Happy 2015! Perhaps you're feeling swamped down - or hey - maybe even inspired! - by your New Year's resolutions. Resolutions are beautiful things, though sometimes they may not be easy to keep or very broad and undefined. Is one of yours to diet and/or lose weight? I can identify and appreciate that. Wellness and health is obviously the foundation my career is built upon. On the other hand, I want to promote the idea of FREEDOM as the way to attain your health goals this year and moving forward. "Diets" and "diet-bets" are at all-time highs this time of year - and I'm interested in stopping this craze! Whaaaat?!?! Yes indeed! Somethings I want you to consider if you are engaged in a "diet" or "diet-bet":
*Is the protocol or program you are involved with providing you with lifestyle skills and modifications?
*Is it showing you how to eat in a way that is SUSTAINABLE long-term?
*Does it encourage eating WHOLE foods (not processed, pre-packaged "foods" or "shakes") that you can purchase at the farmer's market or local grocery store? Can you pronounce the ingredients on the labels? Are there artificial flavorings or colorings in the products you "must" buy to be "on-board"?
*Do you feel deprived, agitated, annoyed, cranky, frustrated (fill-in the blank here) while on the "diet" or "diet-bet"?
*Does the "diet" or "diet-bet" address your emotions or psychology around food or eating habits?
*Does the "diet" or "diet-bet" promote losing more than 2 pounds per week?
If the "diet" you are following does not include ways of changing your lifestyle, is not sustainable long-term (hey, who can't starve themselves for a certain amount of time to drop weight quickly?), only revolves around pre-packaged foods/supplements/shakes, leaves you feeling like an emotional wreck, doesn't address WHY you eat the way you do, and makes claims of losing more than 2 pounds per week (very damaging metabolically and systemically - at least without the direct supervision of a medical professional) - it's likely not healthy and NOT going to lead you to a place of true wellness and health. You should be able to eat food - without guilt (duh, it keeps us ALIVE and THRIVING!) - and be able to walk into any grocery store and purchase foods there that you can eat. Not only eat certain foods, at certain times, under certain circumstances. Food is meant to be enjoyed!
Additionally, "diets" and "diet-bets" focus intensely around "weigh-ins" and what the scale says. I know some of you are very motivated by accountability and movement of numbers. Consider that the human body fluctuates throughout the day in over-all weight and water content. So, how representative is a number going to be when you shift throughout the day? If you are going to be numbers motivated, consider a "diet" successful by the number of times you can go throughout the day without crashing mentally and emotionally. I don't know about you, but depriving myself of calories is just going to make me cranky and tired. I hardly find that inspiring - and I am not going to allow a scale determine my self-worth or whether my day goes well or not. Are you basing your self-worth on your weight?
Many of us, especially women, suffer psychologically and mentally by how we look physically and what the scale says. Obesity is an epidemic currently in the U.S. so I am not giving cart-blanche to being over-weight. What I am saying is that health is a fine balance, but it's also about feeling good from the inside out. It's about eating in a way that makes you feel alive and exercising in a way that invigorates you, not terrifies you or fills you with dread.
Chinese medicine is a WHOLE medicine that treats emotionally, psychologically and physically. As a modality, acupuncture can reset the body and help with pathological cravings (sugar, sweets, salt, processed foods) and digestive issues (bloating, gas, heartburn, i.b.s., gnawing hunger). Chinese medicine has a strong basis in "food as medicine" so certain types of foods are preferable to others in relationship to individual constitution. Do most "diets" address you as an individual? No. They're often as pre-packaged as the "food" they're selling! I want to offer you FREEDOM from diets and bring a lifetime of healthy habits. Let me know how I can help by coming in for an appointment! - Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist at Bluegrass Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky.
About the Author:
Holly Christiansen, Licensed Acupuncturist, currently practicing in the gorgeous, horse capital of the world: Lexington, Kentucky.