Manifesting Greatness

I’m going to be heading back to college soon, so I’d like to brush up again on something important for you to remember if you are, too, or even if you’re going back to middle or high school. It works for everyone!

College, for most, is when one actually debuts into society and when one learns about life. It is considered a leeway into success, and although it can provide a person with knowledge and skills for that person’s journey through life, college does not always fulfill every aspect of life, every requirement for success. Where true success comes from is within: A vision is manifested into reality through determination and motivation, confidence in self or passion, and inspired action. Positive thinking and positive action are key in success, in college and life.

There is a universal law, the Law of Attraction, that states that as humans, we attract our circumstances to ourselves through our thoughts, feelings, and actions. This law is not only present in quantum physics, but it is also relevant to theology and psychology.

If one start off the day on a positive note, and that person keeps thinking that things are going to go happily or easily, that person expects and looks for the good in the day. It usually follows, then, that good things happen and opportunities appear to pop up because one is looking for them. A person is also more approachable when he or she is in a better mood, and because of this, that person is also able to make better decisions and he is also able to speak to others without becoming irate and therefore avoids snapping at whomever he speaks to. This is the psychological standpoint of the benefit of positivity.

The same is unfortunately true of the other side of the spectrum, in which a person starts off the day in a negative way. In that case, the person is more prone to outbursts of anger or irritation, and is more likely to find the “bad” in the day. Abraham Lincoln says it best, in relation to people: “Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.” This can be applied to all areas of life. You choose how you see things.

The Law of Attraction also focuses on how thinking can literally change your life, as one can manifest their desired reality through visualization and raising one’s vibration. The gist of this maxim for “like attracts like,” is that by deciding what they want and accepting that it is possible for them to have it (sometimes those knowledgeable about this universal law go to the extent of “acting as if” they have what they desire already) and then allowing it to come to them before taking “inspired action” (an action driven by intuition that ultimately leads to the desire of the manifestor).

Many people feel guilty about using this law to their advantage, feeling as though it is immoral to interfere with “the will of the world,” or for religious people, God’s Will. This is understandable, but the Law of Attraction is always at work and always being used, just like the other laws of physics. However, most people do not know that they are using it and therefore end up using it to their disadvantage. The knowledge that one can change their life by changing their thoughts and deciding what they want is knowledge as old as time and imperially powerful. Manipulating the Law of Attraction to make life better for you and your family is just the same and just as important as Humanity harnessing the power of electricity or manipulating the Law of Gravity with other forces of nature, for their own use — for technology and for flying planes.   

There is too much on the Law of Attraction, and its complementing companion, the Law of Detachment, to fit into the confines of a short read, but it is a topic well-worth researching and really learning. You attract what you want by knowing you’ll have it, and you get it by letting go because you know you will.

 

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10 Somewhat Unusual Things To Do When You’re Bored—Maybe Even As Bored As Light Yagami or Sherlock Holmes

What is there to do when you’re bored? There is so much time in the world and a myriad of ways to spend it, but it isn’t always easily revealed to us what we could be doing when we aren’t doing anything! There’s a saying that boredom inspires creativity, and that may be true! It just so happens that at this moment I’m bored, and this is what I chose to do: Come up with a list of things to do.

If you’re sitting in your room right now, looking for something to ease your ennui, don’t fret and don’t look any farther for ideas to sooth your lackadaisical feelings. Here’s a list of 10 easy-to-do, but not necessarily normal, activities for the bored.

 

  1. Watch live cameras.

I don’t think the average person readily has surveillance cameras or satellites set up to people watch, bird watch, or whatnot, but that isn’t a problem. The internet has a variety of sources for people who want to watch places and animals. I wouldn’t recommend watching people, as there are some sites that can do that, too, unless people watching could help you in your line of work (criminal justice, psychology, philosophy, etc.), but watching animals or beautiful sceneries can be a touching thing to do in your spare time.

 

The Panama Canal and Smithsonian National Zoo both provide live cameras. In fact, many zoos offer live cameras. Be sure to check out the pandas! They’re always quite adorable. A quick Google search will lead you to nature reserves and animal feeds all over the world. Audobon and LiveScience have good resources to find rainforests and other great views. YouTube does, too, and I think there’s even a live feed of space. So, if that’s your thing, what are you waiting for? Check it out! Oh, but, finish reading this article first, please. Haha. 

 

  1. Stack things.

Stacking things sounds like a pretty childish thing to do, but once you get into it, it can be pretty fun! Seeing how high you can stack chips (not the edible kind), checkers, dice, coins, etc. can be a great, but fun challenge. Making card houses, an oldie but a goodie, is also pretty interesting.

 

Food can be stacked (cookies, macaroons, chocolate bars, Reese’s Pieces cups, sugar cubes, cubed fruit, crackers), and so can bottle caps. Books, DVD cases, CD cases, discs, tapes, tape cases, the list goes on and on. Be warned, however! Stacking is not for the easily frustrated or impatient. It can help to improve focus and patience, however. Maybe even mental stamina.

