Obesity is becoming a world-wide epidemic that has affected millions of American's health. From poor urban planning to mind-manipulated marketing, millions of Americans suffer from obesity and obesity-related problems such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
After years of coaching and training obese clients, there are three key initial steps in resolving your problem. For many, obesity is an eating disorder, which roots to psychological disorders. Most people experience a trigger or a life altering situation that satisfies emotions with food. Once this occurs, many people continue to cope their emotions with food when psychologically triggered.
So what should you do about your obesity problem? The key is to admit, accept and make a plan.
Admit You Have a Problem
The first step to any form of change is to admit that you have a problem. Be honest and do not judge yourself. Look at your life timeline and analyze when the problem started and how long has it occurred.
Ask yourself these questions:
-What event triggered or when did I adopt unhealthy eating patterns?
-What events, instances or emotions trigger my unhealthy eating habits?
-What do I eat and how much?
-How do I feel after binge eating?
-What are my binge eating patterns?
Many people are in denial or do not admit that they have a problem. The more honest, open and transparent you are, the more you can overcome your problems.
"Admitting your faults isn't a weakness - it's a strength. Having your weaknesses pointed out isn't a slur on your character - it's an opportunity to improve your life."
Accept Your Past Mistakes
Acceptance is one of life's most difficult tasks. Often we look in the past, dwelling over the "coulda, woulda and shoulda's." The reality is that there is nothing we can do to turn back time and change our behavior, but we can make peace with our mistakes. This helps us plan for a better future. Accepting the past is not easy and people heal in various different ways.
See the past for what it is and embrace the future. Be realistic that the future will have ups and downs, but with the right mindset anyone can overcome obstacles. I suggest walking in nature to experience the "power of now."
“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it. This will miraculously change your whole life.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Make a Plan
Those who desire change will need to make a plan. Most cannot do it alone. I recommend consulting a professional for help - a psychologist, health coach, personal trainer - anyone who you feel is right in that moment. The professional that enters your life may not be the last. You may find that your initial therapist or coach may not be the right fit. And that is okay. The biggest lesson in your plan is to be patient. Change takes time and losing weight is a journey - or a marathon- not a sprint. Plans may change and that is normal. Know you can do it and never give up, no matter how hard life gets.
What is your advice to obese people who are searching for change? Have you found success in your journey to better health? Please share your experiences or comments below.
On June 9, 2012, I met a new friend for coffee. At that time, meeting people in Seattle wasn’t exactly easy and so I got excited to meet a fellow like-mind. I heard my phone buzz in my purse and I saw it was a 216 number, which is the area code for Cleveland.
Odd sensations ran through my body but I ignored the call to pay special attention to my new friendship. My friend went to the bathroom and I saw an email from my Uncle’s friend with a weird subject line, but I didn’t open it.
After meeting my friend, I read the email and it said to call the Westlake Police Department, which matched the number of the missed call on my cell phone. I called the number and an officer informed me that my uncle was found dead in his condo, which looked most likely like a suicide.
Everything in my body dropped. I nearly puked on the sidewalk and frantic, I called my dad hysterical. Not knowing or understanding his death, the first question I had was why and what drove him to do this?
For weeks, I couldn’t keep my composure. I would burst out in tears at the drop of a dime or when hearing an emotional song. My uncle was quirky and a bit eccentric. Because of this, he was outcasted from many social circles. I empathized and understood his mentality.
He had a pure love and passion for the star and wildlife. We often talked about how we wish we could understand what an animal is thinking in that moment when our eyes meet.
Dealing with suicide is never easy. It’s a shock and blow to one’s soul. And depending on the relationship, some people may never overcome the death, especially if it tends to be a child, parent, spouse or sibling.
Here are some recommendations on how to cope and heal from a loved one’s suicide
There are many forms of counseling such as support groups or speaking with a psychologist privately. The first and most important step to healing is to understand the steps of grieving and to communicate your voice.
People will bounce between stages of being mad, sad and angry. It is important to process those emotions as they come and continue support groups. These support networks can give insight on their healing mechanisms and give space for your space. Most people who bottle up their emotions end up in a worse space because they feel lost and not heard.
