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EP 9 - My Keto-Crazed Running Adventure and Finding Peace in Eating

During the Pandemic I decided to “get real” about losing the baby weight (my son was 2 and I had stayed pretty much the same weight since I gave birth). So I did what I was used to doing most of my life: an extreme, restrictive diet and a bunch of exercise. I had lived most of my adult life eating vegetarian/vegan so going Keto was a radical move. But extremism when it came to eating wasn’t new to me. I was in a decade long habit of forcing myself to do things, especially when it came to food. However, this time, I had a powerful somatic practice that had begun to change and shift my biology. And the knowledge I would discover after coming off this crazed keto rollercoaster would change my life and my body from the inside out.

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AIMEE: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your soma. Hi everybody. You know how sometimes you don't do something because you think it has to be perfect? Well, I was running into that problem when thinking about telling this story. And so I sat down and I finally just recorded it. And so what you're about to hear is a little bit less planned and a little more raw than some of my other podcast stories are or will be. But I thought that it's just the story just needed to get out there. It just needed to get out of me. So I'm about to share about the last foray that I had into extreme eating and diet culture and how that last little experience led me into the methods and the practices that I have now, which are much more somatic and compassionate. So enjoy this little raw story as I go into things that happened for me during the pandemic and the things that happened as I came out of that dark and dismal time as well. All right, enjoy. Hello everyone. Today I'm going to be sharing a story of my somatic journey over the last year. It's been a really powerful year.

I not only created this podcast, built out a community of heart led leaders who are transforming the way that they experience their bodies. I also changed my own life significantly in order to be able to do this. I really let go of, I guess, a lot of the conventional sorts of paths that one has to be on in this world. I let go of a pretty stable, I guess you'd say job, working for the state of California as a caregiver, which I had been doing for a few years. And I stepped fully into this entrepreneurial somatic healing work. And it's been quite the journey, not particularly easy at times, but very, very fulfilling. So today I'm going to share a little bit with you about kind of how it all began and how I got into this path as my primary path and where I'm at now and where I can really see this going not only for myself, but for the people that I'm working with, for my clients, for the community that I'm building. So first of all, if you listen to my first podcast episode, you might know a little bit about the background that I came from.

I came from the background of yoga. That was my first full-fledged career. And I traveled the world teaching yoga, which was this really fascinating, beautiful, at times difficult adventure that I found myself on for about five or six years full-time. And during that time, I ended up in a lot of pain, which is part of what led me to learn hanosomatics and start releasing the pain that I was in. And this was a gradual journey. This was a hard thing for me to do. I didn't do it all at once. I struggled with it quite a while, many years of struggling with my chronic pain, of not fully understanding how I was creating it in my body and not fully taking responsibility to face it in my body and do the work that was right in front of me available with the somatic work to release it. So I struggled a lot. And I see now the power or the strength of that struggle is that I really understand what it takes to come out of tension and pain, because it took me so long to do it. And so I'm able to be very, very efficient in guiding other people on how to do that because I understand the process so intimately. I spent a long time, I guess you could say, practicing coming out of my pain. And there were a few things that kind of like, you know, I came out of my pain to some degree and then something would happen, life would happen. I became pregnant, right? And my body shifted again.

And there was some dramatic things that went on during my pregnancy that felt very out of my control. And so I ended up in a lot of pain. Again, after years of, you know, working on coming out of it, I found myself in pain again right around the start of the pandemic. And at this point, I'd already been learning hanosomatic education. I'd been enrolled in the Hanosomatic Educator program. But I had not been committed fully to practicing daily. And like I said, there were varying things that went into that, my lack of commitment to this. And part of it was just the level of stress that I was under with being pregnant and having a baby and having my whole life shift and change. You know, I wasn't in the place where I was able to commit to taking care of myself, although to be completely honest, that's exactly what I needed. I'm sure you may have experienced that in your life where it's like the thing that you need to do is like the hardest thing to do. And that's how it was for me and my personal practice for a long time. But then flashing forward to the start of the pandemic, I have a two and a half year old son. I'm about to finish my educator training, my Hanosomatic Educator training, and then like literally the time that we're all there in Nevada about to start the training. The pandemic is like a full-fledged like happening, like people are freaking out and it's like March 2020, right? So we all end up leaving and going home and the training gets postponed another year. And so I have this additional year of my three-year training that I suddenly was given. And so everybody remembers we're all locked up at home.