 

  1. Listen to church bells or Gregorian chants.

It may seem like a strange thing to do, but listening to church bells and Gregorian chants is very calming. Meditating to such soundtracks, or just chilling to them, is sure to ease the nerves. The hypnotic tolling of the bells and the monotone singing of the chants makes for good, quiet ambience to a restless mind.

 

If you don’t prefer the sound of bells or chants, try binaural beats which are able to aid in a multitude of things (just do a quick search and reading on them!) or other forms of ambience. The sound of water can help incite negative ions which can help to initiate and inspire creativity in an individual, so it’s another good option for someone who is feeling lethargic. Bird sounds are nice too.

  1. Come up with a new recipe.

People often eat when they’re bored, right? How about instead of eating food, why not make food? Go into your kitchen and brew up something good! Come up with a new, special blend of tea. Gather random ingredients and throw them together to come up with some sort of hors d’oeuvre or stew. Who knows? Maybe it’ll become the world’s next greatest dish!

 

Try bringing together things that one would not necessarily imagine paired with another food factor. Like flour and basil with a little turmeric and honey! What would that taste like? Turn your kitchen into a laboratory! Have fun and get creative! Just be careful and remember to clean the mess up when you’re done.

 

  1. Try to guess what card you’ve got.

Ever played “Is this your card?” with a family member or friend? Put a twist on it and play the game yourself, but in a blind-reading/guessing game fashion. Blind-reading is when you write things on index cards and turn them over to the blank side. Shuffling them around, and then closing your eyes and picking one after asking yourself a question you know the answer to can help build your intuition. Once you get better with it, you can do other forms of it, or start asking yourself questions you don’t know the answer to, or use it to help you make decisions.

 

With this game, however, you’d take a regular pack of playing cards and shuffle them. Place them in front of you and pick five. Try to guess what card you’re going to get and then pick it. It can help with improving your intuition and you might even be able to use it to help you make insignificant decisions if you assign cards to options and then get a card relevant to one of the choices. Plus it’s fun.

 

  1. Pretend to be someone you’re not.

Do you have a favorite fictional character or a celebrity or historical figure whom you greatly admire? Why not pretend to be them for awhile? Pretending to be someone else for just awhile can actually benefit you and be good for you. Why? It’s because it helps you to step into someone else’s shoes and imagine how they’d think, behave, and react to situations and decisions. It works the imagination and provides something fun for you to do.

 

However, don’t fall into the trap of being pretentious or losing your own identity when doing this. It’s okay to pretend to be someone else for a moment in time, but it’s still fun to be yourself! When you’re not pretending to be someone you’re not, try taking an introspective look at who you are, because that’s always fun, too.

 

  1. Memorize.

What if someone asked you what the 79th element on the Periodic Table of Elements is and you could answer it right away? Or what if they asked you what the first 50 digits of pi is and it was a no brainer for you? Well, if you took the time to memorize these things then you could have these scenarios turn out exactly that way! People would be in awe.

 

Using your free time to memorize new words, interesting facts, the elements, the digits of pi, the multiples of different numbers, the square roots, and whatever else you’d find interesting or helpful could be totally useful in the future and a fun party trick to amaze your friends and family. Not only that, but it also helps improve memory function and recollection. What a bonus!

 

  1. Visit your local library.

Go take a walk to your local library or bookstore, pick out a random book and read it from start to finish. It can be any genre: fiction, non-fiction, self-help, poetry anthologies, reference—whatever genres are out there you can choose from. Seriously read it from start to finish, and don’t put too much thought into picking it. In fact, if you can, don’t put any thought into it at all.

 

Maybe you’ll find a new book that you love, or a new fandom to be a part of, a new series that will become a part of you, or perhaps you’ll become an expert on something you never thought you’d know a thing about. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite genre or a discover a new interest or motivation. No matter what, it’ll be worth it.

 

  1. Word Purge, Blind-Draw, or Spontaneous Sketch.

Drawing and writing are excellent ways to utilize your mind and develop your brain. There are different ways of writing and drawing that could benefit you further. Try word-purging, where you just keep writing whatever comes to mind for at least ten minutes, not stopping to look at what you’ve written until you’re done or satisfied. It’s a great form of stress-relief and a kind-of rant. If you do this with the intention of producing something creative, then you’ll probably find some good material to work with. Just write freely and let the words flow!

 

Try drawing something without looking at your paper at all, keeping all of your focus on the subject of your to-be masterpiece. This exercise can help develop intuition and observation skills. Don’t be discouraged if the end result is a total failure the first few times. It’s a really tricky exercise, and the few times I’ve done it, the finished piece was nothing reminiscent of its muse. Or try spontaneous sketching, which is really just liked advanced doodling. Get out a pen and piece of paper and draw whatever comes to mind, or draw random things until you see something recognizable that you could work with in your piece. Or go the abstract route. It’s up to you.

