Take the Time to Transform Your Relationship With Your Body

Self LoveHave you ever been in a relationship with someone who was a “Taker?”

You went above and beyond giving your time, energy, support, maybe even gifts and money—and you never even got a thank you? 

You gave and gave and gave—and still, more was expected of you? 

If you know what I’m talking about, this may be challenging to hear.

You may be “the Taker” in your relationship with your body.

Because what you have going with your body is a relationship in every sense of the word. Your relationship with your body is the longest—and most important—of your life. There is no reconciling from that divorce!

Chances are you don’t appreciate your body and how hard it’s working on your behalf. And you’re probably actively dumping on it and criticizing it for not doing more.

You may constantly tell your body it’s:

  • Ugly
  • Too fat.
  • Too weak.
  • Too sluggish.
  • Too slow to heal.
  • That there’s something wrong with it.

You may constantly tell your body how much you hate it.

Plus, you may be giving it low-quality fuel, little to no water, and vacillate between too little movement and too much.

How long would a person stay healthy in a relationship like that? Is it any wonder your body begins showing up overweight, aching, and breaking down with illness?

The fact is, billions—if not trillions—of cells are giving their lives for your wellness and well-being right now.

Your body is literally giving you everything its got.

Without your having to think about it at all:

  • Your heart is beating in and out.
  • Blood is pumping through your veins.
  • Life-giving oxygen is flowing into your lungs.
  • Your brain is functioning well enough for you to read these words.
  • Nutrients and fluids are being processed in your digestive system.
  • Your bones are supporting every part of your body.
  • Your feet and legs are carrying you everywhere you want to go.
  • Your hands are helping you accomplish everything you want to do.
  • Your hips are supporting you as you sit and read this.
  • Your spine is holding you upright.
  • Your immune system is in overdrive working to heal everything from a scrape to disease.
  • You’re able to register some sensation, be it touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
  • You can smile at someone you love.

How often do you stop and really appreciate everything your body is doing on your behalf?

How often is your only response to criticize it, give it food with little nutritional value, and to sit for long periods of time?

Just think about how healthy you are despite what you give—and what you say!—to your body.

I know. Because for 35 years, I was a “the Taker” in my relationship with my body.

When I finally “got” what I was doing to my body with my constant barrage of criticism, my binging on unhealthy food, and my sedentary lifestyle, I was blown away that it was still functioning as well as it was.

Our bodies are truly amazing and deserve our appreciation and praise, as well as generally supportive food and movement.

Stop being “the Taker” in the relationship with your body.

Begin to look for all the ways your body is supporting you, instead of focusing on all the ways it’s letting you down.

Become more aware of what you’re feeding it, and begin to choose more nourishing foods. Pay attention to how much you move it—is it enough or too much?

Your body will tell you what it needs if you will begin to listen. 

Trust that your body wants nothing more than to have a wonderful, loving relationship with you. Just imagine what it will give back to you when you give it the loving support it needs.

Together we can do it!

Design Your Future

 

My blog is moving to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Love yourself enough to take care of you—body, mind, and spirit—which gives you the physical and spiritual capital to give to others.

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My blog is moving to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Be Happy Now To Get the Body You Want

Winter HappyDo you need a “reason” to be happy?

Maybe you tell yourself you’ll be happy “when” you lose weight? Or maybe it’s “when” you recover from an illness, meet that deadline, or have a certain amount of money?

I’m going to be completely honest and open with you—I’m guilty of this, too.

For the first time in two years, I’ve found myself putting off “being” happy.

As a result, I’ve been stressed.

And I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me to slow down. Now, I’m recovering from a lingering cold.

This is an awesome reminder for me that your wellness is never “done.” You can’t mark self-care off your “to-do” list, and proclaim yourself “complete.” It’s an ever-evolving process. New things can come along that you have to adjust to and that require you to re-find your balance.

You have to refocus on being happy now.

What’s given me this “future focus” and caused me to put off being happy?

