Category Archives: Healthy weight

An Emotional Pattern Leading to Overeating

For some reason, every day when I get home from work, I reach for sweets and carbs. It’s like my body is on autopilot.  Same with after I have dinner, I reach for sweets. Yes, there are times when this doesn’t occur, but it’s when I’m traveling, have an event or not in my normal routine.

After taking the time to dig into this pattern, I realized it started during childhood.  My mother did this exact behavior every night after getting home from work.  For her, it was Saltines and butter (not appealing to me at all).  She would come home, break out the Saltines and slap butter on them while at the counter and just eat and talk.  My father was busy working so it was me who got to hear about the trials and tribulations which occurred that day.   The transference of not only the emotions she experienced, but the behaviors of ‘letting go’ and eating stuck with me for years to come.

When I want to relax after being at work all day, I come home and mindlessly eat sweets or carbs to feel better immediately. The problem is this pattern has become so ingrained in my being that it’s now 30 years later and I’m still doing it. I’m aware of the pattern and have tried stopping it, but I know now that it goes deeper and is going to take practice replacing this pattern with something different, something healthy.  It’s not just the behavior, but the automatic thoughts that precede the behavior which I want to address.

In the past, I would impose discipline and willpower through a diet which would work for a short time, but it crept back into my habits.   Before kids, I would go to the gym and that helped but now, it’s not an option. I then tried to eliminate the behavior and that didn’t work because I was missing the ‘outlet’ of changing my state after coming home from work. All of these were tactics which didn’t last because I never addressed the underlying cause.  Why does this happen? What emotions am I feeling? Why am I not feeling the emotions and dealing with them?

Today, I have come to the conclusion the key here is feeling the emotions as they come up and when reaching for food, consciously think about what I’m craving, notice why I’m craving the food and if needed, to sit down and eat the food mindfully while asking questions like, “Is this what I really need right now? Am I satisfied? Am I still hungry?” which will change how the food is consumed.  Bringing light into the emotional pattern is the key here.  I know it will help to uncover why I’m doing it and when that happens, then it will be easier to replace this habit with a healthier one.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Let’s Listen to our Bodies!

Lately, I’ve been listening and reading a lot about health, psychology and wellness.  This is what I do in my free time because I love the subject so much and I’m one to look at all angles and ask, “What makes the most sense?”

There is so much information out there, most of it garbage.  It’s no wonder our society has no idea what to believe about food, health and wellness. One day you’ll hear, ‘Eggs are bad for you, too much cholesterol’.  The other day, I just saw in a magazine an article about how eggs are good for you and the old premise was debunked.  Go figure!

All these years I’ve been following diets and dieting advice. Eat dairy, don’t eat dairy. Eat meat, don’t eat meat.  Eat grains, don’t eat grains.  The list goes on and on.  Then people get into the minutia to say, well you can eat this fruit but not that fruit because its high on the glycemic index.  Whew, to keep up with all this is a full time job and honestly, I’ve turned in my resignation.

We have, as a society, become so obsessed with this stuff that the average person doesn’t know what to believe.  And this is where I had to say, enough is enough. It’s time to get back to basics. What is our body telling us? Have we ever stopped to think about that? When was the last time, you actually sat down without distractions to eat and felt your body signals? Did you feel when it was telling you it was full? How about when it was telling you the food you ate didn’t agree with you?  I can honestly say because I believed and followed these ‘programs’ for so many years, it brought me SO far away from trusting my own instincts that I don’t even know what my body is telling me.  I have relied on diet programs to tell me. That’s honestly quite pathetic.

It’s time we take our power back. It’s time we start to really learn to listen to ourselves, trust ourselves and our bodies. These bodies are amazing, they heal themselves if you remove all the resistance and negative thinking.  If a body can heal itself from cancer, can’t we trust it to tell us how to eat?

Can I Eat Sugar Again? Ever?

