Last week, I focused on getting the ball rolling by making small changes to my nutrition and fitness regimes. Once I began my journey, I realized that these changes were affecting me in other areas of my life as well. The more I read and learn about holistic living, I more I recognize the importance of maintaining balance in all areas of my life simultaneously. This week, I am changing up The Method a little bit. Each week from now on, I will focus on my mind, my body and my spirit at the same time.
Body (Nutrition & Fitness)
What I’ve Done So Far
- Began thinking differently about what goes into my body – food nourishes & water hydrates to give me the energy I need to live an active life
- Increased consumption of raw, “clean,” and “whole” natural foods
- Decreased consumption of sugar, salt/sodium and caffeine
- Substituted agave for the cane sugar and artificial sweeteners in my kitchen
- Stopped drinking Coca-cola like it was running through my veins! I switched to organic milk, 100% juices and water instead.
- Began avoiding processed foods; traded foods with the words “hydrogenated,” “enriched,” and “high fructose” on the label for ones that say “organic,” “naturally raised,” and “no hormones added”
- Made my first natural foods shopping trip, armed with a weekly meal plan and my Fooducate app
- Joined the park district and borrowed P90X for at-home workouts
- Began incorporating workouts into my weekly routine
How I Feel
I can feel quite a difference physically after making just a few simple changes. For instance, I used to drink 2 cups of heavily sugar-laden coffee on an empty stomach as soon as I woke up. This would usually curb my appetite so I would skip breakfast. Soon I would be queasy, which of course meant I had no desire for lunch. By the time the afternoon would roll around, I was famished and would overindulge on sugary and salty processed foods. This would drain the last of my energy and dinner would typically wind up being something fast and turn into another unhealthy meal.
Most days, I replace my coffee habit with tea or orange juice. I eat something for breakfast, even if it is small. I also make time for healthy lunches and plan healthy dinners in advance so I don’t even have to think about it. When I do these things, I don’t get nauseas in the mornings. However, I gave in to temptation more than a few times this week. Each time, I woke up feeling sluggish and sick the next day. You would think this would encourage me to stick to doing the things that are better for me, but fool that I can be, it sometimes takes me a while to learn my lessons.
Since I started working out more, I feel energized and strong. I have greater flexibility and more stamina. I have reawakened the dancer in my soul and refreshed my excitement for dance and music. I feel hopeful.
My Next Challenge
- To keep learning how to live healthy
- To drink more water and take my vitamins regularly
- To develop consistent daily routines for eating & working out
- To develop a better self image by getting into healthy self care routines
Mind/Spirit (Relationships, Faith, R&R and Emotional Wounds)
What I’ve Done So Far
- Acknowledged a connection between some childhood wounds and my life today
- that I need to spend some time, money and energy on myself
- that in order for me to be truly happy, I must release my contempt and resentment to God and forgive those who have hurt me
- that in order to become the woman I envision, I have to find a way to soften my heart, allow myself to be more vulnerable
- that I must forgive myself and learn to accept my authentic self
- that I must learn to love Me
- that I am supported
- Started working on relationships with those whom I am closest
- Began reading the Bible and developing a clearer picture of my faith and personal values/beliefs/morals
- Recognized that I need and deserve time for myself and that I need to stand firm in gently claiming that time
- Started taking time to go to the gym
How I Feel
As weird as it may sound, I kind of feel myself maturing - literally growing – in all areas of my life. For the first time since childhood, I am forcing myself to open my mind, so I can erase my preconceptions and dispel my naïveté in order to become a wiser, healthier and happier woman. I am wrapping my head around the concept that there are going to be things along the way that I simply will not understand or will not be able to control. All that I am tasked to do is to go with the flow of the universe as I follow my own life path.
My Next Challenge
To keep it up. Consistency has never been my strong point.
My Weekly Reflection
The first steps on this incredibly arduous journey have been 1) recognizing all of the challenges that lie before me and 2) beginning to change the way I think about life. I have learned that I am hiding from the truth about myself, which is that I hold onto a lot of guilt, shame and self-blame. If I am going to heal, I need to start on the inside. I know that this journey is not going to be easy. I have fallen off the wagon more than a few times. It is hard to stay motivated, especially when I mess up. It is easy to find excuses and rationalize until the appeal of poor choices outweighs that of good decisions. (Seriously, why does organic *natural* food cost so much??) But despite the obstacles I will inevitably continue to face along the way, I am determined to discover what living a healthy life feels like and I am still convinced that I am on the right track. I’m just going to keep taking it one day at a time and letting myself find smiles and fun in all the corners of those days.