The world is the scary place and I just had this realization, you know, and to be completely honest, it coincided with like stepping on the scale and I realized that, you know, I had had a baby two and a half years ago and my body had still been maintaining all of the weight that I had. I had been feeling like a lot of tension and pain through my lower back, back and hips. And I stood on the scale and I was really frustrated by the number on the scale. And, you know, anybody who's ever struggled with their weight, that was me most of my life. I felt like I was the type of person who had to work out really intensely to just stay at like the weight that I wanted to be at. And if I didn't do that, I would just gradually like gain more and more weight. And I understand why that was happening now, but at this time in 2020, I just didn't still fully totally grasp that there was an easier way than the way that I had been doing things, which was like due aggressive vigorous amounts of exercise to keep off the extra weight that just seemed to accumulate on my body, like because of whatever genetics is kind of what I thought. So I ended up having this heart to heart with my husband and telling him that I just really didn't want to, you know, continue to stay at the weight that I was at because I really hadn't lost like almost any weight since having the baby. And before I got pregnant, I was, you know, probably in one of the better fitness states of my life. I had done been doing a lot of semantics. I had also been doing, you know, yoga and I had been, you know, using my body going on hikes, walking a lot. And I felt really good. I felt really strong in my body right before I got pregnant, which is a great thing in some ways. But then here I am feeling like I haven't lost any of the baby weight. And if I looked back, I was like, why haven't I lost any of the baby weight? And the answer was because I haven't really been like paying attention to what I eat. I've just been eating whatever I want, which was like a coping mechanism from all the stress, right? And I really hadn't been exercising. And so I jumped back into this whole exercise a lot and watch what you eat, diet, culture kind of thing to try it on. Like I guess again, you know, in my life, because that's classically what I had done when I wanted to lose weight. I had shifted my eating and I had done a, in my case, a ton of yoga. I'd like do a bunch of bickering yoga and I would fast and I would, you know, do a lot of exercise to drop the 15 pounds that I had somehow gained over the winter or whatever. So I went ahead and decided to do that, but I decided to do it with this little unusual twist. And it was unusual because I hadn't actually done this yet, even though I had toyed with it for a few years. And it was totally counterintuitive to the way that I had been eating and living most of my life in my 20s. So what I did was I decided to do keto. I decided to do keto and start running. This was my like aggressive formula to deal with the number on the scale that I didn't like and the baby weight that I had accumulated and not lost, right? I'm going to do keto, you know, very strictly and I'm going to run start running. I felt confident enough to run because I had hanosomatics because I had this tool that I knew, you know, yeah, I've been in pain, but I can like start coming out of it. So my, my formula was again, keto running and committing to a daily hanosomatic movement practice because I knew if I was going to try to exercise, I needed to continue to be coming out of the pain that I felt in my lower back and hips that had been going on for a long time, right? So here I am planning this like intense reset of my system. And the reason that keto was so radical for me was because most of my life I had been pretty much plant based. Like I didn't think of myself that way. There were several years that I lived as a vegan, mostly vegetarian. You know, occasionally when I was traveling in other countries and I didn't have access to vegetarian food, I would end up eating like some chicken or some fish or whatever in South America. That was true in a few different times in Europe. That was true. But classically, I would say since I was 19, I had been vegetarian and or vegan. And I had a very restrictive diet where I wasn't eating dairy, gluten or soy because I had food sensitivities. So, you know, I was used to having a really restrictive diet and I was used to cutting out entire groups of food, you know, as an attempt to heal my body. And so that was the energy that I went into all of this with into this keto thing with was like, do it, get it done. Like, I know it's going to be hard, but you're just going to make it through. And so I did that. I started doing this five mile loop in, you know, down in this area where I was living. There's this really beautiful five mile loop that's a fair amount of it is uphill. It can be a rather strenuous five miles. And I started hiking it and then I started jogging it and then I started running it over the course of a couple of weeks. And I just really, you know, I would do my somatic movements before I left the house to go running. And then I would run and hike or whatever, come back and do the movements again because I knew that the only way I was going to be able to run like this with the history of injury I had was by doing my movements and doing my somatics. And that worked pretty well. But as you can imagine, going from pretty sedentary to suddenly like making my body run like minimum three times a week. There was a lot of soreness. There was a lot of tension and I really did have to use my somatic skills sometimes multiple times a day just to be comfortable moving around. I started with a pretty aggressive style of keto where I was keeping first I was trying to keep my carbs under like 20 grams a day, which is super low. And I started eating a lot more animal products than I really ever had in my life. I started eating like a lot of eggs and a lot of, you know, high quality beef. And I was even like playing with bacon, you know, the whole keto thing. I was like indulging in this like super high animal fat thing that I had been hearing about that I thought like maybe that was the answer since like I was not experiencing health in my body in the way that I wanted to and I felt like I had already done the plant-based thing for so many years and I'd seen results but I kept hearing about this keto thing and kept hearing about this other way and I just had to know it was just curious I guess was the bottom line. The other thing was that I had started eating more animal products during during my pregnancy and I wasn't really ready to like step back fully into like not eating animal products and I guess there was sort of almost like a feeling of being in my last hurrah or something like alright I'm gonna do it this this is how it's gonna go I'm gonna just eat as many animal products as I possibly can or would want with this caveat of you know being on keto and not eating any sugar and any carbs but I will say it was a really really dramatic shift from how my microbiome and how my body had been functioning for the last you know what 10 years of my life or something being mostly plant-based.

