Archive for the tag - inspiration

5 Tips: Mindful Eating to Lose Weight & Improve Health.

89696614I’m not a big fan of diets and restrictions.

In fact, I don’t think that a healthy lifestyle is about less. It’s about more; it’s about an abundance of colorful, nourishing foods and a full array of flavors. It’s about freeing your body from excessive fat and living the life you’ve always wanted.

One powerful step in losing weight and improving your health is mindfulness. At first glance, it can sound like a lot of new age gimmickry and wishful thinking. But mindfulness is a change in perspective that opens up new dimensions in your life.

Albert Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. By practicing mindfulness, you’re able to see the world anew – rather than simply treating the symptoms of an underlying problem.

Here are five ways to practice mindfulness from farm to tummy:

  1. Be mindful of where your food comes from. Is eating sacred? I think so. After all, it’s through food that we fuel our bodies to experience this tremendous gift of life. Without food, there is no life. In some ways, the food we eat is an offering to our bodies – not unlike an offering that a pilgrim might make at a temple. When food is viewed in this light, the source of your food – and knowing how it is grown or handled – can become increasingly important. While organic foods may or may not be healthier (the debate is ongoing), there’s an energetic benefit in knowing that your food is grown in a sustainable way.
  2. Be mindful of what your food contains. Ignorance is not bliss, especially when it comes to the foods you eat. By paying attention to the nutrition labels on product packaging, you’ll be more knowledgeable about the foods you eat – and better able to make informed, smart choices. Beyond saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugars and so on, it’s important to read the list of ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, do you really want it inside your body?
  3. Be mindful of how you prepare your food. Whether I’m cooking for just myself or some friends or family, I make cooking an act of love. In fact, I even bought a so-called gratitude board. While it looks and works just like a cutting board, a gratitude board is a reminder to give thanks for the food you are preparing. With gratitude and love in mind, it becomes much easier to make wiser food choices. Moreover, mindfulness of food preparation carries over to restaurant eating. When dining out, mindfulness helps ensure that your food choices support your goals.
  4. Be mindful in your eating ritual. There are many ways to be mindful while eating. First, it’s about saying grace. If you feel silly offering a prayer over the food you’re eating (like a Twinkie, for example), then do you really want to eat it? Second, it’s about being aware of the food you’re actually eating. Rather than mindlessly munching in front of a television, enjoy the eating experience without distractions; you’ll be less likely to overeat.
  5. Be mindful of how your food makes you feel. When you swallow your food, your body is just getting started. How do you feel after you eat? Though fried foods may taste good, they probably make your body feel sluggish or slow and unmotivated. Similarly, soda can spike your blood sugar and can cause highs and lows. Evaluate how your body feels, and make this part of the eating experience. By paying attention to how you feel after eating, you may notice that your crave unhealthy foods less and less.

What are some of the ways that you bring mindfulness to eating? Let me know in the comments below! And for more information, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

The Gym Is My Church.

Frenzy__Bodyscape_by_FrenzyModelWhen I was young, my mother would drag my family to mass each Sunday.

For a grueling 45 minutes, I’d fidget in my cold, aluminum chair listening to outdated Bible passages and sermons about the perils of birth control and homosexuality. More than anything, I remember the smell. The stale perfume of musty holy water and frankincense, it hung thick in the air like suffocating cobwebs.

Needless to say, the experience never resonated with me – and it certainly didn’t bring me closer to God, the universe or anything resembling truth.

In more recent years, I’ve found something that has. While it may sound ridiculous to some, the gym is my new church – and, for me, it’s a million times more effective. As Marquis De Sade once said, “Your body is the church where nature asks to be revered.”

As I’ve said before, our body is the vehicle through which we experience life. By keeping that vehicle in good condition, you’re honoring life and expressing gratitude. The act of sweating, running and lifting is prayer in motion – and, in this case, actions may speak even louder than words.

