Soon after I got married, my wife and I decided to add a routine of regular blood checkups into our lives, to keep track of our height, weight, sugar level, cholesterol level, blood pressure, and other stuff.
I’ve never done regular blood checkups. I’ve never thought of it as something I need. I thought that as long as I stay physically fit in my appearance, then I must be doing okay internally.
So we the checkup. Alhamdulillah, my wife is healthy; everything checks out. I, on the other hand, was a bit afraid that my sugar level is going to be high. I have a medical history of diabetes in my family so that kind of puts me at risk. I know, my family is very sweet.
Alhamdulillah, my sugar level is A-okay! But, my cholesterol level was off the chart. The doctor was surprised because I am still young and I am not physically fat. But my cholesterol level suggested that I am 70 and that I am physically obese.
The normal cholesterol level is between the 4-point to 5-point range (correct me if I’m wrong). But my cholesterol level at the time was 7.9!
The way I understand it, cholesterol level is influenced by mainly two things: physical exercise and physical consumption i.e. your diet. These are the two big factors. The way you look on the outside is not so strong as a factor, as evident by my case.
So really, the point here is to not make conclusions about the inner reality, the inner health by what you can observe on the outside. External appearances apparently don’t tell you much about what goes on inside.
We have to think of our physical health internally and externally, by managing our lifestyle in terms of physical exercise and physical consumption. Then, I realized that this rule doesn’t just apply to physical health. It applies to all aspects of health: emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health.
The “cholesterol level” for our emotions, our intellect, and our spirituality might be off the chart if we don’t care enough to manage our exercise and our consumption. Cholesterol has two types: the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol; positive and negative.
Physically, are we consuming a balanced diet? More good cholesterol or more bad cholesterol? Everything in moderation? Are we exercising to keep our body fit? Maybe you are externally fit, but you are one step away from a heart attack.
Emotionally, are we consuming more positivity or more negativity? Have we exercise our emotions in such a way that they remain healthy and balanced? Are we in control of our emotions or are our emotions in control of us? Maybe you are smiling on the outside, but on the inside you have all these bad thoughts about other people.
Intellectually, what are we consuming? What are we reading? Are we exercising our brain to think deeper and deeper thoughts? Are we too intellectually obese to even think because we don’t exercise the brain? Maybe you look smart on the outside, but you can’t even think deeply because it is too heavy for you.
Spiritually, are we consuming more and more knowledge and understanding about our faith? What kind of knowledge: the beneficial kind or otherwise? Are we exercising our spirituality in our intentions and in our actions? Are we putting more and more spiritual weight on ourselves, to strengthen that spiritual muscles, or are we sitting dormant and not improving? Maybe you look religious on the inside, but on the inside you are full of negativity.
The inner health is more than just physical, and we can’t know the state of a person’s overall health just by looking on the outside.
So if you are skinny, don’t be too quick to celebrate. Because you might be fat on the inside.