Within you know the first month I lost probably whatever like the first 10 pounds of the 40 pounds that I wanted to lose of the baby weight and it was I think a lot of water weight because of the glycogen storage and all that you know the science behind keto my glycogen storage is getting depleted and I really also was doing this aggressive exercise thing which in retrospect a lot of like traditional keto diets don't have you exercising that much because it's gonna raise your cortisol levels and your stress and your body so what I was doing was kind of a little bit more of you know my own making it was not following anyone's specific guidance so I will admit that. It was difficult very difficult for me to not eat any sugars and carbs I had for many years been eating all of that like eating sourdough bread eating rice eating you know beans eating all different kinds of grains and fruit and so cutting that all out was really challenging on a mental and psychological level but I persevered and I did this thing I did this keto running you know daily practice of somatic thing I did it for six months and during that six months

I lost almost 30 pounds which I guess equates to about five pounds a month right although I'd say the first the the biggest weight that I lost was that first month which is true for most people who are on restrictive kind of diets like that that they'll lose a lot in the first month and then things will kind of like slow down the weight loss will slow down after that but I will say and my husband would agree this was the most stressful anxiety-ridden six months like not just because of the pandemic but because of the level of stress that I was putting my body through and frankly the only way that I think I stayed like mostly sane was by doing my somatic movement twice a day which was what I was committed to that was the big saving grace here because I was putting my body under so much stress through all of the physical activity the running and then the way that you know I experienced keto and I can't speak for everyone because this was just my personal experience and I like I said I was doing the things that I was doing like the intense exercising and all of that but I basically gave myself IBS I didn't get a diagnosis or anything but I'm telling you guys like

I had my gut was so not happy with this I would sometimes immediately after eating get what they call the keto poops meaning that as soon as I was done eating like my high-fat meal my pancreas was just like no and I would have diarrhea it was it was pretty awful and I did not feel like my body was happy with me while I was doing this I tried towards the end of my keto experiment to extend beyond 20 grams of carbs today to like 50 net carbs so that meant that I could have like green beans and I could have you know some cauliflower and things like this because I started calculating my net carbs which are like the carbohydrates minus the fiber and content the grams of fiber so that helped somewhat I also because my husband was still a vegetarian and I was suddenly like eating all this animal product I had a few days where I experimented with like a you know plant-based version of keto or something where I ate like a big chunk of tofu instead of you know meat so I would have some days where I was eating like a big chunk of tofu or some kind of plant-based you know high-fat protein source with my low start to vegetables and to be completely honest the day after I would eat something like that like if I had tofu and a big plate of like asparagus and green beans for dinner the next morning when I would go for a run I would feel better I would feel actually better than the days when I was eating a lot of cholesterol and I kind of noticed that I kind of noticed like huh my body is actually liking it more when I'm not eating like a lot of protein or a lot of fat in one sitting however I was kind of aggressively sticking with what I had agreed to myself that I was going to do for this time that I was going to do it because you know I I have enjoyed being a very disciplined person at different times in my life when I have a goal and I have like a you know idea of how to get there and