This past week was pretty busy. I had a lot going on at home with school starting, I still have family in town and work.  I wasn’t on top of my eating as much as I wanted to be but I didn’t go crazy either. I had a birthday which was a lot of fun.  And, drum roll please…. I had a child size cup of my favorite ice cream!! Yes, I did, I admit it. I debated for days whether I should or shouldn’t but in the end, I decided to have it.  It had been over 80 days being off sugar, flour and corn.  I thought to myself, can I eat sugar again? Ever? I thought about it for a long time, but let me tell you, that ice cream was the best ice cream I have ever had! When I was done, I didn’t have any urge to eat more and I still haven’t had the urge to eat ice cream since. I went back to eating the way I have been and it’s like nothing happened.

I was hesitant to do it, because in the past, I had situations where I abstained from sugar/flour and when I ate it again, I overate it for weeks on end.  This time, I felt so different. I was thankful for having some but I didn’t go overboard and I was okay.  It felt amazing. I now know my approach to health is changing. I can have the control and freedom to decide without my body dictating what to eat because of serious cravings.  It’s a such a relief to feel this way and I’m grateful.

When I was on previous programs, I would eat foods I liked making sure I kept within my calories for the day. Of course, I didn’t pick vegetables and lean proteins. No, I was picking things like low fat ice cream, bars and mostly processed foods. It wouldn’t fill me up and I can’t say I was healthy either.  The difference this time, is that I am eating more protein and veggies then I ever have and I can physically feel the difference. I’m not craving, I’m not having the afternoon crash nor the evening pull to grab Ben & Jerry’s. This time around, I stop eating when I’m done.  That type of self-control is what I’ve been searching for all my life!

I was reading a comment on someone’s blog the other day and this guy kept saying overweight people should take responsibility, stop overeating because it’s all their fault.  Here’s my response to that type of comment: I agree, we have to take responsibility and our power back to address our health. That is true.  However, there is a physical component (read Salt Sugar Fat: Michael Moss) that has to be addressed as well. I’ve heard people say it takes 3 days to rid yourself of sugar cravings. I can tell you from experience that once you do remove the physical component, then you feel more confident about making a difference in your health.  It’s because you are not feeling those physical cravings that cause failure so quickly when on most diets.  I believe when you restrict your calories but yet still eat sugar and processed foods, you remain very hungry and those feelings of deprivation set in.

If you are a sugar addict like I was, getting off completely for just 6-8 weeks clears your body of those toxins and cravings. You start to feel so much better and your mind works better too. When you are in this clearer state, you can start to change how you think about your health and food.  It’s not about a diet, it’s about starting to look at your health differently. You know yourself better than anyone. You know what foods you crave and are ‘trigger’ foods for you. If sugar is a trigger, getting off is going to be a whole new world to you. It’s going to show you how sugar affects your body and how those cravings cause overeating.  Once you remove the physical component, it’s much easier to eat healthier. It’s much easier to focus on exercise because you feel differently.

Some believe moderation is not possible and others think it is. Only you can decide what works for you. For me, if I continue eating the majority of the time, natural, whole foods and occasionally (like on special occasions like it’s meant to be eaten) have treats, I believe it doesn’t have to throw me into a tail spin. Because I already established good habits to keep me on track, I can go immediately back to those habits.  I don’t expect to be 100% perfect (that was the old me) but how about 75-80%? I think that is definitely possible!

 

 

Lies We Tell Ourselves

This week, I had to come clean about lies I’ve been telling myself and find out why this happens. So I did some research and came up with some interesting information.  I particular liked what Joyce Marter, LCPC says in “We All Lie to Ourselves: How to Stop, By Joyce Marter, LCPC

In the article, Joyce points out four reasons why we lie to ourselves. Here’s the one I wanted to focus on today:

  • Minimizing how much we eat to preserve our eating addiction ***   

This is the one that hits home. Over the years, I told myself often I could eat sugar in moderation and would ‘downplay’ how much I truly ate in order to ‘allow’ myself to eat more. I know that sounds strange, but it’s the truth. I can see now, I wanted to preserve my addiction to sugar because I loved it so much. I felt I needed it all the time (and when I say all the time, I’m talking at ever meal)! It was a defensive mechanism (self-preservation) so I didn’t have to face reality that I lacked self-control in this area.  It’s not easy to admit to this fact, but it’s the truth and I wanted to share the truth with you today.

While choosing to avoid sugar, I found something else that’s been causing some cravings. Real Peanut Butter (the natural, no sugar kind). In the past, I’ve never really had an issue with Peanut Butter, until now.

