We realize the importance of starting our day off with gratitude, with an emotive THANK YOU, but, do we spend the rest of our day thinking of working towards fantastic health and wellbeing or the dread of sickness and disease?
Since we spend most of our time interacting with our environment, our environment has a huge impact on our thought process. Simultaneously the conversations we have, the reading we do [though these days it seems social media has trumped a good read] the tv we watch and the newspapers we read add to that environment. As I find myself researching the state of health globally, the latest diets, the impact of the food choices we make there seems to be increasing awareness and focus that lies within FEAR for the future when it comes to obesity and disease.
As I have an absolute passion for health and living to age 100 at least [yes my children, you may have me around for a good few more years than you bargained for] and have an understanding that if I keep my focus on the negativity of health and wellness well, then I am not creating a health and wellness outlook but rather a sickness and disease outlook. I also deal with people searching for better health focus daily and to turn their energy from their ‘struggle’ to what is POSSIBLE is my main focus as a coach and mentor.
I became aware of how a person can get caught up in the negativity when I read a range of books including Ralph Waldo Emerson, he said that “You are what you think all day long.” this continued when I started my journey in weight removal. I had just asked my daughter to take some pictures to keep a record of my journey and declared my disdain of where I was based on the dreadful pictures I was staring at, she turned around and said “Mom, can you imagine what those will look like in 6 months!!!?”. In an instant, I realized where my focus was. And, simultaneously I got her optimistic upbeat response. Literally, my world opened up and my awareness of where my thought process was landed on my lap. I realized that FEAR and FRUSTRATION in thought about better health drove my reaction to the photos in a NEGATIVE WAY. That from a person who ALWAYS SAYS “What starts wrong ends wrong“. It was such a learning curve as even though I sit daily with people applying positive thoughts when it came to my own personal journey I had just fallen short. I also realized that I could choose to make my thoughts work towards ridding myself of fat OR, allow them to drive me to fear and therefore gain weight! After all, our mind truly rules our body. The sad thing about this is it is true not only on the mental level but results in the physical outcomes of what we DON’T WANT. Then it gets even a little more complicated, never do we look internally, we find blame externally, so the first thing we do when we fail to rid our bodies of fat is we blame the diet we are on, maybe just maybe it is our thoughts that led to failure…
I read an interesting article and the following was said:
“The words you say come from the thoughts you have, which create the feelings you have. So go to the root of the issue: what are you thinking, and what are you putting into your body, into your mind? What is the food you are feeding this life you call your own? No one else will do it for you, and nothing that may have happened in your past is responsible for doing what you are now in control of, that which you do, think and speak. Every second is your own responsibility and within your power to change.“
If we embrace the understanding that thoughts create things we will be EXTREMELY aware of our thoughts. On a physical level let me explain; when we live in a world of external stresses and we take them on and add some more, of course, dinner does not stay at one plate of food, we start feeding the stresses and emotions, 2 plates later and 2 desserts later we feel no better! This then leads to waking up the next morning, and calmness turns to anxiety when facing our wardrobe, with anxiety on high alert your body misinterprets your tight pants combined with the anxiety for a reason to feed up and bolt down. We add fuel to the fire by blaming ourselves for weakness, lack of discipline and then family genetics for the tight pants and our thoughts lead to the fatty army in our body running for the thighs! Next minute we are 15kgs heavier, at least 2 dress sizes up and on anti-depressants. Yes, just like that our thoughts turn our attempt at dieting into fat protection.
The moral of the story? Quite simple, when you decide to go on a diet to get your health back, spend VERY LITTLE TIME on bemoaning the size of your thighs, how many diets you have been on, how many sizes of clothes are in your cupboard, the possible diabetes that runs in the family and more time on how AWESOME it is going to be to tie those shoelaces with ease, acheless ankles as you walk down the flight of stairs, the ability to walk and soak in the sunshine without feeling like a wounded buffalo and a cupboard full of GORGEOUS CLOTHES to wear again. Change the thoughts you dwell on and watch how you succeed at your regulated diet. Speak health INTO your life, go on a positive mental diet that I have dealt with on my previous post and REMAIN OPTIMISTIC about a healthier life – make it easier for you purely with the RIGHT THINKING in place!
So next time you catch yourself giving yourself and your life a hard time in thought and word, assess who you with [yes, the moaners and groaners have a tendency to influence our thoughts of ourselves as well], what you are reading, watching or interacting with and maybe pause and switch lanes. Reach for a better feeling thought to assist your waistline! Trust me, that change of lane can happen in a split second and you will be GRATEFUL for it and FEEL TONS BETTER!
Some people realize that one diet does NOT fit all, some people realise that whats right for the goose, may not be right for the gander… me on the other hand, spent most of my adult life believing, truly believing, if a diet worked for X person, then it will for sure work for me. 30kgs later, I realised one diet fits all was a load of bullsh*t.
Yes, it was a light bulb moment, though, maybe not as sudden as flicking a switch, more like a slow-burning ember that gets a gust of wind and lights up EVENTUALLY, I am slow like that. Sadly, even though I fully realize that I AM an individual with individual body requirements, somehow the idea that one diet DOES NOT fit all did not dawn on me until I walked that path and paid dearly for it.
