Monthly Archives: April 2015

Reconnecting with our bodies is key

I understand how thoughts create our lives. I get the concept of making sure we choose happiness and when things don’t go our way, to quickly shift our thoughts.  I also understand what we resist persists. If we focus on what we don’t want, it continues to stay in our lives.

So how has my previous thought processes and choices contributed to where I am today?  I realized that since I was a teenager, I did focus on what I didn’t want in my life.  Things I would say to myself consisted of, not having a belly (which I have now), being overweight (which I am now), obsessed about food (which I have been) and those are just related to my health.

The good news is that I know it’s about focusing on what I do want ALL the time.  When I catch my thoughts going in the wrong direction, it’s about quickly turning them around.  I was writing in my journal what I do want.  Living a healthy life, a life of moderation, activity, happiness and being at a healthy weight.  I continuously recite words of affirmation daily to ensure it gets deep into my subconscious because turning around 30 years of negative programming takes a while.  Even if I don’t believe it right away, it will take hold. I have already noticed changes. Changes in my behavior towards those I love and even just one off situations where I notice positive affirmations overtaking the old negative thoughts. It’s awesome and I feel great about it. My life is so much more peaceful.

But I can’t help thinking when it will start to change how I treat my body, how I eat and how I listen to my body. Today, I know when I’m hungry but I’m still not good at shutting down when I’m full or I don’t listen and keep eating.  When I fully respect, love and am connected to my body, I will automatically do what’s right for my body.  It’s one area I’m looking to receive change.  I’m ready to let go and relearn to trust myself, trust my body to inherently show me what I need to do to take care of it.  I was reading a book on body signals and it was talking about how human beings have gotten so far removed from body connection.  If we stopped thinking so much and listened more to our bodies, we wouldn’t need diets.  Diets actually cause distrust in our ability to physically tell us what it needs all the time.  When I read this, I thought, wow, that is so true!

I’m on a journey to reconnect with my body and trust again.  When this happens, a new world will be born.  What a wonderful thought!

Next Trick: Hormone Balancing

I’ve been reading this book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. It’s very interesting.  Depending on your history, if you experienced an injury or something happened to you growing up, you may have impacted your brain function and overall health.   He goes through the various conditions like ‘impulsive eaters and compulsive eaters’ and how certain areas of the brain (i.e. prefontal cortex) may not be function to capacity (i.e. providing enough dopamine which leads to boredom, distraction and impulsive eating).  He outlines helpful information for supplementing your diet to assist with providing your brain the necessary elements to improve these conditions. There is a test you can take online to see if this is something you should look into.  [amenclinics.com]

I particularly liked the section on hormones and the story he describes about his wife who was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I know a lot of friends who gained weight growing up and witnessed changes to their bodies including increase in their BFF (beautiful female flow) and levels of hair growth.  Although I don’t think all conditions are related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a lot of women do and it can negatively impact weight and hormones.

I believe my hormones have been seriously altered.  Obviously the number one reason is the unhealthy choices I made unconsciously for the most part, in my 20’s.  Introducing alcohol and mass amounts of processed foods definitely impacted my hormone balance thus creating a serious challenge.  Add the yo-yo dieting on top of it, and now it’s easy to see why I’ve landed here today.

I take full responsibility for this fact and am on the road to healing now.  The core however, is my beliefs, thoughts and resulting emotions.  I know this is the key to healing and where it all starts.  However, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about female hormones and how, when out of balance, they can impact health. It’s difficult to pinpoint what specifically caused the imbalance.  Was it genetic, from foods, alcohol, prescribed medication, lifestyle?  I think it’s probably a combination of all.

I’ve always believed if you want to have optimal health, learning what optimal health looks like is the first step. How should hormones work in a healthy female?  What should we be eating to assist the body with ensuring we receive the right nutrients to balance our hormones?  These are all questions I intend to answer and ultimately practice.  I do know (like I’m sure everyone else who’s ever wanted to work on improving their health knows) eating loads of veggies (especially alkaline green leafy veggies) is one of those things we should all be doing, but I also believe doing things we enjoy, eliminating stress (which is just us ruminating on the past or future) and getting the garbage out of our thoughts will go a long way.

When I think about how much healing has to happen (which is causing stress because I’m thinking about the future), I feel overwhelmed.  I decided, to just take it day by day.  What can I do today to improve my health? What healthy choices can I made today to assist with balancing hormones?  It’s going to be like this for a while.  Yes, there are times (like last night) where I said to myself, I’ve been doing a lot of work, when will it pay off? I had to quickly banish those thoughts!

The good news is, I’m not giving up, ever. I’ve decided, what I’m doing today is improving my mood and my relationships. I feel happier and stronger mentally. It feels good to slowly remove negative thinking which can cripple our efforts.  It’s slow, but it’s happening and that’s all that matters.  If I can also work in tandem on improving brain functioning, performing exercises I enjoy, and taking overall care of myself, it’s an added bonus!

