Where Is Your Mind Taking Your Body?

blogLet’s take a vacation…an imagination-vacation. Envision yourself living in your body at the weight and health you want. Imagine that you feel as wonderfully fit as you want to feel – right now. You have plenty of energy. You feel light in your body. You feel great in your clothes. You’re not stressing over food. You’ve discovered the lifestyle that makes you feel fantastic and you’re living it.

Close your eyes for a few minutes and soak up the joy of feeling this good.

Now imagine how you’re eating in this scenario. What kinds of foods are you enjoying? What quality? What amount?

My guess is that you’re enjoying a beautiful array of fresh foods. When I ask people to take this mental journey they almost always describe eating a rich variety of scrumptious whole foods. In fact, I’ve never had anyone describe a steady diet of heavy meals, fast food or grazing on snacks all day while living out their dream of vibrant health. We instinctively know what it takes to feel great.

This brings up an important point. Where is your focus? Diets have taught us to focus on the number on the scale, exact count of calories or fat grams, our thighs, our size…scrutinize and criticize. And to what end? This focus has given us crazy food behavior, anxious feelings and, for most of us, weight gain.

Focusing on problems is draining. It stalls forward momentum, or worse.

Now go back to your imagination exercise. What would happen if you focused on feeling great? On high energy, on positive ideas, on feeling agile, flexible, strong, on eating and sleeping and moving in a way that makes you feel vibrant?

Focusing on what causes you to flourish is invigorating and empowering.

We know this instinctively: we naturally drift toward what we are focusing on.

So today. Right now. Acknowledge what you’ve been focusing on. Decide what you want your focus to be. You’re in charge. You’re free to choose your own inner dialogue. Then, someday soon that imagination-vacation will not be imaginary…

Close your eyes and think on that.

6 Things to Know If You Want to Be Thinner

Living in a thinner body means thinking and doing things differently, permanently. Here are 6 things that can serve as reliable compass points along the way…

war with yourself 1. Build a lifestyle you can maintain. Whatever it takes to lower your weight is also what it’s going to take to keep it off. Take time to experiment and discover what works for you.

2. Be Reasonable. If you want to be thinner than your body wants to be, you will live in a constant tug-of-war. Forget our crazy cultural skinny-obsession and listen to your body. You will know your “happy place” when you get there, if you’re listening. Dare to be more connected to your body than to your bathroom scale.

3. Be Patient. Stop thinking fast and start thinking permanent. Fast weight loss leads to fast weight regain. Quick changes rarely last. Your body and your mind need time to settle into your new reasonable way of living and eating.

4. Make Both “Fuel-In” and “Fuel-Out” Lifestyle Changes. If you only work on eating less (fuel in) it will be very hard to release weight permanently. Metabolism slows with age so the amount of food you need will decrease over time. Staying active keeps your metabolism “young”.

At the same time, if you control your weight by exercise only, all it takes is one injury, illness or burnout and you’re right back where you started—with a disordered relationship with food.

5. Be realistic. In order to maintain a certain weight you will need to take in the amount of fuel that fits a person of that weight, at your height, age, gender, and activity level. There is no way around this.

6. Eat enough and make sure it’s delicious. Remember why dieting never worked, and never will. Deprivation will lead to excess. Eating enough satisfying food is the only way of eating you can live with long term. Lucky for you and for me – fresh real food is delicious, satisfying, life-giving and exactly what our bodies are happiest running on!

You & Your Body’s Noble Gift to the World!

happy2Our image saturated culture gives us one clear and shallow message over and over again: Look perfect. That’s all, just perfect. Oh…and young. Yes. Young too.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to those younger than ourselves is the gift of highly valuing our body at every age and stage. For them to see us age gracefully, embrace and enjoy our wrinkles and changes, walk with confidence and joy, laugh easily, and stay as active and vibrant as each year will allow – to intentionally choose not to give off the distinct message that we wish we were “young again”—this is a profound gift to the next generations.

         Flaunt your fifties and sixties.
         Enjoy your seventies and eighties with reckless abandon.
         Be proud of your nineties and beyond.
         Make ’em wish they were YOUR age!

A dear friend of mine passed away at 114. She embraced each year with gusto. Knowing her has had a profound effect on me! May we also pass on the priceless legacy of joy and gratitude at every age, inside and out. Those coming behind us just might escape the badgering of the relentless media if they see us, in large numbers, growing more vibrant and alive and at peace with ourselves with each passing year.

It’s not about the number on the scale or the year on your birth certificate. It is about your genuine, grateful joy and the sincere, intentional care of the one mind, body and soul you’ve been given.

This is our noble work.

4 Powerful Game-Changers & A Challenge

Powerful Game-ChangersYour body is brilliant! It’s constantly working to keep you operating at high performance. The more you get in sync with how it works – the faster (and easier) the trip to optimal health will be.

4 strategies that deliver great benefit:

1. STACK YOUR FUEL: Get your fuel when you need it – during the day. You won’t use much while you sleep. Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess and dinner like a picky connoisseur.

2. EAT A HEARTY BREAKFAST: (Don’t worry…it doesn’t have to be breakfast food!) Eat a high protein breakfast within about an hour of rising. The protein keeps you energized all morning. It also signals your body that it’s time to get your metabolism cranking, then you burn fuel more efficiently all day long. Breakfast eaters weigh less than those who skip it.

BIG THING TO KNOW: People who do not eat breakfast tend to make up for it at night—night after night after night…

3. PARTNER WITH YOUR LIVER: All day long your body is using your food to move you around. But it’s also storing fuel in your liver so it can release some into your blood stream to keep your blood-sugar level steady while you’re snoozing. Once the fuel in your liver is used up your body turns to your stored fat cells and begins to burn them for energy. This is good news for us!

It takes several hours to burn through the liver fuel and get to the fat – so a 12 hour overnight fast gives you time to get to the fat burning stage every night.

BIG THING TO KNOW: If you’re snacking after dinner your body doesn’t have time to burn fat overnight.

4. SNUGGLE DOWN AROUND 10:30: People who stay up late eat an average of 250 calories more than those who go to bed by around 10:00.

BIG THING TO KNOW: Night owls weigh on average about twenty-five pounds more than those who hit the sack earlier.

A CHALLENGE:  Try these 4 game-changers consistently for 6 weeks and see what happens. Oh, and please let me know what you discover too!