Have you ever felt like Life is just SO crazy busy that you’re missing it all while living it?
It’s easy to get so caught up that we lose track of the days, lacking presence and awareness of so many of the little nuances that make up Life.
I slowed down twice recently – once by force and the other by choice – and experienced the both the expected and the unexpected.
Read on to find out what happened each time. You may just be as surprised as I was!
We live in a fast-paced world and an even faster-paced society. As Americans, we identify movement with health, so we make it a point to keep moving as much as possible.
But I believe we forget to sometimes slow down, to allow our Mind, body, and Spirit recover, repair, and rejuvenate from the hectic days and very short nights.
What eventually happens is our bodies force us to slow down by sending us S.o.S signals such as fatigue, sickness, and even depression.
When we don’t respond to these signals with tender love and care, we run ourselves ragged, as our bodies continue to send distressing signals of stress in escalating force.
This happened to me last month when my baby awoke from her nap on her first birthday with a fever.
Since school started for my older two back in September, I’ve been on this insane schedule just trying to keep up. My mornings are packed with whatever I can squeeze in between car-lines and nap time And my afternoons are fully loaded with homework, dinner, hearing everyone talk to me at once, and all in such a short time before bedtime.
Days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years, all while caught up in this cycle of crazy I’ve created for myself. Sound familiar?
Well, when the baby woke with a fever (extremely unusual in our household), all she wanted was for me to sit and hold her. For, like, five days. That’s it. I couldn’t put her down, she wouldn’t nap without being in my arms, she was hardly eating, and boy was she burning up!
My mind kept wandering off to the trillion things I needed to be doing in those short windows of time I had. It was incredibly anxiety provoking for me.
But then I realized something. My baby needed me. She was hurting and she was relying on me to be present for her, to attend to her and comfort her, and all the while I was off in Rita Land thinking about what else I wished I was doing or how much I was going to suffer once she was well and I had to play catch-up.
It didn’t take long for my body to hit the brakes. By day three I woke up feeling extremely awful! My throat was all kinds of jacked up, my ears were popping, my nose and sinuses had been completely invaded, and I felt helpless to take care of my family while being sick myself.
What happened to me is actually quite common. When we fuel our busy lives with Adrenaline we suppress our immunity. This is an evolutionary phenomenon and we can thank our ancestors who out-ran their enemies for passing this trait along.
If we are functioning in a state of fight-or-flight (the body doesn’t know the difference between being faced by the sharp teeth of a lion versus living in 2019 America), we naturally suppress many of the body’s processes in order to get us the heck out of danger’s way. One of these processes is immune function.
So, once I slowed down and ceased Adrenaline production, my broken immune system couldn’t save me and I had to suffer in order to rebuild and repair.
This time I was forced to slow down and experienced some pretty common and expected results.
Read on to find out what happened when I chose to slow down and experienced some unexpected results!
Last month was a time of experimentation and revelation for me. I was deep into Module One (of seven) in my intensive training in Dynamic Eating Psychology with The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and figured it was time to start putting into practice some of what I was learning.
So I spent a week doing just that.
For one week I slowed down, willingly, while I ate.
I know what many of you must be thinking: I don’t have that kind of time. And I often think the same thing! I’m the Mamma who eats while standing at the counter packing lunches and making dinner, or better yet, in the car (gah!!)
But I committed and continue to practice slow and present eating for at least one meal each day.
I began by setting an alarm on my watch to remind me to stop whatever it is I’m doing and go into the kitchen to prepare a satiating lunch. My alarm continues to ding at 11:30am every single day because it’s easy to forget to eat!
Once my meal was prepared, I sat down with my feet flat on the floor, gave thanks for the bounty in front of me and the abundance in my Life, took a few deep breaths to get me into a relaxed mood, and ate slowly.
Lo-and-behold, at the end of five days I had dropped 2-pounds!
I still can’t believe it, but it’s true! By simply slowing down, eating in a present and relaxed state, and being intentional with my meal, my body relaxed enough to let go of whatever it didn’t need.
Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Insulin (cellular fuel) are just two of the components responsible for weight gain and weight loss resistance.
By slowing down and taking a few deep breaths, I was able to reduce much of the Cortisol production that my body pumps out. Cortisol is responsible for skewing time, making us feel rushed and like everything is urgent. Again, this is an evolutionary trait that’s part of our fight-or-flight activation.
Since I was feeling much less urgent about getting food into my body, I was better able to gauge feelings of satiation and fullness, aroma, sensation, texture, and my brain received all of the necessary cues that a meal was experienced and was therefore able to respond with satisfaction and completion of meal.
Fascinating! I still can’t believe it!
I think I’ll continue to practice this trait for at least one meal each day for as long as possible. More than anything, this experiment was inspiration for me to recognize that food is more than just fuel for my body. It’s an experience that’s meant to be enjoyed. And I’ll be sure to do just that from now on!
If you’re at all interested in discovering your own body signals and sensations when it comes to food, or if you’re on your own food Journey and would like some support, feel free to reach out by emailing me at SublimationCoach@gmail.com. Let’s start with a simple conversation about where you are and where you want to go.