Category Archives: Visualization

Happiness = Healthiness: The physical effects of feelings.

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There is a strong correlation between what you feel and how you feel.
Stress can cause a perfectly healthy body to exhibit signs of illness while Happiness can cause an unhealthy body to suppress signs of illness. This phenomenon can help you combat disease, lose weight almost effortlessly, and accomplish great physical feats.
My fellow coach, Lydia Wente, explains this phenomenon perfectly in addressing how our program helps individuals lose weight and do so quickly.

The key is turning stress into a tool instead of letting it become a roadblock to success. This process can be utilized in all aspects of life, not just weight loss.

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Did You Hit A Bump In The Road?

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Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them

(I am gearing this towards weight loss but the concept applies to anything you are struggling with in your life… Relationships, career, education, mental well being, etc.)

Let’s face it; weight loss and keeping it off is hard. We’ve all heard the statistics about weight regain and the grim numbers about the obesity epidemic we’re facing in this country. But what really makes it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain? Well, let’s first take a look at what we know. What we know to be true is that those individuals who do adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Now, the problem can present itself as being about lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower but what it really comes down to is non-adherence to the plan; i.e. simply not sticking to it.

Now, if setting goals and trying hard to achieve them were enough to ensure success, the task of achieving Optimal Health would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, when it comes to making positive life changes many people will encounter psychological barriers to sticking to the plan. The most common are summarized, most appropriately, by the acronym FEAR:

F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. This basically means that we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even aware that we’re thinking and then those thoughts dictate our behavior. It’s like we’re being pushed around by our thoughts or allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on which can prevent them from moving forward. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors but ultimately we have a choice. However, when we get all entangled, caught up, or carried off by these thoughts they dominate our attention and we can’t focus on what is truly important to us. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.

E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment of their weight loss and maintenance plans.

A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The practice of new way of eating and living can be difficult and tedious for some; and the pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. So, if we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.

R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking. The practice of using Structural Tension Charts can be a big help to realize and set goals with Primary and Secondary Choices and action steps to follow. This is found in the first few chapters in “Dr. A’s Habits of Health” as well as “Discover Your Optimal health” and the Workbook.

So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:

D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or shouldn’t have to do it. And if we wait until the day when our mind stops reason-giving before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. In other words, defusion means looking at thoughts, rather than from thoughts; noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings, not because they like them or want them, but so they can do what matters. So, we can ask ourselves “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they may need to clarify and connect with their values or set easier goals. Both of which we will discuss next.

R = Realistic Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources then they need to create a new goal to acquire those resources if possible, or accept the limitations of their reality and change their goal to adapt in the best way possible. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So, if a goal seems to big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. If doing it daily is unrealistic, do it every other day. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ and zero is ‘There is absolutely no change I’ll ever do this’ – then how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.

E = Embracing Values. If a person is lacking motivation, then they need to reflect on why they’re doing this. What’s important and meaningful about this action? Does it truly matter? If so, why? Ask yourself: “Is this really important to me? Which of my values underlie this action? How would doing this make a positive difference in my life and the lives of others?” If we can link our new behaviors to something personally meaningful, we’re far more likely to do it!

So, there you go. Those are the most common psychological barriers to someone taking action to change their lifestyle and the most effective ways to target and overcome those barriers.

Contributed by: Nick Frye

 

 

Recreating Our Reality

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Over a week ago, my husband, kids, and I went “Off-grid”. We stopped going online, stopped answering our phones (unless it was a family call), and pretty much shut out the world.  Why? Because for a while now, I have been of the opinion that we could be healthier in many ways. In order to implement a healthier lifestyle that my whole family would buy into, I needed their complete attention.  Once we “unhooked” ourselves, we began a dialog about our overall health. IMAGINE having the full and complete attention of 3 teenagers, 1 young 20-something, and your spouse AND they actually hang on your every word. Doesn’t happen very often, I know.

