Help! Why can’t I lose those extra pounds?
Any diet that advertises a magic weight-loss fix is simply bogus. I personally dislike the word “diet” as it conjures up a sense of restriction and sacrifice. In my past, I have used calorie restrictions, synthetic foods, diet sodas, a low-fat diet … I have been there. I thought that it was good to do that, never mind that I had a lot of headaches and often felt ill. Once I learned differently about chemically altered foods and the no-fat nonsense, I was so happy, as I love to eat—especially fat! It is amazing what can happen when our unique nutritional needs and lifestyle are addressed. You feel that energetic bounce and positive mood in your step when you release the feeling of being deprived and hungry!
The more one places focus on the weight one does NOT want, the more weight one is likely to attract. Just like the saying, “When it rains, it pours.” This is where the mind-body comes into play. Focus on the positive; keep reassessing your need for habits that keep you from reaching your goal. Get out there with fun friends, exercise smart instead of beating yourself up. Promote positive thoughts; stop those toxic emotions and the mind chatter that attracts more toxic energies and cravings. It also adds the pounds by messing with your brain chemicals and stress hormones. (Even with lap band surgery, 30-40% of patients regain all the weight back…)
What also matters is that you become aware of when you are not making health-supporting choices and you take note of individuals who are trying to sabotage you in your efforts. It is about becoming aware and mindful of your immediate environment and your relationships.
Pay attention to the choices you make when you are angry or upset!
Take note of people and situations that can trigger additional mental or emotional stress for you. This understanding of how well (or not) we manage our lives on a day-to-day basis and deal with curve balls along the way will help get us out of lingering fatigue, health problems and depressed moods—but only if we take appropriate action and keep the big picture of building long-term wellness in mind.
A lack of self-confidence and self-esteem may lead to addictions, substance abuse, “food medication,” and can sabotage your best efforts for weight loss or health building. Is your illness now your identity? Does your situation create you as a “victim” and thus you receive the attention you need? If you become well, are you dreading that you might have to take action, take responsibility or make decisions you are afraid to make? These are tough questions, especially when you have not been well for quite some time.
Addressing the mindset within the context of a woman’s self confidence is imperative if we want to become un-stuck in life. Just addressing thyroid function or an irregular pap smear is not enough for women’s wellness anymore, nor has it EVER been. So, remember that you are not just a physical body but also an integration of body, mind and spirit and long-term healing can only occur with this in mind.
Don’t forget that negative judgments live rent-free in your head! Become present, live with a sense of gratitude instead of criticism. Just by starting your day with positive thoughts you will increase your energy and it will directly affect your behavior. Listen to lovely music while sitting on a park bench in nature, visit a museum, surround your life with color or meet a friend for lunch. We are so busy being everything to everybody else that there is nothing left for us. It is time to set boundaries, creating “me-time” for reflection and self-care.
Without health and creative energy, life can be very challenging and it can be difficult to keep a positive mindset. This is the time to commit to change. Life is precious, every day matters and when you go to bed at night; you want to feel that it has been a very good day. I always remember that today will not come back again, so let me be present now—instead of worrying about tomorrow or what happened in the past.
Genetics can play an important role and the field of genetic medicine is simply “exploding.” The human genome project, which was incidentally designed for future drug development, opened the doors for a revolution in medicine as epigenetics and the gut flora, referred to frequently as the microbiome or microbiata, came to the forefront. Also consider the fact that our environment shapes our genes and it has a much greater influence on our disease risk than genetic probability predicts.
We know that certain genes can be triggers for disease but we also know that we have resilience. How can we support them best is the million-dollar question. Harmful genes can be switched on by our environment, how we eat, sleep, move, think etc. The goal is to keep disease-promoting genes silent. What can we do on an individual level to support our unique genetic code?
Rebuilding wellness and restoring energy is a “participation sport.” It requires action and commitment—and no one can do that for you. It requires a specific mindset accepting that building health is a long-term commitment and a self-responsibility. Sure, we get curveballs along the way, e.g. being invited to a wedding weekend where there will be indulgences, but curveballs are part of the process. What we learn from them is what matters, as personal experience is the best teacher, for example, if you eat a food and it does not agree with you, you’ll know it—and you are certainly less inclined to eat it again.
Whether you are travelling on business, experiencing the loss of a loved one, or are in an acute crisis, these curveballs can temporarily throw us off our health path. Recognize them as such and leave the guilt trip behind—it is the past—and get back in the game. This is reality and it is important to “keep it real.” If you work with a holistic health consultant, their support during tough times or relapses is invaluable.
We Live In A Toxic World!
An important question that we must ask ourselves: Are we doing enough to combat the overload of 24/7 stress and toxins our body is experiencing every day? This is not addressed in conventional medicine, yet it plays such an important role in causing or contributing to our health problems. It takes clinical and critical thinking to sort through the maze of symptoms, as the root causes are different for everyone.
True health starts with what we eat, how we live, how we think, how we love—it is all about how we take care of ourselves on a daily basis. It is also about our environment. How many toxins are surrounding us in our personal care products and in our home? Is it in our makeup or in the mold in the walls? Could it be the tap water or the commercial washing powder that is creating a contributing factor to our health challenges, e.g. thyroid issues with stubborn weight gain? Within these foundational concepts is where our healthcare and self-care begins.
NY Integrated Health