Peanut Butter

I keep telling myself I can have a little in moderation because I’m not eating sugar, flour or corn at the moment (self-justification).  I can have one treat, why not? But I’m noticing that I’m eating way more then I should.  I have to realize, this is going to hurt my efforts if I continue without setting limits on myself.   I haven’t done well with setting limits on food in the past.  I find myself eating more than I should, not sticking to the amount I agreed upon earlier in the day.   Is this a lie I’m telling myself, that I can eat more than what I planned? Definitely! How do we stop lying to ourselves? Joyce suggests we start by:

  • Examining those areas of our lives which are hurting us  — doing that through this blog post.
  • Continue to engage with people we trust — talking with BFFs.
  • Feel the negative emotions, talk through them and practice allowing them to dissipate — Redirect emotions towards something positive and consciously forgiving myself.
  • Focus on connecting to our inner self, and doing a gut check, are our thoughts, behaviors and words in alignment? — am what I’m thinking, saying and doing in alignment – I would say no because I’m thinking I can ‘handle’ the peanut butter and yet I’m not controling the portions.
  • Do our best to always be honest — It’s time to face the facts that I need to either control the portions or not eat the peanut butter.

As we all progress through this journey, it’s important to recognize and address those lies we tell ourselves in order to begin the healing process.  If we don’t, we’ll continue to spin and become frustrated, beat ourselves up and not reach our goals.  Have you lied to yourself about your eating habits?  If so, what are some examples?


60 Days off Sugar and Flour

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 60 Days!! It has flown by. In that time, I have learned a lot about myself and new habits I’ve picked up along the way that when continued, will keep me healthy.  It’s been an interesting ride and I feel better than I’ve felt in years.  But I know I can feel even better and that’s what keeps me going forward.

The biggest change, I no longer experience that underlying ‘anxiety’ (for lack of a better word) on a daily basis.  This anxiety was background noise that continued to hinder my ability to focus and move forward.  It feels so nice to be able to relax and just enjoy the moment.  Enjoying the moment is something I’m not used to doing. I tended to focus on the future.  “It will be better when this happens…” was my mantra instead of saying, “I’m enjoying the moment right now.”  It’s a shift in thinking.  Because I no longer experience the ‘anxiousness’ feeling, I have room in my brain, to calm down and focus on what’s important.

The other word that comes to mind is ‘freedom’.  Those who are or have been addicted to sugar and flour know what I’m talking about.  It’s that feeling of needing sugar/flour to feel better and the days are focused on the next meal to the point where it almost becomes an obsession.  In these last 60 days, those feelings have disappeared and I’m amazed!  I didn’t realize how strong they were until I began this journey and documented the changes.  The sad part is when I was in the middle of it, I accepted it as normal because I didn’t have any other frame of reference.  I just assumed I was doomed to feel that way for life.  Now I realize, it never has to be that way and I’m so grateful to have experienced this now.  But like I said earlier, I know it can get even better!  60 Days off Sugar and Flour

Lastly, one of the learnings I’ve had along the way was my focus. In the past, my focus has always been on how to lose weight and keep it off. That’s why I tried so many diets and worked out excessively. Losing weight was the focus because that’s what I thought would work and what other women were doing.  The result was failed diets and a cycle of weight loss/weight gain that threw my whole body out of whack.  As a result, I grew more and more hopeless because I thought I had tried everything to lose weight but wasn’t able to sustain it. Little did I know, I was focused on the wrong thing!! If we want our society to be healthy, why are we studying disease?? Why not focus on health? Same with weight, why are we focusing so much on losing weight instead of focusing on living a healthy life?  Focusing on losing weight has lead to extreme dieting, eating disorders and even death.  Obviously, this is the wrong approach. I was focused on it for 20 years and still wasn’t successful.  What’s wrong with that picture?