I just decide to do it and that kind of person so here I was with my keto my running and my IBS and my stress levels which were getting kind of out of hand my husband and I were fighting a lot there was there seemed to be like a never-ending stream of like drama between us and I felt at times that it was me like I really felt that way like yeah I could point the finger at him and say like oh he's saying this or doing that but so much of the time it was actually me that was picking the fight it was me that was like being difficult and rude and I realized now that it was you know partially because I was so dysregulated my microbiome was out of whack my nervous system was fried and I was putting myself under so much pressure and stress to lose weight and you know it was just a really hard six months and the pandemic was going on which added another layer to it I'm sure that my anxiety had increased because of that as well and again once again the saving grace of all of this was that I had my somatic movement practice that was the only thing that was really like anchoring and grounding me away from like I don't know some kind of crazy diagnosis and coming out of that you know coming through the the end of winter in 2020

I realized that I didn't want to keep doing this I didn't want to keep doing this keto thing I had started in June 2020 and I ended my keto adventure right after Christmas in January and I was feeling like super confused about what to do next because I realized that what I had been doing wasn't really working

I had lost 30 pounds but I still felt like there was like 15 more pounds or so to lose before I was back at my pre baby weight and my body just felt like kind of doughy and like squishy and not you know I didn't feel the same kind of like firmness or muscle tonicity that I had been used to because of my yoga career and my yoga practice and so I was trying to figure out what I needed to do to like strengthen my muscles and lose that last layer of baby fat or whatever again I was super I was super focused on my external experience of my body because yeah this was another layer of my learning I guess we learn you know from an early age to focus on how things appear from the outside and how they appear to other people and it takes time to mature our perspective to recognize that it's not just what something looks like it's how something feels it's the quality of being in your body not just how much you happen to weigh or what pants size you're wearing but I think I was still kind of caught up in this obviously in terms of trying to fix and control my body and it was this interesting thing because I was still practicing my movements daily but now I was shifting out of this severity that I had been living under with the food and the exercise and I was thinking like there's got to be an easier way there's got to be a way that's not so hard and that doesn't drain me so intensely and so I I took a trip down to

San Diego and visited with one of my really close friends who was also a Hannah's somatic educator and she exposed me to two things two books one was a book that she had read many years before and that she and her sister and her mom had like done some kind of diet reset with this book and it was called eat to live and I had heard of it actually before but I had never like actually read it it was one of these things I worked before I became a yoga teacher I worked at Barnes & Noble and I knew about a ton of books I knew about all kinds of books but that had sort of faded because I'd been years since I worked there so I remembered this book but I didn't remember everything about it and so I decided to read it after what she told me about you know the benefits that she experienced on by doing his six week reset and the book blew my mind it blew my mind because it explained a whole bunch of things to me that I had not understood fully before about the way that our bodies work and it had references to different studies that I you know a few of them were like whoa really and so I ended up looking up that looking up the studies and reading the studies and going wow okay like this guy knows what he's talking about and the book was kind of along these same sort of extreme lines that I had already become accustomed to in terms of like cutting out you know all in the in his case it was cutting out all processed food cutting out all oil and salt and you know the the objective here and the real like big thing that Dr. Joel Furman the person who in man the doctor who wrote

