Photo: George Burns
We're a country that spends 95 percent of our healthcare dollars on illnesses, and less than 5 percent on prevention and staying well. How mixed up is that? The paradigm needs to change. And the change begins with how we choose to see ourselves: as purveyors of health or conveyors of disease.
The ultimate in being healthy is to operate at full throttle—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It's being alert, feeling alive and connected to life and the Source of all Being. If you look at your life as a circle and all its aspects (family, finance, relationships, work, etc.) as sections of it, you'll see that if one part is malfunctioning, it will affect the whole.
For almost 25 years, I've struggled with what I thought of as a "weight problem" instead of looking at my out-of-balance life and how I used food to repress the facts. Too much work and not enough attention to the intimate details of taking care of my real self. There's a huge difference between attending to the needs of your personality (ego) and caring for your true self. Making that distinction can save you a lot of wasted time. This I know for sure.
For most of us who overeat, those extra pounds correspond to unresolved anxieties, frustrations, and depressions, which all come down to fear we haven't worked through. Conquer the fear and you'll fly. That's another "for sure."
You've got to be in touch with your mind, body, and spirit to live the life you were meant to claim. When all three are completely engaged, you're able to fulfill your potential on earth.
It's a decision you make: to pursue what you were called here to do and not just meander through your days. The average life expectancy for an American woman is 80. That's a prediction, not a promise. What you do today creates every tomorrow.
To own the abundant life that's waiting for you, you've got to be willing to do the real work. Not your job. Not your career profile. But heeding your spirit, which is whispering its greatest desires for you. You've got to get silent sometimes to hear it. And check in regularly. You must feed your mind with reading material, thoughts and ideas that open you to new possibilities. When you stop learning, you cease to grow, and subconsciously tell the universe you've done it all—nothing new for you. So why are you here?
You can't keep pretending that your body will function well forever no matter how you treat it. Your body wants to be moved and fed well. High-octane foods like those in "The Incredibles" —all my faves, especially steel-cut oatmeal and blueberries—will fuel your engine to operate at maximum capacity.
You need to schedule more rest, and stop sprinting through your life as though it's some race you have to win.
You've already won. You're still here, with another chance to get it right, do better, and be better—starting now.
What Oprah Knows for Sure
From the April 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!