Topic: Negative Self Talk + Gut Health.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Negative Self Talk. Who does it?
Me, me, me! I’m raising my hand with you!
We ALL struggle with negative self talk to one degree or another.
Language is a powerful thing, and it’s not just the words we say out loud - it is the words and comments that run through our brain.
Back in Module 2 we addressed Mindset and discussed how the mind body connection works, but this week I really want to dig deep into negative self talk.
Have you ever sat and really monitored your thoughts about yourself?
Most of us haven’t but I challenge you today to do that. Take 5 minutes RIGHT NOW and really think about the thoughts you have about yourself. A popular therapy called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is influenced by the belief that thoughts influence feelings, which then influence behavior. So, basically, you start to behave and feel as if those negative self thoughts are true. And having a constant negative feeling towards yourself will soon come out in every aspect of your life causing you to view the world and situations negatively as well.
But why is this detrimental? A 2013 study by Florida State University College of Medicine found that teens who were considered normal weight but had negative thoughts about their weight were more likely to end up obese later in life.
Words carry energy, just like anything else, and that energy is a very powerful thing. And having this negative energy in your body can lead to stress and depressive tendencies, which slows the metabolism. This negative energy can also lead you to overeating (emotional eating) to numb the feeling, of which we addressed in Module 3. So not only are you sabotaging your health by slowing the metabolism, but you are creating a cycle of negative self talk over and over again. According to the Mayo Clinic study, negative self talk can lead to physical and emotional stress that can harm your cardiovascular health, gut health, and immune system by slowing the metabolism and making weight loss virtually impossible.
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
God calls us to take every thought captive. Negative thoughts about ourselves are not of God. When those negative thoughts come in, give it to God.
“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my souls.” Psalm 94:19
Now we are going to work hard on overcoming negative self talk and giving it back to God. Head over to worksheet 5:1 and complete.
Now that we have realized how detrimental negative self talk can be to our overall health, let’s talk about gut health and why it is so important.
“It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.” Proverbs 25:27
It is so important to have healthy gut bacteria, yet it’s something that is just now coming to the forefront of the industry.
Doctors typically recommend probiotics to increase the good bacteria in your digestive system, since they will help naturally break down food. This is especially important when your digestive system is compromised (such as having no gallbladder - like myself).
Research shows that having the wrong bacteria in our gut may cause unhealthy cravings by controlling our hormones that connect our brain to our gut. Bad gut bacteria opens up a world of chaos for our bodies— a vast array of health issues stem as a result of this.
Let’s start off by addressing the weight loss issue and how it corresponds to gut health. The bacteria you have in your gut may go hand in hand with your ability or inability to lose weight. Having an overload of the wrong bacteria can cause massive cravings and stop our ability to convert some food molecules into short chain fatty acids - which in turn control our ability to prevent fat storage and use fat stores as energy.
But not only does bad bacteria in our gut cause us to hold on to unwanted fat, or cause cravings, it may also be the cause of so much more. Scientists are discovering that your gut health impacts so much more than just your digestion - it can impact your entire body and mental state.
Let’s talk about just a few other things it can impact: autoimmune conditions, allergy problems, emotional distress (anxiety, low self control regarding food choices) and more. Do you see your struggles regarding health and wellness in any of these? Most of us can. This is why gut health is paramount in our overall health and why I am here to teach you how to integrate a nutrition protocol that will address this from a food standpoint but also something that can help even from day one: Probiotics.
The right probiotic actually supports a healthy fat metabolism. The ability to control fat metabolism is huge, ladies! Weight loss, or even maintaining weight, is not as easy or as simple as calories in vs. calories out.
According to Dr. Kiran Kirshan from Silver Fern Brand, the science behind the right probiotic states that “the spores have the highly valuable ability to convert starches and nonstarch polysaccharides from the diet into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs control fat burn, prevention of fat storage, energy harvesting from food, gastric emptying, insulin sensitivity, satiety, and a whole host of other metabolic parameters. When increased, they essentially reprogram your body to burn more fat and store less fat.”
- Not all probiotics need to be refrigerated- according to the researchers at Silver Fern Brand, it depends on the type. But it used to be commonly understood that ‘living bacteria’ was the ‘best.’ Research has come a long way, and we now know there are certain strains, like the bacillus, that can survive the stomach and make it all the way to the intestines where they are needed most.
- Yogurt really doesn’t give you what you need when it comes to probiotics. “For starters, look at the nutritional value of many yogurts and compare them to the supposed benefits. Yogurt is often filled with sugar (sometimes even more than a chocolate bar), which in itself can actually kill the beneficial bacteria in your gut.”
- All good bacteria does not mean they are acting as a true probiotic. There are trillions of bacteria in your intestinal tract, and we are still identifying and understanding their role in the human body. Many of these bacteria have been identified as "good," but not all of them are the same. A true probiotic is one that can help colonize the body with helpful bacteria.
This truly is an amazing thing! For more information on how you can get these for yourself, check them out here.
Some common signs that you have poor gut health include digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, gas or diarrhea, bad breath, sugar cravings, food allergies or sensitivities, moodiness, anxiety, depression, skin issues (such as eczema), or the inability to lose weight.
Now that we have addressed overall gut health, I want to dive deeper into how an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut can be related to depression, anxiety and so many more mental health issues.
Researchers from University of Virginia released a study Spring of 2017 that addresses gut bacteria in mice and how it correlates to their behavior. In short, their findings proved that getting the right bacteria in the gut changed the behavior of the mice. To read the full study, check it out here.
They showed that the mice with better gut health (aka the right probiotics) were more active, did not appear “depressed,” and would swim longer before giving up when submerged in water.
Studies show that the brain is connected to the gut not just by physical symptoms, but also emotional. It is very common that bad gut bacteria lead to depressive like behaviors as well as anxiety. So, obviously, with Think Fit Method™, we are working hard to address mental barriers to health and wellness and that is why gut health is so important.
Chief Nutritionist, Charity Lighten, from Silver Fern Brand states:
“Healthy bacteria help create vitamins for the body, strengthen the immune system, kill pathogens and keep our gut lining strong. They also play a huge role in brain health. The “gut-brain” connection refers to the constant communication that is going on between your gut and your brain. We now know that the gut is filled with neurons that are designed to send messages to the brain (and vice versa).
This means that our brain health is also heavily linked to what's going on in the gut. And not just physical aspect, emotional issues can also affect both our gut AND our brain.”
So then how do we get this bad bacteria out and the healthy bacteria in?
First, like I stated above, PROBIOTICS! The right probiotic is key. One that will sustain all the way down to the large and small intestines. The good bacteria will feed off of the prebiotic fibers in probiotics, as well as when you eat a diet high in fiber from healthy foods.
Next, it is imperative to avoid simple sugars. I will talk more about this in our nutrition section of Module 5, but in short - sugar feeds the bad bacteria.
And lastly, you need to de-stress. Having high cortisol levels in the body can feed into that bad bacteria in your gut making for so many more issues. So take a minute, recognize your stress levels and then set aside some time to de-stress. Your gut will thank you!