It’s sort of taboo for a holistic nutritionist to talk about weight loss – the focus should always be about health first. The reality is a large majority of my clients are coming to me because they are not happy with their body composition. Most of them want to lose weight.
Because I see that in a lot of cases, weight loss contributes to better health, I meet my clients halfway. Not only do I help them move closer to optimal health, they also see results that make them feel better about what they see in the mirror too. Win – win! So, while this series of articles highlights breaking barriers to weight loss, every bit of information can be applied to achieving better health too.
Besides nutrition (and sugar), there are 4 other foundations I work from when addressing body composition: mindset, gut health, adrenal health, and timing (keep an eye out for the next articles!).
You likely know that nutrition is a key player in both health and body composition, but what many don’t realize is that not only is exercise secondary to nutrition but how you exercise is HUGE (I will touch on this in a later article). But even bigger factors than nutrition and exercise are mindset and how you handle stress – including rest and recovery. Without these components in check, real healing and attaining your idea body composition is likely not going to happen.
First, I want to get your head in the right place!
In my training with Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride, author of The Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Put Your Hand In Your Heart, I learned that in those suffering from anorexia nervosa, the mind truly perceives a distorted image in the mirror. This is a real issue, a dysfunction in brain chemistry – they are not just being silly. In that sort of case, when I am supporting a client nutritionally, I focus on repairing the gut/brain axis. The focus of this article is not targeted for those with eating disorder; however, there are some tips that may be helpful for sure.
When addressing a client’s focus on body composition, I get them to think about the people they admire most. The answer is always people that made them feel good, people who motive and inspire them. People that accomplished things that are admirable and a contribution to society. Not one client has ever chosen someone because they admire their body composition or even their beauty.
Traits of high ethics and standards, of kindness and caring, of love and compassion – those are what we truly admire – the beauty on the inside. When there is beauty on the inside, there is beauty on the outside. Beauty on the outside is how one carries oneself – with confidence and respect of oneself and others. An inner radiance and vitality reflects beauty. None of this has to do with body composition.
I was recently introduced to the work of Dr. Bruce Lipton. When Dr. Lipton, a developmental cell biologist, researcher, and former medical school professor, applied the principles of quantum physics to his research of cells, his work revealed new information about the mechanisms of the outer layer of the cell membrane. Dr. Lipton calls this outer layer “the brain” of the cell and compares it to a programmable computer chip. This ground breaking research lead him to the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s environment and beliefs.
In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton explains how genes and DNA do not control our biology — it’s the signals from outside the cell, our environment and energetic messages emanating from our thoughts and emotions — what he refers to is our perceptions, are what’s controlling our biology.
In other words, what we tell ourselves and how we perceive the world around us, is what we tell (and “program” into) our cells.
How do you change a pattern of negative perceptions and self-talk? According to Dr. Lipton, you need to stop them in their tracks and begin a new thought pattern so that those negative thoughts and perceptions are replaced by new, positive, loving ones.
“You can live a life of fear or live a life of love. You have the choice! But I can tell you that if you choose to see a world full of love, your body will respond by growing in health. If you choose to believe that you live in a dark world full of fear, your body’s health will be compromised as you physiologically close yourself down in a protection response.” — Dr. Bruce Lipton
You need more than just positive self-talk and affirmations, you need to believe what you are telling yourself and perceive it to be true. Dr. Lipton believes we can also have a great impact on the health of our cells with meditation. It makes sense to me, I mean, think about it, if we are constantly bombarding our cells with information from our thoughts and emotions every waking moment, how can our cells ever rest and recover?
I like to think of the cells in my body as my team. I cheer them on, motive them and pump them up. I nourish excellence in my team with love, kindness, forgiveness, and good nutrition. Forgiveness is especially important because even the best of us screw up.
So why am I telling you this? Because step one of Breaking Barriers in your Health and Weight Loss Goals is truly believing that you have the power to do so.
Every cell in your body is waiting for your instructions, what instructions are you going to give them?
For more about mindset, check out the series of Monday Motivations by Diane Sanfilippo. Make a point to read one a week. She has some great tips and links for ways to take care of your spirit, not just your physical body.
Besides mindset, the other factors that are barriers in your health and weight loss goals are: gut health, adrenal function, and timing. I will address those in my next 3 articles!
Now go eat some butter!
Holly Morello, NTP
Owner of www.nourishingexcellence.com
Lead Content Developer, 1:1 coach at www.DianeSanfilippo.com