EP 008 – Losing “Why” and Wanting To Abandon Ship

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The thrill and excitement of starting a new health program has slowly faded away and Lana is struggling to hold on to why she started. Lots of uncomfortable feelings are surfacing and Lana is wondering what to do with them! Go see a therapist? Drink a beer? Eat whatever she wants? The struggle is real this episode!

“My Friend Fear” by Meera Lee Patel http://a.co/3FrpnhU

“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert http://a.co/4tn50wZ

 

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EP 007 – RESOLUTIONS, STOPPING TIME, LEARNING TO STRETCH AND PANIC ATTACKS

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Thankfully the holiday season is over and its resolution season! How many of us make resolutions and then quickly drop them a couple days later? Maybe the problem isn’t making the resolution, but the type of resolution we are making! Join Lana as she talks about her resolutions, creating a life garden she can sustain, why stretching is more desirable than seeking, and how perfectionism is sabotaging her health efforts.

The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai – http://a.co/gs54LqQ

Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel – http://a.co/9fPJXHh 

Stretch by Scott Sonenshein – http://a.co/9R3A7Pd

 

EP 006 – Making Peace: Body Positivity, Oprah & Weight Watchers

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Post LapBand removal and Lana is feeling GOOD! While taking a surgical time-out, Lana discovers an article on Body Positivity, Oprah and Weight Watchers that brings peace to some inner turmoil and wanting to be the perfect human.

Also, do you feel alone with your struggle to love yourself, appreciate the body you have but know you need to make changes to live a healthier life? You’re not alone! Tune in to find out more!

Comments or questions? Message Lana at nourishingfitness1111@gmail.com

“Losing It in the Anti-Dieting Age” Taffy Brodesser-Akner https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/magazine/weight-watchers-oprah-losing-it-in-the-anti-dieting-age.html

“Beautiful Bodies” Kimberly Rae Miller https://a.co/6STwP63

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Where is the Joy?

It’s morning. I get up, grab coffee, read something inspirational, then head to the shower to get the day going. My routine is pretty… well.. routine. Prior to getting into the shower, I step on the scale for my daily weigh in. I’d like to say I’m super cool, calm, and collected, and that I’m aware one’s body fluctuates and to expect the scale to go up and down, but I’m not. I’d like to think I am, and if a friend was telling me she stepped on the scale daily and was up a pound or two, I’d brush it of saying, “you know your body does what it wants to do and going up a couple pounds is normal!”.

Lately the scale hasn’t shown much of anything. It’ll go up .4 pounds and then down .4 pounds, and then up .4 pounds and then..well you get the picture. I’ve been trying to be calm about this whole situation, and act like I’m not frustrated. But I am, and its affecting other areas of my life.

An easy mindset for me to get into is the When/Then mindset. When I lose the weight, then I can enjoy my life. When its Friday, then I can relax. When my husband finds that sweet job in Hawaii, then life will be complete. I keep thinking that once a certain goal falls into place that my life will be dramatically changed for the better.

But isn’t this a crappy way to live? You only live for the victories, the Fridays or the weight loss? What about all the moments in between? By only allowing ourselves (because unfortunately… as much as I don’t want to think so… its me who isn’t allowing) ourselves to enjoy a small sliver of our lives, we are missing out on so much.

I’m not saying throw your entire progress, plan or goal in the trash, but maybe find the joy in life right now. Are you only enjoying a small piece of your life? Are you holding back until you reach your goal? Why are you holding back? Is life only work living if you fulfill X, Y, and/or Z?

So much of this journey towards health has been about undoing what I thought it was supposed to look like, and calling myself out on thought process that really limit me. Whenever I get into this “I gotta steamroll through” mindset, its a red flag that I’m missing out on joy. Sometimes I think joy can get confused with comfort. You can be joyful and in an uncomfortable situation at the same time. I find myself seeking comfort A LOT, but comfort doesn’t always equate to joy, which sucks because I sure do love being comfortable.

What do you think? How do continue to connect with life and finding the joy in the everyday moments? Do you get caught up in When/Then thinking? How do you get out of that thought process?

Thanks for reading,

Lana

EP 005 – Breaking Barriers, How Perfection Kills Progress and Is Weight Watchers a Diet or Lifestyle?

