I spent 2019 learning to make sourdough bread from scratch. Going against the trend, in 2020, I stopped and lost the 17 pounds I had put on instantly! The body is amazing. That weight gain wasn’t immediately noticeable as my body dispersed the fat equally throughout it’s parts equally. The consequences of getting tired easily and having sore joints could all be explained away until all of a sudden clothes were too tight and pockets of fat were stored in unusual places.
As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I observed my body’s adjustment to the yoyo up and down of weight gain and loss as an interesting functional phenomenon. I noticed gaining weight in the soft tissue around the joints felt like it pushed the bones out of alignment. There was too much fat in the way. Especially in the thighs and upper arms. This made bone alignment more challenging and left the body to come up with silent and elusive solutions. Unconsciously the body recruited muscle and soft tissue to bear my weight. One doesn’t actively know the shifts that are being made as the body makes adjustments like this. I have felt the bone reposition itself in the joint differently as space appears when losing weight. This doesn’t automatically mean the bone begins to support one’s weight efficiently. A new silent habit has been formed that will continue until new movement patterns are introduced.
The body feedback increases when reversing weight gain
In the reversal stage and losing weight, there is a deeper connection to the felt sense of physical support and trust in movement ability for me. While gaining weight the body feedback tends to go somewhat numb as the inner sensory shifts focus to the bulk versus the fine motor function.
The weight gain also became an obstruction to breathing and sleeping. The functional movement through the ribs and lungs is diminished with the additional weight through the upper chest and torso. For example with an increase weight I snored and then when losing it I stopped.
no one consciously chooses to become overweight
This years weight loss was due to different lifestyle choices verse a focus on dieting. In the fall of 2019 I wrote about how 2020 reflected hard work in numerology. For me this has manifested by committing to shift my primary focus from external influences to actively making personal choices to benefit my own health and wellness regime. Since actively pursuing a Feldenkrais® practice a decade and a half ago my energy and focus of attention was primarily on the health and well being of others and not on myself. I made myself too available which didn’t leave much time for self-care. I didn’t intentionally gain weight yet it happened unconsciously due to a lack of focus.
Energy flows wherever the focus of attention goes
On the solstice of 2019 I created intentions in all of the nine life areas to reflect a wellness plan and begin to balance these life areas to better reflect self care. These 9 areas are; knowledge, career, helpful people, groundedness, health, creativity, wealth and abundance, recognition and relationships.
The one life area that lacked focus for a number of years was a healthy eating plan. Even though eating healthy had been a strong structure it silently fell to the wayside during a period that lacked balance in all nine life areas. As a single parent in the pursuit of an unprecedented and uncharted career focus the children took over the eating planning that created bad habits. In my experience it only takes one fast food meal to create cravings!
health area: physical, mental & emotional functions, nutrition & nourishment
In the transition of 2019’s fall to winter my intention was to bring balance to my nine life areas. As I previously stated, my focus had been on my career and helpful people (community). The motivation for 2019’s intention was my health and wellbeing, specifically my own body. This meant a willingness to pull back focus on others for self care. As 2020 comes to an end some of the new habitual changes have been:
education, exploration & experience
- evaluating the nutritional values of food and outcomes for all moving parts of the body
- habits formed for different foods in the fridge and cupboard
- growing new types of nutrition inside and outside
- new dried plant parts for teas, infusions and skin care
- new personal activities that directly support gland, organ, soft tissue and cellular health natural (focus is on inside not outwardly directed)
Beginning as far back as 1989 I have had a dedicated focus on practical and doable steps for living a life that matters. 2020 has been a natural evolution of integrated focus. These past months have validated a personal truth that until this year was a belief from the past and previous glimmers.
Each functioning body part has its own independent nutritional needs.
The recognition that each body part such as; brain, eyes, thyroid, individual organs and glands, and more, all have different nutritional value needs. This understanding came from introducing and experiencing new and unusual foods to my own eating plan. New foods created a somatic experience that can only be described as triggering an aliveness in my brain that has naturally shifted the motivation for the types of foods I reach for. 2020 has meant an increase in healthy home-made foods and an absence of sweets, chocolates, fast food and sweet sauces.
Physical, mental and emotional functions are in partnership
One’s Body is not the enemy, so why to we speak as though it is?
Working with students, while integrating my own experience this way, I have observed there is a universal gap in understanding the effects of food on body parts and function. This is a common phenomenon as well. What I believe I am witnessing is a pattern of thinking and emotions that unconsciously treat the physical body functional needs as ‘enemies’ and/or being a victim to it. This can be as simple as taking one’s body for granted with demonstrated annoyance at its perceived failures, to irritation at the mention of spending more time and effort on changing up the basics. A universal experience I am recognizing are the evaluative experiences stating the body as betraying one as through the body has control over oneself. The gap seems to be the universal understanding that the body is a part of one’s whole function and in equal partnership with the mental and emotional functions. The mental mind cannot function without a functioning body. It is one system and if the body isn’t being well nourished and nurtured, neither are the mental and emotional functions. Beliefs and memories are often obstacles to both eating well in the moment and for exploring new habits. Often the focus is on external distractions such as the rules of eating, rather than the internal functioning components.
Three key areas that I have experienced and witnessed as obstacles to focus on improved physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are:
- Giving up time from other activities
- Personal beliefs justifying habits without doing an audit on values
- Lack of motivation for challenging oneself to break habitual patterns
I have stated that unhealthy patterns of movement are a learned behaviour in a recent article on silent learning patterns in our educational model. I am now suggesting that the diet strategies being marketed are also a silent education model of learned behaviour. Diet solutions come and go. What they leave behind is their influence in our perspective, emotions and beliefs. Influences that begin to interfere with body function. I have had many students that have simply stopped eating without realizing that good nutrition would be effective in shifting their states of being. I have had others with serious conditions continue in their patterns without the will to explore change through new foods. One of the hurdles that impede incentive to change are habitual behaviours. These cultural habits are challenging. Two dominant ones are:
- Overcoming early developed thinking pattern that there is a higher authority to tell us what is best for us
- Overcoming early learned behaviors for seeking solutions to be fixed
These two patterns demonstrate the silent education that began in primary school and continued onward. Read more about universal behaviour patterns that can only have been ingrained through collective learning systems.
The shift I encourage is:
‘intention becomes your focus of attention’
- Take a minute to reflect on your eating pattern
- Are you seeking change and continuing with the same old strategies
- Consider what personal change you would like to experience in 2021
- self esteem and personal power begin inside your functioning body when your mind is quiet
- whether one is aspiring for increased health, better relationships ad improved career and finances, etc., it all begins with the physicality of ones function
- Start your action plan by creating an intention
- Creating an intention is the first step to commitment
- An intention creates motivation and becomes your influence for honoring yourself
Checking in and defining your intention creates hope and opens one to exploring change. Effective change is a moment to moment experience of choices. The decisions you make can be conscious or unconscious, nevertheless they are personal choices. Setting an intention becomes your focus of attention.
Are you ready to live your life more consciously in 2021?
2021 ‘s numerological influence is fun , adventure and exploration
The only way to change is action
1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)