A Personal Note

I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have been exposed to excellent input in personal growth. With many years of education and facilitating personal growth seminars, helping people achieve more of what they want in their lives, I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Today I would like to share some insights with you, hopefully something will stand out for you and you’ll gain some balance.

Most often unbalance begins in the mind. We become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tasks that lie before us; or, we don’t believe we can get things done in time. We end up unconsciously thinking in a way that defeats us rather than helping us. These ways of thinking are called Cognitive Distortions and they can shape and/or hinder our perception of reality. Hence, we become unbalanced and might even feel “unhinged”.

Mental filtering is a form of tunnel vision where we tend to focus on only one thing or one area of life, ignoring the rest. We end up seeing only the negatives and fail to acknowledge the positives.

Then there’s jumping to conclusions. Usually, those conclusions are unjustified and not based on actual fact or evidence, but rather on feelings and personal opinions. A part of this includes assuming we know what someone else is thinking (mind reading), when we have no idea at all.

Are you blaming yourself for your problems and everything else that goes wrong in your life? It’s important to take responsibility for yourself, in fact it’s admirable, yet it can end up being a very burdensome habit-of-mind that leads to strong feelings of guilt and regret.

While this list is far from complete, it does offer some clues into how our thinking can sabotage us.

Here’s something you can use to help bring balance back into your thoughts:

Once you recognize your thinking is off-balance, stop and take a deep breath. Then ask yourself: What am I thinking about? What is it that I’m reacting to? Consider the bigger picture and view the issue from the outside, How would someone else see this? What is going on here? What is really true?

Once you’ve answered those questions, take action. What’s the best thing I can do here for myself, others, or the situation?

I’m a professional in the field of personal growth and habit change. I’m here for you and together we can find the answers you may be seeking.

balance

Some thoughts on how to bring balance into your life

One Example of Finding Balance

In your own life, bringing balance can translate to a variety of things. For instance, if you haven’t been working out, your longterm goal might be to get into shape; but perhaps it would be more useful to say to yourself that you are going to try to find a way to live that allows you to maintain your physical well-being. Short term, you might think about starting slowly, in manageable ways that you can work into your life and gradually, as you get stronger, expand. Instead of saying that you’re going to the gym everyday this week (which might be unrealistic and also leave you so sore and overworked that you won’t go back for months; and if you don’t go, you’ll beat up on yourself and that will be the end of any potential sense of balance), think about what you can realistically expect of yourself and attempt to figure out how you can actually get yourself to follow through.

For instance, it might be more realistic to start with a 30 minute walk two times this week. Or even, if it’s not too far away, simply walk to the gym and back. Yes, really! Once you see how you’re feeling, then you can set up another goal – but it needs to be one that you can accomplish and fit into your schedule and your lifestyle. The same is true for any other goal, whether it’s to lose weight, change careers, find a life partner, start a long-delayed project…really, anything you want to do.

Balance Includes Failures, Too.

Remember that both accomplishments and failures are part of balance. Most of us have plenty of both already in our lives, but we may not always pay equal attention to both. If you are someone who focuses on your failures, try to notice small moments of success. See what that feels like. See if you can figure out what you’re afraid of, why you have to focus on the negative instead of the positive. But don’t beat up on yourself if you can’t stay there. It’s normal to fall out of that awareness back into more familiar thoughts. Just go back to the positive when you can. That’s balance.

The same is of course true if you always focus on your successes. It’s great to be proud of yourself!! But maybe try for a moment or two to pay attention to any failures you may have had in the last couple of days. You don’t need to stay there long. Just recognizing that they’re there will help you be more balanced!

Whether you’re heading back to work or school, sending your kids off to a new adventure, changing jobs, getting married or divorced, moving to a new city, or just living life as usual, remember that you are always in transition. The trick to living a balanced life is, (to quote from Mindy Bacharach), to always keep in mind that “Balance is the process of holding something(s) steady during change.

 

Built on Balance

Built on Balance

Back in the ’90s when I was training for a bodybuilding competition, I came across a book written by an all-natural female competitor who was a title-holder in the US and Canada. The name of the book was “Built on Balance” and in it the writer talked about balance in workouts, food, and mental attitude. That was well over 25 years ago now – but the advice is more true today than ever.

