I have come to the conclusion, after spending many years trying so many different ways to get healthy, heal my health issues and shed some unwanted inches that the health and wellness, and even the fitness industry, has over-complicated weight loss and nutrition.
Many people are so confused about the often conflicting information they get from books, media, doctors, their fitness trainer, the health and wellness gurus and 'experts' that they have no idea where to turn.
They are lost and can't figure out why they are not getting results on a low-calorie diet and intensive exercise.
I know this because I was one of those people. I also worked for a while in the fitness industry and spoke to many women in this same situation, who were stuck and felt they were trying everything, but could not get the scale or their pant size to budge.
I have experimented with vegan, raw food, vegetarian, no grains, no sugar, no fruit, no bread or gluten, no dairy, various detoxifying plans and diets - and even tried to give up my morning java a few times; that has always been the most difficult thing for me to let go of, not going to lie.
I have also experimented with different exercise regimes and counted and controlled my calories, which, after a while, started to seem insane to me.
It was getting to the point where I was thinking I was doing something wrong if the extra snack I had put me over my calorie quota for the day. That is no way to live.
It doesn't have to be so complicated or extreme.
The more we force things and try to control the outcome, less of what we want will come into our lives. What I do know is that there are many women, in particular, who struggle because the root cause of their weight gain is never dealt with.
I believe that when the root cause of one's 'dis-ease' is avoided (and is covered up with medication or diet pills) it may go away in one form, but manifest itself in another within the body.
That is why a holistic approach to health is so powerful.
Medications have their place, but it is vital that we search for other alternatives to healing and take ownership of our own health.
If we are not working to balance the four areas of wellness, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual, it will be very difficult to lose those stubborn extra pounds or inches and get truly healthy.
I also believe that being overweight, or just carrying a few extra-unwanted inches, is only the symptom of an inward condition. I have seen it for myself, and many of the clients I work with, that it is never really about the weight, or the food, but the inner work that needs to take place in order to release the weight and get healthy and balanced from within.
One of the concepts I have come up with is teaching people how to develop their nutrition intuition, which simply means tuning in to our body and using its messages to guide us to the best food choices.
But even before this can be worked on, a person must have a healthy love for the self in order to make these changes toward a healthier body inside and out.
For information about my upcoming workshop, Holistic Health & Weight Loss, and for more reading on holistic health, please visit my website, soulworkcounselling.com.
Leanne is a holistic counsellor at Soulwork Holistic Counselling and Wellness Services. She can be reached
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