Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week Four: Courage


This weeks focus is on courage. It takes courage to set your life into motion, believe in yourself, to follow your dreams. Are you willing to step into a life of courage now that you’re in your fourth week? This is when people begin to start self-sabotage.

Will you separate yourself from those who talk about it from those who do it! Do you give so much to others that there is no time for your needs?

I see this a lot from busy moms, nurses, and teachers, and even myself sometimes. You dedicate yourself to others hoping that one day everyone will wake up and see how wonderful you are. There is nothing wrong with self-less giving as long as you don’t forget to give to yourself as well. Sometimes you may throw yourself into taking care of everyone else, so you don’t have to focus on your own hopes and dreams (what a noble-sounding excuse for not stepping it up for ourselves!)

Could it be that we’ve been victims of circumstance so long that we’ve forgotten who is in control. Don’t be a victim! It is better to die in charge than die the thousand deaths of a victim.

You are the boss of your own life! As you step off your self- defined treadmill, be willing to look at your life through different lenses and ask yourself, ‘What would courage have me do, change, or say (even if it scares me) in order to move me out of feeling helpless and disempowered and into feeling free, hopeful, and inspired? What would courage ask me to hang on to while I ride out the storm? And what would it ask me to throw overboard?” Only courage can turn your boat around and put you back into the flow.

STEP 1: Take a reality check

There is no point in going any further with this 12 week program if you aren’t being honest with yourself. You will only get out what you put into it. If you haven’t lost weight it is time to write down your foods again for at least 3 days or until you do start to lose weight and get really serious with yourself:

  • Are you eating junk food even just a little here and there?

  • Are you sneaking a cookie or munching on chips?

  • Have you conquered sugar and begun eating light healthy carbs?

  • Are you eating low-fat protein at every meal and having a salad every day?

  • What are you eating for breakfast?

  • How much water are you drinking?

Obviously, I ‘m not able to watch your every move. I can give you information and guide and inspire you, but if you’re not sticking to the program, you are fooling no one but yourself. Make sure you are reading each week steps and doing them; increase your intensity of your workouts.

I compare this program to taking birth control pills: It won’t work if you use it sometimes.

Daily effort + daily choices = success. It is time to get serious.

STEP 2: Relinquish the Need for Approval

We all want to be liked, valued, and appreciated; and when we are not, we feel rotten. Our need for approval usually starts at a young age. When did we get this inaccurate assumption that if you gave up yourself, others would give you more?

Get out your journal and take a look back in time. Shine a light on this pattern and begin by making a list of what you believe limited you in your life and how.

  • What pivotal moments changed your life?

  • What did you hear, see, or feel on a daily basis while you were growing up?

  • How did this make you feel about yourself, and how has it held you back?

Now this exercise is not intended to blame your parents for any unhappiness and make you feel like a victim. It is important to understand that everyone has had a critical moment in our childhood that we’ll always remember. These experiences become embedded in our psyche, causing us to form beliefs that stay with us and dictate our choices sometimes as adults.

  • Looking at your list, ask yourself if you feel that your life would be better if others had treated you better.
  • Do you believe that most of your disappointments and failures have been out of your control?
  • Was one of your own parents held back in their own life?
  • What messages regarding opportunity and expectation did you learn from them?
  • Did you see a mother who gave too much but resented it at the same time?
  • Has an illness or condition impeded your progress?
  • Has it been unfortunate circumstance, or was it specific people who’ve held you back?
  • If so, are you still angry or resentful with them?

Here is your first clue: Self- sabotage comes from repressed anger. “I’m not angry anymore,” you might say. Yet if you continually sabotage your efforts, then there is a good chance that you haven’t dealt with your pain.

You have tucked it away because showing anger is unacceptable, so instead of lashing out to the world, you have chosen to beat up yourself. Buried deep, you create walls-layers of protection- so that no one can hurt you again. No one can get close enough. It feels safer this way. But soon your protection becomes your captor. You feel stuck and helpless.

Well, a lot of times we will search for comforts in foods, shopping, gambling, or numb ourselves with alcohol, drugs or combination of escapes even too much television. Often these outlets become bad habits. This self-destructive need for approval only disappears when we begin approving of ourselves, loving ourselves, and getting rid of the anger and forgive ourselves and those situations.

The truth opens the door to healing and living with inner peace.

Once you begin to be honest with yourself about what you feel, why you’re stuck, whom you blame, what you use to cope, and what you’re afraid of, you will feel a thousand pounds lifted from you.

Breaking through these layers will help you break through the layers you have been putting on your body. If you have struggled with weight problems and have been unsuccessful in keeping it off, I highly suggest really digging through these exercises of the mind and soul as well as the physical exercises.

In reality, truth is always easy. It’s the lies we tell ourselves and the world that weighs us down and keeps us immobilized in fear, convinced that we have no other option. Lies keep us disillusioned. Disillusionment keeps us in denial: thus, addictions are virtually impossible to overcome.

Open your journal and begin with this sentence: The truth is………….See where it leads you.

STEP 3: Do Something You Love

We all get so caught up in life that we forget to live. This week create a list of things you liked before you got so caught up and busy. Pick one thing and try to do it this week for at least one hour.

STEP 4: Start Eating Lean Protein

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are the most obvious sources of protein; but there are many others such as nuts, beans, and lentils. The primary role for protein is to build and repair close to 300 billion cells daily, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Although carbs and fats supply you with energy, every cell in your body is constructed from protein you eat.

When protein enters stomach they break down into amino acids. The human body is unable to produce essential amino acids, so you must obtain them through foods. The amino acids are sent to work on building and repairing skin, enzymes, muscles, bones, and hair.

How important are they for weight loss? The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Without adequate amounts you will have a difficult time making and keeping muscles. Protein doesn’t stimulate insulin production and isn’t converted to fat easily. It helps elevate your metabolism because of the thermal effect of breaking them down. So, every time you eat lean proteins your body is burning more calories and with that incorporate exercise each day and you will ramp up your metabolism.

All foods have a thermal effect, however, high fat foods such as butter or oils have virtual no thermal effect, and carbs are far less thermal than protein. A study, conducted in Spain found that protein could increase the metabolic rate by 25-30%, compared to carbohydrates that increase only 4%. Keep in mind that proteins can have high saturated fats and you must be careful not to over consume meats and dairy. Eating smaller portions spread out through the day are better when incorporating proteins in each meal. Remember that there are vegetarian sources like temph, tofu that you can incorporate as well.

STEP 4: Learn to Relax

Close your eyes and take deep breath through your nose, holding it for 3 sec. and then exhale through your mouth. Do this several times until you feel more relaxed. In a world full of deadlines and pressure, we’ve have forgotten how to relax. Poorly managed stress is our nation’s number one silent killer. Try taking 5min. each day to turn off the outside world so that the mind and body are at rest. Stats have shown that it can lower your biological age by 12years. And lower your incidence of heart attack and other illness. Biological age is determined 15-20% by your genes and 80-85% by lifestyle- that is how we eat, exercise, our total stress factor, and disposition.
Prayer, meditation and stretching are great ways to distress..


• Start eating lean proteins and avoid dark meats and limit egg yolks and high fat dairy
• Try a protein shake to supplement your requirements if you are struggling to get enough
• Continue with 4-5x per week exercise for at least 60min. or accumulate at least 300min. per week for weight loss. Add stretching into your daily routine.

• Monitor your progress
• Check to make sure you are not falling back to old patterns
• Decompress stress in your life

• Discover your truth
• Relinquish the need for approval
• Do something you love

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