Better with IBD

Mindset Habit #14: Write a Better Story

Depending on where you are at with your IBD (recently diagnosed to having lived with it for 20+ years) you may have varying levels of connection to your IBD story. Sometimes this connection can be helpful if your story is about overcoming challenges or finding a newfound appreciation for life or how your IBD helped bring you and loved ones closer. However, if your story is focused on the pain, the frustration, the feeling of loss because of IBD then this habit might be important for you. Consider how attached you are to your story of living with your IBD. Do you have a response practically memorized when anyone asks you about your IBD? Are you more connected to your story of what life was… Read More »Mindset Habit #14: Write a Better Story

Mindset Habit #17: Smile

Researchers have been performing study after study that proves that smiling is good for us. Some of these benefits of smiling are: We become more attractive to others Improved mood Contagious (in a good way) we get others around us to smile also Stress reliever with lowered adrenaline and cortisol levels Boosted immune system Lowered blood pressure Releases endorphins and serotonin So, this habit is to get in front of a mirror and smile. Even if you fake it we still get the above benefits from smiling. Also, there’s this thing called youtube.com. You can basically type in whatever you want to see and that video will pop up for you. Take a break from watching scary or sad or upsetting videos and search for… Read More »Mindset Habit #17: Smile

Movement Habit #52+: The “IBD Grad Workout”

Having a goal and target to shoot for helps provide motivation. Without a “finish line” to reach it becomes too easy to stop moving and exercising. That is why I created this “IBD Grad Workout” for you to use as your target goal. Using the following exercises and repetitions as your new movement standards will give you guidance and accountability. Use this workout as a way to measure your improvements and gauge your progress. The ultimate goal is to complete the entire workout in 1 workout session CORE – Repeat #1-3 for 3 rounds then move on to Upper Body exercises 1 Dead-bugs: perform 10 repetitions per side. 2. Rolling: perform 5 repetitions per side. 3. Three-point Bridge: be able to hold position for 10… Read More »Movement Habit #52+: The “IBD Grad Workout”

Nutrition Habit #45: Create Your “IBD Nutrition Action Plan”

Answer the below questions to create your plan for IBD nutritional recovery and wellness. 1. What are you working with? Assess your situation. 2. Where do you want to go? Identify the main objective(s). 3. How are you going to do what you’re going to do? Determine the overall approach and method. 4. What are you going to do? Identify a general set of action steps. 5. How will you know what to do? Think about how you’ll interpret/communicate feedback, evaluation, and any potential crucial conversations. 6. Does this work for you? Assess “fit”, individualization, resonance, and salience. 7. How will you know if your plan is “working”? Identify and develop progress indicators and a schedule for recording them. 8. What are you going to… Read More »Nutrition Habit #45: Create Your “IBD Nutrition Action Plan”

Habit #27: Start with the Good

No matter what current state your nutrition might be in I’m willing to bet that at some point in your life you’ve done something healthy. Before we consider change or adding habits I’d like for you to center yourself with the notion that you are already practicing good nutrition. Good nutrition: Properly controls energy balance. Provides nutrient density. Achieves health, body composition, and performance goals. Is honest and outcome-based.[2] Maybe it wasn’t 100% of the time (insider secret – no one does that). Maybe you could have stayed on track just a little bit longer. Wherever you might have been in the past I guarantee that there are positives to remember and times when you practiced some form of good nutrition. So begin this section… Read More »Habit #27: Start with the Good

Habit #24: How to Make it a Habit

Having good information is only the start towards change. While I provide you with 52 habits to practice to feel better with IBD, I must provide you with a habit that explains the framework on how to make anything a habit. Enter the habit of how to make it a habit (excerpt from Precision Nutrition). Start with awesome – what are you already doing well? What do you already like to do and can do it well? Do more of what those answers are. Allow yourself to choose the direction – remember that you can say “no” if you know that something might not be the best for you. Remember, notice and name? Notice what feels best for you at this moment. Go in that direction. Set the right… Read More »Habit #24: How to Make it a Habit

Mindset Habit #16: Find the Good

We tend to find more of what we focus on. When life with IBD is tough that can be all that we focus on. This is understandable. If you are sick and dealing with a flare or painful symptoms of your IBD it is difficult to “stay positive and hope for the best”. I remember during my first flare that all I could do to find some relief was to curl up into a fetal position on the floor and not move. That was a difficult time to see the good in that moment. Luckily, I was able to see that moment for what it was, and nothing worse. I basically did my best to turn my brain off to help avoid any excessive negative… Read More »Mindset Habit #16: Find the Good

Mindset Habit #3: Practice Self-Compassion

There are several research studies showing the benefits of self-compassion, defined as a mindful awareness of oneself, which involves treating oneself kindly and understanding oneself during difficult and challenging times by realizing that such experiences are common amongst all humans. The idea these studies support is if I’m simply a little bit nicer to myself I’ll improve in whatever area I’m working on. On the surface it sounds too “new agey”, soft, and too-good-to-be-true. People typically react with comments like, “You mean, “I can give myself the benefit of the doubt and do things like rest when I need to or say no to invitations that I’m not ready for without feeling lazy or weak?” The answer is yes. This habit is especially vital for… Read More »Mindset Habit #3: Practice Self-Compassion

Nutrition Habit #35: Shape Your Path

The book “Switch” addressed the idea of change and how it can be accomplished in a variety of situations and examples. They pared change down to the relationship between a metaphorical: elephant (the emotional part of ourselves) rider (our thinking, analytical selves) and, the path (the environment and situation we find ourselves, aka life) We, as thinking and analytical beings, tend to think that we are in control and basically smarter than we really are (the riders). In reality we tend to be much more emotionally driven, reactionary beings going off thousands of years of survival reflects (the elephants). So no matter how much or how hard the rider might pull on the elephant to steer clear of danger or unproductive actions the elephant is… Read More »Nutrition Habit #35: Shape Your Path

Mindset Habit #25: Use the Power of Your Mind

Over 25 years, sports psychology researcher and mental training consultant Terry Orlick interviewed high performers in various fields (think astronauts, Olympic athletes, world-class musicians, and patients who had survived life-threatening diseases) because he wanted to know what gave these people the edge in their very demanding professions or experiences? He concluded that “Human excellence in virtually all domains is guided by mental factors.” Based on his research, he identified seven elements of what he calls “The Wheel of Excellence”. These elements are the mental components of success. Use this idea to improve your mindset with IBD.       Elements: Quick description: Practicing it with IBD:   Commitment     Commitment is saying: I will do this. Your involvement is non-negotiable. You commit yourself not only to… Read More »Mindset Habit #25: Use the Power of Your Mind