Here we go again…the New Year is almost upon us, and you know what that means: DIET TIME.
Let’s go, ladies, you got this. This is the one. Now is the time. All you need is a little research on the latest and greatest diets, some calorie counting, meticulous meal planning, rigorous exercise, am I right?
This is the one that will get you there and keep you there. LET’S DO THIS! Are you ready? Are you pumped?!
Okay, let’s get real for a minute.
This new year marks year 2019. How many diets have you tried over the years? How many resolutions have you made? Maybe they got you there, but did they keep you there? And for how long?
Here’s the deal – we need to get to the root of why this isn’t working. Sure, the resolutions you set may be about weight loss, but what’s really underneath the desire to lose weight? And why do we really have such a hard time sticking to our new year’s resolutions?
We kick off the new year with such determination in hopes of improving our health by making changes to our eating behavior and exercise regimens. More often than not these changes don’t last. So, what’s up with that?
The reality is that this is about more than weight. This is really a stress issue. When we set those resolutions, we fail to consider a very important factor that contributes to our overall health. Stress management.
Think about it. We overeat because food has become the main (or only) coping mechanism for difficult emotions and/or negative thoughts (also known as stress).
It’s not about hunger (usually), it’s about stress.
So, it’s not about hunger (usually), it’s about stress. Stress creates certain physiological processes within us that actually encourage weight storing. We store fat, muscle building decreases, and appetite hormones increase. That’s why we turn to high ‘load’ foods when we’re stressed. What’s a better way to survive being chased by a tiger than filling up with the energy you need to outrun it?
So what can we do about it? Mindfulness activates an exact opposite response within us, the relaxation response. When people think about health, it’s usually “what am I going to eat (or not eat)?” and “how am I going to move my body?”. Simply put, people focus on nutrition and fitness. This is what we’ve been told over and over again. So, of course that’s what takes the spotlight. It’s true, what we put in our bodies DOES impact health; yes, nutrition is important. And moving and fitness also impacts health and is important.
But what about the mind?
We need to think about the health of our minds. The body rarely acts alone in impacting our health.
Being mindful of cognitive health can be key to finding success when making lifestyle changes. When we practice mindfulness through meditation, mindful eating, and managing our emotions, our inner physiology actually changes, which brings us closer to true, optimal, WHOLE health – health of the body AND mind.
Mindfulness teaches us to let go, which in part helps us to better manage stress. Furthermore, when we become better at letting go we’re able to respond to stress more effectively. When we gradually bring mindfulness into important areas of our lives, such as eating, movement and daily living, we begin to embody mindfulness as part of who we are. For example, consider ‘infusing’ mindfulness practices in these areas in the following ways:
- Eating – bring your attention to your belly before, during and after eating to become aware of hunger and satisfaction cues. Practice setting an intention before a meal. For example, if your intention is to slow down, try practicing putting your silverware down between each bite.
- Movement – pay attention to how you’re feeling physically and emotionally when you exercise. When you love it, ask yourself why; when you hate it, also ask why and consider doing more of what you love, and less of what you hate. Take note of what makes you feel good and continue finding ways to add that into your weekly routine.
- Daily living – take a look at your social connections, inner dialogue and self-care. How fulfilled are you in these areas of your life? Do any of these areas need more attention? Can you practice being more present in your relationships; could you try reframing your critical self-talk or could you bring more attention to practicing self-care?
Adopting an attitude towards mindfulness isn’t always easy, especially when it involves making changes to our routine. Yet, small changes here and there can make a huge difference in our overall health and well-being. More often than not, when we’re aware of what makes us feel good, we’re likely to do it again. And with practice, doing what makes us feel good tends to become second nature.
With that in mind, Green Mountain at Fox Run is doing what we’ve been doing best for over 45 years – this New Year’s, instead of doing the same thing over and over, do what works. Join us for an exclusive mindfulness retreat for women who struggle with weight.
Mindfulness for Women Who Struggle With Weight – A Meditative Retreat
This special program focuses on mindfulness-focused classes, workshops and activities related to food, mind and body. Join us for an immersive mindfulness retreat to learn:
- How stress impacts us and how mindfulness can change that
- About mindfulness and mindful eating
- How to jump start your own mindfulness practice
Come immerse yourself in meditative practices that will truly jump start a year of WHOLE health. Join us January 2 – 5, 2019 in the beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains, along with other women who get it and address the roots of weight struggles, working from the inside out.