Ripple Effects on Your Health
Ripple effect: the continuing and spreading results of an event or action.
Imagine for me that your body, your health, and your mental well-being are a very still, beautiful pond. At the shore of your pond are rocks of various sizes and textures, as well as trees, flowers, and grasses whose roots pull from your pond for life. Also imagine animals live in and around your pond, and depend on it for their survival.
Now imagine that each choice you make, every thought you have out of love or out of anger, every bite of food you eat - even the exercise you choose to do or not do - that each of these actions or events are a pebble being thrown into your beautiful pond.
If you choose to help a stranger or say a kind word, these are pebbles. Their ripples can spread positivity and love, and your shores (as well as theirs) will be washed in ripples caused by that positive pebble. But what if the pebbles you toss are something ugly, an act or words borne out of anger? The force of that action could disrupt the rocks on your shore, or damage the roots of the plants around your pond. Even worse, you could have thrown that pebble of negativity into someone else's pond.
Now that you get the visualization, let's talk about what we eat and whether or not we are intentionally moving our bodies for our optimum health and strength. Have you noticed that positive action towards health can sometimes lead to more, better choices? (Example: you exercised for an hour and so decide to skip that junky snack and pick up and apple instead. See those ripples of change?) If not, I know you've experienced the opposite... I certainly have. When I eat sugary, over-salted processed foods (which, come on, taste great) the ripple effect doesn't stop with that one off-the-wagon snack. I develop cravings for more sugar and salt. Even more importantly, I physically feel worse and experience guilt for the impact on my health and weight. The pebbles thrown into my pond were actually trash that are causing a dirty ripple effect that is impacting the shore and everything on it. Eww.
In this context, exercise is another way you can throw a positive ripple across your waters. When we don't work out and stay active, our bodies can stagnate, in the same way a pond can become clogged with algae and funk. The negative impact is a slow grower, happening under the surface. BUT, as soon as you start moving, you get the ripples of endorphins, better sleep and strength, confidence that comes with accomplishment, and changes in your appearance. Throw BIG, HEAVY rocks of exercise into your pond to cut the stagnation and watch your pond thrive.
As you consider the longterm effects of your physical choices, of your words and their impact, your deeds and the impression they leave, you may follow a life guideline to try and be intentional with the positive pebbles you throw into your pond and other's. Make choices not only to take action but for those actions to cause many loving, healthy ripples to wash over your shores.