Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nurture Yourself

Take heart! We are now moving out of the darkness and into the light. The long, cold days of winter darkness will gradually get shorter now that the solstice has passed and we will see just a wee bit more light as each day lengthens as we move towards springtime. Yes, it is a hopeful time and a time to really think about replenishing yourself.

Many of us have struggled with power outages and frozen pipes and it isn’t even January yet….BUT there will be a little more light each day now and that will help us to move through whatever further challenges the winter brings. Some of you live in warmer climates others in frigid ones as do I. No matter where you are, however, it is a good time to think about the ending of this year and the start of the next. It is a time to reevaluate the choices you have been making and to make plans to nurture yourself into the best physical and emotional wellness and balance possible as you journey forward.

It is tempting at this time of year to hibernate and feed ourselves. We are likely to be less active and to park ourselves on the couch more often with a mug of hot chocolate and a fistful of cookies. The winter can be prime time for emotional overeating and so it is helpful to focus on the return of light and the movement towards the warmth of springtime.

Spend quiet time contemplating ways to transform old, unhealthy behaviors into positive, life giving ones. Light a candle and reaffirm your intention to treat yourself with love and respect. This is the task as you approach the new year and gain about two minutes of light each day. It is a time to appreciate yourself and to nurture yoursef to the very best of your ability.

Be well and stay warm,
Dr. Denise

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Before you binge...

Before you binge, take a few minutes to close your eyes and figure out what you're feeling. If you attend appropriately to your feeling, the urge to binge will likely pass. (For example, If you are lonely, call a friend; tired, take a nap; bored, read a book.)

Use the remedies in the Bach Flower Emotional Eating Support Kit. This contains three extremely powerful and effective essences:
Cherry Plum keeps you in control, Crab Apple improves body image and Chestnut Bud helps you stop sabotaging yourself again and again as your stress levels keep rising rise and your waistline contiues to expand. These all-natural remedies, derived from flowering plants and trees, are safe, effective and can be used without the worry of side effects. The Bach Original Flower Remedies provide a calming positive aid to balancing emotions and restoring energy.

When the urge to overeat strikes and you know it isn't physical hunger, it will help to distract yourself for a short while. (For example, take a little walk, meditate, just sit and breathe, prayer helps as well.)

Be sure your nutritional needs are adequately met. If you haven't giving your body the nutriants it really needs, it will continue to send hunger messages and it won't matter if you eat a tub full of pasta or a bowl of candy, you will still experience hunger until you are so over-filled that you don't feel well. Also, stay hydrated as dehydrathion can mask itself as hunger.

Remind yourself of all your blessings and enjoy your special holiday.

warmly, Dr. Denise

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Party Survival

The holidays are here and this means extra parties, extra goodies and sometimes extra pounds. Here are just a couple of ideas to help you stay on track yet still have fun during the festivities.

Eat before you get to the party so you won't be so hungry upon arrival -- I suggest some fruit and protein, like a cheese stick, an apple and some whole grain crackers.

When we feel better emotionally, psychologically, we naturally take better care of ourselves and make better choices so give yourself some "nurturing" time before the festivities begin, like taking a nap, meditating, enjoying a nice country walk if your climate permits.

Something that has been VERY helpful for my clients is to take an index card and write a list of reasons you want to be in control and eat well at all times, such as "I want to feel proud of myself when tonight is over" or "I want to continue the great work I am doing on being healthy and I know if I go overboard tonight that it will be a terrible setback" or, my favorite, "I am worth taking the very best care of myself." When things feel tough and you are tempted to do some emotional eating, slip away to a quiet place like the rest room and read your card. This will bring you back to center.

Limit alcoholic beverages. When we over drink, we are most likely to overeat as well.

Enjoy yourself but treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve!

warmly, Dr. Denise

Monday, December 1, 2008

What are you thankful for?

It is that time of year – the holiday season has arrived full force. Our economy is struggling and we may be eating more than ever as I explained in one of my November posts. What is vital is that we see beyond the hardships of today and allow ourselves to focus on the abundance that we do have all around us.

It costs nothing to watch a sunrise or sunset or to play a game with a child, toss a ball for your puppy or visit a friend who is alone. These are some activities that can make your holiday worthwhile. What do you appreciate in your life? What are you grateful for?

I am blessed to have a modest but warm and cozy home, a car that doesn’t let me down. I have many friends and family members whom I love and who love me in return. I am basically healthy and, although not wealthy, I always have food to eat. I have a voice and I can sing, although those who hear me may run from my not-so-melodious tones. No matter. I am having fun and that’s what it’s all about.

Think of the joys in your life. Remember the best of times and make this day count. For me it is about my attitude. If I look out at the gray New England skies this afternoon I can focus on the dismal, damp, chilly experience of the cold or I can focus on how snuggly I am inside sipping hot tea and relaxing. I can meditate and later I can go out into the elements with my puppy to walk and to wonder how the earth can be so beautiful in shades of pastel grays and browns. My walk will be what I make it.

So remember, it is up to you. Each and every minute you are the one who can change your life. You can hide under a pile of cookies and perpetuate your emotional eating routine or you can remind yourself that you are in charge of you and move forward. It helps to list things you are grateful for and then to meditate, play music or just involve yourself in an interesting project. There are as many ways to avoid emotional eating as there are humans. What are your ways? What do you want to do differently? How can you take the very best, most gentle care of yourself without abusing yourself with empty calories and lost time?

Today is yours. Meet it and make it count! As always, I remind you that you are worth it!

My very best wishes,
Dr. Denise