You Have the Power With Your Words


In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I am talking about the idea of changing our vocabulary to feel more empowered.

The words we use have immense power.  They can make us feel elated or cause us to feel deflated.  Sometimes a single word shift can change everything for your own perspective and feelings toward something.

The vocabulary we choose has the unique power to quickly take root in the fertile soil of our mind and soul.  Speaking kind words to yourself feels uplifting, empowering and healthy for mindset.

In Episode 54 (that was Tuesday this week) Hannah Greig, a holistic nutritionist even gave us the tip of looking at our reflection in the mirror and simply saying the words, I love you over and over again at the start of each day. 

A 21st century Jewish Rabbi shared this striking statement about the power that words can have: “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.  We can choose to use the force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively use words of despair.  Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

Such a powerful quote, right?

Just think of the power we wield and the impact we can make if we only became more intentional about encouraging ourselves by using kinder vocabulary.  The right words make all the difference.

In today’s show I will try to help you make some changes to the words you might be using.

In two of this week’s episodes we talked about food.  Hannah Greig, a registered holistic nutritionist was a guest on the podcast and she discussed healthy eating options and presented her ideas of a clean way of fuelling your body.  Her approach to health and nutrition is a holistic, whole body – whole food mentality and she explained very well how she was able to heal herself of many debilitating symptoms only females will experience.  I referred her interview as Episode 54.  It has reached the top of my ratings chart as being the #1 listened to episode so far.  So be sure to check it out.

In yesterday’s episode I was chatting with Holly Vanderzwet, a personal trainer and the owner of Fitness Corner in Southampton.  She mentioned cutting back on the ‘empty calories’ that we are eating.  I didn’t have her expand too much on this concept, but I believe she meant empty calories as opposed to fuelling, nutritious calories.

During both talks, the general opinion was that we need to shift our thinking away from dieting, cheat days, depriving our bodies of the foods we LOVE and adopt an attitude of -> healthy living, mindful eating.  Doesn’t that have a much better ring to it? 

Personally, I would like to see women ditch the calorie counting, jumping on a new trending diet plan, measuring amounts of food, feeling bad about enjoying a delicious meal.  Women make their lives completely miserable in attempt after attempt at losing weight by buying into the diet culture.

This is a conversation for another day, of course. But, why can’t we start thinking and trusting our bodies to let us know what it needs, how much it needs, when it requires food, what type of ‘fuel’ it wants?  I guess this is what many call intuitive eating or mindful eating. 

If you learn to trust and respect your body, it will, in turn, tell you when you’ve had “just the right amount” of food.  And, your body will become your number-one nutrition guide.

No foods should be off limits and foods shouldn’t be assigned moral values.  By this I mean, when we label foods as being: naughty or sinful, then you are assigning moral values.  I don’t recall reading any mention of fudge sundaes in the Ten Commandments, and there’s definitely no special place in Hell reserved for Doritos.

But here’s the thing…we categorize foods as ‘good food’ and ‘bad food’.  I would like YOU to stop using the words good and bad, not just for food, but basically for everything.  There are much better adjectives to utilize from the entire English vocabulary of the 171,476 words currently found in the Oxford English Dictionary than good and bad

I prefer to label foods as being a ‘power food’ or a ‘pleasure food’.

Now, power foods are packed with nutrients, which make you feel strong, alert and energized.  Think…lean protein, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fresh produce, whole grains, that type of thing.  You know, the kinds of foods that are minimally processed. 

Whereas pleasure foods are by no means nutritious.  But there is no doubt -> they are decadent and fun.  Think: French fries, cupcakes with sprinkles, milk chocolate, cheesecake, a caramel-infused latte, a melted grilled cheese sandwich on white bread or my personal favourite, salt & vinegar chips.

We should be able to enjoy both categories of food, but we have to be able to listen to our bodies and rely on our bodies to tell us how much power food it wants and how much pleasure food it wants, and when. 

If you listened to my interview with nutritionist, Hannah Grieg, she stated that if you fuel your body with more fruits and vegetables, it will soon start to crave these things.  On the flip side, if you consume lots of sugary foods, your body will crave those. 

