In the journey toward optimal health there is actually a well studied recommendation that could come as a relief to all of us! The recommendation is that rest (adequate sleep, play and exercise) are the places to start as we work toward healing on any level – especially healthy weight issues! Sounds great doesn’t it. Who doesn’t want more rest and play? So, what’s my problem, why don’t I allow myself to follow this advice?
For me there are several reasons that are, again, requiring more inner change. I have needed to change some of my mental structures regarding what I believe about success and work. I am the kind of person who loves to work. Once I am involved in a project that I believe will really serve others I can work tons and tons of hours while completely neglecting my physical needs. I have often totally bought in to our national culture of overwork and placed the value of my self-worth on how much I can produce in the work place, while continuing education, keeping a clean home, happy family…the list goes on. I am sure many of you know the story. The truth is that real success in life is not about what we achieve or how many material goods we have – it is about the amount of joy we are living. Living my life tired and stressed from requiring myself to do too much is not allowing me to experience the totality of joy that I know is possible.
In addition the studies are also showing that lack of sleep affects the hormones in our body that allow us to metabolize fat properly and even causes us to crave more fats, sugars and empty carbohydrates. I have found this to be true. It is so much easier to eat healthy when I am not tired! Not to mention the fact that when we are tired we lack the energy needed to exercise, play or shop and cook in more healthy ways. It’s not always easy to stop that negative, little grumbling voice in our head that keeps listing our ‘shoulds’, but it’s time. It’s time to allow ourselves more joy! What a great gift to give ourselves this Christmas and New Year. The gift of sleep, play and exercise! I believe it is in Divine order!