Today I turned 56 years old. We’re also celebrating our 36th wedding annivesary. I used not to celebrate my birthday becasue I believed that birthday celebrations were just for children. Then open heart surgery happened. I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve (2 leaflets instead of 3) that was only found when I was in my thirties after many dizzy spells I put down to the stress of work and having 2 children, one on the autism spectrum and a husband struggling with depression and unable at that time to support me emotionally.
After my surgery, and a long recovery, I realized that every day day I wake up is worth celebrating. I’ve kinda always been a glass half full grl anyway so that’s not a huge stretch for me. But this year, 56, is officially the same age as my dad was when lung cancer took his life. My mum, bless her soul was only 54 when she lost the love of her life. I try to imagine what she must have gone through, losing him so unexpectedly, he was diagnosed and 10 days later he died before they could even begin to treat him. My mum died 8 years later at the age of 62. My determination is to outlive both of them and so, every day I’m still here is a gift.
So with that said, I thought I would share my 5 biggest life lessons so far.
1. Life is what you make it. You can’t always have everything you want, but you can love everything you already have.
2. People are not always what they seem. If you want to realy know someone, look at what they do, NOT what they say.
3. We are ALL struggling to get through life in the best way we know how. Not everyone had the benefit of a nutrturing family. Have compassion even if you don’t understand.
4. You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. I heard this the other day and it really hit home. Listen to your inner wisdom and when it says, “enough”, trust it.
5. You can “help” too much. This one courtesy of my then, 14 year old, and very wise daughter. She clearly came with an innate wisdom all of her own.
I tell you all this, not to get your sympathy, but to inspire you to live every moment to the fullest.
What are your top 5 life lessons so far? Drop a comment below and let’s compare notes.
Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
Have you ever asked, why can’t I lose weight and keep it off for good?
When you see weight as the enemy, it keeps hanging around. Whether you want to lose 10 lbs or 110 lbs, the core of the issue is the same: your body is sending you a message much deeper than, “Hey fatty, get to the gym!”
Most diseases and chronic ailments we experience are messages to us about how we have lived our life up until
this point. We can try to cover them up, treating just thesymptom, or we can ask ourselves a new question:
What is this here to teach me about myself?
Weight is no different – it’s a condition your body has presented to you so that you can grow. The body is always communicating with us, each and every day it is tellingus what it needs. If only we were listening. A New Perspective on Weight Gain. Consider that weight gain is actually a message yourbody is sending you. And if you try to control it by depriving yourself, using willpower or restricting yourself, you are only tightening the situation. What is needed is expansion – a new look, an open perspective, a new door to open for learning and growth.
If your weight is a message to you, then what is the message?
It’s different for every person. Some examples of messages that come in the form of extra pounds are:
• I need to slow down
• I need to love myself
• I need more balance
• I need nourishment
• I need to change my old belief system that isn’t serving me any more
• I need to honor myself
• I want to feel good
• I want to have more energy
• I want to be happy
“Can’t I just lose the weight first before I have to look at all of these other sticky issues?”, you’re wondering.
Most people go about it this way. And they often lose weight, but most times it returns. In fact, most diets fail. Ninety-five percent
of people on a diet gain back all the weight they lost within 1-2 years, or sometimes they gain back even more. The reason is, they didn’t learn the lesson of why the extra weight was there to begin with. If you are looking for long term health and balance, you will
have to take a deeper look. Anyone can figure out how to burn calories with a google search or a pass by the diet book section in Amazon. Losing weight is not just about calories in, calories out. Shedding extra pounds is not just about counting points and calculating fat grams, if it were, we’d all be supermodels. Keep in mind that weight gain in not strictly a physical event, it’s also an opportunity for personal growth and empowerment. The real secret is the message your body wants you to know so you can begin to live your very best life. And uncovering that secret is an amazing journey that will create not only long term weight loss, but lasting balance and a renewed sense of self.
©International Association of Wellness Professionals, 2017
Perhaps you’re struggling with a challenge that you just can’t seem to solve, like moving forward towards a new career or improving your relationship with your spouse or partner or you solve it, but it just keeps coming back, like weightloss or sleep problems.
Although it is ideal and most effective, your work with a Health Coach does not need to be in tandem with your medical provider. You may choose to see me simply because you’re seeking support with your efforts to improve your health. As we work together, I may recommend a joint collaboration with your primary medical provider (especially when serious health conditions must be considered). However, don’t let the fact that you may not be working with a doctor hinder you from beginning your efforts.
