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Ten Steps to Great Health
By Petrene Soames
For many of us, not being happy or satisfied or even disliking our body is a major block to happiness and awareness. Women especially spend a lot of time wishing their body was different in one way or another. We have not only bought into accepted concepts of what is perfect, beautiful and ideal for body shape, we also police ourselves constantly with thoughts and beliefs such as "my stomach is too big", "my thighs are too fat", "my butt sags", and so on. We each have parts of us we wish were different and it can be as simple as a basic wish for change right through to an obsessive, constant battle and beating up of ourselves, feeling that we will never be lovable enough, attractive enough, and that life will never be great until we loose those extra unwanted pounds. All of this adds up to very destructive behaviors and thought patterns that often seem hard to break.
How we act and react
It's important to know that being overweight or out of shape is not only about what we eat. It's about our emotional state of being, how we deal with stress, how fast we process and clear life experiences. It's about how our life is going and how we are dealing and relating to it, both now and in the past. If you are overweight or out of shape, simply ask yourself what are you holding on to, what are the things you feel stuck on? Comfort eating can be simple and relatively harmless, like a small sweet snack to give you a lift when things aren't going right. It might also develop into serious overeating just to feel safe and blanket distressing emotions such as anger, fear, pain, despair and loneliness. The more we get angry with ourselves for doing this, the more stuck and out of control we feel. It can seem like a never-ending circle.
What we can do
Be honest with yourself. How much are you really in your body? How often do you feel spaced out and on automatic? Define the triggers, the situations, people, simple events and emotions that keep you out of your body and out of touch with yourself. They might be very simple, old pains, hurts and fears that you have never resolved or found closure on, unfulfilled needs in the present and from the past, lack of love from others and to yourself from yourself, insecurities, not realizing and accepting that you are indeed a wonderful and amazing being with true talents and unique thoughts, ways of being and experiencing life, not realizing that you do have a lot to give.
Follow these ten tips to get back into your body, into great health and shape and get real with yourself and your life.
- Include plenty of clean, room temperature water in your diet every day. Quit drinking fizzy, sugary drinks, even the diet variety. Cut back on alcohol.
- Become aware of what you do eat and how much each day by keeping a list for a week. Later re-think your diet. Eat simple basic foods. Include more fruits, vegetables, brown bread, grains, non-sugary cereals.
- Make time every day for yourself. Even ten minutes is vital. You need to let go, sit still, relax, do nothing. Let your thoughts come and go. Breathe deeply from the bottom of your stomach. Say firmly in your mind: "I am letting go of everything I no longer need". Mean it!
- Rub your stomach slowly backwards and forwards, then round and round with slow circular movements of your hand. Breathe deeply. This will calm and soothe you when you are tired, anxious, or stressed, and replace the need of reaching for the ice cream and cookie jar.
- Look at yourself in the mirror. Simply look. Do not judge. If you find yourself doing so, stop. Simply look, accept what you see and look for the beauty beyond any pain in your face and your eyes.
- Love yourself completely without condition. Be open to realizing how wonderful, amazing and special you really already are. Don't wait for tomorrow to be perfect. Love and accept yourself just as you are today and every day. Realize that you do know what you are doing at all times and that there are no mistakes.
- Bring color into your life. Wear it. Bring it into your home or workplace. Or imagine being surrounded by color and breathe it all through your body until you are full.
- Ask yourself at least once a day: "Where am I right now?" You may be driving to work and yet still in events in previous days or well into the future in anticipated events. Become aware of where you are and how you are more often. Make a point of also recognizing who you are being. Are you playing a role or are you simply being yourself?
- Dream. Visualize how you want your life to be one year from now, 5 years, 10 years. Expect the best. See the positives in all negatives for they are there waiting for you to discover. Remember, nothing is ever only as it seems.
- Lighten up. Have fun. Stop feeling responsible. Break patterns. Be spontaneous. Explore other facets of yourself. Throw away, sell or even give away everything you no longer need.
Petrene Soames is the author of The Essence of Self-Healing.