“Our subjective beliefs shape our objective reality.”
A lot of challenges we face in life are created by our own line of thought. How many times in life have you realized that you are the solution to your own problem? In fact, right now you probably have several “problems” on your plate that could be solved by you eating better, being active, thinking healthy, ending a relationship, or eliminating negativity. Maybe you could solve your problems by doing all of these things, maybe just by doing one.We regularly cast blame on other people or on situations for our problems rather than taking control of them. When you spin your thoughts and turn a negative into a positive you will find that so many challenges are not really challenges.
One of the biggest challenges for people is getting healthy. This is because their thoughts about getting healthy are consumed in losing weight and looking better instead of losing baggage and feeling better. Getting healthy is not a diet! A diet is not sustainable but being healthy is – and this all has to do with the thought process.
To be clear, my journey to health and wellness has never been about weight loss and it should not be for you either. Is weight loss a benefit of this journey? Absolutely! But it should not be your only goal or motivation. This path is about feeling great and treating your body right – it is the only body you have after all! When I started this journey to getting healthy and well I was by no means overweight. There were certainly times when I was heavier than I wanted to be or when my weight fluctuated. Every time this happened I went on a “diet.” The thing about these diets is they were frustrating! I was always planning the next thing I would eat and therefore I was always thinking about food. When I was constantly thinking about food I was constantly hungry!
Basically, all a diet is and ever has been for me is a form of anxiety. A diet is essentially racing thoughts all day long but about food, calories, and weight loss. This is mentally exhausting and it is not healthy. The ultimate goal of a diet tends to focus solely on physical appearance. Diet plans are advertised with thin and fit models who claim that their results are the product of that diet. In turn, when you are on a diet you strive to look and be like someone else instead of focusing on looking and feeling like your best self. When you fail to become the person on the advertisement you give up and you don’t feel healthy, you feel bad. You feel unaccomplished.
My diets always lasted for 2-3 week periods and then I would get frustrated because I either did not lose enough weight or I leveled off at the same weight I would always level off at. This led me to decide that a diet wasn’t worth it. I would rather be four, five, eight pounds heavier and not have to worry about it! This is your typical “diet” train of thought. This is why it isn’t sustainable and why so many people give up on being healthier when they analogize being healthy with being on a diet.
Also, let’s not forget that most diet plans have a time frame attached to them. The diet is a 2-week meal plan, a 4-week meal and exercise plan, or even an 8-week plan with meals, shopping lists, and exercise schedules. Still, it is limited to that time frame which makes us believe that time frame is all we need. NO! We need to be healthy always. You have to realize that the most important thing to take care of is yourself. This has to be a priority every single day. Not three times a year for 2 or 4 weeks.
A “healthy and well” train of thought is focused less on weight loss and more on lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle means changing it all. It is not something you are going to do in 8 weeks it is something you are going to do forever and you are going to love it. You will have several, even dozens of goals you will want to complete and they are all attainable because they are driven by the true divine light inside of you. This means you will have so much more success – you will have so much more to be proud of than a lost pound.
You are not going to feel defeated just because you are not losing weight because you will be gaining energy. You will not feel miserable on this journey because it is focused on losing negativity, which is so easy! You will become more present in the positive moments and you will begin to look forward to every day. Not to step on the scale and see what you lost, but to step out in the world and take in what you have gained. Being healthy doesn’t require you to count calories, stand on the scale, or take “fat burning” supplements (AKA caffeine). It requires only 3 things:
1. Be intentional about what you are eating – you want to feed your body food that is fuel and food that is nourishment. You should be eating for energy and nutrition, not for happiness. What is ironic is typically the foods that make you “happy” are actually causing you to feel unhappy. Your body needs protein, fiber, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and nutrition. When you feed your body natural foods it knows how to use those foods for energy and nutrients. However, your body has no idea what to do with man made, artificial, “fat-free”, “diet” products. Literally, your body has no idea what to do with those products. So much that your body either secretes them through the skin and organs or it stores it as fat. So first, try to remove processed foods from your diet as smoothly as you can starting with high fructose corn syrup or any other form of artificial sweeteners. I will follow up with a blog post in the near future with more about this. I know this transition is hard – I am not even fully there. This transition is possible though. Think of it this way – if you remove 50% of processed foods you are eating 50% less. If you remove 70% of processed food you are eating 70% less. If it isn’t 100% that is ok but start with at least 50%. You will get to 100%. I am finding that the more I learn about healthy options the less I desire to buy or eat processed foods. One significant reason for this weaning is because processed foods are literally addicting. Once you stop feeding your body these addictive sweeteners and chemicals it will not crave them anymore. Studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup triggers the same chemical response in the brain as drugs and causes an imbalance in hormones. Your body does not understand what to do with artificial sweeteners so it continues to feel hungry and craves more sweeteners until it is fed real sugars. On this journey, we will learn and find more options together. Options that fuel your mind, body, and soul. More importantly, foods that your body knows what to do with!