You see… I was relatively healthy as far as food goes. But I was not too healthy in other areas. And neither was my family. So I convinced my family to take a week off, focus on my marriage and our family and together we made the following changes:

First … We rid the house of all preservatives; food and non-food items. That meant many of our over-the-counter medications. We didn’t stop there. We tossed out all the chemicals in our house; all our prescriptions, all our cleaning supplies, most of our cosmetics and personal hygiene items, many food items that our kids typically enjoy, and yes, even pet foods. They all went into the trash. Hard I know. For a while, it felt like I was throwing away money. BUT in reality, I was throwing away bad health.

If I could have dumped the chemicals we use in the garage, I would have, but some are necessary for our vehicles to run properly.  I guarantee you, I will be doing more research on that.  There has to be a way to clean, repair, build, and maintain equipment without harsh chemicals.

Now I know you are asking what the purpose of this DEEP CLEANSE was for.

As you may know, we have been dealing with a mystery illness with my daughter since last fall. Then just a few weeks ago, my father’s cancer returned and two young cousins came down with near fatal illnesses. It was a wake up call.

As an extended family, we began using essential oils to combat the illnesses of all 4 individuals and the results are amazing.  My daughter is almost completely healed and all her symptoms have disappeared. We are working on helping her regain the weight she lost. One cousin is seeing her inoperable brain tumor shrink and her symptoms are lessening. Another cousin has regained her sight and the pressure on her brain is reduced significantly. All her other symptoms are gone or are on their way out. My father is just beginning to apply the oils and we believe his health will greatly improve just as the others have.

Modern drugs and chemicals couldn’t help save these important people in my life. Natural plants and minerals are. Watching these dramatic health changes occur has led me to do some extensive research and I have found that as a society, we are poisoning our bodies. Our food has cancer causing chemicals, as do our medications, our cleaning products, and our personal care products, just to mention a few everyday items. Not only are we in danger of developing cancers, but other illnesses as well. Autism spectrum disorders are more prevalent, as are depressive disorders and many other mental health illnesses. Many of these are tied closely to compounds found in our store bought foods and non-perishable items.( DID  YOU KNOW… that we are born with cancer cells in our body but they don’t trigger until they come in contact with a certain compound or chemical? That’s right! We ALL have cancer cells. They are simply not active in most of us. But our current lifestyle is upping our chances of those cells activating.)

I, for one, no longer want to poison my family so we are choosing alternatives.

Here’s what the Watkins’ family is doing.

Our household has gone organic. We are eating organic/ low salt/ low carb/ non-GMO food stuffs.  We have eliminated foods that contain any sort of preservative or dye or added sugar.  That means a lot more meal prep for us but the pay off is better tasting foods, valuable skills, and healthier diets.

We are using essential oils to treat all our ills and as our first aid, even on the animals. We are also using essential oils for personal hygiene and for some of our cleaning products.Yes, I make my own toilet bowl cleaner and air freshener and it costs pennies and works 100x better than the chemical stuff…AND I could drink it and it wouldn’t hurt me.  Can you say that about store bought cleaners? OH, and did I mention it takes LESS time to prepare than it does to run to the store to purchase an item there?

For cosmetics, we are purchasing only those products that do NOT contain any chemicals. What good is it to change everything that we put into our bodies and then put chemical compounds on our skin? If the cosmetic is not organic AND toxin free, we don’t purchase it.

We have also gone chemical fee with all our cleaning items. We found a great company that makes all GREEN cleaners and what I can’t clean with oils, I clean with Shaklee™ products. I’m still researching an essential oils laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, and dish soap recipe so that I can cut down on the high cost of Shaklee™. ( Since I am saving money in other areas, Shaklee™ isn’t breaking our newly reduced budget, BUT I would love to save even more $$.)

In the week. that we have been doing this, the kids look healthier (there isn’t a single case of teen acne to be seen so you KNOW they are sold on our new lifestyle), the animals look healthier (nice shiny coats and no shedding to speak of AND that pet odor that they seem to get 2-3 days after a bath is gone too), the house smells fresher, our clothing, dishes, and appliances are cleaner, and we all feel more energetic and healthy.

