I recently read an interview with Carol Alt, one of the original supermodels and whom Hugh Hefner once called “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.”
In the interview she described being on a modeling shoot in her thirties with another up-and-coming model who was in her early twenties.
The younger model was radiant and full of energy, and the whole crew gravitated toward her. Meanwhile, in the background, Carol hid behind some rocks to hide her stomach.
She said she wondered in that moment, “How did I go from that . . . to feeling so tired, bloated, and ugly?”
So purely for vanity purposes, she turned to a raw food diet. She wanted to lose weight and look better – just like that twenty-something model.
But very soon after she switched over to only raw foods, she noticed that her persistent sinus infections, heartburn, headaches, and poor-quality sleep became nonexistent. Not only that, she also effortlessly lost weight and healed her fear-based relationship with food.
In the past, she had started her day with an extra-large coffee with a splash of Scotch – to wake up and calm her nerves – and then did her best not to eat all day. She starved herself and tried every diet out there, losing weight and gaining it back every time.
Now she eats only raw and eats whatever she wants. She has also naturally maintained a healthy weight and, according to her, become more beautiful than she’s ever been.
I’m always amazed at how we all try to perfect ourselves from the outside in. We try and look younger and get skinnier. We put on tons of makeup, get plastic surgery, and starve ourselves. But these are surface solutions to eliminate symptoms – symptoms of the real inner problem.
The side effects of what we fuel ourselves with are what show up outwardly. If you fuel yourself with crap, you’re going to look older, feel heavier, and have less energy. But if you fuel yourself with tons of organic fruits and vegetables and you drink water and get regular exercise, you’ll automatically look younger, feel lighter, and be totally energized. And all those symptoms you’re so desperate to get rid of will go away on their own.
Here’s another way to look at it. If you want to be rich, you can kill yourself working 12-hour days. Or if your goal is to be famous, you can spend all your time on social media to make a video go viral.
But wanting to be rich and famous aren’t the right kind of “why.” In other words, they create resistance. If your goal is to get rich, all you can see is how poor you are. And if you want to be famous, all you can feel is what a “nobody” you are.
In the same way, if you want to get the perfect body, all you’ll ever see is the imperfect body you currently have. And so that is what you’ll keep seeing.
But if your goal was to create something of value for the world, you could sell it, make people’s lives easier, and become a millionaire. If your goal was to make people laugh and you decided to be a stand-up comic to do it, you could easily become famous. Both of these are the perfect “why,” because they originate from a place of creativity instead of a place of desperation.
So if you want to get a lean, fit, and toned body, you could let your motivating force be to become amazingly healthy – and then you’d get that body with very little effort.
Speaking of health, if your doctor diagnosed you with cancer and recommended that you overhaul your diet, you wouldn’t have much trouble doing it, would you? It would require zero willpower, because all of a sudden your health – and your life – depended on it.
But why wait for a cancer diagnosis? And besides, how do you even know that how you’re treating your body right now isn’t causing health problems down the road?
Not to scare you, but binge eating chocolate and potato chips and then trying not to eat the next day isn’t exactly healthy. Nor is living with so much stress that a half bottle of chardonnay is how you end your day. The consequences of those actions aren’t just a body that isn’t swimsuit-ready.
What you want to do instead is exactly what Carol did. Although it’s true that her initial motivation was to look better, her choice of fuel resulted in exponential results that she never dreamed of. And as time went on, her motivation shifted entirely.
She changed her goal from being skinny to being healthy and – in her words – has “never looked or felt better.”
There’s no reason to stay stuck in a miserable existence, trying to be thin and dieting and failing to get that way. Shift your focus to something positive and the body you want will start to reveal itself.
As I wrote about in last week’s post, health is your birthright, and pretty much all you have to do is get out of the way and let your body heal itself.
And in the meantime, start with teeny, tiny baby steps to move in a totally different direction. You should always start small and then build.
And if you’re now intrigued about a raw-food diet, here’s a baby step to help you get started:
Get a few containers of pre-washed greens, a package of grape tomatoes, a cucumber, and a half a jar of green olives. Chop and dice everything up and put it in the fridge in a huge Tupperware container. Every day for lunch, add one other chopped raw veggie (broccoli, celery, asparagus, bell pepper) and a half an avocado. For the dressing, whisk some olive oil, Dijon mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Now you have a fabulously healthy meal that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.
If you’ve got this pre-made, it gets rid of the “I don’t feel like it” attitude – one of the biggest barriers to eating healthy. Don’t worry about the rest of the day. Just get this one super-healthy raw meal down, and build from there.
The inner beauty Carol Alt created by overhauling her diet radiated so much that it transcended the outer beauty she had initially been searching for. Her original “why” ultimately became a much more powerful one, and she’s been able to sustain that health change for 12 years now.
The good news is that you don’t have to find your better “why” by accident. You can create one on purpose. Then you’ll become more beautiful from the inside out . . . and that’s how you end up with the body you want.
So who is the most beautiful woman in the world? Carol Alt is. And so am I – and so are you.