So, you want to improve your health, maybe lose weight, eat better, and generally take kinder care of yourself? Congratulations! How exciting!
For many people, this means going from 0 to 100, logging long, arduous hours at the gym, and restricting their eating all in the name of their goals.
Sure, this approach may yield initial results, but it’s certainly not sustainable on the physical, emotional, mental, or even spiritual body levels. Eventually this will result in burnout and either a plateau or worse – weight gain, giving up, and a return to the undesired health and lifestyle habits you sought to end in the first place.
No wonder so many people are stuck in a cycle of momentum/stagnation peppered with bouts of self-loathing! These are the people I help because this is who I used to be and because this way of living has deleterious impacts on all levels.
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to exercise, and less isn’t the answer when it comes to food. Pounding away on the treadmill? Restricting your eating and obsessing over calorie counts? Stop it.
This approach raises the stress hormone cortisol and makes the body hold on to everything because it thinks you’re under attack. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. Our ancestors led harsh lives and survival was the name of the game. Wild animals, the elements, famine, disease, and the like were all real, daily threats. The body doesn’t know the difference between stressors that you may perceive as “good” (spin class) or “bad” (running for your life). To the body, it’s all the same! So, while you’re freaking out in your car over traffic, the exact same physiological reactions are happening internally as when your ancestors were running for their lives from a saber-toothed. You can imagine that the body won’t want to do anything out of luxury or aesthetics in a state like this, such as “rest and digest,” reproduce, drop unnecessary weight, have healthy blood pressure and respiration, etc. In this state, the body is in a holding pattern because it’s in fear and when it’s in fear, optimal function won’t happen physiologically, which means it’s near impossible for the changes in physique to take place that you seek.
The most important part of the whole equation is to get your body out of stress mode and to shift into “rest and digest” mode. Only from this place does your body get the signal that energy may be used for repair, growth, healing, etc. and it doesn’t need to be reserved (AKA holding onto weight) because of impending doom.
How to make this shift into relaxation mode? Choose to consciously live the majority of your day from this place! Deep belly breathing is literally the quickest way to make this shift. Shaking off (literally – think about animals) stressful events also works wonders. Staying well hydrated, eating enough for your particular needs, meditation, laughter, nature, and plenty of rest and sleep should all be part of any routine.
To create joyful, sustainable changes in your entire being, physical body included, a balanced approach to food and movement with adequate time for recovery and rejuvenation is the only way to go. An expert guide can help you objectively see where you may be pushing too hard, missing out on necessary foods and nutrients because you’re caught in the calorie-counting trap, and can suggest personalized self-care rituals to enhance the experience of “rest and digest” – where true transformation happens in all bodies! Flower Essences also help to seal in this new way of being, enhance feelings of ease, and help you remove beliefs around needing to always push yourself.
If the idea of doing less and settling into a space of ease scares you, please reach out to me.
I have been there and seen firsthand the horrible impacts of this lifestyle on my own body and sanity and I would love to help you cultivate a more nourishing way of being!
I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am Holistic Life Coach + Catalyst + Intuitive + Writer on a mission to identify and transmute the roots of the shame story that’s running your life so you can live your fullest, most authentic incarnation in accordance with your soul’s sacred purpose. If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Core Wound Alchemy Session.