A Balanced Lifestyle = Weight Loss, Naturally
by Christina Captain, DAOM, MSAOM, MSHN, MA
A balanced life is something we all desire and think we strive for daily. If you’re like many women though, stressors, time scarcity, workload, finances and those demanding family needs can contribute to and even create imbalance in your life. But if you desire peace, happiness and a fulfilling life, you can achieve it. I say, “Just do it!”
A balanced lifestyle is obtainable, and as you keep reading, you’ll learn how to achieve this goal. It requires constant attention, but with effort and dedication, you can have it all, despite any current obstacles or doubts.
Here is a classic scenario of a modern career woman and mother, and how the Western mindset can throw a person off-balance without even realizing it. Picture a 42-year-old professional woman. She has a high-stress job and works 75 hours a week. Her perception is that her employer doesn’t appreciate her efforts, so she feels she must work harder, do more and give more. Because she wants to succeed, her family doesn’t see her, and she misses dinners. To save time, she grabs fast food, late-night take out, or even a candy bar and soda out of the vending machine which leads to the extra 35 pounds she is carrying.
Between work and family, exercise and self-care are not priorities. A heavy workload, poor diet choices and lack of physical activity are major contributors to an imbalanced life where depression, physical ailments and hopelessness can take over. Physical symptoms might include heartburn, stomach upset, hot flashes, irritability and insomnia. She might feel it’s too late and have no idea how to find her way back to balance.
This story is all too familiar for both men and women. This is typical Western mentality— we think we must keep going, accomplish more and produce more, believing we’ll reap the rewards of working hard. The problem with this mindset is that sometimes the end comes before we reach the enjoyment part. This mindset is detrimental to both our spirit and physical body. By continuing down this path, we risk not getting to our happy ending.
In ancient Eastern traditions, balance of the mind, body and spirit are essential to longevity, nirvana and enlightenment. You simply cannot achieve a higher state of being without balance. So what does that mean and how do you find it? You are probably asking yourself, “Where do I even start?” There must be an adequate balance between work, rest and play. You must take time for you! Even if you work long or extended hours, there are still ways to find balance.
1. Take scheduled breaks, stand from the desk and move, stretch, or simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. This will break up the monotony and jumpstart your brain.
2. Pack your lunch, dinner and a snack. Your meals should have plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins.
3. Where you eat is just as important as what you eat. Leave your desk and find a spot where you can enjoy the meal. Eastern philosophy dictates that you need space and time to nourish and replenish. This means don’t drive, watch TV or work while you’re eating. Enjoy your food without any distractions.
4. Take a walk after you eat and allow the body time to digest. Even if it’s just a brisk walk around the building, your body will appreciate the movement.
5. Break the liquid stimulant habit (coffee or highly caffeinated drinks). Drink clean, filtered water from a glass or stainless steel container.
6. Finally if you can, reduce work hours to rekindle your home and family life. If you want appreciation, your family’s gratitude is most beneficial. Just being present will nourish you in ways beyond your imagination.
Beyond work balance, here are eight key suggestions to live a balanced lifestyle:
1. Adequate rest to replenish and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit
2. Good nutritional foundation—fresh whole foods and clean filtered water
3. Targeted quality nutritional supplements provided by a licensed healthcare practitioner (not just a multivitamin)
4. Exercise for a strong and energetic body—if you need motivation or direction, join a class or hire a trainer)
5. Meditation for peace and connecting to nature, people and the world—meditate outside, by touching the earth and communing with nature which automatically grounds you and invites peace into your life
6. Family time spent with the people who give your life meaning
7. Working with intention to make a difference—this is powerful and beneficial to your own balance and society at large
8. Play time which is just as important as work time
You have the keys, now you just have to set your mind to make the changes and find the balance. And for the record, weight loss is a natural side-effect of getting your balance back. Good luck on the journey, and please remember, I am always here to help you. Having someone to guide you back toward a balanced lifestyle is a gift you deserve. I offer complimentary one-on-one meet and greets to discuss the ways in which I can help you regain balance.
Dr. Christina Captain is nationally board-certified by the National Commission for Certification in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is the lead practitioner at the Family Healing Center which she founded in 2000. Dr. Captain is also an expert Feng Shui practitioner and teacher who studied under Nancilee Wydra of the Feng Shui Institute of America, before originating her own style, Essential Balance Feng Shui. Since this discipline is a branch of Oriental Medicine, she often blends Feng Shui principles into her treatment plans. Family Healing Center is located at 2650 Bahia Vista St., Suite 101, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-951-1119 or email Dr_Captain@FamilyHealingCenter.com.