"The groundwork of all happiness is health”
None of us can deny that we are at a point when the old way of viewing the world and ourselves is rapidly passing.
We may not know what the future holds for each of us. However, a new order and way of being for humanity as a whole are an absolute given, as never have we been compelled to view our world through the lens of life or death on such a massive scale. The number one issue on top of our minds is the health of our family and ourselves.
These are extraordinary times, and there are two ways to look at our current state of affairs:
a) from a fearful and pessimistic place
b) from a hopeful heart
I invite you to explore with me from the latter, that is, from a favorable perspective.
If you are wondering what this blog has got to do with myths about weight loss, read on.
The fact is that obesity has tripled around the world since 1975.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70% of U.S. adults (older than 20 years) are either overweight or obese.
The good news...
Obesity is preventable and reversible! And I dare say that this is possible regardless of your age, gender, and genetic predisposition.
Regrettably, our current worldview, when it comes down to weight loss, is mostly seen through a cosmetic lens.
Popular media, Hollywood, Bollywood, too, further enhance this mode of perception, making it appear that weight loss is an impossible and inconvenient achievement reserved only for a chosen few. And we unsuspecting consumers absorb these sentiments often unconsciously into our psyche with detrimental effects.
The main reason for this erroneous perception is that we are not adequately educated about weight and waist management. And this is regardless of socio-economic demographics or where in the world we reside. We are tragically unaware that waist and weight management is crucial for the following reasons:
1. Preventing and controlling severe health problems such as heart disease, stroke, many cancers, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
2. Longevity! According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, maintaining a healthy body weight along with good lifestyle habits may add more than a decade to your life expectancy.
3. Proper brain health and function. Research in neuroscience warns us that the more belly fat you have, the size and functioning (memory, attention, etc.) of your brain goes down.
"Prevention is better than cure."
Are you ready to start exploring the most common myths about weight loss? Here goes:
MYTH 1: Popular diets promoted on a massive scale by the media are the only or the best way to lose weight.
FACT: Diets to do not work! Why? Like a snowflake, you, I, and each of the seven-plus billion people on our planet are unique. Our individual biological makeup, also known as bio-individuality defies the one size fits all notion. In fact, diets can do more harm than good.
For weight loss to be sustainable, the approach needs to be holistic in a way that the body's innate intelligence respected!
Let me clarify what I mean by respecting our body's intelligence.
For 27 years, I was fanatical about my dietary preference. Before I turned 40, I was diagnosed with two serious diseases, and I refused to change my way of eating. My severe symptoms (brain fog, blackouts, muscle weakness, fatigue, etc.) lasted for seven long years.
Ironically, I believed that I was on a healthy diet while letting my beliefs override my body's intelligence, calling my attention to change via my symptoms.
This is a classic case of being sincere in our beliefs but wrong in our approach. Our ideology creates blind-spots that we are either unable to see, or refuse to see!
I would be lying if I told you that changing my deeply ingrained notions was a piece of cake. But once I started the process, my health improved dramatically. The difference was night and day.
MYTH 2: Weight loss amounts to a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Meaning that it is all about restricting calories.
FACT: One of the most common ways of losing weight is by restricting the number of calories you consume. But this affects your overall health and can lead to severe and harmful conditions, such as reduced immunity, weaker bones, nutrient deficiencies, and fatigue.
Weight loss is not a destination, but a journey that needs to be sustainable for years to come.
Otherwise, you end up yo-yo dieting. If you are not familiar with this term, in the medical community, it is called weight cycling, which is a pattern of losing weight and gaining it back.
Research at Columbia University says that yo-yo dieting impacts heart health negatively in women who have had a history of weight cycling. To clarify, it has a similar effect on men, too, although women seem to be more subject to yo-yo dieting.
"As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself."
MYTH 3: Hormonal disorders makes weight management next to impossible.
FACT: Hormonal imbalance makes it difficult to manage your weight but not impossible. I know this because I am living proof, as are many others. If you want to know more about my story, click here.
Hormonal diseases are a significant concern in our world today. Hundreds of millions of people are affected, many of whom are unaware that their hormones are out of order due to being underdiagnosed. This puts people at serious risks, including heart disease. An estimated 60 million in the U.S. alone are underdiagnosed.
Here are some related facts:
MYTH 4: Drinking more water helps to lose weight faster.
FACT: There is next to little scientific evidence that drinking a ton of water aids weight loss. It is considered a self-perpetuating myth, and almost everyone buys into it.
Keep in mind that your body is designed to regulate water balance to perfection. A slight decrease in water content would secrete a hormone (vasopressin), which signals intense thirst. This would dramatically reduce the amount of water that would be excreted from your body in the form of urine.
While drinking water in and of itself is a good thing, paradoxically, drinking too much water is not, as this can lead to dehydration.
MYTH 5: Diet supplements are a safe option.
FACT: According to the Poison Control Center, most weight loss supplements are riddled with "ingredients that are contaminated, ineffective, dangerous, or actually illegal"! Mind-blogging, right?
The safe option is not popping pills, including herbal ones. It is with your knife and fork!
On this journey, your kitchen is meant to become your altar that honors your health on a day-to-day basis.
In conclusion, here are four takeaways:
FYI, I only began my Facebook page last month. Yes, I am a late bloomer, but better late than never, right?