 

  1. Make a bizarre list.

Make your own outside-the-box-thinking list of ten or more things. The list can be about virtually anything. Let your mind run wild! Listverse is full of interesting lists that you could look to for inspiration. You’ll learn a horde of facts and ease your boredom as you search for ideas to comprise your own list. It’s a triple-entendre activity—you get three for the price of one!

 

A Love Letter To Words (My College Essay :) …haha…)

A Love Letter To Words

I don’t see words. I see stories. I paint words that dapple, and blend, and reach until they project themselves into my mind, and I’m almost where the work’s soul is. It’s a movie, both vintage and modern, but also real, and sometimes I forget that it’s not really happening, sometimes I forget that a dream’s not reality, and my words sometimes contort themselves and make themselves up and I think that they too are dreams. I write in purple prose, but my words are kaleidoscopes and rainbows, and they shimmer and shine on their blue or black ink that splotches across white sheets of love—until coffee or tea spills and those sheets are yellowed, or until the words—in their ink (that resembles the intangible abyss my ideas really live in) has covered the entire page, like kisses all over a lover’s face.

I want forever to feel the rushing heart beat, and hear the thrashing waterfall in my reddening ears, as I listen for the voices of my characters and see them come to life in my eyes and in my mind. When I dance across the snowy dead trees like this—my pen my waltzing partner—my fingers and eyes and ears blossom and bleed like blooming red roses–as scarlet as a running heart. Our steps are so swift and delicate that a candle’s flame would not be burned out in our joined hands, so graceful that a pile of books would not even teeter or totter on our burning heads. But sometimes we figure skate, sometimes we jog side by side. Yet, other times we turn together, or thrill skate, or extreme roller blade, or run, or race, or gallop. And even other times we lazily stroll or just sit and look around. My words and I, my pen and I, and my mind and I search for inspiration or muses. Sometimes they find us instead. Actually, they usually hunt us down when we’ve given up playing hide and seek with ideas and possibilities.

My favorite part of the adventure and the tale, however, is when we climb a mountain. We’ve crossed the sea, found the treasure, told our tale and lived. We still live. I color my words in colorful makeup to make them feel more beautiful, because they are already Guinevere to Lancelot, and Rosalie or Juliet to Romeo. They dress in royal robes and gowns, made from precious fabrics and rare dyes. I join them in their glamour, as my love is complete, and together we present ourselves to the world—be it a poem, a short story, or someday, a novel. I will always live side by side with my words, and they are what I seek to achieve and to hold, and what I have won in my birth. My words.

Gratitude In Time 01/31/2016

     It’s been an eternity since I’ve graced my thoughts with the business of my blog. However, although school has been keeping the space in my brain clean, it would do me well to try to manage this website while I work on my academic concerns. I need to be creative—I need to have something outside of school to keep my mind busy and strong. Blogging can be considered a brain workout! I apologize profusely for my lack of presence, but I’ll try to be more disciplined. After all, balance and management are all worthy skills.
I was supposed to write and publish this post in time for Christmas, but it seems that I’m more than a month late. More remorse, sorry. I did start it on 12-23-2015, but I never got around to finishing it! Oops. Well, that’s all in the past, now, and it’s time to move on and write what I’ve been intending to write.
 Gratitude is a state of mind. It’s when you feel a tremendous and sumptuous joy that can hardly be described in words. It can only be felt in order to be understood. Even though gratitude takes a lot to be felt, it is definitely a feeling that should be experienced more often, one that people should try to arouse in themselves and cope the growth of in others. According to the Law of Attraction, which is a universal, physical, and psychological law (and theological in some cases), gratitude is a necessity if one wants to welcome more good into their life. If one is in a great state of thankfulness, they will notice more things to be thankful for around them—it’s just the way that things work. Take for instance someone who has just won the lottery. They are grateful beyond words, and they start to realize that everything around them is worth thanking God for. Or on the flipside, someone who is in a rundown situation receiving something simple, but important. They are grateful for everything they have, even though it’s so little.
Even if your life isn’t picture perfect, try to be grateful for every little good thing in your life. Be grateful for breath. Be grateful for the sky, for the ground. Be grateful for your heart and your soul—be grateful for any good thingThink on that.
May you always be inspired.

Signing off.

P.S.  I want to write more frequently, but I want to write meaningfully, so please be patient with me. In the meantime, truly reflect on my words. We are all going on a spiritual journey, as am I, and our words can truly help us along it. I’m working on myself, as well as a million other things, so your patience would be greatly appreciated. I’m grateful for it, and for you. I expect to write more, but I don’t expect to do so very quickly. When I do write and post here, however, you can be sure that my words will be worthwhile. All will be well, all will be done as they should, and all is good. 

