Ep. 3: How To Lose Weight By Changing Your What Into A Why

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Everyone knows that diets don’t work but we can’t seem to escape the urge to want to start the latest one. I remember not too long ago some co-workers were talking about a new 7-day “cleanse”. They would tell me how each day was different but they were limited to very specific foods. I think on one day they could only eat bananas. Strange, right? Well, I was curious at the time even though I never wound up actually doing it.

I think what’s exciting about that new diet isn’t so much the diet itself but rather the idea that maybe this will be the thing that will help me lose the weight. I know I’m not alone either because studies show that 90% – 95% of all Americans who go on a diet gain most, if not all the lost weight back in 1 – 5 years! So how do we keep allowing ourselves to live in this vicious cycle?

How many books are out there telling us what we should be eating? Eat this, don’t eat that…eat this at this time but not at that time…combine this food with that food but not that food…and the advice goes on and on.

Interestingly enough though, if I asked you what you “should” be eating to have a healthy life you’d probably respond like everyone else. You’d probably tell me that you should have a good-sized breakfast full of healthy proteins, carbs, and fats. In fact, other than not going longer than 2 to 3 hours between meals/snacks and staying hydrated not much else would change throughout your day. Of course, you’d probably tell me to avoid sugars, processed foods (breads, crackers, chips), and anything with a high glycemic index.

My point is, we all know what we should eat. It’s really not a secret what we should eat to have a healthy and fit body. We all also know exactly what we need to do for exercise as well. If asked, I’m sure you’d tell me that I should go for a 30-minute jog/walk a day. Perhaps you’d tell me to go to the gym, go for a bike ride, or even a swim. Again, we all know exactly what we need to do to exercise.

So why do we keep searching and searching and searching for that right diet that will tell us what to eat and how to work out?

Well, what if we changed our question from “What do I need to eat?” to “Why do I eat?”.

I believe this is where the answer to our health problems lie. I believe when we answer the why and not the what we begin to discover the real culprit to our unhealthy lifestyle. The way I see it, we eat primarily for 3 different reasons. We either eat to nourish our body (ie; we’re hungry), for pleasure (some foods are just enjoyable), and as a means to cope with feelings we don’t want to acknowledge and feel.

I think a healthy lifestyle would include 80% of our “Why” in the nourishment department (eating healthy moderate foods) and the other 20% in the pleasure department (a Caribbean Coconut Gelato is just pleasurable every now and then!). Notice I don’t leave any room here for eating to cope with feelings.

I would venture to say (I know it’s been true for me) that the vast majority of us are eating 80% in the coping department/pleasure department and 20% in the nourishment department. Now there are many of you that read this blog and listen to my podcast who are very conscious of what you put into your body but I know many others are still finding it a challenge. It’s been a challenge for me and it’s something I’m still working on.

I once read a book called Super Brain written by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi. I highly recommend you check it out! They had an amazing suggestion in there that you can try at home! It involves the following scenario:

The next time you find yourself going to the kitchen cabinet for something to eat ask yourself how you’re feeling. Are you feeling bored, sad, angry, disappointed, anxious, happy? Notice if you’re actually hungry. Now that you’ve identified the feeling(s) you have, go ahead and eat! This is the part I thought was genius! You’d think they would tell you not to eat, right? Well, the goal is to train your brain to understand WHY you are eating! Eventually, you’ll go to the cabinet, know you’re feeling bored, and make the conscious choice to not become a victim to your feeling.

I genuinely believe if you spend some time this week really becoming aware of your feelings and what actions follow you’ll begin to develop an even deeper understanding into your habits. I know this has worked for me and although I’m not perfect at eating (by far) I’m very aware now of why I do eat. Instead of fooling myself into thinking I’m unhealthy because I don’t know what to eat, I can now find the real answer by answering the why I eat.

Should you choose to accept it, this is your weekly challenge!

Step 1: The next time you go to eat ask yourself how you’re feeling

Step 2: See where in your body you are feeling that feeling

Step 3: Say Hello to the feeling. Acknowledge you are not the feeling.

Step 4: Choose to eat anyway, acknowledging that the feeling is making the choice NOT YOU

I highly encourage you to take 30-minutes and listen to the podcast on this. There’s so much more in the podcast and I really think you’ll find some great value in there. If you do enjoy the podcast I would be forever grateful if you left a written review on iTunes. Doing so will help move the show higher in the search rankings. This will allow others, like yourself to find the show more easily.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh_Sig

Ep. 2: 3 Reasons Why Affirmations Don’t Work

So perhaps you were a little thrown off by the title. Anyone who appreciates the work of Louise Hay or Dr. Wayne Dyer is going to know there is significant value in affirmations. After all, our thoughts shape our words, our words shape our actions, and our actions shape much of our reality.

Well, the truth is I do think affirmations work but I also believe I have found 3 reasons why they may not be working for you. Let me first mention something though. The reality is, whether you think you’ve been doing affirmations or not is irrelevant. Why would I say this? Because we all affirm ourselves every day.

