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Hello Everyone,
Welcome to The Quest, a newsletter intended to inspire and inform those interested in experiencing optimal well being in body, mind and spirit.

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October 2003

In this issue of The Quest:

1. The Quest Quote
2. The Quest Question
3. Soul Food submissions from you!
4. Funnies

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1. Quote:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. ~ Martha Graham (1894-1991)

2. Question:

I have a problem that is keeping me from being truly healthy and happy. I feel guilty if I ever miss my daily run, and I especially feel overcome with guilt when I eat something that is not healthy. Once I feel this way, I get anxious and end up eating three or four times the original amount (cookies, chocolate, bread, pasta, you name it). How can I deal with these feelings? It’s affecting my happiness and my weight. Anon

Answer:
Guilt is a great waste of emotional and spiritual energy. We experience ‘food and exercise’ guilt when we feel as if we haven’t lived up to our own expectations (often unrealistic ones). Self-criticism and self-judgment ensue. I would know, as I was often distracted by guilt and it was very debilitating. I hope these tips are helpful.

1)      Put things into perspective. Are your expectations even realistic?

2)      Eating is pleasurable so why should you feel badly for enjoying your aunt’s famous peanut butter cookies? A cookie, or anything else in moderation, is not going to destroy a healthy diet. But if the guilt of eating one cookie leads to eating half a dozen, then as Tom Hanks would say, “Houston, we have a problem.”

3)      That being said, choose to let go of what has just happened. It’s the past. If you feel badly for overeating then you have a choice. You can feel guilty (which often fuels more eating) or you can stop eating and forgive yourself. You control your actions, and therefore, your feelings. How do you want to feel?

4)      When it comes to exercise, ask yourself, “Am I tired and need a day off today, or am I just being a ‘lazy pants’ and need a boot in the rear?” You’ll know the answer every time. If your answer is BOTH (tired and lazy) then substitute your run for a light walk or some relaxing stretches.

Above all else, be flexible with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Laugh, lighten up, giggle at the pure silliness of it all. Do one thing each day just because you feel like it. Nurturing yourself today is the best way to avoid a guilty verdict in the future.

See also, the February 2003 newsletter that addresses binge eating.

3. What makes your day a little brighter? Here are a few of the submissions from readers. Thanks to all of you! Keep them coming.

         Road trips with friends.

         Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to
sleep.

         Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

         A good, thought-provoking conversation.

         Laughing at yourself.

         Fresh snowfall.

         A hot shower.

         Chocolate milk shake (or vanilla!)

         Watching my 5 and 3-year-old play together.

4. Funnies

~ The toughest part of a diet isn't watching what you eat. It's watching what other people eat.

~ A diet is the modern-day meal in which a family counts its calories instead of its blessings.

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The Quest for Peace, Love & a 24-Inch Waist
www.deborahlow.com

Please submit your comments or questions by replying to this email at deborah@deborahlow.com I look forward to your feedback.