Breaking through health obstacles

beach treeWhy, when we try to make healthy changes, is it so hard to stick with them?  

 

 

We all know we *should* be healthy, we should eat the right things and move in the right ways.  We all know the health risks.  We also know we really do feel better when we feel better.  So why with all of this pointing in the direction of being more healthy can it be so dang hard to make the necessary changes?

 

 

 

 

 

First lets look at what these “obstacles” are.  They come in many shapes and sizes. 

Here are some of the common ones I have experienced and witnessed in my clients:

 

  • time/busy schedule
  • I don’t like exercise/vegetables etc.
  • it hurts
  • confusion about where to start
  • I start, and then drop it, can’t keep the motivation
  • I have previous/current injury or pain
  • no one in my family is on a healthy path, so it is hard for me to stick to it
  • I get frustrated or anxious or discouraged

 

There are, I’m sure, more…

 

These obstacles are all very real for those of us who experience them.  They come in varying degrees at various times in your life.  Some seem to follow you around anywhere you go.  No matter how or when they show up, these obstacles all have common roots.

 

To trace what is going on here back to the roots lets look at what is going on physiologically. 

When you have an emotion, like frustration at being too busy, or emotional pain a chemical cocktail is released in your body that you feel as that emotion.  For example stress releases adrenalin and cortisol, among other hormones.  When these emotions are not fully, and physically processed, or when they happen so chronically that there is a steady flow of their neuro-chemicals, a “residue” of those chemicals builds up in your body. 

 

As my massage therapist friends like to say, “Your issues are in your tissues.”

 

When you start to move in a healthier direction, when you start eating better or moving your body more, you “stir up” this residue.  The toxins are released into your system before they are released and this usually feels pretty crappy. 

 

This is one of the places you can get stopped.  It is physiological crud. 

 

The emotional residue from past unprocessed or unhealed stress or distress is literally being physically felt again, even if you don’t have the conscious connection the the original experience.  The good news that this is helpful and not harmful, even if it is temporarily uncomfortable.  Folks who have been here and passed through this space know it does indeed pass.

 

There are some ways to get through it with greater ease…

 

  • Hydrate.  When you drink plenty of water, you help to flush that residue out.  
  • Keep moving and get a massage!  It’s like wringing out a dirty sponge, you need to wring those issues out of your tissues.  
  • Shake it out, literally shake your body, this “shakes loose” that residue, it allows those chemicals to complete their journey and process through
  • Watch the toxins you put into your body, through your food, environment, skin products, and more emotional toxins.  Keep what is going in as clean as you can, so you aren’t just dumping more in as you have the old gunk moving out.  
  • Be kind and gentle to yourself.  It can be uncomfortable getting uncomfortable.  Keep your sights set on where you want to be and why you want to be there.  Studies show when there is greater purpose and deeper meaning, and support then there is greater success at making these healthy changes.

 

Lets put this emotional residue in perspective as far as how that actually feels when you make these positive healthy changes, when you face your obstacles, when they want to stop you and you don’t want to be stopped again!

 

When you stir up that gunk, you not only are physiologically revisiting the stress, tension, and pain, you are likely to experience them again.  Those sensations are tied to your own habits and experiences.  So when they show up in your body, they usually show up in your mind and in your heart. 

 

You feel that familiar feeling and say, oh boy, I don’t want to go there again, so (cue the reverse beeping sound) you back right up out of there, you get stopped, you end up where you started, not having made the healthy change you set out to make.  (Sound familiar?)  So how do you deal with that? 

 

One of my old yoga instructors said that the point of yoga is to build a “strong container” (your body) so that you can handle the intense energy of the true power of your Self coming through.  (There is a way more spiritual explanation for this, in light of keeping things simple, I’ll keep it at that for now.)  Basically, it is a lot of energy to get though the gunk and feel your best and brightest, so it takes steadiness and strength.

 

If you are tapped in to your deeper purpose, beyond willpower, beyond motivation, the energy that drives those, and if you take excellent care of yourself, knowing you are going through that gunk, you can keep moving forward and develop that steadiness and strength.  Use your awareness, practice awareness through meditation, mindful movement, and in daily activities, so that distractions do not pull you away from your journey. 

 

“The only way through is through.” 

And this journey develops your inner and outer strength.  

 

Building the strong container of your body gives you opportunities to feel that strengthening.  That feeling has its own body chemistry.  You release and receive endorphins and serotonin, feel good chemicals, you start building new neuromuscular grooves that support continued “happy” body structure.  You start building new habits around maintaining this structure, these habits are your new improved inner strength.  

 

See the obstacles for what they are.  Use them as an opportunity to cleanse.  Be gentle and kind with yourself as you carve out your unique path to your happiest and healthiest body yet.

 

 

 

 

Craving a community where movement is medicine,

where body practices are nourishment, not punishment?

Join the discussion in my private Facebook Group e-motion HERE!

 

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