A Health Coach works:
- To help you learn new tools and practices for overall improved health
- To bridge the gap between medical recommendations from your doctor and your abilities and desires to successfully acquire a healthy lifestyle
- As a means of direction toward your true/complete health – offering education, guidance and accountability on a plan for nutrition, detoxification for overall health, weight loss, and optimal aging
- To assist you in recognizing lapses in your program, which are normal and should be taken in stride, but may lead to relapse, overwhelm and eventual giving up.Together we plan for those times and hang the proverbial “safety net” to catch you and bounce you back on your way to success.
Wellness is achieved by improving on a set of 5 factors related to optimal health:
- EMOTIONAL: The ability to express emotions with comfort and in a healthy manner
- INTELLECTUAL: The ability to learn and use intellectual capabilities to make healthy decisions
- SOCIAL: The ability to make satisfying interpersonal relationships
- ENVIRONMENTAL: The ability to appreciate the external environment and improve environmental conditions
- PHYSICAL: The ability to achieve a healthy lifestyle in the service of one’s own health
- SPIRITUAL: The ability to seek meaning and purpose in one’s daily life
REMEMBER: We are talking about a lifelong journey and permanent change
When it comes to your health and eating, it’s easy to forget that you are a unique being. In your quest for the
perfect, flawless body, you assume that the latest fad diet advertised on the newsstand must be the way to a
better looking you. Twisted notions come to mind, such as, “If it worked for my friend, Jane, then it will work
for me!” and “If my coworker can lose 10 pounds fast by eating nothing but cottage cheese, so can I!” But
when the peanut butter and celery diet fails, you are left wondering what went wrong. So you jump on the
next diet roller coaster that barrels into the public eye, which will only slow down and confuse your
metabolism, especially during menopause. Stop! Don’t blame yourself. There is an answer.
The truth is: There is no one right diet that will work for everyone. Despite all of the dietary information
available today – Vegan Is Victorious, Macrobiotic Is Marvelous, Low Carb Conquers, Raw Food Rules – you
remain utterly confused. You are left with only one tool. That tool is your body’s own wisdom. Yes, the
answer to what and how to eat lies within you, not on the cover of your favorite magazine.
It’s fascinating to think of everything you learn in your life. You learn to wake up on time and arrive at school
before the bell rings. You learn to either get good grades or fail. You learn to operate bikes, automobiles,
computers and more. But when it comes to your own health, you may never take the time to learn how to
operate your own system. It’s your body’s wisdom that will tell you when you are hungry, what you should
eat, and for how long you should sleep. You just need to learn to listen to what your body is saying to you.
You may be wondering, “Why can’t I hear any of this then?” Well, your body speaks to you every day. It
whispers to you quietly, though, and if you’re not listening, you may miss it. Somewhere deep inside, as you
are craving that hot fudge sundae, your body is talking to you. Perhaps it’s really saying that you are scared,
lonely, tired, depressed, happy, angry or sad, and that what it really needs is some physical touch or a
listening ear. But the hot fudge sundae is easy; it will work to cover up your feelings…until the next craving.
So how can you begin to listen to your body’s inner wisdom in order to achieve your perfect health? Do you
want to reach your ideal weight, feel comfortable in your own skin, balance your hormones or increase your
energy? There are four steps to getting in touch with the inner wisdom of your body that will send you on the
path to a healthier you.
4 Steps to Getting In Touch With Your Body
1. Slow down – Consider that the world is not as face-paced as you think it is. By changing your belief
about the world, your view of it will change. Begin to picture your world as slower and calmer. When you
begin to experience stillness throughout your day, your body will thank you. Take a few moments to
meditate during your daily routine. Most people avoid stopping to reflect because they are fearful of what
they might discover within themselves. When you step out of your daily routine and take even just a
moment for peace, you quiet the endless chatter in your head and allow your body’s wisdom to speak up.
Pick two times during the day to stop what you are doing, breathe, reflect, and give thanks for your
incredible body that breathes, sleeps, and operates each day.
2. Chew your food – If such a simple step sounds insignificant, think again! If you come to the table in a
rush, your body will remain in the stressful state of the fight or flight response. Imagine your body as it
tries to digest food, thinking that it is going to fight a war. It’s impossible! Your body will choose to store
the food for later. (Huh – so that’s how all of those extra pounds got packed on!) Chewing your food
allows your digestive juices to do their job by helping you properly assimilate food and absorb nutrients.
And also, chewing your food and experiencing the taste, texture and smell of each bite will lead to a
more enjoyable experience. You can be eating the best food money can buy, but if you are disconnected
from the process of experiencing your food, you will never be truly satisfied. When you relate with your
food in this way, you will be less likely to go looking for something else in the pantry an hour later.
