The Message Of Your Life (Or, Why Nobody Likes To Eat With Me)

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Not long ago my husband and I had a dinner meeting with three other couples, all potential business associates. And from the moment we sat down it started again. My presence was making each of them think twice about what they ordered for dinner.

Everyone seemed very self-conscious about what they ate, and joked about what I must think of their eating habits. For the first half of our meal the talk revolved around what I eat, how my husband had lost 75 pounds, and the struggles each of our friends has had in managing weight.

Never once had I spoken to any of these individuals about diet, weight loss, or healthy eating. Only one of the individuals had we met previously. But they do know what kind of program The Dr Carol Show is, and my appearance gives the message that I live a physically healthy lifestyle.

It’s almost become a joke: nobody likes to eat with Dr Carol! Almost without fail, when eating around me people comment about how they should be eating healthier, and try to convince me how they really are trying. I don’t breathe a word about healthy eating when we’re in public. I order what I want, right off the menu. And I don’t think they really believe him when Al tells them (truthfully!) that he’s lost all his weight without dieting once, or missing a meal.

And this whole conversation always starts without me saying a word! Somehow my life is giving a message.

There are two things I think this says:

1.  Most people, probably including you, know what to do. The bigger problem is following through on what you know.

The messages are out there, and most people know them: Overweight is unhealthy. Reduce processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables in order to control your weight. Get some exercise. People’s own hearts leads them to feel convicted, and I don’t say a word. If I came on with a “healthy eating” lecture, they would just run the other way.

The same holds true in every area of life, not just in eating habits. Often (not always), the bigger problem is following through on what you know to do.

2.  Your life, your presence, is a message. And it often comes through without you saying a word.

It’s not just me: YOUR life’s message speaks louder than your words also. The way you handle stress, the quality of your relationships, the level of anxiety or peace you display, the importance you place on punctuality or excellence or efficiency, character qualities such as faith, kindness, integrity, and love – people will know and feel your message much more from what you do than what you say.

St Francis of Assisi is credited with saying, “Preach the gospel always; if necessary use words.” Words mean so much more when they complement a life of value.

What kind of message is your life, your presence, sending out? How do other people feel after being with you? Do they feel depressed, anxious, belittled, condemned, or angry? Or do they feel encouraged, motivated, uplifted, hopeful, perhaps convicted to make a positive change?

If you were looking at your life from the outside, what message do you think your life is giving?

Your Turn: What impact has the message of your life had on others? Leave a comment below. 

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