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Unexpected breakthroughs happened in unexpected places! Join Lana as she discusses how yoga training changed her perspective on health and wellness.

Many of us strive for ideal situations, ideal careers, ideal families… and even ideal bodies. Perfectionism isn’t our friend. Tune in to hear how perfectionism may be hampering your health and obtaining your goals.

Also, do you think Weight Watchers is a diet or a lifestyle? Is there a difference? Does it matter if its a diet? Why is this such a heated topic in the WW community?

Comments or questions? Message Lana at nourishingfitness1111@gmail.com

​Learn more about Y12SR HERE: http://y12sr.com/

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Is Letting Go Good For Your Health?

I’m lying down gritting my teeth as the bariatric surgeon attempts to find my LapBand port with his needle. I’ve come into the good doc’s office because I need my band filled to increase the restriction around my stomach therefore limiting what I can eat. He isn’t necessarily having difficulty finding the port, it’s more like he is having a hard time getting the needle in the correct position to inject the fluid. After the fourth attempt I wince in pain, he looks up and is visibly frustrated, “well if you weren’t so fat I wouldn’t have any trouble with this!”

Wait… hold on there cowboy. Wasn’t I approved for LapBand surgery BECAUSE I was fat??? If I was thin, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t of had weight loss surgery…. Right?  That’s kind of his specialty right???  Operating on, and have patients, who are… you know… fat???

He never does find the correct position, and ends up poking a hole in the tubing connecting the port to the bad; therefore, creating a LapBand flat tire. All the fluid eventually leaks out of my band and I have zero restriction. I can tell this has happened by the second day, and I am PISSED.

When I first came home from the appointment with that bariatric surgeon, I felt really ashamed. I was ashamed I was fat. Ashamed I wasn’t able to control my weight and be in a “normal” BMI. Ashamed of who I was as a human. Why was being normal so difficult for me? I wallowed in my pain through the night, and the next morning I could tell something was wrong with my band. I tried eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, and it went down easily. That’s not good. Normally, in the mornings (if you have a LapBand), you have the most restriction and liquid is the only thing that will go down. At that point I knew my band was broken, and I went from shame to red hot anger. I was angry I had let the doctor talk to me that way. I was angry I had felt ashamed. I was angry I had let the doctor initially talk me into LapBand surgery. I was angry I had not had the success that I saw many others have with the LapBand. I was angry that I was angry about this!

When my husband came home from work, I immediately informed him my band was broken and the world should burn. He seemed to take this all in stride and responded with, “babe, I think you gotta let this anger go. It’s hard on your health.” To which I responded with, “how the $%&* am I supposed to do that?!?!?!”

And that, right there, is my issue with “letting go”. I really like the idea of letting go, visually it looks like your holding a balloon and you just let go of it. The balloon gently drifts into the atmosphere and away from you. Wouldn’t it be nice if all our messy emotions would just do that… slowly drift away from us by simply thinking “let go”? It’s a nice concept, but that doesn’t really work for me.  I think my letting go balloons are actually pieces of concrete chained to my ankle.  Not real sure how to let concrete float all gentle like in the air… but I digress.

Letting go implies that whatever it is you’re holding onto or obsessing about is bad, and you need to eliminate that from your life. That very thought though, that thought of needing to eliminate the bad parts of us, creates more tension and feeds whatever it is that we consider bad.

Our lives are dynamic and filled with good, bad, and a range of moments and emotions. Sometimes the moments we consider bad, or the emotions we consider bad, end up being gateways to a more compassionate, loving life. I’m not saying I want to live a life of constant suffering to be a more compassionate human, but maybe these “bad” things we are going through and feeling have a bigger story to tell later on down the road.

So what does letting it be look like? Letting it be can be defined as loosening our grip. What if instead of judging myself for being angry I let the anger be and breathed through it. I don’t deny its existence, shame its existence, or numb its existence through food or drink. I try not to judge myself for being angry, but rather realize its a normal part of being human.

