Would you say you make dietary changes and adopt healthy lifestyle practices out of LOVE? Because it feels good, because you want to honor your body and feel good in this present moment?
Or, would you say you make those changes more so out of FEAR? To avoid pain, to "guarantee" survival, to control body shape, size, or function?
This is important because taking action out of fear may not only lead to situations that are not necessarily in our best interest (like deciding it's better to *not* eat than risk eating something off-plan) but also because that fear itself can put the body in a chronic state of stress.
That's why I'm talking about this + when motivation can backfire on the Insatiable podcast with Ali Shapiro! We're discussing how to discern between fear-based motivation and genuine inspiration when it comes to making healthy choices.
In this episode, Ali and I dish on:
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How do we optimize the body for health and healing?
How come some people don't feel better *even when* doing everything right?
These are the questions I sought to answer through what I now call The Restorative Method. I wanted to address why some of us might struggle to get well (without pointing the finger at willpower or discipline) and see if I could better break down how to incorporate "self-care" or natural healing remedies with a greater chance of success.
Because what I've learned is that our tactics aren't necessarily the problem. It’s not that there’s some health secret we just haven’t found out or been told about yet. It’s not necessarily that we need to try one more thing or be more committed *that much more* to health and healing. Instead, what I've found is that we're not asking the right question nor focusing on the right result in the first place.
We don't want to ask... "Why didn't this work for me?" ... but rather... "Did this even have the opportunity to work for me?" So that before we tweak our tools, we first assess their efficacy. Which means it's not just about asking... "Did this tool help me feel better? ... but first it's about asking... "Did this tool ACTUALLY reduce the stress on my body?"
Here's what I mean.
Would you believe that what you think you're eating can affect what you're actually eating? That there's a difference between the food placed in front of you -- and what you perceive that food to be? That your body may respond to what you *think* you're eating OVER what you're actually taking in?
The first time I was introduced to this topic was throughout the book Mind Over Medicine. Author Dr. Lissa Rankin wrote this book to discuss the body's innate ability to self-repair -- and highlight our capacity for influencing this ability through the power of the mind.
In Mind Over Medicine, Dr. Rankin shares a study done by Dr. Alia Crum, clinical psychologist at Yale University, called "Mind Over Milkshake". This study has since become one of my most favorite examples of how the mind can influence the physical body. It shows how our beliefs about the foods we're eating can impact the digestive system even more than the contents of the food itself.