My journey started at over 90kgs the first time I took on RIDDING my body of FAT, it was a wholesome eating plan which got me on the right track and I lost 30kgs over a year, as I reached my goal I fell pregnant with my first child, 2 pregnancies later I was tipping the 90kg zone again. Slowly the weight crept up to 106kg. At this point, I decided that feeling like a wounded buffalo was not for me. I started following the same food protocol which I had successfully used before and started exercising 6 times a week. My weight did not budge and I resided to being FAT AND FURIOUS for life. I had OFFICIALLY given up.
A friend introduced me to a shake diet and I decided to give it a shot, I was desperate and had never thought my weight was an issue until someone I had not seen in a while saw me, their jaw dropped non politely to the floor, truly, I heard the echo as it hit the floor, and in an instant if the earth could politely have swallowed me up I would have gone without putting up a fight! I started the shake diet with MASSIVE SUCCESS. At age 39 I gained my body back, moving to a wonderful 65kgs over a 6 month period. I never felt more like a lithe cheetah, 40kgs lighter, happier and more confident than a second hand car salesman.
Then, LIFE HAPPENED, AGAIN – she does that…. This was an interesting journey, but one in which sadly I spent 5 years questioning my worth, value, ability and leadership skills. Life literally sucked it all out of me and I ate my way out of the hole I found myself in. In that time, I moved home, got divorced, gave up my Art Degree, lost both my parents in a matter of 9 months, lost the work I loved and thrived in for 7 years and beat cancer. It was a shocker and I carefully reminded myself of the mirror I broke a couple of years prior which may have caused the quagmire of bad luck, though some would say that I had thought it into manifestation, so made it my REALITY [a different subject and sadly I tend to agree for parts of it]. Regardless, this time brought me back to packing on 40kgs plus to my small frame.
Long story I know, but at around this point that burning ember sparked, I decided to make friends with food, [for the fatties like me out there, we AIN’T friends with food – do not try kid yourself]. I decided to do the Hormone diet, the Metabolic diet, the HFLC (High Fat Low Carb) diet, Keto diet plan, the Cinderella diet, the 14-day diet, the Blood type diet, etc, etc… I was determined to become friends with food, I ONLY got fatter. Now some would argue and state that I did it WRONG. Sorry to disappoint folks, I have actively worked in the health and wellness industry since 2011, coached people to rid their bodies of over 8000kgs of FAT in that time, I understood what it means to stick like a postage stamp! Now spending time for 5 years questioning ALL I AM, then failing hopelessly with my supposed BFF food… did NOT HELP. I had not found the answer in that relationship-building process. In fact, that BFF food, lied, undercut, cheated and abused me and hampered every possible means of progress.
Some people, you know who you are, have had massive success in weight removal in the programs above, some have even said to me you just need to do X, Y, and Z and just like that weight will melt off you based on above programs… YOU JUST NOT DOING IT RIGHT… ARRRRGHHHHHH – KILL ME NOW. At a point, I decided that exercise will be my only saving grace, my NEW BFF, bugger food, even though I have always believed you can NEVER outrun your fork. The minute this buffalo decided to start walking the proverbial sh*t hit the fan. Knees started swelling, ankles ached, and shin splints set in. “Let us exercize” they said, “it will be fun” they said… not for this buffalo!
Back to the drawing table, I went, these diets worked for EVERYONE, after all, one diet fits all!?? The more fat I ate, the fatter I got, the more variety my diet got the more my joints ached. Then I checked my blood type, I am a keen supporter of Peter D’Adamo of course, and my blood type told me to steer clear of Avo, Banana, Butter and chicken [which when you eat salads, chicken is a firm favorite in most food-based diets…] – all of these foods were top of my list when I followed the listed regulated diets above, excepting banana, when I effentually took a look at the blood type dieting guidelines, I realized, – WHAT WAS I THINKING!!? Besides the fact that with my blood type I basically had to survive on tofu and lettuce.
Needless to say, I felt like a total failure. Self-esteem shattered. Confidence equivalent to a teenagers first kiss. Broken. Now the embers spark was well lit. The light bulb moment.
I started my investigation and realized that both the diets I had resounding success in was 50% Carbohydrate- GOOD ONES ONLY [Check out my course on Coach : no diet in which I explain the constant companions], 30% Protein and 20% GOOD fats and fiber. Both the diets required eating breakfast [intermittent fasting, I forgot to add that to the list above, but this one goes out the window if I look at my success dieting history]. Both required a large quantity of water a day. What I realized, not being a lover of cooking and baking, preparing and weighing [sorry Mom, I am no good at it and love foods starting with ‘RESERVATIONS‘ of a table for you Madam?], that the choice of my shake diet was the best way to go. The interesting thing about this diet is I helped all sorts reach success with it. Possibly the reason being that it IS BALANCED nutrition, 3 to 4 meals a day, with the correct fiber and water balance for your body. It was also not only shakes but food so it covered the best of both worlds.