The Right State of Mind 08/03/2015

  I could start off by going off on a rampage about how frustrated I am that I missed a huge opportunityDespite how angry I am about this incidentbecause the Universe made it seem that it was something I ought not missI am going to be positiveIf I had been able to follow through then I would’ve been more abundant–and I am trying to be soThe key to success, howeverlies in my feelingsAren’t I going to attract to me the type of circumstances my mind is in the state of? YesBecause of the Law of AttractionI’ve been trying to keep myself in a positiveabundantand successful mindsetSo far my progress seems to be acceleratingit’s workingI used to find it hard to find a penny on a streetNow I find loose change everywhereand it’s piled upI’ve found $12 dollars worth of coins in the past monthwhere I used to only find a single cent about every half yearMy mind has been a paradise for me as of lateand I am determined to keep it so
     You know how people stave off hunger in silly ways? They brush their teethread a bookpaint their nailschew gumor even ask each other ridiculous questions (this is a reference to a very entertaining YouTuber)WellI like to fight off negativity and frustration with writingHere is an example:
            I want to feel better. I want warm sunshine and iced tea. Maybe a sweet sorbet. I want a million dollars and prosperity, but I want to be generous with it. I want health, I want happiness. I want to “forgive and forget.” I want to breathe easy, I want to be at peace, at ease. I want to take a nap. I want to dream of love, and I want to wake up to it. I wish all these things for others, as well, and hope they happen. They will. They already have.
     Writing good thoughts and wishes can fend off disaster and welcome sweetnessIt’s focusing on the goodinstead of what’s notI personally prefer it to punching in wallsor beating up innocent pillows, but hey“to each his own,” right?
     It doesn’t matter that I missed the opportunity because I already have it (and more)waiting to greet me in my future. I hope you get all your life’s wishessoon.
            May you always be inspired.

Signing off.

The Storm and the Moon 08/01/2015

   Nature is a God-given giftA piece of art more precious than anything a man could craftDuring these last few days of July (well, now it’s August—can you believe it?) a story-set storm rolled over my townfilling the air with the sweet smell of water drops and the music of the rainDays agoI witnessed a blue moon (although it seemed to be happier than usual)and it seemed to me like any other moonbut it was blessed with a rare beautyWhen I took a picture of itthe light it emitted was so bright that it seemed effervescentand my camera caught its glowunlike other nights when the moon appeared as a giantwhite spot in the skyThis blue moon was the kind that made you understand why lunacy‘ is a wordI think that nature is meant to be treasuredand I think that you’ll find joy in doing soAfter reading thisgo outside and stare at the world around youthe world God made for youand take from it all the peace and inspiration you’ve been looking forI guarantee that just being outsideand being aware of it, will be a magical experience.
            May you always be inspired.

Signing off.

My Inspiration 08/01/2015

 There are those who wish to get their thoughts and words out into the worldThere are a myriad of ways to do itI am one of those peopleand thisfor the time being–is my choice. I also wish to pursue the craft of writing through journalismpoetryand booksas well, but for now I’m sticking with this (but I do have quite a lot of works-in-progress,already). It’s in my nature to be ambitious. However, my love of writing isn’t the only thing that led me to blogging:

  1. I can be considered tech savvy/a millennialso why not exploit that?
  2. I’m online, anyway
  3. At one point my father had a blog
  4. The Vice Superintendent of my school district and my English teacher encouraged me to start a blog when I was in the 7th grade (I kind of did, but soon after lost the password and now it just serves as part of a good memory)
  5. I watched the movie, Ask Me Anythingand it occurred to me that I might want to try actually having a successful blog while I work on getting published and surviving high school
  6. This is an introspective and insightful experience
  7. I just love to write 

     As I blog, I am not only practicing the basic skills that one chasing after this art must master, but I am also debuting myself to the world (even though I am anonymous to you),gaining confidence, and expressing my thoughts, opinions, and feelings.  I am unfolding myself, learning more about who I am, and analyzing my life and the lessons I learn. I am practicing writing down my desires in order for them to manifest into my lifeI guess I’m also being dramatic, huh? Only to an extent, thoughit’s mostly true. Although this is an experience mostly for me, it’s about you, tooI want to provide entertainmentinformationinsightsadviceand anything else I can, to youAs a blogger it’s my job to do so. Let’s hope I can!
May you always be inspired.

Signing off.

Dawn 07/31/2015

Dawn is the advent of a new day. It is promise, hope, anticipation. Dawn is pregnant with infinite possibilities and opportunities. Dawn is the beginning of something bright and special.
     It is my hope that this first post will be the dawning of a new age for the both of us: The Age of L’esprit Inspiré (“The Inspired Mind”), and that this may be the advent of a new adventure; a journey for us to share, and hopefully we’ll be together every step of the way
     You know, blogs are such interesting thingsThey’re a form of journalism, but also a form of expression. There are endless possibilities awaiting a writer—or even someone who’s just bored or looking for money—when they start a blog. It’s exciting; it’s fresh; it’s new. I want it to be all of these things for you, too.
     Let’s give a toast to this new day, and let’s watch the sun rise together. May you always be inspired.
Signing off.

L’esprit InspirÉ

Back in the day…as in 2015, I had this blog that I had started with the intention of teaching my Law of Attraction findings and love of life on. It’s the predecessor of this one, and my last post on it was shortly after I had begun this blog, although I had initially wanted to keep up with both of them. Maybe I’ll return to it in the future.

