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Do You Know What Else Your Body Is Saying Beyond Weight Concerns?

Weight Concerns
EuroMedica
 
Longevity By Nature

Losing weight is one of the most frustrating, talked about, marketed, confidence-boosting (when it does happen) concerns, and can bring up an even wider range of emotions both about ourselves and about others. It can affect our relationship with our body, with others, and what we feel like we can achieve in the world, especially when it comes to views and what’s expressed among our family and close friends. However, our body is not on our timeline, nor is the healing process. And long-term doesn’t mean results only happen then, but it’s creating a solid foundation to build upon and has presence built in so you can see both your rewards and learning curves along the way. Let’s dive deeper into our physiology and how it’s interconnected to the mind and spirit, and create your next steps.

Psychology of Change

By the time something becomes a physical symptom, there were already processes in place where the body had to compensate, similar to when we may feel like we’re doing too much and then hit a breaking point. We can either “get back to work” or reflect on how we got there.

Was there a time in your life where when you stopped to take a break that things just seemed to “work themselves out”? You got the answers you needed, and when you moved forward in life you felt even better and more in control than before. Imagine that happening with being able to step back and assess not only your habits but question your mindset from a place of non-judgment.

In order for the ego to feel safe, meaning we feel safe going about our day to day, we have at least seven different defense mechanisms keeping down memories and beliefs that may need to be addressed in order to either energetically get that “weight” off our body, or even physically. Commonly, the energy shift leads to what next action needs to be taken (e.g. asking for help, analyzing your diet, reassessing your motivation).

Then, much of what we’re guided by tends to be external motivation, which are cues, such as a number on a scale, a prize, anything “external” to our being. Conversely, when we want to lose weight, let’s say for us, when the desire becomes so deep it’s felt in the bones, this sense of faith and dedication can help override the ego who tends to remind us of all the fears, reasons it won’t work, the what ifs, and perhaps even feeling badly about ourselves in the process.

To get comfortable with change, one of my favorite questions to ask is “what would you ask yourself without judgment?” Weight is metaphorical for not only “holding on” (i.e. belief, routine, ego/that you’ll just figure it out soon enough), but a sense of protection. When we change habits we may change circles of friends, community. A new diet change may receive backlash from our close group and prioritizing our schedule could make us look selfish when in fact ensuring our cup is full helps us give back even greater. Do you have the words, boundaries or resources to support you not only when you lose the weight, but to support you in the feeling and habits when you want to maintain that “there”?

Lastly, could you envision asking for help and/or researching from a place of feeling confident enough to implement them into your daily life in a way that works for you? This sense of creativity helps create trust in listening to your body too for what it needs (i.e. even if it doesn’t fit neatly into a particular diet).

Weight Loss For the Long Term: The Main Components

The fat cell has about 10 different receptors, such as vitamin D, estrogen, testosterone, insulin, thyroid stimulating hormone, alpha and beta receptors like the lungs which correlate to our nervous system, inflammatory cytokines and glucocorticoids (cortisol, our stress hormone), to name a few. In other words, we really do need to look at a myriad of systems both within the body and our contributing habits when it comes to weight loss. Further, we also get more fat cells when we gain weight, but they only shrink when we lose weight, never disappear. The good news is that as we learn to create balance in our life by letting go of habits that don’t serve us plus associated beliefs, we’re addressing all fat cells.

Metaphorically too, even our fat cells are telling us there isn’t a magic pill! It’s addressing various aspects and other organ systems within the body that could be contributing to this hormonal imbalance, to put it lightly. Emotionally, before our fat cells release water after a few different processes (which drops the number on the scale), they need to be able to feel safe enough to do so. This is (only part of) why drinking enough water is so important for weight loss. That, and the hypothalamus get the same signal as hunger or thirst from the stomach, so we may accidentally be eating when we’re only thirsty.

The patient’s history is what can determine where to focus first, yet all of these are correlated with insulin/blood sugar issues, as this is a type of growth hormone (like estrogen and testosterone), which makes cells “grow.” Insulin, blood sugar issues and sugar cravings tend to come with a picture of someone stressed out, can’t lose weight, and just wishes for a “break” in life (missing “sweetness”). Happy/joyful experiences boost serotonin which diminishes appetite, relieves stress (lowered cortisol means less need for more sugar to be in the body for immediate energy, aka the “run from a bear” sympathetic nervous system dominant response), and also allow someone to remember/reflect on why they’re alive, that sense of purpose, perhaps even going deeper into their intrinsic motivation as they create an even safer environment within their body for a belief, and/or memory to arise that may have actually been hindering their success without even realizing it.

Therapies & Healing

When we talk about long-term healing and weight loss, these methods and advice allow for a type of presence that soon we will see how we can create a time-out in your life to take inventory of not only what’s working, but question why something hasn’t. From supplements to nutrition to shifting our perspective to believe we can effectively create change in our life, everything is energy and has its way of working together. Therefore, the common questions of “What do I do after a cleanse/program?,” “Do I have to do this forever?” subtly get answered as we begin to address not only the mind and body, but literally changing all processes within us.