You don’t need a building of wood or stone in which to worship. Instead, you need only go outside your front door and take a run through nature. Through breath, you connect to your surroundings – and feel a sense of overwhelming and pervasive oneness.

When I run or lift weights, I find myself hypnotized by the rhythm of the movements. A set of repetitions – be it squats, crunches or bicep curls – turns my attention inward. Each exercise becomes a meditation that quiets my mind and centers my being.

This isn’t to say that church doesn’t work; it just hasn’t for me. Exercise, on the other hand, is truly sacred.

Is exercise sacred for you? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Tips To Improve Body Confidence!

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

loveYou probably know how challenging summer can be when you’re worried about extra weight. Nothing like shorts and tank tops to trigger body insecurity, right? There is a solution and a way to embrace summer with confidence and joy. No, it’s not about changing your summer wardrobe into long-sleeve shirts and sweatpants. It’s about changing your mindset.

Here are my top 5 steps to getting body-confident, even in the hot weather:

1. Don’t Criticize… Apologize

Yes, you heard me… apologize. When you’re stuck in self-criticism about your heavy thighs or waist, you don’t need to deny how you feel. But you need to know how to stop. One way is to apologize to your body for speaking badly about it. As in any relationship, a heartfelt apology clears the air and helps you refocus. And the relationship you have with your body is as real as a relationship with a person. Use an apology to turn things around whenever you catch yourself in destructive thinking. Simply say to your body, “I’m sorry for talking about you this way.” Then do the best you can to end the negative self-talk and move on. Repeat as necessary.

2. Wear Clothes You Love

You deserve the best. So stop wearing clothes that feel uncomfortable or that you don’t like but only wear because they hide your body. (Plus, it can dampen your spirit to put on a dark, baggy sweater on a beautiful day, don’t you think?) Splurge a little on something you really love. It’s better to buy a few quality items you adore than 10 things that are “just okay” and happen to be on sale. And disregard what anyone says about what you “should” wear, especially to the beach or pool. Don’t force yourself to wear a bathing suit if you really don’t want to. If you feel more at ease in a t-shirt and shorts, go for it. Your comfort level—in clothes that make you feel good, too—is all that matters.

3. Compliment Others Generously

One of the best ways to shift attention away from your own body insecurity is to flatter someone else. If you like the blouse of the woman next to you at the check-out counter, tell her how pretty it is. If the cashier at the diner looks fabulous in her sundress, let her know. The more generously you give compliments instead of keeping your thoughts to yourself, the more love you give to the world… and the more that love comes back to you. Putting a smile on someone’s face keeps things in perspective because as you brighten their day, you brighten your own.

4. Pamper Yourself

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the most important thing to do. While it’s never the wrong time to treat your body with love and respect, those moments when you feel especially insecure about your body are exactly when it needs your extra love and attention. Real body-confidence transformation can happen with just a small act of self-care. Maybe a gentle yoga class helps you feel more present in your body. Some love a leisurely hot tub soak or foot bath—while for others, booking a spa appointment for a facial or massage is in order. Even something as simple as a bright new lipstick, cute hair clip or hat can put a spring back in your step and raise that body confidence a few degrees.

5. Create your Self-Love List



I learned about the extraordinary educator, Marva Collins, in a positive psychology workshop. Marva founded a school in Chicago for disadvantaged students. These high-risk children excelled beyond anyone’s expectations and Marva received national recognition for her work.

So, what does this have to do with weight loss?

It’s simple. Marva understood the power of love. When her students misbehaved, Marva did not harshly discipline them. Instead, she instructed them to write a list of their positive qualities, from A to Z.

As they wrote “I am adorable, I am beautiful, I am courageous,…” Marva’s students flourished from her love-inspired approach.

Take a page from Marva’s notebook and create your own self-love list. Use her approach to improve your body confidence and overall self-worth. Write down all your wonderful qualities, from A to Z. (Yes, I know, there are some tough letters. Use a dictionary.) Start each sentence with “I am…”



Here are a few of mine:

“I am accepting of myself.”

