Accidentally overweight? and Are you happy? Dr. Libby Weaver and Shawn Achor

These two speakers were my favorite!

Dr. Libby Weaver, a biochemist from New Zealand spoke about women’s health and cycles related to weight gain.  She had so much information to share.  Her website is www.drlibby.com and she has a book called Accidentally Overweight that I hope to do a book club on soon.  The book is supposed to be available on Amazon soon.  This is a VERY short summary of what she said:

  • 9 factors affect weight gain:  calories, thyroid function, gut bacteria, alkalinity, liver function, emotions, glycemic index, stress, and sex hormones
  • the book covers these 9 factors and she reviews them on her website too.
  • weight gain under the bra is caused by congested liver
  • weight gain around belly button and hips is caused by cortisol (exacerbated by bad diet)
  • she reviewed common problems associated with the female cycle, infertility, PCOS and PMS which can be found in the book and on the website. Its pretty involved so I wont get into it here.
  • She said a really good way to help increase health is by increasing intake in GREEN veggies.

The other speaker, who was hilarious, was Shawn Achor, a psychologist from Harvard University who studies the advantages of being happy.  He also has a book, called The Happiness Advantage (another book club :)). He said:

  • intelligence and success go up proportionately when you are a happy person.
  • we can change our vision of reality and that actually changes reality itself
  • the more positive you are, the more you use the frontal lobe of your brain (he calls it the “thinker” and this is where executive functioning and processing goes on)
  • he showed brain scans that showed that when people watch the news the mid brain (he calls the “jerk”) literally steals energy from the front brain.
  • He demonstrated how “mirror neurons” work–its like when you see someone yawn and you yawn.  We did it with smiles; its very difficult to not smile when someone stares at you and smiles for 7 seconds.
  • Your brain secretes dopamine and stimulates a smile. This shows that we are connected via mirror neurons (and energy from our “vibe” that Dr. Northrup spoke about).
  • He has a list of gratitudes that you can perform every day to stay positive.  If you keep looking at the world the same way for too long it gets ingrained into your brain.  He calls it the Tetris effect (yes, like the video game).
  • here are some ideas to stay positive–pick 3 to do for 21 days in a row:  write 3 things you are grateful for every day (has to be specific and have occured within 24 hours); journal all the details of one meaningful experience in the last 24 hours; exercise, which releases neurochemicals and creates a cascade of success (he said its actually more effective long term than taking antidepressants); meditation–multitasking actually decreases success rates–focus on one thing at a time; conscious acts of kindness–write a positive email for two minutes to someone everyday.
  • the easier something is, the more likely you are to stick with it.  It has to take less than 20 seconds to activate.
  • happiness is a choice, it spreads, it is a work ethic that you have to work on–its not passive.
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