Category Archives: Negative thoughts

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…

Taking the time to heal

I have to be honest and tell you, I did not want to post this week because it has been up and down.  I can’t pinpoint a specific event that happened, but my thoughts and emotions were erratic and I didn’t get to the gym.  I was off track and felt ‘disconnected’ if that makes sense.  My morning habits suffered and I know that’s a big piece of it.  The good news is when I least expected, I had positive thoughts.  Instead of the normal ‘beating myself up‘ routine I’ve been so used to, I actually stopped (when I noticed) and redirected my thoughts.  The only thing is, the repetitive thinking crept back in and depending on when I ‘caught‘ it, either I was successful or I wasn’t.

I started the week off by planning meals, cooking and prepping on Sunday.  However, when Tuesday rolled around, it was like everything was tossed out the window.  I realized I wasn’t sustaining my positive frame of mind and it impacted my emotions.  Again, probably because in the mornings, I didn’t have the time to sit in silence to pray, meditate and set my mind in the right direction.  If I wasn’t working on myself this year, I wouldn’t have thought twice about my thought patterns. It would’ve taken me longer to identify the source of my unhappiness. I’m grateful to see the progress and look forward to the day where it can happen in minutes.

To improve my mood, I registered for a meditation retreat. In the past I would have been skeptical about going to one, but not now. Taking the time to relax and learn different techniques to calm myself and refocus thoughts will improve my health and well being.  Not only that, but it teaches you how to connect and ‘trust’ yourself again.  This has been a major focus since the disconnection is what created the unhealthy ‘diet mentality’ that’s wreaked havoc on my mind and body from the beginning.

This weekend we have some activities planned and I’m looking forward to the time with family and the time to be in silence. I will reset and start again.  Is it frustrating? Only if I focus on the negative. This is a life long journey to heal my mind and body.  Instead of worrying about the scale and counting calories, I’m focused on learning how to trust myself again, to connect with my body to identify true hunger, satisfaction and ultimately to learn what makes me happy. This is the way to sustainable and lifelong health. It may take longer than I would want, but I lived the ‘diet’ route so long without success, I’m now ready to heal no matter how long it takes…

 

Negative Thoughts Lead to Overeating

I struggled a bit these last couple of weeks with my thoughts and emotions. Some of it I believe is from PMS, but this past week, I still felt myself in a funk and was struggling to stay positive.

Yesterday, I became upset because when I was with a female colleague, who happens to be thin, I noticed she was receiving more eye contact from peers.  Normally it’s not a big deal, but for some reason it bothered me and I immediately attributed it to her being thin. I then began the familiar self-rant of why I should be thin and healthy followed by critical self talk.  No wonder why I wasn’t in a good mood when I left work.  It started a spiral which led to multiple bowls of cinnamon toast crunch cereal when I got home, a perfect example of how emotions lead to overeating.  Later, I had to forgive myself for my weak moment.

Thankfully I was able to reign it in and dig deeper into what was happening. I realized because of self-pity, I found myself doing a very modified version of the healthy habits I established like prayer, meditation in the mornings, positive affirmations and positive self-talk. But It wasn’t enough and left me vulnerable for internal negative attacks that went unnoticed. It started very subtle and then escalated to the point where I finally heard my thoughts and couldn’t believe what I was saying to myself. It took me over a week to catch on.

This is why I believe prayer and meditation are so important.  Because our world is filled with so much distraction, time alone to calm my mind and listen for the Holy Spirit is critical (for others its intuition, the universe, etc.)   If I don’t take that dedicated quiet time to settle down, my mind goes on auto-pilot with the same 60k thoughts I had yesterday and my progress becomes limited.

How are we to begin living a healthy life if we are not aware of our thoughts and how they are impacting our behavior, in this case overeating?  These last couple of weeks have really shown me the value of those healthy habits and why no matter what’s going on, I have to perform them thoroughly 80% of the time to make progress.

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