Disease Proof

What does freedom mean to you?

American flagOn a recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum, I enjoyed perusing the Liberty and Justice for All exhibit; comprised of everything related to the history of American freedoms, including our Nation’s Independence, the Abolition of Slavery, Women’s Suffrage, and the Civil Right’s Movement. As one who is intrigued by mindsets that make a culture tick, I was attracted to a wall full of attendees’ interactive responses to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?”

Although the question was posed in the context of our nation’s freedoms, the majority of answers were related to personal freedoms. By far, the most popular answer went something like this, “Being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever your want, with whoever you want.” Basically, a life without boundaries meant freedom to most.

As I looked around the vast museum and observed the saddened faces of many obese individuals that day, chained to malaise and poor health, I couldn’t help but ask myself if eating whatever one wants truly leads to freedom.

In stark contrast, I've heard the following from the mouth of a wise sage, “In discipline there is freedom.” In other words, by living within the safety of boundaries, there is genuine freedom to do whatever one wants.

For example, eating only when hungry and choosing nutrient-dense foods brings: 

  • Freedom from joint pain and immobility
  • Freedom from bloating, brain fog and drowsiness 
  • Freedom from multiple doctors, expensive meds and surgeries
  • Freedom from invasive and potentially harmful medical interventions
  • Freedom to thoroughly enjoy the pleasure of eating great tasting, whole foods                  
  • Freedom to live at an ideal weight and feel good 
  • Freedom to ride a bike and play ball with the kids and/or grandkids 
  • Freedom to shovel snow without fear of a heart attack
  • Freedom to enjoy life to its fullest

bike riders

What we believe shapes who we are today, and who we become tomorrow.

As we think, so we become. 

What does freedom mean to you? 



image credits:  American flag, Flickr: by uhuru1701; bike ride, Flickr: by pcopros

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Comments (8) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Robin - September 6, 2010 9:15 AM

Perfect timing! Lately I have been tempted to loosen up my food standards thinking that it won't hurt to indulge a little - that I deserve the "freedom" of more food choices. Well, I know from experience that the SAD choices do not give freedom at all! They enslave us to addiction and cravings.

Thanks for such a well written post!

Suz Zencka - September 6, 2010 9:42 AM

For me, freedom means freedom from compulsions so that I can truly make free choices. By making the choice (my choice) to be nutritarian, I regained freedom - I am:
- no longer thinking about food all the time,
- no longer secretly planning my next treat,
- no longer eating foods that make me feel bad (physically and emotionally).

Because of my choosing the boundaries in Eat to Live, I am free to:
- choose from a variety of delicious healthy food
- truly enjoy eating - good flavors, good for me
- eat in such a way to build good health
- be WELL - physically, emotionally, spiritually
feel good and energized.

Before, I was quite literally enslaved by food -- it was what I thought about all the time, and I constantly felt unwell and unhappy about myself. And perhaps worst of all, I was afraid to hope that it would ever be different.

Freedom for me is freedom from compulsion, and it has come through voluntarily choosing boundaries that enable me to be free.

Joanne - September 6, 2010 10:02 AM

Great thoughts, Emily... and how true. Every time I'm tempted to go off plan, I try to remember why I'm doing it and of all the benefits it bestows.

Gerry - September 6, 2010 11:42 AM

"If you abide in My Word, then you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, from the Gospel of John 8:31b-32

That's what freedom means to me.

Richard E Crocker - September 6, 2010 12:02 PM


I agree, but the amoral capitalists our culture has produced will willingly promote unhealthy food products which are unsafe, contaminated, addicting and debilitating and/or deadly ..... money is their god and they care nothing for the american people.

Oligopolies and a fascist/plutocratic govt is not laissez faire capitalism and the modern corporation would be considered and illegal criminal creation by the founding fathers.

I don't think Ford would have favored such developments but it is well known, for whatever reason, that he was sympathetic to the Nazis (some say he was a believer in eugenics).

Too much of anything can be unhealthy ....... I have lived a healthy lifestyle ...... I favored powerlifting as my chosen sport/exercise ..... and I favored leg work (very heavy deadlifts, squats, calf raises, etc) and now at the age of 61 find that my menisci in both knees are worn dangerously thin (had a meniscectomy on my right medial meniscus last year). Moderation is the key.

Molly - September 6, 2010 11:15 PM

You are *so right* about there being freedom by living within boundaries. That is why our lifestyles using the Fuhrman food plans work, not to mention our society with its laws and structure. As a food addict and compulsive eater, I know that I need the structure of a food plan to keep me on track; left to my own devices I would overeat every time. Thanks for the reminder that within discipline, there is freedom.

Matt - September 8, 2010 11:15 AM

As Janis Joplin sang, "freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

body weight & disease in this case!

Tally - September 24, 2010 5:08 PM

Amen, Gerry. Everything else is secondary. Spiritually and physically, we reap what we sow. Now in our sixties, my husband and I are enjoying all the freedoms Emily lists, and more, thanks in large part to earlier discipline and boundaries. To you who are younger, be encouraged - it will be worth it.

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