“I am big-hearted.”

”I am confident.”



This isn’t just a “nice” exercise. This works because you train your mind and brain to scan for the positive. Do this regularly, and especially when feeling self-critical, to move beyond body insecurities and focus on what matters most.

If you dread summer activities and the more revealing clothes of hot weather, I invite you to try one or all of these steps and see if your mindset shifts. Experience what it’s like to allow your self-love and acceptance to rise… along with the temperature.

Goods Foods Vs. Bad Foods.

Basic CMYKWe all know that things like ice cream, pizza and French fries are unhealthy choices. From a nutritional standpoint, these foods have lots of cons. Foods like these are often loaded in calories, saturated fats, salt and/or added sugars.

Recently, I read the following quote by Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN:

I don’t like saying there are good foods and bad foods – it’s so judgmental! I’m not saying French fries aren’t loaded with calories, fat and sodium, or ice cream isn’t rich in calories, fat and sugar, but saying they’re ‘bad’ foods invokes guilt on those who enjoy these comfort foods. Eating and enjoying food – even foods that aren’t the most nutritious – shouldn’t ever be done with guilt or shame. Eating should be one of the great pleasures of life! And if you learn to eat with pleasure, you may even feel more satisfied with less food.

When we eat with shame and guilt, these negative feelings can actually result in eating more unhealthy foods. That’s because many of us turn to food as a way to comfort and sooth through emotional eating. And as we eat even more of these unhealthy foods, we feel even more guilty – and the spiral of shame continues downward. It’s a cycle that needs to be stopped.

Moreover, labeling foods as good or bad isn’t doing you any favors. Dividing foods into categories of good and bad – and especially depriving yourself of those so-called bad foods – is the perfect way to trigger a binge. What you resist will always persist.

If you want a slice of cake, eat it. Enjoy it. Savor each bite.

But also pay attention to how your body feels afterwards. While healthy foods like salads, vegetables and fruit nourish our bodies and energize us, less healthy foods tend to make our bodies feel sluggish and unhappy. This is part of the eating experience, and when you tune in to it, it may make those unhealthy foods like ice cream, pizza and French fries a little less desirable.

If you love life (and I hope you do!), you must honor the vehicle through which you experience life. That vehicle is your body. When you look at your body in this way, the food we eat becomes more than just flavors. It’s also fuel. And because we want to keep our bodies in good working condition, it becomes easier to make food decisions that support your goals.

I Hate My Body – Help!

Dear Davey,

I hate my body. There’s no point in mincing words. When I look in the mirror, I’m disgusted by what I see.

You talk a lot about loving your body. It sounds great and wonderful, but how can I possibly learn to love a body that I hate so much?

From,
Lex

too-fatHey Lex,

I appreciate your honesty and know that many people, to varying degrees, can relate to your experience.

First and foremost, it’s important to give yourself the gift of professional help. When we are in difficult situations, it’s important to lean on the people who are trained to help us. Reach out.

Recently, I came across an amazing list compiled by the National Eating Disorders Association and Margo Maine, PhD. It’s 20 ways to love yourself, and it goes as follows:

  1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
  2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
  3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
  4. Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
  5. Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
  6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
  7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
  8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
  9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
  10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
  11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months.  Your body is extraordinary—begin to respect and appreciate it.
  12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
  13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
  14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good. Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
  15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Loving your body means you get to feel like that again, even in this body, at this age.
  16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself—without mentioning your appearance. Add to it daily!
  17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
  18. Search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.
  19. Consider that, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
  20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.

After reading through the above list, it’s my hope that at least a few of the points will resonate with you. If they do, put them to work for you. And if you have any additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below!

Love,
Davey

Brick Walls Are There For A Reason.

