Category Archives: personal development

The power coaching when it comes to reaching your goals

Courtesy of Issac Smith on Unsplash.com

Finally, it looks like winter 2018 is finally behind us. For those of us in the Midwest, we had one last ‘winter storm’ this past Sunday. Hello Spring! With that in mind, we’re at the end of the first quarter of the year. If you are like most people, perhaps at the beginning of the year, you set some New Year resolutions. Yet we know that by the beginning of Spring, more than 70% of resolutions have been broken.

Springtime is the perfect time to take stock of what you have achieved thus far this year.

First of all, it is never too late to press the reset button and revisit your resolutions. That’s because the word “resolution” goes way beyond just New Year.

I looked up the dictionary definition of resolution. It says ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something.’

Let’s take a look at the first part of that statement- a firm decision.

When you’ve made a resolution in the past, be it a New Year resolution or not, was it really a firm decision? Or just on a whim at the end of the year holiday office party? Perhaps you said it because you believed it at the time.

If making a New Year resolution is indeed a firm decision for most people, then why do 70% of resolutions fail by the beginning of spring?

Why do we have such poor results if we are really trying to to make lasting change in our lives?

Do we like to see ourselves fail? Or do we keep making resolutions because somehow we feel inside ourselves that we are destined to succeed?

Having trained as a professional life coach, I believe in the possibility for all people.

I think that we make resolutions because we are drawn to want more in our lives. We are intrinsically wired to be creative

I also feel that that perhaps we need a different set of tools to create those results we say we want in our lives.

Setting Goals as a Tool:

One of the more important coaching tools is the SMART system.

One of the empowering tools when it comes to achieving results is the way we set goals.

A SMART goal is an acronym that stands for

• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Results in
• Time

You’ve probably heard this before. So let’s say your goal is to do a 5K walk/run this year. You’ve not even gotten off your couch but you feel you want to set this goal.

And now you want to use the SMART goal system to gauge the likelihood that you will succeed.

Here’s an example of what a SMART weight loss goal would look like:

Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) specific? –yes it’s precisely 3.1 miles or a 5K

Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) measurable?- yes the course will be outlined with distance markers

Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) achievable?– yes thousands of people have achieved this goal before, so can you.

When you walk 5K (3.1 miles) will you see the results?- yes, you will gain results from the moment you start training until you cross the finish line at the race.

Do you have a set time to achieve these results?– yes you can choose to run/walk this race in the fall which gives you plenty of time to train.

Write down your goals

Let’s get back to goal setting as part of making a firm decision to do something. You now know to make sure that you have a SMART goal.

The next step is to write down your goals.

More than 80% of people who write down their goals succeed at them.

Commit to having your goals in a visible place and reading them every day. In fact, Napoleon Hill in his famous book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ wrote about reading your goals out aloud to yourself twice a day- once in the morning and once at night.

Remember that goal setting goes beyond the intellectual exercise. You are priming your subconscious mind to work with you when reading out a goal.

If you want to get a different result, then get an accountability partner.

Another reason people fail at their resolutions is that they do not hold themselves accountable. Change is not easy. A lot of times we need to have an accountability partner to help us keep going along the path of transformation.

That’s precisely why when we make those resolutions, and when the rubber hits the road, we falter and find a reason why we really can’t reach those goals.

Then you become discouraged or even doubt why you made that decision in the first place. Perhaps you’ve been trying to lose weight like I have and the scale just doesn’t seem to be tipping in the right direction or as fast as you want it to. 🙁

This is when you need an impartial accountability partner, such as a coach. A coach is someone who can call you on your stuff and who is not biased. They have no agenda. An accountability partner or a coach should be willing to be that stand for you in those times when you say to yourself perhaps this was not such a great idea after all. That’s the power of a coach.

It’s often said that if you are up to great things in your life, then you need a life coach.

I agree with that. Not merely because I am also trained as a life coach, but because I see the power that coaching has to create a change by empowering people to see much more than what they see for themselves.

So as we embrace the upcoming warmer months of Spring into summer, here are some questions that I have for you:

• Are you tired of doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result?
• When it comes to your health and overall wellbeing are you up to making 2019 a breakthrough year for you?
• Would you like to play a different game than just making a New Year resolution?
• If you knew you could not fail what dream goal would you like to see manifest in the next 12 months?

Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with managing type 2 diabetes or any other chronic illness. We are inundated with an internet that provides us with tons of information at the ‘click of a mouse.’

If it’s just having access to knowledge, then we should be able to achieve the results we say we want very quickly right? Wrong.

If we do not become aware of how our habits may sabotage us, or the thought patterns that hold us, hostage, we will never produce the results we say we want.

This is one of the reasons why I found coaching to be so transformational and why I am passionate about the power of coaching when it comes to helping clients and patients develop tools which will allow them to make permanent changes.

For a limited time only, I am offering a free 20-minute discovery session. I’d love to hear what you’re up to this year. Just send me an email at info@doctoreno.com to check in and let me know what you are up to. If you would like to schedule an appointment simply let me know and a member of my team will get back to you with my availability.

Until next time

To your Health & Wellbeing

How I used the stages of change to overhaul my pantry

Photo credit: Ross Findon on Unsplash

Perhaps there are people out there who can relate to this statement. There are some projects that we know we should do, but we keep putting off. This could go on for years…..

Intuitively, we know we’ll be better if we finally get to them. But the thought of going through the process of change just seem overwhelming and even painful. Eventually, we place these projects on the backburner for what may look like forever. In coaching, we refer to this attitude as tolerations.

And then finally something shifts inside of you and suddenly you’re ready to get into action.

Well, that happened to me a couple of weeks ago with my pantry. My pantry is a super-small room right off my kitchen. Over the years I’ve gotten into the bad habit of just stacking stuff one on top of the other in what later became an “orderly mess”.

My pantry had become a “painful toleration”.

I finally decided the toleration of accepting a cluttered and nonfunctional pantry was far worse than the liberation of creating some order in it.

I like the famous quote by Anais Nin:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

But something had to change within me in order to change my relationship to my pantry.

Whether you need to overhaul your pantry because it’s cluttered like mine, or you want to make healthier lifestyle choices, I came up with six steps to overhaul your pantry in under an hour.

Step 1

The first step is your mindset. Be resolute. You are committed to doing this. You are ready to get into action. Put your game face on and “Just Do It” attitude.

Step 2
Go through your pantry and throw out every food item that has expired.

Step 3
Next, if there are any packages or cans that you may have purchased some time back, you know you’re not going ever to use them. They are not expired. Place these items lovingly in a paper bag to donate to a nearby food pantry.

Step 4

Next, take everything else remaining off the shelves. You can stack them on the kitchen table. Take the opportunity to clean the shelves. Seems pretty basic but I found that de-cluttering the shelves had such a therapeutic feel to it. You may see that there are some more items that you are willing to let go off. Place them in the bag to donate to a food pantry.

Step 5

If you have only shelving in your pantry, then you may want to buy some clear storage bins for this part. I did. Next, organize food items in common groupings. For instance, all the grains in one container or two, broths and soups in another, cans in another bin. If at all possible create a flow to your pantry, where the items that you commonly use, are more accessible than items you don’t use all the time.

Step 6

Finish off by stacking items like bottles and storage containers or other sundry items in a separate space, say in the under shelves.

There you have it, a de-cluttered pantry in under an hour!

I can’t begin to tell you what a rewarding feeling it is to have this new relationship with my pantry.

Here are some of the benefits of having an organized pantry:
• I know where everything is a vast time-savings
• I’ve challenged myself to cook with the supplies I already have in my pantry before I go out and buy new groceries. That simple step saves on my grocery bill.
• Also, this process allowed me to get rid of some of the foods I had long taken out of my diet such as pasta and white rice.

I humorously used the example of my pantry project to highlight our relationship to change. Whether it’s a new diet or exercise program, we tend to want to jump straight into action without first finding out what stage we are in.

There are several stages to change. Let me illustrate the stages of change using my pantry project:

• Pre-contemplation– clearing out the pantry? Not even on my mind!
Contemplation– Maybe someday in the distant future (when I retire) I may declutter that pantry.
Preparation– Hhmmm… This pantry is becoming a nuisance. Good idea to gather information about how much time it’s going to take me to clean it out.
Action– I’m done with the status quo. I’m ready to make some changes. I’m prepared to clean out the pantry! Let’s do this!
Maintenance– Now the challenge is maintaining the new habit of keeping everything in its place.
Relapse– This is the stage old habits that die hard may creep up on us like a Ninja warrior! Be prepared. I know there may be some days that I’m exhausted after a long day and I may come home and just throw things on the shelf resolving to ‘tidy up later.’ I know this, and so I have my systems in place if that should happen. Simply resolve to go back to place the stuff in the grouping system I have already created.
Termination– This is the final stage of change. I’m a pro at handling my well-organized pantry!