So, this brings me back to trusting your body to tell you what it needs.  In order to eat intuitively though, you have to keep track either mentally or by jotting down how your body feels after you fuel it with both ends of the spectrum – power foods and pleasure foods.

Your body is much smarter that you give it credit for, I bet.  It has internal signals, checks and balances.  It knows when to eat and how much it needs.  YOUR job is to listen and feed your body accordingly.

Which brings me to the next two terms that we are, hopefully, going to replace today.  Those are:  diet and cheat days.

For many of us who have tried adhering to a diet plan of any kind, diet has a negative connotation surrounding it of deprivation.  Simply put, when you stick to a diet, you deprive yourself of certain foods, usually your ‘pleasure foods’, right?

When you diet, you eat in a regimented way to (often only temporarily) lose some excess weight.  You try very hard to follow the plan.  But you feel stressed.  Your life becomes boring and less pleasurable.  Eventually, you give up.  Am I right?

So, this is where we need to change our thinking as well as vocabulary around dieting.  Why not start saying to yourself, “I am shifting to a healthy eating lifestyle.  I want to provide my body with food as fuel to energize me and get me through the day feeling on top of the world.”

Or, if that doesn’t resonate with you, try this, “I am practicing mindful eating.  I will let me body tell me when it wants/needs power food and when it desires pleasure food.”

We put far too much pressure on ourselves to lose weight under conventional, societal ideals.  Replace the word diet with: clean eating, healthy eating, mindful eating or even intuitive eating and food will take on an entire new meaning for you and your body.

Discover foods that make you come alive.  Find out the foods that leave you feeling light not heavy and tired.  Explore the concept of whole foods and begin replacing: white bread for whole grain bread, white rice for brown or wild rice options, integrate quinoa and barley into your soups and salads.  Consume more fruits and vegetables with every meal, just like Hannah recommended.  All the while keeping track of how you feel.  What do these foods do to your body?

Once we have eliminated the term diet, we have to address the term ‘cheat day’ or ‘cheat meal’ as many people call it.  Truth be told, you won’t even need a cheat day/meal if you are eating a combination of power and pleasure foods according to what your body wants and needs.  There is no need to cheat on a well-balanced, nutritious eating lifestyle.  That’s the bottom line here.

And, if your goal is to lose weight, with the proper balance of whole, nutritious foods and an adequate amount of daily exercise, you will slim down. 

Even if you do choose to stick to a healthy eating plan the majority of the time, you might want to treat yourself every now and again because, after all, a little flexibility and spontaneity is what life’s all about.  But change the terminology from ‘cheat’ to ‘treat’.  There’s absolutely nothing positive about the word cheat.

There’s one more word in the line-up which I would like to change your attitude about, and that’s the word:  workout. 

Words are a means for us to express and describe our experiences to others, so they always have emotions attached to them.  Our feelings are constantly creating our lives. 

The words we use, especially when spoken repeatedly, can deepen our feelings about something (or someone) and ultimately become our experience.

The term WORKOUT has WORK embedded in it, we might attach a negative association to it.  People think of work as something hard, challenging, frustrating even, drudgery. 

But, in reality, workouts should be fun, energize you and make you feel darn good about yourself because, after all, you are showing up for yourself and moving your body.

Let’s create a more positive outlook on exercising and moving your body by replacing ‘workout’ with:

–          Exercise routine (one I use a lot)
–          Body conditioning
–          Gym session
–          Fitness session
–          Training
–          Or if you want to get a bit more creative… my body time, moments of movement, me time

It can be anything, really.  All we strive to do here by eliminating words that have carried negative connotations with them for decades, is put a pleasure, more enjoyable spin to them.

How does this sound, “I’m going out for a bit of body time now.  Be back in one hour.”  OR “I’m going to get in my moments of movement.”  INSTEAD of “I have to do my workout now.”

You may or may not agree with me that words like: workout, diet, cheat meal, good food or bad food influence the way to look at them and more importantly, the feelings you have toward them. 

I just hope today’s episode has given you a bit of ‘food for thought’ on ways you could shift your mindset and vocabulary toward a more positive, uplifting outlook.
As always, I hope to have inspired you to grow with today’s show.

My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

Thanks so much for taking the time to tune into today’s show.
Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo



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