Eat to Live like what he's offering is a way to actually reverse your heart disease reverse aphelis sclerosis and totally shift your body into like a way of experiencing your body that is not so clogged up and and you know feeling damage from high levels of sodium and high levels of animal fat and you know it's a big deal what he's saying he's saying like you can go from having triple you know bypass surgery and blockages in your heart to being able to exercise again and not and have totally low cholesterol and normal blood pressure but how you go about it you know for most people is gonna seem kind of extreme you know cutting out all processed and restaurant foods cutting out salt cutting out oil cutting out added sweeteners and sugar like but anyway I was like okay I'm game like I just did this extreme keto thing let me try this extreme other way thing and so I mean immediately after reading the book started implementing some of his methods in terms of eating two like giant salads a day and frankly my stomach was not like happy with it right away especially coming right off of this extreme like keto experience and I wasn't necessarily experiencing like a lot of ease in my digestion going from like a pretty high fat low fiber diet to suddenly increasing you know and trying to eat like a whole head of lettuce by myself in one sitting so there was definitely a period of like discomfort that I was having in this sudden shift. And then my same friend, my dear friend down in San Diego, she sent me another recommendation.

So I just finished Eat to Live.

I was implementing kind of these extreme, but like powerful food shifts. And she recommended another book to me called Fiber Fueled, which had just come out the previous year. It came out in 2020. And it was written by a gastroentronologist, named Will Bolswitz. And he's talking in this book all about the microbiome. Strangely enough, he referenced Joel Ferman in the book about the healing capacity of a plant-based diet. And Joel Ferman was on, I don't know, the cover of the book somewhere, saying finally a gastroentronologist who understands the microbiome. And so I was like, okay, these guys kind of have this same approach of plant-based. Let me look into this. Let me read this book. And it was the perfect book for me to follow Eat to Live with because it takes a much, like I would say more, not like moderate approach, yeah, a little more moderate, I guess. But it takes an approach that is extremely compassionate, gentle, and very much based on research, heavily researched fascinating book about how the microbiome works and how it develops and how it gets damaged and what you can actually literally eat and the lifestyle habits that you can start incorporating to heal your microbiome. And this book was life-changing. It was life-changing because of the information that I now had, but it was also life-changing because of the way that Will Bolswitz, this gastroenterologist, teaches, talks, and shares about the process of healing your gut. It's so much more gentle and compassionate and somatic than all of the previous methods that I'd ever employed before.

And it's effective. I started understanding why I wasn't digesting my food very well when I would go on like raw food diets. Why I continued to have all these gut health issues even when I felt like I was eating really well and even when I tried the whole bone broth thing and even when I did this keto thing, like why my gut got super upset and crazy. And what it all pointed to was that I had dysbiosis. I had this ongoing dysbiosis in my stomach and that's an imbalance of bacteria and microbes, an imbalance that is not healthy, is not leading towards all the health benefits that one can receive when you have true balance in your microbiome. And so I've had that going on and I'd had it going on my whole life in the same way that I had had these structural issues that I went into my yoga practice with and then further injured myself. I had these ways of moving and I had these ways of eating that were not really respectful or functional when it came to the health of my body. They were kind of dysfunctional and I had been living with them most of my life. And so what I really realized in reading his book was that I needed to spend time, the actual time that it takes to heal my microbiome. And that meant lifestyle shifts, that meant being more moderate in my approaches and not so intense and extreme. It meant holding space for myself as I made these transitions to really honor the little girl in me who maybe still wanted to like go to eat popcorn at the movies and like, try this food at the potluck or be part of the community and just order something at a restaurant. And I've been living a life of restriction and deprivation of myself around food for a decade. And that hadn't really been working for me. I had been binge eating and stress eating and then feeling like stuck in these shame cycles about eating. And so this approach was new.