Here are some action steps I invite you to take

  • Spend the next week or so writing out a list of your tolerations. This could be projects you haven’t gotten to. It could be you’re living with a chronic illness but you’ve put your health on the back burner.
  • Next, review the stages of change and identify exactly where you are with each toleration.
  • Then, see if you can move one or two items on your toleration list from say the ‘pre-contemplation’ or ‘contemplation’ phase to the preparation stage and even action.

I would love to hear your feedback.

To your health and wellbeing

Which is Better- Exercise or Movement?

Photo Credit Luis Quintero on Unsplash

Spring is finally upon us. For those of us in the northern hemisphere I must say we had quite a challenging winter 2018. What with the polar vortex and all. Even my dogs didn’t look forward to going on their daily walks on those cold days.

As the temperatures get warmer and the days get longer there is a tendency for us to want to spend more time outdoors.  Some of us may have packed on a couple of “winter pounds” for a myriad of reasons- less activity, more comfort food, being in “hibernation mode” (I know I have :).

And there belies the question- which is better for you- Exercise? Or movement?

Caution: Before starting an exercise program, please consult your healthcare provider to ensure that you are safe to start a moderate intensity exercise program.

There is a myriad of benefits to exercise. For some of its benefits, check out a post I wrote here.

There are four types of exercise.

  • Aerobic (cardiovascular exercise)
  • Resistance (strength training) exercise
  • Flexibility
  • Balance

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a well-balanced exercise program consists of all four types.

The US Surgeon general, recommends in order to improve our health and wellbeing that we need to exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of intense activity every week.

As I type these numbers, it doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of time.  And yet it almost seems hard for us to squeeze in that 75-150 minutes a week.  I mean I know that I come up with reasons sometimes that I’m not able to set aside time to exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week.  According to the CDC only 23.5% of adult Americans perform aerobic and strength training weekly.

Research shows that being sedentary

A sedentary lifestyle is if you are not participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 3 days a week for at least 3 months.

Having said all that, do you know that between 6-8 hours is spent in sedentary behavior.  I happen to wear a fitness device called an oura ring, and it sends me an alert every hour advising me to get up and stretch.

You may be someone that goes to the gym, does a daily run, etc., but how much activity you spend doing the rest of your day is also important. 

I find it very intriguing that even though I may have gotten in a workout on my peloton bike, at the end of the day the activity score shown on my oura ring is pretty low if I do not keep moving throughout the day.

So now you can see that even if you are someone who exercises regularly, that you could still fit into the “sedentary behavior” basket.

You may have heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking”? Well, that is because sitting time increases our all-cause mortality.

Now let me be honest, if you are that person who is the true definition of sedentary for whatever reason, I do not expect to get you to jump off the couch and go follow the surgeon general’s recommendations. I know this because, throughout my clinical career, I have actually had patients that

So there comes the concept of movement. Movement is merely the act of moving our bodies.  

There is a concept called nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). It is the energy we expend performing activities that are not sleeping, sitting or related to exercise. When we increase NEAT we can improve our overall exercise expenditure.

So how can we improve NEAT? By increasing everyday movement.

So here are some suggestions to increase movement throughout your day:

  • Set a reminder to take a 2-3 minute walk every hour.
  • Get a dog and walk it every day. 🙂
  • If you work in an office, work toward spending at least half of your office time standing, moving or doing light intense activities such as stretching, chair dips, lunges, etc.
  • Ditch the remote control and get up to manually change the TV/cable channel.
  • Purchase a fitness tracker and work up to and beyond 10,000 steps a day
  • If you are sedentary for whatever reason, perform exercises such as leg lifts, arm circles, biceps curls.
  • If you have to drive, park further and walk.
  • Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • In between commercials on TV stretch, do some jumping jacks, chair dips, lunges, wall pushups, etc.
  • If you take your child to their after-school activity, take that time to do some movement yourself rather than sitting around watching your child. 😉

In summary, both increasing physical activity, as well as movement which improves NEAT, are equally important. None should be done to the exclusion of the other.