I’m taking my business to the next level by launching my new brand and website today (!), getting ready to launch a new coaching program in January, and am planning my first ever Love Your Way Slim Beach-side Retreat in April. I’m also giving a free tele-class tonight for Impact ADHD.

My topic tonight? “How to Love Your Way Through Holiday Stress.” Believe me, the irony of that topic was not lost on me while I was putting together this presentation! It may not be the holidays that are stressing me out, but stress is stress.

When I got up this morning, this comment was waiting for me about a blog post I wrote this summer, The Best Reason to Be Happy.

“I’m happy I found this article. It is so true. Everyone should read this first thing in the morning, or right before bed, or whenever needed throughout the day.”

So I went back and read that blog.

Thank you All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you), for the gentle reminder to practice what I preach!

How would it be different if you could be happy on your way to losing weight, recovering from that illness, or even meeting that deadline and planning a new website and program launch?

As I was reminded by what I wrote in July:

Every moment that you deprive yourself of feeling good is like putting yourself in jail and refusing to set yourself free, even though you have the key in your pocket.

Wouldn’t it be better to be happy now?

YES!

Allowing yourself to “be happy now” relieves stress, provides positive anabolic support to your body down to the cellular level, and is just plain more fun!

If you really need a reason to be happy, what reason can you use?

I’m re-sharing this list of things you can use as an excuse to be happy now because as my fabulous reader reminded me this morning, everyone should read this list daily. Including me! 

Reasons to be happy now:

  • The sun has risen.
  • You are receiving these words.
  • Someone somewhere loves you. (Probably a lot of someones.)
  • You are alive this moment of this day.
  • You have some form of nourishment available to you.
  • You have clothes for your body.
  • You have a body that is working well-enough for you to understand these words.
  • There is an abundance of air to breathe.
  • No matter what your state of wellness, your body is knocking itself out on your behalf.
  • You have at least one thing that you’re really good at and enjoy doing.
  • You have a lifetime of experiences that are unique to you.
  • You see the world as no one else does, and your perspective is valuable.
  • Even if it seems the same, this day is different from all the others that have come before.
  • Streams and rivers are flowing, and ocean tides are rising and falling.
  • Chances are you have an abundance of clean water to drink.
  • The Earth is spinning and producing resources to support life.
  • There is an abundance of beauty in the world if you will just look for it.
  • The sun will set and will rise again tomorrow.

How can you add to this list?

What is in your life right now that you can use as a reason to be happy? What about your body is working for you? Are there people, places, or animals that you appreciate? What do you find beautiful? Where are you abundant?

How happy are you willing to let yourself feel right now?

Notice how the energy you get from being happy helps you take the actions to get the body you want.

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving!  Beginning today, I’m shifting my blog to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. For the next month, I will post both here and there. To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

How To Enjoy Holiday Treats Without Regretting it January 2nd

Holiday Treats

Temptation.

It’s everywhere during the holidays.

Enticing sweets and treats are brought into the office, shipped to your home, spread before you at parties, and are even ringing the produce aisle in the grocery store. Maybe you’re baking them to give away, or to create that “magic” time of year for your kids.

It’s just once a year. What could be the harm in giving in?

The problem is, it’s not just once a year.

The majority of people begin overindulging around Halloween. Two full months of extra sugar, processed carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats takes its toll on your immune system, energy level, and waist line.

And most adults don’t lose the weight they gain over the holidays.

Even if you gain just 2 pounds a year, over time you will become significantly overweight.

It happens so slowly, you don’t even realize what’s happening. It feels like you wake up one day and you’re overweight.

“But,” you may wail, “I don’t want to give up my holiday treats and feel deprived!”

Who said you had to?

It’s not all or nothing people! There is an in-between.

You are able to make good decisions about what, when, and how much you are eating.

Be discerning!

Not every sweet or treat is calorie worthy. Truly, some of the most beautiful desserts taste like cardboard.

But you may eat the whole beautiful piece of cake because you really want the taste you think it should have!

Be deliberate in deciding where it is worth indulging, and where you’re better off to stick with the fruit and vegetable tray.

