Not many people know this, and one or two that I told didn’t believe me, or didn’t see it… But, it happened. I gained 15 pounds over a period of nine months. There, I said it.
I hadn’t changed my diet. And, no — I am not ‘on a diet’ I have a diet. My diet is what I choose to eat and drink on a regular basis. It’s my nutrition protocol.
Ok, so I hadn’t changed my diet, I wasn’t exercising any less or drinking any more (alcohol), I maintained my water intake, my sleeping patterns were fantastic, I don’t take any prescription medications, and I wasn’t depressed. All of which, by the way, can cause weight gain.
So what was my issue? Stress! I hardly ever feel stressed, so this was surprising to me when I stopped to reflect and really think about it.
The truth is, stress has a way of creeping into your life when you’re not paying attention. And many many things can contribute to it.
Think about all the things that add stress – jobs, finances, raising children, elderly parents, sick relatives, unhealthy living, lack of exercise, personal relationships, and never having enough time to do the things you really want to do because you’re too busy doing the things you ‘have to’ do. The list goes on and on.
For me, I was starting a health coaching business, writing a book, had a very close relative going through chemo and radiation, trying to keep my husband happy and my house clean, all while maintaining a full-time job. Any one of those things by itself is stressful, but when you start piling on multiples – the stress just creeps in without you even noticing! Then, bam, nine months later you feel terrible, your clothes don’t fit, you’re embarrassed because you’re a health coach and should know better, and you start avoiding social activities so you don’t have to go out in public. Yes, I did that.
That is no way to go through life.
So I made a decision to take back control of my body and my life.
Shortly after July 4th, I fine-tuned my nutrition protocol. In some ways I went back to basics, such as going back to two of my meal-replacement shakes on most days, replacing breakfast and lunch. In other ways, I removed things from my diet, such as alcohol, sugar, and most grains (except for quinoa and amaranth, which are naturally gluten-free). I’m not saying I do these things 100% all the time. I still live my life full-out and enjoy going out to restaurants and celebrating birthdays and other events. But that’s the funny thing about stress…
I recently spent 8 days in Las Vegas. I was there at a conference for my nutrition company; a conference called Celebration. A conference with 15,000 people focused on health and wellness and personal development. A conference with my team of amazing women (and some men too!) who are truly inspiring and loving and compassionate while taking control of their physical and financial well-being.
These women lift me up every single day.
My husband joined me also, and we stayed a few extra days to celebrate my birthday. We drank, we went out to dinner, we gambled, we ate breakfast out every morning, and we never got to the gym (though we did manage to rack up over 90k steps that week!).
During the conference, I got to watch 2 amazing speakers. One talked about living above the line and the other spoke about living in a beautiful state. The words were different, but the meaning was the same: You get to choose how you go through life. You get to choose how you act and react. You get to choose how you feel. You get to choose.
You get to choose whether you feel — stressed out, frustrated, worried, depressed, angry, overwhelmed, resentful or fearful…
Or you can choose to feel — love, joy, gratitude, playfulness, creativity, caring, ease, awe, appreciation or growth. This is living above the line. This is living in a beautiful state.
You get to choose…
The combination of both these speakers solidified things for me. They reconfirmed something I already knew deep inside, but perhaps had forgotten as life got in the way. Since hearing both of them — I have recommitted to living in a state of joy with an attitude of gratitude.
Here’s the kicker: I enjoyed every single moment I was in Las Vegas. I did not worry about what I was eating or drinking or doing or not doing. We laughed. We cried. We danced. We drank. We ate. We celebrated. We loved. We hugged. We lived. We lived Life. Out. Loud.
And I came back from Las Vegas 4 pounds lighter than when I left.
My challenge to you: Choose to live above the line. Choose to live in a beautiful state. Choose Joy. Choose gratitude.