How to Use Gratitude To Get the Body You Want

GiftDo you ever catch yourself grumbling or complaining about what someone else did or didn’t do, or even how they did it?

This is particularly prevalent during the holidays.

You may be:

  • Frustrated that your partner isn’t jumping in to do all the extra holiday chores.
  • Irritated or overwhelmed at having to do everything yourself because nobody else can wrap those packages like you.
  • Feeling unappreciated because all the time and energy you have put into making the house festive has gone unnoticed.

What if those negative emotions you are feeling are impacting your wellness?

Negative emotions generate catabolic energy that over time weakens your immune system, exhausts your physical energy, and can make it easier to gain and harder to release weight.

What if letting go of the stress caused by negative emotions also means that you receive the benefits—body, mind, and spirit?

Is it worth your health to let go of anger, frustrations, and resentments that are not only hurting you, but are actually keeping you from the body—and life—you want?

Think about all the time out of your day that you feel frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed, exhausted, or powerless.

Now compare that with how much time you spend feeling appreciative, loving, joyful, content, and hopeful? 

Where is your focus most of the time?

If you are loving more than you are criticizing, awesome! You are already creating a body—and life—that you want.

If you are spending more time grumbling or complaining, how is this reflected back to you in how your body looks and feels?

One simple but profound way to begin shifting your core energy is to spend as little as a minute every day feeling grateful

This could be:

  • Praising your partner for helping out, even when they do things differently than how you would have done them. Done equals beautiful!
  • Asking for and appreciating the help that you do get to finish all the extra holiday chores, and letting go of what doesn’t get done.
  • Focusing on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgiving them for not being perfect. And most importantly, forgiving yourself for not being perfect!

Believe it or not, focusing on what you do appreciate for just one minute a day can have a profound impact on your wellness.

No one else is in your mind. No one is forcing you to think or feel anything. If you are holding on to frustrations and irritations it is because you have your mental fist grasped tightly around thoughts that are not serving you.

The solution is to begin to allow those things that frustrate and irritate you to run through your mind like water running through your fingers.

Just let them go.

As soon as you do, you feel lighter emotionally.

You feel relief.

And that new lightness is directly impacting your wellness down to your cellular level.

As you let go of that stress and the negative emotions and focus more on gratitude, it is you that receives the benefit—body, mind, and spirit.

Isn’t your wellness worth it?

Together we can do it!

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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!

Think Again!

I caught myself grumbling and complaining this morning.

This is a sign to me that I need to look at my thinking around what’s happening. My reaction says a heck of a lot more about me than it does anyone—or anything—else.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that people tend to hold on to their complaints, believing that their thinking the situation should be different, or someone else should behave differently will somehow make those changes happen.

What is actually happening is you are negatively impacting your mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.

Your negative thoughts are generating catabolic energy that releases the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally can cannibalize your body. They break down your immune system, stress your heart, and impact your muscles. 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.

Your complaining is literally weighing you down!

When you “lighten up” emotionally by allowing yourself to relax, smile, laugh, and enjoy life you are making it easier for your body to “lighten up.”

When you lighten up emotionally, you are allowing your body to work for you down to the cellular level. Choosing a more constructive and positive anabolic reaction releases endorphins and body supporting hormones that help your body heal, rebuild, and flow with physical energy. And yes, make it easier to release excess weight.

Here’s a tip. To change your response, change your perception of who you are in relationship to what is happening.

Remind yourself that you are capable of dealing with the situation. Be confident in its resolution. Open your mind to the solutions. Be flexible and willing to look at things from another point of view.

You are much more powerful than you realize. You absolutely have the ability to change your response. All it takes is a slight mental shift in how you see yourself, the situation, and the people involved.

Now when you catch yourself complaining about anyone or anything, recognize the negative impact it’s having on your body. Pay attention to what you are doing to your own wellness.

Reach for a new thought about yourself—who you are, what you are capable of, and what you deserve.

How does that impact how you physically and mentally feel? How does your more positive response improve the situation?

Together we can do it!

Is Action Always the Answer?

Action is a tricky thing.

There’s a lot of advice out there saying you have to jump into action to spur the forces of the Universe to work on your behalf.

And that’s kinda sorta true.

It is true that you will never get fit sitting on your sofa.

But, why are some people joyfully working out and some feel unmotivated to get off the sofa?

Because the momentum for action begins way before the moment comes to get off the sofa and just do it.

There is a build up of energy from thoughts, emotions, and beliefs behind the action or inaction. And willpower alone is often not enough to break out of the energetic pattern you have created.

For instance, if you have spent a heck of a lot of time thinking about how much you hate exercise, you hate sweating, you hate your body, you hate how your body feels when it moves, etc., etc., getting up off the sofa will take Herculean effort.

Not doing the internal work to shift this existing energetic momentum is why so many diet and exercise programs fail.

When you think about the underlying principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy” (also known at the Law of Attraction), being overly focused on where you are—or where you have been—just keeps summoning similar experiences, situations, and people so that your results never seem to change.

In other words, you just don’t have the mental and physical energy to get off the sofa or maintain your action if you are able to get started–even if you desperately want to.

This can lead to frustration, disillusionment, and even giving up on achieving your goals.

How do you begin to slow down and change the momentum of the internal energetic patterns you have going on? 

This is the missing link to losing weight once and for all.

You begin by thinking about all the reasons you do want to workout instead of all the reasons you don’t.

You tap into how being fit, strong, and slim will feel, and allow yourself to feel that way right now.

It’s giving yourself a heck of a lot of kudos, support, and appreciation when you do get off the sofa, even if it’s just to take the dog around the block.

It’s being OK with doing what you can do, and looking forward to doing a little bit more tomorrow.

It’s looking at the examples of others who have been where you are and have been successful at meeting similar goals so you begin to believe you can do it, too.

It’s staying focused on all the reasons you do want to make the changes and how awesome the end result will feel.

It’s ignoring your fearful inner voice that tries to convince you that the safety of right now is where you want to stay.

And this is where faith comes in.

It’s letting yourself believe that the Universe (God, Source, All-That-Is, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) is on your side, regardless of your current experience.

It’s a willingness to let yourself be optimistic and to feel good now, even when your situation hasn’t changed.

It’s accepting where you are, without letting go of your goals.

It’s an unshakable belief that what you want is absolutely and completely yours and on its way to you, and letting go of any evidence to the contrary.

It’s ignoring naysayers, and being brave enough to think and believe something different from the crowd.

It’s looking inside for the answers and embracing your own internal light.

As you practice these new thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, you begin to notice that it easier to get off the sofa and go walk for 10 minutes. Soon you want to run a mile. And once you get the energetic momentum going, you realize you’re one of those people who is joyfully working out.

What can you do today to change your energetic momentum? How can you practice that again tomorrow? How does this impact your energy to take action?

Together we can do it!

Go For the Bigger Joy

“I’ll feel good if I eat that piece of chocolate cake.”

Clients tell me all the time that their joy in life comes from eating. They think they’ll be bereft of happiness if they aren’t able to eat what they want, when they want.

But how true is this? What I’ve found is that these kinds of short-term happiness jolts are more than outweighed by the guilt and negative self-talk that results.

This makes sense when you think about the energy behind the thoughts.

Negative catabolic thoughts and emotions release the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally cannibalize your body. They break down your immune system, stress your heart, and impact your muscles. 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 making it easier to gain and harder to release weight.

Positive anabolic thoughts and emotions allow your body to work for you down to the cellular level. Choosing a more constructive anabolic reaction releases endorphins and body supporting hormones that help your body heal, rebuild, and flow with physical energy.

Just like thoughts can be anabolic or catabolic, food can be anabolic or catabolic, meaning it’s either supporting your body or it’s hindering it. And sometimes what we think about our food can make it more or less anabolic or catabolic.

For instance, if you eat something “healthy” but you resent it and feel deprived, how anabolic is that going to be?

If you eat something “bad” but feel totally satisfied and appreciative and content, how catabolic is that going to be? What if you feel guilty about eating that same food?

The greatest potential for joy comes when our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions are all in alignment.

This is why following your eating plan and choosing an orange—most of the time—over a piece of cake or cookies results in a bigger and more sustainable jolt of joy. And when you do choose the piece of cake, it is important to totally and fully appreciate the experience of eating it.

What can you do today to go for the bigger joy you get from sticking to your plan to achieve what it is you really want in life? What difference does that make in your ability to reach your goals? How does that impact how much you enjoy life right now?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

My Secret to Extreme Exercise Commitment

I had lots of excuses I could have used to skip my workout this morning.

My folks are in town and our guest-suite encompasses my usual workout area. We have a full schedule with more family visits planned. I have stayed up past my usual bedtime most of this week, and there is work to get done before I can fully relax and enjoy the weekend.

But I was committed and I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and did a 30 minute meditation before getting up at 4 to get my hour-and-a-half workout underway by 4:30 a.m.

My guess is that many of you think that is just plain crazy.

So I asked myself, “Why am I so committed to getting my workout in?”

There are definitely things that contribute—I’ve set a physical and time-focused goal that I want to meet, I want to be an authentic example of striving for optimal wellness for all you fabulous readers and my clients, and in all honesty, I want to maintain and improve how I look.

But the true reason that makes my eyes flutter open at 3:30 a.m. without the aid of an alarm clock and gets my bum out of a very warm and appealing bed is the anabolic physical energy I get from moving my body, which impacts every single area of my life.

Feeling physically well has not been something I’ve been able to take for granted since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was a sickly and sensitive kid that suffered from food allergies, and later chronic back problems and migraines.

Truly this was a gift in disguise as it forced me beginning in my early 20s to begin learning to pay attention to my body and the role and responsibility that I had in creating wellness. In the quest to feel better, I learned about nutrition and exercise, but the challenge was not in learning what to do, it was in the doing.

Typically, out of sheer willpower and often desperation, I would make what felt like austere changes long enough to start feeling better—and then I would slip back into the old, more comfortable patterns, only to start the cycle all over again.

The most obvious symptom of this was that my weight regularly vacillated 20 to 40 pounds.

Why wasn’t I able to make the changes stick?

Because in order to create the physical energy that enables me to do and be the best possible version of me, I had to shift my emotional energy—my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about Who I was, what I was capable of, and what I deserved. I had to tap into my spiritual energy—my sense of purpose and the meaning of my life.

But ironically, I also needed the physical energy to effectively tap into the emotional and spiritual energy. While I had worked on the different elements separately, it wasn’t until I brought them all together that I began to see true changes in my body, mind, and spirit.

For me, it is my physical energy that has the greatest impact on what I can accomplish in my day, how I show up in the world, my ability to respond instead of react, to see the big picture and let go of the outcome, to have absolute faith and confidence that everything is always working out for me—and you.

When my body gets out of balance and my physical energy slips, so does everything else. Physical energy truly is the foundation of my life. My commitment to healthy eating, moving my body, and rest impacts everything.

What can you do to look at the affect physical energy has on your life? What is one small change that you could make that would boost how you physically feel? How does feeling better impact your ability to be the best possible version of you?

Together we can do it!

Photo by graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Physical energy is the foundation of everything you do. Your commitment to healthy eating, exercise, and rest impacts all areas of life.