I wanted to remain anonymous on the blog because of a movie I had watched. It’s pretty intense, so I won’t give the name away, but I’m sure some of you have heard about it. Don’t tell anyone. About the author of the blog, that is. 😉

Anyways, I found it again a couple of months ago, and again today. I thought, why not post the posts from there onto here? Memories, amma right? So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. If you hate this word, I’m sorry, but please enjoy my fetus opera. That’s plural for opus, apparently! Who knew?

But, shhh…keep it a secret! The blog that is. 😉

My Health Regulation Paper For Funsies and Education :)

Hi, um…I worked really hard on this paper and also I think it has a lot of v good info and is very relevant to our current society and it has an important message so I wanted to share it somewhere and thus I am sharing it with all of you. Okay, here goes…In this essay I will—just kidding. Here we go! For real, this time.

A National Diet For National Pride: Healthy, Wealthy Laws  

“I’m lovin’ it” (McDonald’s).

Early man was destined to be lithe and fit – keen on survival and built to find ever elusive prey, prehistoric bodies were muscular and powerful, but also stealthy and deft. The ancestors of the modern millennials were akin to cheetahs in their spryness and power in their hunt for “Providence-given” food – a lack of McDonald’s did not hurt their ability, either. In the unrecognizable, modern world that years of evolution and societal development has led to, humans have all but lost touch with their instinct and the natural athleticism of the surviving fittest. However one may look at it, there are limited directions a society can go in terms of health – and to what extent should the government regulate citizens’ health, given the circumstances and opportunities of the new era? A country should surely instill the virtue of exercise and healthy eating within its cultural atmosphere.

Should nations take more affirmative actions? Should hands-off governments take health matters into their own hands? The answers may lie in the comparison of two industrialized nations that appear to have very different fates for their citizens’ health.

Although health is at times subjective and diet and fitness are a part of an individual’s freedom to decide on his own lifestyle choices, it is clear that Japan’s protective watch over the health of its people, through laws and regulations that keep them robust and thriving, with a primary emphasis on quality of food and wellness, is a standard the overly laissez-faire US should adopt, instead of allowing the primary focus to be on weight loss and appearance, while still continuing to perpetuate consumption of unhealthy, poor quality diets and food.  

Countries other than the US have stricter dietary and accompanying wellness policies, deeply rooted cultural traditions, and more modern cultural practices regarding health and fitness. Different cultural practices affect the diets of people from different countries, and therefore influence the overall health of a population. This country, a fast-food-friendly, sweets-loving nation, is on the wider end of the spectrum, literally.  The US is the tenth most obese country in the world, with an obesity rate of 31.8% as of 2018. This is a vast contrast from Japan, which has one of the least obese populations in the world. Japan, “The Land of the Rising Sun,” has an obesity rate of only 3.5%, and most foreign visitors will attest to that, reacting to the primarily “thin,” population with surprise. Asians do tend to be at a higher risk of health problems at a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than other ethnicities – and Asian countries tend to focus on acquiring food from more natural and organic resources compared to Western nations, as well. These elements considered and combined make it almost essential and effortless to maintain some of the lowest percentages of obesity in the world.  Regardless, there is no denying that being overweight comes with a plethora of health problems, no matter what the race or ethnicity of an individual is (Carlson; Kim).

Because of the necessity of a relatively low BMI for health, Japan has implemented a number of laws to keep the health of its people in check. The Japanese government, for example, has enacted a waist limit for its citizens. In other words, citizens are required to meet or be below a certain waistline measurement. However, the number chosen for the national limit was not chosen without reason – it comes from recommendations from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) regarding waist size range to prevent health problems caused by being overweight. The IDF had established a threshold “ … of 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women” in 2005, which Japan has chosen for their own legal threshold in 2008, when the limit was established as law (Onishi).

There is a lot of misconception surrounding Japan’s anti-metabo laws (metabo is the word the Japanese use for the overweight). People wonder if there are consequences for not keeping health in check. This is true, but those consequences come from physiology, and not the Japanese law. The latter will instead institute a process of giving “ … dieting guidance if after three months [people who exceed national waistline limits and/or are inhibited by their health] do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months” (Onishi).

When the law was first established, there was quite a bit of backlash. Some people felt anxiety over the idea of being lined up to get their waist measured, or having to go to “ … special check-ups.” Others believed that the overall Japanese people were too skinny for such a law: one such person being “Yoichi Ogushi, a professor at Tokai University’s School of Medicine near Tokyo and an expert on public health,” who “said that there was ‘no need at all’ for the Japanese to lose weight” (Onishi).

While Japan on average meets or is below the IDF threshold, the US is on the opposite end of the spectrum. American men’s waists on average measure just about an “ … inch lower than the … threshold established by the International Diabetes Federation,” while American women’s waists measure “ … about two inches above their threshold.” Contrasting from the population of the Asian Southeastern Islands, the average American is dangerously bordering the IDF’s threshold of a waistline of 40 inches for men and one of 34.6 inches for women (Onishi).