While checking the trends in health and wellness for 2019, the overwhelming flow is toward achieving more balance in our lives – especially in our food and exercise.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems the frenetic race toward certain diets is dying down and people are beginning to get a grip on the truth that moderation is really key. In my work I deal with people who have struggled endlessly with food issues. They’ve tried every diet in the book and own every book on dieting; they have a gym membership and work out three or four times a week militantly, yet they’re stuck. What’s the problem?

In my opinion, most of it boils down to a lack of balance.

Transitioning From One Season to Another

As I mentioned earlier, we’re fast approaching that season of change again as summer gives way to fall. It’s interesting that during seasonal changes, particularly spring to summer and summer to fall (that would be June and September) we tend to be particularly susceptible to feeling off balance. It seems there’s always more to do than there are hours in the day during these transitional times.

And, it’s not just moms getting kids back into the rhythm of school. More and more we’re hearing of not only women but men as well who are trying to balance career and family – it’s really refreshing to hear men talk about this issue. However; women seem to have a more challenging time of it, especially if they’re juggling kids, career, marriage and life in general. Where does one find the time for exercise, preparing balanced meals, leisure, friends, and visiting family? Nevermind a holiday!

Trying Google

If you check out Google for ways to balance life, you’ll find more than 332 million entries. Obviously, a lot of people are looking for balance in their lives. So, what caused the imbalance and how do you go from imbalance to balance?

There are a lot of answers to that question, including cultural and environmental ones that lead to fears about the world we live in and anxieties about taking care of ourselves and our loved ones in the here and now and in the future. There are also plenty of personal answers, having to do with self-esteem, expections, and complex wishes to please someone else, prove ourselves to them (or to ourselves), and sometimes to surpass someone else.

But, Here’s the Thing …

When you read the articles Google presents you with, you’ll find they miss a vital point. And, here’s the thing – finding balance is a lifetime project. It is ongoing. It is not a finite goal at the end of which you will have a peaceful, calm and meaningful life. Balance is a way of living. It is a process.

We are about to experience the Fall Equinox, that time where there’s equal light and dark, the balance between day and night. It’s marked on the calendar as one or two days, ie September 21/22, but in fact, the equinox is a very quick moment in time when everything is in balance then, in just a few short seconds, it’s passed and the balance has tipped.

So, rather than trying to find that place where you’re in a constant state of perceived balance, maybe a better tact would be figuring out how to navigate the transition times, kind of like “going with the flow”.

That’s what I specialize in and I’m here when you’re ready to talk.

How to connect

How to Connect

I’m going to give you some ideas here to get you started on your way to balancing your body, inducing healing and gaining health and energy. My family has been consciously grounding for several years and it’s certainly something I prescribe to my clients.

The Earth’s energy is there for your taking any time, day and night. It’s free. It’s not a pill, potion, nor ointment. It’s in the ground, on the ground, and from the ground, right beneath your feet. You can have as much of it as you want … free … no limit.

Here’s How You Do It:

1. You can walk barefoot on the beach, in a park, your yard (or someone else’s yard), on sand, stones, gravel or just plain earth.

2. Ground by sitting in a chair with your feet planted on the ground, while reading a book or listening to music.

3. Dampen the earth for more conductivity and leave your feet on the earth for 30 to 40 minutes at least. Truth told, any part of your body in touch with the Earth will conduct electrons. That would include your torso, arms, legs, head … you get the idea.

4. Concrete is conductive but its effectiveness is contingent upon the amount of water beneath the concrete. A dry concrete floor or one with a water barrier beneath won’t be very effective. Asphalt is not conductive, neither is wood nor vinyl.

5. Water-wise, wading or swimming in the ocean is not only fun recreation, it’s a brilliant form of grounding. Saltwater is rich in minerals and highly conductive – several hundred times more than fresh water. Conductivity is dependent on the concentration of minerals in the water, so lake water is far less conductive, pool water is virtually non-conductive and kiddie pool water is not at all conductive due to the plastic that insulates from the ground.

6. A tree is wood and thus non-conductive. However, if you hold a leaf of the tree firmly between your fingers, you’ll be grounded. The earth under a tree is generally moist when exposed and is a good place to ground. But, tree hugging with your shoes on doesn’t do anything in terms of grounding.

If you’re interested in learning more about grounding, or Earthing as it is sometimes called, then I recommend a book by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD and Martin Zucker, called “Earthing”. Most of the technical information in this article was gleaned from this source.

Having said that, as I mentioned earlier, my family has been using grounding (including grounding sheets, foot pads and flip-flops) for several years with wonderful results.