3. Eat and listen – Now, this is not your everyday food journal. Keep a log of what you eat every day and
how you feel two hours after eating it. Are you still hungry? Are you too full? Are you satisfied? Is your
stomach settled? What are you craving? By listing not only what you are eating but also how it makes
you feel, you will begin making a connection to what you eat and how it affects your digestion, your
energy levels and your mood. You are learning to turn on your inner radar so that you can listen to what
your body is telling you. Most importantly, you will create the mind-body connection that is often missing
in today’s dining experience.
4. Honor your body – Start by making your health and your body a priority. Try a new exercise routine,
go for a brisk walk, or participate in a yoga class. When you take time for your health and wellbeing, you
send positive messages to your body, such as, “I honor you and my health. I am in touch with you, so
that you can be in touch with me.” Begin to talk to your body as the home of your soul. Eliminate the
negative messages that you subconsciously send to your physical body. Try this exercise: Begin by
standing in front of the mirror naked. (Yes, in the buff, that’s right.) Stand there for five minutes and
notice what you love about your body now, not what you used to love about it. Then state it out loud.
Repeat this several times a week until you feel connected to both your physical and emotional self.
Concentrate on your inner beauty and your outer beauty will start to follow suit.
When you slow down, chew your food, eat and listen, and honor your body, you will reconnect with that
inner voice that tells you each day all you need to know about what to eat, when to eat and how much to
eat. There is no one, single miracle diet that will tell you what your own body needs in order to be happy,
fulfilled and healthy. You are your own guide for healthy eating and living.
©International Association of Wellness Professionals, 2017
In recent months, grocery prices have skyrocketed, right alongside gas prices. That’s because the cost of transporting food must be figured into the price. Here are some tricks to pinching pennies at the grocery store while still enjoying nutritious and delicious food.
Eat more beans – Beans are wildly economical and versatile. You can make bean salads, Cajun dishes, Indian dishes, vegetable soup, chili, Mexican bean dips, stir them into wholegrain pasta— the list goes on and on. Your family will never catch on to the fact that they’re eating beans most nights of the week. Beans are high in protein and fiber.
Vegetarian Meals – Eat more vegetarian meals than meatbased meals. This is a great time to stock up on your veggies
and give yourself an extra dose of antioxidants to boost your immune system and fight free radical damage. But be sure you are still meeting your protein needs for the day. This is different for each person and the amount of protein you need can be understood when you know your body type.
Chop your veggies – Spend more time than money. In other words, cruise by the convenience foods—even those that you think are healthy. For example, buy a head of romaine lettuce and cut it yourself rather than buying prepackaged salads. A head of romaine may only cost a little more than $1, but prepackaged salads often cost at least $3.50. Ditto for all fruit and vegetables, plus meat. Buy a whole chicken and cut it yourself to make it last for six meals, including making chicken stock with the bones.
Buy in bulk – This will save you money over several weeks. Sure, you might spend $20 on a bushel of apples this week, but you won’t have to buy them for three weeks. If you had spent $7 per ½ peck once a week for three weeks instead of buying the bushel, you would have spent $1 more for ½ peck less of apples.
Go local – Buy as many local foods as possible. Produce from local farmers is unbelievably cheap, incredibly tasty, and chocked full of more vitamins since it spends far less time being transported to your plate. End-of-season crops you can get right now include broccoli, cauliflower, beets, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, apples and apple cider. If you eat meat, try to find a local farmer. You’ll save money by buying in bulk, and the meat will contain no antibiotics or hormones.
Cook once, eat twice – Most people have no idea what’s for dinner tonight and make something that will be eaten just at that meal. If you can plan ahead, your ingredients will go farther. A whole chicken can make up to 4 meals! First meal chicken breasts, second meal chicken stir fry, third meal
chicken tacos, fourth meal chicken soup made by boiling the remains for stock!
Don’t shop while you’re hungry – You’ll be tempted to stray from your weekly budget with unnecessary items such as potato chips and cookies. Eat a healthy snack like a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit right before shopping.
Don’t Stress Out Over Food – Maintaining balance and stress can be a challenge! For many people, money can be a huge stress trigger. If you find yourself feeling anxious, angry, sad or overwhelmed when it comes to household spending try planning your grocery shopping list by using these budget friendly tips before your next supermarket trip. Make the conscious effort to be in command of the stressors that are in your ability to change. You will be eating healthier, spendind less and creating balance at the same time.
©International Association of Wellness Professionals, 2017