Here are some strategies for enjoying the season without feeling deprived:

  • Plan ahead. If you have a party this weekend that you want to enjoy, skip the treats that got brought to the office, and freeze the cookies from Aunt Mary to eat later. Choose ahead of time the once or twice a week where you are going to really savor a small indulgence. (Bonus! Does food taste better when you’re a little hungry or sated? When you save up for a treat, the taste and satisfaction dramatically increase.)
  • Be choosy. Once you’re at the party you’ve been saving up for, be selective about what you put on your plate. Is it really worth it? If not, skip it! Why spend your calorie dollars on pigs in a blanket if it’s the cheese cake that you adore? Just stick with the cake and really enjoy it.
  • Focus on portion size. Cindy Crawford gave the best advice on this I ever heard. She said, “You can eat whatever you want, just not in the amount you may want.” So you have decided the cheese cake is where your heart is. Now really taste and focus on the experience of eating a few bites. Most people mindlessly eat and never really enjoy the flavor they were after. So they keep going back. Your tongue actually goes a little numb after the first few bites, and you can’t get the flavor you are after anyway. So really focus on those first few bites to get the full flavor satisfaction, and then stop.

The caveat here is that if you know that sugar will trigger cravings that have sent your eating spiraling out of control in the past, then you will need to do some serious thinking about whether to indulge in a sweet, or not. For now, it may be best to “Just Say No” to sugar. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to eat those sweets ever again. Just not right now.

Instead, pick something else that you love and really enjoy that.

And if you do overindulge, the best thing to do is forgive yourself and figure out what you need to do to get back on track. It may be that you need to reach out for support from a friend, coach, or accountability group. Just remember all the reasons you do want to feel great on January 2nd.

You are able to make good decisions about what, when, and how much you are eating. Now, decide to follow through with those decisions.

Together we can do it!

Tap Into Your Inner Power to Get the Body You Want

Dumb Bells Working OutHow empowered do you feel right now?

One thing I’ve noticed is that women who are struggling with losing and regaining the same 30 pounds over and over again are often in victim mode.

This means you frequently feel that you are at the effect of outside circumstances that you believe are outside of your control. You feel powerless.

This can look like:

  • Feeling unappreciated by your boss and coming home and eating a pint of ice cream.
  • Being overwhelmed by everything you have on your to-do list, and falling into the chocolate.
  • Dreading the work project you are facing, and mindlessly eating an entire bag of chips.

Some element of life is coming at you, and you are coping by eating a food that will trigger a temporary hormonal reaction in your body that makes you feel better.

The problem is that once the physical reaction subsides, feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing take over, driving up negative chemical reactions in your body—and perpetuating unhealthy habits.

What’s happening here is your negative thoughts are generating catabolic energy that releases the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally can cannibalize your body. Over time, this catabolic energy can cause everything from painful trigger points in your shoulders, to inflammation, to heart attacks.

It can even impact your metabolism and other weight-related systems making it easier to gain and harder to release weight.

Feeling energized, alive, and powerful creates positive anabolic energy that releases endorphins, testosterone, and body supporting hormones that help your body heal, rebuild, and flow with physical energy.

And yes, makes it easier to release excess weight.

One way to tap into positive anabolic energy is to consciously shift your thoughts and feelings about who you are, what you are capable of, and what you deserve.

Another way to feel more empowered is to move your body.

And it can be as simple as changing your posture for as little as two minutes!

In this fabulous TED talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares that body language can affect not only how others see you, but also can change how you see yourself.

She says that “power posing”—standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident—for just two minutes can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain improving your chances for success.

What this means is that our bodies can change our minds.

So if standing in a power pose for two minutes can have a profound impact on your body chemistry, imagine what happens when you lift weights for 30 minutes? Or run, or dance?

Everyone who has ever worked out consistently knows how awesome you feel afterwards. It is often that empowered feeling that keeps exercisers coming back for more.

You can tap into that feeling of empowerment before, during, and after your workout.

You can do that right now by thinking about how it feels after your workout, actually feeling empowered, or even power posing for two minutes.

How will this benefit you?