It is not as though the US has been completely silent on the population’s growing obesity rate, however. In 2010, Michelle Obama launched a healthy eating campaign known as “Let’s Move!” to inspire a move toward a healthier America and a decrease in the national obesity rate. The initiative focuses primarily on “ … solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.” In 2012, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City attempted to implement a soda ban to promote healthy eating (Eenfeldt; James and Mark-Viverito).

Even so, the US is an independence-centric nation – and the culture circles around a laissez-faire lifestyle, with many Americans advocating for freedom in every area in life. This obsession with autonomy comes from the country’s history – the nation was founded on freedom and has been loyal to the virtue ever since. Especially in recent years, political correctness has even adopted the ideals of independence for certain relevant topics. In the case of weight and fitness, for example, a new movement that (on the extreme end of the spectrum) encourages all body types. The Body Positivity Movement, which began in the 2010s and emphasizes love of all body types and sizes, (and what it is becoming) has become a debatable force in discussions about health, as of late.

It is extremely controversial as to whether or the US should take more action toward the obesity epidemic taking over the nation. Japan is just one example of a country that successfully enforced laws for tackling obesity – and as of 2019, the US has not yet achieved a successful health campaign.             

Critics of health laws here in the US believe if the country begins creating and implementing such legislation, the rights of the people (to eat whatever they wish and be however they may be) may be infringed upon. There is also cry that if the country moves toward a “thin-centric” society, in which laws to keep people within a certain size are made, it will be establishing and perpetuating bias and discrimination against people with chunkier frames.

The Body Positivity Movement is especially vehement against the idea of creating health, weight, or size regulating laws. There is a fear that if the US begins to follow after countries that make a certain size mandatory for certain demographics, then the number of eating disorders in America will increase. As of 2019, approximately 30 million Americans from all sorts of demographics are suffering from an eating disorder. People with eating disorders force all sorts of rules and laws onto themselves and into their diets and lifestyles, and there is a worry that if the US relies on restrictive eating habits as law, or instigates a weight and size limit that will only initiate an increase in eating disorders, in order to comply with legislation (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).

The US spends too much money on weight loss as it is, the aforementioned critics will point out. “Americans spen[d] about 66 billion dollars on trying to become thinner.” This money could be used for other things. Perhaps more Americans could donate to charity or they could even invest that kind of money in order to improve their financial situations. One fat activist jokingly stated that the time people use for weight loss efforts could go to deciding whether or not “ … pineapple on pizza should be outlawed” (Welsby and TEDxStanleyPark).

Body Positivity activists and, more recently, fat activists believe that the US’ obsession with weight loss is detrimental to mental and emotional health as it is. Weight loss encouragement is everywhere – subliminally and ostentatiously. This, coupled with rising eating disorder percentages, seems like no coincidence.

The media already enforces enough images of weight loss and dieting for there to be a need for regulatory laws. They are everywhere – skinny models on magazine covers and walking the runway, and exhibitionistic social media influencers boasting their bodies. The Kardashians endorse “Fit Tea” and claim it keeps them thin and encourage fans to follow in their path and buy it. Not to mention, the onslaught of diet and weight loss advertising thrown in citizens’ faces everyday. There are enough examples in media to make people uncomfortable with themselves, to the extent of developing poor self-images and taking harsh actions against themselves for the sake of fitness, for relevant legislation to be necessary (“The Questionable … ‘Weight Loss’ Teas”; Rowland).

Media influence on women’s (and perhaps even men’s) perceptions of beauty and physical ideals have become almost exclusively weight-loss oriented. Things have gotten so bad that “ … 79% of the two thousand women surveyed thought that their social lives would improve if they were thinner [and] 70% believed that overweight people were generally seen as less intelligent and less attractive” (Rowland).

Even children’s programs have these themes. A popular show from the early 2000s, Totally Spies, had a character joke about how convenient it was that she missed a meal so that she could fit down a chimney for a spy mission. This type of dialogue in entertainment targeted towards children and young teens could be harmful to their view of diets in the long run (Totally Spies, Season 6, Episode 1).

Media not only convinces women they need to be thin to be attractive but prevalent images promoted through different sources also contribute to the idea “fat is bad,” and “fat stigma” is a very real thing. A study conducted by Dr. Sarah Domoff, a clinical psychology researcher at the University of Michigan, concluded those who did not feel the need to lose weight appeared to become malignantly biased against those trying to lose weight in the competitive reality television program, “The Biggest Loser.” This show encourages fast weight loss under extreme and often belittling circumstances and conditions, and according to the study, has helped to perpetuate fat stigma in its own way, by depicting overweight people as animals, until they lose weight (Lucchesi).     