The focus has to be on living a healthy life by eating the right foods, performing enjoyable exercise (which isn’t a chore) and being kind to myself. To me, that’s a healthy life, it’s also freedom.  It all comes down to the thoughts we think.  By choosing healthy thoughts, I can continue to feel good no matter what’s happening around me.  That’s the key to happiness, freedom and peace. That’s the life I want to live and if this is a glimpse into that life, I can’t wait to see more of it!    60 Days off Sugar and Flour

Progress Fuels Motivation

Progress Fuels Motivation.  It’s been 18 days since I’ve eaten any sugar or flour.  It feels good. The first 10 days were tough. I had headaches, pains and strange things going on with my body. Although now, I feel a lot better.  If I drink caffeine though, I don’t sleep as well and I can feel it the next day.  I’m still somewhat tired in the afternoons but I don’t experience the typical sugar crash which leads to eating carbs or sugar.  I’m not experiencing cravings either which feels great. The key for me is I have to eat all that I planned to eat for the day otherwise I’m hungry and that’s when I can get into trouble.

Yes, I’ve lost about 7 lbs so far and there have been a couple of people at work mentioning it to me which I was surprised given it’s not really dramatic, yet.  Their compliments made my day and it feels good physically as well.

However, here’s what really hit me hard.  Yesterday, I had to present to ~80 ppl.  Typically, these types of events cause me to stress beforehand to the point where I can’t focus on anything else. But yesterday, I prepared ahead, went through the presentation material and felt really good. What really made such an impact on me was my brain. We’ve all heard a poor nutritional diet causes brain-fog, and I was the poster child for this symptom for years. I’ve had brain fog for a while but it didn’t really impact much when I was younger so I didn’t think it was a big deal (a.k.a. I was in denial).

I knew I was smart, but there would be times where neurons weren’t firing correctly and I wasn’t thinking fast enough to articulate what I needed to say. It was frustrating but I brushed it off because it wasn’t such an issue then.  However, after hitting 40, I noticed it more and more. As a result, I started not trusting my ability to articulate or think clearly. I know that sounds crazy but it’s the truth. I was very hard on myself and I knew deep down inside it was related to my poor diet of sugar and processed foods. I didn’t want to admit it because I was so addicted to those foods and didn’t want to give them up. In the meantime, my self worth was going down fast because I wasn’t processing mentally like I used to and yet I was denying the truth. It’s like a car that ages and if you continue to abuse it by not servicing it, going for oil changes or using the correct octane of gas, it deteriorates slowly.  You don’t notice because it’s slow, until one day when it breaks down.  It’s the same thing with our bodies. Most of us don’t focus on it until the doctor comes to give a diagnosis and we’re sitting there saying, ‘How did this happen?’ when in reality, we know what caused it.  Years of abusing our bodies.

Yesterday proved to me yet another reason why eating a healthy diet is so important (not that I didn’t know this already, but actually ‘KNOWING’ it is something different).   I was confident going into the presentation.  Thoughts came to me easily, I felt comfortable about what I was saying and honestly, those in the audience could feel it. I received a lot of positive feedback afterwards and it was exhilarating! I knew at that moment, this is why I’m taking the time and the effort to clean up my diet. I spent 20 years eating garbage and it’s going to take time to heal this body, but I now know this is right track.

I’ve done so many diets, so many fads and failed consistently because of cravings and deprivation.  I cannot say I’m deprived now because I eat more food then I ever have in the past.  I haven’t experienced cravings which caused me to fail in the past.  I’m also listening to lectures and books on why sugar and flour is causing the ‘diabesity’ in our country and it keeps me motivated.

I will continue with preparing ahead of time, creating menus and prepping foods for the week ahead.  It takes work, but it also takes work to think when you’re brain isn’t operating at full throttle, it takes work to get in and out of a car when you’re severely overweight. It takes work to walk up stairs.  I provided a lot of excuses as to why I continued down the unhealthy path, ‘It’s too hard.’ ‘I’m too tired (my favorite one).’ or ‘I’ll do it next week.’ These were all helpless/hopeless lies I told myself to feel better, to justify why I couldn’t do it. Honestly, I can say, if you have help, you can do it. If you don’t have friends or family support, hire someone to help you or start a support group at your local library which is free, to create that support for yourself.

I strive to be the example we can all live a happy, healthy life if we take the time and effort to move forward and refuse to give up.

