June 21st, otherwise known as “The Summer Solstice,” represents the first day of summer. For many, this is time for celebration, while for others the fast approaching summer generates anxiety over body image and in some—it ignites a sense of panic on the “How-To” factor of getting “bathing suit ready” in a few short weeks…yikes!
First and foremost, let’s recognize that as a social whole, we are severely disillusioned about body image. As active participants in modern society, we are continuously bombarded by marketing campaigns, and witness and/or engage in social media interactions that give us a false sense of reality, and lead us to believe that “we are not enough.” This type of social and marketing fodder leads many of us to seek short-term solutions to weight-loss that are not only unsustainable, but are often detrimental to our long-term health.
Take Back Your Power
If we rely on marketing campaigns to educate us on health, we often end up trying Fad Diet #1, followed by Fad Diet #2, while taking Magic Pill #3, and #4. When this combination doesn’t work, we try the next Fad Diet, and the next “Magic Pill,” and on-and-on it goes. What’s the missing link here?
The missing link for many is that we have unsuspectingly handed over our rational thinking minds to the opinions of others when it comes to body image and weight management. As a result, we fail to seek the root cause of our weight management issues and settle for short-term superficial solutions.
Beyond Calorie Counting
While most of us think critically about our finances (as well as the most recent Game of Thrones plot twist), many of us tend to accept without question that weight management is purely a matter of “calories-in and calories-out.” There exists the belief that if we properly manage the math of this topic, we will magically manifest our ideal silhouette. Well, surprise! It’s not that simple.
While food selection is an important aspect of health and weight management, it is certainly not the full story. The major “Elephant in the Room” when it comes to the topic of weight-loss involves the Mental/Emotional aspect of being Human.
The Biggest Unturned Stone in the World of Weight-Management –The Mind
Our daily exposures to marketing campaigns and social media often contribute to chronic feelings of inadequacy. Feelings of inadequacy invariably give way to copious amounts of negative self-talk which in turn influences the way we perceive and interact with the world around us—including all of the health impacting decisions we make on a daily basis.
When we are not happy and stuck in self-blame, we tend to treat ourselves with disrespect and in some cases, with a vengeance. A negative perspective of one’s self-image not only causes you to be your own worst enemy, but energetically it leaves you feeling depleted, unmotivated, and full of blame and excuses. This is certainly not the place from which any successful endeavor can originate, especially one aimed at achieving your ideal body-shape.
An Appeal to Human Nature
The first way out of this debacle is to recognize that you are innocent by your very Nature. The way you arrived at your current state of body and mind is because you—like the rest of humanity—have been pursuing what you think will bring you happiness—this being the most fundamental of human pursuits.
Whether it be a lavish vacation at an “all-you-can” resort, or eating a box of ice cream sandwiches while binge watching Netflix—the bottom line is—our end goal as human beings is “happiness.” Unfortunately, when the path to true happiness is not abundantly clear, or if the path seems too difficult to traverse, we often resort to meddling with our body-chemistry and using foods, alcohol, and drugs as a means of obtaining immediate, but short-term happiness at the expense of our health.
How to Change Your Mind
In paving the way towards true happiness, one inevitably faces the task of overcoming bad-habits, and feelings of lack and self-denial. There is no easy quick fix to this; however, there are a variety of mind-body techniques that have shown promise in helping individuals develop inner-stability and overcome self-destructive behaviors. Some of these “mind-bending” tools include EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Qi Gong (pronounced Chee-Gong), Hypnotherapy, 12-Step Programs, and Mindfulness practices. The common thread in all of these practices is the topic of “reconnection” and building a sense of community within your Self, as well as in the world around you. A wise person once said, “Life is a team sport.”
Where the Mind Goes, the Body Follows
Simultaneous to addressing the role that Mind plays in sculpting your ideal figure, it is important to support your body in its efforts towards making your mental vision of your beautiful-Self a reality. This is where a personalized diet, adequate movement, and nutritional supplementation can play a significant role. Here are a few helpful suggestions that can help support sustainable body-transformation:
- Personalized Nutrition: Balance is key, and any diet that involves too many restrictions is not likely to be sustainable in the long-term. Discover what foods make you feel good. When you eat certain foods, pay attention to how you feel afterwards. If you feel tired, foggy-headed, or lethargic—this is usually a good sign to eliminate that food from your diet. Foods that are supportive of your body will help you feel energetic, clear-headed, and will not cause negative changes in mood.
- Support your Metabolism: There is no better way to support metabolism than good old-fashioned exercise. However, in addition to a healthy food choices and exercise, there are a variety of research backed nutritional supplements that have been shown to support fat burning (e.g. Green Tea Extract, and Sinetrol®) and others that target enzymes involved in fat storage such as Forskolin, and CLA.* These dietary ingredients can help you realize results sooner than later, thereby helping to motivate you to continue with your weight management routine.*
- Reduce Stress: Daily stress is one of the biggest obstacles to realizing results in any weight-loss program and therefore, helping your body reduce stress is an essential component to successful weight management.* In the botanical world of stress support, Adaptogen herbs reign supreme.* Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Maca, Bacopa, and Holy Basil are often found in formulas that support a relaxed and calm body and mind and should be a mainstay in every individuals supplement cabinet.*
With all that said, enjoy your summer, get some sun, enjoy laughter with friends and family, and always remember to be kind to yourself.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.