Archive for the tag - love

Have You Thanked Your Body Today?

sev-fitspiration-2-deIf someone extends the simplest act of kindness to you by, for example, holding open a door, you’d probably thank them. It’s just common courtesy.

But what about something much, much bigger? Instead of giving up their seat on the train or letting you go first in line, what if someone – or something – did something truly extraordinary?

Each and every day, your body performs trillions of functions to sustain your life. It does this without a complaint or grumble. It never takes a day off. There are no vacations or overtime. There aren’t even any breaks. From the womb to the tomb, your body is your constant and tireless companion on this human journey.

But instead of thanking our bodies, we usually do the exact opposite. Have you ever looked in the mirror and hated what you saw? Have you ever ridiculed your body for being too fat? For having a big nose? For being too pale or too this or too that. The list is endless.

It’s like someone holding the door open for you and then punching them in the face. It just doesn’t make sense.

By replacing negative self talk with a more positive narrative, you begin to improve and repair your relationship with your body. And as you feed your body a diet of positivity, you’ll notice that it becomes much easier to make decisions that honor it. Working out and eating smarter become natural because your body deserves movement and nourishment. A healthier life becomes almost effortless.

So it all begs the question: Have you thanked your body today? If you haven’t, do it. Right now.

Gratitude Boards: The New Cutting Board.

gratitude boardsOprah isn’t the only one with her favorite things. When I find something that I love, I can’t wait to share it with you – and today I’m doing just that.

The other day, I was searching a local farmer’s market for some fresh microgreens when I came across a booth piled high with what looked like beautifully crafted cutting boards. But they weren’t cutting boards. They were gratitude boards.

I was already sold.

The woodworker who created them suffers from a chronic illness. Without his knowledge, his friends and family set up a blog to help raise money for his treatment. Overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion, the idea for gratitude boards was born.

He writes:

The “Gratitude Board” is a new simple design, one that embodies my gratitude for all that has been given to me and my family. I make each board by hand from “drops” or scraps of wood left over from other projects. As I make them, I am grateful for the gift of beauty from the trees that provide my raw material, I am grateful for my ability to work and create and I am grateful for the use that these boards will provide to others preparing meals for their families.

The experience of gratitude isn’t just good for the soul – it’s good for the body. When we express gratitude for our food and make our meals that much more sacred, it’s much easier to make smarter, wiser food choices. I am grateful for the fresh salad that I’ll make this afternoon. Not so much for a box of Twinkies. It’s a simple but transformative philosophy that helps support and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Now, each time that I use my cutting gratitude board, I’m reminded to give thanks for the food that I’m preparing, the people that it will feed and the nourishment that it will provide for my body.

Ready to Lose Weight? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself!

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.

It’s the New Year, a time that re-ignites the desire to lose weight and get in shape. Before you dive in, evaluate your readiness to stay the course. Without a solid foundation, starting too quickly can lead to frustrating results. When you’re emotionally prepared, however, your results become permanent. Use these five questions to decide if now’s the time to fully commit to your weight loss success.

1. Will you make your well-being a priority?

To lose weight successfully, your physical and emotional health must be your number one concern. This doesn’t mean you neglect personal responsibilities. It means you respond to those responsibilities through self-loving eyes. For example, you set boundaries on the demands of family and friends to create “Me” time. It also means you address life stressors that erode your confidence, such as a strained marriage or job dissatisfaction. Even if you delay focusing on weight loss, you’ll feel more confident to begin when your life feels stable.

2. Will you change your lifestyle?

To succeed with weight loss, you must replace old habits with new ones. Your willingness to exercise regularly and eat wholesome foods increases your chance for long term success. What lifestyle changes are you willing to make? For example, will you limit television time to make room for exercise? Will you take time for self-reflection to nurture your spirit? As you adopt new behaviors that support good health and well-being, you create a lifestyle that nurtures your long-term success.

3. Will you seek out support?

Losing weight sometimes feels frustrating and discouraging. Make it easy on yourself. Connect with others for support and professional guidance. Consult with a dietitian for nutrition advice, a personal trainer for exercise suggestions or a weight loss coach for inspiration. Besides professional assistance, join a weight loss support group or connect with others on-line through forums. If groups don’t work for you, talk to a trusted friend for support when discouraged and camaraderie to celebrate progress.

