Mind Your Heart

Recently, when I find myself at the library, ostensibly returning books or picking up ones on hold, I slither over into the 600’s and let my eyes suck in all those healthy titles. My obsession with nutrition books is surely borderline obsessive by this point. Still reading? Onward!
I skipped through most of the beginning chapters on relaxation and heart artery diagrams. This is a Harvard Med book, after all. Plus they were talking about the 3 legged stool approach, where 2 of the legs were surgery & medicine! Ack, this goes counter to everything I believe in… simply, that healthy eating & exercise will prevent most of what Americans have to go under the knife for.
Food Triggers
* Remove temptations. This is the hard one for me, because the workplace is a minefield of sugar bombs. It will be nearly impossible to remove temptations, so I must learn to:
Stop
Breathe
Reflect
Choose

Stop before you reflexively eat that cookie or candy. Breathe, which relaxes you and prevents you from automatically eating. Reflect on why you want to eat at this moment– is it hunger based or mental? Choose– if you’re not eating b/c hungry, choose another activity like taking a walk.
Don’t have time to exercise? “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – 19th century British statesman Edward Stanley
I make a trip to the gym as part of my commute home; When I was first beginning to do this, I would have to remind myself not to turn down 8th street, but to continue on to 11th and thereby get to the gym. After a few weeks of constant habit reinforcing, it’s now harder for me to go straight home than simply stopping off at the gym first. And really, there is nothing better than unwinding the day in the sauna. Guilty pleasure?
Some of their recommended reading that I might pick up:
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson
Slowing down to the speed of life – Carlson
What Color is your diet? – Heber
Eat, Drink & Be Healthy – Willett
Syndrome X – Reaven


auth=Casey, Aggie and Herbert Benson
pub=2004
sub=A Mind/Body Approach to Stress Management, Exercise, and Nutrition for Heart Health
isbn=0743237021