Whole30 to a Whole180

     It appears that being healthy and being fit is all the rage lately. What it means to achieve optimal health is defined differently by every individual--as well as the ways in which they plan to achieve said “hot body.” But does being healthy really mean that only our exterior gleams? Sadly, I think that the desire for a body that is “beach worthy,” overrides the will to make your organs sing with happiness. I have been guilty of this more times than I would like to admit. I have desperately tried googling the quick fix for shedding a few pounds before a wedding or a vacation, even if that meant neglecting what habits would actually benefit my health. Because that’s how the world operates now- we want it and we want it liceity-split.

     If you’re like the majority of people who wake up each morning with the need to slug down coffee and pop some Advil for your achy head or joints [instead of reprogramming your patterns] your idea of health is in need of some evolution.

     I’m sure most people have heard of the Paleo fads, Keto diet and Whole30. These are all things that I found worth looking into if I was going to make a lifestyle change stick. My girlfriend told me about her experience with the Whole30 and said that it was super helpful in finding what foods to eliminate from her life in order to stay energized and lose some of the cozy winter weight that we tend to accumulate. I jumped on board after seeing her results and even bought myself a step-by-step book to help guide my way- a little less blindly- through the process.

     At first, I was thinking, “can I really go 30 days without wine, cheese and my beloved sugar?” I told myself that if I don’t learn to have self-discipline, then I’m really not as strong willed of a woman as I aspire to be. The first couple days I felt irritable, hungry and lethargic. If this is what it felt like to be a health nut- then I’d rather stay the circus peanut I was. But I made sure to keep rolling with the process, even if that meant drinking tea until I was full and forcing myself to go to bed at 7:00pm so I wouldn’t creep into the fridge like a little rascal. By about day 11 I was starting to feel better, my stomach no longer felt like there was a balloon in it and I was not as tempted to snack on everything in sight. I found myself passing up my niece’s chicken nuggets and baking kale with pleasure. I felt like cheering for myself (“Hercules, Hercules, Hercules!"). The process didn’t come without struggle and I did slip up and have a few cocktails on the weekend but overall - I finished and I have made some changes to my relationship with food that will go so far beyond 30 days.

     No matter what healthy lifestyle falls into play for you, make sure to tame that sugar dragon that resides in the den of your soul and slay it with your conscious eating and daily activity. Because we all owe it to our bodies to do more with them then make them look good.

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on May 3, 2018 .

Being There For Others.

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     When we think about being there for people, it seems like a natural human response as long as it’s moderately convenient for us. When we think about being there for a loved one, inhibitions scurry out the door and we tend to drop our own worries for that person in need. Of course, we love them and want to make sure that they are safe. But what cost do we pay when we lose ourselves in the process? In other words, how do we make sure we are there for others without leaving ourselves behind?

     This may relate to the more tender hearts out there who cannot help but extend themselves without so much as batting an eye. Why is it that we put so much emphasis on making sure that others shoes are tied, while forgetting to check that our own laces are intact? It could be that our happiness is weighted so heavily on others happiness-that even if we face plant in the process, we know that the relationship is secure.

“And every time I write, every time I open my eyes, I am cutting out parts of myself simply to hand them over to you.”  -Anis Mojgani

     Removing the most understanding parts of your being in order to hand them away, while simultaneously filling our gaps with pieces of loved ones. Being supportive of someone is to be truly absorbed in them. We care because we feel as though they are one with us, and we start to feel what they feel. It’s the reason that sons and daugthers spend all of their savings and time to make sure that their elderly parents receive the best care--or why parents sacrifice their own needs & sleep to ensure their children go to bed with full bellies and a glimpse of comfort. This topic is one that I think most everyone can relate to, whether or not it reminds you of an instance that took place in your childhood, teen years or has yet to come to fruition in your adult life.

     Sometimes when this type of selflessness is done for someone outside of our family it is seen as naïve an over extension. Knowing where to draw the line becomes a bit fuzzy and can be confusing as to where we should cut the empathy down a few notches. But here is the kicker--what if we could be the support person, while continuing to love and support ourselves in the process.

     We can attempt to do this by beginning to listen, and not just hear what people are saying in order to retort back with a response. We can become acclimated to how they share & how they convey themselves.  Digest their body language, their vocal intensity, their mannerisms. Master the process of listening until you know whether to soak it up in silence or refract. We need to find the balance of becoming a sounding board, and when to integrate our own critique or advice in the conversation- without throwing all of our energy and emotions into it.

      The idea of what it means to truly be there for someone has been exhausted by the physical presence and attention that we place on a matter. In reality, it could mean that “being there,” means making yourself absent, silent. It could mean a phone call where you shift into an auditory embrace or a sound of distraction to their worries.

     Whatever it is, don’t let the fear of losing yourself keep you from finding a healthy way to be a support system for someone who needs it-especially if you know what it is like to go without.

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on March 27, 2018 .