A nutritional biochemist, bestselling author, speaker and founder of the plant-based supplement range Bio Blends, Dr Libby Weaver has been making her way around the country speaking about ‘overcoming overwhelm’, which she presents to Christchurch on 8 October.
We caught up with everyone’s favourite doctor about overcoming overwhelm and her latest book to hit the shelves.
Your latest book The Invisible Load has just come out. This is the book everyone needs to read! Why was this one so important for you to write?
So many people tell me that they feel stressed or overwhelmed by their everyday lives. Not only does this mean that for too many people, life has become a pressure cooker with very little space for anything outside duty and responsibility that brings them joy – but knowing what I know about biochemistry, I understand the true impact that this is having on their bodies and their health. It is possible to live a busy and fulfilling life that doesn’t have you feeling up to the eyeballs in stress and I wanted to help people to experience this for themselves.
What is your ‘invisible load’?
Each of us carries with us a weight that silently drives the stress we feel. We may not realise it is there, just as others may not know the load we carry, which is why I call it your invisible load and it might be physical or emotional, or both.
How much impact is the invisible load having on our health and our happiness?
Physically, your invisible load is your body’s manifestation of the stress you feel. It’s likely your body’s invisible load in action (as long as diseases have been ruled out) when you suffer with symptoms such as exhaustion, weight gain, digestive complaints like bloating, uncomfortable periods or menopausal transitions, frequent headaches, or even sugar cravings and restless sleep. However, we aren’t always aware that stress has been kicking on in the background for years so we may not realise this is what it is. The invisible load on your emotions is somewhat harder to pinpoint because you will probably feel that it is just part of who you are – it’s been fused with your identity. Constructed from your life experiences and the beliefs you have created from these experiences, it filters across every thought you have, affecting how you react and respond to the situations in your life that you face on a daily basis. Essentially though, it has an incredible impact on how we feel about our body and our life as well as significantly affecting our overall health.
A common theme that seems to run through a lot of your books is the idea that the thoughts we feed ourselves are just as critical as the nutrition we feed ourselves. Why is this such an important theme for you to get across?
We can’t control what happens in our day, but with awareness and practise, we can begin to catch a glimpse of how we’re thinking. This is the ribbon we need to grab hold of in order to unravel our stress once and for all. It’s catching these perceptions, thoughts and beliefs that will ultimately alter our biochemistry, transform our health and our experience of stress, as well as how we live.
What are some of your favourite ways to feed your soul?
I love to watch the patterns of nature, especially watching the sun rise or set or looking up at a sky full of stars. I’ve recently gotten back into tennis and playing this is another soul-nourishing activity for me. I also love to read and there isn’t much I find more nourishing than losing myself in someone else’s words.
If there was one key message you could get out to the overwhelmed working mums out there, what would that message be?
Prioritise your own nourishment and self-care. So often mums put themselves at the bottom of their own priority list, not realising that they’re actually doing a disservice to the people in their life they put ahead of their own needs. As the saying goes, we can’t fill from an empty cup. Everyone around you will benefit from you making time for your health and happiness. When we take good care of ourselves it has an immense ripple effect.
What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
After my spring tour around Australia and New Zealand which comes to the end in October, I will run my Essential Women’s Health Weekends, put the finishing touches on a new online course, and have some days not doing much. I can already feel the next book buzzing around in my head so I will likely start that soon too. And, in between those things, I will spend lots of time doing whatever feels right for me at the time. Anything from pottering in my garden and playing tennis to devouring some good books.