If you are just starting into the series and this is the first post you are reading, press pause! You really need to go back and begin the series here and then follow the progression. You will build a stronger foundation and it will make more sense, trust me 😉 Then, join me back here!! So happy you are joining us 🙂
Really?? Why in the world am I bringing up toxins? What does that have to do with Laying a Strong Foundation? Don’t you just need to do more healthy habits to be healthier?! Well. . . how do I put this succinctly?? I will try. Basically, toxins are killing your efforts AND they take up space in your life and it hinders the amount of good habits you are able to adopt. There you have it! Now, would you like to learn more? Great! Let’s dive in 🙂
One of the new concepts I learned about in my Health Coach training is the need to clear clutter (if you haven’t read the post, click here). By clearing the clutter, you are creating new space. It could be new space in your mind, your heart, your calendar, your life, whatever! You only have so much space available, unless you are a super hero and can defy the odds!!! Ok, back to reality. We only have so much space available, so in order to adopt or take on new things, we have to release something. Let me give you an example.
Toxic thinking. I will just go ahead and share a personal example. I like to start the new year looking back over the previous year, evaluating things and then from that place, looking ahead and deciding what it is I desire for the new year. If you missed my post on this, you can listen in here. I shared about wanting to change my negative thinking. Part of my motivation for this is because I have noticed how much this holds me back, personally. I can be super positive and uplifting when I talk with others, but about myself I can be crazy negative. That is yucky to see in print 🙁 As I am trying to get this website up and going, engaging with more people through Health Coaching . . . it can really bring some of my insecurities to the service (ok, A LOT of them!!!). This is forcing me to deal with them. I can honestly say I am getting excited about that! As they bubble up to the surface, it gives me a chance to notice them and to deal with them. Is it hard? Yes! Can I just stuff them? Absolutely! But, the only way to heal something is to deal with it. So, I am committed to working through the yuck, so that I can clear it out and make room for who I truly desire to be. For others, and for myself.
Do you see how that works? Let’s hit another area.
Toxic Food. It does not matter how much you exercise, if you are sabotaging your efforts by taking in toxic foods. Toxic foods will kill your efforts to feel better and look better. What exactly are toxic foods? Glad you asked! For this answer, I will be referencing a great book, Food and Love by Gary Smalley. I feel like he boils it down and makes it easy to understand.
Foods can have an effect on our emotions. The wrong kinds of foods can threaten our emotional health. For instance, even a small amount of processed food or caffeine can actually alter the chemical balance in our brains and cause mood changes.
If your energy is low and you find you don’t do things with your spouse, children or friends as a result, the foods you eat may be contributing to your lack of energy. My research indicates that common ailments such as muscle and joint stiffness or soreness, headaches, colds, sore throats can be caused by the food – the fuel – that we put into our mouths. The more I read, the more I see that many of the foods we eat – foods that look good, smell good, and taste good – are really counterfeit foods. They don’t have the nutrients our cells need to grow and keep us healthy.
These four foods are the biggest culprits in harming our emotional and physical health.
- White or refined sugar
- White or refined flour
- Hydrogenated oils and animal fat
- Chemically-laden foods (Dr. Mark Hyman would say “frankenfoods”)
Dr. Smalley shares a great visual in his book about how eating these foods can impact our lives. Imagine each of these steps creating a full circle.
- The Positive Cycle. At the top: Healthy food leads to positive emotions ~ Positive emotions lead to stronger relationships ~ Strong relationships lead to physical health ~ Emotional/physical health helps us make healthy food choices ~ leading right back into ~ Healthy food leads to positive emotions.
- The Negative Cycle. At the top: Unhealthy foods lead to negative emotions ~ Negative emotions lead to troubled relationships ~ Troubled relationships contribute to illness ~ Emotional/Physical illness tempt us to make unhealthy food choices ~ leading right back into ~ Unhealthy foods lead to negative emotions.
Can you picture it? Crazy right?! So simple and makes so much sense! Where do you land? Are you on the Positive Cycle or the Negative Cycle? Do you want some great news? You can change it!!! If you are on the Negative Cycle, you can totally make changes and within a week or two be on the Positive Cycle. Do NOT suffer alone!! Let me help. Message me if you would like to discuss ways that I can help you make the shift.
Toxic Consumption. Can you apply this toxic concept to other areas as well? What other areas can you see toxicity? Relationships? Words? Messages you take in? What else? My goal is not to overwhelm you, but to expose these areas. Don’t worry, you don’t have to deal with them yet. You are just going to be in observation mode for a few weeks. You have to identify the problem areas before you can fix them.
Action Step. I want you to take your handouts and leave them out on the counter. Over the next few weeks, I want you to take notes on what toxins you are consuming or allowing to exist in your life. I am not asking you to make any changes yet. Just to be in observation mode for a few weeks. Let’s get a good idea of what we are dealing with. We will deal more with these in a few weeks.