There is also the question of what health can be defined as. There are people who can eat absolute garbage on a daily basis and still have an attractive physique because of extenuating circumstances, such as a calorie-deficit achieved through exercise or smaller portions. There are also overweight people who eat healthy and still struggle to lose weight. If the US government was to create and implement diet and wellness laws to lower the rate of obesity in the country, what would the guidelines be? There is a question of whether certain laws would be extended to the demographic of “thin” people who are eating themselves into an unhealthy future (“ ‘Skinny’ … Inside”).      

Despite having one of the highest obesity rates in the world, which is still climbing as time goes on, the US has attempted to remedy the aforementioned issue, in the past. The government had attempted to enact health regulatory programs in relatively recent years, but most have been met with distaste and resistance by the people, and failure as a result.

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign failed due to people crying out about freedom to eat whatever they wish and complaining about the changes implemented in schools regarding diet. The program essentially forced schools to comply, instead of introducing alternatives to the lifestyles and routines offered to children in the past. The campaign also focused on only one aspect of health, as opposed to different areas of health. It also focused on only two approaches, instead of looking at different strategies to achieve a certain result. The campaign did not really focus on reducing the number of health-insensitive businesses in the US: Businesses that manufacture and distribute processed foods and beverages, products with high levels of saturated fats, and with a diabetes-inducing level of sugar still continued to produce their products in the same manner as they had prior to the campaign (Eenfeldt).

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had also attempted to implement a health-care law through a “soda ban” in which businesses were banned from selling soda that exceeded “ … 16 ounces (473 ml) … ” Although the law was positive in terms of health care, it was predicted to hurt the economy and was criticized for violating separation of powers. Because too much was at stake, the law ended up failing in the end and raised questions about what extenuating circumstances need to be factored into restructuring the US’ wellness culture (Ax; James and Mark-Viverito).

The country appears reluctant to change the dietary culture of the US, which creates obstacles for implementing such laws. It is also important to consider mental health and self-image as well as economic and political matters when it comes to writing and passing laws focusing around health and wellness.     

Obesity is just as dangerous as smoking, and if the government reserves the right to take actions against the latter, then the government should also take action against the former. The government has a responsibility to keep people safe and prevent problems for citizens, and obesity is an epidemic. If laws can be created and enforced to lower the percentage of those with this life-challenging threat, the country will be better in the area of health.

Although there is always a fear over the most well-known eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, there is actually another eating disorder more prevalent among US citizens: “binge eating disorder,” eating extreme quantities of food at one time with no promise of satiety. And in some cases, the same people suffering from this disorder also fast or restrict for a few days to “make up” for the days they had overeaten on (“Eating Disorders”).

There are also other food-associated afflictions that affect the American population. Compulsive eating, for example, is not exactly a diagnosis for an eating disorder, but it is an unhealthy behavioral pattern in which one is unable to resist eating even when over-satiated. It also may be a symptom of food addiction, which “involves the same areas of your brain as drug addiction.” Because foods trigger the reward and pleasure centers of one’s brain, it is parallel to drug addiction in that one can become physiologically and psychologically attached to food in an unhealthy manner, to an extreme extent. The dopamine production triggered by eating is also an explanation for “emotional eating” and the consumption of “comfort foods,” which are just as unhealthy as smoking, when abused (“Compulsive Eating”; “Overcome Food Addiction”).

Media and medical organizations often highlight anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as well as related restrictive and purging eating disorders, but they seem to rarely address eating disorders that go in the direction of overeating and instead emphasize the latest concocted dieting trends and starving oneself. This overeating can lead to heart problems and high blood pressure, as well as obesity, which only exacerbates any health problems previously acquired through this deadly habit. While only “20%” of people with serious eating disorders (which is “[o]ne in 200 American women…” in terms of anorexia, and “[t]wo to three in 100 American women…” in terms of bulimia) die each year, 300,000 Americans die of obesity every year, which is a stark and startling contrast to the former (“Eating Disorder Statistics”; “Obesity: Facts, Figures, Guidelines”)

Although all eating disorders are serious and need to be addressed, more light has been shed on anorexia and bulimia, as they are almost glamorized by Hollywood as a “pretty struggle.” There should be as much discussion on overeating disorders and what may cause them, how to solve them, as there is regarding restrictive eating disorders (“Eating Disorder Statistics”; “Obesity: Facts, Figures, Guidelines”).  

However, it is known the majority of eating disorders are most likely caused by insecurity and feelings of inadequacy, as well as a loss of control in life and a need for control, which is satisfied by controlling one’s diet and eating pattern. This is contrary to what the public is taught. Hollywood and media portrayals of eating disorders are often in line with the belief these disorders are actually the result of wanting to be beautiful as opposed to deep psychological and emotional issues that need to be mended.

Although appearance and wanting to be “thin to be beautiful” is a factor in restrictive eating disorders, it is not the main cause. People with eating disorders are also clearly very unhealthy, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even socially. The fears of people developing eating disorders as a result of health-centered legislation is irrational, as such laws can actually help develop positive and wholesome eating habits conducive to a happier and healthier lifestyle, in all areas (“Addicted to Control”).

