Just as quickly as Christmas seems to roll around, so too does summer. And with it often comes a sense of urgency to catch up on the many things we planned to do during the year. Often food, our body and fitness top this list.
Summer is definitely the time we like to be more comfortable in our bodies. Losing weight is top of the list for many.
As the health of our body is not only governed by the food we eat, but also our thoughts and emotions; in order to become truly healthy we need to take into account all elements and how they are interconnected to each other.
If you have weight issues, 95 percent of the time this means that you have imbalances somewhere in your body systems. These have been brought on by inflammation and stress, not only arising from a poor diet but also your poor thought systems and emotions. This means fad diets no longer cut the mustard, there is now a need to learn to understand how to rebalance your body.
Some areas to start considering when embarking on a weight loss journey this summer:
1. It’s coming up to a stressful time of the year.
Stress reduces the effective functioning of the digestive system, liver, sex hormones (which for women especially dictates how they utilise energy and maintain a healthy weight), nervous and immune systems.
Before you get to a point where you need to do more work on healing yourself (when body systems become out of alignment), discover what helps you to come into greater peace and joy. States of being that are opposite to stress are going to bring your body into a state of greater health and physical appearance.
Is it making time for family and friends? Making time for creativity? Making time for nature or singing/ dancing? Choose something that you don’t associate to a diet or physically thrashing yourself. When it does come to physical activity, choose an exercise that helps you feel good about yourself and leaves your endorphins flowing afterwards. If this means a walk in nature opposed to weights in a gym, then go with that.
2. Reframe your thinking around your body and losing weight.
Our minds are very good at sabotaging our chances of greater health and wellbeing. We can easily become the victim of our fat, our weight and illnesses. This victim-like thinking doesn’t empower you to create change in how you think about yourself or in your habits. When it comes to fat, it’s not having fat that is the problem, it is how fat you feel that is the issue.
For most people, the fad diet route often creates disharmony in the mind. Meaning no weight is lost due to mental and emotional stresses such as dis-empowerment, frustration and feelings of failure . In turn, this creates a lack of self- worth and lack of self-love. Your mind and body are interconnected. Your body hears everything you think about it and responds accordingly.
If you speak lovingly to your body, as you would to a family member, friend or pet, and you did this every day for a month (more so than the criticisms you aim at it), you would see such a difference in yourself.
You would be kinder towards yourself, be less judgemental and have greater self-worth. You can love yourself and it would shine outwardly in your appearance.
3. Take time to understand your own values.
Values are what are important in our own lives. Your values drive your decisions and actions. What you value, you will make time for. So how much do you value your health?
How much do you value you? How much do you value your happiness? How you value yourself will also affect how you nourish yourself. Saying you don’t have time to have healthy food isn’t true. You take care of your personal hygiene every day; you make time for that because you value feeling clean.
If you valued your greater wellbeing in the same way, you would make healthy eating and de-stressing part of your daily life too. Also, if you are a person who always puts others before yourself, then recognise that. If you aren’t valuing yourself and your health, then how can you truly give to another?
4. Does eating rule your life?
Do you go from meal to meal stressing about what you should or shouldn’t be eating and what time you should be eating? Bring it back to the basics. Start by eating natural, colourful food.
The body has a fantastic hormonal feedback system in the gut which lets you know when you need food (ghrelin) and when you no longer need it (leptin). Did you know that there are seven negative feedback signals to the brain from various organs in the body telling it you no longer need food and only one positive feedback signal from the stomach to the brain telling it you do need food!?
This alone demonstrates how far we have strayed from communicating with the body. Furthermore breakfast, lunch and dinner only came about in the industrial revolution, so men working the laborious jobs could be fed. This is not something a lot of office bound people need to adhere to any longer.
Try being more mindful of how you are feeling. Are you physically hungry or are you eating to a schedule? And when you are eating a meal, are you feeling overly full or satisfied? Feeling satisfied means the seven negative feedback signals are telling the brain it is time to stop eating.
5. Always focus on proper digestion and liver processing as first port of call to assist the body back into balance.
Without proper digestion of your food you won’t be able to breakdown and absorb the nutrients the body needs to keep functioning in a balanced way.
Without the liver working optimally you can get toxic build up, imbalanced hormones, high cholesterol and signs of prediabetes, to name a few.
Digestion tips: chew your food properly, cut back on foods that irritate your gut and cause bloating/ lack of energy.
Liver tips: Daily – drink at least two litres of water and try and include lemon, spinach, kale, ginger, turmeric, beetroot, carrots, celery and broccoli.