It took some convincing to get the family to give up certain things and initially, the cost was high, but green and essential oils cleaners and products last 3-9x longer than store brands so I am saving money over all. We already knew that eating clean is less expensive than eating food with preservatives and chemicals, so that was an easy sell to the family. And lastly, essential oils are, by far, cheaper than prescriptions AND last longer AND work better than prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Add in the savings of NOT having to go to the doctor or go into the hospital and I am saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run, AND I’m saving our lives. That does not mean that we are eschewing modern medicine. If I come up against something that essential oils can’t heal, I will definitely be back in my doctor’s office. It is an added bonus that our family physicians are both on board with us going NATURAL. I was surprised to learn that they and their families have made similar changes.

So that’s why we “unhooked” for a week. I had to get my heart, my head, and my goals all lined up and I had to be all in on this life change… PLUS my family had to be all in as well. I couldn’t be the only family member making such a drastic change and those of you with kids/teens know that if they don’t buy into anything not considered their NORM, then they can easily sabotage all your best laid plans. They had to be agreeable or this would not work for us.

This was not something we wanted to get into gradually, although we could have. AND if money is really tight, I recommend you make one or two changes at a time, not doing a full immersion as we have. For me, for our family, this had to be a total immersion. Our lives depend on it. And we are not regretting our choice.

It was worth it.  There is a lot of strength in being invested as a family unit in the family’s overall health.
BUT…

We didn’t stop there.

Second… We are improving our spiritual health as well.

We are recommitting to:

1. Daily personal and family scripture study and prayer. We can’t have healthy bodies without healthy spirits. For us that means strengthening our relationship with our Heavenly Father and improving our understanding of our Savior and what He desires for us.

2. We are also teaching our kids how to “meditate”; taking 10 minutes out of our day to turn inwards and focus on one thought or mantra, such as “I am loved”. It’s an effective means of eliminating daily stresses and it improves your self-esteem and sense of self. This is especially vital for our kids since society is constantly throwing messages at them telling them that they aren’t perfect if they don’t meet society’s idea of perfection. Anything that will help my child feel happy and secure in their own skin and raises their self-esteem in a healthy way is a PLUS in my book.

In just a week, I have seen a difference in how we all interact with each other. There has been a large reduction in arguing and tension in the home. I know. Hard to believe that a house full of teenagers could actually go several days without a “crisis”. We are actually 4 days and counting without a battle of wills or a fit of temper. Not even a temper tantrum or a slamming door. We all seem to be getting along better.

In my book, going Natural AND focusing on our spiritual health as well, is a win/win. We are making great strides in our physical, spiritual and even our financial health (Remember, I mentioned that our budget has decreased? Well, so have our waistlines in the last week… except for those who need to regain weight.)

This is why I went off the radar this past week or so AND this is what I am doing to improve my family’s overall health. AND I’m happy to report that I am already seeing some fantastic results.

I Believe this is going to be our greatest blessing yet.

Stay tuned for updates…

Healthy Habits for Small Crisis

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It is easy to say you just could not help yourself when you go for that chocolate cake slice after struggling to survive this latest disaster. Life is full of ups and downs, it is unavoidable. Splurging on that indulgence may help to ease the burden when you are in meltdown mode, but that help is temporary and will not endure long enough to see you through the rest of the disaster. Since we all face the worst of times, it is necessary to learn to cope with the little bumps in the road to help you develop the healthy habits for stress relief that will keep you away from guilty food indulgences when you have reached your breaking point.  Here are my top ten that is repeated regularly to my clients to help them stay on track with their health goals.

1. Take a walk. No better way to relieve tension then to walk it out of your system.

2. Meditate. It is a practice that should be completed daily to help move your focus beyond your limitations and bring your dreams and hopes into reality. There is no rule that states you cannot meditate more often to find your center when life throws you more hardships than you think you can bear.

3. Go for a drive. Driving can be very relaxing for most people, especially when you are able to do so in pleasing scenary and avoid bad traffic.

