One of the biggest takeaways from 2014 for me was SLOW DOWN, to take time and ENJOY the PROCESS. Often times we are so stuck on the outcome that we lose sight of what is right in front of us and what the present has to offer us (hint: the present is all we have).
Right before the Holidays I was interviewed on KC Armstorng’s Keepin It Real. He was asking me loads of questions on nutrition and what’s the best source of protein, etc. If you listened to the recording, or maybe you listened live, I repeated multiple times that every body is different, what works for one, may not work for another. It’s also true that when you are wanting to change your eating habits and the way that you feel inside of your body, you cannot simply just change the way you eat…. There is sooooo MUCH MORE that goes along with a successful lifestyle change.
So, here are 5 things to consider when creating a healthy lifestyle successfully…..
- Nourishing your body isn’t limited to physically consuming food: Nourishing your body, mind and soul is the key. Have you ever heard the phrases Soul Food?? or Mind Munchies??? While I was away at my teacher training, I noticed that I was not eating as frequently as I do when I am home, I mean, I was doing yoga for about 6 hours a da,y but what I noticed was that I wasn’t all that physically hungry for more food once I was ”full”. I was completely nourishing my WHOLE BODY. My mind was calm, my body was physically satisfied with nutrients and my soul was full of love… that may sound weird to you, but the saying Feed Your Soul, Nourish Your body, that I say a lot, its totally true. If you are empty in your soul or stressed to the max in your mind, you will be physically hungry all the time.
- SLOW DOWN food preparation and eating: So I did not have a TV at all while I was away for a month. I was honestly a little bit nervous at first, but by the end of my stay, I was so grateful not to have the damn thing. When I arrived back home, I didn’t turn on my TV for days, and when I did, it was playing music, not mindless shows. I used to eat in front of the TV all the time, so when there was nothing to distract myself during meal prep and eating, I actually enjoyed the process. I wasn’t in a hurry because I was about to eat my hand off, I was able to be 100% present with what I was doing. Eating without the TV…holy smokes! THIS is the key. Really tasting your food, enjoying your food and loving what you put in your mouth does amazing things for your digestion and self love, not to mention you will lose weight because you will eat less!
- Relax a little bit: Chill out, breathe and try not to dwell. This is one that I work on pretty much everyday. Breathing into situations instead of resisting them, can do wonders for how you feel physically. I recently began studying Ayurvedic Medicine in serious depth and have found that digestive troubles are a sign of not being able to relax and process life’s experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the physical and biochemistry that goes along with IBS, Celiac, Crohns, etc. (I’m a medical nerd like that), but somehow this makes perfect sense. When we are constantly stressed, we hold tension in our muscles. Well folks…your intestines are muscles! Imagine food and nutrients trying to be absorbed or moved along to be secreted as waste. If we are uptight and constantly stressed, crap isn’t going to move…. Pun intended! So breathe into life, open up, slow down and everything will be there after 3 breaths, I promise.
- Listen to what your body is trying to tell you: This goes along with slowing down. Life gets so hectic that it’s hard not to get caught up in the go go go of our smart phone world. It’s hard to unplug. Hell, it’s hard to just pay attention to how your body is feeling. Pain or discomfort in the body is a message for you to pay attention to what is going on-get curious…. Are you ignoring yourself to help others? Are you putting yourself last? Are you staying plugged in constantly with no break to reset and reconnect with yourself?? This is where a lot of body pain and dis-ease comes from—disconnected. As connected as we are to our technology, we are sooo disconnected from the machine we should be listening to over all the techy smart phones…and that is your body! Take time at the beginning of the day to do a body check in, and at the end of the day sit quietly for 5 minutes and just breathe. Let the day go. I promise, even just doing that will bring you back into the flow of listening to your own machine.
- Kick the sugar, y’all. Craving sugar all the time is actually a sign of your body screaming for pleasure. It’s so hard after the holidays to kick the sugar back out of your diet, but do it anyways. Cravings for sugar are pretty close to those of hard drugs… which is why we always want more and always think about our next sugar fix. These cravings are actually your body’s way of screaming for pleasure (that lasts more than a bite of M&M’s). If you find yourself unable to kick this habit, take a look at your life in general. When was the last time you did something fun for yourself? I invite you to allow yourself permission to find pleasure in everyday. It doesn’t have to be a big party or going out, but maybe just a bath and a book or a nice yoga class to end or start your day. Maybe it’s jumping on the phone with an old friend that you have been wanting to reconnect and laugh with… 2015, it’s your year to treat yourself and pay attention to what’s right in front of you!
The moral of the story is… Slow Down, Be Kind to Yourself, Pay Attention to what your body is telling you! If you want guidance or maybe some different tools in your tool box, I would LOVE to help you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me!