But why do this? Why take the time and energy to relax our body and breathe through difficult emotions? Wouldn’t it just be easier to eat through it, or use whatever coping mechanism of choice? Taking time to breathe through all these crappy emotions takes time and patience… and I would rather use that time for something much more fun and exciting. Except, its draining to live a life where we are constantly responding to emotional triggers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to continue to compromise my health and well being for repressed emotional crap.

My New Year’s Resolution was to enjoy the moment more. I want to be present in life, not repressing and attempting to let go! By opening myself up to feeling my emotions, whatever they are, then I also open myself up to really feeling joy. I don’t think I’ve felt joy in a long time, but I also haven’t allowed myself to really feel ANY emotions and let them be.

What do you think? Do you think there is a difference between letting go and letting be? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Lana

Nourishing Fitness Podcast

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Hello and welcome to Nourishing Fitness! I’m a regular everyday mom (closer to middle-age mom), retired Military Spouse, homeschooling parent, Herbalist, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, and Yoga Instructor.

I’ve spent most of my life believing I was broken and trying to “fix” myself. After trying every diet, non-diet, fitness trend & more, I woke up one day and decided to figure out what wellness looks like for me. My journey may not be trendy or popular, but it is an honest look at what it means for me to live a healthy life.

If you too are at a place where you’re tired of listening to everyone outside of you, and you’re on a journey to figure out your version of health… you’re in the right place.

Want to share your story? Have a question? Want to connect? Send me an e-mail at nourishingfitness1111@gmail.com

What Does Weight Have to do With It?

Dear Ms Chödrön,

I love you but you are wrong, or maybe you mean nothing ever goes away, except our weight “issues”, until it teaches us what we need to know. Clearly you need to fix this.

Hugs and kisses,

Lana

I try to take quiet time each day to reflect on my $%&*, and this wasn’t because I really wanted to. This quiet time came about because I was starting to lose my mind once I took away my main coping mechanism… food. Each morning I get up, get my coffee, and take a moment to read something that encourages me to self-reflect and deal with my internal drama.

Today’s quote by Pema Chödrön pushes buttons instead of soothing my soul. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my buttons pushed before my second cup of coffee. What is Pema implying by saying nothing ever goes away until we learn from it? What could my struggles with weight and body peace possibly be teaching me? All I want is to fit into society and ultimately an airplane seat! I’m a quick learner Pema, or at least not someone who takes 30 some years to learn a stupid lesson!!

Or maybe it does…

I am a sensitive soul. I’d love to be a thick skinned, take no #$%^ human, but unfortunately I’m not. Growing up everything made me cry. I was bullied at school (and not to the extent that I see kids bullied now, omg social media makes it 1,000 worse), and I was bullied because I was fat (isn’t that original). Instead of standing up to these girls and telling their frizzy, bad permed faces to go away… I cowered and begged my mom to fix me.

My family, and extended family, didn’t really know how to deal with my over dramatic behavior, and would often try to soothe me by saying “let it go” or “pray about it” or “give it to God”. My mom also took me to see a dietitian to help me lose weight and “fix” me. Keep in mind, this was the late 80’s and I believe heroin chic was the “thing”. No one over a size 12 would be caught dead in a bikini. Studies came out that said kids would rather lose an arm or a leg than be fat. Fat shaming was celebrated and normalized during this time.

Once I was put on my first medically supervised diet at age 10, this seemed to seal my weight issue fate. It’s almost like I took on my weight as my big comfy identity. My weight was who I am, a chubby female who will forever value herself based on the number on the scale.

But what is this really about?

Looking back, I realize now how much easier it was, and still is, to focus on my weight when my life feels out of control, when my feelings feel out of control. My weight is really a symptom of things going on beneath the surface. I had believed that if my weight was under control then my life would be really really good! But this is definitely not true. Every time I had gotten close to a weight I deemed appropriate, the goal weight all of a sudden didn’t seem low enough, and a LOT of feelings were coming to the surface that I didn’t want to deal with. It was at this point that I would start to regain the weight.

When it really comes down to it, my struggles with weight are really about worthiness, and being ok with my sensitive soul. I am not comfortable expressing certain emotions. I would be humiliated if I started crying, or feel intense happiness, in public. To me that shows vulnerability and someone would be able to hurt me in that vulnerable state. I would much rather be armored up, feel less and focus on weight loss then actually allow someone to possibly hurt me.

Some where along the line, I learned that I was bad because I was fat and sensitive and I BELIEVED that story. I took that belief and made it my life long story (obviously I’m not afraid of commitment) and my excuse to not experience life. I don’t have to feel anger, rage, deep sadness, or other negative emotions if I’m preoccupied with my weight. I don’t run the risk of someone telling me to quit being so sensitive or to simply let something go if I’m exercising two hours a day and measuring every drop of food that enters my mouth.

Unfortunately Ms Chödrön, I do think you are on to something because I do believe that my weight will be more stable-ish once I come to peace with my whole being… with the positive and negative emotions… with what I see as shortcomings, imperfections, and disasters. By embracing the mess that I am, this opens up a more nurturing, less restrictive, relationship with my body. Food and exercise become about nourishment, not punishment. Life throws me a curve ball (which it will because life is about change not familiarity) and instead of eating my way through it, I may actually feel my way through it. So yes *sigh* I do grudgingly agree…. My weight struggles may be trying to teach me something.

What do you think? Do you feel like your struggles, or even weight struggles, are here to teach you something? Is there a gift in the struggle?

Thanks for reading,

Lana

How Intention Shapes Our Health Journey

When you decided to start living a healthier life, were you aware of your intentions behind this? Have your intentions changed as you’ve moved through your health journey?

I joined Weight Watchers in January of 2017 out of desperation. My panic attacks were ruling my life more than I wanted to admit, and I knew addressing my health would help alleviate some of the panic. My body had felt out of control. Each year that went by I was gaining more and more weight, and I kept hoping, at some point, my body would stop gaining and maintain a certain weight. After five years on continual gaining, I was very afraid I would not find this plateau point of my weight. This fear of continual weight gain seemed to fuel my panic attacks, and I worried constantly that I was going to get cancer, have a stroke, die of a heart attack, or get diabetes. My cycle went like this: worry and panic over health – eat to numb worry and panic – feel numb for .2 seconds – feel worry and panic again over health – eat to numb worry and panic… you get the idea. This cycle was getting worse and worse as the number on the scale went up and up.

Finally in January of 2017, I decided to face my fears head on and address my health. I had considered lots of different ways to approach my health, but one of my main concerns was having a support group. I needed physical connection and a physical support group. Nothing like this existed at my doctor’s office, so Weight Watchers seemed like the next best option.

When I joined the big WW, what I didn’t realize was the energy behind my intention of joining. Yes, 95% of the reason I had joined was because I was hoping for some relief from the exhausting panic attacks, but 5% of the reason was to be a certain weight within a certain time frame. I didn’t realize this 5% was there until I neither gained nor lost when I stepped on the scale in mid April of 2017. Up until that point, I had convinced myself it was only about getting healthy and relief from my panic attacks. When the scale said the same exact number as it did the week before, I was pissed, which surprised me because I thought I hadn’t made it about the number on the scale.

After that meeting, I dropped out of the program. Why should I pay someone to help me lose weight when I’m not losing weight (hmmmm….. wait didn’t I say this wasn’t solely about the weight?

In Oprah’s book, The Wisdom of Sundays, she devotes a whole section to the word Intention. Oprah says, “Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself, what is my truest intention?” Looking back, I believed I knew what my intention was in joining Weight Watchers in January of 2017, but I wasn’t honest with myself. I joined hoping for relief, but I didn’t acknowledge that part of me craved weight loss, and weight loss in an orderly fashion. I expected to lose about 10 pounds a month, and reach my goal weight by the end of 2017. I expected my anxiety to disappear as the weight came off. I had expected to be running half-marathons by Christmas 2017.

When I dropped out of the program in April, I kept some of my new behaviors, but not all, and the weight slowly started to creep back up. During this time I started to tease out what I really wanted for myself concerning my health. How did weight play into my overall health? What were my intentions for my health?

