Filling the Prescription for Health

One of my goals for 2014 is to work on my physical health. In the last year, I have become a couch potato! I lost one of my closest friends and spent the months prior to her death by her side filling up on comfort foods (oh, the tuna melts from the deli). Grief is a funny thing. I was overwrought, depressed. I can’t tell you how many people told me that it was “finally over for her”. It never occurred to me that “it” was just beginning for me!

As I emerge from this initial phase of grief I am aware of the disconnect between my mind and my body. I have been guilty of misuse and abuse. BUT awareness IS a powerful tool. I CAN choose to use it as a weapon, beating myself up over everything I’VE DONE “wrong”; or I CAN use IT as an opportunity to make necessary changes.

I bought my husband this awesome CD series on ancient civilizations. When I found it, I also discovered another series on Natural Healing. Merry Christmas me! I’ve made the commitment to 30 minutes of listening a day.

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Today, among other things, I was introduced to the term“Ill to the pill.” This is the simplistic term used to describe the way most of us in the Western Hemisphere have practiced medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I am the daughter of doctor, I see a great physician and get topnotch medical care. Here’s the catch: How do we go beyond treating the symptom and begin treating the cause? Is there more to my elevated cholesterol than just taking a statin?

I have spent years strictly adhering to prescriptions, never questioning a doctors orders or authority. It was the friend I lost who taught me, by example, that questioning and studying for myself can be beneficial. I am convinced that I need to start participating in my own health care. Why do I need this test?  This pill? If the “experts” say that I only need a PAP smear every other year, but my family history concerns me, why shouldn’t I push for annual PAPs? The CD series I am listening to talks about Integrative Holistic Medicine. It’s defined as looking at the patient as a whole being and making available all forms of care. What if the “prescription” of yoga and/or a vegetarian-based diet were offered as treatment for high cholesterol and blood pressure by all physicians as well as conventional meds.

I’ve talked to many clients who have voiced similar concerns. Often we feel helpless to make changes against a tide of pills and potions designed to “cure” us magically. Can swallowing a pill be the only answer?

To be continued…..

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Is Wellness Coaching For You?

I have been reading a number of posts and emails asking me what and ‘What is  Coaching?’ and specifically ‘What is Wellness Coaching?”

 Let me start with what Coaching is NOT. Coaching is NOT:

Counseling

Therapy

Medical Advocacy

Coaching is a team approach to creating wellness. Imagine me as the kind inner voice that helps to ask you the right questions, helping you to define your Wellness priorities.

 Why Wellness Coaching? As mentioned in previous posts, I have worked in the counseling field and in the weight loss field. I have struggled with weight and body image issues most of my life.  I have learned that we are more than the three digit number we see on the scale; too often we use that number as a battering ram against ourself and our success. Wellness Coaching provides me with a way to look beyond the scale, beyond the LDL and HDL and discern and achieve complete wellness based on the your individual needs.

When I work with a client, it is my goal to listen, help them prioritize their health goals and find creative and manageable ways to attain those goals. Look back at your own experiences. Have you ever undertaken a project only to feel completely snowed under? Once you divide that project into manageable, organized pieces, isn’t it easier to accomplish?

What I love about Coaching is the ability to cater to the specific client needs.  Some clients desire only 3 sessions to create a wellness program that helps them succeed. Other clients opt for more sessions. As a coach, I am the support, the shoulder, a buddy with the tool bag. I am ready to jump in with suggestions when the client is stumped. We work as a team!

Wellness Coaching takes on a lot of issues, from Menopause to Cancer, Weight Loss to Diabetes Management. All of my clients are making daily changes and adjustments. Coaches can be there to hold the proverbial hand, provide links to information and make referrals when necessary.

Keep the questions coming!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I have always been a glass half-empty/ half-full girl.

I, for instance, am the queen of deprivation.  If I feel anything is being taken from me, I become angry, defensive, and run to indulge myself. If my mother told me that I shouldn’t have dessert, I learned to sneak twice the portion behind her back.  The damage that feeling did has permeated my life.

So, the other day I was wrestling with a major decision!  I need to give up sugar. For medical and personal reasons, sugar is wreaking havoc on my body and mind. I kept focusing on what this decision would take away from me; how much I would lose. “What about wine, chocolate, desserts?”

If I give it all up won’t I just increase the longing and then rush to overindulge at the first opportunity? I really struggled.

Last night as I lay in bed, I had an astounding thought. What if I could choose to give up sugar. Rather than see it as a deprivation, see it as part of a short-term solution to a long-term problem? It suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t looking to give up sugar forever, I was looking to cleanse my body long enough for my dependence on it to diminish and, most importantly, to allow my liver and pancreas to function normally. I can control and set short-term goals that will yield the outcome I desire.

Suddenly I am in control, I’m not controlled! When I tell myself that I will cut out sugar for four months, I feel far less stressed and I don’t feel deprived.

Not rocket science, I know. Truth be told, I have probably coached and parented this very philosophy many times, but until last night I never completely saw its application in my own life.

So, here’s the deal. What changes do you need to make that you are resisting and what is the message that the resistance is sending you?

What if you really could make the glass half full instead of half empty?

“Giving up sugar for four months will provide me with a healthier body and mind. After that time I can learn to incorporate moderate sugar intake into my diet.”

rather than,

“I’m never going to allow myself sugar again! There won’t be any dessert, chocolate or wine in my life!”

The latter implies a complete lack of trust and an inability to control impulses and urges; while the former opens the door to complete ownership of your own health and mind. As I said in previous posts, that’s really what we are after, empowering ourselves rather than being overpowered.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Until next time!

Happy 2014!

As we ring in 2014, it’s time to take stock. Are you where you want to be? What’s on your bucket list? For that matter, forget bucket lists, are you challenged, satisfied and fulfilled by the life you lead? What might you change?
I am a list maker, an organizer. I don’t like resolutions, l like plans..projects! What plans are you making for yourself this year?  Need to change jobs, change locations, change the sheets?
This year I am using a trick from my English-teaching days! Remember the outline? Roman numerals, capital letters and so forth? Maybe I am dating myself. At any rate, I have outlined 3 areas that I want to pay attention to:
1. Physical Health
2. Relationships
3. Career Endeavors
Look at my list, are you overwhelmed yet, I could be? But here’s the trick; when I use the outline I can specify what steps I need to take to achieve success. BABY STEPS! Instead of stating that I want to lose weight, I choose to list the ways in which my goal can be accomplished . Once I know what areas need attention, I can choose which one to work on and develop a plan for implementation . For instance, 2013 was  a tough year and my body paid the price. When I resolve that  ” I will lose xx pounds and go to the gym every day for one hour”, I am setting myself up for failure! Rather, I break my goal of Physical Health into more manageable bites. I will replace soda with water starting jan 1 or I will reduce my soda intake as of today! You see…small manageable steps…if the above still feels unreachable, maybe you need to be even more detail-oriented.
Most important, goals are NOT punishment, they are “gifts” you bestow upon yourself.
My first act, you ask ( maybe you didn’t, but)? I am cutting back on processed sugar. I am starting with a hard look at the pantry and fridge, noting ingredients and looking for alternatives. Notice I didn’t say cutting out..not yet anyway…I have homework to do and I know that cold turkey feels like punishment…not for me!
What do you want from yourself this year! Happy 2014!