Sadly I needed to go through the wringer to get back to it. I had to walk journeys highly recommended by all as “This diet will work for you, it works for everyone after all!!” Then failing, feeling that failure, QUESTIONING MY GENE POOL [Possibly alien, the verdict is still out according to my children] and fattening up in the process. I am one of the lucky few in my opinion that found the RIGHT RECIPE for me. Some never find it and do literally GIVE UP and GET FATTER. Fat not being the problem of course, the health challenges as a result of fat, now therein lies the TRUE problem. The second TRUE problem is our perception that one diet fits all. Herein lies the failed attempts, the yo-yo dieting, the health compromise, the breeding of low self-esteem.
Hear he, hear he, hear he… take note of the punters, the converts, and the believers and the naysayers, listen only to your heart when making your choice to go fat to fab, [and listen to your gut as well, it will let you know in possibly unflattering ways] YOU will know what is working if you gaining fat be weary. Look closely at your regulated dieting history – it tells a story. Look closely at responsive emotions over your lifetime, some may have a direct impact on your gaining and losing of fat. Draw a timeline and look, more stress, less stress, more sleep, less sleep, more exercise, less exercise, YOU GET THE PICTURE. Then, like a puzzle piece, put it all together and chances are you will be able to identify what regulated diet would be the right course of action for YOU, not your sister, brother, mother or bestest friend, but rather for you. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL! Bugger the latest science, use it as a guide but tomorrow they MAY tell you how grass-fed cattle are killing you too…
How do you know what is the right diet for you, simple, IT WORKS, YOU WILL MOVE FAT OFF YOUR BODY... Whether you drop size, centimeters or kilograms – SOMETHING WILL MOVE!
Take a special page out of my flabby book, it is NOT about the diet, it is NOT about the diet being to blame, it is our closer inspection AND introspection of WHAT WORKS FOR US that leads to a regulated diet success!
My first question to anyone who is focused on weighing themselves is this, “When you walk into a room, do you carry the scale on your shoulder or your clothes?”.
Now generally, some people if not all people use the scale to gauge unhealthy weight removal, then the second thing done in my experience is the minute the scale does not edge towards what they require in goal weight, then the DIET they are on IS TO BLAME… In the years I have worked with people in coaching fat removal, the biggest block in the journey becomes the SCALE. For some, yes, it is beneficial in GETTING to a certain size as the journey becomes about chasing that ‘golden number’, the problem comes from our focus on that ‘golden number’, if we DO NOT get to it fast enough or not at all, it becomes the noose around our dietary journey.
Because these days most things in life are based on immediate gratification when that scale does not move, hell hath no fury… We also get this ‘immediate gratification’ from external sources, we have ‘out learned’ to let gratification come from internal, hence we blame the diet we are on, possibly forgetting the rights and wrongs we have done ON the diet.
Let us start with fat loss vs weight loss, a scale is never a good indicator of fat loss, considering fat mass is much lighter than muscle mass. The upside in this is that if you see your clothes fitting better but the scale seems to be moving slowly, chances are you are sending fat to the furnace whilst safeguarding your muscle. The more muscle you ‘save’ on a healthy diet the better as the more muscle, the more fat you will burn, it takes energy [aka FAT] to keep those muscles working!
In a world were obesity awareness is on the rise, unhealthy fat is topical in all circles. In the process diets get dissed due to ‘not working’, meanwhile, it is NOT a diet problem, I hear this all the time. The problem is firstly we use the scale to determine success and secondly we CHOOSE the INCORRECT diet… and finally, anyone looking at the low-quality nutritional value of a lot of the food ‘stuff’ out there not to mention lack of exercise and the stress we face daily? The argument could be that people ARE getting it right out there so there are no excuses, this to me is an oversimplification. True as pigs don’t fly, there were times and still are times where I wish I was born with a supergene of athletic ability, honed physique, and a drop-dead gorgeous smile, sometimes loving myself as is, trumps the wishes stated above by a mile and allows me to love my life a lot more. This then leads to my acknowledgment that the scale is not the key that unlocks my health but rather self-acceptance as a starting point to better health and wellness.
Weight loss and gain, good or bad? That is the question.
We touched on this topic above, but gaining weight could be as a result of many reasons just as losing weight could be.
Our body weight is made up of bone, tissue, muscle, blood, water, fat, and, that which we have eaten making its way downstream… We might have a day where we have high salt intake and all of a sudden that salt holds on to our water intake and whallla we are up 1 kilogram on the scale, devastated by our gain, we blame the diet and proceed to take our anger out on a muffin – oh dear. Or, we decide to go on some crash diet, now, here, your body is super intelligent, starve it and it will guard FAT like its best friend [maybe that is a good thing seeing that our brains are fat-based and needs safeguarding!?], so as we starve ourselves our body starts chewing on the fastest available energy, MUSCLE, 2 weeks into the ‘starvation plan’ [note I did not call it a diet now for a reason] we get on to a scale and again, whallla, we down 5kgs and ALL IS JUST DANDY… or is it? Chances are we have fried some muscle as our body protects our brain and hip fat storage to its utmost. Next time we find ourselves in a pickle, we resume starvation and slowly we start carving away at the muscle supply in our body, we leach our bodies [muscle, tissue, bone] of water and again loose that unwanted ‘weight’ on the SCALE. Problem is this cycle continues, we hit 40 and bemoan the fact that NO DIET WORKS FOR US meanwhile back at the ranch we look old and disheveled due to muscle loss and NOT fat loss, gaining weight happens in 2 ticks due to less muscle to burn the energy we supply and losing weight becomes TOUGH!
Let us add some CAKE to the mix…
Now, I do use cake as a substitute for sugar, but, sugar, when added, carries more than just glycogen, in fact, it acts like salt and its best friend’s name is water. We may bite down on a ‘healthy’ muffin but next day 100 grams of muffin turns into half a kilo to a kilo depending on the sugar content. Here again, we chose a diet, let us say a keto diet plan, carbs are cut and all seems to be going swimmingly well, a friend has a birthday and we decide one slice of cake will not make the difference, which in the greater scheme of things really won’t, but we get on the scale the next day guilt-ridden due to the delightfully decadent cake we wolfed down only to find we have ‘gained’ a kilogram, SHOCK, AND HORROR… now the keto diet does not work!?? Not true, our body just needs to process the sugar hit and it can only do that by transporting the purely white and deadly stuff in the water. Try not to be fooled… sometimes diets touting massive weight loss is, in fact, massive water loss and here comes the bigger problem, we are 70% water, and generally everything functions in some kind of watery liquid environment in our bodies, minus the water, we have health challenges knocking at our doors.
One meal at a time, one kilo at a time.
Now let us start with when we weigh in a day. We decided to take on a diet, let us use Sally as our example, she takes it on seriously, regimented weigh-ins are important, so every morning, she wakes up bright and early, gets ablutions done and before getting dressed, [basically naked] she gets on the scale. Right there and then she has handed over the power of the day to a number, ON A SCALE! This is the thing, mornings we are ALWAYS lighter than EVENINGS in scale weight, BUT, we may not be lighter than the day before based on the birthday cake we put down the pie hole. It becomes a game of Russian Rolette, Sally peaks at the scale, [this is after the 2nd or 3rd time she got on to it after not being convinced first time round of course] dreading the number that will face us or feeling optimistic. Either way, I will paint both pictures. The first being, the scale goes down… HALLELUJAH the cake did not do major damage – Sally thinks… [‘that’ diet must be working after all!!!] She faces the day with glee – as if it is HER BIRTHDAY, and off she goes to work, our friend, [the birthday girl of course] decides to bring cake to work AS WELL just to make sure nobody feels left out… and the lower scale weight is still resonating in Sally’s mind, she feels GOOOOOOODDD…. So she decides, intellectually and logically [seeing as she beat this mornings scale and she IS DOWN in weight – not] that she dodged the bullet once with her cake from last night, she may as well give it another go. Down it goes, then her regulated diet lunch goes in, so too the mid-afternoon snack. Come supper time she has what is required to complete the day – a healthy regulated diet meal… Now, Sally knows after her day that it was not the greatest 24 hours and now she is curious to see what the scale has to say [oh dear]. At bedtime, she gets on to the scale and she weighs 2kgs more than her morning weight. Right there she gives up, maybe not totally but a little bit. Dazed and confused she realizes that the diet sucks [not really but it makes her feel better] and she decides she would make her decision after an evening’s sleep.
Herewith the second scenario. Sally wakes up, now she has had 2 pieces of cake in the previous 24 hours and was down in weight after the first slice, note she is on a keto diet plan. Now Sally goes through the same process as the previous morning, ablutions done, on the scale, before clothes of course. Now the scale is not friendly, certain parts of her evening meal, especially protein, is still making its way through her digestive system, now Sally is 2kgs heavier as well as with her limited carbohydrates on the keto plan, her body has celebrated by holding on to the carbohydrates she kindly supplied, and the water going with the purely white and deadly sugar on TOP OF THAT… Once again, Sally’s emotions and day ahead has been regulated by a NUMBER!!! Now she feels AWFUL!!!! And wants to burn the proverbial keto wagon after chopping it into tiny little pieces, “I am fat for life, bugger these “#@$&* diets!“. Off she stomps to work, most likely not kissing Tom [her partner who is patiently waiting for her to stop complaining about her weight], gets to work and mopes about for at least half the morning until someone brings another cake for Sally’s friend which they especially baked for her but decided they would wait especially for Fridays tea… What does Sally do??? Quite easily, she has said “#@$&* diets!” if you may recall, with her mood being set by the scale she now not only has a sliver of cake, she has 2 pieces for old times sake…
And so the SCALE has set the tone. So it has determined the direction of our waistline, be it on the increase or decrease.