Until next time,

To your Health & Wellbeing,

What do you think?

When you hear the word “exercise” what does that bring up in you? What are some ways that you can think of to increase your physical activity?

I would love to hear your comments. Send me an email at info@doctoreno.com

How my story has been stopping me from making a career transition

It’s an exciting time in my life right now. I hope that by sharing my experience, it will help someone else in their life journey.

I’ve been working hard behind the scenes with my virtual manager and business coach putting together my first online summit featuring over twenty speakers scheduled to launch this May. I’m really excited, but the truth is reaching this point has taken me a long, long time.

You see, for the last ten years, I have been in the ‘planning to execute‘ phase. Due to my passion for promoting wellness I have wanted to transition from clinical medicine.

I trained as a professional coach in 2010, continued to attend course after course and hired coach after coach and was growing increasingly frustrated. Life kept getting in the way, and I kept telling myself I wasn’t quite ready.

When I came across functional medicine a year ago, I was exhilarated. I dove straight into the training modules. Finally, I had found my tribe! Now I felt armed with the tools to make the transition a reality.

My mission is to create a global wellness platform that provides women over 50 with tools to optimize their health and wellbeing so they can thrive into their golden years.

I’m being vulnerable in sharing my vision this way because even though I feel strongly about it and recognize the need for this kind of information in this particular demographic, I have dealt with a lot of self-doubts. In fact, at times, I wanted to quit.

You see I have been deeply attached to ‘my story.’ And I am still working through it.

Some time back, I wrote a post about how our stories prevent us from reaching our full potential . You see we all have a story we tell ourselves.

A story is a tale that you repeat over and over again. In the beginning, the story may have been told to you by someone in authority. It may have been your parent(s), a teacher, a pastor.

That ‘someone’ initially shared this story with you. And you believed it. It becomes the lens through which you see your life. Then it became your perception of your reality. It does not have to be “a bad story.” The more you hear the story, the more significant potential it has to limit how you see yourself and potential.

Let me share “my story” again and how up till now as a woman in her fifties, it has continued to stop me:

I was born a premature baby in London, UK. My mother was getting very ill, and so when she went into pre-term labor, the goal was to save her with no thought about her baby. In the 1960s the odds of a premature birth under or close to 7 months surviving were a lot less than they are now. My mother who was a nurse at the time promised herself that if I survived, I would become a doctor to ‘give back.’ and so that was the story that was told to me from the time I was a little girl.

Since I graduated from medical school in 1987, I have enjoyed a successful medical career. However, over the span of my career, I am keenly aware of the impact lifestyle choices have on overall health.

As time went on, I became more passionate about focusing on disease prevention and wellness.

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to the field of professional life coaching. It lit me up. And so I trained as a professional coach. I felt that coaching was a model that could help people deal with their mindset and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. I also spoke at some community events and saw the impact my words had on my audience.

I also went on to write an award-winning book for people living with type 2 diabetes.

However, I let my story prevent me from transitioning into a career as a full-time speaker, consultant, and coach.

So my work, is to own the story I tell myself and recognize where it stops me.

It is essential to take responsibility for the track it is playing in your mind over and over again.

So here are some of the steps you can take to notice where your story shows up:

  • Notice where you are telling a story. For instance, when you find yourself justifying why you can’t meet a goal.
  • Notice where you tell stories about other people or other situations or circumstances.
  • Take small steps to start to dismantle your story. You can start by taking the time to craft an empowering story.

For instance, yes, it is possible for me to transition to a career as a functional medicine consultant.

So here is the story that I am committed to telling myself moving forward:

  • I am a transformative force for G(o)od
  • If not me, whom?
  • If not now, when?

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback on how your story may have been running your life.

If you would like a FREE download of the first three chapters of my book, click here.

To your Health & Wellbeing,


Five Strategies to help you reach healthy blood sugar control in the New Year

Happy 2019! I trust you are off to a great start. It is great to be back to blogging after such a long time. As I shared in an earlier newsletter, late summer we had some challenges upgrading the platform and then as the holidays approached, I had a rather grueling work schedule, in addition to a brief media blitz in Wisconsin. I am currently writing to you whilst on a much-needed vacation in Nigeria.

This is a re-purposed article from an older blog article. I like to start the new year highlighting New Year resolutions.

Now that we are in a New Year, we can press the reset button and set some New Year resolutions to reach your healthy blood sugar goals.

