Stop Reading About Mental Health; You’re Fat Enough

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Dead Poet’s Society

Stop reading helpful articles like this one. Just stop! You read too much. 

Fresh ideas, new perspective, and encouraging thoughts clutter your head as you hop from one article about mental health to another like you’re perusing a neighborhood garage sale. But, you’re not at a garage sale. You’re isolated in the comfort of your own home devouring blog posts like the internet is a can of Pringles. “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.”

Ideas Make You Fat…Sort Of

My comfort zone revolves around sitting in a wooden rocking chair, richly stained and snugly refinished, in the early quiet hours of my East Lansing home. Warmth from an antique floor lamp illuminates the morning between me and a small oak side table on which a black coffee, homemade latte, or steaming Earl Grey emits aromatic consolation. On the other side, to my right, a vinyl record crackles and spins. Sam Amidon, Andrew Peterson, or The Tallest Man On Earth are my chosen songbirds as the blue light from my computer screen shines upon my face. When my fingers are not clicking on the keyboard like feeding hens picking words out of the unorganized dirt, I’m reading article after article, book after book, thought after idea. Yes, my comfort zone revolves around a wooden rocking chair, and having stayed there for so long, I can confidently say that I have become mentally obese.

Imagine that words, thoughts, and ideas were food–digestible, edible, delectable food. Helpful articles are eaten for a healthy breakfast, a quick poem for a snack, and a fulfilling book for dinner with a glass of Cabernet. Like food, some meals are large and heavy while others are a small, light, and fresh. Daily, I devour thoughtful articles, stuff my face with deadmen wisdom, and always order fries with my shake. I eat, eat, eat, but hardly ever actually “work out.” Like many others, I struggle with application.

Balancing Intake With Output

As one-third of Americans are overweight, we’ve learned about obesity. We know that it can lead to a myriad of health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. As our nation has sunk into the Atlantic and Pacific, a culture led by Richard Simmons, Jenny Craig and Michelle Obama retaliated with Fitbits, meal plans, and calorie counts in efforts to save us from ourselves. More profound than these efforts and the studies that reveal the negative side effects of obesity, the stories of transformed lives represent the message of eating healthy, working out, and honoring our own bodies through physical health. No one is a stranger to the concepts of healthy eating or working out, and yet, we only seem to apply such practices to our physical health.

Just like physical health, mental health requires intake as well as output. Failing to balance these when it comes to mental health leads to a myriad of health issues including increased anxiety, depression, laziness, hypocrisy–and the list goes on. Let’s honor our minds by caring for our mental health just as we honor our bodies. So, stop reading this helpful article, get off the couch, eat read healthy, and shed some cranial pounds by applying what you’re learning! And moving forward, be intentional in the personal application of exhorting articles; don’t just be a consumer. Words and ideas can change the world, but without action, they are useless.

Are you still reading?

Don’t know where to start? Check out the Quick Tip section for short, practical doses of advice. 


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