At home this week, I immediately realized that I was sliding into binge eating habits and feeling generally exhausted. Stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and the inabilaty to exercise at the gym the away I am used to, are definetely at play here.
My body is sensing that there is an emergency and although it is not an immediate threat, my body is fearful of food scarcity. When your body senses an emergency, it burns carbohydrates and sugars, not fat. After you have burned up your sugars, you will inevitably need to eat more junk.
So, I started to run around my neigborhood at a pace that was very uncomfortable. I was huffing and puffing and pushing harder than I wanted to. Silly Jess, this has the very same effect, it is too creating stress, making my body perceive that even more of an emergency is taking place. Again, my carbs get burned, leaving the fat , and leaving me with excessive cravings for more carbs.
How can we manage stress and burn the fat? The answer lies in soothing the nervous system from living in constant survival and emergency mode at this time. While chaos is around us and even in us, can we find the 'calm in the storm?' Can we turn to nature for some guidance? Can we use this time to create new habits more aligned to nature? Yes, yes, and yes we can, and here is how.
Eat a Spring-Appopriate Diet
According to ayurveda, we should eat like we live on a farm and change our diets with each season. Every four months then, we should switch and eat what nature has made available to us. You have probably gained some weight over the winter hibernation and you are sensing it is time to eat less and cleanse from all the hearty winter fare. You might find you are craving greens, bitter roots, and lighter and dryer foods in general. Learn more about how to eat the way nature intended in spring here. To learn more in depth how to do this in the next weeks, join the Feel Light and Clear Spring Cleanse Group, we would love to have you join us.
The Path of Less Resistance
We do not want our exercise to add to our stress! We want to stay close to the breath as much as we can these days and yoga and walking are two ways to do so. In yoga, you expand the body on the inhale and contract and release tension on the exhale. Yoga also helps to stretch out the ribcage so you can breath more evenly and deeply. Walking is also a great way to exercise and follow the breath closely. As you walk, count how long you inhale for and then how long you exhale for. Imagine your inhale beginning in the abdomen, filling up the lower lungs, and last the upper lungs and then on the exhale emptying the upper lungs, then the lower lungs, and add a gentle squeeze in the abdomen as if you want to squeeze out a bit more. Once you establish a routine where you have both of these in your life, we can add some light jogging- or not.
Eat a Feast at Lunch
Learn to stop grazing all day and waiting to eat the most substantial meal in the evening and start to plan and enjoy your biggest meal at lunch. Eating during the day when the sun is highest in the sky and our digestive fire is strongest ensures that our food gets the time it needs to digest. Make lunch a delight by taking your time, savoring, and paying attention to the food. This is even the perfect time to treat yourself to something sweet like chocolate or maybe even have a cappucino. Eat enough and feel so satified that you can get by with a very light dinner. After eating, rest for a few minutes to encgourage your system to start digestion and then go for a gentle walk.
Applying these three practices into your day can have a powerful impact on the extent to which you will gain weight over the coming weeks. If you stay close to your breath and eat in an appropriate and sensible way, you will lose some weight and establish routines that follow nature's cue.