In late September of 2017, I rejoined Weight Watchers, but this time, I felt more clear about what I wanted and the energy behind my intentions. Yes, being on the program did alleviate some of the panic. Yes, I did want to lose weight; however, I was going to let my body have a much bigger say in how this happened. I was aware that I did have expectations, but those would have to come and go. This time my intentions were for a  nourishing health journey, not a rigid and forceful journey where I starved my body to make it do what I wanted. I don’t have a goal this time around. My intention is to nourish my body, let go and trust the Weight Watchers program, and take time each day to check in and see if I’m living in integrity.

When you joined Weight Watchers, or started your health journey, what were your intentions? Did you have expectations to be at a certain weight by a certain date? How does that truly feel to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Lana

Bad Doughnuts: How Labeling Food Can Affect Our Metabolism

“I can’t believe I just ate that piece of cake. Why can’t I stick to my food plan? I’m so weak.”

“Sugar is the devil!”

“Keep that naughty doughnut away from me!”

For many of us, food can be a very complicated topic and we have a complicated relationship with it. We need food to survive, yet we can easily adversely affect our health with the same substance meant to keep our body functioning. As someone who has been on diets for more that 30+ years, I’ve thought a lot about food, how it tastes, smells, how it feels in my belly, and how I can let it totally ruin my day.

I don’t believe in moralizing food. Food isn’t good or bad. We label food good or bad. I know that if I eat a candy bar for breakfast I feel vastly different than if I eat scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. The excess sugar in the candy bar also affects my body in ways that don’t feel good to me and make my body work harder to counter the affects of a shot of sugar. I don’t think this makes the candy bar bad, I think it makes the candy bar a bad choice for breakfast.

By moralizing food, we give food waaaayyyyy too much power, and also seem to associate that bad food with ourselves… for example “I just ate a candy bar, I’m a horrible person because I can’t stick to my food plan.” News flash, eating something won’t instantly erase all the goodness in your heart to now being a bad human! But when you talk like that… when you say, “I’m a horrible person for eating…” your being is listening and reacting to that message. So instead of enjoying a piece of cake, you have labeled that piece of cake “bad” and are stressed about eating it. Your body went from a state of calm to now raised cortisol levels, elevated heart rate, and blood pressure. The effects last long after the cake has been digested. Many of us who eat something that is “bad” continue a little bit longer on our “bad choice” and think, “well, I blew it so I might as well eat what I want,” and feel guilty until we can reign ourselves back in.

It’s easy to think that how we label food doesn’t matter, that our body digests it and our mind has no bearing on how its digested. I’m not so sure. Consider the milkshake experiment*. Two groups of people were given the same exact milkshake. One group was told the milkshake was low calorie milkshake. The other group was told it was a real milkshake. After consuming the milkshake, both groups were assessed to see where their ghrelin hormone was.

Ghrelin is a “hunger hormone” that is secreted in gut. This hormone also affects our metabolism. As our ghrelin level rises we receive signals that we are hungry, and if we don’t find the food we are seeking, it will slow our metabolism. For instance, you are getting hungry, your ghrelin hormone is rising, you eat a large pizza and feel satisfied. Your ghrelin levels will drop and signal your body to rev up your metabolism as to burn all the calories just consumed. However, if you ate a small salad instead of pizza, your ghrelin levels wouldn’t drop as much and the signal to rev the metabolism won’t be as much.

Interestingly, scientists believed that ghrelin only responded to what it received in the stomach. The milkshake experiment throws a wrench in that theory. The indulgent milkshake group’s ghrelin levels dropped almost three times as much as the group that believed they were drinking the low calorie milkshake.

The bottom line is, how we perceive and label food does have an effect on how our bodies process it. What if, instead of labeling a piece of cake “bad”, we decided to eat one slice of it. Let’s even say we have maxed out our food budget that day but we really want that slice of cake. We decide that the cake is just cake, we take one slice, enjoy it, feel satisfied, and move on with our life. By taking away the cake’s “power” of being bad, we don’t feel guilty eating one slice and therefore don’t consider the day blown. We log the cake, and move on. Who knows, maybe these once-in-a-while indulgences contribute to keeping our metabolism reved. The more science uncovers the mind-body connection the more puzzle pieces come together on how our body works.

Do you label foods good or bad?  Do you think labeling food affects how your body processes it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Lana

* Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/04/14/299179468/mind-over-milkshake-how-your-thoughts-fool-your-stomach