Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 4 of 13: Preparing – home routines

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To achieve almost 300 pounds over 30 years, I have to admit, my home life evolved around convenience!  It had too!  I was too tired most the time to do anything more than deal with the bare-essentials of living.  While I somehow managed to keep a (what some say – neurotically) clean home, I failed miserably at keeping myself clean – internally that is.  (I’ll explain more about internal cleansing in a future post – hang on!  We’ll get there!)

Time to dive into a before / after review of my home life as it relates to my desire to gain, then maintain a healthy body, mind and soul!  I’ll define my “before” period as a time of extreme expense in money, health, relationships and respect.  My “after” period is how I live NOW based on almost seven years of enjoying better health than most of my life!

trustBefore / money:  cost of pre-packaged foods didn’t phase me. I shopped the frozen-foods isle with glee! My time was more valuable than money. I shopped with a ‘three-step’ food rule for decades.  Step one:  buy it.  Step two:  open it.  Step three:  eat it.  (I guess you’d add one step more, “Step four:  throw away lots of packaging.)  What I didn’t know at the time was how nutritionally bankrupt and toxic this food really is!  I was always hungry, so no wonder I bought and ate so much of it.  In the long run, it bankrupted my health to such a degree I faced Type 2 Diabetes.

Before / health: medicate stress with food.  That was my home motto!  If life sucked, then it’s time to suck down something yummy, decadent and momentarily fulfilling. You never know when death decides to knock on the door.  Better to have another delightful treat before that knock!  Right?  (What I didn’t want to face was how I sent out an invite for that knock with every spoonful of midnight delight I enjoyed for years!)

Before / relationships:  my previous post (02/15) talked about how my professional relationships revolved around eating and drinking.  This applied to all my relationships actually.  To say I spent more than some small countries gross national revenues on dining out is NO JOKE!  Yes, it costs me lots of money.  I thought I had to spend that type of money to create and maintain the types of relationships I needed to live.  Nasty cycle to say the least! I’m glad that cycle is O.V.E.R! I’ve no doubts the amount of dining out (most often – at buffets) contributed significantly to my waist line.  It certainly laid waste my finances!

Before / respect:  As my girth grew, my mirth about my girth grew.  I laughed at anyone who expressed any concern about my health. My standard response to anyone wanting me to get more healthy was, “I’m happy, thanks.  Which do you want more for me, happiness or health?”  Talk about arrogance!  WOW!  Looking back, I not only had little respect for others, but even less for those who cared for me.  I guess it’s true we tend to hurt most the ones we love most.

Now, time to look at my home life – today . . .

Money:  I have to confess.  I still enjoy the convenience of pre-packaged food. While I do have two more steps in my food-rule, they take less than a minute each! What’s changed is what I consume.  I eat Isagenix more often than not. Yes, it’s pre-packed.  Yes, the packaging is recyclable. Now, I’m no longer hungry all the time. My meals are so packed with nutrition it feeds my body at deeper levels. Excessive snacking / eating is completely unnecessary. My program also helps me maintain a healthy life in more ways than I have time to share in this post.  Next, I’ve cut my grocery budget in half!  My cost per meal, to include taxes, shipping along with a wide variety of add-ons (supplements, greens, fruits, etc.) is less than $5.00 a meal.  I don’t need to drive to a store to shop. I order online. My order is delivered in less than three days with standard ground shipping costs.  I save on gas, utilities, and waste.  (More often than not, if I was adventurous enough to purchase produce in my “before” stage, that produce often turned to science projects well before I ate it!  Tossing out spoiled food is the same as tossing money into the garbage can.  Go throw a $5.00 bill in the street and walk away the next time you throw out spoiled food!)

Health:  I often chuckle when folks look at my before/after pic.  When I ask people to guess my age when I show them my picture featuring me at 33 years old, they often guess 50’s and 60’s.  I enjoy more naturally created energy now than I had in my 20’s.  I receive glowing compliments on my skin whenever I meet a cosmetologist, esthetician or similar skin care professional. These professionals don’t believe me when I tell them I ‘don’t use product’ on my skin.  They don’t believe how a daily shake for breakfast actually improves my largest body organ, my skin.  I just smile and change the topic.

changeRelationships:  if I could monetize how I feel about my current circle of family, friends, colleagues, students and clients, I’d be a multi-trazillionaire hands-down!  Over the past few years, not only have I dissolved over 100 pounds, physically, I think I’ve dissolved 100 TONS emotionally by allowing myself to stop judging myself and others on all sorts of ways.  No matter who you are, you’re perfect in my eyes.  No need to fix or change anyone.  Allowing folks to be who they are with no need to judge or fix them allows me to respect them more and I can express in words.

Respect:  as my pounds dissolved, I discovered an entire new world of respect for myself.  As each year passes with continued good health, if I’m ever tempted to awaken old home-life habits, I realize I would not only disrespect myself, but everyone I hold near and dear as well.  It’s much easier to bypass the frozen-foods section when I tap into the love, care and happiness I savor by respecting my health, each and every day.

Yes, my home life has changed considerably over the past decade. What ever time savings I thought I earned by eating all that prepackaged food was later spent at a gym.  My desire to daily practice the notion that everyone is perfect, inspires me to admire people who they are and what they wish to become.  Before, I focused on who they HAVE BEEN or what they haven’t accomplished.  Over all, my home life changed from reminiscing about the past or daydreaming about the future t.  (Now, where have you heard THAT before!) Many of the shows you’ll find here on Create Your Health inspires a ‘real-time’ appreciation for who you are right now!  Be sure to click around this site to uncover ways to spend money wisely, improve your health, daily, foster and savor healthy relationships with a new level of respect unlike you’ve ever dreamed of!


