May 13, 2010

Mindful Movement: Moving in the Skinny Life Starts with Your Mind!

Last month we dug deep inside our subconscious to find an old friend-our inner Skinny eater. The inner Skinny eater that appreciates and tastes the many naturally good foods that is abundant around us. The inner Skinny eater that pauses before that first bite and asks, “Am I really hungry, or am I bored, stressed out, or doing it to socialize?” The inner Skinny eater who also asked, “If I eat this, how will it affect me in the long run? Will I gain weight, can it cause illness or cause me take an energy dip in the next few hours? Will it uplift my mood, my body, and my mind?”

During last month’s Skinny Eating theme, many of you probably discovered that you were stuck in a rut. This isn’t as unusual as you might think; most of the clients that I have guided to a healthier life find that they have deeply-rooted thought patterns that are keeping them from their greatest success in many areas of their lives. Those deeply-rooted thought patterns are the strings that connect the parts of their lives they’re most unhappy with.

In my book, Pure Thoughts for Pure Results, we explore the many thoughts firing in our subconscious during every given moment (if you have my book, we discuss this in Chapter 2; if you don’t have my book, you can join in some of the new discussions I’m starting on my book fanpage, ). That’s right-when you’re thinking about what to eat, there are at least five or six other areas of your brain that light up, and aren’t physically connected or related to the area of the brain making your eating decision. Yet, those unrelated areas are still subconsciously affecting how you make that eating decision. Those are your subconscious brain patterns that have formed throughout your life. This process is repeating all day, and will ultimately decide whether or not you progress forward, or stay where you are in all areas of your life.

In April we focused on the recognition of emotions, and stress and how they can often affect and dictate our eating habits; we were changing our thought patterns. We’ve been working on all of the simple ways we can recognize our destructive habits and turn them into habits that support our greatest health, looks, and confidence. And I’m sure you’re starting to see changes, from your energy levels throughout the day to your jeans fitting more loosely!

This month we’re going to dig deep again, and we’re going to find our Inner Skinny Athlete. Don’t panic! I know that exercise can seem like a chore or punishment, but the Skinny life doesn’t revolve around gyms and the activities that you dread (and if you dread exercise, it’s a thought pattern we’re going to change, too).

When you exercise your body, it is literally energy in motion. That’s why I call my exercise “movement” instead, because you’re utilizing your energy in motion. In turn, it creates more energy in all parts of our body. This is real, physical energy that is measured by the heat your body gives off, the racing of your heart, and the smooth clock-work process of our muscles moving us forward. Isn’t that beautiful to think about? Your human body is a masterful machine, made to move!

Just like Eating In The Skinny Life, Moving Through The Skinny Life starts with your mind. Moving Through the Skinny Life also has the power to kick-start your mind and emotions back into high working order! How?

When we exercise we produce more endorphins that boost our mood, we produce more neurotransmitters that help the brain function more effectively, and we increase the blood flow to flow to our cerebral brain. And of course there is always the added benefit of helping sustain our immune systems, growing stronger bones and joints, slimming down, and adding countless years to our lifetimes!

What stands between us and the movement we should use our bodies for?
Our thought patterns are deeply ingrained. When we’re stuck in a rut, our mind will continue to cycle us through that rut until we disrupt it intentionally. In Chapter 5 of Pure Thoughts for Pure Results, we discuss the mind/body connection. My favorite discovery that I love to share with anyone who wants to transform their lives, is found on page 84,

“Where do you get on board to change this ongoing feedback cycle of your body and mind? The answer to the preceding question is: anywhere. Since the mind and the body constantly communicate and feed information to each other, at whatever point you decide to intervene, your intervention will affect the other parts of the loop.”

Getting started is always the hardest part when you want to change a pattern of behavior. Where do you start, when you so greatly dislike going to the gym, or running, etc.?

We first start, as with all of my programs, with examining your motives for disliking exercise. Just like over-eating, lack of exercise can really be boiled down to three main reasons:

1. Is it an emotional decision?

a. Does exercise bring back memories that are less than pleasant? Moving in the Skinny Life is about creating a new relationship with your body. You can change your relationship with your physical fitness, one baby step at a time.

2. Is it a matter of convenience?

a. Are you too busy to exercise? Does the idea of rearranging your life for exercise sound troublesome or annoying? Moving in the Skinny Life is all about convenience, finding activities that you love and sticking to them. If you can commit to watching your favorite sitcom every night, I’m sure you can squeeze in some time to take a swim, or play some volleyball, or practice your bowling skills.

3. Is it a social matter?

a. Do none of your friends exercise? When you think of exercising alone, does it seem boring, lonely, or pointless? You don’t have to! When Moving in the Skinny Life you’ll find that if you love the activity you choose, it won’t be boring or pointless, and your enthusiasm will rub off on your friends around you.

Really meditate on the above reasons. Which one fits your reasons for not incorporating movement into your everyday life? Write it down, explaining why you feel that way.

Now I want you to visualize what your optimum physique and health would be like. Is it a targeted goal, like being able to complete 20 pushups? Or is it being able to climb up a flight of stairs without becoming breathless? Maybe it’s just to feel energized and to fit into your favorite clothes. Can you imagine how much vitality you’ll feel when you’re in the greatest shape of your life? Write it down.

Think back to your childhood. What activity gave you a rush of joy? Six years ago, when my life seemed to be falling into a rut, I remembered how much I loved jumping on my trampoline as a child. For years a trampoline had sat in my back yard, and my children had lovingly enjoyed it, just as I had many years before. Why wasn’t I enjoying it now; what had stopped me from continuing? I remembered the feeling of weightlessness, of flying, and of my troubles easing away…there was no reason why I shouldn’t jump on it again. So I began to jump on my trampoline again, and there were those familiar feelings of joy, bliss, and peace waiting for me with every jump. What activity did your mind wonder to? Write it down.

This week, I want you to start your movement routine by utilizing the activity you just wrote down. “But Crystal,” you must be thinking right now, “I haven’t ridden my bicycle in years! It’s impossible to do what I did as a kid!” Don’t give up before you start!

The first time I hopped back on my trampoline, I could barely jump for five minutes…After a week, I could go 10 minutes…After a few months I could steadily jump for 45 minutes.. And I never thought of it as a chore, because I loved to do it! Without meaning to, I began to tone up, my energy levels rose, and my life began to move out of the rut it was stuck in!

Loving the movement you choose to incorporate into your busy live is essentially to successfully Moving in the Skinny Life! When you feel discouraged, I want you to go back to your journal, and read your description of your ultimate physique. Visualize it, visualize your goals; get up and try again!

Here is another trick that I use when I’m feeling unmotivated to complete my movement routine: I get dressed to workout, even put on my shoes for it. If after 10 minutes of movement I still feel unmotivated to continue, I stop. But here’s the secret: once I start, I instantly feel better.

And feeling better, looking better, and being better is the purpose of Moving in the Skinny Life!

This week I’ll be posting fun workout ideas that you, and everyone you invite to join you, will love doing! I’ll be cheering you on, and sharing my personal workouts. You’ll find great video resources, quotes, and discussions to encourage your Moving in the Skinny Life!

Taking the first step towards your greatest health is exciting, and I’m eager to begin with you!

Cheers to your greatest health and fitness!


2 Responses to “Mindful Movement: Moving in the Skinny Life Starts with Your Mind!”

  1. You are a Very Skilled Blogger, You either have first hand knowledge of what your talking about or you did some great research. Thanks for this wonderful post.

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