Within my health coaching. business ventures, and personal interactions, I meet all different kinds of people from all different walks of life each and every day. I have hundreds of different conversations daily. Two traits that I pride myself on and commit to on a deeper, personal level is my ability for compassion and my desire to listen to what people say, need, and feel. My driving force is to help those in need or those who truly want some tangible guidance. This is so prevalent in my life that I find myself attracting many of the same conversations and concerns into my interactions, that I am often answering the same questions day in and day out. So, I started thinking about how I could bring these frequently asked burning questions to the masses and help to heal and guide more than just one person at a time. How could I begin a movement for hundreds—no, thousands—of people at once to promote further healing and whole person health? That was the inspiration for this blog series. Over the course of the next 3 blogs, I will answer the top 3 burning questions that I get routinely asked so that you can help bring ultimate health and barrier-breaking solutions to you and anyone else that you meet. Let us begin, shall we…
My Solution To Your Challenge
CHALLENGE: I recently got injured and had to have surgery on my shoulder. I was out of commission for awhile and was unable to be active or go to the gym and I found myself sitting around a lot more watching t.v. Actually, I was just kind of of depressed and unmotivated to do anything. I also was not eating very healthy and I blame a lot of it on the holidays, the good food sitting around, and all the temptations. I have to confess, because I was more bored and depressed, I was drinking more alcohol too, especially beer. I am so frustrated and have put on 25 lbs since my surgery and that was only 2 months ago! The doctor gave finally me the ok to start moving my arm more, but my physical therapist says I can only do very light strengthening and activity with my arm. How is this going to get me back to losing all this weight I put on. My willpower is not stopping me from eating junk food and, especially when I am depressed or bored or it is at night, I can hardly control myself and my cravings typically get the best of me. My body hurts and I just feel like shit. Help! I want to lose weight and get back on track, but I feel like I am stuck.
“An injury or challenge is not the reason you lose your health. It is only an excuse.”
SOLUTION: First and foremost, I get it. It is really challenging to go from being active and doing whatever you want to being laid up and restricted. It would be so easy to lose momentum and to start to feel depressed or uninspired. And, to help ease your mind, the body responds physically from the mental and emotional stress, making it harder to control cravings, lose weight, and maintain inner balance that will help you propel towards your health goals. That is actually incredible news! See, knowing AND accepting that you have all the power within you to make those changes to bring you closer to your goals will help to get you on the right path.So, my first word of advice is to accept. Accept that you and only you have the power to change your current state and that you and only you will choose if you are going to take action. Next, I want you to write down where you are right now (with no judgement of yourself!) and where you want to be within a specific time frame. Maybe, right now you weigh 180 lbs and you want to lose 30 lbs in 6 months. Write down your specific goals and make sure that you review them daily. Commit to this in your mind and commit that you will do what it takes to get that goal accomplished. Committing is key, my friend. After you have that down, it is time to get down and dirty with reality. You want to get as real as possible so that you know where you need to go. Take photos of yourself from front, back, and the side. Take objective measurements like your weight and body inches. Write out daily food intake for 3-7 days. If you are not real and accepting of your current situation, you will find great difficulty in navigating yourself through this journey. Finally, how are you going to get the job done? Now it is time to break your big goal down into weekly or daily goals that you will review daily to help keep you on your path and to help decrease the stress that may pop up when you see the large goal. That large goal may be overwhelming, so break it up into small and easily obtainable goals. Remember, real change takes commitment and is not a quick fix. Do it right the first time for lasting results!
Ok, now that you got the foundation set, it is time to talk about the action of actually losing the weight. I would first suggest working on your stress levels and your mental state. Yes, your nutrition and exercise are vital, but getting your stress and mental state balanced is going to make the other two much easier to be successful with. I would suggest daily stress reduction tactics along with practicing gratitude and learning how to love and accept who you really are. How does that help you lose weight almost immediately? Feeling love and gratitude instantly decreases stress. How can you be stressed when you are so thankful for the breath you take or having the things that are most precious to you in your life? Those two feelings are proven to cause the highest internal energy vibrations which are equal to the lowest amount of stress levels within the body. Plus, how can you obtain your goals when you hate yourself or feel negative about anything that you do? You can’t. Negativity and self-hatred increase stress within the body and causes you to increase your weight. When you are physically and mentally stressed continuously, your cortisol levels (the hormone that is associated with stress) rise, your testosterone levels decrease, and your body starts to break down lean muscle. When all this happens, you may physically notice increased levels of body fat, decreased energy, more sugar and (bad) fat cravings, decreased muscle tone, and decreased strength. Not good for weight loss! Increased negative stress from any source will also decrease your willpower. Willpower is only part of the equation, my friend! If your hormones are out of whack and/or your mental state is telling you that you can’t achieve your goals, how could you possibly expect willpower to come riding in on a white horse to save the day? It just does not happen that way. When everything else is pretty much in check (physically and mentally and emotionally), your willpower will finish up to get you “over the hump” to achieve your goals. So, cut yourself some slack and get your ass in check before blaming willpower on your lack of follow through.
