me what those weights do. My nutrition is managed by a batshit crazy trainer and nutritionist whose clients are walking advertisements for her programs. We earn every goal, and she gives us no breaks. Truthfully, I simply refuse to let obesity, High Blood Pressure, (HBP), diabetes, etc., catch me without a fight. My mind, body and soul are priceless blessings, and yours should be too.
The scary thing is that so much of how we treat our bodies is influenced by society’s version of how we should look coupled with our cultural traditions, many of which are surrounded by food. Don’t believe me? Consider how you, your family and friends celebrate. How many times can you truthfully say that food isn’t involved? Lawd knows I can’t think of not even one. Food is comfortable and relatable…a universal language, if you will.
I’m a 45-year-old black woman, and my culture alone has food that can make your heart stop just from a mere smell. I’ll put it like this. That hot fried chicken right out of the grease, those ribs off the grill cooked by that one uncle holding Hennessy in one hand while flipping meat and wearing socks and sandals? Don’t act like you haven’t seen this dude. I KNOW some of ya’ll can relate. The Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that can raise your cholesterol, send you into a diabetic coma for a solid week…I was raised on this food. Wait, and the sweet potato pies, red velvet cakes…O.M.G. It’s all so damn good…it’s addicting…you really just can’t help yourself when you’re around it.However, It’s the overeating or over consumption of foods like these that create problems.
Thousands of people end up on medications every year that are designed to manage HBP, high cholesterol, etc. and much of this can be handled early on, but that’s too simple right? We want what we want when we want it. Make sense? Well it doesn’t to me. We have information at out fingertips and we’d rather keep up with Cardi B and Offset’s relationship than research how to reduce our HBP. Umm, and FYI, I do actually listen to her, she’s comical and her music just tends to stick to me.
The fact of the matter is when we fail to take care of ourselves, we land on medication that has side effects to side effects, and STILL don’t fix not one thing. Have ya’ll ever listened to those quiet lawsuit commercials? They go something like this. “Have you or your loved one suffered from the side effects of Liptor? If so, please call 1-800-OUR BAD.” You know the ones I’m talking about. There is always some law group filing a class action suit, blah, blah, blah…but being on the medication in the first place is preventable. You can introduce small, simple things like, reducing portion size, watching your salt intake and even taking a 30-minute walk can do wonders. And don’t roll your eyes, but some of ya’ll could probably do with some of those things now BEFORE you end up on medication. YUP, I SAID WHAT I SAID!!!
Hear me out. The temple that you have is more than just your body. We have to take care of our minds and souls too. If you need to manage what you feed your body, the same goes for your mind and your soul. They are equally a part of you. Watch a documentary about the Roman Empire instead of binge watching the Handmaid’s Tale (umm but I will say this show is good). Read the Bible or do some quiet mediation to feed your soul. And my personal favorite? Remove ANYTHING or ANYONE who is a detriment to you. No don’t kill or maim them, but don’t be afraid to distance yourself from negative people that can feed your mind, body and soul.
The bottom line is this, we get one shot to take care of our temples, our minds, bodies, and souls. My temple is all mine and I have to take full responsibility for it. It’s special and uniquely designed by the good Lord and yours is too. While you don’t need to fall prey to what society sees as beautiful or sexy, that doesn’t mean being 5’4 at 200lbs is the right thing to do either. The physical can easily affect the mental and emotional or any variation thereof. I definitely understand how easy it can be to lose yourself. Life is busy and comes at you fast, but if you make no effort to maintain your temple the effects may be with you for the long haul. My advice? Eat the piece of cake, NOT the whole cake. Binge watch Ozark (it’s a great show too), but don’t be afraid to read Harry Potter…J.K.’s writing is amazing. And lastly, protect your soul with some prayer and meditation. Ya’ll with me?
is a retired veteran, mother, young pretty grandma, (“Ask my husband!”), wife, and friend who manages the voices in her head by staying busy, upbeat, and “prayed up.” Follow her writing on ‘Voices from the Bleachers’ on Facebook.