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> back to eNewsletter Past Issue List
This issue will take about 3 minutes to read. Issue #17
Reducing Swelling in Feet and Legs
Your Appetite Can be an ASSET

Reducing Swelling in Feet and Legs

I have had some clients have remarkable improvement in reducing ankle and lower leg swelling by using the body's own natural lymph pump and gravity. I would like to tell you about this for yourself and any friends with whom you would like to share this info.

The lymph system really has one main pump ...
one thing that really facilitates circulation of interstitial fluids ...
that is movement.
But how the heck can you move with all this swelling?

Try this: Lay down on the couch (sounds doable already) with your head on the arm rest or a pillow. Think about your leg closest to the back of the couch. Lift that leg (I recommend that you use a long scarf or the belt off from a robe to wrap around your leg and help you lift it) so that you leg is resting on the back of the couch.

So now you are on the couch, with you leg resting on the back of the couch. Notice that your foot, ankle, and leg are much higher than your torso and heart. Good. Now gravity will help send fluids back to your torso where the lymph nodes in your groin can process it. But you need more than just gravity. You need the BIG pump. You need movement.

See that foot resting up there on the back of the couch. Think about the toes on that foot. Now, slowly trace the alphabet with your big toe. I client asked me if she should trace the capitol letters or the lower case letters. I said: "Both". You can also point and flex your foot, or do half circles to the outside.

Once you have done one leg, take your time and move over so that your head is on the other arm rest or pillow. This will allow your other leg to be next to the back of the couch and you can enjoy repeating the exercise all over again. If doing this relaxing exercise for 5 minutes helps a little, then try doing it for 10 or 15 minutes on each leg. All these movements cause your ankle and calf muscles to contract and release. These contractions ARE your best lymph pump.

Gravity and movement are both helping to send the fluid back to your torso and lymph nodes. (Also, any blood that may have pooled in your lower legs is pumped back to your heart and lungs too.)

Drawbacks: "This takes too long." ... Well, if you were to be so lucky as to find a massage therapist who does manual lymph drainage (a comfortable and gentle massage technique, not a scary medical procedure), and if you had insurance to pay for it, and if you went to all the trouble to get dressed and to the office for treatment ... you would feel better ... but just plopping down on the couch and wiggling your foot is MUCH less time and effort!

Your own gravity and movement fluid pump is the most convenient least expensive treatment you can find. You DESERVE the relief. You are WORTH the time. TAKE CARE of yourself ... and just lay down for a bit and wiggle your foot.

Your Appetite Can be an ASSET
(An Excerpt from Don't Weight)

I used to travel with my husband on business trips. I functioned as the hostess for wives who were also on the trip. We called these trips "vacations". Indeed we traveled to Hawaii, Spain, and resorts all over the country. I had the unique experience of traveling both when I was a compulsive eater and when I had made peace with food.

Traveling as a compulsive eater was an interesting experience. There was food everywhere. And there was permission to eat. After all, this was vacation. At breakfast there was a display of pastries, and I could have all that I wanted. I wanted a lot. Midmorning we were stopping at a little shop for candies. And it was perfectly acceptable to have candy on vacation. After all, I would go back to dieting when I returned. This went on all day and all night, eating every two or three hours. The first day I really enjoyed myself. The second day, the food had lost its wonder. By the third day, I felt kind of sick. But I was on vacation. How could I turn down these delicious treats that I would never have again? The vacation became a roller coaster ride of eating and nausea. I still enjoyed the eating, briefly. I spent most of the vacation waiting for that sick feeling to go away ? so I could eat again.

Traveling only a few years later, when I had made peace with food, was a completely different experience. I wanted to enjoy what I ate and how I felt after I ate. I learned from experience that a good breakfast helped me feel better all day. It was easy to choose a lower fat breakfast and fresh fruits. I also enjoyed some pastry. This time, when the next bite did not taste as delicious as the last, I choose to stop eating so that I could enjoy myself more. I was seeking that delightful balance between eating for pleasure and feeling comfortable afterward. Midmorning, when we were at the shops full of candies or treats, I had two questions to ask myself: Do I want to be hungry for lunch so that I can enjoy lunch more? Or do I want to enjoy some of this food now? I could answer yes to either question. I could answer yes to both questions. What I would not do was to eat until I felt sick. I was on vacation. I deserved to enjoy myself. I would not spoil my vacation by overeating to discomfort.

I remembered a saying I had learned in Spanish class:
"Hunger is the best seasoning."
(Unfortunately, I remember it only in English because we learned by translating everything.)

When I was in the middle of compulsive eating and bulimia, I had not experienced hunger for years. When I recovered from my eating disorders, I paid attention to eating, enjoyment, and satisfaction. I learned that hunger was truly the best seasoning. Everything tasted better when I was hungry. So, when I was on vacation, getting hungry was a good thing. It meant that I would enjoy my next meal even more. I would eat healthy food at meals and enjoy tastes of desert. I would have bits of delicious snacks between meals so that I would not spoil my appetite. My appetite became something that I cultivated. I wanted to be hungry when it was time to eat. I paced my eating for maximum enjoyment. After all, I was on vacation.

This is a complete change from the familiar idea of "controlling your appetite". This is really different from the idea that your appetite is "the problem", or the feeling of being "at war with your appetite".

Your appetite can be an asset to healthy eating, not an enemy!

When your appetite is an asset that enhances enjoyment in eating, you have no need for control. You will eat comfortable amounts of food, because it is more pleasurable. You will find yourself saying "No, thank you" because you are looking forward to your next meal and you want to feel your appetite for the next meal. The only effort you need is the effort to keep your focus on truly enjoying yourself both now and later. The only willpower you need is the willpower to keep looking at the broader picture so that you can enjoy yourself both now and later. What a difference!

Take Care,
Kelly Bliss
Toll Free 877-KellyBliss (877-535-5925)
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