This idea was new and it fits so perfectly with the somatic work that I had been doing with my body, where I'm listening to the tension and pain in my body and I'm tenderly, carefully unwinding and unwrapping it. And so this was a new journey. And within a month of employing, I guess, a combination of the information from eat to live and the information from fiber fueled, I lost 15 pounds, the last 15 pounds of the baby weight that I wanted to lose. I lost it just eating differently and not really exercising that much. And what also shifted was it wasn't just that I lost like numbers on the scale, my body changed, the composition of my body changed in this really beautiful way where I didn't feel like puffy. I didn't feel like full. I felt like clear and sort of taut and my muscles felt stronger. And what I understand now is that because I was eating so much more plant fiber and I was eating a wide variety of plants, I was actually putting my gut microbiome into balance, which would also put my hormones into balance. In addition, because I had basically cut out all of the high volumes of the animal fat that I had been eating before, my body wasn't holding onto fat as it had been before. My body was actually getting to process and release the fat through my bio production, through my poop, right? And so I was actually just shedding weight through the way that I was eating because I wasn't taking in additional fat. So I got to understand this whole process and then literally see it work, like literally see my body shift and change as a result of these methods. And I helped my family transition into this way of eating too. I got my dad on board, my mom, my brother, my husband, to the degree that they were ready for this, right? And that was so amazing because I got to see how this worked for other people's bodies too, for the people closest to me and my family. I watched my dad go from having concerns about his heart and checking his blood pressure daily and having it be kind of high, and having experienced chest pains and angina and there being this real concern about his health to losing 45 pounds and not being concerned about his heart and being in some of the better health that he'd been in in his life through eating more plants and incorporating more fruits and vegetables and just less of everything else. The same was true for my mom. She lost about 30 pounds and she also went from having some low level anemia and some difficulty, like with her blood work, to not having those problems. And it wasn't that she ate more meat, was she actually less meat, which was fascinating. So all of this to say where I'm at now in my food journey and my food process is a much, much more gentle and somatic way of relating to my food.

And it's coupled with education and knowledge about how these things work, but then actually applying them and experimenting with them in my own body. Because you gotta experiment. You gotta know what it feels like to be out of balance in order to know what it feels like to be in balance. This is the thing I've recognized so much even through literally the movement practice that we teach that I teach. When you move your body into a position that's out of balance, right? And then you stay in that out of balance position, it'll start feeling normal, right? Just like dysbiosis and gut health issues in their own twisted way were like kind of normal to me because I'd been living with that so long. But then to shift out of that and to start experiencing like my gut problems easing and my digestion strengthening and to feel my body get stronger and more easeful through the foods that I was eating, I got to remember like, oh, each time that I was the most healthy, vital and in balance in my life, I was eating a lot of plants. I was just the truth. And every time I looked back, those were the times that I felt the best. When were the times that I was struggling the most that were the most difficult? Well, they were the times that I was not only being so hard on my body that I rebelled against myself or that I injured myself. And by rebel against myself, I mean like telling myself after making myself sick on red wine or something one night and having taken like a week or something to recover, feeling like my body was all out of whack, then just shaming the crap out of myself and saying like, you can't drink anymore. No more drinking for you.

And how did that work out for me? Well, I would end up like having a drink and then having a few more drinks and then having a few more drinks and ending up getting drunk and in the same sick feeling in my body all over again because I wasn't being nice to myself about it. I wasn't being kind to myself about it. I was sort of being mean and then rejecting my own controlling meanness and then punishing myself by doing the thing that I thought was so bad. It was this weird cycle that I was in of being really harsh towards myself. So breaking out of that and coming into an actual loving approach, I think that the main reason that I was able to do that after years and years of this old way of being, of this pattern of harshness was because of the foundation of the somatic work that I had been doing in my movement practice and the work that I'd been receiving from my father and other hanosomatic educators. This was actually allowing more flexibility, not only in my thinking, but literally in my physical body. I wasn't stuck in the same kind of contractive muscular patterns that I had been stuck in most of my life that were related to my life experiences, that were related to the things that had happened in my body and to my body. I had been regularly, consistently letting that go and coming into ease and balance in my body. Even if I immediately threw myself off balance, I was continuously moving back to this place of balance in my body. And that really shifted things because when I finally decided to step out of these mental and emotional patterns of basically being really a bully to myself and really harsh and cruel to myself around food and around movement, the shift happened really, really seamlessly, very, very efficiently, because my whole system was primed to learn something new, to learn a new way of moving and a new way of being that was more functional. So all of this to say, I have now been on this experiment of eating in this intuitive and somatic fashion. And I have been feeling pretty confident to start helping other people have this same connection to food and to plant foods. And I take a really gentle road on it because one, I'm not a nutritionist, even though I know a ton about food, but I'm not an authority on that yet. I am an authority though on the somatic relationship that you can cultivate with your body and how you can use that to start making more resonant choices for you in your life, period. Whether it's food, whether it's relationship, whether it's job related, your somatic intelligence and your personal awareness of what's going on inside of you is gonna be the best foundation and the best tool that you can possibly have to make choices in your life that feel authentic and to live more. fully as you.