You have this injury that is holding up your ability to workout regularly and get you back to your lean, mean fighting machine body. Ok, let’s start with your nutrition. First and foremost, it is time to address your fluid intake. Increase your water intake to at least 8-10 glasses of pure water (more if you are very active or the weather is hot and you are sweating regularly) to help flush out the toxins and to assist your organs in proper functioning. Hydration is vital for weight loss. Next, decrease your caffeine intake. High levels of caffeine will increase your stress and dehydrate your body and, if you already have anxiety or mood swing challenges, high levels of caffeine will increase your symptoms. Finally, decrease your alcohol and beer consumption. If you know that alcohol is setting you up for failure, get rid of it or only indulge on special occasions. Here is the thing—alcohol is empty nutrients, but not free from calories or sugar or yeast. So, if you are drinking heavy, you are bombarding your body with substances that will unbalance your hormones, damage your gut-lining, and increase your desire for sugar and your ability to put the pounds on fast.
Increased alcohol = Increased sugar cravings and decreased willpower = Increased body fat
Make sure that you are eating enough of the right foods. Often people will decrease their food intake dramatically to “save calories,” when in reality, they are slowing down their metabolisms. Keeping the internal fire burning by feeding the fire regularly with a well-balanced healthy diet will not only satisfy you and decrease your cravings, but it will also keep your metabolism humming and your fat-burning ability higher, even when you are not working out. Here is some guidance to help you get started. Eat most of your food during your higher activity hours and decrease your night eating to help your body increase recovery and go into a cleansing fasting period. Try not to eat for 2-3 hours before you go to bed (or fall asleep). This will allow your body to burn up the fuel and decrease the likeliness that it will be stored as body fat. You will also want to be aware of the types of food you are eating. Make sure to include plenty of low inflammatory foods into your diet. With an injury and recovery from a surgery, you want to make sure that you are ridding the body of inflammation as much as you can. You will speed up your recovery with inflammation reduction.
Let’s talk about exercise. At this point, you can only do what you can do with your upper body as outlined by your doctor and your physical therapist. It is vital that you allow that area to heal properly. If you have an injury that was not operated on and you are not seeing a therapist, then I would suggest you perform exercises that cause minimal discomfort and/or hire a personal trainer to guide you safely through an appropriate workout. In this scenario, “No Pain, No Gain” does not apply. Regardless, you can still perform cardio, lower body training, and core work. Get outside to walk, use the elliptical at the gym, or ride the stationary bike. Do what you need to do to get that heart rate up and to get your body moving. For the lower body, hit up those body squats, lunges, or any other exercise that is going to challenge you while still only using your upper body minimally or not at all. Focus on your core strength. Make sure that you are keeping your core muscles (abs, low back, and everything in between) strong and balanced. With creativity, you can create a fat-blasting workout in no time.
Finally, it is all about staying on track. I would suggest recruiting a honesty partner . Find a person that will support you and push you through the tough times when you need it the most. When choosing your honesty partner, make sure that it is someone who creates an environment of positivity and inspiration, rather than someone who is negative or ridicules or judges you. The more positive support, the better. Next, create a routine. You need a routine to keep you on track, If you know that in the morning, you are going to wake up and do x,y, and z before getting ready for work, then you are more likely to stay on track and adopt that as something you need to do. Create a routine and stick to it, no matter what. And, when you feel like backing out of it, call on your honesty partner for the butt-kicking inspiration that you need!
Take action now! Do you have an injury or challenge that you are working through and trying to figure out how to get back what you let slide? If so, apply the tips above and let’s get you moving towards your healthy future, rather than spinning your wheels in the past!
Do you have proven methods that got you on the path towards success? If so, I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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