You know those life moments when everything falls into place, your cogs turn fluidly, and something just feels right in your gut, literally? Well, that's the moment I had after I finished the book; Mind. Body. Miracle. It's given me just the nudge I desperately needed to get my mind and body back in order post-lockdown.
I'm going to share with you my favourite elements of the book, how it's helped me start to get my body back in shape, my mind on a positive path and how it's provided me with the tools to begin to overcome challenges.
A little context
At the start of 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns kicked in, my mother, even though she had health conditions, passed away unexpectedly, and I, to put it simply, was in a bad place.
For those who don't know, I run a successful dance company with my wife Victoria and have many wonderful students and supportive families who attend. During the time of my mother passing, many of them were very supportive and all played their part in getting me through the following months.
Also at that time, a parent of two students who attend the dance company dropped off a book for me called Mind. Body. Miracle. That parent was Jaclyn Dunne. I opened the book and a message inside the cover read: "Dear Jen, I hope in these pages you find the comfort that you aren't alone and the strength to carry on, kindest regards Jaclyn Dunne". At the time, of course, I thanked Jaclyn for her thoughtfulness and looked forward to reading the book, however, I was worried that reading such a book at that time would make me rather emotional, so I set the book aside to read another time.
I found the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic physically difficult, my food choices weren't great, my exercise regime suffered, especially with the lack of my usual get-up-and-go attitude after losing mum. Over the last year, I gained over 2 and a half stone in weight and suffered from diminished self-confidence.
Many wonderful family members, including my wife and friends, all tried to help me throughout the last year to get motivated and regain my fitness (also shout out to Siobhan Hayden and her awesome HITT workout advice). I even studied for and gained a GCSE in Nutrition during the second lockdown, yet I guess my mind and body just weren't ready to really make the changes I needed.
Just over a year later in March 2021, with the courage to try, I picked up Jaclyn's Mind. Body. Miracle. and oh wow, I didn't put it down from cover to cover. I have been implementing elements from the book ever since, and am now on a physical and mental wellbeing path I'm excited to take.
What is Mind. Body. Miracle. about?
As the front of the book states, it helps you build "holistic healthy habits and daily disciplines to miraculously transform your mind and body", which sums the book up perfectly. I'd personally add that it solidifies any odd hints and tips about better health that you may have picked up through life and explains them in detail including the how's, where's and why's. It also provides you with statistics to prove the theories.
For example, so many people have recommended meditation to me, whether that be a friend who does it and is sharing what they enjoy or a mentor I look up to who adds it to their daily routine, so I considered it too. But I ask myself, why should I meditate? What will I gain by doing it? How do I even do it properly? In Mind. Body. Miracle. Jaclyn explains in ways you can really resonate with, including giving you a simple step-by-step process at the end of her explanations, making everything actionable.
Jaclyn is a highly qualified and experienced health and nutrition coach, who founded the Mind and Body Detox programme in 2014 and now, in April 2021, according to Jaclyn "has never been busier!".
Book spoiler alert but keynote: Jaclyn suffered the sad loss of her mother too, prompting her to evaluate much of her own life. Seeing how short life can be, she transformed her life, mind and body, to the point where she is healing her own autoimmune condition. The following quote from the book resonates with me wholeheartedly and I am so inspired by this:
"Being broken gives you the opportunity to build yourself again, stronger than ever. In my experience, I had to go through the worst time of my life to arrive at the best. I now have a new career, new outlook, mindset and passion. This is a legacy to my mum - and the irony is not lost in that I had to lose her in order to find me"
Here's a brief overview of the topics Jaclyn goes into detail on within the book
Since reading the book
In the book, it's made clear that you can either read it from cover to cover in your own time or in random chunks, whatever suits your own needs. As I said before I read cover to cover, I couldn't put it down.
There was so much information in the book that excited me, that I wanted to implement it all straight away, but as recommended in the book, it doesn't have to be implemented all at once, small changes at a time are best, so I'll be keeping the book by my bedside for some time.
However, I made the following changes based on habit suggestions, tools or general advice from the book straight away:
1. I make time for myself EVERY morning, I go to bed much earlier, get a full 8 hours of sleep, I get up early and have an hour for me and my self-care, including some of the following actions.
2. I repeat 4 daily affirmations that align with my values, long term goals and help to reprogramme some of my negative thought loops.
3. I mentally visualise my day ahead, how I want it to go, going into detail and thinking how each key moment feels.
4. I take a 20-minute online yoga class and practice new dance steps/techniques on days I teach dance, or I do a 20 minute HIIT spin bike ride and 10 minutes of core exercises on my days off of teaching.
5. Before bed, I journal, I note 3 things from my day that I am grateful for, 1 thing I achieved that day and 1 negative thought I had BUT how I overcame it or rationalised or reprogrammed the thought.
6. Sugar changes - I take more care in what I put in my body, especially avoiding refined sugar. I no longer have sugar in my coffee, and I check food labels!
7. Wiser choices - I now eat way more whole or cleaner foods, as Jaclyn says to many clients about clean eating"If it hasn't walked, swam, grew or flew, don't eat it"
I have now been implementing most of these every day for 7 weeks and I feel the difference already and I've only just begun my journey on which I plan to indefinitely continue. The notable key benefits so far:
I've lost almost 1 stone 5 lbs in weight
I don't feel like I'm on a diet or food is being restricted
I enjoy delicious food that fills me up
I don't crave sweet treats as I used to
I feel stronger
My skin is clearer
My cardiovascular endurance is improving
I feel happier in general
I feel increasingly more confident in my appearance
I feel increasingly more confident in my abilities
I feel more awake from better regular sleep
I feel more flexible
I feel more focused at work
I am overwhelmed with how much healthier and happier I feel in just 7 weeks, it makes me excited for what the future will bring on this journey.
Mind. Body. Miracle. is a must-read for everyone, even if you don't implement the suggested habits and tools, the book de-bugs and de-mystifies so many health claims we see in the media and arms you with statistically solid knowledge.
With the health industry being one of the most overpopulated industries in the world right now, how do you know which book to read, which "guru" to listen to and what implementations are right for you? That's where I feel this book shines, it covers all of the key topics of holistic health in one place, identifying that we all have individual needs, yet giving evidence of the tools we can all use and take action on.
To find out more about Jaclyn's Mind and Body Detox Programme visit: www.mindandbodydetox.co.uk
Thanks for taking the time to read this book recommendation, and good luck on your own journeys in health and happiness. For more recommended products for you, them and maybe even your business, check out our other pages.
Jenny - Author at Tried and Loved.
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