We were in Barcelona this last weekend. The weather was just amazing – bright blue skies and sunshine and it almost felt like summer. Just perfect for Gaudi.
Gaudi was a renowned Spanish architect, and his works are nothing short of astounding. If you don’t know his work, then you must check it out. The picture you see here in this post is a photo I took of just a little piece of Parc Guell. What do you see?
Do you see beauty? Or do you see “broken”?
Not so many years ago, I would see “broken”. So many of us are conditioned to think this way. We have somehow learned to see ourselves as too fat, needing to lose weight, not clever enough, not good enough, thinking we should be one way or another, lacking in some way… seldom appreciating how we are and who we are, overlooking and not even recognising our own talents and gifts.
But what does this have to do with health? Or finding your optimal weight?
Everything. Mm-hmm, that’s right. Everything.
Our entire system is connected – our mind, body and spirit. Our cells eavesdrop on our every single thought and our every internal conversation. This means that every single thought you have has an impact on your body. When we put ourselves down, we make an enemy of ourselves. Our body recognises “enemy” and turns on our stress response.
So let’s pause for a moment and think about it. If you came across your fierce neighbour’s dog who looks as if he’s ready to have your guts for garters, what would you do? Run for your life, right? And in order to be able to run for your life, what would you body need? Yep, it would need energy in your extremities – your arms and your legs – in order to be able to get away as quickly as possible. The hormone, cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone”, is released and curbs functions that would not be essential or detrimental in such fight-or-flight situations. Our immune system is suppressed (we don’t need to use our energy or effort in healing, we just need to get the hell out of there!), our digestive system is suppressed, as are our growth processes. This translates to the reduced ability to put on muscle and increased storage of fat. And that’s just the physical side of it, never mind the impact on our emotional self.
Now just think what the implications of an ongoing stress response being activated in our body would be.
[Tweet “We have desensitised ourselves to messages from our body, telling us we need to rest and relax.”]
Remember the times you’ve dismissed tiredness and ploughed on? Aha, yes. Now add in all those internal conversations and negative self-talk and boom, just like that, you have low level ongoing stress response.
How do you feel when someone criticises you? Yet so many of us are willing to do exactly that to ourselves. We see the “broken” instead of the beautiful.
Well, now, you’re in a prime position to actually do something about it – only if you so choose, of course. And I hope you do choose. Start with self-awareness. Each time you catch yourself putting yourself down, just notice. Then practice finding something good you can recognise and acknowledge yourself for.
This simple every day act has a cumulative effect, adding to your ability to reach your optimal weight as well as improving your health at a profound level.
Are you broken or are you beautiful? The choice is truly yours.