By KRS Edstrom



Dear KRS,
I have lost 40 pounds, which took me three years, but I am still about 60 pounds overweight. I work out 5-6 times per week but have a problem with chocolate. I eat great for 3 weeks, but the week before my period I go out of control. My weight has not changed since Christmas, but my shape has changed a lot. Can you help me? Chocolate Lover

Dear Chocolate Lover, First of all, please revel in your 60-pound loss ó good work! Donít let the vision of your goal blur your successes of today. What I often say to private clients is, ďIf this is ALL you ever lose, be appreciative, or your discouraged mind will sabotage your efforts and you could gain it all back again.Ē

Next, letís address the monthly bingeing, to which Iím sure a lot of women can relate. Check with your alternative healer and try one of the many womenís vitamin supplements on the market. You might start by taking it for a month or two. After you stabilize results, you might be able to cut back to taking it for the 10 days before your period for several months, then less and less until you stop entirely.

If one particular supplement doesnít work for you, try another until you find the right one for you. The point is they can help balance your system throughout the month, eliminating the by-products of PMS such as bingeing. Itís unfortunate that one binge can sometimes wipe out a whole weekís weight loss efforts, so itís worth getting this issue figured out.

Finally, itís said that women burn about 150 extra calories per day during their period, so donít worry about satisfying a craving in a moderate way. Just donít think that since youíve had one chocolate cookie all is lost and you might as well finish off the whole bag. There is a big difference between one cookie and 24.

Dear KRS,
Can blood pressure be controlled with meditation?
Meditation for blood pressure?

Dear Meditation for BP, I am so heartened that people are taking increasing responsibility for their own health and well-being. Congratulations for considering a non-drug alternative. After all, on the surface it would certainly seem easier to just pop a pill, right? But we are slowly learning that easy answers often just build more layers that we have to unravel and repair later.

Yes, meditation has proven very effective in lowering blood pressure. As blood pressure goes down, medication (if you are on it) can be reduced and often eliminated under doctorís supervision, of course. And while it takes a bit longer than swallowing a pill, the benefits go beyond lowering your blood pressure. Additional benefits include: peace of mind, more energy, better sleep, improved job performance, improved mental and physical health and much more. You may end up being grateful that your high blood pressure led you to meditation! Gifts come in strange packages.

There are many good guided meditation tapes out there. Libraries carry many tapes and can order others on request. Itís a good place to try different ones until you find the one(s) you like.

Dear KRS,
I have chronic depression, chronic back pain, migraines and a few other chronic conditions. How do I get motivated enough to start an exercise program? My stress level peaked years ago and I am only 39 years old. Please offer some solutions.
Chronic Conditions

Dear Chronic,
Stress is very likely the cause of many of your chronic conditions. When one is stressed over a long period the immune system is compromised. A weakened immune system is like having the foundation of your house made of jelly. The whole house becomes unstable. You need to focus on strengthening your immune system, and the first step is to reduce the stress in your life.

Spend quiet, thoughtful time planning how you can eliminate or modify some or all of those people, places or things causing you stress. This is a tough assignment, but ultimately very rewarding. You may need to change jobs, relationships or even cities. One person I know was in a state of chronic stress after the last big earthquake in Los Angeles. After two years, he finally got the courage to sell his house and move out of state. His stress level dropped dramatically and he feels much better. His only regret is that he didnít make the move sooner.

People often get stuck living ďlives of quiet desperationĒ when itís completely unnecessary. Break free of old thinking and make some changes. Exercise will help reduce your stress and boost your immune system. The secret may be to redefine your concept of an exercise program from a hard core gym workout to a more gradual, gentle approach. Decide on a moderate form of exercise that you will enjoy such as scenic walks or bike rides in nature. Getting started with one little positive change such as this will motivate you, energize you and help you think more positively about doing other things to enhance your mental and physical well being.

Dear KRS,
Why is my hair falling out when no one in my family is losing their hair, including my grandparents?
Hair Falling

Dear Hair Falling,
Hair loss can often be the result of stress. If this is the case, take steps to monitor your stressors. Also, practice stress-reducing skills, such as yoga and meditation. If there has been no significant increase in your stress level since you started losing your hair, check with your doctor. Whether or not your hair loss continues, think of this as an opportunity to accept yourself on a deeper level than the physical.

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRSí ďSerenity and Meditation CornerĒ at  For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail:    

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