Let’s Talk About Diet, Yoga And Menopause
How one improves the other two ...
Posted by Anne Marie Tovey on 02/09/2020 @ 8:00AM
During lockdown my dear friend and fellow yogi, Sarah, picked up quite a bit of weight. Ok, so did I, but this week, I'm going to share Sarah’s story, with her permission of course ...
Yoga can take a major worry away from anyone's life: weight control!
copyright: satura86 / 123rf
Firstly, I need to mention that the two of us started doing yoga 2-3 mornings a week about 18 months ago when Sarah offered to be my student as part of my teacher training practice sessions.
"At the same time, we started a weekly weigh in session to track our weight and biometrics!"
Over this period, we both lost approximately 4 to 5 kg, built muscle, lowered our BMI and started to feel good in our own bodies. Great was the disappointment during lockdown when we both started to pick up the pounds again.
The good news is though, that neither of us picked up all of the previously lost weight, just some of it. This is where I want to share Sarah's story. As soon as Sarah went back to work, she quickly lost all the weight she had gained during lockdown.
When we went for a glass of wine this week to discuss the impact that yoga has had on her journey, she mentioned to me that it had taken away one very big worry in her life, namely, her worry about weight control. This is particularly important to her at this time in her life as her body is preparing for the big change of menopause. She says that she now knows that even if she picks up a bit of weight, yoga will help her get back on track again very quickly.
"You may wonder, what is the secret?"
I shall do my best to answer this here. It is not about diet, but rather a combination of lifestyle changes, awareness of your body, a developing desire to give your body the best chance and acceptance of who you are and want to be in a realistic way.
I often talk about yoga being the start of a life changing journey to a physically and mentally stronger you. The secret is that yoga is a holistic system. It creates awareness in you about how you feel, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That awareness creates a desire to want to take care of who and what you have and are.
When I was doing my yoga teacher training, a number of the world class teacher trainers who came to share their knowledge with us would say that they would do some form of yoga every day, even if it is only for 10 minutes, because it makes them a better person.
That's yoga! You want to do it as it makes you feel so much better about yourself and that has an influence on how you react to those around you too; spreading the magic of yoga wherever you go!
On a practical level, I know that Sarah plans what food she has in the house because she also has to take care of her family. I also know she does not deprive herself of 'nice' food, but I definitely know she thinks about what she has available when she needs a snack and she prepare healthy, freshly cooked meals for the whole family 99% of the time.
In the book Mean Genes, the authors, Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan, discuss how hunger was a survival enhancing feature in our genetic (evolutionary) programming and now it is a 'bug' in our systems.
They say the body combats dieting by releasing chemicals to induce eating. In particular, a component known as neuropeptide Y (NPY) causes carbohydrate cravings to go through the roof. NPY production increases with weight loss and it gets pumped out at spectacular levels when people severely restrict their caloric intake. In other words, starvation-like behaviour sends an alarm throughout the body saying, "We're in trouble. Eat anything and everything in sight".
They make the point that a few people will overcome their evolutionary systems and rapidly starve themselves, but for the rest of us, our relentless food seeking genes will, sooner or later, induce us to eat about as many calories as we have eaten for most of our adult lives.
Knowing this, we can plan our next meal, be realistic and enjoy our food more. Each of us has fairly predictable periods of strength and weakness, so we should take pre-emptive steps when we are strong and plan for the weak moments. This plan may be different for each of us, but the theme is constant.
I close with a quotation written by Omraan Mikhael Aivanhov from the book Living Yoga which to me depicts the loving relationship we should have with the food that nourishes our bodies and souls.
"While you eat you should think of the food with love, for that will make it open its treasure to you. If you love food, if you eat it lovingly, it will open and exhale a fragrance for you and give you the etheric particles you are looking for."
Yoga develops the muscles we need to burn calories and make us physically and mentally strong. It also helps us become aware of who we are and what we want and a desire to be kind to ourselves, others and the universe ... also in terms what we eat.
Until next time ...
ANNE MARIE TOVEY
I offer personalised 1-2-1 yoga classes, a 10-week Yoga4Health Programme commissioned by the NHS
or monthly subscription chair-based yoga classes on Zoom three times a week at 12 noon to 12:30pm
on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about , do call me on 07768 314962, leave a comment below or click the Messenger icon in the bottom right of your browser to chat.
You can also visit my website at https://www.ageless-yoga.co.uk.
About Anne Marie Tovey ...
Anne Marie completed an 18-month yoga teacher training through Yoga Campus in London in February 2020 to share the magical benefits of yoga with others.
She also recently completed a PTSD and Yoga4Health certifications through The Minded Institute to help people dealing with trauma and those who want to start a healthier lifestyle through yoga.
Helping business owners to create a supportive working environment that will have a positive impact on their business. The benefits, that flow from the holistic and systemic approach from yoga, will have a rippling effect on the health of all employees, their families, their communities and all stakeholders from the bottom up and equally from the top down.
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