Making my health a priority

It’s been an interesting week.  BFF is here and on time as usual. It explains my emotional roller coaster last week.  I’m on day 11 not eating sugar or flour.  I feel okay but it’s hard to say how much it’s impacted my health because it’s so early.  I’m not experiencing physical hunger. The food I’m eating (whole grains, veggies, lean protein) keeps me satisfied for the day. I was feeling very tired yesterday and believe its because of BFF right now and why I ate some ‘Mary Gone Crackers’ (flax crackers) last night.  I didn’t have it planned but it satisfied the ‘crunch’ that I was looking for all day.  I’m wondering if those types of cravings eventually disappear with time.

Time – that’s the key.  It took me 20 years to get to this point, I know it’s going to take time to get used to eating this way for the rest of my life and ultimately ‘reset’ my body to where it’s supposed to be.  I may have to give up caffeine but I’m not doing it just yet. I have made a huge shift and I think if I add another major one it will add too much at once. It’s going to have to wait until I get used to this initial shift first . But, I noticed when I drink caffeine, my skin gets agitated.  It’s got to be the acid. I’ll look to drink decaf at some point. However, for now, I’m going to continue to be aware of what’s going on with my body.  I have lost some weight, although I feel bloated this week because of BFF, but overall I feel good.

For so long, I’ve been ‘waiting’ for the right time to ‘work on my health’. It’s funny because back in 2011, I made a major move to ‘work on my health’.  But I never realized it had to start with my mind. I was so unaware back then (and it’s only been a few years). I thought for sure I would figure out what I needed to do to lose weight, but what happened was so much more and for that I’m eternally grateful. I learned about my mind and my feelings and how they are connected. I learned how my thinking was causing my current reality.  If I never learned all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am today which is facing reality as to why I’m overweight, how it began, how my thinking and resulting behaviors contributed to an unhealthy body.  If I didn’t gain that knowledge, I would be on another diet again, failing and wondering why I’m gaining and losing the same 10 lbs when I have over 50 to lose.

This is the focus in my life right now. Everything else is on the periphery. I’m okay with that because I have been wanting to focus just on this and yet, things seemed to get in the way. Not this time. I’ve got weight to lose and a body to transform. I cannot do that when distracted with so many other things in my life.  Of course, those distraction were cause by me making those other things a priority over the true priority which is my health. I also know, doing this will help me achieve one of my other goals – being a role model for my son which I believe is going to be the case as I go through this transformation.

 

The journey begins…

This week, I decided to  go off sugar, corn and flour.  I have done this before and it’s difficult because sugar and corn are in just about everything (i.e. bread, bacon etc.) and flour is in most processed foods.   In the past, I was on my own and was super strict. I didn’t eat dairy or any grains.  In fact, all I ate was veggies and protein. It was very limiting and probably why I only lasted 3 months.  I have to say for that short time, I did feel better than I ever had in the past.

This time around, I am eating whole grains and dairy.  I’m not using to eating like that, it’s a lot of food. But I believe it helps with the physical cravings.  After day 3, I was craving pizza and I caught my thoughts about it and was okay. I was emotional too but I opted to go for a walk and that really helped.  Other than that, so far it’s been okay.

I felt intimated about doing this again because I had failed in the past.  I haven’t been able to stay on a lot of diets for a significant amount of time except Weight Watchers.  However, even while on WW, I was frustrated because I would lose and gain back the same weight for years, hence why I stopped all together.

Now, I’m looking at this as an abstinence decision instead of any diet. I am choosing to eat healthy natural foods. I’m recording a video diary that at some point I’ll edit and post on YouTube so others can see my progress.  It will take time both physically and mentally to break the sugar addiction that some scientists say is like a drug.  That being said, I know practicing abstinence is key. Check out this 60 minutes story on sugar:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n29ZIJ-jQA

For me, sugar, corn and flour have altered my metabolic profile.  This means my body has changed so much, it needs serious change to ‘reset’ and function normally.  If not, the chances of weight gain and medical problems increases significantly.

Sugar, in particular when eaten in mass quantities (which is easy to do in the American diet), causes the body to crave it more. It’s like caffeine, after a while, your body processes the caffeine much quicker and it needs more coffee to get the same effect. Sugar is the same. After consuming so much of it, your body has become ‘immune’ to it’s impacts so you have to eat more to get the same feelings of pleasure (couple that with intense cravings).  However, with sugar, consuming more and more not only increases weight, it starts to change the body’s endocrine system (think belly fat) ultimately leading to diabetes, heart disease and potentially cancer.

