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The Mind-Body connection

When some people say “it’s all in your head” they may be meaning it as something negative or derogatory, but actually, it couldn’t be more accurate! What has now been shown in research on the brain is that everything that goes on in your thought life is converted into a physical reaction or behaviour. A massive body of research has shown that the mind-body connection is real. What we think affects us emotionally, intellectually and physically. Every thought that you meditate on, there is a physical reaction in your body in the form of electrical currents travelling along the nerves in your brain, this produces various hormones and chemicals that flow throughout your entire body in response to those thoughts. Every time you meditate on a thought, it is actively changing your brain and body in either a positive or destructive way. You might now think (excuse the pun) what does this have to do with Weight Loss? Sprezzatura is unique, more importantly, holistic in our approach. We focus on Weight Loss from a mind perspective, not just a body perspective. We are all about Confidence and Weight Loss. Confidence affects Weight Loss and Weight Loss affects Confidence. Your life and your body are an expression of your thoughts. The quality of your life and wellness is brought about by the quality of your thinking. We need to think about what we are thinking about….

Thoughts are so powerful they have the ability to create and shape your life. What you think is what you get, for better or worse it’s entirely up to you! Therefore, if you are not happy with your life, not happy with your weight, you have to change your thinking. Before you can take captive any toxic thinking you need to understand the think, feel, do response. I refer often to the statement “if you think you are rubbish you put rubbish into your body” Do you see the mind-body connection? However, there is one step in between the thinking and the putting into your body that we very seldom deal with….the feeling part. Our emotions. Our emotional health is a key component of how we apply coping mechanisms to what we think.

It’s a lot to process. But at the root of excess weight, is the lack of personal tools and/or support to deal effectively with uncomfortable/toxic emotions, our only choice is to avoid them. How do we avoid them? We seek out comfort foods, food is how we deal with any imbalance in life. To put it more simply, THE THINK - we think a toxic thought. THE FEEL - we feel a negative emotion, which prompts the action we take to deal with the uncomfortable emotion. THE DO - because we have inadequate skills to deal with the emotion or even name what emotion we are feeling, we seek out food to suppress the emotion and make us instantly “feel better”. Understanding Emotional Hunger is a huge step toward improving your relationship with food. I would like to encourage you to take one step further and understand the step before Emotional Hunger. Toxic thinking! My challenge was and still remains (if I don’t keep my thinking in check), is that the THINK/FEEL/DO response happens in mere seconds. The speed at which this response hijacks your control is supernatural at best and you might have little resilience to halt the process. The end result is an urgent need to have that cheesecake NOW!!!! If your willpower is depleted and you are anxious or stressed, emotional hunger can be so overwhelming that you have little defense to combat it. But you can have a head start, you can stop it at the thinking, so you won’t be having the feeling, therefore you won’t be doing the doing 😊

How does a thought form and become toxic? Much of what I’m going to discuss now is from the revolutionary research done by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She is a brilliant and prolific communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist. With over thirty years in research and study, she has evolved the practical application of how to clean up your mental mess. A good personal growth book to read on the beach this December.

Information from the external world comes into your mind through your five senses which are sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Your five senses are the contact between the external world and the internal world of your mind. Information comes in, for example, through your eyes and ears as light waves and sound waves. The light and sound waves are then converted into an electrical current that travels along the nerves in your brain. Once the information enters your brain in the form of an electrical current, it travels through various areas until it reaches your free will. Science has discovered an actual physical structure in your brain which is your free will. It is situated at the front of your corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is the area of your brain that you use to think with, meditate on, and/or analyse information. It is here in this part of your brain where you either reject or accept a thought. For example, you struggle with weight, your struggle with low self-worth, you see a thin beautiful successful confident (flip the list can go on and on) woman. The information comes into your brain as light waves through your eyes, which are then converted into an electrical current in the nerves of your brain. The information is now in the form of a thought. “I can never be like that”. Your free will now has a choice, it is either going to allow your brain to meditate on that thought or reject it. Because we are not aware of the power thought has on our life and wellbeing, without the knowledge, free will decides to meditate on that thought. Depending on how skilled you have become at suppressing your thoughts and emotions, this can happen on a subconscious level but the result, the doing, remains the same. Even if you haven’t consciously gone through the meditation. Now you meditate… do I truly love myself? Am I worthwhile as a human being? I have no supportive friendships or meaningful work, I am actually alone and have no value to anyone or anything. The meditation can go on and on, wreaking havoc on your self-confidence and self-esteem. The meditation on this thought shoots chemicals through the brain activating the hippocampus, the memory part of your brain. Your brain now goes into super mode and pulls out every single file you have that proves you are a failure in life. (Not the truth) But thought builds memory. Thinking you failed, created memories of you being a failure. A fight you had with your husband, you didn’t attend your daughter’s netball match because of job commitments, now you are a bad mom and wife, a failure. A presentation at work that didn’t go off as you planned, a promotion you didn’t get. A crush that doesn’t like you back in the same way. A dream that did not take off. Your business failed and you have to close shop. That friend that didn’t want to play with you in preschool!! Yes EVERYTHING, your brain will go on a scout hunt to find every single bit of proof it believes to cement the thought you are thinking and have it grow stronger. You begin to see your failure in every area of your life. For you reading this, it might be your struggle with Weight Loss….” I will never lose this weight” and/or “I can never stick to a weight loss plan, I’m such an idiot” or “I will always hate how I look like”

The brain is the only organ in the body that does not decay, it matures. Memory is formed through a process of protein synthesis. The memory chemically builds more branches in your brain which makes that memory stronger. The stronger the memory the more easily thoughts will get high-jacked, and toxic thinking will meditate, ponder, grow and evolve. If this thought is not stopped at the root, it grows and grows until an emotional response follows. You feel ashamed, worthless, disconnected, heartbroken, fragile, sensitive, or depleted. There is an endless list of emotions you might feel. Bitter, that’s a good one, bitter at what you think your reality is compared to that woman you saw. Here is the Tra La La of Emotional eating. We don’t like these emotions, dealing with them takes A LOT of effort and self-awareness. We are already tired, overworked, stressed, and under enormous pressure. We don’t have the time or the mental space to take that emotion, reflect on it, journal about it, unpack it, and measure it up against good memories and the actual truth. (You are not a bad wife and mother) Resolve the emotion and not resort to emotional eating. Reaching for that cheesecake gives you temporary relief from the emotion so that you can suppress it, we deny that the emotion ever existed. THE DO part we give in and eat the cheesecake. Enter fussy feeling from the taste of the cheesecake and all is better with me and the world. I forget that thin woman, even if it is just for a little while until I see another one. Emotional eating gets reinforced as your go-to coping mechanism for toxic thinking and emotional distress.

Drop the Mic! My work here is done!

This learning is great for your personal wellness but not so great for your waistline or weight loss efforts. I wrote a blog a while back which was about weight loss starting with self-love. You will hear and see Sprezzatura talk A LOT about self-love. Our Mind Transformation programme teaches you to be kind to yourself, gentle, accepting, and realistic about your personal expectations. Imagine what your world would feel like if you could take a toxic thought, reject it based on self-love, and move forward. Imagine the complete release from built-up anxiety! This is not a far-fetched idea; it is just a skill you need to learn and apply. You can stop emotional eating at the root cause.

Despite the stories, diet programs have fed you for years (again, excuse the pun), when our food triggers are emotional in nature, it is not what you eat, but why.

You can take back control of your entire life, and build your confidence all while you lose the unwanted weight. Now, why wouldn’t anyone want that amazing deal?!

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