4. Will you look deeper if necessary?

If you struggle to lose weight, despite your best intentions, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper. For some people, excess weight offers protection and food equals comfort. Despite a conscious desire to be thinner, losing weight sometimes triggers subconscious fears that actually prevent progress. If success always eludes you, seek professional support to discover what’s holding you back. If you can relate to this, use the therapist finder tool at Psychology Today to find a counselor in your local area to help.

5. Will you be patient and persevere?

Permanent weight loss takes time. You need this time to not only release weight responsibly, but to release limiting beliefs and negative thoughts from your mind. If you lose weight too quickly, your self-concept doesn’t have time to change. Old beliefs then draw you back to old habits. Be willing to have patience and persevere. Doing so transforms discouragement into a determined belief that nothing will stop you from reaching your goal.

What if you don’t feel ready?

If after reading these questions you don’t feel ready, that’s OK. Give yourself permission to wait. Take time to discover what you need to fully commit. Use the above questions to guide you. You actually begin the weight loss process by creating a strong foundation first. When the timing is right, you’ll feel an inner trust that guides the rest of your journey with confidence and inspiration.

Are you ready to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below.

Stop Making Decisions of Someone Who Deserves Less.

It’s a new year – and a new opportunity to create a different path forward.

Instead of recycling the same mindset and mentality of years gone by, let’s try something new. Rather than making decisions from a place of deprivation or denial, let’s shift the focus. Let’s come from a place of self-love.

It’s not about skipping the extra slice of cheesecake because you’re not supposed to eat it. It’s about selecting a smarter dessert choice because you want to nourish your body with the nutrients it craves and needs.

It’s not about going to the gym because you hate your body and desperately want to look different. It’s about exercising because you love your body – and you want to honor it with movement and sweat. After all, without your body, you can’t experience the joys of life, like wrapping your arms around someone you love, watching a sunset or swimming in the ocean.

In 2013, let’s shift our focus to a place of self-love. And as you do, it becomes infinitely easier and a million times more effortless to make decisions that promote better health.

You deserve good health – so stop making decisions of someone who deserves less. This is YOUR year.

Weight Loss and Sexual Abuse.

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.

It is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will have experienced some form of sexual abuse by the age of eighteen. These exploitative behaviors range from exposure to more invasive forms of sexual assault. If you were sexually abused as a child, and have had difficulty releasing weight and keeping it off, you are not alone. Chances are your ongoing weight loss difficulties stem from your subconscious mind still wanting to protect that little girl, or that little boy, you once were.

I’ll call her Anna. She believes her weight gain started when she was in the fourth grade. That was the year she moved into her stepfather’s house and he began sexually abusing her. She remembers it was then because she loved the little purple flowers on the wall paper in her new bedroom. She methodically would count the purple petals hoping he would stop touching her by the time she reached one hundred. When I saw her in my office some thirty years later, she was depressed, overweight and didn’t realize her obesity had anything to do with being sexually abused. It was only when she realized her weight gain was her incredibly resourceful way of trying to protect herself that she understood. She then began to set herself free.”

On a subconscious level, gaining excess weight was the sexually abused child’s solution to the fear of unwanted sexual advances. Wearing layers of flannel pajamas to delay the inevitable transformed into layers of protective fat in adulthood. Compulsive overeating was the only way to self-soothe when no one was available for support.

Your attempts at losing weight may be fraught with repeated failures. Not because you lack willpower, but because on a deep level you are afraid. If this reflects your experience, here are three suggestions to help you release weight in a way that is emotionally safe and self-loving.

1.  Safety

Before beginning any weight loss plan, it is important that your current home environment is safe and secure. If you are in a difficult or abusive relationship, or in a strained family situation, deal with this first. Create for yourself an atmosphere of love and support. Before you can release excess weight, your inner child, and the adult that you are today, needs to be safe.

2.  Support

Make sure you have at least one trusted friend or family member that you can talk to about the sexual abuse you experienced. Let them know that this may emerge for you as you begin to release weight. Give yourself the gift of professional help. It is not unusual to feel anxious as you lose weight because you are letting go of something that on a deep level has served to emotionally protect you. It may feel very scary. A skilled therapist can help support you through this process and help you to manage overwhelming feelings that may emerge.

