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The Body Whisperer: Using the Principles of Integrative Body Conditioning to Create a Strong Body for Life by Mary Kay Sellek

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My story is a familiar one. I was a high school athlete, but sometime during my adult life I started to decline physically. It started with hypothyroidism, allergies and depression...
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My story is a familiar one. I was a high school athlete, but sometime during my adult life I started to decline physically. It started with hypothyroidism, allergies and depression in my 20s and 30s. By my 40s, my allergies progressed to asthma. I frequently got colds, had trouble sleeping and gained 15 pounds I couldn’t get rid of. Quite frankly, I felt like my body was falling into a downward spiral that I feared would end badly. Experts told me what to eat and how to exercise, but no matter what I did, my body seemed to break down more. That’s when I set out to find new ways to improve my health. I took classes, studied my own body, and experimented with elimination diets and exercise. Eventually, I recognized the subtle ways my body was telling me what it needed that I was ignoring. The smarter and more diligent I became about responding to my body’s cues, the better the results…the bigger the transformation. Now in my 50s, I’m in the best health and shape of my life!

Family and friends who hadn’t seen me in a while immediately noticed a difference. They commented on my slender, solid physique and how vibrant and energetic I seemed. They wanted to know what I was doing. That’s when I formalized my method which I call Integrative Body Conditioning. It has three focus areas: irritant elimination, nutrient replacement and weightlifting and conditioning…with an emphasis on finding what works for you. Think about it. We’re all genetically different…each with unique characteristics, lives and struggles. We should expect we’ll react to foods, stress and exercise differently. But who’s the best person to figure that out? You are! I spent years on a long and rambling wellness road before I realized that important fact. I don’t want that for you. That’s why I wrote this book…to guide you through a set of changes that will benefit you in months instead of years. 

This book is presented in four sections, each focusing on one aspect of Integrative Body Conditioning,

•The first section (Irritant Elimination) addresses the primary reasons the body weakens and gets sick. Consisting of four chapters, it covers the environmental, biological, physical and psychological factors that cause inflammation in the body and explains how, if left untreated, they can sabotage your health and fitness efforts. 

•The second section (Nutrient Replacement) is also made up of four chapters. It describes the importance of figuring out which foods rejuvenate and rebuild your body and creating a meal plan that ensures you’re getting enough of the “good stuff” every day.

•The third section (Weightlifting and Conditioning) covers the importance of continually leveling up and individualizing your strength training plan. The key is targeting exercises that build and maintain whole body muscle strength in the shortest amount of time.

•The fourth and final section (Becoming a Body Whisperer) describes how to take the concepts learned from the first three sections to achieve your best body potential. It includes a brief explanation on how I practice the method on a daily basis, as well as the single most important habit you need to embrace to build and maintain a strong body for life.

I’ve also included homework at the end of each section to help readers make the most of the material. Don’t skip the homework. If you really want to “get it,” you’re going to need to witness and experience everything that’s happening in your body. Hence, I strongly recommend you start a health journal. Not only will it help you keep track of the homework, it will help illuminate the subtle ways your body reacts to different food, exercise and lifestyle choices, as well as the cues its providing to help re-balance it. 

In short, by following these principles, you'll not just learn how your body works, you'll have the keys to maintain a healthy, strong body for life!