“The timing of this reset was perfect for me, and I cannot express my gratitude enough to Angelle and Jill. I was able to SLOW down, even at school when I am on the fly pretty much all the time. I was able to refocus and regroup, while looking into some cravings that like to show up here and there. And let's be real, being able to shimmy into a pair of pants I haven't worn in months was a "bow-chicka-wow-wow" kind of moment! So, yeah, I am feeling a lot of joy over here!” Rebecca Matthews
Our last 14-day Winter Reset starts this weekend. We invite you to join us and the 1000+ women who have embarked on this journey with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Details and registration are HERE.
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HOW you eat is just as important as WHAT you eat
You can be eating all the "right" foods, but without three key ingredients in your eating, you may be missing out on the royal road to weight loss. Weight loss with ease and long term instead of a quick fix that doesn't last. In fact, no matter WHAT you're eating, you'll want to always incorporate these ingredients. In part 1 & part 2 we talked about science and soul of BREATHING and SLOWING DOWN and today...let's talk about PLEASURE.
We would bet a bag of chocolate macaroons and a bottle of our favorite grape kombucha (or a facial or a massage, perhaps a pedicure...) that your body and your spirit are hungry for is more pleasure. Pleasure with food for sure, but also pleasure in other areas of your life. The amount of pleasure you allow yourself to experience both in your relationship to food and outside of it are intricately related. Our mentor Marc David says it this way in his brilliant book The Slow Down Diet:
"The way we experience pleasure with food is a mirror of how we experience pleasure in life."
As human beings, we are biologically wired to move toward pleasure and away from pain. Yet, often as women when we feel contracted in a stressful way, we seek to find immediate gratification, which isn't always true pleasure, especially when it comes to eating. Often it will actually lead us into pain. We make a non-nourishing choice that we don't even really enjoy or maybe we do, but then either way we beat ourselves up for that choice. We are not able to truly satisfy our desire to feel more pleasure; to feel more relaxed, more connected, more expansive in a nourishing way. Instead we end up in a cycle of choosing unhealthy foods, drinking too much alcohol, (insert your personal experience here), gaining weight and "checking out" of our life. We feel as though we've lost control all together and are never being able to get back 'in control'
What if instead, by allowing yourself to experience pleasure--a lot of pleasure--while eating (slowly, intentionally, with presence) and also in other ways throughout the day--you actually increase your health dramatically AND by doing this, you develop a natural ability to eat when you are truly hungry and to stop when you are truly satisfied? What if by allowing yourself to experience a lot of pleasure, you not only calm your cravings, but your whole life gets sweeter?
The truth is...pleasure heals. In fact science tells us that:
- experiencing pleasure while eating enhances nutrient absorption while experiencing displeasure while eating decreases nutrient absorption
- eating high-quality versions of 'forbidden' foods can be very healthy for you when you eat them in a relaxed and pleasurable state while eating foods you perceive as 'healthy', aka low-fat, low-cal, sweet-free, can fuel your cravings and your health issues
- endorphins, the molecules of pleasure, not only make you feel good, they also burn fat and by increasing your level of vitamin P (pleasure), you'll improve your fat burning, while experiencing less pleasure does the opposite
- stress, anxiety and displeasure increases cortisol in your body, which among other things tells your body to store fat, lose muscle and eat more
- pleasure increases the relaxation response in your body (a real scientific thing) and shifts you from fight-or-flight mode into rest-and-digest mode and allows you to naturally stop eating when you are satisfied, no willpower necessary!
Here's the thing: pleasure happens in a relaxation state and most of us run around shallow breathing, scarfing down our food, worrying about calories, playing mental games with our meals (i.e.: "I'll just skip my lunch so I can indulge tonight) only to feel guilty, sluggish and out of control with our eating and we don't even enjoy our food! It's essential to enjoy your meals and not just enjoy them, take great pleasure in the whole experience
So here's an invitation for you:
Let's put parts 1, 2 and 3 together.
- Breathe: Before you eat, take 5-10 slow relaxing breaths. Feel yourself in your body. Relax tense muscles.
- Slow down: Notice your meal. Before you pick up your fork. Look at your plate. Notice the colors, the aroma. When you eat, chew slowly and breathe.
- Pleasure: The only way to eat with pleasure is to notice that there is pleasure to be had. When you breathe and slow down you become more present, you create space to taste your food, smell the food, take in your surroundings, connect with others at your table. Express gratitude for the moment and discover a deeper connection to yourself and savoring your meal. You might find you don't even enjoy the taste of something or you might notice when you show up fully, you don't need as much food to satisfy you because you're more present. Let it be an experiment.
As you can see that all three key ingredients go together very well: Slow Down, Breathe, Find Pleasure. Go ahead and give it a try...