Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Kindness Chronicles - An overview of your "home"

There is a huge difference between being healthy and being good to yourself.

Being healthy can mean many things, depending on the person. You could be a vegetarian, a low carb-er, a marathon runner, a weight lifter, someone who eats everything but keeps the portions small. The truth is that there are dozens of ways to be healthy, depending on what you believe in, what you were taught, and how much you know about food. In all my research, studying, and reading of health-this and health-that, I have found that no diet or lifestyle works the same for any two people.  Yes, there are ones that are better than others, but that's because they require a lifestyle change, not a drop-the-cookie-and-go-jog-for-a-month change.

I suggest a new approach. While I think a lifestyle change is important to continued success, I think we're going about it all wrong. I see too many people who get mind boggled over the "right" way to be healthy, or the "secret" to losing weight. There isn't one way or one truth.

I've been fortunate enough to study such a wide variety of things that I'm able to put all the bits and pieces together from every angle, rather than just one. I don't like approaching anything with a mentality that there's only one way to do it or that doing it this one way, while ignoring everything else, will get you the results you want. There are too many things to consider. The food you eat, the emotions you have, the life you're living, the sleep you're getting, the amount you move your body during the day, the toxins around you, and the signs your body give you- are all important. It sounds complicated, but I'm going to keep it simple. It's time to change the way we view health and our bodies.

I'm going to do a series of blogs called The Kindness Chronicles. Each one will focus on something different, but all of them will be designed to help you focus on being kinder to your body, understanding what it's trying to tell you, giving you knowledge and insight into the world of food, exercise, and time tested natural remedies.

Most importantly, I want to focus on learning to live a life where you are kind and good to yourself, bottom line.

No more feeling like you're not good enough, thin enough, good looking enough, successful enough. Those days are coming to a close my friends.  I'll still post the good old funny, random, and travel type blogs, but wanted to do something special for a change and really dive into this big, wide, confusing world of health.

Some items I will cover are:
1. Calorie Counting - How to do it once and never again
2. Aromatherapy for better health
3. Releasing toxins in the body
4. Eastern Healing techniques (Gua Sha, Acupuncture, etc.)
5. Cellulite (Yes, you can get rid of it)
6. Foods, the good, the bad and why
7. The story behind grass fed beef and why it's important
8. Various diet systems, what they offer, why, and what you need to know about them
9. Food allergies  - A look into overcoming them through multiple methods
10. Monsanto and the FDA - GMO foods, the Suicide/Terminator seed and how both of these things will change life as you know it, and not for the better.
11. Healing yoga poses
12. If Oprah can talk about it, then so the heck can I... (Maybe)
13. The Seriousness of Sleep

I'll come up with plenty more, but those are all on my mind now. I'm not selling anything or trying to get you to adapt to my lifestyle. I just want you to know for yourself what everything is, does, and how it works.

I was so incredibly mad when I first was learning everything that I saw red on a daily basis. I was furious that no one had thought it would be important to tell me, or my family, or the world for that matter, that half of what we eat/drink/use could kill us tomorrow and that there's plenty of research proving that!  All of that research is just conveniently kept quiet.

Alright, moving on before I launch into that mess. I'll also invite you into my life a little more by giving you a glimpse of what a crazy person like me eats on a regular basis, like spinach and salmon for breakfast. Yes, breakfast.

Tonight I want to give you an overviews and focus on the signs your body is giving you and on the whole idea of taking good care of your "home". The idea of asking yourself the right questions, starting right now.

First, scrap the entire idea you currently have of health and replace it with the mind set of being good to yourself and kind to your body. It is, after all, the only body you get and no matter how many plastic surgeons or scientists there are that can develop a new magic pill, this is the body you are going to be responsible forever. This is the body you occupy in this life and how well it works and how long it lasts is up to you and you alone. There are a lot of things you can reverse, but why get to that point when it's not necessary?

Not to get all deep on you here, but personally I believe we all have a soul and with that I believe our soul is really who we are. Our body just happens to be our storage facility, or "home", where our soul lives. Sometimes I like to tell myself that this - my body - is my home. My house is where I sleep.  I need to take care of my home first since there is no option of getting another one the same way that I can with my house. Buying a house isn't even that easy these days, so imagine how much harder it is to try and get a new body. It's not, it's not even an option. You can never really replace the original working parts.

It's not enough to want to lose weight. You have to want it for the right reasons. You can't do it for anyone else and you shouldn't. If you love yourself just the way you are, don't change. But be honest with yourself. Are you scared of the change, the hard work, the idea that it won't work? Or do you really, truly feel comfortable just as you are? You'll know the truth better than anyone and you'll know what you need to do.

Second, starting tomorrow try approaching everything with the thought of how you will feel, emotionally and physically, after you do whatever it is - eating, drinking, getting frazzled worrying. Don't focus on how much caffeine you need to survive or how much fiber you need that day. Focus on what you just ate or did and how it made you feel. Instead of "How many calories is this?" think "How will I feel after I eat it, mentally and physically?"

Here's a clue: If you require Tums or indigestion anything at all, you're body is desperately trying to tell you it can't handle what you just fed it.  Stomach problems, headaches, gas, and sleepiness after eating are not supposed to be considered normal. Those symptoms you feel are your bodies way of telling you that it's not OK. It needs more or less of something. It needs you to pay attention to it. That is how it communicates with you and the more it needs you to pay attention, the worse things are going to get until you're forced to listen.

Case in point: Before, when I was "normal" and I ate normal things, I had basically zero awareness of my body. I thought everything it did was just, you know, normal. Good, old normal. Advil for the headaches, Pepto for the tummy, etc. That was just life to me. When I started studying the body and testing out what I was learning by changing what I ate, I discovered how wrong I was. I would eat something and get a teeny tiny soar throat or a headache and I could easily pinpoint that it was the food, not my day, by repeating the test over a course of a couple weeks. I was so busy living my normal life before that I never even noticed it.

Let's take for example, gas. Again, we all think it's normal and hilarious. Which it kind of is, but kind of isn't. Did you know you could avoid it entirely? Entirely! Yes, I tested that out too and once you've stopped experiencing it all together for months, you realllllllly don't want to deal with it ever again. It feels odd, like you're broken somehow, and being broken isn't fun.

Let's also consider being tired. You should not need caffeine to get you through the day. What you need is more sleep. This, if you taking nothing else away, is the most important thing in your overall well being. There is nothing, nothing, that can change you better, faster, or more effectively. Your brain literally cannot function without the proper amount of sleep, thus causing everything else in your life to seem more difficult, more depressing. Caffeine is something we should never, ever need. You should never need an alarm clock either. Your body has a natural, built in clock that will wake you up at the right time every day, once a routine has been established and it's getting the right amount of rest. I repeat, if you take nothing else away from this, remember that if there was a "secret" to being thinner, happier, healthier, sleep would be it.

Something to remember, as you're working on yourself or changing old habits, is that it takes time to adapt to the change. You have to remember to ask yourself how you'll feel, if it's the best thing for you, for your "home".  You have to practice paying attention to your body communicating with you. You have to adapt to a new sleep schedule and practice, practice, practice. You DO NOT have to be perfect or expect to get the hang of this overnight and then beat yourself up if you don't. Please, please don't do that. The goal is to be kind to yourself, period.

Alright. Time to get to the business of being kind.

What is one thing that you want to work on, above everything else?

Click here for all posts on The Kindness Chronicles.

Related Post
Fat America

No comments: