Do you ever have things repeat themselves over weeks and months, as though someone is laying down a road map for you as to which direction you should be heading? You might read an article on the news, then a blog post, have a conversation with a friend, see a scene in a movie, even a dream, and they all have the same message, the same content essentially?
This happens to me a lot, it's a kind of bizarre deja vu I experience often and have come to embrace as a way for the universe to communicate with me, or maybe my way of communicating to the universe?!
Maybe we see an image, or project one, of how we want things to be, and then, like a mirror, the world reflects those feelings, wants, and wishes back upon us. It's an interesting thought, albeit it full of fuzzy logic, which after all, is my favorite kind of logic.
For quite some time I've been ready for change. Change in a personal way with my weight, health, etc. and change in external ways such as my home, my work, etc. And at the core of that change is a re-prioritizing of what is meaningful and important to me.
Like with so many things, the universe seems to be affirming this for me. And if you prefer to think of those affirmations in a more religious manner, then hey, go for it, all I ask is that you listen, don't brush aside those little signs and tiny nudges, they are telling you something you need to know. Pay attention!
Last October, our daughter was having dinner with us and mentioned a video she had watched on TED. If you're unfamiliar with TED talks, I highly recommend checking them out. They are short videos on a variety of topics, and some will resonate with you and cause you to do a little more digging on a subject.
Such was the case with the video I've linked below, please watch the entire video. For me, it was like the doctor was talking directly to me, with an understanding that has been lacking for years with most health professionals I have seen. I had been doing everything right, I was eating in an incredibly healthy way, but I still didn't feel better or lose the weight I had gained when I was so stressed with the illnesses and subsequent deaths of both of my parents over the past 10 years. After watching the video, and crying along with the physician, I began digging for more answers based on what the doctor in the video had to say, and lo and behold I found that what I thought was healthy eating...ie. all organic, grass fed, free range, etc. and exercising in more traditional ways, was not the perfect set up for me.
I had to, in essence, pack up my previous preconceptions and lock them away in search of what would work for me...not for everyone. Which we all know, there is no everyone, what works for me won't necessarily work for you.
The organic fruits and veggies were great, but I needed to be very selective in which fruits and veggies I ate...no more sweet potatoes, or apples, no more high carb anything in reality. And I needed to up my fat intake...yup you heard me...up my FAT intake to lose fat! (But by eating the right kinds of fat) I also needed to eliminate sugars, pasta and anything carb-laden. This one was easy for me as we rarely ate sugary anything, but I did consume sugar in hidden ways, such as salad dressings, tomato sauces, and even the smallest amount is critical for someone like me.
I have to also say that my health at the beginning of this was not like that of your average bear. Over the years, I have suffered with hypothyroidism, PCOS, insulin resistance, and adrenal fatigue, while I was able to manage these fairly successfully, I was still climbing up from a far deeper pit than most, which means the steps I needed to take were more extreme than others might need. Because I haven't had a soda or any sugary drink in 3 years, the only carbs I was eating came in the form of gluten-free breads and pasta for the most part, so for me, the changes were relatively small, but have had huge consequences of a positive kind so far.
I'm not Paleo, I'm not on Atkins, I'm just eating in a way that works for me. And I'm also exercising in a way that seems to work for me as well. I have stopped doing major cardio which never seemed to budge the scale at all. And, I've given up on the whole concept of calories in vs. calories out, which research is finding only works for about 1/3 of the population. God bless those of you who can limit your intake and run a few extra miles...I am not your people! And I'm not saying that there isn't a certain percentage of the population who does overeat and who is sedentary, but for many people this isn't true, yet they struggle with their health and weight.
I now do eccentric only exercises and a type of yoga that focuses on the large muscle groups in your body and not on large numbers of reps or time put in. All of this flies in the face of conventional wisdom (well, what has been conventional) and everything I have known my whole life. I was a college level athlete after all, and exercise was my go to for many years, so it has been challenging to scale back on exercising, but the results have told me that this is my new normal. I'm also very aware of my heart rate during exercise so that I don't go over my metabolic threshold.