Ep #22: Healthy Lifestyle Mindset – Part 1

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Losing weight is just the first step in becoming healthy and fit. We often make the commitment, but when confronted with temptation, our brains are programmed to give into in temptation. It’s the reason one slice of pizza can quickly turn to into three or more. We can become addicted to thinking and feeling certain ways even if it does us harm.

Science tells us we have the power to prune out old neuropathways that don’t serve us, replacing them with new neuropathways that do. In part one of this two part series, I share how you can use this science to change your mindset and build lasting, healthy habits that serve our body and keep us successful in your weight loss journey.

If you like what you heard today, please go to Apple Podcasts and leave a review.  The more reviews we receive, the more women will learn about the podcast and learn from these lessons. If you know someone who is struggling with food, send them a link to the podcast and maybe they can find something here they haven’t heard before!

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What mindset actually means
  • The 3 cause and effect chemicals for brain activity and bodily functioning
  • How to create new neural pathways around eating healthy foods
  • How to change your mind/body chemical State of Being

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

Episode 22. Healthy Lifestyle Mindset – Part 1

You are listening to It’s Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast with Pat Beaupre Becker , Episode 22.

Hello my dears. CURRENT EVENT – the garden? How’s it going. My carrots, spinach and radish seeds have come up. I hurt my back in the process and have had to revamp how I think of being healthy in body. It takes continuous adjustment to what works. Found the right trainer, PT, and chiropractor. It takes a village!

While this podcast is titled It’s Never Too Late to Lose Weight, if you are a fan, you have discovered it is not just about losing weight. Losing weight may be your first step towards becoming healthy and fit. What I want to share in this episode is one of the reasons it is so hard to change: mindset.

This is what happens: You decide to eat healthy and make a commitment to yourself. You go to a friend’s house and sitting in front of you there is pizza. You have way too many slices of pizza. Why? What happened. Where was your resolve; your willpower?

Your brain has set you up for this scenario.

Mindset

Mindset is word bandied about by many researchers and authors. I found over 6,000 books about mindset and 20,000 books about mindfulness at Amazon alone.

Your mind is your brain in action. Mindsets are beliefs you hold as truth in your brain. Mindset causes your brain to operate in relation or reaction to those beliefs. It includes: what you believe about yourself; what you believe about other people; what you believe about the future; how you make decisions; how you look at the world; how you manage discomfort. Simply put, do you look at the glass as half full or half empty? Simple, but telling.

The way your mindset is created and sustained has been studied by neuroscientists. While I am not a scientist, I want you to know 2 things: we can change our brain (neurogenesis) and influence our DNA (epigenetics). Neurogenesis indicates your brain changes in relation to your thoughts and your environment.

Your brain impacts your biology. Joe Dispenza, in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, has provided my understanding of the chemical process that takes place in the brain/body to create what he calls it a chemical record or chemical memory. There are 3 cause and effect chemicals for brain activity and bodily functioning.

  1. Neurotransmitters
  2. Neuropeptides
  3. Hormones.
    We know that our thoughts create a chemical reaction sent via neurotransmitters, that is, chemical messengers which send signals between nerve cells. Neuropeptides are manufactured in the hypothalamus; they release chemical messages to the body through the blood stream via our hormone producing glands; the result is a feeling in our body. This signaling pathway keeps constant communication between your brain and your nervous system and these chemicals impact the cell in milliseconds.
    Here is an example of what I mean. We have a thought Thought (I love my husband) – Neurotransmitter talks to cells; create peptides that signal hormones which act physiologically to give us a feeling. I feel love. This take place in a millisecond. When I think over and over again of how I love my husband and find evidence wherever I look, I make him a nice dinner, he may clean up the garden or feed the dog. I now create a memorized state of being = Love. Then I say I am in love with my husband.

    If you follow, based on this chemical feedback I end up feeling the way I think and then I find myself thinking the way I feel. The thoughts become the body. The body becomes the mind. So interchangeable as to become inseparable. The back and forth process of communication between the brain and the body – starting with a thought and ending with a feeling – is reinforced over our lifetimes. It reflects the historical, habitual workings of being you.

    This historical, habitual way of thinking and feeling become an integral part of our self-identity. What’s the problem? We become addicted to our way of thinking and feeling, weather it serves us or not. Let’s take another example. I wake up in the morning and get on the scale. It is 25 pounds more than I want it to be. I think – this sucks. Why can’t I lose weight? I am such a looser. I hate my stomach. My chemical response to the thought: I am such a looser will send the message that ends up with me feeling terrible and acting more like a loser, proving I am a loser. In this case, I am now identifying with the negative feeling in my body.

    It appears to your brain it is the survival of your identity. Even if it feels pretty shitty, I have now concluded my identity is a loser. It doesn’t seem to matter to my brain if I am suffering, as long as I am clear about what I perceive as myself. I may be suffering, but it is the suffering I know.

    95% of this process is happening unconsciously.

    Science to the Rescue. Because we know that we can influence changes in our brain (neurogenesis) and our DNA (epigenetics), we know that there is a way to change.

    What does all this mean for you? If you want to lose weight – no matter how many years you have struggled with it – I have clients who have struggled over 40+ years who learn these tools and give up the war.—get to work building new neural pathways. New chemical memories or signatures. How do you change your mind/body chemical State of Being?

  4. Become aware what you currently believe. (unintentional model)
  5. Become aware of the brain|body chemical memory of emotion or feeling.

    How does it feel?