Mindset

Have there been times when things wound up going better than expected, or only when you figured there was no other way did another way “pop” into mind? Your body reacts similarly. Perhaps instead of a number on a scale or hoping to button a certain pair of pants, begin thanking your body for all it’s doing, for all it’s been through, and for allowing you to experience all the world has to offer. This present moment doesn’t allow us to think of all the ‘what ifs’ of change—it just is. Back in the 1990s, Dr. Masaru Emoto did a study on water where some glasses he spoke nicely to, others he didn’t.1 In other words, what we say to ourselves has profound effects given that more than 70 percent of our body is made up of water/fluid.

Day to Day

How do you handle adversity? Slipping up? What thoughts or fears arise? Whether or not it has occurred in your health routine, take inventory of your life and pause to explore what scripts have come up. How can you rewrite them to what you know to be true in your heart and soul? We’re here in life for the long-term, and it takes less energy/will power when our values in all aspects of life are congruent.

Lifestyle

Like mentioned previously, water is so important! Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces of water, and I recommend at least 16 ounces room temp in the morning with a capful of apple cider vinegar, known to help improve gut bacteria, blood sugar imbalance/ sugar cravings, and contain antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.2 Consider, is your circle a reflection of where you are now, or where you want to be? And can you write out/visualize a schedule with a few new items to where you’re still excited, yet stop if feeling overwhelmed? The brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing versus what’s in front of you, so this is a great way to gauge what’s right for you before you spend even more time setting it up.3 Lastly, sleep, especially before 10:30 p.m. as our body tends to get a “second wind” at about 11 p.m. Cortisol wakes us up, then drops as melatonin rises, and most of the hormones on the fat cell are made during our sleep. In fact, this is another form of trusting the unknown too, as all of our guards are down.

Nutrition & Supplements

One of my favorite places to start is half a plate of vegetables (especially green), a quarter protein and a quarter healthy fat. Greens like spinach and kale, cruciferous like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, for example, contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals imperative for production and metabolism of these hormones as well as fiber to help keep us satiated. Further, the green color corresponds to the heart chakra (part of a system of energy centers located within the body that represents emotional, physical and spiritual disease), so we can continue to cultivate love and nourishment for where we are in our journey.

Some favorite supplements include magnesium and B complex as these are involved in nearly 1,000 reactions in the body, vitamin D and again, depending on the patient, which place do you need to start? Based on the fat cell, you have options! For adrenal support (which I always recommend), I like Eleutherococcus senticosus, as there was a study done in rats where it increased the fatty acid B-oxidation cycle, which helps with weight loss.4 Hawthorn is another favorite, especially when there’s a nervous system/ high stress piece as it’s a natural gentle beta-blocker, and supports us emotionally.

Conclusion

The weight-loss journey can be challenging, but it can also help us gain a broader perspective in life, that instead of trying to fit our body into a certain diet, regimen or program, how can we support it to be what’s best for us? And, what does commitment mean to us? Everything is motion, we respond to visualization and gratitude, the quality of fuel we put in ourselves, and who is in our community. So instead of just “weight loss” itself, what can you learn about yourself and how can you keep “shedding” beliefs that just “feel” heavier? Can you continue to see the big picture beyond your goal? Even when we get results there’s “more,” so consider what else you want to achieve in your life, where you want to become more efficient, and if something greater than us had to get our attention via weight, then maybe we really are on the right path after all.

References:

1 Bhavika (co-founder of online resource Fractal Enlightenment) interviewing Dr. Masaru Emoto on Human consciousness and water. Date of interview around or before 2012 based on date mentioned. Full transcript in article. https://fractalenlightenment.com/14121/spirituality/dr-masaru-emoto-on-human-consciousness-and-water.

2 Nutrition, Health Essentials. (2021). Exploring the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/exploring-the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/.

3 Neason, Matt. (2012). The power of visualization – 5 tips that will change your experience. Sport Psychology Today. www.sportpsychologytoday.com/sport-psychology-for-coaches/the-power-of-visualization/.

4 Sumiyoshi, M., & Kimura, Y. (2016). Effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus Cortex on Recovery from the Forced Swimming Test and Fatty Acid β-Oxidation in the Liver and Skeletal Muscle of mice. The natural products journal, 6(1), 49–55. https://doi.org/10.2174/2210315506999151207145020.

Dr. Serena Goldstein is a naturopathic doctor in both New York, NY and San Francisco, CA (currently virtual only), who helps guide patients to trust and understand their body’s signs and signals so they can expand their knowledge and become partners on their health journey. Dr. Goldstein utilizes conventional and natural medicine, psychology, ancient medicine and intuition to discover patterns in their health and life that bring order to chaos. She treats all concerns (even the ones patients are not sure about mentioning!), with a plan they will find fun and exciting.