Thinking to yourself that you’re dumb is an affirmation. Thinking to yourself that you’re an idiot is an affirmation. Thinking to yourself how bad you look is an affirmation. No, these affirmations are not true of course but you are affirming something when you think or say that about yourself.

What we want to do with affirmations is contradict what we’ve been telling ourselves. We want to begin thinking and saying what is true about ourselves. Can you imagine what kind of life you could be living if you truly affirmed how good you were? If you reminded yourself often how smart, creative, and beautiful you were? Just writing this brings me a feeling of confidence that I can go out and do so much more knowing those are my truths!

So if you’ve ever come across someone who thinks that affirmations don’t work you might want to consider the following:

1. It’s likely that you are doing them incorrectly. Sometimes we confuse recognition with appreciation. Appreciation falls in the Affirmation camp. Recognition, while a wonderful thing, is not an affirmation. You see, recognition involves praise for something someone did. You graduated school, you finished writing a book, you landed that great job you’ve always wanted, you finally ran that half-marathon. Those are wonderful achievements and praise/recognition for a job well done goes a long way. However, affirmations are not based on recognition of the accomplishments and achievements you’ve made.

Affirmations are based on appreciations and appreciations are based on your inherent qualities. Those are qualities you were born with and are not dependent on what you do but rather who you are. For example, you are creative, beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent, whole, enough, valuable, etc. So the next time you affirm yourself consider whether it’s a quality or an achievement you are expressing. Achievements come and go but your inherent quality (what you’re made of) stays the same all the time regardless of what you do or don’t do.

2. You are doing them to feel “good”. This is not the point of doing affirmations. We don’t use affirmations to feel certain ways. People say they don’t work because sometimes they don’t “feel better” after saying them. Affirming yourself has nothing to do with how you feel in any given moment. Your thoughts and your feelings are two different things and this is a great time to remind yourself of that.

3. You’re not doing them enough. It’s amazing how often throughout a given day we’re given reminders about what’s “wrong” with us. We need to counter that by doing affirmations daily!

Here’s Your Challenge For The Week:

Step 1: Do it first thing in the morning in front of the mirror or when you go to bed

Step 2: Allow yourself to have whatever thoughts and feelings come up for you. Don’t judge them.

Step 3: This is about changing your starting place so go easy on yourself.

Step 4: When you’re about to give up and stop is right when you’re going to have your breakthrough, so keep going.

For much more, listen to the entire podcast on iTunes and if you feel so compelled I would be forever grateful if you left a written review there as well!

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Ep. 1: First Podcast and The Practice of Walking With Fear

Welcome to our very first podcast for I Simply Am! I’ve thought long and hard about adding a podcast to the blog. Podcasts are another great way to consume content. Blog posts are great but they require you to be in front of your computer or tablet/iphone with all of your attention on the article for a period of time. Since podcasts are audible you’ll be able to listen to a show on your phone or tablet device while you’re out jogging, driving, or even gardening! Before I move any further I want to explain what a podcast is for those of you who are unfamiliar. Everyone else skip ahead just a bit…

What is a Podcast?

Essentially it’s a digital media file that allows you to listen and/or watch content on your mp3 player, smartphone, iPod, or iPad. The key distinction, however, between a single audio or video file and a podcast is that you can subscribe to a podcast. What does this mean for you? Once a podcast is available (this one should be in the next week or two) in iTunes you can click on a subscribe link and automatically get every episode published.

So what’s in this first episode of The I Simply Am Podcast?

I go over an introduction to the show and let you know about some logistics of the show:

  • The shows are for those looking to answer the question, “Who am I?” and are designed to give you real life tools you can use to live the fullest expression of who you are!
  • The shows will be published once a week on Monday’s (on this blog and soon on iTunes).
  • A unique quality of the show is that I’ll leave you with an exercise or tool you can apply to your own life, every week!
  • The shows will run about 30 minutes in length (unless I’m doing an interview).
  • All show notes will be here on the blog.

Today’s Topic: The Practice of Walking With Fear

In this episode a share a story of a recent experience I had at a weekend Retreat in the California Mountains. I share with you a personal fear of mine and walk you through exactly what happened to me. It could involve being eaten by a wild Mountain Lion so you’ll have to listen to the show to find out!

This Week’s Exercise

Each week I’ll be giving you a step-by-step exercise that you can try on in your own life. Each one will be designed to not only challenge you but to help you make a tangible and positive difference in your life. It’s one thing to talk about love, self awareness, spirituality, and authentic living. It’s a completely different thing to learn new tools and use them so you can see real changes in your life. The following is a 4-step process to practice walking with fear. Listen to the podcast (above) for a more comprehensive overview and the background on these steps.

1. Acknowledge that you are feeling fear but Do Not judge the fear.

2. Accept the fear you are feeling.

3. Allow yourself to have a feeling (fear) and make a choice to respond based on something else.

4.  Grab the hand of your inner child and take the first step.

Once you listen to the show and try out this exercise I want to hear from you! Reach out to me on Facebook or leave a comment on the blog!

Join us next week when we release Episode 2: 3 Reasons Why Affirmations Don’t Work (tip: there’s a twist on this one!).

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh