by: Shannon McKeown, MS, LDN
“You are what you eat.” – American Proverb
I am going to start each truth segment with these three startling statistics on obesity in order to set the stage for what is happening to the consciousness of Americans and the world. It is my passion and desire to turn back time to the age of the Norman Rockwell pictorials – a time when obesity never looked as if it would ever become an epidemic. What happened to us????
The Norman Rockwell picture of 1950’s America has certainly changed. According to the American Dietetic Association, Americans consume more than 500 more calories a day than a quarter century ago, which has 3 out of 4 Americans overweight or obese.
According to the CDC, the evidence of an epidemic is everywhere:
More than 190 million Americans are overweight or obese.
Obesity related diseases are a $147 billion medical burden on the healthcare system
Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years.
According to a forecast analysis from Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., “the U.S. weight loss market is worth 60.9 billion dollars. Out of the estimated 75 million dieters in America, the typical dieter now makes 4 weight loss attempts per year to lose weight – the highest number in 15 years.”
Although much of who you are changes as you journey through life, your inherent worth remains constant. You may have heard the term self-esteem to mean self-worth because the two are used interchangeably, but to your surprise they are quite different. Self-esteem is the measure of how you feel about yourself at any given time. However, your self-worth is not a product of your health, looks, talent, intelligence, or accomplishments. It is how you perceive your oneness with Source and the infinite power of that realization. Your self-worth cannot be taken from you or damaged by life experiences, yet it can be disconnected and hidden as if not there.
You are born worthy – your self-worth encompasses every fabric of your being. Your perception of your own self-worth is reinforced by your thoughts, words, choices, and actions.
Each day that you appreciate yourself, treat yourself kindly, define your personal boundaries, be proactive in taking care of your body temple, and put God first in your life, you express your gratitude for your innate value. During periods when you lose consciousness of your self-worth, you may feel a lack of energy in your body temple from that disconnect. Simply awakening to this concept can allow you to rediscover your awe-inspiring self-worth within you because now you realize that your self-worth is not based on the fulfillment of expectations.
There may be times when you question….why it is that you do not know more about yourself and how you have been living. You may even criticize yourself for repeating the same mistakes of low vibrational food choices regarding your health. From the minute you are born, your God essence is yearning to have you connect to that oneness which builds your self-worth and helps you to support your spiritual self and your human self. You always know as much as you are meant to know at any given moment. Sometimes your self-worth can be attached to things like feeling you have to be perfect or the most popular of all….comparing yourself to others.
Having to be perfect is certainly not in alignment with your Oneness and value of self-worth. Yet, many people have this character or aspiration. When you are in the mindset of perfection, making mistakes and not measuring up are seen as failures. But if you remember life is an experimental journey of learning, then to be imperfect should be a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once you let go of your quest for perfection. Perfection is an impermanent state. Your life changes more than it stays the same and even in this moment your hair is growing, your cells are dividing, and your blood is moving through your veins. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen may just cause stress on the body and lay the ground work for dis-ease.
You are unique. There is no one like you in the entire universe. One way to honor your unique oneness is not to compare yourself with other people. It is human nature to want to compare yourself to others….especially if you think that they are better than you or have more of something you want. Your Creator thinks you are incomparable, thus it is not a good use of time to compare yourself to others. You may do this because it is easier to look outside yourself and feel like you’re deficient to others rather than realizing your desire for wholeness and embodying your self-worth. Every one of us is here for very specific reasons. Each of us has a life purpose to fulfill and with this comes the experiences and lessons made just for you in order to evolve as a spiritual being having human experiences. To compare your life to others when you have no idea what they are here to experience or fulfill does not benefit anyone – especially you. Realizing your value brings out the best in yourself, so that you can get on with living a high vibrational life, rather than preoccupying yourself with meaningless comparisons.
Realizing consciousness awakens conscious living which urges conscious eating. Self-love and self-worth are part of realizing your consciousness.
About the author
Shannon has both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in foods and nutrition. She holds a state license as a professionally credentialed dietitian and nutritionist. Shannon utilizes a more natural and holistic nutritional model inspired from her employment with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, where she was drawn to the stories told by the medicine man about how the Seminoles were in tune with nature as their physician. This experience re-awakened her to a very old truth by Hippocrates: “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Armed with this new inspiration, Shannon did extensive research during her graduate studies regarding heart disease and the many natural, therapeutic benefits of foods, such as: citrus for cholesterol management; plants like aloe vera and spices like cinnamon that improve glucose control; and super fruits that reduce inflammation and build immunity – just to name a few.
(At the time of this publication, Shannon lived in Austin, Texas, but she has since moved our of our area. We wish her well!)