Build Up Your Spirit
From a spiritual perspective, everyone is on their own path in life. Humans come in and out of our life to learn lessons. Many people seek suicide as a way to escape pain. There is no way one should ever take blame for another person’s choice to take his or her life.
When low, build up your spirit. Whether that’d be walks through nature or scheduling a reiki appointment, ingest nothing but the natural and pure. It is easy to go on benders such as drinking or seeking pleasure externally through sex.
Journaling is another powerful healing method, especially when sitting in nature. Maybe you can take a walk down his or her favorite path? Or visit their favorite beach and have a conversation with their spirit? As much as it hurts, try to remember the positive qualities of what that person contributed to society or the world as a whole.
I thought my uncle was really selfish for what he did, but after consulting a psychic about his death it was expressed to me that his mindset caused him so much pain in this life. Consulting a psychic may not be for everyone but I received the clarity and answers I needed at that time.
Process Everything One Day at a Time
In moments of chaos, the power of NOW really helps. Time heals all wounds and it’s important to process those emotions you feel at the moment. Everyone processes things differently, but don’t be afraid to take a break or to stay busy. It’s a balancing act but some people can get depressed and not move forward, where workaholics want to stay busy but sweep their emotions under the rug because it’s too painful to think or confront the person’s death.
Regardless of how you handle your situation, just know the pain gets easier with time. For me, I felt completely healed at least 2 years after my uncle’s death.
Have you lost someone to suicide? If so, what coping mechanisms helped you heal from the person’s death?
Although it is officially fall, the winter weather is upon us in Seattle. Cold, damp, and wet; temperatures dropped and the first signs of winter occurred when snow fluttered in the skies.
Since we are entering the hibernation season, it is important to consume healthy and hearty foods to warm the soul rather than gorging on comfort foods.
As a health coach and personal trainer, I advocate for eating greens. Many people who follow the paleo lifestyle do not realize that our hunter and gatherer ancestors received their potassium, calcium and other nutrients from plant-based foods.
Today, humans have a myriad of health problems caused by a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and/or environmental pollution. And getting our disease-preventing nutrients from plants is crucial to "keep us alive and well."
It is ideal to eat a combination of fresh and cooked greens. But soups are one of the best foods to consume as it contains water, vegetables and fresh herbs.
There are many reason on why you should eat your greens, but here are three thoughts to consider.
What is your favorite health benefit of eating greens?
"Let greens be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy greens."
Vegan Fresh Herb Chickpea & Collard Green Stew
Prep Time: 7-10 minutes
Cook Time: 22-30 minutes
4 cups water
1 can chickpeas, washed and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
3 small white potatoes, chopped
4 collard green leaves, chopped
1/3 cup chopped kale
1/3 cup parsley
3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (optional but recommended)
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Prep the vegetables. Cook the garlic, onion, celery and carrots in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add a splash of water if dry. Add all of the ingredients, except for the chickpeas, and simmer until the broth is flavorful and the potatoes are edible. Add the chickpeas the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat and serve.
Looking for other soup recipes this winter? Check out some of our favorite:
Super Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry Soup (Kürbis Curry Suppe)
My Vegan German-Inspired Clear Vegetable Soup ("Alles Klar" Gemüsesuppe) Recipe
Vegan Fresh Herb & Corn Soup
Vegan Sweet Potato Kale Quinoa Stew
Save all Mind Body Soul Food Recipes in your Yummly Recipe Box!
Life is unpredictable. Life is challenging. And life is hard. No one hands us an instruction manual and tells us how to live or how to overcome obstacles in life. If such a manual existed, we probably wouldn't have many of the problems that we see today.
Sometimes we need to break down in order to rebuild our soul and inner strength. We need to cry to release the emotions and to feel the pain and suffering of that situation. But as long as we keep a strong mind, we will find the rainbow that is shimmering within. Without rain and the sun, we cannot have a rainbow.
Balance the light and the dark within and watch that rainbow blossom and soar high into the sky.
As always, inspired by the sun,
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com