What is a resolution?

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Research has shown that close to 90% of resolutions fail by the end of the first quarter of the year.

If you are committed to thriving with type 2 diabetes, then consider developing an empowered relationship to resolutions. Remember you are not just a person living with type 2 diabetes.

Here are Five New Year Resolutions to start with:

It all begins with the ABCs

In my award-winning book, “Dr. Eno’s A-to-Z Guide to thriving with Type 2 Diabetes”, the first three chapters focused on what I started calling the ABCs. The ABCs is an acronym which stands for A-Acceptance, B-Belief and C-Commitment to change.

No matter what challenges you may be dealing with, whether it is learning to live with a chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, or simply deciding to make a new year resolution it all begins with your ABCs.

The reason many New Year resolutions fail, is because we tend to avoid change by making excuses. First is the need to accept some things need to change. Next is developing a belief that you can make changes. The final step is making a commitment to improve. To download a free e-book of the first three chapters of my book, click here.

Learn all there is to learn about type 2 diabetes

I continue to emphasize that knowledge is the first step toward personal empowerment. The field of diabetes care is rapidly changing. Become curious about the latest information particularly as it may pertain to diabetes care. Search for reputable sources of information.

If you find a treatment option that you feel may work for you, then be sure to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about this. Remember that there are several ways to treat diabetes, however, making changes to your lifestyle is the foundation for reaching healthy blood sugars. So this year, make a commitment to taking stock of your current lifestyle. Look for ways that you can make some changes. Always remember to start with small changes and then build on them. With time small changes can create significant shifts in your overall health and wellness.

Do what it takes this year to achieve and maintain healthy blood sugars. There may be times when your blood sugars get out of control. This can be very discouraging. At times some people living diabetes may become discouraged and resigned. The thing to keep in mind is that uncontrolled blood sugars are associated with a higher risk of complications. So if you commit to doing whatever it takes to achieve and maintain healthy blood sugars, you will reduce the risk of complications. It may mean, increasing the amount of physical activity, watching portion sizes a lot more closely, and cutting out the excuses.

See your healthcare provider on a regular basis.

Early in the year is an excellent time to look at your calendar and schedule visits with your healthcare provider as well as any specialists on a regular basis are vital in helping to detect any early complications. Not only should you see your healthcare provider on a regular basis, but also I suggest that you even know what kinds of testing you need to have done. For instance every three months, you should have an A1C performed. This test allows your healthcare provider as well as you to know how well controlled your blood sugars have been. For tips on how to choose a healthcare provider

Know your “ABC numbers.”

The ABCs stand for another acronym. It is essential to know your ABC numbers. This means- A1C, Blood sugars and cholesterol. Have a discussion with your healthcare provider about what your target ranges are.

Your numbers are based on guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association:

  • A1C <7.0 %
  • Blood sugars (fasting) 80-120 mg/dl
  • Cholesterol- LDL (think bad lousy cholesterol) less than 100 mg/dl; HDL (think good happy cholesterol) more than 60 mg/dl.

Keep up with routine health exams.

Once a year schedule an annual physical exam, as well as routine screening tests. Do not leave these to chance. This is because type 2 diabetes increases your risk of some other diseases such as heart disease as well as strokes as well as certain cancers.

I suggest marking this on your calendar early in the year. Perhaps you may want to pick your birthday month, for instance, to get all your routine medical exams done.

So there you have it. Five New Year resolutions to get the year off to a robust start in achieving healthy blood sugars.

My New Year resolution is to create more consistent content for this platform as well as online and in-person programs that can help you reach your goals of thriving by helping you to improve your metabolic health.

So let’s get started! Click here to download the free e-book of the first three chapters of my book. And if you would like to purchase a copy of my book, click here.


To your Health & Wellbeing,

Using the internet for online medical advice

 

 

 

 

 

People turn to the internet for online medical advice for a variety of reasons. Some people to help them try to diagnose an illness. Others to get a better understanding of health and wellness issues to improve the quality of their lives.

Numerous websites provide medical information. Some of the well known reputable websites include  WebMD,  the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic. You can learn a lot on topics such as nutrition, exercise, common symptoms of diseases, drugs, holistic medicine to name a few.