The clock ticks… month by month
The last and certainly not the least, speaking one lady to another [men, please sit out on this discussion if needs be], when it is that time of the month, chances are you will feel bloated like a Sumi wrestler and retain water. I have seen it change scale weight from half a kilogram to 2 kilograms. Yes, it can be that much, and when you get on the scale feeling like a wounded buffalo, chances are emotional too, you may just want to end all thought of regulated dieting forever…. do be KIND to YOURSELF.
So here is the thing, by knowing these truths with regards to the scale you can, in essence, understand what is happening a lot easier when you get on the scale. If you use a scale to weigh, understand what you are weighing. Let us say you decide to have a cup of tea before weighing yourself, or a glass of water, the measurement of a liter of water to a kilogram is basically the same, lets us say you are REALLY thirsty and you have half a liter of water. Get on the scale and see the difference. It will be half a kilo and THAT IS NOT FAT, YOU ARE NOT GAINING WEIGHT!!!
Be kind, be logical, be honest with yourself. Then standing on a scale is beneficial. Besides using measurements and how your clothes fit, I find photographs work an absolute charm. Try to get full length, side profile, and face pictures as before and afters. These are the gems in seeing, understanding and accepting your weight loss journey emotionally.
If you have got the kahunas for a scale, great. Use them. Scales are good, they are not ALL bad. But understand your body and its cycles whether it is a short term diet or over a long period of time. Our bodies are like pendulums when it comes to your base weight and being up 2 down 2 is quite normal, don’t get shocked and starve yourself, or happy and overfeed yourself.
There are 2 types of accepted change; EXTERNALLY, that which we experience in our surroundings, from a change of scenery to our waistline expanding, or change within, INTERNALLY, change of heart, change of mind or change of character… this is a rather honest opinion about the latter.
First and foremost, if you truly feel the need to change your character you may be mixing with the wrong crowd… we are made perfect by perfect first and foremost, possibly if someone is suggesting change within you they may have their terminology askew or may ‘think’ they have YOUR best interest at heart… NOT.
Let me explain, personally, I am attached to WHO I AM, after all, I have been WHO I AM for 9months before fighting my way through the birth canal to land on mother earth, then playing my years through life on a journey which was mine alone… [Until someone plants a seed of maybe just maybe I am NOT enough – then the poop hits the fan in our brains and CHANGE seems to be the answer]. Now yes, we ‘change’, we are after all energy in motion, our cells ARE splitting and dividing continuously but that is a ‘PHYSICAL’ change [- with an undercurrent of emotions having an impact on those cells health too – but that is a story for another blog post]. And yes we wish to ‘change’ when our waistline starts representing a Starbucks muffin, but again that IS physical. Think about this; maybe our waistline is a point of contention because we are trying so hard to ‘CHANGE’ our true character to ‘FIT’ into this demanding world? The less we ‘don’t fit’ the more our waistline has the tendency of expansion. It gets scarier, part of that is, we THINKwe don’t fit based on assumptions, others’ opinions, and societal expectation – Lordy help me!! A side note, to the Moms and Dads reading this, please, tell your children how special they are, how individual they are and how growth within far outweighs FITTING IN.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Rob Siltanen
Rob, my hero, you have said it perfectly – how to use the word change and to make sense of it.
This requirement for change has been driven by self-development guru’s who have picked up on the upper level thought process of ‘to change the world change yourself first’, it is not the world we need to change by changing ourselves, but rather, HOW WE SEE THE WORLD and the behaviors we embrace as individuals in reacting to the world.
Now on to the oversized waistline side of this conversation. We DEMAND change of ourselves, exercise more, eat less, more fat, fewer carbohydrates, NO SUGAR and so on and so on… then we set a ‘GOAL WEIGHT’ to ensure we drive ourselves to that perfect scale weight based on the ridiculous non-perfect BMI rates. So in the drive for a change of the waistline, some fail the change challenge and then the scale goal weight supports the double whammy of not only failing but not being able to change… Our stress goes up, we blame the ‘stupid diet‘ and look for a new ‘change challenge‘. Sad thing is, that story leads to us denting our soul, hurting our characters and possibly hitting the slippery slopes of lack of self-esteem. Trying to change ourselves is as good as trying to convince a Vegan to eat a rump steak AND enjoy it. You see, change, which by the way we have no control of, is something which exists externally, it is how we deal with it, our behavior which is important. Change INTERNALLY is ALL ABOUT growth. It is all about making decisions, you either want a smaller waistline or not, your actions to get there are either good for you or not. You don’t change as an individual, you change YOUR CHOICES, which in turn change your behavior which in turn changes your habits and then the results come. Please, try not to change yourself for in the process you may lose a little of yourself too. For us to make these correct choices to lead to success in our results, starts firstly in ACCEPTING ourselves exactly as we are, without reaching for external elements such as diet, exercise, and pills, besides acceptance, how about some good old fashioned SELF LOVE, not the ego-driven type, rather the type that is a self-realisation of your own inner beauty. By stating you need to change is the same as saying you are in essence a ‘mistake’. You are EVERYTHING AND MORE.
