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    The holiday season is upon us. Well, actually I think it started in August in some stores, but, I will only take note of the season when the air is decidedly chillier. This time of year can bring us joy or it can bring us stress. That stress can take a toll on all of our systems and perhaps bring us to the breaking point, making us lose sight of our goals and even reverting back to behaviors we had expected were long gone. No one wants to end up going backwards.

    In this 3 part series, I would like to take a journey with you, as we get closer and closer to the holidays, and look at how to ramp up the resources of your mind, body and soul to THRIVE this season and make a transformation in the area of your life that matters the most, your health. Today, I want to begin talking about how the power of your soul and spirit can help you grow by leaps and bounds.

    When most people hear I am a health and wellness coach they are surprised to learn that I don’t immediately go into a huge discussion about what foods they should be eating or how much exercise they should be getting. In fact, I do like to talk about food, but not the food that is on you plate. I usually spend a great deal of time when I first meet a client talking about their “primary food.” The best way to explain primary food, is to describe it as all the things that fill us up that we cannot physically ingest. Primary food consists of all the things that satisfy your hunger for life, not the hunger in your stomach. But nevertheless, we could not begin to grow and enjoy life without it.
    Primary food is the healthy relationships in your life, the exercise you do, your hobbies and spiritual practice. In other words, primary food, FEEDS YOUR SOUL. When you focus on primary food, your life feels full and you are being fed with all the things that energize you. After all, isn’t that what food is, the fuel that keeps us growing? So if you are thinking of creating a healthier lifestyle and are learning about better nutrition for your body, it is important to learn about what can feed your life and your soul. We often think that getting healthier is only about the choice between eating healthy foods or eating unhealthy foods. But, great health and wellness is about striking a balance between all areas of our lives. If we focus on what we are ingesting we lose out on embracing the joys that fill us up in other ways and give us opportunities to go out and explore the world, feel better about who we are, what we do and the lives of the people we touch.
    When you focus on adding healthy, primary food in your life you stop limiting yourself and beating yourself up over the food you eat. In other words, in this quest for wellness you get to see yourself in a holistic, whole-person, way, focused on more than just the journey of tallying up how many cookies you had today. So if you are at a party and are starting to overindulge, think about, what else would nourish you now? Instead of feeling numb and downing that plate of cookies, take a moment to think about what would nourish your soul? Is it talking to a friend at that party? Is it allowing yourself to sit quietly with the feelings that come up and just experience your connection to them? Whatever it is, next time you are faced with feeling like you are eating out of control, consider turning to a primary food and see if that is giving you what you need.
    So, I have a challenge for you, if you so wish to accept, instead of counting your calories each day, I want you to spend 1 week recording the ways you fill yourself up with primary food each day and how the experience felt. Challenge yourself to find more and more creative ways of adding more primary food into your life. See what shifts for you when you focus on primary food rather than “food-food.” I would love it if you would even share with me how this went. You can email me at [email protected]. I read all my emails and will answer them. I really can’t wait to hear how your week went, and I will be back soon to talk about how we can connect to our bodies in our journey for better health and wellness.
    This piece was originally posted as a guest blog for Rachel Grant Coaching on Novemeber 29, 2015. Rachel is a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach. Visit her blog and website to learn more.

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