Cuddy shares that the minds of powerful people have common characteristics. She says that powerful and effective leaders are more assertive, confident, optimistic, win at games of chance, are better at thinking abstractly, and take more risks.

They also have more testosterone and less of the stress hormone cortisol.

In other words they have a lot of positive anabolic energy.

Our thoughts and feelings—and body movement—literally impact our wellness at the cellular level.

Before your workout, begin thinking about how energized, alive, and powerful you feel afterwards. And then use your thoughts, feelings—and body—to tap into that feeling of empowerment throughout the day.

Not only will this make doing your workout tomorrow easier, but it improves your success in all areas of your life.

Together we can do it!

The Three P’s of Change

Last year at this time, I was preparing to undergo a full hysterectomy. I came through the surgery beautifully, and thought I would share some of what helped make that challenge such a wonderful opportunity.

 

I was thinking this morning about what it will take for me to rebound from my surgery next week.

What it boils down to is Persistence, Practice, and Patience.

These 3 P’s of Change are true regardless of whether you’re recovering from surgery or illness, working to lose weight, or making some other life change.

Persistence

When you’re finally ready to make a change, you may want it to happen right now.

That impatience makes the process very frustrating and fraught with ups and downs. At the very least, this can make the journey unpleasant, and worse can cause you to get so discouraged that you give up on achieving your goal.

Being Persistent is key.

Persistence is mostly a mind thing. It’s being determined in the moment to make the decision that will move you towards your goal, rather than choosing the option that will maintain you where you are, or even set you back.

After my surgery, I will need to consistently make the decision to eat healthy foods to give my body the nutrients it needs to heal and recover—and not fall into comforting myself with holiday treats. And I will need to move as much as I can. Not only does the doctor say that walking will speed my recovery, but consistently doing what I can will help keep me in the exercise habit so as I am feeling better it will be easier to motivate myself to get moving.

Practice 

There are typically some routine actions that have to be Practiced consistently to facilitate making a change.

For instance, if you’re losing weight, you have to practice eating healthy foods in moderate amounts and moving your body.

There are things you can do to facilitate these regular practices.

If you’re dieting, you can plan your meals for the week so that you have the right food on hand, stick to a schedule of regular eating, and stay on track with calories.

The actions that I want to practice to facilitate my recovery include meditating, eating nutritious meals, walking, and resting.

To facilitate these, I intend to maintain my practice of meditating upon waking. For the past several weeks, my husband and I have made big batches of healthy soups and frozen much of it so that we’ll have easy, nutritious meals on hand. This weekend I also plan to lay in lots of fruit, fat-free Greek yogurt, and other healthy snacks that don’t require any preparation.

Apparently they will get me up for my first walk while I am in the hospital, so I have set some minimum goals for myself for walking on the treadmill when I get home. And certainly I plan to enjoy a lot of naps, reading, and movies.

Patience

The biggest gift you can give yourself when making changes is Patience.

You need to make peace with the fact that change will not happen overnight. And you may make decisions in the moment that aren’t the best, or you may miss an opportunity to practice some of the actions you set for yourself.

This is normal!

One of Bill Phillips’ mantras in his book, “Transformation,” is “progress not perfection.”

Change is about consistency, not being perfect. The quicker you can forgive yourself, the faster you can get back on track.

There are a lot of unknowns about how I’m going to feel after my surgery next Wednesday. Perhaps Thursday I’ll need to sleep all day and I won’t get my planned walk in, or the only thing I’ll feel like eating is toast. That’s OK. While I want to push myself to do those things that will help me recovery quickly, I’m also going to be sensible about it and listen to my body.

Over the weeks of my recovery, I plan to eat some of the lasagna a friend has promised to bring over and I will allow myself to enjoy some holiday treats—in moderation—and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I am going to strive for consistency, not perfection. By not holding myself to an impossible standard, I’m much more likely to be successful in the long run.

Where could the changes you’re making—or plan to make—stand to have some Persistence, Practice, or Patience?

How could using the three P’s make a difference in your success?

Together we can do it!