When we think of beauty in nature, there’s a lot to think about:
- coral reefs ablaze with vivid splashes of color
- spectacular canyons of layered time
- sunsets spanning the spectral gamut
- stars marking the timeless blueprint of the night
- snow-crowned testaments of tectonic tempests
Human physical beauty, of the kind revered in pageants, twenty-something guys with good hair or in the allure of androgynous in-betweens, is fleeting, subjective and fails to register on the grand scale of nature’s beauty.
When our bodies are examined with a biological lens, they become merely life-support systems for genes. All of our physiology—brain, heart, lungs, blood, digestive tract, kidneys and more—is working to support the combination of genes through sex and incubating, nurturing and protecting the next generation of humans until they can do the same.
It’s mechanical and it sounds rather ugly, but that’s Life.
Look deeper, though, and like constellations emerging as twilight fades, you find there’s more to see.
Each of the trillions of cells making up each human body (which also contains a kaleidoscopic menagerie of rising and falling populations of bacteria) contains a city-like complexity of microscopic processing machinery that keeps the cell alive and functioning. Some cells last a lifetime, while others selflessly kill themselves within weeks of their creation. The incredible complexity within each cell is, itself, set among layers of complexity:
- cells coordinating with each other to form specific tissues like bone or muscle
- tissues coordinate with each other to form organs
- organs coordinate with each other to form a living body
- living bodies coordinate with each other to sustain a social group
- individuals within social groups stir the gene pool and produce offspring
The interaction of all of this complexity—which takes random atoms and molecules and makes a new, incredibly complex human out of them—has a remarkable natural beauty that is, like the natural beauties listed above, part symphony, part awesome and part humbling. Also like the other natural wonders listed, it is timeless: your cells have an unbroken peerage of cell divisions going back four billion years.
Human beauty, then, is not merely skin deep and it is not the exclusive property of photoshopped supermodels. The beauty of human physiology goes clear to the bone, to the nucleus of every cell and includes the wonderful stinky garden of bacteria in our guts that provide us with some vitamins that we need.
Never in the four billion years of cell divisions that led to you did an overabundance of food constitute a problem in need of correction. When your parents’ genes met, the instructions they carried created a beautiful body that can deal with a wide variety of infections and can tolerate weeks without food, but has no good defense against overeating and the advertising and other cultural forces that compel it.
Overeating does not originate within the human body. The human body, even when carrying surplus fat, is a perfectly working human body. If that body were removed from our toxic overeating, underactive culture, it would begin to undo the damage immediately.
Now, for the beauty of intermittent fasting and appetite correcting eating schedules: Limiting eating to the five-hour window recommended in AC: The Power of Appetite Correction insulates the body from the toxic effects of culture for the other 19, without requiring the physical removal of the person from the culture that’s driving the overeating. The daily 19-hour fast totals 570 hours of fasting per month, about 480 of which have insulin at baseline levels, which is when the body can correct the surplus fat condition by burning fat as fuel.
If you’re carrying surplus fat, it may be hard to see it as beautiful. It is beautiful, though, because it’s an indicator of your body’s incredible complexity, flexibility and normal function in an abnormally consumption-driving environment: You’re an incredible, beautiful machine—every cell! Shielding yourself from our consumption-driving environment is what the 17 AC tools help you do. The beauty doesn’t stop there, though. Sunsets, canyons and coral reefs pale beside the breathtaking beauty of a person recovering their body’s optimal size without drugs or surgery and dancing confidently into their vibrant, healthy life ahead.