There are more and more independent doctors and health care experts- such as myself- who share their expertise in a particular area such as type 2 diabetes or other chronic illnesses. This is called information marketing and is geared toward empowering people to make healthier lifestyle choices as well as directing people to a healthcare professional who may be able to help with their medical issues.

I love the fact that as healthcare providers and experts in our various fields, we can provide all this information on this global platform.   It is clear based on internet searches that people want this knowledge.

There are also a lot of not so reputable health information websites. Some of the information that may be downright wrong or misleading.

Because of this, it is crucial to verify the credentials of the source you are getting your information. One of the ways you can do this is, to find out if a healthcare professional who is board-certified wrote the info on the website.

A board-certified physician has completed a residency program in their chosen specialty and also has gone a step further to pass a standardized examination. Depending on the specialty, board-certified physicians are required to undergo  ‘continuing medical education’ (CME). Most insurance providers and also hospitals mandate that a physician is board certified. To confirm whether your healthcare provider is board certified click here.

 

Cyberchondria – the danger of online medical advice

A lot of people search the internet for the answers to common health concerns. It is not unusual for patients to come to see their healthcare provider, armed with information from a web search. I experience patients referring to the results of their internet searches on a reasonably regular basis.

There are some dangers with seeking online medical advice. The most common is getting wrong information. Some websites show up high on search engines, but they provide the worse case scenarios. You could be getting the wrong advice–with severe consequences.

Some people become so obsessed with the advice they get on the internet. They may continuously feel that something terrible is happening to them. They are always thinking the worst and use the internet to validate this feeling.

This constant obsession with the ‘worst-case scenario’ for what may be standard medical conditions is called cyberchondria. Cyberchondria can become very serious and disabling. Someone suffering from cyberchondria may not even realize how this is affecting their ability to function.

Cyberchondriacs spend a lot of time and resources going back and forth to see their healthcare provider armed with their latest findings from their internet research. They may end up demanding medical tests and procedures. And they may move from one healthcare provider to another if they do not get the answers to validate how sick they feel.

How to deal with cyberchondria

So let’s say you are that person (or you know a person 🙂 I’ve described in this article, what can you do? Just like a hypochondriac, cyberchondriacs believe that what they are suffering from is real. Dismissing someone with cyberchondria and telling them it’s “all in their head” is not going to work. In fact, it may cause them to isolate themselves and not open up to their loved ones or worse still their healthcare providers.

The best advice I can give anyone obsessed with continually searching the internet for medical illness is to stop searching the web. Just as I would advise an alcoholic not to just ‘drink a little.’  Take an internet and social media holiday.

The next step is to seek the advice of a competent and compassionate therapist. Talk therapy can be very therapeutic. It can help to ease the anxiety associated with cyberchondria. Talk therapy can also provide coping skills and tools.

In summary, the best approach to using the internet for online medical advice is to be curious yet cautious. Use reputable sites. Do not go to the Internet looking for worst-case scenarios. And finally, know when to stop and seek the timely help of a qualified healthcare professional.

To your health and wellbeing,

The ABCs of living with any chronic illness

 

 

 

 

A chronic illness is a prolonged illness that is not communicable and which is not expected to resolve.

Some examples of chronic illnesses are type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and arthritis.

According to the CDC, there are currently about 117 million adult American living a chronic illness.

In addition to this number, about 1 in 2 adult Americans live with one chronic illness and 1 in 4 live with at least two conditions.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is a life-altering experience. I know this first hand. I still remember the shock and disbelief reading my results stating the words ‘invasive cancer’.

A lot of people may have a hard time coping with the diagnosis, and they may begin to experience feelings of overwhelm, despair and even depression.

Some people may even feel they are no longer healthy.

But as with everything else in life, you choose differently by your mindset.

That is why I chose to address the mindset in the first three chapters of my recently published Amazon bestseller book ”Dr. Eno’s Guide to Thriving with Type 2 Diabetes”

Your mindset is made up of three essential aspects. I call them the ‘ABCs of living with any chronic illness.’

I not only write about these, but I used these concepts to help me thrive through my diagnosis of cancer.

So what are the ABCs?

A stands for Acceptance
B stands for Belief
C stands for commit to change

To learn more about the ABCs, download my free ebook which highlights the first three chapters of my Amazon bestseller book.

To obtain a copy of the book from Amazon, click here.

