My Family and My Clients
Jennifer Nash (43 year old executive coach)
When I began my Happy Body journey, I had set an intention to lose weight. For more than ten years, in the busyness of work and raising a young family, I had difficulty finding time to take care of myself. Everyone else came first. I did not exercise regularly. I was exhausted and relied on sweets to get me through my afternoon energy slump. And although I trained for and ran a couple of marathons, my body stubbornly held on to the weight I had gained when I had my children.
Knowing that I would need support if I were going to successfully lose weight, I shared my goal with my husband. Not long after that, he handed me a newspaper article saying simply "Read this. I think you would like it." He was right. I immediately felt that The Happy Body approach could be helpful to me. I quickly read the book and then reached out to Jerzy and Aniela for support. That was the beginning of an unexpectedly fun, powerful, and transformative relationship with my body.
The first thing I focused on was eating. Changing how you eat is not easy but I figured that eating was something I was already doing. I didn't need to find more time. I just needed to do what I was already doing differently. When I began to follow The Happy Body principles, it was not as if I didn't know already that sugar and diet coke in the afternoon weren't good for me. It was not a surprise that eating more vegetables would be good. What was a surprise was how The Happy Body structures and principles could so fundamentally and sustainably change how I ate. By establishing a rhythm of eating five times a day every three hours, my body started to relax. It knew that it was going to get good, healthy fuel every few hours. I found that my energy began to stabilize. My cravings for sweets decreased and eventually went away altogether. Eating at certain intervals helped me to be more mindful of what I was eating and to clearly see how much I had been eating. And unlike many complicated diets, The Happy Body meal-time principle of 2/3 vegetable and 1/3 protein made knowing if I was eating well remarkably easy. Rather than feel constrained, I felt a huge amount of freedom in how I ate.
The second thing I focused on was the strength training routine. As someone who has never been a regular, disciplined exerciser, doing this routine every day seemed daunting both because I had to find time in my busy schedule to do it, and I also because I had to develop the discipline to actually do it. I allowed myself to gradually work up to doing it seven days a week. I started with three and quickly added more and more days on. The benefits of this part of The Happy Body were unexpected and significant. The obvious benefit was how my body began to change. I quickly became stronger, leaner, and more flexible. My posture changed. I felt more grounded. But maybe more importantly, for the first time exercising was enjoyable. Not something I was just doing because I was supposed to. Starting my day with this routine began to feel like a daily bank deposit I was making for myself. No matter what happened the rest of the day, I had already done something to take care of myself. I had invested in me. This positive ritual had enormous benefits to not only me, but my family and my clients. It was no longer "who do I take care of - me or them?" I began to have the capacity to take care of me and them.
Once I had the first two pillars of The Happy Body in place, I incorporated the third - rest and recovery. I learned that even a simple five-minute rest period after working hard allowed me to amplify the benefits of my efforts. In the beginning it seemed too simple and not long enough to create any value. But as any great athlete knows, you can train your body to be in a state of relaxation, even in the midst of intense competition, with simple, positive rituals. The Happy Body meditation has become that ritual for me. When I lie down and listen to the meditation music, my body immediately goes into a relaxed state. It feels like a secret weapon to be able to access this in the midst of a busy, and at times stressful, life. I don't know anyone who couldn't use it.
It would be difficult for me to over-state how radically The Happy Body has transformed my body and my life. Through this journey, my energy has been restored, my confidence has increased, and my body is as fit and youthful as it was in my early twenties. The key difference is that my body is no longer a mystery to me. I know exactly how my choices will lead me toward or away from a Happy Body. The Happy Body is one of those rare, transformative practices in which, once you learn it, you will never be the same again.