Pushing Hard can Create Resistance

I took some much needed time off this week.  It was nice to be outside and in the sun.  The difference the sun makes still amazes me.  I enjoy going out for long walks outside in nature. For some reason, it helps clear my head and reconnects me to life.  When I become caught in the day to day, I forget to take the time to look up and enjoy the moment.  Having walks daily outside really opened my eyes to what I enjoy. It gave me the time to reflect and see how much I push my way through life instead of letting life unfold organically.  I have goals and dreams which is good to follow however, I find myself trying to control everything. When I ‘push’ through towards goals, I become exhausted and start saying ‘Is this it?’.

Eating has become a crutch, release and outlet for me over the years.  A lot of it being emotionally driven and something to look forward to on a nightly basis.  I think because I’ve spent a lot of time with goals and pushing towards them, I haven’t enjoyed life but instead have lived in my head. To get a sense of release and relaxation, I’ve turned to food to satisfy my need for pleasure when the outside world wasn’t ‘cooperating’ with how I thought things should turn out (I’m still working on this).

Keeping positive thoughts throughout the day has been challenging because I’ve been so accustomed to thinking the negative. I’ve worked on stopping the old thought patterns which ruminate excessively on a daily basis.This week was a good example. I had something happen the other day which really bothered me.  I was ruminating on it for hours, it was tough to continuously stop it. Finally at one point, I said out loud, “STOP!” and it worked for the most part. A little has crept in since, but the ruminating stopped.  I was able to focus on other things, not necessarily positive ones like I would have wanted, but it did get me out of the treadmill of thoughts from the event that took place earlier this week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life, how I’ve changed and continue to change.  I have a long way to go and that’s okay. Letting go of this ‘I have to be at this point by this date’ mentality I’ve lived before is key.  It doesn’t’ make things come faster and honestly it just causes stress.  Yes, I’d love to be farther along, including losing all the weight, but I know I’m on my own journey. I’ve accepted where I am now. I know I’ve done damage to my body over the years with crazy extreme yo-yo dieting and it takes time to heal.  Pushing myself has never worked and I’ve had to let that go because it causes anxiety, but that’s only if I let my thoughts go there.  The key is keeping myself active and engaged in things I enjoy, including long walks outside in nature.  There is something to this simple act that resets me and I look forward to going.

Next week, I’ll be back on a regular schedule. I have to say I’m not necessarily looking forward to it but this is where I’m at right now.  I have ideas of the direction I’m headed, and I will continue to focus on elevating my thoughts and emotions to experience happiness to move in that direction.  The key for me is to feel good through the process.  Who knows, maybe that will also change my relationship with food…

Is it Groundhog Day?

I feel like I’m in that movie, Groundhog Day!  It seems everyday when I wake up, I have all the right intentions of working out, eating well and making healthy choices. For the most part, I do well until about 2 PM.  From there, it’s another story. I don’t make such good choices in the afternoon and evening. It’s the most frustrating thing and I feel at times like my life is a broken record. When people ask me how I’m doing with my weight loss efforts, my response is the same. Talk about discouraging.

What is it with these static patterns?  I’m not one to enjoy sameness, in fact, I’ve been known to do things in my life to ‘shake things up’,  In this area of life, I’ve done crazy diets, lost tons of weight but then I’ve gone back to the comfortable patterns again and again.  If I want to be a healthy role model for myself and family members, how the heck can I do that if I’m constantly going back and forth with the same patterns of behavior?

TOM was here again and I went right back into the ‘I can eat whatever I want because I’m not feeling good’ pattern and it latest several days.   Basically giving myself permission to eat what I want and how much I want because that’s how I take care of myself during TOM.  Seriously? How logical is this?  I’ve written about this topic in a previous post and it’s now coming up again this month.  It seems I didn’t carry over what I learned from last month.  I marked dates on my calendar, how come I didn’t take the time to prepare mentally to do something different this time? Self-sabotage? Maybe.

This next month, I am going to spend the necessary time to talk through some planning and preparation to make sure I don’t fall back into this pattern again.  Pausing and planning goes a long way. I’ve experienced different outcomes as a result of doing just these two activities.  The important piece which may be missing  is follow through and consistency.  I start off well, and then maybe after a few weeks or months, something happens and I resort back to the comfortable unhealthy patterns.

If my goal is wake up to a new day and not relive the old patterns from the previous day, following through and remaining consistent is going to be key.  I was saying the other day to the weight loss support group members how I’ve been consistent with planning and preparing for other things, it might be time to set up automatic alerts to remind me to focus on the follow through and consistency of healthy behaviors in the afternoons and evenings.

Let’s see how it goes this next week.