Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Is the emotion behind your actions closer to love or fear? Is that the foundation you want for your body—and life? It’s your choice.

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My blog is moving to my new website LoveYourWaySlim.com. 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!

Transforming Your Mind to Get the Body—and Life—You Want

I try to practice what I preach.

While I’m far from perfect, my self-care is a priority. Most of the time, I eat healthy food, make meditation and moving my body a part of my daily routine, and strive to get adequate sleep.

And I focus on appreciating myself and what I contribute to the world.

But I got a strong message yesterday during a Reiki session that I’m not following the advice I give to my clients. That I’m not being as gentle with myself as I could be, that I’m letting old fear get in the way of showing up as my fullest and brightest self—as Who I really am—and that I’m not fully loving myself.

I’ve come a long way, but clearly I have more work to do!

The good news—and what I tell my clients—is that every layer of fear, resistance, and self-judgment that we let go of makes our lives better and better. And we never finish finding new layers that we have the opportunity to release.

Bottom line: the better life gets, the better it can get.

And honestly, the message I received wasn’t that surprising.

  • I’m aware of how self-critical I can be when my eating is less than perfect, which has been more frequent in the past few weeks.
  • I’m aware of the judgments that can still come when I look in the mirror.
  • I’m aware of holding my loving and exuberant-self back from dancing down the street—and many other things—out of fear of what other people will think.
  • I’m aware that how I express myself in my dress and physical appearance is based on old rules and other’s expectations.
  • I’m aware of the fear of judgment I have because I’m guiding women to love their way slim—and I am not as slim as I could be. There is definitely a part of me that feels like I need to have 8 percent body fat and be ripped to be a legitimate example. I see the coaches who are that, and I negatively compare myself.

Just imagine all the layers I’m not aware of!

So as I encourage you to do the work to transform your mind to get the body you want, know that I’m doing the same. That I’m focused on peeling those catabolic inner layers because that is Who I want to be and how I want to live my life.

  • I want to be gentle and easy with myself.
  • I want to feel good about each decision I make.
  • I want to look in the mirror and bask in appreciation and love.
  • I want to fully be me and express myself.
  • I want to be confident in the value that I am providing each of you fabulous readers and to my amazing clients.

No matter what. From exactly where I am.

I’m not perfect, but I am willing to do the work.

How about you?

Together we can do it!

The Missing Piece for Lasting Weight Loss

 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

-Albert Einstein

 

If you are like most women who have lost and regained the same 30 pounds over and over again, you know how to diet. You may even have the exercise piece down.

But even if you are able to consistently eat healthy foods and move your body, you still continue to struggle to maintain your weight.

Clearly, diet and exercise alone are not getting you the results you want.

What is the missing piece?

What is it that you need to do differently to get different results?

The answer almost seems too simple.

You may want to ignore it or even discount it. But it is truly what is holding you back from having the body—and life—you want.

What has to change is what is going on inside. What has to change are your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about yourself, what you are capable of, what you deserve.

Ultimately what it boils down to is that you have to work through your fear.

Every feeling is either a derivative of love or fear. What has happened over time is that you have emotionally caged yourself in with fear.

Fear of being judged by others, letting people down, not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, making mistakes, not being loved or lovable—the list goes on and on.

It may have gotten bad enough that when something really good does happen in your life, you can feel a part of you holding back from fully enjoying the experience. You may have thoughts like, “Something bad might happen,” “It won’t last,” or “They’re going to find out I’m a fraud.”

What’s actually happening here is that you are so afraid of experiencing pain that you are in reality holding yourself in it—and refusing to let yourself fully experience joy.

And the biggest fear of all?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

The good news is you can begin right now to let go of fear and embrace love–to embrace the magnificent you that is afraid to let her light shine.

Here is a simple exercise to practice love. I would suggest doing this just before going to sleep, but it can be done any place you can sit quietly, relax, and focus.

To begin, bring to mind something that you totally and completely love. This may be your spouse or partner, pets, children, etc. Sit a moment and envision them totally enveloped in love. Get creative here. See them in a warm golden light, a big hug, or whatever feels like being embraced by the biggest expression of love you can imagine.

Then bring someone or something else that you love into the picture. As you stay in that feeling of love, start to include more and more people and things—and even places—that you love. Eventually you want to work up to having the entire planet embraced in your vision of love.

Here’s an example:

I envision my husband being surrounded by a warm, golden light that is pure love. That light expands to include our pets, our families, and our friends. It spreads to include our home and everything in it. It expands to include my job and all the people I work with. It grows and encircles our town, and all the places where I have ever lived. It expands to cover the states where I have lived, and spreads to the whole country. It then moves around the world embracing everyone and everything. It encompasses the planet itself and everyone and everything is enriched and enhanced by this feeling of love.

You can make the exercise last a long time, or just a few minutes. Practice this daily and watch for examples of more love coming into your life.

The more love you allow yourself to feel, the more healthy actions you are inspired to take, and the more your body begins to respond down to the cellular level.

You begin to naturally want an apple more than you want cookies. You begin to find the fun in your workout. Eating healthy foods, moving your body—and maintaining your weight—becomes a way of life.

What can you do today to transform a thought of fear to a feeling of love?

Together we can do it!

 

 

Do ONE Thing that Scares You

While I’m in Washington D.C. giving two Energy Leadership workshops, I’ve asked a few fabulous bloggers to step in. Today’s post is by Elisa Haggarty

Think about all the things that trigger fear in you. For some, it might be heights, trying tofu, being around big dogs, or riding a bicycle.