4. Listen to music. Watch out for the hard core hits with beats that pound in your heart. I am talking about the calmer tones in any genre that make you feel calmer.

5. Sit outside and just listen. The world outside is full of sounds that can attract the senses. Close your eyes, or watch with eyes while your mind wanders.

6. Visualize your goals. Like mediatation, you want to remind yourself regularly why indulging just this once is really not worth it. Your goals are.

7. Call a friend. I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to eat because I was too busy gabbing.

8. Occupy your hands. Knit, sew, garden, paint, draw, sculpt. Activities such as these and working with wood or folding paper focuses your attention to your task and off your taste buds.

9. Drink water. Yup, water. It cannot be repeated enough that drinking water curbs your appetite; especially when you are aware your body can survive far longer without food than it can water. In most cases we mistake thirst for hunger. So, drink 32oz of water then wait 15 minutes and drink another 32oz. If still hungry after another 15 minutes then grab the celery sticks or bell pepper slices.

10. Window shop. Remember the ones about meditating and visualizing? If your imaginationshop just isn’t cutting it, then reality certainly will. It can be easier to dream of what you want when you can see what you want.

See IT Then Believe IT

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Working out, training, changing diet, measuring calories with activity, sleeping; all part of working your way to a healthier body. Last post we discussed Vision Boards…Your regular and unavoidable reminder of what you are working to accomplish. Now we are moving on to your not so unavoidable, but nevertheless important, reminder. Everyone needs a little quiet time. Ask any mother and they will tell you they look forward to any reason to put themselves in time out. It is not only essential to motherhood, but to everyone; male and female. We need to take regular breaks in our day to find control and peace. Without this alone time we are prone to anxiety, anger, emotional outbursts, illness, and depression. Since I have made it very obvious that this time to yourself is imperative to your sanity, you might as well put it to the best use!

This is your chance to see yourself healthier. Everyone is  blessed with an imagination. Take that gift and think of yourself as thinner and healthier. Is it something you can do at any time and in any position? Nope! It needs a little more effort than that. Step one- take a look in the mirror. I am serious, take a good long hard look. Memorize the shape of your face, the curve of your hips, the shape and length of your arms and torso. Memorize yourself. You need a good picture to call upon as a starting point to thinning and toning the body in your imagination.

Find a quiet place with the appropriate noise or lack thereof if needed. Some need complete silence before they can reach deep inside of themselves and forget everything else. Others find this brings on their brain’s ability to create noise so white noise is best (fan, low static). Others need some familiar noise that helps them to relax. The sound of the ocean, gentle and quiet traffic noises, soft instrumental or nature (zen) music. No one can tell you what you need except for yourself, whatever helps you to forget the world around you is perfect.

Next is to pick a place. You must be sitting up, not too relaxed and not in a public place. Remember the goal is to forget everything around you, which is easier if there is limited to no activity around you. Do not use a reclined or sleeping position. Trust me, you will fall asleep therefore defeating the purpose.  If you happen to be one of those able fall asleep in any position (my father) you will need to keep trying different background noises to help keep you in check.

Close your eyes. No matter how good your imagination is, unless you have learned how to sleep with your eyes wide open you will need to shut off your optical sensory to find the quiet place within your mind. Think of yourself and start melting off the fat, toning the muscle, trimming the facial features and smoothing out the buldges. Spend 15 minutes a day finding the healthy body hidden behind the weight and focus on having that body. Imagine the activities you will be able to participate in, the places you can go, the clothes you will wear, the hair style you will choose. Do not leave anything out and burn that image into your subconscience. If you want to accomplish something you have to see it already accomplished or you will never believe it can be done.

Lastly, attach an emotion to your mental image. These emotions would include, pleasure, happiness, joy, or excitement. Without the emotion is won’t last. You have to be emotionally as well as physically invested to your goal or you will lose your motivation and revert back to your starting point. Do not waste precious time in skipping over steps that are proven to help you reach your ideal body health.quiet