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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • August 2018
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Achieving and sustaining a natural weight — Slow down to speed up

The classic definition of metabolism, which you may remember from high school biology, is the sum of all chemical and physical reactions that occur in the body to maintain life. I’ve always viewed this definition as a bit mechanical. It doesn’t account for the complexity of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, life experiences, stressors and the impact those things have on how well our bodies function. Take a moment to Google “mind-body research” to see a wealth of data showing that what we think and feel has a powerful impact on body chemistry. Just as our bodies metabolize food, we also must metabolize our unique life experiences.

To achieve a natural weight, it’s easy to believe we need to “fix” our metabolism by following a certain food plan, increasing our exercise, taking supplements or drugs, or, resorting to surgery. Many of these tools will work in the short run, but the results are often unsustainable. When we look at metabolism from an evolutionary perspective, our bodies are designed to conserve fat to prevent starvation in the future. However, we no longer live in a time of food scarcity. Also, factors such as stress, inactivity, lack of sleep, exposure to environmental toxins and access to an infinite array of poor quality foods wreak havoc on hormonal systems designed to help us maintain a natural body weight.

Personal and professional experience has taught me that we often give away our personal power in a desperate attempt to lose weight. This creates a stress response in the body, which decreases metabolic efficiency. A kinder approach invites us to look at the bigger picture of who we are as eaters and what is going on in our lives to see why we may be holding on to excess weight. Increasing our personal power automatically increases our metabolic power.

An analogy I often use with clients is to imagine the body as a car — it is the vehicle we use to “drive” to all the places we want to go with our lives. Many of us are in the passenger seat, or worse yet, we are trapped in the trunk! We let the car drive on “autopilot” when it comes to our relationship with food, our bodies, our lives — letting unconscious limiting beliefs, feelings and behaviors drive our car.

We also live in a “high fact” world filled with ever-changing, conflicting scientific advice regarding how, when and what to eat. Rarely do we take time to explore who is doing the eating. We traverse many detours as we sift through a never-ending supply of expert weight loss advice. Eventually, we run out of fuel, our car stalls and we are no closer to a healthier lifestyle than when we started.

And, we drive on highways crammed with rest stops selling staggering amounts of poor quality, highly addictive “fuel” that undermines our efforts. As passengers, we unconsciously use these foods to deal with stress at the expense of what will truly nourish us. We never get where we want to go because we don’t know how to access or trust our internal guidance system. This journey called “weight loss” is asking us to get in our cars and drive.

Here are some tips to naturally rev up your metabolism:

  • Learn to embrace a relaxed, slower approach to food and life.
  • Find a natural rhythm for eating, sleeping, working and relaxing.
  • Make time in your life for pleasurable, nourishing experiences.
  • Aim for quality in the foods you eat and the company you keep.
  • Explore your life with curiosity.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Live your life now — stop waiting for that magic number to appear on the scale.
  • Most importantly, live your life by your standards, not someone else’s. Become your own expert and embrace the paradox of slowing down as a way to speed up your metabolism.
Mary Radue

Mary Radue, Licensed Blue Belt Nia Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, is a co-owner of Sweet Willow Naturals in Green Bay where they have over 140 organic herbs and spices available for you to craft your own products or simply to enjoy as tea. Sweet Willow Naturals focuses on education backed by research and experience. They offer classes, wellness coaching and massage – stop in today! Mary is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and the Coach’s Training Institute. Mary has maintained a 95-pound weight loss for over five years by letting go of the diet mentality crippling this country. She is passionate about helping others create a relaxed, inspired relationship with food and body. She can be reached at 920-530-1188 or [email protected]

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