A couple of years ago I arrived back home from a trip abroad with a serious pain in my upper back and neck. My husband suggested we ground at the beach – always a pleasure for me. We did so two times for a couple of hours each time and the pain in my back and neck was gone.

When I’m stressed, a long walk barefoot on the beach, or just sitting with my bare feet on the ground brings calm and clarity.

Grounding, One of the Most Important Health Discoveries Ever!

Grounding, One of the Most Important Health Discoveries Ever!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you may have seen a recent video I did on grounding. In this case, I was walking barefoot on the beach. Many of us love to do that – but did you know you were gaining great health benefits as a result of that barefoot walk? Well, you do and as you read on you’ll discover why spending time connecting with Mother Earth is so very good for you.

Inflammation – the Root Cause of Chronic Disease

It’s widely understood these days that the cause of so many illnesses is inflammation. In fact, inflammation is recognized as the central health issue of our time with more than 30,000 scientific studies per year – for nearly half a century – done on the subject. As such, it shows a critical link between our lifestyle and the soaring global increase of chronic diseases.
Everyone is susceptible to inflammation – from high performance athletes to non-performance couch potatoes. It’s an equal opportunity attacker.

The word, inflammation, comes from a Latin word that means to set on fire. It’s the biological response of the body to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants; a protective attempt by the system to remove agents that threaten or injure as well as trigger the healing process for affected tissues. Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would put survival in jeopardy.

Inflammation comes in two forms: acute or chronic. Acute is when the body reacts as it should to harmful stimuli and it’s what we want, as described above. Chronic inflammation, or prolonged inflammation, is not what we want or need. With chronic inflammation there is a harmful free-radical release and encroachment on healthy tissue and it can seriously harm you.

Free radicals have an important role to play in the immune response. However, when they fail to wind down completely after the job is done they cause serious issues. They continue to attack and oxidize healthy tissue, the immunity gears switch into overdrive and send more white blood cells into the affected area. The result contributes to the out-of-control levels of chronic disease we have amongst populations today.

We’ve Disconnected and Now We Suffer

In an extensive series of studies done in the Max Planck Institute during the 1960s and 70s, researchers intentionally isolated volunteers for months at a time to live in underground rooms electrically shielded from the rhythms in the Earth’s electric field. They were meticulously monitored for all types of responses, including sleep patterns, body temperature, urinary output and other physiological activities. The results were astounding as they experienced disturbed sleep-wake patterns, out-of-sync hormonal production and overall disruption in basic body regulation.

When electric rhythms comparable to those measured at the Earth’s surface were pulsed into the metal shielding around the chambers, there was a dramatic restoration of normal physiological patterns. These studies, conducted over many years, documented the significance of the Earth’s electrical rhythms for normal biological function. Normal rhythms in the body establish a stable reference point for repair, recovery, and rejuvenation – for full health.

Interestingly enough, David Wolfe, an author, nutritionist, speaker and outspoken authority on health and lifestyle, deems “the common shoe” as perhaps the “world’s most dangerous invention.” After almost twenty years of lifestyle research, he incriminates the shoe as one of the “most destructive culprits of inflammation and autoimmune diseases” in our lives because it separates us from the healing energy of the Earth.

“Put a shoe on,” he says, “and it’s gone.”
Now, I love shoes … so in order to keep my body healthy, I engage in Grounding regularly.

Enter Grounding: The Missing Link

Before we go any further, it’s important to make the following announcement: We are Electrical Beings. The concept that man is made from the Earth is more than a fable. It has been proven to be fact in terms of our bodies’ abilities to heal when in touch with the Earth.
The land and seas of the planet are alive with a boundless, constantly replenishing supply of electrons. By making contact with the surface of the planet, our conductive bodies naturally equalize with the Earth … in effect, we refill the electron level in our tank that has become low.

So, how do we know this is actually happening?

Well, for one thing, common sense tells us. The Earth is negatively charged and has an endless supply of free electrons. Anytime two conductive objects make contact – like your bare feet and the earth – electrons will flow from the place of abundance (earth) into the place of lack (your body). The electrical potential of the two objects equalizes. That’s grounding.

Here’s where the free radical connection enters.

Free radicals and electrons constantly interact and many free radicals are positively charged. Some are not, but most are. These reactive molecules, hungry for electrons, absorb them from our bodies when we are in contact with the huge amount of electrons available from the Earth. This process reduces or shuts down the inflammatory destruction caused by free radicals.

Big, negatively charged Earth overwhelms little electron-hungry free radicals.

Walking the Camino

OFF TO THE CAMINO!!

We’re finally here. We are now on the trek of the El Camino de Santiago de Compostella trek as you are reading this newsletter. It’s difficult to put into words exactly what I’m feeling right now … kind of a cross between super-excited and trepidation.

Our itinerary will take us to Paris for three nights and two days and then on to Pamplona, Spain where we begin the first day of our 14-day, 25-km per day walk.  The sites we’ll visit and the sights we’ll see will all be available on my Facebook page, Nurit Amichai, and also on a couple of Instagram pages – one of which is in my name.  And, of course, you can access the blogs and vlogs on my website.  I haven’t used the Instagram pages for some time, but promise I’ll be using them now – especially since some of my clients use nothing but Instagram.  🙂

I hope you’ll follow along as we take this incredible journey.

www.forthehealthofit.co.il

Facebook:  Nurit Amichai

Instagram:  Nurit Amichai

 

Now, just a word about the rock you see in the picture here.

There’s a tradition of taking a rock or stone with you on the Camino and leaving it somewhere along the trail.  The act can mean a number of things … leaving cares behind; marking your presence on the trail; or using it as a connecting point for change, among other things.

What we’ve decided to do it take a rock (and I do mean a ROCK), on which we’ve written a few instructions, and leave it at a point on the trail in a place where it can be seen.  Part of the instructions include the following:

Find it.  Move it.  Post it.

So, when someone finds the rock they should carry it to a new location and then post a picture of the rock on Instagram under the hashtag:  #stoneunturned

We’ll be following the journey of the rock and you can, too, as you follow me and my friend over the coming days.  We leave on June 13th and arrive back in Israel on July 2nd.

Be sure to comment on Facebook and Instagram!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Walking the Camino

Walking the Camino

With just under one month to go, my excitement level for this upcoming adventure is rising steadily every day.  We leave Tel Aviv on June 13th!  I can hardly believe it.

Camino TrailBefore I go on with this article I need to make some corrections to my last piece about the Camino.  First of all, I gave you the incorrect name of the city from which we will begin our trek.  It is called Pamplona.  The second correction is that we end up at the Atlantic, not the Mediterranean.  Forgive me for providing incorrect information.  Truly, as a health professional, that’s just not acceptable.

So, as the date quickly approaches, I’m busy ensuring I have everything I need for this walk.  That would include all of the necessary paperwork, passport, applicable other cards and my phone and tablet.  While I’m away I’ll be connecting with my clients via Skype, Messenger, or Duo and I’m so grateful for technology.

The baggage won’t be large or heavy this time around as there will be no need for multiple changes along the way.  We’ll be literally “washing and wearing” repeatedly the same things.  For a person who likes to wear different clothes every day, this will be a little challenge.  I did score some great sandals to take along for walking as well as my boots (the orange ones I talked about earlier).  Rain gear, shorts, tights and some “real” clothes for the times when I need to look like a lady …

I’ll be posting on Facebook under nurit.amichai and on my webpage:  www.forthehealthofit.co.il

Be sure to drop in occasionally to see what I’m up to, view the remarkable scenery, and hear from some of the people I meet along the way.

We’re planning a party to celebrate our departure and we’ll probably have one to celebrate our return.  I mean, what better excuse for a party than celebrating the Camino!

 

Family support for OCD

Some Help for The Friends and Family

What About Those Who Watch the Suffering?

In an article on families of OCD sufferers, Heidi and Alec Pollard, two experts in the field of OCD, state:

“OCD is a family affair.  The toxic tentacles of this disorder extend far beyond its identified victim.”

I did a little digging and found a page from a website dedicated to helping sufferers of OCD and their friends and family.  Following is an excerpt from that page, from http://beyondocd.org/information-for-friends-and-family

Steps To A Better Life

Life with a person who has OCD is filled with conflicting emotions.  If you feel frustrated, angry, overwhelmed or hopeless, you are not alone.  Today, there are new and more effective coping strategies for dealing with OCD-related difficulties. Families and friends can now take advantage of various “tools” that are effective in improving interactions between you and the OCD sufferer, and, at the same time, can help him or her succeed in the treatment process.  Very importantly, when you interact with and/or provide care to an individual with OCD, you must take care of your own physical and emotional well-being.