Of course, a surplus of health defects are associated with obesity, to the same degree, but at the opposite end of the spectrum, as anorexia. Both extremities involve heart and blood pressure problems. Obesity leads to hypertension (high blood pressure) and anorexia leads to hypotension (low blood pressure). Both can cause arrhythmia, with the former resulting from a heart beating to fast, and the latter from a heart beating too slow. These are only the tip of the iceberg, but refer to two of the most vital (or in this case, fatal) aspects of health (“Health Risks Associated … Obesity”; “What Is Anorexia?”)

However, health and wellness laws targeting diet and fitness could help to reduce the number of eating disorders and extreme weights in America. If a nutritional, national guideline were to be enforced, one similar to the “Health Pyramid” and “Health Plate,” then citizens of the US would not have to spend so much money on weight loss. The guideline would include a recommended macro checklist for different demographics and would outline what portion sizes to follow of what meals in order to stay full, but not overeat. It would set a standard for healthy living in the US and the goal would be to prevent people from developing an eating disorder toward either extremity.  

It would not take a lot of brain power to figure out how to implement these guidelines. Other countries are much better off because of the boundaries they have set for their people. Japan, for instance, has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world because of certain practices and laws that their people adhere to. The food most Japanese citizens eat is nutrient-rich and filling. There is a great lack of consumption of fast foods and junk foods (processed products), in contrast to the daily meals of most Americans, which consist primarily of fast foods and junk foods (What I’ve Learned; Smith).

Japan, the same as the US, floods the country’s media with svelte figures and tiny waistlines, but what separates the two is the former also pushes images of healthy meals and lifestyles to the public. In a form of animation, known as anime, most characters eat healthy, full meals and go on long walks. They tend to make it also seem so appealing – mouth-watering food and fun strolls with friends. The same applies to Japanese cartoons, live action, dramas, and overall entertainment media (“Top 10 Anime Food You Want To Eat”).

Walking is also something so easy to encourage. Not only is it good for one’s health, it is also a way to save the environment. If the US were to make healthy living more appealing to its citizens than fast food, weight loss programs, and cars, the country might actually go somewhere with the obesity epidemic: down. That is not to say these things should be banned, just cut down. In fact, fast food could be even better if healthier options were abundant on the menu, instead of fattening, diabetes-inducing burgers, fries, and shakes (What I’ve Learned; HHS Office, and Council on Sports).

If the US were to give less energy to the weight loss industry through the government taking matters into its own hands, the $66 billion used toward weight loss endeavors a year could go to better things – like taxes for free health care that would further perpetuate a health population. If $66 billion were put into such ambitions, Americans could have assigned nutritionists to take care of their dietary problems and would not have to spend their money on weight loss, and the surplus finances from the taxes could go to taking care of people with eating disorders. Fixing one end of an equation often solves others, and if the US were to implement these tactics, US citizens could be healthier and happier than ever before (Welsby and TEDxStanleyPark).       

The government worries about public backlash, but the American lifestyle used to be much healthier in the early to middle 20th century than it is today. Instead of moving toward an unhealthy US, the country would be tracing its roots to cleaner dietary and wellness lifestyles and reversing the damage it has caused to so many of its citizens health. Obesity and anorexia were both uncommon before the country took a turn for the worse. The country got used to fast food, it can get used to healthy food. It has gotten used to much harder things to adopt, but those things were also for the better: The Civil Rights Movement, is the quintessential example. Eventually, all new things become normal (Spencer; Breyer).

Positive media influences are essential, to success in uprooting any lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of positive media influences on social media. These people put their best lives on display for the world to use as a model for their own lives. The only way one can learn how to adapt to a new lifestyle is through other people who have done it before them. If these people became mainstream, instead of the  Kardashians, advertising quality products, instead of shallow promises, the first mental step into health would be effortless. Instead of glamorizing weight loss and glamorous products, Hollywood could advertise and romanticize health, and the proper weight would follow. Social media are already giving these positive role models a platform and a voice, but it might be time to really put them out there. Changing a person’s mind changes their life, and with the right model, it is a natural thing to do (Arnold; Wong).

Although there have been failures in the past, changing the legal environment is not impossible. The United States simply needs to follow countries who have had successes in the past. Returning to Japan as the primary example, for simplicity, the country had initial backlash against the Metabo Law, but soon it became normalized. If the government involves citizens who advocate health regulation laws and takes into account the opposing views, finding solutions or compromises to quell those concerns, a healthier America could be on the horizon (Smith; Onishi).   

Health is a subjective topic, because so much goes into it, but there are some aspects of health that most people can agree on: If one’s life is in danger due to a deteriorating body, that individual is not healthy. Creating health and wellness laws, or at least promoting such movements is the first step the country needs to take in order to reduce the growing obesity rate, and in order to see a brighter America. If the government changes the political and social atmosphere regarding health, and follows the models of countries who have succeeded in stabilizing their people’s health, like Japan, the US will be headed toward a better, healthier future.

 

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