Eating Healthy, Worrying About Your Diet, and Improving Your Health, Weight, and Fitness Levelsand Chaos

I was recently in a conversation with Mark Joyner about eating healthy. He posed the question about what you would think of someone who won’t eat what everyone else is eating at the dinner table. He asked if you would find them crazy, disciplined or something else.

My answer was “It depends” and here’s why:

They have done studies about vegans, “normal” eaters, and others to try to determine who is most healthy. They split them into groups of strict vegan – never wavering, normal eaters who aren’t careful about their diet, and those who eat mostly healthy, but when in public and less healthy foods are offered, they happily eat them without any stress. 

They found that “normal” eaters were the least healthy, followed by the strict vegans. The most healthy group were the ones who knew about healthy eating, ate mostly healthy, but didn’t allow their food choices to stress them. The stress of worrying about what you will and won’t eat is actually detrimental to health. So “lighten up” about it. 

I suggest people follow the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% truly healthy, nutritious, organic when possible, food. Then 20% of the time, allow yourself to indulge in foods that bring you joy. 

I LOVE great healthy food. (I also like the occasional cheesecake. LOL) 

I just know way too many vegans, and others who practice other “diets” for whatever reason, who are overweight and unhealthy – with a depressed immune system – always catching colds, etc. The worst of the bunch seem to be those who are so “religious” and fanatical about it. 

I have this weird “gift,” where I can look at the color of someone’s facial skin and “tell” (no idea how) that they are quite unwell. There is just this certain color hue about them that says “sick” to me. On more than one occasion I’ve looked at someone and thought, “something isn’t right there.” They look and feel fine to themselves and others. And I certainly don’t tell them – its none of my business and I know how powerful the human mind is. If you tell someone that something is wrong, even if its not, if they believe it (on any level conscious or subconscious), they will manifest the problem. 

Within 6-months or so after my observation of the “wrong” color on someone’s face, they are diagnosed with cancer or something equally serious. It doesn’t happen very often. But every time it has, this has been the result. 

Just because someone loses weight doesn’t mean they are healthy. Great fuel (food) helps to create happy, healthy new cells that keep the body operating at optimal. In addition, pure water, exercise, enough rest, time in silence in nature, all support a healthy body and mind. In many cases it is an emotional wound or an environmental factor that is causing physical dis-ease. So a change in food is sometimes not enough.”

I talked about the 80/20 rule and not “cheating” on their eating (I think I like that little sound bite!). But what I was speaking about was the maintenance phase of dieting/wellness. 

When a person wants to make a change in their health, weight, or fitness level, then a serious level of commitment, dedication, and persistence is required. A complete and total non-waiving focus on the goal needs to be there in order to achieve the desired result. In this phase of the game, one does not waiver, cheat, or eat anything off the diet. Period. 

In my early 30’s I was in pretty poor health. I grew up in parts of the country where bad eating was “normal” and I truly didn’t know any better. 

After years of antibiotics and seeking western medical assistance only getting worse and not better, I turned to alternative/complementary medicine and learned about nutrition and what it takes to be healthy. I went pretty radical in my wellness regimen. I began using herbal supplements on a grand scale. I  didn’t eat sugar for 8 years. I read every label. I became so “well” that I began competing as an inline speed skater. Before the diet shift, I couldn’t even exercise – I was too tired, sick, and lacking in energy to do so. 

I actually exceeded my goal of wellbeing. I had no idea a person could feel that good. When you have achieved and maintained for a significant amount of time the level of health, weight, and fitness you desire, then and only then is it time to put the 80/20 rule into practice. I know what it feels like to be at my ideal weight (meaning the one that feels best for me, the one that is easy to maintain), the ideal fitness level, and the ideal level of health. I somehow reset my system and it maintains quite nicely with very little effort. When things start getting out of balance, it is quite simple to get back on track with just a little tweak here or there. 

I’m now 52. I’m not nearly as obsessed with going to the gym and looking “perfect” as I was in my early 30’s. I do go though, but not 4 days a week with a personal trainer. I’ve discovered the foods that my body loves and the forms of exercise that my body responds to the fastest. Both are things I enjoy.

You are in control of your wellbeing. You have to take responsibility for your level of health, weight, and fitness. No-one else can “fix” that for you. 

Here are some things you can do:

  • Learn about healthy eating. 
  • Cut out the “garbage” in your diet and any bad habits you might have – smoking, too much alcohol, etc.. 
  • Start supplementing – It is almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need from the foods you eat. Commercial farming has caused most soil to be nutrient depleted. Especially if you are unhealthy, you need to give the body some extra good stuff to work with.
  • Get out there and exercise – Walking does wonders. If you are in good enough shape, climb a lot of stairs every day. Park way away from the entrance to the stores you visit, so you can get easily add more walking to your day.
  • Get enough rest. 
  • Get enough sunshine – without the chemical sunscreens. I’m not saying to get burned. Start with 5 minutes and build up to more.
  • Drink plenty of pure healthy water – That doesn’t mean tap water – its full of harmful chemicals.


Have a great and healthy day,

Bestselling author Debbie Takara Shelor signature
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