To Find the Holy Grail – Go Within!
Magic pill. Silver bullet. Sparkly fairy dust. Hocus pocus.
None of the above will help you lose weight and keep it off.
That’s a hard message to deliver to someone who has spent a lifetime struggling with weight, but the hard reality is the only true tool you have to get healthy is…YOU.
I have worked with hundreds of women who come to me at rope’s end. They have tried diet after diet, cleansing, fasting and new exercise fads. They have swallowed supplements by the handful all in the hopes of finding the answer to their weight challenges.
They show up in my office as a last resort.
Perhaps a Life Coach who specializes in Health will be THE magic bullet?
While I can provide amazing tools, support and guidance I know that ultimately the answers reside within each client.
All that you need to get healthy is inside of you. You just have to be willing to go within. To seek the answers. And to trust.
The very first action you need to take on your health journey is to stop looking for answers from others.
Then take these next steps to begin owning your health choices and challenges:
1. Listen to Your Body – This is the very first concept I teach my clients. Your body is a wonderful barometer full of information regarding your needs. The key is to learn to honor your body’s messages. Your body knows when it’s hungry. It knows when it’s full. Learn your hunger signals, listen to them and learn to live between a place where you are never too hungry and never too full (one major key to weight loss). That pain in your back? That twitch in your eye lid? That low-level malaise you feel each day? All bodily symptoms are messages. What is the symptom trying to tell you that your need? (For more information on the mind-body connection and the impact on your health read: When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress Disease Connection by Gabor Mate and Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof that You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D.)
2. Practice Sane Eating and Exercise – This is the next key to reaching optimal health. Recognize that no extreme diet is the answer to your prayers. As the food author Michael Pollan states: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Choose fresh, whole foods. Shun anything processed or in a box. Listen to feedback from the food (see rule #1). If the food makes your body feel unwell it’s probably not a food you want to consume. Move your body – not too much or too little. Exercise should leave you feeling energized and vibrant through most of your day. Driving yourself too hard with exercise will leave you depleted. Doing too little will give you no boost in energy. Experiment to find your sweet spot. And be a good Nike ad when it comes to exercise: Just do it. (For a simple explanation on what to eat refer to Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual.)
3. Be Aware of Your Thoughts – Become aware of the quality of your thoughts regarding your relationship with food, your body and exercise. Beliefs (thoughts) can sabotage even the strongest desire to get fit. Recognize that our thoughts drive our feelings and create the results in our lives. Over-eating is often the result of not wanting to feel a negative feeling. That feeling is the result of something we are thinking. How do we expect to change our habits when we have thoughts like: “This is too hard” or “I don’t have the time” or “I always fail” or “I hate exercising” or “I’m no good”. We have the power to reframe our thoughts. Become a thought ninja and begin taking the steps necessary to clean up your thinking so you can improve your results. (Want more information on learning how to master your thoughts? Head on over to Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School at www.thelifecoachschool.com.)
4. Accept that you are Perfectly Imperfect: Do the work necessary to accept that you will always be imperfect. Creating healthy habits requires trial and error. Some days you will succeed. Other days you will not. Rather than beat yourself up over any transgressions try approaching the situation with curiosity and compassion. Consider all of your actions with fascination instead of condemnation. Anytime you are frustrated with yourself for being less than perfect, simply ask yourself: “What is causing me to do that?” or “What thoughts are driving that behavior?” Using curiosity about your behavior helps to end the perpetual cycle of negativity that sabotages our efforts to get healthy. (To learn more about accepting our imperfections read The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You Are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown, PHD.)