The fact is, I gorged on sugar for over 20 years.  It’s the reason why I am where I am today.  In those 20 years, the volume of those junk foods increased over time because it took more of it to experience the same feelings of ‘fulfillment and satisfaction’. Unfortunately, the cravings intensified to the point where logic and reason were no longer dominant. It seemed like the cravings would always trump my reasoning when making better food choices.

When I’m off sugar, I feel like a different person. I’m able to think clearly, make better (and more confident decisions) about food and of course lose weight.  It’s going to take time to get there, however, it’s what has to be done if I’m going to change my body to live a longer life. Over the last few years, I have grown personally and a lot of the affirmations and meditation I’ve been doing consistently have really help during the tough times.  That includes the healthy habits I had identified and incorporated into my routines for a while now which I believe has prepared me for this journey…

sugar abstinence, weight loss, hormones 

 

Emotional Eating vs Emotional Feeling

Over the course of the week, I felt myself getting agitated and when I checked my calendar, I realized, it was a week before BFF.  I knew it was coming and had taken time to think through ahead in order to manage my eating.  It came on sudden though, and my responses seemed reactionary. My attitude was not good. I was short with my family and had an overall state of negativity.  I tried talking myself out of it because I knew it was happening (total revelation), I was watching it, watching my thoughts.

I’m not sure if you read or believe in the concepts from the book, “The Power of Now” but I’ve read it multiple times and listen to it often.  I do believe in the ego self (the bible calls the flesh) and the pain-body.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp in the beginning but after listening to Eckhart multiple times, I started to understand what he was referring to and how as a female, the pain-body is strong during TOM.

When I was noticing my reactions, I was getting upset because I was acting like a child.  I finally decided to change my state by drinking coffee. Believe it or not, it worked. I immediately felt better.  Not ideal in the long term, but it helped shift my focus.  The pattern lasted about 3 days.  On the third day, my son actually pointed it out to me and I heard myself responding with an excuse, “It’s hormones.” That may be true, but it cannot become a separate identity I use to explain my behavior.  Instead, I know I can control it during those times, monitor what’s happening and feel the emotions.

On Tuesday, I had a situation occur where I felt like another person trying to take advantage of us.  Of course it hurt, but also sparked anger.  I’ve had some negative interactions with this person a few weeks prior where his lack of integrity shined through.  My immediate response was, “I’m going to show him how I know he’s trying to ‘pass one over one us’.”  Now this was crazy talk and I knew it yet the emotions which followed were intense. But this time, because I was aware of it, I made a point to talk myself through it, to feel the emotions coming up as a result of this situation.  It wasn’t easy because I was so used to eating to deal with them.

This time, I was in the car, there wasn’t any food around and frankly, I was stern with myself by saying I needed to start feeling these emotions.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing or if I was feeling correctly but I did it.  While I was driving, I let the emotions come like waves in the ocean and it felt strange, but while deep breathing, I could literally feel the emotions passing through and out. It felt therapeutic.

When things seemed to pass, I shifted my focus and started listening to a book which made me happy.  In the back of my mind, I knew I had to respond to this person eventually, but by feeling the emotions and not reacting immediately, it helped for when I did respond. What I said later came from a logical place rather than an emotional one. It helped significantly.

It seems minor but I can say this one small change rippled into all areas of my life.  I didn’t binge on food. Instead, I felt more in control for the rest of the day. I did what made me happy and I was in a better mood for it.  Interacting with others felt better, I was more productive because I wasn’t constantly distracted by the emotions of what happened that morning.  Ruminating thoughts were non-existent. I went on with my routine and felt good.

Feeling emotions are not inherent to me. I’ve struggled with identifying when they come and ultimately how to manage them.  In the past, I’ve most often turned to food for immediate comfort.  However, my health suffered and I know in order for me to be a better person, to give back to others in the world, I will need to manage emotions a lot better (This is Dan Goldman’s entire premise in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”).

I’m grateful for where I am today because I know it’s the path to eternal peace and joy.  I am excited about helping women find this peace and freedom.  Imagine how much healthier our world will be…

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!