About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mindfulness and Nutrition

Now that you have been focused on training your mind to avoid negative thinking and negative behavior, lets apply that to your nutritional needs, and how you choose to feed yourself.  If we understand that we are the ones that choose every thought and every action in our lives, then we know that when we choose to eat poorly, there is no one else to blame but ourselves.

It is typical for many people who want to lose weight to feel as if they have no control over choosing to eat unhealthy, fattening foods.  Of course this is not true.  We always have control over what we eat, but many people choose to eat those unhealthy, fattening foods because they have become addicted to them.  People who eat a diet that is primarily made up of white flour, white sugar, high fat, processed foods, can actually become just like a drug addict.  Their bodies begin to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good, only when they are eating those unhealthy foods.

This is the reason why we have so many obese people in our country.  We are a nation of food addicts, and it is on the increase each year due to the amount of processed and fast foods that we consume.  A person that has created this addiction will have the same difficult time getting off of it as a heroin addict has getting off of heroin.

So how does one stop their food addiction?  Just like any kind of addict, they will need to have support, focus, discipline, and a commitment to turning their situation around.  It won't be easy, but it can be done if one wants to get healthy and lean.

Working with our mindfulness training can help.  You must remember who is in charge, what results you are looking for, and then make the right choices to get you there.  If you continue to let your unhealthy foods have power over you, your results will be the same.  Be stronger than that.  Choose to get the results that you want by being in power over that side of you that wants to give in to bad foods.  Choose to get the results you want.

It is insanity to spend your life always wanting to lose weight, but continuing to eat unhealthy food.  It simply makes no sense to getting the results you are looking for.  It is somewhat similar to wanting to be a long distance runner, but never going out to run.  Or wanting to wake up in the morning to meditate, but never doing it.  You can talk about it until the cows come home, but unless you put positive action to it, it just won't happen.

When you are in situations where bad foods tempt you, remember who is in control.  You are, not some outside entity.  No matter what has happened in your life to cause you to overeat, you can change it by taking control of your thoughts and actions.  I realize that it is not always easy, but why do we always think that if it is not easy, we can't do it.  Of course it won't be easy if you have created a food addiction, but will it be easy to continue on a path of self destruction and ill health?

We must take control over how we choose to live if we want to be healthy and happy.  Being over weight is not just about size.  In fact size is the least of it.  Being over weight is mostly about your health and the quality of your life.  It is also about the fact that eating bad foods gives you little to no nutrition.  Without the right nutrition, your body can not function properly, and can lead to many different types of disease.  Your quality of life will not be there if you are obese.

That is one of the biggest problems with over weight people, they tend to focus only on their size.  If you could be 100 pounds or more over weight and be healthy, this conversation would be mute.  However you can not be obese and be healthy.  Obese and healthy do not go together.  We need to stay focused on the real issues when it comes to our obesity epidemic.  In order to be at your best with your health you need to have a body fat that is healthy for your age.  Anything over 30% is considered obese.  I would bet that 30% is now average in our country.

Most people who battle a weight problem, are eating from some kind of emotional issue.  It is so important to try and identify what those issues are if you ever want to gain control over it.  Knowing how to eat right and exercise is not the only answer when someone is eating emotionally.  You must go to the core of your issue, face it, and understand that food is your way of dealing with your problem.  Getting counseling for these problems is a good step to take.  There are also many books on this subject if counseling is not an option.  Not dealing with the emotional reason why you are eating will never solve this issue.  You might lose weight for a period of time, but it will most likely return if you have not addressed why you are eating emotionally.

So when you are faced with making choices of what you are going to eat, make sure you stay focused on the results you are wanting.  Choose to take control over yourself and eat healthy.  Choose to stay focused on creating a lean and healthy body.  Choose to stay in power over yourself.  Choose to have the life you are wanting by doing what it takes to get there.  It is all up to you.....no one else.

Till Monday.

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