So the proof is in the pudding, so the saying goes, or in this case, the lack thereof. And by pudding, I mean the mushy stuff around my belly. Because after about just a few weeks working with my health coach Michael DeSanti, my pants are mysteriously looser.
The changes I’ve been making are pretty small. I swapped out my chocolate-peanutbutter smoothies for green smoothies (they aren’t really green, they’re more of a dark pinkish-purply, and they taste like mixed berry with a coconut aftertaste). I try to be on purpose about eating more vegatables, and I am about 80% wheat and dairy free. Protein proves to be my biggest challenge — sometimes meat is just too much trouble — so I’m learning to plan ahead.
Because of my conversations with Michael, I am becoming so much more aware of the mind/body/energy/mood connection. I’ve learned that nights when I wake up out of a sound sleep in a panic attack are usually days I’ve had wheat. I’ve noticed dairy makes me puffy. I’ve learned that eating well makes my Crossfit workout inexplicably easy. Yes. I said easy. Crazy, right?
The first — and probably most crucial — step to holistic wellness and success is simple awareness. We all move on autopilot through our days. Whether we are aware of them or not, we all have these little grooves in our brains that move us around a pre-determined track of behavior, just like my son’s train set or those rides at the amusement park. Some of us are totally unaware of them — totally clueless as to how these grooves and tracks in our brains are keeping us fat and sick and sad. Some of us are aware of them, but still feel totally controlled by them. Like pawns of the King Rollercoaster, we are shoved into the train car and tossed about on the ride as we shove sugar and carbs into our mouths, knowing full well we will regret it as soon as we get over that first big hill.
But what I’m learning from Michael is that while our brain controls our behavior, our gut controls our brain.
Everything we eat has an effect on our biochemistry. Here’s something crazy — a childhood illness that required antibiotics may have created an overabundance of yeast in our gut. Yeast eats sugar. So that cookie and cake craving you have? Well, it might not be you having that craving. It might be the yeast’s craving. Pretty creepy, eh?
What’s crazy is that we can become addicted to our own hormones. We can create stress because it produces stress hormones that we then become addicted to and want more of so we produce more stress and create more stress hormones and we keep doing that until, at the end of the day, we gulp down a pint of ice cream that we “deserve” because we had such a crazy, stressful day.
Tell me if you ever done any of these things: not charged your phone over night even though you know you need to leave early in the morning; not paid the bill on time when you could just automate it; driven past a gas station when you have less than a quarter of a tank. And the whole time you’re going, “Why am I doing this? I’m an idiot! Why don’t I just pull into the station and get the stupid gas?”
Why am I setting myself up to fail — or at least be really stressed out later, when I’m on empty and have five stops to make before work and nowhere near enough time to do it all in?
Why do I not eat lunch, when I know that by 4pm I’ll be snapping at my children and shoving goldfish in my mouth? Why do I float around the kitchen in a daze around lunch time, but never actually open the refrigerator door, get out the stupid chicken breast, and get on with life?
So in this week’s meeting, Michael and I talked about that dirty word: discipline. But in discipline comes the freedom.
I know this to be true. And it is true in all facets of life. I know in my direct selling business that when I was disciplined in making consistent phone calls every day, every day I consistently got bookings. And the freedom came in knowing my numbers, being booked beyond belief. I became emotionally free to move onto something else because I knew I had done what I was supposed to do. I didn’t have to waste a lot of time and emotion and energy thinking about what I should have been doing because I had done it, it’s over, and I could move on.
The same is true about lunch. If I plan ahead and consistently make my lunch in the morning, I won’t have to think about it at noon. The discipline will bring freedom. And in freedom, is success.
It’s a weird, orderly thing, this freedom in discipline. But it’s the anything goes attitude — in health and wellness, in spirituality, in business, in life — that can keep us in true bondage. If we lack discipline in any of these areas, we become slaves to sickness, to sadness, to mediocrity. But small, every day disciplines add up to big wins later on — whether that win is at the waistline or the finishline.
So today, I’ll be looking at what I can control in this moment. What can I do today to move me toward my goal. I will be mindful and quiet, and aware of my choices. And I’ll ask myself now, at 7am….what’s for lunch?
You can chat with Michael about what’s for your lunch, too! Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.