3.  Patience

Take your time. Have patience and realize that this process isn’t just about releasing weight. It’s about releasing your fears and your pain. The longer it takes to release weight the more you can trust that an inner shift is happening. You need that time to transform your thinking and your beliefs so you can develop an emotional readiness to release weight. And to feel safe. This reassures your inner child that the comfort and familiarity of excess weight will not be taken away from her before she is ready. Having patience will help you adjust to small, incremental weight loss shifts and the feelings that go along with that. Your developing inner strength then becomes the foundation that will help you release weight with confidence and self-love.

Do you know someone with a weight issue who was sexually abused? What helps them to feel safe as they release weight?

Feeling Fat Makes You Fat.

This morning, I came across an absolutely fascinating study by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. According to the study, normal weight teenagers who perceive themselves as fat are more likely to become overweight adults.

Back in the mid 1990s, researchers surveyed nearly 1200 teenage boys and girls with normal bodyweights. Roughly ten years later, the researchers followed up with the now-adult participants. While half of the participants still had normal bodyweights, the researchers found some interesting insights about the now-overweight individuals:

  • 59% of the girls and 65% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to their body mass index (BMI).
  • 78% of the girls and 55% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to the circumference of their waist.

In contrast:

  • 31% of the girls and 29% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to their body mass index (BMI).
  • 55% of the girls and 48% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to the circumference of their waist.

In other words, far more of the normal weight teens who felt fat (even though they weren’t) actually became overweight as adults. In fact, their BMI averaged .88 higher and their waistlines were 3.46 cm larger. But why?

Researchers speculate that teens who felt fat were more stressed than their counterparts. Since stress is associated with weight gain, this could offer one an explanation. Moreover, these teens may have tried to lose their perceived fat by skipping meals and starvation – a strategy that ultimately results in weight gain.

Personally, I think the answer could be a bit deeper. If we have a good, healthy relationship with our body, then we’re more likely to do things that honor it – like eat a healthy diet and engage in exercise. If, on the other hand, you don’t like your body and use negative words against it – like calling it fat – then that relationship can deteriorate and lead to unhealthy habits.

And let’s not forget the power of visualization. By visualizing something, you can help bring it into reality. If you see yourself winning the gold medal or lifting a certain amount of weight or just eating your vegetables, you can breath life into your thoughts. Perhaps, by seeing themselves as fat, these individuals subconsciously cultivated habits that made their belief an reality.

Obviously, it will take subsequent research and data to draw stronger conclusions – but, in the meantime, this study is great food for thought.

What do you think? Are you surprised by the results of this study?

Start a Love Affair With Food!

If you’re struggling to lose weight, the idea of starting a “love affair” with food might seem to fly in the face of logic. Loving food more, you may think, is the opposite of what you need.

But consider this: Obsessing about food isn’t loving food. Inhaling or devouring food isn’t about love. Abusing food – or trying to avoid it altogether – isn’t loving it.

If you really love food, you’d savor and enjoy it. You’d want to eat it slowly, chew each bite and consider the many ways in which your meal contributes to your overall health.

One of my favorite books is A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. In fact, you’ll see many similarly-rooted philosophies in my Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. In Williamson’s book, she dedicates an entire chapter to loving food:

The solution to overeating is obviously not to deny yourself food altogether; the answer is not to deny yourself at all. You don’t need to forget food, run away from food, deny yourself food, or avoid food. And the last thing you need to do if you want to stop thinking about food is to tell yourself not to think about it! [The solution is putting] genuine love back into your relationship with food.

Truly infusing love into your relationship with food many implications. While mozzarella sticks, for example, may taste good, there’s nothing loving about them. And with tons of unsaturated fats, calories and grease, they certainly don’t love you back. If a food loves you, it contributes to your health. And if a food contributes to your health, it’s worth back.

Take time to love your food. Offer a prayer of thanks before eating. Make eating a meal sacred and ritualistic. Instead of eating in front of a television, create an altar for your meal at a dining room table. Honor your food and how its nutrients will nourish your body.