Seeing this drive for change in the self-development arena, I investigated some interesting terminology. Using Google as my search engine, I firstly entered ‘self-love’, with a return of 2,5 billion articles, I then entered ‘personal change’, this returned close to 7 billion results. Now yes, everything changes but clearly there is a greater requirement for personal change than self-love. And yes, everyone wants to ‘be a better person’ but half the reason why we reach for WANTING to be a better person is that we are not honestly the person we are – a void gets created, a discomfort, a disconnect between your character and who you THINK YOU SHOULD BE that drives us to SEARCH for a better ‘me’.
At the end of the day, we are all individuals, we do not need the additional label of a ‘good’ person, a ‘thin’ person, a ‘successful’ person and so on to validate ourselves as a person on this planet. We rather need to JUST BE. With that being said, DO GROW. If you see yourself as a beautiful expression of life on this earth, you may feel that you owe yourself the right to expand intellectually, emotionally, physically or soulfully, great! But start from the foundational starting point that you are pretty darn ok already and that this ‘GROWTH’ is your chosen journey in life.
The interesting part of change is that once you accept that change is something which happens externally and it is only OUR PERSONAL REACTION to it that affects us, then it OPENS your world completely. At the end of the day if our waistline expands it purely comes down to a decision of accepting the tighter and/or bigger pants or embracing the behaviors that will lead to easy fitting pants. It comes down to a simple DECISION every time, not necessarily the challenge of MASSIVE CHANGE.
With a realization that it is OK to BE, comes a period of time where your self-acceptance plays a key role. Learning to love yourself and grow in self-esteem is possibly the most important step forward in growth. This is ACCEPTANCE, SELF-LOVE, and embracing who you are as a character. Some suitable Subliminals can be used to ease the cross over from self-loathing change dependent to self-loving and authentic.
Learn to love who you are, and then JUST BE. Maybe all that is required is that acceptance of self and the requirement for change dissipates. Maybe it is only about growing forward and notgrowing up, growing in character and not changing YOUR CHARACTER. Chances are you will handle change that happens externally a whole heap easier once you come to grips with the fact that you are more than alright, that you are enough, and everything and more. Chances are any development that you do will be based on self-love instead of loathing, which will be based on growing forward instead of societal expectations.
When it comes to change, the only relevance I would advise is changing your requirement to change yourself, change a house plant, a pair of slacks or the radio channel, but leave yourself BE.
Everybody knows we have the same amount of ‘human time’ and it is truly WHAT we do with our equal share of time that makes all the difference… but what could happen if we could STRETCH TIME?
Ever found yourself standing still and wishing, pleading or begging for time to stand still? Ever wondered “where has the time gone?” Or started reminiscing with a friend about days and years gone by and the eventual utterance of “my word how the world has changed” when we discuss that our children now use Google instead of Encyclopedia Britannica’s full version on the bookshelves at Grannys house.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Theresa
Now you may be asking what has time to do with this blog regarding healthy living, well, if health is the new wealth, then we can safely say that time becomes pretty damn important in the equation, for without health, you have ZERO TIME. Personally, I have encountered many people who are wealthy beyond comprehension only to find them miserable and depressed, a life lived chasing a good retirement [is there such a thing?] and a little house by the sea… Only to get to 50 odd and start having health challenges that shatter firstly their retirement planned date [of course our medical profession like putting a time limit on our walk on the planet once the health challenge rears its ugly head] and secondly on doctors advice maybe settling at the coast is not a great plan for their condition having to be close to the health care services ‘just in case…‘
At around about this point of life, time kinda collapses, it implodes on us and all of a sudden we start wishing for more time. Sound familiar? I am almost certain it does. And EVERYBODY has heard this same story being told by their parents and their parent’s parents at some stage sitting around a dinner table at Christmas time. So why is it that we keep repeating the same old stories over and over again?
Ahhhhh, this is where we learn to stretch time. Where we learn to not only get healthy but live to 100 feeling bloody marvelous! I find that there is a [for me, a redundant] thought process circulating, that once you hit your 40’s or 50’s you are on the runway to take off, never to return of course [Do you realize that you still have 40 to 50 years left??!]. When and where did that happen? I realize that in my younger days I DID see my parents getting to 40 and 50 and acting old but the hardship of life was a little bit more intense then, than it is now… I mean, can you imagine what shopping was like in their day? They had to get into their car, drive to 10 different places [raising their blood pressure at the bad drivers along the way] to get their groceries and take 5 hours doing that! [leaving less time for family and work be that may]. Now with a click of my mouse button, instantly I find what I need within 30min and it gets delivered the same day or within 48 hours. We don’t even realize that we ALL HAVE A SUPERPOWER and it is getting stronger every day. It is not that we are unable to stretch time, it is that we are not consciously aware of the fact that WE CAN and ALREADY ARE STRETCHING TIME.