 

To your health and wellbeing,

 

 

 

 

Here are some other articles from our archives you may also like:

Five simple strategies to cope with diabetes distress

Five symptoms women should never ignore

Today’s health awareness topic: The relationship between your emotions and diabetes symptoms

 

How This Simple Strategy is Helping Me Tiptoe Past Overwhelm

personal developmentRecently I’ve had a lot on my plate. Between going to several work locations as a travel physician, building my online wellness platform; working on marketing and publicity; preparing for the release of my upcoming book, plus training for a fall marathon, it’s little wonder I’m beginning to experience some overwhelm.

In an earlier article I wrote about a strategy to get past overwhelm and get back into action.

But when we try to get back into action, we tend to set big goals and we get overwhelmed again.

Let’s say your goal at the beginning of  the year was to be a svelte size 6 by the start of the summer season. But somewhere around February, you stopped exercising, stopped watching your diet. Now you are 10 lbs heavier than you were at the beginning of the year!

You’re wondering if it’s worth even trying to lose all that weight. Perhaps you’re feeling so defeated that you’ve decided you’ll wait until 2018 to set another new year resolution.

In my upcoming book, I write about ‘the stages of change’. Too often we go straight into action without too much preparation. And when we do get into action we tend to go all out. You know the slogan ‘Go BIG or go home!’  Then we find we’re having a hard time keeping up the momentum. Next we become overwhelmed!

What if there was a way to tiptoe past overwhelm so that we stay in action and on the road to producing the results we desire?

Well, there is a way, I’ve learned about. It is called the Kaizen method. It teaches how to take simple small steps. When starting out with the kaizen method, the steps are so ridiculously small, that it may seem impossible they could create longlasting change. That’s the beauty of the kaizen method. The steps seem so small initially that we may not even feel we are making any change. The key is to success in the kaizen method is to consistently build on these small steps.

You see when we set BIG goals, we trigger an alarm in an area of our brain called the amygdala.
The amygdala is part of our primitive brain and was developed in pre-historic times to protect us from harm. So if the primitive man ventured into unfamiliar surroundings, it was the amygdala that fired off alarm signals warning him to retreat back to familiar surroundings.

The amygdala fires off the same way when we venture into the unfamiliar territory of making changes. Even when we know those changes could make us healthier and happier.

No wonder we never quite seem able to sustain a weight loss goal, exercise regimen, better diabetes numbers etc. because to our brains these all represent change. And our amygdala thinks change could be bad.

By learning to take simple small steps, consistently, we can make the needed change and not alarm our amygdala!

So what could this look like?

Let’s go back to the weight loss goal example and see how we can apply the kaizen method.

Rather than focus on the short-term goal of weight loss, focus on the long-term benefits losing weight will give you.

If you are living with type 2 diabetes or borderline diabetes, perhaps you may focus on the fact that in the long-term, losing weight has been proven to help with better blood sugar control and in the case of borderline diabetes can possibly reverse it.

Think of something really small that you can start with. This is the time to get really creative. Then commit to taking a simple small step.

For instance if you want to start a walking program, don’t rush to the fitness store and spend hundreds of dollars getting geared up in the ‘latest and the greatest gadgetry’. Rather, start with something as small as walking in place at home or at work for 1 minute a day. Or maybe you want to cut down on your food intake. Rather than look for ways to immediately cut out 500 calories per day, as most nutritionists may recommend, start with simply leaving a spoonful of food on your plate.

As these simple actions become easy, add on to with more small steps. For instance walk in place for 2 minutes a day. Leave two spoonfuls on your plate.

Be consistent. Make it a habit. Celebrate your wins.

Using the kaizen method can create a snowball effect. You will notice yourself wanting to take on more as your newfound habit becomes fun.

Can you think of other aspects of your life that could benefit from using the kaizen method?

Too often we tend to focus on what needs to be fixed. This is a very narrow way of looking at our lives. Every aspect of our lives are interconnected. You spiritual health affects your emotional health as well as your physical health. How you eat, sense and feel, relate to others as well as your perception of the world affects your whole person, and ultimately your health.

Whether you are living with a chronic illness or just looking to be healthier, it is always best to take a whole person approach to wellness.  The kaizen method is just one way that allows us to focus on the small things that ultimately affect the whole.

In my upcoming coaching programs, I’ll be sharing several strategies that help to focus on the whole person when it comes to improving our overall health and wellbeing.