RandyPausch(500x340)At my crossfit gym in Los Angeles, there’s a great quote about brick walls. It references a now-famous speech by Randy Pausch, a professor from Carnegie Melon University who was given only a few months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Pausch gave a speech called “The Last Lecture” which went viral on YouTube.

The quote is as follows:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.

And when we do want something badly enough – and when we go after it no matter what other people tell us and in spite of the obstacles we face – brick walls show us how strong we are. We don’t realize our strength until we’re put in a position that tests it.

By overcoming obstacles and realizing our goals, we have the opportunity to see what we’re really made of. We see our intrinsic greatness, which so many of us choose to hold dormant within.

Don’t be like the other people. Make choices that are bold and in alignment with your dreams and desires. Be strong. And let your greatness shine.

Never Diet Again: Mindful Eating!

PrintWhile there’s a time and place for dieting, it’s not the only tool in the toolbox. Rather than counting calories or adhering to a strict diet plan, I practice a strategy called mindful eating.

So what is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is consuming food with intention and attention.

The intention is to care for yourself and to nourish your body. It’s not to pass time. It’s not to satisfy a craving. It’s not to feel better about a problem. When eating, the intention is that the food will give your body the fuel it needs.

Attention is noticing the food you eat. Be aware of its taste and flavor. Be aware of your enjoyment of food. And be especially aware of the effects it has on your body. Paying attention to your food is powerful; and it’s not something that’s easy to achieve when eating in front of a television or computer.

With a combination of intention and intention, you may find that you eat slower. You may be able to distinguish between true hunger and emotional cues for eating. You will also be guided towards healthier food choices that are both enjoyable and nourishing. And you’ll be able to use the food you eat as fuel for a high energy and vibrant life.

In other words, by eating mindfully, you shift away from negative and destructive eating habits and create healthier patterns.

 

5 Amazing Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout!

Hey Davey,

I’m 19 years old and I used to be really comfortable with my body. However, when I started University nearly 2 years ago I have put on some weight. I think this was due to all the alcohol, junk food and fast food that’s associated with students. I have an exercise bike and a couple of weights. However, I just completely lack motivation to do any exercise. After about 10 minutes of exercising, I find myself exhausted. I was just wandering if you have any tips on how I can motivate myself to do more exercise?

Thanks so much!
Andrew

374115_312531762152820_819806811_nDear Andrew,

Every now and then, some of us need that extra kick in the butt to get us moving.

The truth is, getting started and making exercise part of your routine is the hardest step. That’s because, as human beings, we are resistant to change. And integrating exercise into our lives means shifting around priorities and schedules; it means making real changes. To help get through this initial period, motivation is essential.

Here are a few motivation techniques that have worked for me:

  1. Ask yourself, “Why is this important?” All of us have our reasons for exercise. Maybe you want more energy. Or better health. Or to look a certain way. Whatever your reason, let this drive you forward. If you want it bad enough, it’ll get you moving.
  2. Think about how you feel after you exercise. Sure, exercise is difficult and sweaty. But after a workout, you always feel great. There’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride – knowing that you challenged yourself and did something great for your body. You know that exercise will make you feel great, so do it!
  3. Do it for your body. Every day, you take in 24,000 breaths and your heart beats more than 100,000 times. Your body works tirelessly to sustain your existence. Your body has given you so much; it’s time to give back. With hundreds of muscles and 360 joints, there’s nothing your body craves more than movement. Honor your body by giving it the gift of exercise.
  4. Do it because you love your family and friends. There are two parts to this. First, exercise extends your life expectancy. As you embrace a healthier lifestyle, you’ll live longer. That means more times with friends, family, nieces, nephews and so on. Second, regular exercise provides a number of benefits (like more energy, better health, improved focus, etc.) that allow you to be the best version of yourself. When you are the best that you can be, you have so much more to offer the people around you.
  5. It’s great “me” time. All us have busy schedules or work, family, friends, personal commitments, appointments and so on. But we also need personal time to recharge and to invest in ourselves – and exercise is a great form of that. It’s an unselfish way to prioritize yourself.

