I have had neck/shoulder pain for a while, and especially since my second son was born. After he was born the pain was debilitating. I couldn't hold him & could barely move.
I went to physical therapy for a while, made progress, worked on neck strength and mobility at home (because, you know...babysitter arrives, transition time, 20 minutes to drive there, wait around 5-10 minutes, only 20 minutes with the physical therapist, pay, 20 minutes home... pay babysitter. You can only go for so long).
I did make good progress with strength, but I went back to PT for a while. Made progress, worked on it at home. Felt good about the whole thing.
Then I was getting headaches and not able to figure out why. I thought I was maybe dehydrated.
So I hired myself a health coach last year. (Yes even health coaches need health coaches at times!)
That work was really helpful, and I discovered it was still the neck issues, and that it was triggered by lack of sleep! What helpful information my coach helped me discover.
So I started working on getting more sleep. And now I'm seeing a naturopath! Because my sleep quality wasn't good, and I thought there may be something more going on. And guess what... I'm anemic!!!
So I've been working on balancing that out, feeling less exhausted during the day, and getting more restful sleep. So at this point, as you can see, I've worked hard to take good care of my body.
And yet I still have lingering neck/shoulder pain at times. I know I need more strengthening, and unfortunately that takes time (especially because I can only do so much without causing MORE pain, so it's just slow work).
And I also have taken to looking at what this pain means in a more esoteric sense.
Many times when I've explained my neck pain to friends they instantly shout "It's stress!"
And while it's not ever what I have though , I also know they are right. Parenting is stressful. As a parent, and especially as a mother, I "shoulder" a lot of emotions, logistics, and even socks and underwear.
(My husband: "Where are all the boys' underwear?"
Me: "In the drawer where they belong.")
So I'm looking at my neck and shoulder pain as more symbolic in my life. How can I relive myself of some of this burden? Obviously, to some extent I can't. My kids are here forever.
So what CAN I change? And then how can I "shoulder" it with less stress? I believe our pain and discomfort is our body talking to us. When he have body issues, our body is telling us something. Unfortunately, our world makes it hard to speak this language. But with a little patience and guidance, we can learn it again.
What is your body telling you? Where do you have pain or discomfort? Write me back and let me know, and I'll be happy to tell you what may be a helpful next step to learn more.
Recently I suggested a woman who called to try ayurveda or acupuncture, because it sounded like her digestive issues where based on too much "yin" food (like lot of cold smoothies and salads) that can be healthy, but which I suspected may be causing some of her imbalance.
Sometimes a new perspective can help you make a small adjustment to course. Imagine a ship sailing and how one change in direction make a great change in the final destination.
I just turned 38 last week, and I have to tell you... I can't wait to turn 40! (And I celebrate all month, so you can still tell me happy birthday if you want ;)
I know people get freaked out about 40, but recently I heard a woman saying that she loved turning 40 because she stopped giving a shit what other people thought.
And that struck a chord with me, and I thought to myself, "That's what I want! And I better start practicing NOW so I'm ready by the time I turn 40!"
And I have been. That's not to say I don't CARE about other people, but I don't care about their REACTIONS to me. So, of course, I think about my family, my friends, even the stranger on the street, "Oh, it looks like that person might not like how loud my kids are being, I'll take them to the other side of the park."
Yes, of course, I still love people, think about people, care about people, and take action to be kind, thoughtful and generous towards people. And what I've realized is that a LOT of when I worry about other people... it's not even really happening.
I don't get a lot of dirty looks or anything. But yet I WORRY about getting dirty looks. You know what I mean?
And I've got a long way to go - that's why I'm giving myself two years to practice.
What I find though, is that the more I practice not worrying about other people's reactions, the less room I have in my brain to imagine other people's reactions, the less negative thoughts I'm creating in general, and the happier I become.
I've been encouraging my clients to take this approach - letting go of what other people's REACTIONS are.
My client C. has been in the spotlight at work, and in that spotlight she has gotten, shall we say... "haters." But with a bit of preparation and practice, C. was able to hear through the "hate" to the deeper concern, acknowledge the hater's concern, and NOT take the hatin' so personally!!!!
This was a breakthrough that would allow C. to be less stressed at work, which made her happier at home, and made it easier to keep her health goals!
So, with C. as with me, this approach to not caring about what other people think has really allowed us to take better care of ourselves and feel better all around.
I encourage you to try it out and let me know how it goes!
What does sugar have to do with emotional eating?
Well, a lot actually. While sugar is not the only thing you can eat emotionally - you could crave spaghetti, potatoes, ketchup, sweet tea, chips and salsa, or any number of things - sugar is by far the most common craving triggered by emotional eating.
Sugar is sweet, and we are trained to like sweet from birth. We are born that way. Breastmilk is sweet. We cry. We get this thing that tastes good and makes us feel good. Nursing and eating also make us (the baby version of us) feel safe and happy.
From there... the list is long. But imagine...birthday parties. Straight As or any other celebration. Family gatherings. Friday night. Summer time ice cream. Holiday treats. All these things also associate food with safety, joy, happiness... So it's actually really natural that sugar makes us feel good.
However, when we get overly busy and food or sugar becomes the only tool we have to feel better, then it becomes an issue. Also, because we have os many hidden sugars in our modern world, and because we have so many sweets and treats to readily accessible, we really can have too much of a good thing.
The trick is not to stop eating sweets or foods we like, but to tune in to our bodies and ask our bodies when it really wants that sweet, and if it really wants the second serving. It can take practice, but our bodies don't lie, our bodies tell us the truth and will teach us how to eat just the right amount of all the delicious things we are surrounded by!
Do you know to listen to your body? Do you let your body guide your food choices?
If you know you need help in this category, get a copy of Body Wisdom Journal!
What is the difference between mindless eating and emotional eating? The truth is...not a lot. However, it' still important to think about, because it can help us understand ourselves, which is the key to Love Every Bite!
If you consider yourself a mindless eater, you may actually be eating to AVOID the emotions.
Many of us are also mindless eaters simply because our loves are busy. And while that is understandable, we still have to make the effort to know enough about our eating as to tell...
Am I full?
Am I satisfied?
Does this feel good?
Am I masking other problems?
Look I'll be honest. My lunch? It's pretty much alway mindless. And usually preceded by an expletive because I'm running out of time before I go get my kids form preschool!! Not the best way to bless your meal!!! LOL
And yet, I have a well trained awareness, so I can counteract that mindlessness by grabbing something healthy and knowing I likely won't feel that satisfied since I'm basically stuffing my face as I run out the door. Which, you know, isn't that satisfying of a way to eat.
If you consider yourself an emotional eater, then you have the awareness that something is triggering you, but maybe don't feel it is in your control to change the habit (or feel it is worth it on some level). There are also things we can learn from this.
What am I feeling?
Is this ____ (food item) going to help?
What am going to feel after I eat this?
Is there another way I can satisfying this emotional need?
My passion is to help women connect with their hearts and bodies so they can be nourished despite their busy, ambitious lives.