FOOD FOR THE BODY, MIND AND SOUL – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC

As I coach my clients using the blood type diet, I always keep in mind that when they tell me that losing weight is one of their health and wellness goals, it is important for us to explore how and why their weight became an unhealthy issue to begin with, most times realizing that it is a manifestation of depression, stress, or some type of trauma that they have suffered. They are self medicating with food, and feeding their uncomfortable emotions and feelings of sadness, pain, and sometimes disconnection, in a very stressful world. Rather than learning constructively how to channel these feelings and navigate in a healthy way, they are feeding all of the cells in the body in a very toxic and unhealthy manner, causing more and more inflammation. This becomes a merry go round that is difficult to stop. Did you know that the limbic system is where we process our emotions and controls our appetite, libido, sleeping patterns, and even the way we bond and interact with others? If the limbic system is knocked out of balance due to excess stress, it can make regulating our appetites and our moods more difficult.

Julia Ross’ book, The Mood Cure, talks about “junk foods equal junk moods.” If our mood is already compromised by stress, and we begin to feed that stress with things like sugar, gluten, and dairy, most especially sugar, (junk food with no nutritional value) we are creating an even more inflammatory limbic system directly affecting our mood, and we continue to eat the junk, and our mood deteriorates, and the cycle continues. We become addicted physically and emotionally to these unhealthy and toxic substances that give us relief from our stress, short term, but in the long term, is causing us dis-ease of all types. Our brains are significantly affected by stress and by the foods that we eat. We must feed ourselves healthy and organic foods that promote wellness, rather than unhealthy foods that promote inflammation. The food that we eat sends messages to our cells, and we always want to send the message of health and wellness, and that in turn, helps to create a more positive and clear mindset.

Feeding our uncomfortable emotions and feelings with the wrong foods is like an alcoholic or drug addict using a mind altering substance to escape these same types of feelings. Food, alcohol and drugs are all toxic and very temporary fixes for stress and depression. What we are using to feed our emotions, and feelings, during a time of unsettled relationships, personal, work related, life in general, that we feel we’ve no control over, is the one thing we feel we can control. It is just that…a feeling. We become stuck in a cycle of unhealthy behaviors and before you know it, we are unable to self regulate, and it becomes difficult for us to have the clarity to see the destruction we are causing to ourselves, and to those around us.

Stress is stored in our bodies, in all of our cells, and manifest in things like our heart-pounding, sweating, skin irritations/breakouts, muscle tension, stomach aches and shortness of breath. This can trigger feelings of emotional uneasiness, and the cycle continues as we feel even more stress over these feelings. So, we eat to feel better…or so we think. The stress returns, and we eat to alleviate the stress…and now our “medication” has become the source of our problems, making us feel bad about ourselves (secretly), causing more stress, and yes, we eat some more to alleviate those feelings. The merry go round is going faster and faster, and we can not seem to stop….out of control.

According to Jessica Ortner, an EFT Tapping expert, “Focusing on diet and exercise FIRST when trying to release weight is the wrong approach. You need to first focus on what’s going on inside you, in your unconscious brain, that is holding you back.
It’s not that diet and exercise don’t matter, it’s that the ability to eat well, exercise, and feel safe releasing weight are all run unconsciously in your brain, and if your brain isn’t wired the way you want it to be, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve struggled and gone from diet to diet, you’re likely to continue the trend UNLESS you get to the root of the problem.”

We are becoming more open to speaking up when we see those using drugs and alcohol medicating themselves, yet when people are struggling with a food addiction, or an unhealthy relationship with food, I find people don’t want to speak up about this…is there less of a stigma attached to addiction of drugs and alcohol than with food? Hmmmm.

Obesity and addiction are among the nation’s top diseases and have become widespread epidemics. There are many variables that can lead to obesity, and genetics is a big piece of the puzzle, and the link between over eating and weight gain is still pretty clear. Understanding the connection between stress and over eating may help those struggling to feel less to blame,  and to be more open to reaching out and asking for help.

Achieving harmonious health for our body, mind and soul, is achieved by working from the inside out…starting with the underlying causes of our unhealthy behaviors and addictions. No diet in the world will be able to fix the real issues rooted deeply in our cells affecting our quality of life.

It’s important to have a conversation with yourself, honestly, and to understand your limitations so that you can formulate a plan of action in creating new and healthy behaviors that allow you to navigate through feelings of stress and trauma.  It’s not about figuring out the perfect solution to what’s making you unhappy, it’s all about how you handle these challenges and adversity.

Ask for help from those you trust. Seek out a professional that is certified in holistic health care that will treat you as a WHOLE person and who will encourage you to take your time in your quest for solutions that will work for you as an individual…not to give you a quick fix that they are “prescribing” for everyone else, replacing one unhealthy behavior/addiction with another.

You are one of a kind and deserve to explore what you are feeling and how to let go of the past, work through it as a slow and steady process with new and healthy behaviors in learning to navigate stress and emotions, and determine how to make lifestyle changes for yourself that are sustainable, on a cellular level, which will promote balance in harmonious health 4 life….and, at the same time, work on finding a nutritional plan that resonates with you that will guide you in making healthier choices that will offer optimal health.

For more information on my Holistic Health Coaching program, you can email me at wendyblanchard044@gmail.com.

Wishing you harmonious health 4 life!

Love and blessings,

Wendy

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2 Responses to “FOOD FOR THE BODY, MIND AND SOUL – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC

  • This is a hugely important article! Full of fundamental truth and practical information about how and why the foods we eat affect our moods and overall physical and emotional wellbeing. Thank you for this!

    Love
    Sheila

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