2. Be mindful of your happiness – you don’t want to give up everything in your current lifestyle all at once. This is what causes people to fall off diets. They think they should make a sweep of all the junk food and go head on with the “diet” foods. As a result, they are miserable so they give into their cravings, feel guilty, and resort back to the old diet. Or, SURPRISE – life happens and you get so busy that you start to eat for convenience again. AKA – fast food, vending machine food, or foods with a one-year shelf life that you can grab as you’re walking out the door. For some reason, we trick our self into believing that sleeping in 30 minutes later is going to make us happier than waking up 30 minutes earlier to nourish our body at the beginning of the day. Being healthy is a journey like I have said. So, if you need to keep that chocolate around for a few weeks or you need to keep that tv show in your life – do it (I have like 3 ultimate TV shows I have to keep up with).
Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if that chocolate is making you happy, or causing you to feel guilty. Ask yourself if that tv show is making you happy or would your time be better spent reading, at yoga, or on a walk? Make time for balance – don’t overindulge in foods or tv. Also, don’t overexert yourself in exercise. Balance is key. To succeed on this path, you must be honest with yourself and you must make changes. You can make them slowly but be sure to make them. Every change you make is progress and brings you closer to your goal. If you feel you are ready to make the change all at once go for it. Please be sure to check with a doctor or an expert if you need to. Everyone is different so don’t assume that every single thing that works for me is going to work for you as well. However, there are general rules of thumb that apply to everyone and I think we can all agree that 10 hours of tv, a big mac, or a pop tart every day is helping no one.
3. Lose baggage – Forget about the diets you have failed at, the number on the scale, and the goals you did not achieve. Forget about the person you thought you wanted to be and focus on being the best person that you are! Start over today. Make a new list, create a new goal, find a new hobby, and shed the rest. When you start to shed negative thoughts, material things, clutter, and negative people you will also start to shed weight. You just won’t be so worried about it. Worry less about what is happening to your physical appearance and more about what is happening inside your physical and spiritual body.
The ultimate step to feeling better inside is getting rid of the things that don’t make your insides happy. This reaches farther than the fat inside your body that you want to get rid of. It reaches to your mind and your soul too. Think for a while about the things, the people, and the foods that truly add a value to your life. Get rid of the things do not add value. Literally, lose baggage! What I mean by that is go to your closet right now and pick out the purses that actually add a value to your life. Sell, Consign or Donate the rest. Keep doing this every single day with something new. Go to the pantry and do it with food. Go to the cupboard and do it with dishes. Go to your bookshelf and do it with books. Go to your facebook and do it with “friends.” Lose all the baggage!!! Lose the thoughts that are negative, lose the people that are toxic, lose the items that are clutter, and you will lose the weight you want to lose. At the end of it all, I guarantee that you will be happier about the baggage you lost than you are about the weight you lost. You will be happier because you will gain so much positivity.
I managed to get rid of over 500 things this summer alone and I have never felt better. As a result of losing so much baggage, I have gained time, energy, and wellness. I do not see wealth anymore in a Michael Kors bag or a designer jean. I see wealth in a soul full of happiness and stripped of judgment. I am wealthy because I am well. Being well is a luxury, but it is one that we can all afford.
I HAVE SEVERAL RECIPE POSTS COMING UP NEXT – KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED 🙂