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I would like to end with a quote from a philosopher who inspired and influenced noted figures like Leo Tolstoy, Mahamata Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr:
"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health."
Wishing you vibrant ,
Are you having trouble sleeping? Or do you go to bed without any issues but wake up after a few hours? If so, you are not alone.
Before our current pandemic, the magnitude of insomnia was a growing concern not just in the US but the world over. Many studies peg it at 10% to 30% of the world's population affected. Some research points at 50% to 60% of the entire human race suffering from sleep issues and disorders. Isn't that something!
But today, even those of us usually blessed with a good night rest, are affected otherwise, mainly due to our increased stress levels. Enjoyable and straightforward errands such as grocery shopping have become stressful today.
Regrettably, in our mainstream understanding, there appears to be a disconnect between sleep, stress, and a host of metabolic disorders (some examples are obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance). And there lies the rub, that sleep, stress, and metabolic disorders are dealt with independent of each other. Instead, they should be addressed in a relationship with one another, which is what I do in my health coaching program.
Then there is the complicated relationship between sleep and depression, anxiety, obesity, and high blood pressure. The list goes on and on. The solution calls for a holistic understanding and approach.
Sleep is an integral component of my coaching strategy. Now, not everyone who comes to me for health coaching necessarily has sleep issues. I can tell you though that sleep is much more involved than just having a certain number of hours, which, by the way, is essential.
If you are not sleeping at least seven hours, that's the first thing you need to look at. Why? Because, neuroscientists caution us that getting less than seven hours of sleep, is the quickest way to hurt our brain. In other words, it affects our brainpower, memory, and cognitive functions like decision making, attention span, coordination, etcetera. Further, neuroscience has established that chronic insomnia triples the risk of death from all causes.
Keep in mind that it is not just the number of hours of sleep, but the quality of your sleep that is of equal importance. So are dreams! Almost all ancient cultures knew the value of sleeping and dreaming as they believed we were given divine guidance and consul during these quiet periods. Remember the oracle of Delphi?
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the renowned Huffington Post and one of my heroes, knew first-hand the negative impact of sleep deprivation through a scary personal awakening. As a result, she not only started writing about it but established formal nap rooms in her company. To me, this affirms the relationship between sleep and productivity, which in turn confirms the importance of a comprehensive approach.
Invariably, when I get into the subject of sleep with my coaching students, other factors reveal themselves. For instance, the way we deal with circumstances. This would be the way our minds and our emotions process conditions and experiences in ways that create excess stress in the body. Then there is food and drink. Do we tend to eat or drink certain things, as a result of the way we try to feel and release stress? Lack of optimal and restful sleep affects the way our brains process information, including our memory. Our habitual mental-emotional reactions create a negative loop that affects every aspect of our life.
Just last week, while driving with Russill (my husband), we were remarking to one another on noticing the increased number of trucks delivering alcohol to stores. Interestingly enough, the next day's news featured an article on the significant jump in alcohol sales during this time of crisis.
Beware of the wolves in sheep's clothing, namely alcohol, mistakenly seen as a sedative or relaxant, and sleeping pills. Both alcohol and sleeping pills can create unhealthy dependency and wreak havoc not only in our bodies but our minds as well. In the long run, these are not viable solutions.
Most importantly, don't be quick to buy into the myth and accept your sleep issues as the inevitable process of aging. This is far from the truth. How do I know? Because I have helped a diverse selection of people, tackle and reverse their decades-long sleep issues, such as:
I would like to conclude by sharing a simple method in the hope that it helps improve your sleep quality at this time. Keep in mind this is just a band-aid, not a way to deal with chronic sleep issues.
This is a method I regularly practice, especially before going to sleep. Take a moment to acknowledge whatever you can be grateful for as you lie in bed and do this despite your negative thoughts and projections. See if you can make a commitment to at least 21 days of being grateful at night just before you go to sleep. Remember all habits are set over time and be patient with yourself :)
If you have an interest in exploring my proven coaching method, I invite you to click the link below.
Click here for my proven method
This blog's purpose is to solely inform you about the intricate relationship between sleep, stress, and numerous other health conditions that ails our world today. Please note: It is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical doctor nor intended to replace medication of any kind.
Wishing you restful and peaceful sleep :)
Recently, Russill and I sat down to discuss addressing our fears amid the stresses of dealing with the current pandemic. Many years ago, I practiced a method to address stress in my body when dealing with a debilitating health condition. Once I overcame this condition (you can read about it here), I stopped using the technique. However, I continued sharing it with students I coach.
All through 2018 and well into 2019, my husband Russill went through a tough time as memories of childhood trauma resurfaced for him. For more than 18 months, this expressed itself in PTSD. Need I say more? I shared this method with him, and it helped him on many an occasion. Of course, his trauma therapists were essential to his process, but I offered my skills as well during this time. This technique was one of them.
Sharing a technique by itself can be dry, which is why the video offers some context and background as well. Additionally, given the need to be brief in the context of a blog post, a simplified version of the technique is shared.
So often, we try and approach stress through our thinking. There is value to that. Introduced to the power of the mind when I was barely in my teens, I know the importance of such an approach. However, when stress is activated in the body, we cannot just think it away. Even if we are not stressed presently, many of our friends and loved ones are. You can support them by learning the practice I share through your own calm presence.
I genuinely hope that what is shared in the video offers you something of value in these stressful times.
I look forward to your comments below ...
Love -- Asha