First Things First

Some very important steps to help your loved one begin with you:

Learn about OCD

You will need to understand what your loved one goes through with this frequently debilitating disorder.  We recommend you visit the OCD Facts, Individuals, or Parents section of this website for more information about:

You can access the OCD Facts, Individuals and Parents sections through the Home page of this website, or through these links:

Become a Catalyst for Change

We urge you to follow these guidelines:

  • Help your loved one find appropriate treatment for OCD and encourage him or her to actively participate in the therapy process.  Effective treatment is the most important step in gaining relief.
  • Stop enabling OCD in your household or in your relationship.  Participating in rituals with your loved one or accommodating avoidance behavior actually does not help.  In fact, the effect can be just the opposite.
  • Try to establish a positive emotional climate in the home.  How you communicate with your loved one as well as the level of support you provide cannot be overemphasized.

If this sounds easier said than done, we understand your skepticism.  Beyond OCD’s mission is to help people with OCD get relief, help their families and friends develop the key skills to become agents of change and help initiate dramatic improvements for everyone in the life of an OCD sufferer.  The following sections will help you get started:

Take Care of Yourself

Before an airplane ever leaves the ground, flight attendants provide important instructions about what to do in an emergency.  One of those instructions is particularly noteworthy: Put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help anyone else.  The basic message is that unless you first take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help others.  Yet this fundamental idea is frequently ignored by family members of individuals with OCD.  And even though research has indicated that family members report some – if not severe – distress adjusting to OCD, they seldom seek the professional help they need.  Instead, they usually focus on the individual with OCD.

OCD adult-care

You’re OCD? Really??

Have you ever said something like this:  “Oh, I’m just OCD”, or “It’s just my OCD”?  It seems saying something like this is quite acceptable and in some cases, it’s just part of the vernacular.  We bandie the expressions around without understanding what we’re saying – and there are real people, with real OCD who are both offended and dare I say, put off with such trite comments.

Don’t Confuse Perfectionism with OCD

Most of us don’t understand what OCD is and may confuse it with perfectionism (that is if we’re thinking about what we’re saying).  In this month’s newsletter I want to give some basic understanding to both perfectionism (of which I am a card-carrying member) and OCD.  There’s a huge difference and it is my hope that by having a little more information we will become more considerate and sensitive to others in a positive and helpful way.

Perfectionism or OCD?

People often laugh at and about me over the way I do things.  I have a friend who tells other people that even the Tupperware lids are arranged in perfect order.  All of my drawers are organized and yes, my closet has all of the clothes organized in color order.  By the way, my husband’s closet is organized that way too, because I do that.  Do you?  Does that make me OCD?

The fact is that many of us have perfectionistic quirks, like keeping things in order or lining the books on the shelves in order of height and content.  We lightheartedly throw the term OCD around when we talk about it and say we’re OCD.  But, the truth is that these things do not make a person OCD.

In fact, OCD is no laughing matter.  Often misunderstood, this type of mental illness has the potential to cripple a person’s ability to go through the day.  It can be triggered and driven by perfectionism, but it is neither the same as nor is it “perfectionism on steroids”.

“From a high level, the best way to think about OCD versus perfectionism is to think about who is this behavior serving and who is it bothering?” says psychiatrist Joseph Baskin, MD. “People with obsessive-compulsive disorder know that their behavior is problematic but they can’t stop it. People with perfectionism don’t care – it makes their lives orderly.”

What OCD means

OCD is a mental health disorder that causes an individual anxiety through repeated, unwanted thoughts or urges.  So, in an attempt to reduce the anxiety, the person performs a repetitive and compulsive action or ritual that may not even be associated with the fear they are dealing with.  Even though they may know what they’re doing is not rational, they’ll compulsively do the action over and over again for hours throughout the day.

“Sometimes people have fears of germs; sometimes it’s the need for counting or certain things to happen in certain quantities,” Dr. Baskin says. “Sometimes it’s just an obsessive thought that they can’t get out of their head.”

As an example of OCD behavior, a person with obsessive thoughts about safety, whether theirs or that of their loved ones, may have to unlock and relock their front door a specific number of times before they feel they can leave their home.

“They know that they shouldn’t have to do it, but they must do it, because to not do it means to have an increase in their level of anxiety that’s intolerable,” Dr. Baskin explains. “The whole process is very bothersome to the individual.”

So, How Does Perfectionism Relate to OCD?

