Feeling Lighter

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under current, Health Space

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Do you ever think, ‘I feel heavy, kind of like I’m plodding’? This feeling doesn’t necessarily coincide with weighing too much, or more than you’d like. It can be heaviness of heart and spirit as well as a physical feeling.

Maybe it would help to think of the opposite: What does ‘lightness’ mean for you? For me, it means

• more spring in my step
• a fully-functioning digestive system, i.e. my tummy feels terrific
• big energy, enough to get done whatever comes my way today
• a good mood, happy with life
• no obvious physical pain, with a fair amount of flexibility as I move throughout the day

Do I feel ‘lightness’ every day? No way! But I can tell you I feel it more often than not nowadays, and I’m liking the way I feel. This feeling comes from a whole myriad of things, and I believe it’s a journey of continuous improvement, not that I’ll ever ‘arrive at my destination.’ As a matter of fact, every time I think I’ve made some great improvement in how I’m living, I learn more and am drawn to do more.

My journey started about 35 years ago, so I’ve been on the road for a long time. It began when my mother died – at age 55 – and I had a real wake-up call. That day I decided I would figure out how to live longer than she had, and that I’d live well enough to be able to enjoy every minute of it.

That day I started taking baby steps. One step a year, sometimes one step every other year. Changing a lifetime of habits, of ways of eating and living, takes time. I found there were things that seemed right but when I tried to incorporate them into my life, they didn’t work for me. Or I’d try something with a vengeance for 7 days, then get tired of it and switch to something else. I’m really good at that part – the switching from thing to thing! I get bored easily, plus I have found that if I don’t really like doing something, no matter how good it is for me, I’m not likely to keep doing it.

Some legs of my journey included ‘dieting’ to lose weight. I’ve tried them all, including the banana diet and the grapefruit diet. Doesn’t work. Once I went to Boot Camp to get a ‘real’ workout. I went 3 whole times. That was definitely not my cup of tea. I was the only person in the group over 30 – and I was twice that! I’ve bought many books on relaxation and meditation, ’cause I’m horrible at relaxing and can’t stand to be ‘unproductive’ for a moment. I read the first chapter or two and put the books away. Not interested. All of these things were recommended by someone as ‘the best thing to do’ in their respective categories.

Lately I’ve decided to do things for a different reason. I do them now because they make me feel better. They may not be the most highly recommended, and they may not work for other people. You see, everyone’s body responds to food, exercise, relaxation differently. You have to find what’s right for you!

So these days I’m feeling lighter in body and spirit, happier, calmer than I can remember feeling before. What am I doing?

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• I eat dark leafy greens every single day, sometimes multiple servings a day. And I love it.
• I’m more aware of my breath, and purposely breathe deeply a couple of times a day.
• I get excited when there’s a lot of color on my plate or in my smoothie.
• I practice yoga 2-3x a week.
• I have conversations with birds and horses.
• I’m very close to giving up grains, or at least all but organic popcorn with real butter, sprinkled with kelp (My tummy is doing a happy dance over this one, going sans grain, that is!)
• I am meditating 10 minutes a day. I’m on Day 16 so far, but this time I am comfortable with the approach! It feels right for me.
• I walk most mornings, and outside when weather permits.
• I savor daily dark chocolate!

What habits have you struggled to change?

What have you discovered that feels right for you!

Image Sources: Flowers: Ellen. Horse: Paula Antonini

About Our Health Space Contributor

Paula Antonini cAs a Holistic Health Coach, Paula Antonini specializes in helping business and professional women step off the diet roller coaster, get their energy back and take charge of their health through 1:1 coaching and small group programs. To learn more and sign up for her newsletter, go to www.simplynutrition.org. For a Complimentary Consultation contact Paula at paula.antonini@gmail.com. Her eCookbook, Simply Nutritious, Simply Delicious is now available on the website to support you on your journey toward feeling terrific!

Comments

2 Responses to “Feeling Lighter”
  1. Lori says:

    My journey also has been riddled with fits and starts, as you well know. But making the small changes you’ve suggested have made a huge difference. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience!