How I Got High On Life

How I Got High On Life

How I got high on life and how you can too.
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Walking down the streets of Manhattan, I began to cry, not even thinking twice about what others would think. Grinning ear to ear, tears of gratitude and bliss filled my eyes, as I noticed the beauty of the world around me and the freedom I felt inside. I thought "This is it! I'm free! This is how we're meant to live!"

All of my life I had been living as a prisoner inside my own body and mind, and I finally found the key to open the gate which was within me the whole time. Unfortunately, four months later, I found myself imprisoned once again. I'm not saying I'm miserable now, in fact, quite the contrary. That being said, no words can describe the ecstasy and total bliss those four months gave me.

Four months of no worries, no stress, just a constant flow of the ultimate love, trust, and freedom. The craziest part was nothing in the world around me had changed, only what was inside. I even called my dad and said "Dad, don't freak out, but I feel like I'm high on life." That statement was followed by my father replying "Be careful.. What comes up, must come down...." Which was an expected response coming from him, though I would have much preferred "You're on the right track!" or "That's great!" Though I don't believe what my father said always applies, I may have to admit, he might have been a tiny bit right in that instance.

A few months after that phone call, I woke up in my bed, and felt my heart drop to the pit of my stomach. I sat up quickly and put my hand on my chest. My heart was pounding as I thought to myself "Oh no, oh no, oh no! I feel NORMAL!" It was such a contrast from what I had been previously experiencing, that the following month was followed by a deep state of depression because I was trying so hard to get back to that sense of pure bliss. I'm so grateful to have experienced a type of joy most people never do, but ever since then, I had been trying to get back to that undescribable place.

Last week, I was talking to my friend about that place I was trying to get back to. His response blew my mind though it was something I fundamentally knew I had to do. "You have to stop trying." He said matter of factly. It felt like a literal lightbulb had turned on in my head. I knew that's what I had to do because when there is no resistance, opposing forces, or trying, miracles happen. Planets move in perfect proximity to other planets, and plants bloom effortlessly when nature runs its course. It may not seem logical that when you stop trying, you get what you want, but it doesn't seem logical that water nourishes the planet from fluffy floating objects in the sky either.

How did I get so high on life? When reflecting back on how I got to that state, I realize I never really GOT there because it was always within me. I simply allowed myself to realize what was already there by chilling out, not caring about what others thought about me, or worrying about this or that. I didn't try, I just let myself be loved by the universe by being grateful for what was and excited for what will be, trusting fully in the support that life would bring to me.

Energy, universe, life force, God, whatever you want to call it, is the same energy that nature calls to it to blossom and evolve seamlessly. When you let go of the struggle and resistance, and allow yourself to align with that energy, you receive abundance, love, and happiness. I may not be where I once was, but I've made a tremendous amount of progress in my life, and at least I know what has to be done to allow myself to realize the love and abundance being offered to me, and am working on it every day. The best has yet to come.

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Lyn Landon

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The BS Behind BMIs

Despite what you've been told since your high school health class, your BMI might not be an accurate indicator of your health.

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If you've ever tried to lose or gain weight, you've probably calculated your BMI. Your body mass index, or BMI, is an estimation of your level of body fat based off of your height and mass. This value can be found by dividing your mass (kg) by your height squared (meters). You can also use special BMI calculators like the one on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's website. The value you get is your BMI. According to Adolphe Quetelet who devised the formula for BMIs, you are considered "underweight" if you have a BMI that's less than 18.5, "normal weight" if you have a BMI that's between 18.5 and 24.9, "overweight" if your BMI is between 25.0 and 29.9, and "obese" if your BMI is 30.0 or higher. Is this an accurate way to determine whether you're at a healthy weight? Absolutely not.

To illustrate this, let's talk about actor, producer, and professional wrestler: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

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Johnson stands at six feet five inches and 260 pounds. If you did the math, you'll see that Dwayne Johnson has a BMI of 30.8. That's right. According to his BMI, he's obese.

Similarly, another professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, is six feet seven inches and weighs a whopping 302 pounds.

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This results in a BMI of 34.0, making him even more "obese" than Dwayne Johnson. Do either of these men look "obese"? No. Of course not. Looking at the images of both Hogan and Johnson, it's easy to see that they're both pretty muscular, fit dudes. So you might be asking yourself why their BMIs are high enough to be considered obese. The answer is simple: muscle weighs more than fat.

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In the image above, the yellow mass is five pounds of fat and the smaller, red mass on the right is five pounds of muscle. The pen is there for size comparison. As you can see the five pounds of fat looks much larger than the five pounds of muscle. This the part that BMIs get wrong: not all weight is equal. Because body mass index calculations only take into consideration the mass of the person (along with the height) as opposed to body fat percentage or strictly muscle mass, BMIs are never going to be an accurate representation of health. If you're still on the fence about the accuracy of Quetelet's Body Mass Index formula, NPR, or the National Public Radio, states 10 reasons why BMIs are phony.

Luckily there are more accurate ways to find out how healthy we are, such as Body Adiposity Index (BAI) and Hydrostatic Weighing. One inexpensive alternative is the use of skin calipers. Skin calipers are used to pinch sections of fat on the body and determine body composition. A downside to this though is that this is only as accurate as the technician measuring is.

Regardless of your BMI, your BAI, your weight, or your height, you are so much more than a number. Remember: it's what's on the inside that counts.

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