Bottom line, your body intelligence and your body awareness, cultivating that and then using that in all the different areas of your life, including the arena of food, including the arena of exercise and physical activities, right? This is going to be so tremendously powerful and so tremendously helpful for any body. And so when I've created this program, Freedom Through Movement and Food, you know, and part of what I'm sharing and what I'm exploring on this podcast with all kinds of amazing experts from different walks of life, right? Is how do we come back into balance in a way that feels authentic and that creates the least amount of struggle possible? So maybe there's already someone like I have someone in my program and they've already been pretty much vegetarian and vegan for like, you know, years and they have got health issues but they can clearly see now that they're related to some serious trauma that they went through in the last decade as well as a bunch of antibiotics and drugs that they were on to deal with a, you know, a physical really intense physical challenge. And so they are motivated to heal their microbiome through these methods that they've now learned, you know, not just from me but from, you know, Wilbur Switz and his message of healing your microbiome.

So the moving towards a plant-based way of eating is not like the big deal for this person. They're like, yeah, yeah, I've already been doing that. I just need to tweak some things and I need to bring more ease and more comfort into my way of doing this through the somatic work so that I don't get totally frustrated and stress myself out while I'm trying to heal, right? For somebody else, other people who've done my program, you know, they have maybe a different culture or a different approach or they have different beliefs about animal products and so going totally plant-based for them wouldn't be authentic, right? At least at this point. They still want to have like, I don't know, their cheese or their, you know, chicken or whatever. They want to still have their protein and they have these like, you know, maybe deeper beliefs or patterns about that stuff that like somebody else doesn't have, right? So this is not about getting people to go plant-based, although I will share, of course, about my journey and I will share resources, information about how it's beneficial to be eating more plants, right? But everything that people do when they work with me is 100% voluntary and what's more, most important to me is that they are listening to their inner guidance and their truth as much as possible and that might not align with my inner guidance and my truth. Why would it? We're different people, right? So the approach that we take in my six month program is just examining some of these issues, some of the issues of like, say, atherosclerosis, you know, how heart disease works.

It's the number one killer of men and women in our country. This is information that I am surprised I didn't really fully grasp or understand until I was like 30 years old, you know? We look at how your microbiome works. We look at the impact of high volumes of sodium on their vascular system of the human body and these are important things to examine so that you can understand why you might be having certain experiences that you've had and then looking at the ways that you can, you know, do practical, small, gentle adjustments to start counteracting or coming out of those patterns or those habits that haven't really been serving your body. That's what we do in month two of my program. Month three is all about, again, movement. The foundation of this work that I do is movement-based. It is being and moving and existing in your body more fully that is going to open up every other part of your consciousness and your life. This is such a foundational piece that I was missing for so many years even being a movement junkie, even literally like being someone who did 10, like, you know, back bends a day for 10 days in a row, you know, all these things that I was doing and yet the thing that was missing was this actual refining, developing and really letting go of the accumulation of muscular patterns in my body. So we're finding the movement, releasing the tension and coming back into functional movement patterns. That's what I was missing that I wasn't getting when I was just aggressively exercising all the time and that's part of why I was hurting myself. So that's what we go into in the third month of my program is we actually look at the neurophysiology of movement. We talk about how this works and this starts opening doors for my students in terms of seeing the weight out of their pain and discomfort that they've been living with.

