The ultimate health secret doesn't lie in your genes....it lies in your beliefs because your beliefs control your biochemistry. And being in a state of self-love and self-acceptance produces some of the most health-enhancing biology. In many ways self-love IS the ultimate health secret. So, I had to ask myself this question....if that fat naked woman could love herself, fat wobbles and all – why couldn’t I? By comparison, my body was tiny and yet I was wasting my life wrapped in self-disgust, all I was doing was generating a stress response inside my cells, and retarding my immune system every time I thought about, and compared, my body and hated it.
She blew the myth (there are lots of myths that keep us stressed and rob us of health and longevity) that men don't like fat women right out the window. Wherever she went, she drew people (and plenty of men) to her like a magnet. People loved her because of who she was at her core, not because of some hollow put on outer packaging. She knew that self-love was the ultimate health secret. She exuded a contagious joy because she didn't doubt her worth. And the simple truth is that self-love not only has it's own healthy biochemistry, but it's also something others can sense and are drawn too. When I got to know her and I asked her about her body image and how happy she looked going naked, and what she said took my breath away - SHE knew something I'd never contemplated:
"Cari," she said, "show me one holy text that says that 200 kgs makes me any less worthwhile in God's eyes than someone who weighs only 70 kgs. So until someone proves me wrong - if God can love me, then surely I'm allowed to love myself!" Well, I couldn't argue with that.
Her cells weren't just doing a high-5 happy dance, they were doing a passionate tango, a rumba and the can-can all rolled into one! The ultimate health secret (and longevity secret too) is not about a miracle medicine but, it is about the power of self-love and being comfortable with your own skin.
And here's the thing, not only did she have the neural mapping of self-love to help her biology create those healthy hormones, but she also had the biology of a deep faith on her side. She discovered the ultimate health secret. One thing that people who live to over 100 or promotes the longevity lifestyle have in common, is faith in a higher power. This does not necessarily mean they find it in a Church, or even refer to this power as God, they may find it in nature, on a beach, at a fishing hole...but overall they believe and trust, and because our cells are infinitely wise, they know and respond to that belief.
Years later as a psychologist researching body image problems, I came across an article mentioning that naturalist villages have a zero incidence of eating disorders . Wow, thought the diet-aholic ex-anorexic me. It sounds like there is an ultimate health secret somewhere in that. And there is, because the genesis for all eating disorders has nothing to do with food but rather body dissatisfaction. And body dissatisfaction changes our biology in health-eroding ways. If you think your cells don't react to body dissatisfaction, think again.
So, I started visiting a few clothing optional resorts because I wanted to see if I'd still feel as comfortable with social nudity in my body sixteen gravity-fuelled years later. I discovered that nothing has changed... it still feels amazing freeing to go nude I can still feel at a happy size. I still feel more comfortable going naked in this context than I do wearing a swimsuit on a bikini beach. It's actually quite amazing and best of all, I know that my cells feel and react to that as well - so does my immune system.
Eventually, I took my microphone along to do research with others to get their views to try and evaluate why eating disorders are non-existent in naturist villages. I want to know what it was about clothing optional resorts and social nudism that so successfully dissolves body dissatisfaction that eating disorders don’t exist.
They all seem to agree that when everyone is naked it:
Here finally was the ultimate health secret to why you don't find eating disorders within a social nudism environment: YOU DON'T GET EATING DISORDERS WHEN YOU AREN'T JUDGING YOUR BODY HARSHLY. Don't get me wrong, I haven't yet come across Centenarians who are nudists (please tell me if you know any, I'd love to interview them) but they don't struggle with eating disorders, AND they have a pretty relaxed relationship with their bodies.
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