There’s good news, too. Eventually, committing to regular exercise gets easier as it becomes your new routine. For me, it’s a habit. I wake up, brush my teeth and then head to the gym. More than being motivated, I’ve created a habit – and habits are much easier to keep.

Love,
Davey

Lost 40 Pounds In One Month…

Dear Davey,

I’ve struggled with obesity since childhood. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been paying more attention to my body.

In the last month, I’ve managed to lose 40 pounds by not eating. I know that you need to eat to survive, but I want to continue getting results. What advice do you have?

Thanks,
Jason

Smaller_Plate_Wont_Help_Your_Diet_Research_ShowsHey Jason,

Thanks for the email.

I have to say, you are playing a very dangerous game – and, it’s one that you’ll inevitably lose without a dramatic change in your habits and the guidance of professional help.

Despite all the science that demonstrates otherwise, many people resort to starvation as a weight loss technique. As you’ve discovered, it does yield initial results; if you stop eating, you’ll lose weight. But the problems with this approach are many.

For one, you’re slowing your metabolism. Your metabolism determines how many calories your body burns on a daily basis. Because your body is starving (generally 1,000 calories or less per day), it will do everything it can to reduce its calorie consumption. Eventually, you’ll need to start eating again – and, when you do, your metabolism will lag. With a reduced daily calorie burn, all those extra calories from food will be packed on as fat. The resulting weight gain, in many instances, exceeds the initial weight loss.

No to mention the dramatic impact of nutritional deficiencies.

We also know that diet AND exercise are required for best results. By just practicing one or the other, you’re selling yourself short. Though diet alone can result in weight loss, exercise is required to ensure that the lost weight is mostly fat and not muscle. It takes a lot of energy to maintain muscles – and our bodies are very efficient machines. If you’re not using your muscles during periods of calorie restriction and weight loss, you’ll be quick to lose them.

You mentioned that you’re paying more attention to your body. That’s important. But don’t just pay attention to how your body looks; pay attention to what your body is telling you. If your body is hungry or weak or tired, then listen to these crucial messages – and act on them. Feed your body with the foods it really craves, like a delicious, colorful salad or some lean meats and vegetables. As you fuel your body with nourishing foods, pay attention to how your body feels.

I’d also suggest giving yourself the gift of professional help. It is absolutely worth your time, money and effort to work with a nutritionist, weight loss specialist or healthcare professional. After all, you only get one body. Let’s keep it in a good, working condition.

Love,
Davey

Fitness Is Like A Boyfriend…

jessieFitness, in many ways, is like having a boyfriend.

Both fitness and relationships are matters of priorities. If you want your relationship to work, then you need to make an investment of time, energy and effort. In the same way, you’ll only see results on the gym if it’s a priority in your life. None of us have time to work out; we make time to work out. And sometimes, that means making sacrifices and not doing some of the other things we might want to do – like watching Game of Thrones.

When someone said that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going, he or she may have had relationships in mind. In many ways, arriving at a fruitful relationship isn’t something that happens overnight. It can be a long journey. Similarly, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes at the gym – despite all the marketing gimmicks you might see along the way. It’s about exercise, nutrition and building a healthier relationship with your body.

You can’t cheat on a relationship and expect it to work. Being deceptive poisons a relationship and builds a wall between you and your partner. When it comes to fitness, cheating comes in many forms. It can be skipping workouts, not using a full range of motion in your exercises or not following a proper nutrition plan. When you cheat on fitness, don’t expect it to work. It builds a widening gap between you and the results you want.

Sure, the gym won’t hold your hand or kiss you goodnight…. But just like a relationship, the gym can change your life. It can help shape your character and teach you that you’re far stronger – both physically and emotionally – than you ever thought possible. Creating the body you’ve always wanted can inspire you and others and it helps enable you to live your best life.