We have all seen the equation of a week that has 168 hours, if we spend a third sleeping [8 hours an evening for the lucky sods out there that get this right] leaving us with 112 hours for the week, of which another third is left for working and lets for good measure add at least 4 hours to the 8 hours of work – there are some brave characters who’s bosses STILL FIND IT NECESSARY for them to get into their car to go to work [yes, I know, we still need to get into cars for work, I am just having a dig at the bosses who most likely finished school in the ’80s if they still feel the need to babysit the workers] which leaves us with 28 hours to do EXACTLY what we would like to do in the form of family time, recreation, etc. Ohhhhhhweeee best you love your job if you are donating roughly 50% of your time to it and only 28 hours to living life. Now, of course, this equation can be molded and plied according to your whims but the fact is, we all have the same 168 hours.
Now a skill WE need to develop is HOW we use the 168 hours, please note that this is NOT a time management course, there is no such thing as time management unless you, like God, are able to breathe out stars and create planets of course. It is self-management that becomes evident as a skill required for stretching time. We need to add to ourselves, an awareness, a consciousness of what is happening in our world around us and embrace the fact that EVERYTHING is faster, more IMMEDIATE, instant in gratification based on the technology that exists. The minute we do that, the minute we become aware of our friend, TECHNOLOGY we claim our SUPERPOWER. With that comes a hoard of benefits. YES, YOUR HEALTH IMPROVES… if you ALLOW IT TO. You see, what technology does is it allows us NOT to get stuck in the ‘IMPOSSIBLE CLUB‘ the ‘IT CANNOT BE DONE‘ thought process, basically the negative space we find ourselves in if what we plan does not go our way. Back then, [those remember when days] we got stuck based on lack of information, lack of methodology on how to do this or that, now, we Google, and instantly the problem gets solved or eased just a little bit. Our stress levels remain intact and we go about our doings without a bat of an eyelid. This then has an impact on our health as in essence our heart beats a little easier, and our adrenal gland remains a little calmer, albeit we live a little longer. YES... We STRETCH TIME.
The second skill we need to develop as a SUPERHERO of time stretching is PRESENCE. This is a MASTERY skill and takes time to develop, you first of all need to be aware of your ability to stretch time and then implement it. This is where SELF-MANAGEMENT is key. We spend ‘time’ dwelling in the past when all we have is the present, generally, it has been shown that those that hunker in memories [basically STUCK in the past] have a higher incidence of depression. Now yes, it is fun to remember what we did as a youngster but if for some reason your current circumstances are not too flowery we have the tendency to WISH for better days as we had before, or we remember all the challenges we went through and question why we are still in the ‘same place’ [which of course we are not]. The SELF MANAGEMENT bit comes to play, we need to realize that EVERYTHING that happened before is firstly HISTORY, and secondly that by bringing it up over and over we are perpetuating your HISTORY into YOUR FUTURE by focussing on it in the present [One of the laws of mind is ‘what you focus on grows’ so chose your thoughts and memories wisely or that not so Pleasantville past comes rearing its head in your present and future…] and finally, if we realize that in effect history and life before happened FOR US to grow and develop into where we are today we can shake off the VICTIM mentality.
Life after all never happens ‘to us’ but rather ‘for us’.
In an instant, our past becomes a fantastical story where we play the character who ‘lets it GO’ to focus on their life journey ahead.
Now we get to dwelling in the possibilities of the FUTURE, either with excitement and enthusiasm or fear and dread – I am hoping it will be the aforementioned of course. Studies have shown that this focus on the future may lead to increased worry and anxiety, we all know the negative effects of anxiety on our health. So how do we stretch time in this scenario? Ever heard the statement that 99% of what we worry about never happens? If you find yourself stressing about the future, be aware of the fact that only what you do in the PRESENT will resolve the future. Running around in circles in the present stressing about tomorrows leads to you MISSING your present and that being said, possibly your family and loved ones missing your presence.
In the self-development world [yes, I think that is a world completely separate from planet earth at times] the focus is on SMART GOALS and future promises, but if our current state of affairs and presence of mind is lacking, chances are we are chasing goals disjointed from where we are CURRENTLY. We end up, as I said before, at 50 or 60 years of age, still chasing a SMART GOAL never being present for a CURRENT GOAL, and by not being present for the current goal OUR FUTURE goals are left unmet.
This becomes crucial in any weight management program, one of the factors I focus on in my course, Coach : no diet is to eliminate that magical scale goal and to rather focus on how you would feel and the improved health you will experience. For it is that goal that keeps us imprisoned in low to NO self-esteem. As human beings we need to be growing, changing, transforming, evolving, but to enable that we firstly need to be present, for only in being present and aware of where we are, can we move forward to our tomorrows.
If every minute of every day we soaked up all experiences, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, feel our way through each of those minutes, chances are we would succeed at living a prosperous, fulfilled, time-stretching life. We would with these heightened senses and experiences learn to stretch time by being and showing gratitude, by easily and effortlessly performing random acts of kindness [what goes around comes around…]. By being truly present [yes, put the phone down] we LIVE LONGER. We experience more because we are present to experience MORE.
So, next ‘time’ you find your thoughts careening into your tomorrows as you sit with your family at dinner time today, PAUSE, redirect your focus to your family and a good meal and STRETCH TIME.
As WOMAN DAY has just come to an end in our beautiful country South Africa, it seemed only apt to highlight these powerful beings and celebrate those who have learned to love themselves, and those who are still learning this fine and important art. YES, YOU are everything and more.