  6. Become aware of the results you have in your life.
  7. Have compassion for yourself.
  8. Create a new belief and concurrent chemical record.
  9. Feel it; Identify it
  10. Rehearse and practice

    Viola!

    We are going to create a new neural pathway around eating healthy foods. (Intentional Model) ultimately creating a new state of being, where your thoughts feelings and actions are now providing you with the results you want. Let’s use as an example your

    Current Beliefs about non-nutritious highly palatable food: Thought (Message) Feeling (Hormones) Chemical Memory I need to eat to deal with my stress. Calming; Soothing; fullness When I am stressed, I eat.

    Eating is fun. Joy, Entertainment When I am sad, I eat. Food is how I show love Love; connection When I am lonely, I eat. Food is where I express my creativity Creativity When I am bored, I eat.

    You come home from work and after a long stressful day. Your chemical memory will immediately play the When I am stressed, I eat program. You may want to wait until your meal is prepared to eat, and find yourself grabbing chips and mindlessly shoving them into your mouth.

    Let’s say you are dissatisfied with your relationship, work life, social life, health. With the memory of how you deal with these emotions emblazoned in your neural pathways, there is no doubt eating will be the go to action.

    If you have decided to eat a planned meal, you have an opportunity to prune the old programming and sprout another. You will have to Interrupt the current neural pathway to do that.

    You can anticipate the way the evening will go and decide that when you get home, you will review your written plan and read from you new list of beliefs. This does not feel very comfortable because your chemical memory – your identity is going to want to eat to solve your stress..

    I mentioned earlier that I hurt my back working on the garden. What is fascinating is that I have discovered that I don’t have a neural pathway between my brain and my gluteus maximus. This is like having a strong weight lifter standing by your side and never asking her to help with moving the furniture. I had been going to the gym and Pilates and they were instructing engage those butt muscles and I really and truly thought I was. But there was no neuropathway. There was no brain connection. So I continued to think I was engaging my glutes (I wasn’t) and wondered why my back kept getting injured and my butt continued to fall!

    My instructor told me it may take up to 6 weeks of daily practice of engaging my glutes to create a neuropathway so when I think “engage glutes” my brain will have a path to follow.

    When my brain has thoughtfully rehearsed and practiced this future reality of my glutes engaging, it will physically change to reflect the new learning.

    When you start to believe in your mind that you can eat a meal in the evening and stop after that meal is eaten, you will begin to creating that neuropathway –and a the new mind/body chemical memory. Neurons that fire together wire together.

    When the “I eat when I am stressed.” Neural pathway is pruned away, the I eat my dinner and stop eating by 8pm.” Neural pathway can sprout. This is when desire and urges dissipate as they are replaced with the feeling of satiety and confidence.

    Some new thoughts you could use:

    I am resourceful and can manage stress without food. breathe deeply when I feel stress.

    I look at my thoughts causing stress.

    I enjoy listening to music and dancing to release stress

    I like to take a walk to release stress.

    When I want to have fun, I have a list of things to choose from. When I want to be creative, I have another list of things I can do. (meditate, write, draw, walk)

    Identify the feeling when you think these new thoughts.

    How does each belief feel? Memorize the feeling. (Like me standing in the shower with my feet forward instead of turned out.) Rehearse the Body/Mind Connection.

    Engage in creativity. Use your imagination like when you were a child. Write in a pray rain journal (R Line).

    Study healthy eating (Genius Foods)

    Practice feeling your new body/mind connection. Feel the warmth.

    Repeat.

    Make it historical, habitual and maybe hysterical.

    Sense of humor. Curiosity and possibility.

    Courage to break out of the old body/brain chemical memory.

    Recognize there are millions of others who think/feel this way.

    In Summary you may find it difficult to change because you have become a mind/body record of negativity that you have unconsciously been practicing for years. When your brain/body and the chemical record has changed physically/biologically as the new experience happens, then it can move to your subconscious.

    Think of a computer program running in the background. Yelling at the program won’t stop it. Calling it names doesn’t impact it at all! Uninstalling it is the steps to stop it.

    Deprograming is what you want to do.

  11. Become aware what you currently believe. (unintentional model)
  12. Become aware of the brain|body chemical memory of emotion or feeling. How does it feel?
  13. Become aware of the results you have in your life.
  14. Have compassion for yourself.
  15. Create a new belief and concurrent chemical record.
  16. Feel it; Identify it
  17. Rehearse and practice

    My favorite things: Biggest determinate of mortality is loneliness. Outpaced heart disease. My favorite thing today is Sharing Circles. I have a friend who lives in an elder community and a group of about 5 people, all different experiences, have created a sharing circle they call a conversation about aging, dying and living fully. Hey get together 1x a month with a topic and a structure for everyone to speak. I attended one of these and am inspired to create circles about other issues.
    Another friend has a meet up for women in their 40s to talk about Women’s Empowerment.

    Do you have a group of friends you can share with? Start a Meet up to create a group to share on a topic of importance to you. I am working on something called the Grandmother Project – An Intergenerational Sharing Circle of mentoring and exchanging wisdom among women and girls. What questions do you want to share with others? Start a Meet Up in your area today. https://www.meetup.com/WE-Womens-Empowerment/

    Thank you for listening to It’s Never Too Late to Lose Weight. I hope you enjoyed and found this episode useful to you as you create a new future at a natural weight that feels good and allows you to live your life joyfully. Remember to let your friends know how to listen and find me on FB or on my website. Beauprecoaching.com. I am available to be your personal guide through this process.

    I hope to see you next week when we talk about Mindset Part 2.