The excitement, commotion and overindulgence of the holidays is over, giving way to quiet reflection, introspection and once again, a promise for better self care. This New Year's resolution may sound familiar: I will eat healthier, lose weight, and exercise. The good intentions are always fueled by a declaration of willpower-THIS year I will do it! You enthusiastically begin making positive changes and moving toward your goals, then somehow the old eating patterns re-emerge. Feeling defeated, cookie in hand, you wonder why you don't have more willpower. Truth is, success has little to do with "willpower." The key to lasting change and healthy eating lies not in sticking to a diet but rather, feeding your inner hunger with a new approach and attitude.
From a holistic perspective, food is broken down into two categories: Primary and secondary. Primary "food," the most important, is surprisingly NOT food at all-it is what feeds and nourishes your life, mind and spirit. It consists of healthy relationships, satisfying work, feelings of self-worth, a spiritual connection, enjoyable recreation, time for peaceful relaxation, etc. The food you EAT, which of course feeds your body, is actually secondary food. When your life is fed with primary "food" and you are satiated emotionally, mentally and spiritually, it is much easier to stick to healthy, balanced meals (secondary food), as many of us overeat to fill an emotional void. You do not need to deprive yourself. You DO need to feed yourself a healthy balance of nourishing food, enjoyable activities and empowering thoughts. Real change begins within--with self-love and a new way of thinking:
- Encourage yourself to think positive thoughts and be more loving and accepting of yourself. If there are "voices" in your head that tell you you're not good enough, write down what they are saying, then take a few deep breaths to connect with the place inside you that speaks to you with compassion. Write down the positive messages about yourself and read them often. Tear up the negative ones.
- Visualize and SEE yourself healthy and radiant and FEEL how that feels to you. This is a powerful exercise. The positive emotions will fuel you to want to achieve your goals. Thoughts affect emotions, and emotions affect behavior. Remember, we are the sum total today of all the thoughts we had yesterday. Think healthy, eat healthy, feel healthy. The Bible states, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." You will BE what you SEE!
- Slow down and be present in the present moment. There is power in the pause. Eat mindfully and slowly and put the fork down between bites. Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you as you are getting full to avoid overeating.
- Look at yourself and realize the miracle you are! Honor your body and treat it with care. Every single cell in your body--your brain, eyes, internal organs, blood, bones, muscles, etc.-- is affected by everything you put into it. This awareness alone can help you make better food choices.
- Pay attention to the food/mood connection. How do you feel a half hour after eating certain foods? Are you clear-headed and energetic or sluggish and irritable? Be aware of how every single thing you eat has an effect on you, one way or another.
- Feed your spirit with something you truly love to do. Take a nature walk, cook an exotic meal, dance, write, paint, learn to play an instrument, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- Connect to your higher consciousness through meditation, prayer, Yoga, attending a worship service, or being in your favorite nature setting.
Remember that no shape, no amount of weight gain or loss, can change who you authentically are. You are infinite, endless and eternal. You are the shape of your thoughts. Keep them powerful, positive and beautiful.
This is your year. This is your life. Make it everything you want it to be.
Sylvia Davi is a Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor, Ordained Interfaith Minister, Reiki practitioner, Certified Hypnotist, Yoga teacher, Co-host of Cablevision’s “Coach Talk TV” show, and Personal Fitness Trainer. Her unique holistic approach to health takes into account all aspects of an individual’s life and how those aspects affect the whole. Sylvia believes health and inner peace are gifts we can develop through commitment and that each of us must look inward in order to find truth, self-understanding, and self-empowerment. It is her intention and dedication to help her clients, through the use of various tools and healing modalities, find their own individual pathways to health, wholeness, and peace. Contact Sylvia at: www.LifeCenterLI.com or call 631-673-5433.