Riding a bicycle?

For a while the thought of getting back on a bicycle made me well up with fear and anxiety. It has been five years since I was in a pretty serious bike accident—one that took me out of commission for at least four weeks of physical activity and took a toll on me emotionally and mentally for a long time after the bruises faded.

Since the bike accident, I had a lot of excuses as to why getting back on a bike wasn’t possible. After all, I lived on a small island for the past two years in southeast Asia, was always traveling and besides, running has always been my “go to” workout fix.

Since recently landing in Brooklyn, I’ve come to realize the joys of hopping on a bicycle and exploring the neighborhood again. The streets are quiet (minus the occasional gospel outbreak which I thoroughly enjoy) and there are a ton of parks where Kathy and I can cruise until sundown.

What does all this fear talk have to do with Hanna’s blog which is geared towards wellness and weight loss?

Well, if you take a look at what fear does to you on the emotional level and how much it stimulates your stress hormone (cortisol), it’s pretty evident that if you want optimal health, you have to address your fears.

No amount of leafy greens is going to balance you out if you are constantly living in fear and your cortisol levels are through the roof. More importantly, you have to experience the joys of looking fear in the face and taking the high road. 

For me, conquering my fears has been more than getting back on a bicycle.

Two years ago, it was getting on a plane and flying 8,000 miles to Hong Kong. Soon after, it was spending 10 days in silence at a Taiwainese monastery. Both of these acts reduced me to tears.

Tears are okay. In fact, they are a great sign you are onto something great and you just need to keep pushing on!

Just recently, it was leaving everything that was “secure” in the teaching world with insurance/retirement/consistent paychecks and taking the leap of faith to turn over a new leaf and pursue what I believe I was put on this earth to do: to inspire and help others heal. 

There are big changes for me coming up. The date is set and my new company/brand will be launching on October 1st. 

I am beyond scared.

This has required me to do things that are completely new to me and out of my comfort zone. For instance, I’ve had to get over my own ego and jump in front of a camera to create video content for my website. That alone was terrifying to me on so many levels.

But I did it. I got out of my own way, conquered my fears of getting in front of the camera, and let my light shine. This was an important step on the path to providing resources, recipes and knowledge on how to achieve your ideal health/weight/happiness.

This is something that I believe strongly to be YOUR BIRTHRIGHT. We aren’t meant to crawl to the finish line people. We can arrive with the same amount of optimism, happiness and sense of adventure as we carried when we first started this thing.

What is your fear? What will you conquer this week?

Elisa Haggarty received her Professional Holistic Health Coaching training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has started training at The Natural Gourmet Institute, the number one culinary school for health supportive cooking in the country. Her focus is health supportive cooking and consulting through a whole foods organic diet.

She has studied over 100 different dietary theories  from some of the best minds in nutrition and functional medicine. Recognizing there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition and wellness, she designs personal treatment plans for her clients that include dietary and lifestyle upgrades designed specifically for them.

Teaching others about food and healing is Elisa’s passion. She loves experimenting with new ingredients/recipes to see how it can help to transform the human body from deprivation to abundance. Her purpose is to help people achieve their health goals, rejuvenate their life through whole foods cooking, and in the process, enjoy some delicious recipes that feed the mind, body and soul.

Read Elisa’s blog at www.elisahaggarty.blogspot.com/. Her new website, Culinary Farmacy, a hub for food and healing (and more!) goes live on October 1. Find it at culinaryfarmacy.com/.

Photo by www.freedigitalphotos.net

Link

For years, I was a semi-closeted dance walker and runner. Under the cover of pre-dawn darkness, I would feel so darn good during a workout that I would spontaneously burst into dance.

Granted, I use the term “dance” loosely as it was really more lurching, lunging, hopping, and jumping my way down the road to the beat of a particularly bouncy song. But I felt the music in me and I just had to move.

I publicly outed myself as a dance walker in an August 17, 2010, blog on transformation.com.

But even at the peak of my dance-walking joy I would instantly resume a more traditional gait at the first sign of another human being because of the fear of judgment. While I was “caught” a number of times, the only person I felt comfortable enough to dance walk in front of was my husband, and even he let me know he thought it was a little weird.

The thing is, any time we inhibit our joy, we are also decreasing our wellness and well-being.

Think about this from an energetic standpoint. Positive emotions generate constructive anabolic energy that literally builds our bodies at the cellular level. And joy pretty much vibrates at the top levels of anabolic energy. If left alone, the natural anabolic state of our cells is optimal wellness.

But when we introduce catabolic energy to our bodies through stress and negative thoughts and emotions, this begins a destructive process that is cumulative over time. The fear of what others may think is about as catabolic as it gets.

So I absolutely loved it yesterday when a friend posted the link to Ben Aaron’s piece on dance walking.

You can bet the next time I feel so good I want to burst into dance walking, I am going to do it proudly!

And I know I’m not the only one who has capped my joy because of the actual or feared judgments of others.

Is the catabolic price you are paying in reduced wellness, well-being, life satisfaction, engagement, and success worth what really amounts to a few moments of judgment on the part of another?

And aren’t those judgments really a result of people stifling their own joy because of the real or presumed judgment of others? What do you supposed is the physical impact of the catabolic energy of judgment?

What it comes down to is a vicious cycle. The way to break it is to fully embrace Who you are and what makes you happy. Expressing your joy will help others find theirs.

What things that you love have you been holding yourself back from enjoying? How can you let go of using what others may think of you as a reason for holding back your happiness? What impact does that have on your body—and your life?

Together we can do it!

Image by Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net