Monday, February 22, 2016

How I lost 75 pounds and found Myself (Part 1)

I was scrolling through pictures on my computer a few years ago and came across a photo of a woman holding what appeared to be my youngest daughter at about a year old. The baby was perched on her hip and she was looking out the window of MY house. The lady in the picture had short, spiked hair and glasses, but that's not what caught my attention. What caught my attention was her large derrière. I couldn't figure out who would have been holding MY baby in MY house so I called my husband over to see if he remembered the mystery woman.

"Who is that holding E____ I asked?" 
He looked at me incredulously and replied "That's YOU".
"NO!" I responded, horrified, "That's not me. I never looked like that!" 

But I knew in that moment that I was wrong and he was right. I felt so much shame over that picture and a few others like it that deleted them and vowed that they would never be seen by anyone. Ever. As I have blogged about shame and vulnerability here for the past few years, I realize that I've been hiding this past version of myself and its time to fess up because shame can't bear the light of day. If I share this with you, I can't be ashamed of it anymore. I used to be pretty overweight. This is one of the only pictures that escaped my deleting frenzy.

Shortly after this picture was taken, our family moved from California to Idaho to open a franchise of Pump it Up. I didn't realize what a can of worms I was opening when I chose that move. We arrived in Boise Idaho in the winter of 2004 as orphans, with no strong family connections, no friends, no job, no nothing. I felt overwhelmed by the profound loneliness I felt. The process of opening our business was far more chaotic and difficult than we expected. Between bankers and city planners who seemed hell bent on preventing our success, I felt as if I had no control over anything in my life. As the time passed and our precious savings leaked away, I felt increasingly helpless and bitter. I remember crying to God for answers about what I could do and feeling distinctly that even if I could not control any of my external circumstances, I COULD control myself. This one body that I had been given was mine to shape. And so I began. I got on the scale that day and it read 225 lbs.

I did not join a support group. I did not train for a marathon. I did not sign up for a pre-scheduled meal delivery service. I just decided. I decided that the price of staying where and how I was was too high. I was done being a victim of my circumstances. 

Because I know that there is someone reading this who is in the exact same place I was, I'm going to tell you exactly what I did, in all its simplicity.

1. I woke up every morning put on my exercise clothes, which I kept on while I got my kids ready for     school. (its important that you not allow yourself to get showered and ready for the day until the         exercise has happened)
2. I headed straight to the kitchen and blended myself a giant green smoothie.  
3. I got my kids (8,6, 4, 2) ready for the day. I dropped the 8 and 6 year old off at school and took the     two younger kids with me to the gym.
4. I headed straight for the elliptical trainer and didn't let myself get off until Law and Order was             over. I love that show, so it made me want to stay on for a whole hour. 
5. I picked up the kids from daycare and stopped at Subway on the way home for a 6" turkey on            whole wheat with no cheese and no mayo.
6. I made my family a salad or soup for dinner, which I also ate.
7. I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted once per week on a date with my husband and that               frequently included boneless buffalo wings and sometimes even cheesecake.

In 12 months I lost 75 pounds. I tell you this because my plan was far from perfect! I know much more now about nutrition and exercise and there are things I do differently now, but at the time, this was the level of simplicity that I required. This was "good enough" for me and i'll bet it would be good enough for you if you are reading this and wanting to make a change.

The hardest part is deciding. 

Over the past 12 years, I have become a totally different person. I have come to understand WHY I carried those pounds around for 5 years and how it actually gave me exactly what I wanted and needed. I have learned strategies for helping other people and for helping myself. If you want to know more about WHY you are carrying around those extra pounds that just don't seem to budge, stay tuned for next week's post. You can subscribe to my feed to make sure you get an alert when it's up.

If you are local to the Treasure Valley, I invite you to join me for a workshop this week where we will talk about this and other physical ailments that have a strong emotional component and how we can address them using simple mentoring tools and essential oils. You can sign up for those free 1 hour workshops Here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Illness isn't a death sentence. It's a cry for attention.

Watch the first 30 seconds of this video...I dare you not to laugh out loud!

Isn't this how it feels sometimes? Like anytime something goes wrong with your body you might as well just kiss that function goodbye and chalk it up to old age. As I approach 40, it seems like more and more of my friends have a heap of health challenges that they fully expect to deal with for the rest of their lives. You name it and i've heard it. '

"I just have bad knees"
"My digestion has always been messed up"
"Every time I get sick, it goes straight to my lungs"
"Depression runs in my family"

The two questions I always ask myself and my clients are "What is your body trying to tell you? Where is this coming from?"

Every single thing that shows up as dis-ease is your body's way of telling you something is wrong at an emotional level.  In her 1984 bestselling book "You can Heal Your Life", author Louise Hay taught that every physical illness can be traced to a spiritual or emotional conflict. When her book was released, there was little scientific data to support her theory. Thirty years later, the science is clear: Every time we experience a thought or feelings, it begins a cascade of chemical reactions in our body that causes our cells to produce hundred of different Neuropeptides, each with hits own unique function. Hormones, endorphins, cortisol, and adrenalin are some examples. Bruce Lipton PhD and Candace Pert PhD have both done extensive work in outlining the specific pathways different emotions take in the body. 

With this research as proof of the mind/body connection, We can look to Louise Hay's book as a reliable guide for the layperson to discover the probable emotional roots of physical ailments.

Knees: Knee problems are related to the inability to bend, stubborn ego and pride, fear, inflexibility. (This was my most annoying source of physical pain when I stumbled on Louise Hay's book and I was definitely convicted.)

Digestion: Your digestive system is connected to your ability to "digest" life or assimilate your experiences. Its also tied to your sense of belonging and safety in the world. Anxiety is frequently an issue in those with chronic digestive problems.

Weak Lungs: The ability to take in life. Depression. Grief. Not feeling worthy of living life fully.

Depression: Holding onto feelings of Anger that you don't thing you have a right to. Hopelessness.

Once you are aware of the emotional root of your ailment, what do you do? My favorite way to give physical and emotional support is with affirmations and essential oils. The unique chemistry of the oils makes them a perfect choice and they have been incredibly helpful for me and millions of people like me as we do our best to take charge of own physical and emotional wellbeing. Questions? you can contact me via email and I will respond within 24 hours.