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 3 of 13: Preparing – professional relationships.

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Do you work in an office of some type?  If you’re self-employed – this applies to you too!  How about all you net-workers out there?  Are you constantly going to social events where you stuff your face with those yummy appetizers not paying attention to the little extra inch that happens a few days later?

Over my professional career, I ballooned to almost 300 pounds, one cocktail party, one networking event at a time.  Events with a buffet always got my RSVP!  (Hey! Food at that time always got my attention!)  While at the event with a buffet, I’d make sure “I got my money’s worth” even if I didn’t pay a dime to attend!)  Buffets are a GREAT social networking tool.  I’d often ask, “Hey- can I get you something” as I warmed-up a potential new client relationship.  I often found myself doing business with those who say, “Ya!  Bring me . . .” and learned to not bother with folks who said “No, thanks!  I’m good!”  (Can we say judgmental here?” LOL)

soWhen the time came that I realized I needed to dramatically change my eating and drinking habits, I new I was in for a difficult time.  Why?  Just about every client I had enjoyed eating and drinking – often to excess.  This was our way of bonding.  I feared loosing clients if I rocked the boat.  It wasn’t until I faced what could have been a life-long love affair with Diabetes, did I wake-up to realize I may need to risk it all!  Now!

So, to help foster in a new way of socializing, I asked my normal drinking and eating clients if they’d mind doing something a little different in a few months.  I told them I’m making changes in my life then, and because I value their friendship, I’d like their help.

WOW!  That really boosted our connection!  Most folks were flattered that I asked them to “come along for the ride.”  When the time came to make adjustments, we first phased out all alcohol.  We then moved to eating at places known to be more healthy.  Finally, we decided to replace eating and drinking meetings with walking and talking activities (weather permitting of course!)  What a DELIGHTFUL change that was!  Our connections grew even stronger!

While it may take a some creativity and persistence to accomplish similar steps in your social circles, it’s well worth the time and effort.  As I talk about in my book, “Pay Me What I’m Worth” in chapter five, social networking is an art form.  Do it well, and your life becomes magical.  Do it poorly, and life rapidly becomes filled with more drama than you’d ever wish for.  For me, drama often invites the desire to medicate with food.   I steer clear of such drama these days.

Now, here’s a challenge for you!  At the office or while out socializing / networking, keep a refillable water bottle nearby or in your hand!  Why?  Well, we’ll talk about that in more detail in a future post.  For now, I invite you to experience the magic of drinking enough purified water on a regular basis!  It works in many ways!


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 12 of 13: Re-imaging from family / friends.

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You would imagine most family and friends would be THRILLED at seeing me retire over 100 pounds, right?  Well, for the most part, this is true.  One friend came up with a cute little goodbye … “It’s GREAT to see LESS of your MORE often!”  Have to admit, that took a couple run-throughs to catch what he meant. Too fun!

Part and parcel of changing my image from the inside out (see post below) was helping folks I know (who are still morbidly obese) NOT feel threatened by my new lean and healthy body.  Many have known the FAT me for 95% of the time we’ve known each other.  These folks have watched many other drop and gain a few times.  They anticipated that would happen to me.  Since it hasn’t, at first, it seemed threatening to them.  How?  from their comments, like, “You look TOO thin.”  Or, “Are you really okay?  You seem to look a bit gaunt.”  As you might guess, these folks really struggled with the change they witnessed in front of their eyes!

laughterI happened to ask a few folks I had just started getting to know (when I reached my goal back in 2005), “do I look too thin?  Do I appear ‘gaunt’ to you?”  All of them said, resoundingly – NO- you look great!  From those responses, the next time I heard a “you’re too thin” from one of my long-term obese relationships, I kindly, gently asked, “does my being thin bother you.”  Of course they laughed at the notion that my new healthy weight bothered them.  Months later, as our connections grew more strained, I offered them a graceful way to maintain a relationship.

With as open of a heart as I know how to make it, I look into their eyes (or asked them to listen closely to my words as we spoke on the phone) and said, “I love YOU for who YOU are, no matter your size, no matter your attitude about me.  I hope you’ll do the same for me.”  Of course, everyone always says, “OF COURSE I’ll love you for who you are.”  Now, what they seem to miss, is, ‘what kind of love’ are they willing to share. Conditional love, love that requires me to look or be a certain way, is the kind of love I shy away from these days.  Conditional love played a large role in how I got into my morbidly obese condition.  As I gained a more healthy sense of self, I watched other’s imagine, almost EXPECT me to ‘go back to my old self.”

Since 2006, I’ve stepped-up my boundary settings skills with folks.  I make it clear from the beginning that I’m on a path to live to at least a robust, lively, fully engaged 150.  That path include maintaining the best physical health I’m comfortable with.  (I have to admit, I need to get back to more walking these days.  I’ve gotten keyboard-bound with all my writing! Yes!  Yes! I Know!  I know.  Gotta step away from my keyboard more often!!)

Now, my health and wellness coaching program includes a couple KEY questions people MUST ask all those they hold near and dear BEFORE starting on my program.

helpQuestion one:  who will support your desire to gain then maintain a healthier body – for the rest of your life?

Question two:  who might be non-supportive in your quest to become more healthy in the form of teasing, less-than-kind remarks, etc.

Based on the number of people identified in the above two questions, we’ve got an excellent idea of where to start.  Until YOU have 100% support by 100% of those you hold near and dear, you may need to allow those less-than-supportive types to fade into the past. The most kind gesture I know to allow someone to be who they wish to be is to give them the space to do that!

Questions?  Need help? Call!  312-268-0000. Let’s talk.  Kindly know, as we come to our last segment of this 13 part series.  I’m here for you!  Engage us to help you sync-up that image you have on the inside with what you see on the outside.


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