When my parents were growing up and even when I was a child, we used to say grace before every meal, bless our food and be grateful for it being on our table. I can remember it now as clear as day.
“Thank you for this food we are about to receive, may the lord make us truly thankful, through Jesus Christ our lord, Amen”
It was a simple pause before we eat be be thankful and appreciate our food as a blessing and to send it love and positive energy. Whether you believe in God or not, sending blessings and being grateful is a universal truth.
And no one went to the gym or really took any exercise over their every day incidental movement and life. I can remember my mum starting to go the classes in the early 1960s for the Women’s League for Heath and Beauty, where they would move around, waving scarves in the air, almost a dance, but nothing more than that. The gym was for boxers. My Dad never did “exercise” in his whole life, ate and drank what he wanted, not to say he didn’t work hard and always be on the move, but he never once went for a walk to exercise or go to a gym. He is now 98, healthy and still going strong!
We went for walks each weekend for pleasure, to get out into the country and explore nature, not for exercise. We ran around the in the garden for fun, rode our bikes and danced because we wanted to be ballerinas.
Diets really started back in the 1960s when everyone wanted to look like Twiggy and be super waif like thin, with long blond dead straight hair. Prior to that women in the 1950s were curvaceous, you only have to look at celebrities back then like Marilyn Monroe to know that was true.
Gradually the diet culture took over, exercise became something we did to be healthy rather than for enjoyment and pleasure, or just as part of our everyday life. We did it because we felt we should do it, rather from the joy of moving our bodies and being active.
Now we are obsessed with food and exercise. We look at foods as carbs, fat, sugar and protein, good and bad, healthy or junk food, clean eating versus pigging out. We refuse to eat carbs, go low fat, quit sugar, or go high fat, high protein, intermittent fasting, paleo. We stress ourselves out and beat ourselves up about going to the gym, working out, taking exercise for the sake of it all the time and feeling bad when we don’t, because we are too tired or just don’t want to and don’t enjoy it.
When did we stop being simply grateful for the food in front of us and eat it with love and pleasure and enjoyment ? Who said that we have to go to the gym to be healthy and happy?
Maybe its time to break the rules and just go back to the simple joys of eating for pleasure and satisfaction, being grateful for the food we are about to eat, moving our bodies, being healthy and happy because we love our lives and most of all loving ourselves.