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Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Next Step ~ Your Very Own Lifestyle Coach

I was listening to a podcast today not specifically related to the "Fuck It" Diet self care and I couldn't understand 99% of what he was talking about.

I promise I am not taking the piss but if you can interpret the following, please let me know ~
We will introduce you to the different types of matrices that we all must interface with, evolve through and be regulated by. Some of the prevalent matrices are: the Solar System, society and governments, the physical body with the womb as a matrix (which regulates all matter with it) the mind, the emotions are also a matrix; the medical world is a matrix and the world of electricity with machines, devices, and the internet are all examples of various matrices that operate simultaneously in layers through our lives. We all must evolve at the same time to have some kind of alignment to the greater needs and usages of the matrices we operate and perceive life through. We also are seeking to live beyond the physical matrix that is controlling us, the social matrix that is containing us the psychological and environmental matrices that are propelling us and the spiritual matrix which is directing us.

The 1% I understood was ~
Individuals come to a point where they have reached the limit of their own proficiency.
Although this statement was referring to the fact that we will eventually need to connect with the energy of other travellers on the same journey in order to reach our true potential it reminded me that one of the most important steps in moving beyond dieting is to listen to the wisdom of my ultimate lifestyle coach ~ my physical body.

My mind has been busy for 5 years researching, learning, studying and integrating all the information I could get my hands on concerning nutrition, human movement and basic motivation. I have concentrated on my intellectual growth and now I have reached the limit of proficiency. The secret to taking great care of my body isn't found in a book, on the interweb or from an expert.

The secret is paying attention to my body.

My body - hormones, endocrine system, digestion, cellular renewal, sensory receptors, blood, muscle and bones - all work together in seamless cooperation. I am in charge of a complex organism that I barely understand. Yet my inflated sense of ego tells me that my brain knows best and my body is trying to betray me so I should ignore it's messages of hunger, fullness, cravings and pain.

This is my greatest folly, and the simplest to remedy.

The way to take great care of my body is to listen to its clear and persuasive voice. Once I quieten the monkey chatter in my brain, my body will guide every decision that I make.

How does this work practically?

When I wake in the morning I concentrate on feeling the sensations in my muscles as I move. Am I stiff and sore, or just a bit tender in places? Do I have energy and vitality or am I dragging myself around? Do I have pain or discomfort in the places I usually get sick (head and stomach)?

With that data I contemplate my training decision for the day. I imagine a couple of scenarios - weight training,  cardio, walking, stretching, yoga, or nothing - and notice how the thought of each makes me feel. If I feel a sense of calmness and peace when I think of what I'll do, then I go right ahead. Right now, most mornings I run through the following sequence ~ yoga (10 x sun salutes), walking meditation (10 minutes connected with my breath), 4 sets 12 reps of one lift (connected with my breath and the muscle I am working), 10 more sun salutes, finished off with meditation. I love every moment of it, I feel energised and awake afterwards, and my muscles are pleasantly sore the next day. I have a particularly "super" TTOM at the moment which is probably driving this gentler choice of movement, but as I write this I predict a good sweaty run will soon be on the cards.

I also use my body's innate wisdom to inform my food choices. At meal times I stop, empty my mind, place my hands on my stomach and listen carefully to see if I am hungry. I imagine the food choices in my head and notice my physical reaction to each one. I also consider how the food will make me feel between now and the next meal. I have noticed that sometimes I feel like more carbs (oats for breakfast instead of protein pancakes) and sometimes I need more fat ... almond, brazil nut and cashew butter goes with everything! My 'cravings' are indicators I what I need to eat, rather than what I should resist. When I listen, I am quickly satisfied and the craving goes away.

I eat until my stomach is physically full. I need to keep checking in with my body because my brain tells me that feeling full is overeating. I take my lead from the portions other healthy people eat - especially the naturally slender ones who eat far more than I ever did on a diet.

In between meals I also pay attention to how I'm feeling. I have noticed that apples appear to make me hungry. What they actually do is give me heartburn and I associate stomach pain with hunger so I think I need to eat. It's not 'fruit' as a category because I can happily munch on a banana without any issues.

I usually get breakfast just right [probably because I am most centred first thing in the morning], but lunch is pretty hit and miss [because I have to decide what I'm taking to work in the morning and sometimes I don't feel like it when lunch rolls around but I don't have time to go searching for something else]. If I don't feel satisfied in the afternoon, I simply grab some nuts or fruit to hold me over until I get home. Dinner is the most fascinating of all. Last night I had a marinated baked chicken breast and roast veggies. I was wasn't quite contented at the end of the meal so I went back and had more veggies. Other nights I will have dessert which is usually a warmed banana, nut butter and light toffee ice cream. Last night I had one square of chocolate.

My body has stopped being the enemy. I don't crave junk, and if I feel like something that is processed I have a bite or two and then I'm fine. Last night the boys were eating hot pull apart bread and I had a piece that was 2 bites and walked away [I have been known to eat an entire loaf on my own covered in butter but these days I can't even fathom why I would want to eat the whole loaf ...].

As mentioned, I am in the midst of a proper period, not just one day of spotting, so my hormonal system is healing. I am pooping on my own which is astounding considering the length of time I took laxatives twice a day so my digestive system is back on line. I am no longer constantly freezing because it is summer at last because my thermostat is functioning again. My skin is healthy, my hair is shining and my nails are strong.

And it is entirely possible I am releasing some excess fat cells but I don't know for sure because I keep forgetting to stand on the scales when I first get up. If my "bloated period stomach + after huge breakfast + two giant cups of tea + haven't pooped yet" recent weigh in data is anything to go by, I'm certainly not getting any fatter.

My body is the expert and it knows what it needs. All I need to do is listen with my heart and remember that my thoughts ... have reached the limit of their own proficiency.

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