The words you speak become the house you live in - Hafiz
If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I am a firm believer that nourishment is about more than the food we put into our mouths. The way that we eat has a direct influence on our health: for example, eating in a sympathetic state (read: stressed) actually causes digestion to be impaired and stomach acid production to be halted.
But what about our thoughts about the food we eat? Our thoughts about our health problems? Our thoughts about our bodies? Do these thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies?
There is energy behind every thought we think and decision that we make. Whether this is energy is positive or negative, is completely up to us.
Having worked with many people who have chronic health challenges (myself included - I was my first client!) I wonder how many of these issues would be resolved if we changed our thoughts about our food, our bodies, and even our lives.
This is not to say that nutrient-dense food and proper supplementation don't have a place - they absolutely do - but I believe that they are only half of the solution.
The Food We Eat
When you sit down for a delicious meal, are you focused on the fact that you have a slow metabolism and everything you eat causes weight gain?
Are you afraid to eat almost anything (even vegetables!) out of fear that it will cause six-month-pregnant-looking bloating?
Eating in a sympathetic state (caused by stress) actually reduces levels of HCL in the stomach, causing impaired digestion and bloating no matter what food you are eating.
These are some of my favorite examples to use because in this case, because the negative outcome you are focusing on actually WILL come true if this is your mindset. Another good example of this is how eating out-of-your normal diet foods while on vacation or surrounded by your besties will often cause no reaction; but when you bring your nutrient-dense paleo lunch to work and your co-worker won't stop talking about her marital problems, you get a stomach ache.
Do you walk around with the belief that you are tired, lethargic, and that everything you eat will make you break out?
Ok, so this example was actually ME. I used to (subconsciously) tell myself daily that being a low energy person was just who I was; and that I needed to monitor my food intake very carefully in order not to have any digestive or skin- related reactions.
These issues were was partially alleviated through calming the F down with my exercise and removing gluten, but the even bigger game changer for me was starting to QUESTION these beliefs.
Am I really a low energy person?
Does everything I eat really hurt my stomach? (Or am I hyper-focused on everything I am putting into my body, causing unnecessary stress?)
Turns out, the answers to both of these questions were NO. Instead of telling myself the self-deprecating story that I had chronic fatigue and bloating, I started to imagine what it would feel like to wake up every morning full of energy. I repeated mantras in my journal that were the EXACT opposite of everything I had been telling myself for years. Here are some examples:
- I am healthy and full of energy
- I am able to digest everything I eat
- The nutrient dense food I eat is healing my body and skin
- I have a fast metabolism and healthy hormones
I'll be honest, I felt a little crazy and "out there" when I first started doing this. How could this really make a difference in what I was feeling in my body?
Even if you have an amazing relationship to food and your body (which i'm guessing that you don't since you are reading this ;)) it is likely that your negative thoughts have influenced your life, whether subconsciously or not.
Take a minute to think about the biggest goal you have in your life right now - Now, take a minute to write down the first three things that come to mind when you consider achieving this goal. Most likely, the first 3 things that come up will be reasons why this goal will be difficult for you, or why you can't do it, or why someone else has already done it better than you. Why? because we are human, and the human mind is programmed to see the negative as a protective mechanism.
But this doesn't mean that we need to accept these thoughts as truth and settle with a mediocre life because we aren't rich enough or young enough or pretty enough.
It means that we must recognize these thoughts and replace them with reasons why we WILL achieve this goal, HOW we will do it, and WHY we are capable right now.
At this point, what do you have to lose? If you can't seem to get rid of your bloating no matter how many supplements you take, or have been feeling negatively about your body no matter how many books you read on the topic, why not start trying to shift your mindset around food and body (easily and cheaply I might add) and see how it spills into every other area of your life?
I guarantee that changing your thoughts around food, your body, and your life will not only help you create more positive habits and feelings, but will actually leave you feeling more inspired than ever.
For this reason, I created a super awesome (printable) worksheet to help you get started and make the process of shifting your mindset around food and your health an easier one. Just click the button below to download!