It’s time to start a real love affair with the food you eat.

Have a Tough Day?

Did you have a tough day?

Maybe you looked in the mirror and noticed something sagging that hadn’t sagged before. Maybe your jeans fit a little tighter than usual. Maybe someone made a comment about your body that wasn’t well received. Or maybe you’ve gained a few pounds since the last time you stepped on a scale.

These are the moments that can derail our day and send us into a tailspin. And it’s moments like these that make it easy to forget how glorious your body really is.

The truth is, your body is an amazing machine – and it’s the vehicle through which you experience the joys of life. Without your body, you’d never know what it’s like to kiss a lover, hug a family member or feel the summer sunshine against your skin. You body is a symphony of trillions and trillions of cells working tirelessly to support your life and all the experiences therein. So let’s not forget that you’re nothing short of a walking miracle.

Sure, all of us have our moments. And all of us have things that we’d like to change about our bodies. But let’s keep it all in perspective of how amazing we really are. And in doing so, let’s workout not because we hate our bodies. Let’s workout because we love our bodies.

Lose Weight: Love the Unlovable You.

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

Do you ever wish that you could love your body completely? Even if it seems difficult, you can learn to do this. Loving what already feels good about your body inspires you. But loving what seems unlovable transforms you.

Love Releases Hate

When you want to lose weight but “hate” yourself and your “fat” body, it’s difficult to focus on having the body you really want. This is because the energy of hate emotionally binds you to your excess weight with a power stronger than steel. The more you hold disrespectful thoughts of your body, the more you stay stuck. Any progress you do make is potentially short-lived.

For example, in any hate-filled relationship, hate actually binds people together. Have you ever known some divorced couples so filled with venom that they continue to harbor resentment and anger for years? They can’t move on because their hatred keeps them emotionally tied to their former partner. But love allows release. Leaving a relationship with love liberates you to let go and create a more loving relationship with someone else.

And so it is with your body. Releasing weight from a body that you love and accept inspires you to focus on the thinner you just waiting to emerge.

Free Yourself

Learning to love your body isn’t just a “nice” idea. It’s vital to your health and happiness. Loving eyes see beyond the superficial. With all its excess weight and loose muscle and belly fat, loving your body completely inspires you to do what your body needs to be healthy and fit. As you embrace your body as the amazing gift it is, despite carrying excess weight, you’re naturally drawn towards nutritious foods and invigorating movement that is good for your body.

A Loving Affirmation

If you’ve never loved your body it may seem impossible to think your feelings will ever change. But feelings do change. Simply having the desire to love your body, and a willingness to change your beliefs, is a first step.

Love inspired thoughts create love directed action. Commit to sending your body daily loving thoughts with this powerful affirmation:

Even though my body carries excess weight, I totally and completely love and accept myself.

To deepen your experience of using this affirmation, connect with your heart energy. Get yourself in a comfortable position in a quiet place. Close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart and feel it beating. Keeping your hand on your heart, repeat the above phrase to yourself or out loud several times.

Saying this affirmation may initially seem strange and the words may not feel true. That’s OK. I invite you to do this anyway because over time it will help you soften your attitude towards your body. When practiced daily and with earnest intent, what seems unlovable becomes loved. And what now seems impossible becomes possible.

Have you learned to love your body? Let us know in the comments below.

The Gym: Gay Church?

This morning, I was eating breakfast with one of the yoga instructors from my Hawaiian retreat at Kalani. We were talking about exercise, and how people can really use their time at the gym to connect with their bodies, life and their inner radiance.

For some people, going to the gym can be frustrating. Their mantra might be, “I hate being fat, I hate being fat, I hate being fat.” And as they exercise, they marinate themselves and their bodies in this negative energy.

But going the gym can also be a much deeper, more glorious experience. Through the breath and present moment awareness, working out can be an expression of your glory. I often joke that the gym is “gay church” – but in some ways, it really can be a house of worship. It can be a time where we go within and connect and ground ourselves to the source. By seeing exercise in this new light, we infuse our entire body with positive energy.

The next time you honor your body with the gift of exercise, I invite you to make the experience more loving and more radiant through your thoughts, words and actions.