Learning to love YOU
I am driven to write this seemingly obvious blog, not so much about women and their success in life but rather a celebration for the women out there that are lost in their ‘roles’ of womanhood. Now, possibly this could be a blog about men too, for I do not feel that what I am about to write is specifically for women only, but it was highlighted in my mind at this time of year with it being Women’s month.
Personally, I feel that we are born with a knowingness of why we are here. My nature as it is, is a seeker, I am consistently seeking to understand what and why we live as we do and how we do what we do. I grew up in a staunch, STRICT home, asking no questions and telling no lies, but my Father simultaneously expected us to have an extremely open mind. This confused me and slowly I developed a silent inspired dissatisfaction, knowing that life is more than JUST growing old, consistently looking forward to holidays. I could ashamedly say I spent close on 40 odd years of my life keeping my opinion to myself once too often, thinking that this was the polite thing to do. With this in mind, I was fortunate enough to read a meaningful discussion, which was profound in every possible way, it led me to a greater understanding of how wrong I was about keeping my opinion to myself, it made me understand that finding my voice was not enough, USING IT was where the magic was. Part of the discussion I read left its mark forever on my soul, my interpretation was truly a light bulb, slap-my-forehead, tears to my eyes situation, simple as it may seem, it was massive to me; what I understood was as follows – we as humans are a creative expression on earth – I could think of nothing more beautiful and for an instant EVERYTHING STOOD STILL – I could literally, physically feel my shoulders relax.
If I embrace that I am a creative expression on this planet, it kinda opens up many pleasurable doors and shuts a couple of unwanted ones instantly.
Really, think about the simplicity of this statement.
‘I AMa creative expression‘ – anyone
Oh, my word, I can think of the realists reading this and plutzing around about now! [I still love you by the way as it takes all types to make the world go round] – yes, many would say “nothing is that simple!!”, I ask, “WHY NOT?“. And for those that do say that nothing is that simple, I challenge you, truly, how SATISFIED are you? How at ease are you? How much love do you feel within, not for someone close to you but for YOUR SOUL and where you are in life WITHOUT the title? I have had the honor and privilege of meeting and working with people, specifically woman who once stripped of the title of Mom, wife, CEO, sister, daughter, boss-babe, they then question “WHAT then?” and for that reason I say, PLEASE... pull it back, reflect on your inner soul, own your space, your fingerprint, your inner core, STOP looking for YOUR shortcomings, mistakes, inadequacies, RATHER celebrate yourself as a perfect creative expression. You see, once you do this, adding the ‘title’ of Mom, wife or Boss-babe does become a delightful frill, something beautiful and meaningful.
If however we do not know of our own beauty within, our own creative expression as souls on this planet, then no matter what frill we add, when it disappears, as it can, [my label/frill as Wife disappeared instantly one miserable day and I was left seemingly soulless not knowing how to identify with who and what I am], we flounder not necessarily knowing ‘where to from here’. I am fortunate for having marvelous influences in my life after my divorce, not only for some amazing men and women who were fantastic mentors, with who I surrounded myself with, but also what I was reading and listening to, this helped me open up the realization, acceptance, and knowingness that I could literally strip myself of every frill, title, and classification and STILL be BLOODY MARVELOUS REGARDLESS. I had reached a point of EASE INTERNALLY, my soul felt joy, a quiet peaceful humMMMMMMMMM. Let me take this time to state that by NO MEANS AM I OR WAS I in a perfect state of being, I consistently battle weight awareness, I am a single mom of 2 gorgeous children, this, of course, can come with its challenges, I am a business owner, these are the frills, BUT… WITH or WITHOUT these frills, I AM AT EASE knowing that all is and will always be GREAT. I choose that. I am and was done with self-checking, self-judgment, dis -ease within, wondering what I could do, say, be, live better… I chose ease. Maybe that is the secret to all of life, that simple statement because with it comes empowerment, with it comes removal of any possible victimhood or blame. A beautiful self-acceptance. Let me add here, this is NOT SETTLING, this is breathing, deeply, sucking in all of life and living it.
If there is one thing I would love my daughter to have on this Womens day, it is that understanding, ownership, and acceptance of self as an individual with the ability to CHOOSE. To chose life not based on the title which comes with it but rather to choose a life based on being a creative expression, for with that comes perfection, following of her bliss, and living a life of passion in a meaningful and significan way.
That being said, Women, where art thou? Be OK with being you, not just saying “I am OK with being me” but earnestly feeling marvelous with being YOU. Feeling at ease, making your choices based on YOU, and living a life with the knowledge that YOU ARE EVERYTHING AND MORE. Can you imagine waking up every day not wandering what mold you need to fit into today, yes, even if you do a 9 to 5 job or have to rush around with children, imagine KNOWING that it is ok to just be YOU? At ease and flourishing with just BEING. Knowing that every single breath, every movement, every thought, decision, and action is a perfect CREATIVE expression of YOU – and for that reason, IT IS PERFECT.
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