I’m also excited that the second edition of my book “Dr. Eno’s Guide to Living Powerfully with Type 2 Diabetes’ will soon be released.  If you would like to download a free copy of the ebook that highlights the first three chapters of my upcoming book, click here.

To your health and wellbeing,

Is the story you tell yourself stopping you from reaching your full potential?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while since my last blog post. But I’m excited. I want to share that despite my silence , I’ve been working behind the scenes with an amazing team of people, including my virtual manager who has been instrumental in helping migrate my online business to a more robust platform.

You see for the last ten years I have kept ‘planning to plan’ to transition from clinical medicine into more of a wellness based business that focuses more community outreach programs as well as online group coaching.

I’m being transparent in sharing that this has been a process for me to get past ‘my story’. And don’t get me wrong, this is something I am still working through.

Do you have a story that you keep telling yourself? Do you know this story may be holding you back from reaching your full potential?
So now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, you might be wondering what do you mean by ‘ a story’?

A story is a tale that you repeat over and over again. In the beginning, the story may have been told to you by an authority figure in your life such as your parent(s), a teacher, a pastor.

The important thing about a story is that is that someone initially TOLD this story about you. And you believed it. It became your reality. Your story now becomes the lens through which you see your life.  Every aspect of your life. A story can limit you from reaching your full potential.
So let me share the story that has been limiting me for a good deal of my life:

I was born a premature baby in London, UK. In the 1960s the odds of a premature birth under or close to 7 months surviving were a lot less than they are in the 21st century. My mother was a nurse. She understood the odds of me surviving with no permanent deficits. She promised herself that if I did survive, I would become a doctor in order to ‘give back’. From my traditional roots-in Nigeria-the career path a child takes is largely determined by their parents.

Over the last 20 years I have enjoyed a successful medical career in the United States as a primary care physician. Over the course of my career, I have also seen the impact lifestyle choices have on overall health. I have treated the effects of those lifestyle choices when people get ill or develop chronic medical illnesses.

As time went on, I became passionate  about helping people become aware that they could change certain behaviors before they got seriously ill. It starts with not only their mindset, but the lifestyle choices they make. The body and the mind are related.

I also saw the impact my talks had when I went out to speak at community outreach programs. The general feedback was that people were able to grasp the information I offered and were eager to take action.

Do you know that patients do not understand more than half of what a healthcare provider especially a physician tells them?

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to the field of professional life coaching. It lit me up. For me, this was a model that went beyond the examining room could  impact people at the root cause.

But I have been allowing my story to limit me from transitioning into a career as a full time speaker, consultant and coach.

Do you know that we even have stories about everyday stuff? For instance when someone cuts you off in traffic, what do you think? Or when you are in the grocery line that just seems to go very slowly what’s your story? Or think about where you are now in your diabetes journey-what story are you telling yourself?

Own Your Story

It was not about the person cut you off in the traffic, for all we know they may have been rushing to see a dying relative in the hospital!  The grocery store line just goes slowly because that’s what grocery store lines do; not because you happen to be in the store. And how you get decide to relate to living with  diabetes or any other chronic illness is also a story you tell yourself.

So here are some of the things that I have been taking on to help me dismantle my story and keep me moving forward in my plan to transition out of clinical medicine. I invite you to take them on also:

  • Notice everywhere you are tell a story. Usually you’ll notice yourself going back and forth or making a judgment. Or it may be that you spend time  justifying why you can’t achieve a goal.
  • Next notice where you tell stories about other people or other things.
  • Now work on taking simple small steps to start dismantling your story. Start by telling yourself a story that leaves you feeling empowered. For instance, tell yourself  YES- it is possible to live a full and productive life despite being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

So here is the story that I am committed to telling myself moving forward-Yes, I am a great coach. It’s what has made me a good physician. I believe that patients should be actively engaged in their medical care. As a physician, I provide patients with resources and information which allows them make informed decisions in their healthcare.  Some of those conversations are not easy to have. But that truly is what coaching is all about.

There are lots of  things being planned for this platform over the next few months. In summer 2017, I  will be releasing the updated version of my book, “Dr. Eno’s A-Z Guide to Living Powerfully with Type 2 Diabetes”. If you have not already had a chance to preview the first three chapters in my free e-book, click here.

I would also love to hear your feedback on how you think a story has been running your life and preventing you from reaching your full potential.
Until next time,

To your Health & Wellbeing,