And so this this program really is a sharing of everything that I have learned so far and that I'm continuing to develop and learn around somatic healing, a way of returning to balance and ease in your body through your interaction, not only with your inner environment, but your external environment. And think about it. Food is this very specific thing that starts as an external. It starts as an outside of us thing, the food. And then we take it in and it immediately becomes part of our inner experience and our inner environment. So it's this really dynamic thing, what we're consuming, what we're eating. But what we're consuming could also be like media. It could be social media. It could be friendships. It could be pollution or lack of pollution like the environment, the trees and the plants around us. There's this way that we can start recognizing how our environment is impacting us and then how we're impacting our environment and that there's this beautiful kind of movement of the inner world and the outer world in combination dancing together all the time. And this is what I feel is so profound about creating somatic awareness in your body because you can start experiencing what's already been going on, that dance that's already been happening your whole life. And you can now start having some, I guess, control, but not control like control over things. Control like experienced control from the inside that is natural, that is real, that isn't striving, that isn't forcing, but exists is just there. The control that one feels when they are fully present and they are able to respond to whatever's happening with their full intelligence, their physical, emotional and mental and spiritual intelligence. So all of this to say, I love that this change has occurred in me and I love to watch it occur and shift gradually in others. That is why I work with people at this deeper level in my share on social media and why I'm starting to do more in-person events too because the pandemic's kind of over like for the most part like we can do in-person events again. I don't have to be afraid of that. So look out for more of that from me.

I will have an event coming up on March 3rd, 4th and 5th that's going to be coming up next week and that's my launch event for my six month program. It's going to be three days of free classes to expose everyone to not only the somatic movement that I teach and this really beautiful way of releasing tension and pain, but also exploring these other concepts that I talked about today. Basically these three days are going to be like a tiny mini version of the first three months of my six month program and for free you guys are going to get to experience that and and and see what it's all about. Each day we'll have a movement practice and there will also be on each day a little presentation. The first one's going to be on stress and trauma patterns on the first day that we carry in our bodies, what we're holding on to and what we can do to release it. The second day is going to be talking about eating to heal and eating to heal isn't just about what you eat, it's about how you eat, the presence you bring to what you're eating and also listening to all parts of yourself when it comes to food and not ignoring or shunning or you know shaming maybe the little kid in you who still you know wants french fries and hot dogs or whatever. Like you have to, you don't have to, the possibility of being really at home in everything that you experience and accepting everything that you experience even the parts of you that you don't really like sometimes but being able to let them exist in you and be experienced by you is such a foundational piece to healing.

The third day we're going to actually talk a little bit about the neurophysiology of movement and I'm going to give you guys an idea of why some of the experiences that you've been having when it comes to exercise, when it comes to movement, why that might be happening and this is usually really insightful and fascinating for people who are already interested in movement, who are already movement experts who've done yoga trainings, they're going to find this really enriching and fascinating. So there you go, that's pretty much what I could do in my three-day event in addition to the daily classes that we have and it's really beautiful. I've loved this event every time since I've put it on and I'm really excited for this next round. So if you're listening and you want to find out more about that, go ahead and find me on Instagram at AmyTakaya and if you follow me on there you will see the information as I post it, you will see updates for that as I get everything sorted for this next upcoming event. So there's my story today of kind of the food piece and the movement piece and how they started coming together for me in the last year through my own experimentation, through my own practice of these methods and really where I'm at now is practice. Continuing to do my movement twice a day has been transformational, completely transformational.

Having a daily practice period of this work, even if it's not more than one or two movements, can really, really shift things on a deep level. The other piece is continuing to eat, to heal and acknowledging and honoring all parts of myself in that process and learning to be more gentle and not so forceful and controlling about food, but continue to align myself with my deepest wisdom and truth about what truly feels good in my body to be consuming on a daily basis and lovingly redirecting myself to that every time that I possibly can. So thank you so much for listening today to my little story of how it all began. There's so much more to this story that I could share. There's so much more, but for today we'll call that good and I hope to see you, hear you, hear from you soon and let me know what you thought of today. Maybe you had a similar experience, maybe you did keto and it didn't work out so well, or maybe it did and I would love to hear. So feel free to reach out and tell me your stories. If you have a story and you want to be on the podcast, I'm also open to that. I've got a lot of podcast interviews that I've already recorded that are trickling out slowly, but I'm always looking for stories of somatic awakening, of discovery of what it really takes to self heal and live in an aligned and authentic way in your body. So feel free to reach out.

I'll have my Instagram and my email in the show notes so that you can reach out easily. All right, everyone, have a wonderful day. Bye. You've been listening to the free or soma podcast.

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