Perfectionism as a personality trait may show up as rigidly following certain habits or rituals consistently; for instance, a specific morning routine or the way the desk at work is organized.  However, these rituals or habits are not necessarily motivated by anxiety.

According to Dr. Baskin, “They’re content to do those things because it works well for them, even if it drives everyone else crazy.”

Perfectionists have high standards and expectations for both themselves and others and they are usually recognized as good organizers with a tendency to be goal-oriented.  In fact, in a healthy context, perfectionism can be an excellent tool for the achievement of excellence.
However, there’s a saying that “perfect is the enemy of good”, and the high standards imposed by perfectionists can make them very critical of themselves and others.

When perfectionism becomes problematic, the individual themselves is usually the last one to know,” he explains. “It’s often their work or marriage that tends to suffer the most.”

There is Help!

Dr. Baskin says that OCD is most commonly treated by combining medication and psychotherapy.  The therapy may be the type that focuses on the idea of “radical acceptance,”  which is designed to help those dealing with OCD to stop the internal fight and let go of what they can’t control.  In some milder cases, behavioral therapy is enough, in more extreme cases SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a commonly prescribed drug for mental health issues, is frequently used.

For those with extreme or unhealthy perfectionism, psychotherapy may be of benefit,

“But these people often don’t seek help, because they don’t think that anything is wrong,” Dr. Baskin says.

The good news is that anyone who experiences anxiety, obsessive thoughts or behaviors that affect their quality of life, should know that there is help available and their quality of life can improve.

How to kick junk food

How to Kick the Junk Food Habit and Eat Healthy

The good news is that the research shows that the less junk food you eat, the less you crave it. If you can find ways to eat healthier, you’ll find that your cravings for junk food diminish.
I’m a serious fan of James Clear and he has written a strategy that seems to work, so I’m going to share it with you here:

1. Use the “outer ring” strategy and the “5 ingredient rule” to buy healthier food.
The best course of action is to avoid buying processed and packaged foods. If you don’t have it in your house, you can’t eat it. Furthermore, if you don’t think about it, you can’t be lured by it.
We’ve talked about the power of junk food to pull you in and how memories of tasty food in the past can cause you to crave more of it in the future. Obviously, you can’t prevent yourself from ever thinking about junk food, but there are ways to reduce your cravings.
James has a strategy he calls “outer ring strategy”, and something I teach my clients very early on in our experience together. Just shop on the outer ring of the grocery store, you know, where all of the fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy are stocked. Now, just because it’s on the outer ring doesn’t mean it’s all healthy, but you will definitely avoid a lot of unhealthy foods this way.
Then there’s the “5 ingredient rule” … if something has more than five ingredients in it, leave it on the shelf. Odds are the food has been engineered to make you want to eat more of it.
We know that the additives in some foods are there to create cravings, so my own personal philosophy regarding reading food labels is this: If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.

2. Eat a variety of foods.
As we covered earlier, the brain craves variety and novelty.

If you’re craving the crunch and cream of an Oreo, try instead dipping a carrot in hummus – you’ll get a very similar sensation. Try cooking with new spices and flavors you haven’t used before. Preparing ethnic foods is a favorite of mine. By trying new ethnic dishes, I learn about different spices and ways to prepare foods.

3. Find a better way to deal with your stress.
You may wonder why I haven’t mentioned this before, especially since so many people use food as a coping mechanism for stress. Stress causes certain regions of the brain to release chemicals (specifically, opiates and neuropeptide Y). These chemicals can trigger mechanisms that are similar to the cravings you get from fat and sugar. In other words, when you get stressed, your brain feels the addictive call of fat and sugar and you’re pulled back to junk food.

We all have stressful situations that arise in our lives. Learning to deal with stress in a different way can help you overcome the addictive pull of junk food. Heading off to the gym, doing a yoga class, taking some time out for a short guided meditation or doing a craft are all options when it comes to heading off stress eating.

Where to Go From Here
One of my goals with this article is to reveal just how complex poor eating habits can be. Junk food is designed to keep you coming back for more. Telling people that they “need more willpower” or should “just stop eating junk” is short-sighted at best.

In order to create new habits around food, it’s important to ask for what you need. Most of us would love to believe we can handle it by ourselves and, when we don’t, we head back into the spiral of poor eating habits.

It doesn’t have to be that way for you. If you’re ready to kick junk food and get your mind set on good behaviors that serve you, contact me and Let’s Talk.