Category Archives for "Blog"

December 5, 2018

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain + Thrive this Season

​The holidays ​are in full swing. Stores are bustling, parties are happening and people are stressing. It’s no surprise that most people will gain anywhere from 5-15 pounds throughout the holiday season.

With the amount of sugary treats, high-calorie foods and a constant flow of libations, it’s easy to take in a whole lot of extra calories that your body doesn’t really need. Not to mention, the amount of stress we put ourselves under, which also includes lack of sleep and overextending ourselves (aka people pleasing.)

​I want you to thrive this holiday season, and not just survive. Most people will do their best to “just get through it” and then deal with the consequences of that in January, which in my opinion, is not an empowering way to start off a brand new year. It feels like a very large mountain to climb….

Here are 5 Tips to support you in having a Thriving holiday season void of weight gain, guilt and regret;

​​​Tip ​One: How to ​Avoid ​HOLIDAY WEIGHt GAIN

​Move Your Body, No Matter What

​This is usually the first thing to get pushed down to the bottom of our to-do list at this time of year. But. it’s ​more important than ever for you to move your body in some way over the holiday season, for more reasons than just avoiding weight gain.

Exercise helps to relieve stress, stabilizes your blood sugar, keeps your metabolism fired up and also supports healthy sleep habits, as studies show.​ This is not the time to avoid your body movement, even if it’s for only 20 minutes a day, just do something. And preferably something you enjoy! If you struggle with this commitment, Invite others to join you, so it doesn’t feel so grueling, and you will have a real reason to show up.

​Tip ​TWO: How to ​avoid ​HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

​Savor and Enjoy the Treats You Love

​Just because there are ​tons of treats around all the time, especially some that we only see once a year, doesn’t mean you need to stockpile them and overdo it. This doesn’t serve you on any level; mentally, emotionally or physically.

​Plan to enjoy and truly savor the treats you do love. Take a few bites, really taste them. Don’t put any negative thoughts toward yourself or the food, because that will only make you want to indulge more, and leave you feeling full of regret.

I love to stick to the 80/20 or 90/10 guideline, of enjoying those sweet treats about 10-20% of the time throughout the season. This way I don’t feel ​deprived or restricted.

Tip ​T​HREE: How to ​avoid ​HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

​Focus on What Matters Most

​If you keep your ​attention on what the holidays are really about, which is being with family, connecting and spreading cheer, then food won’t be the central focus. It can be easy to get caught up in the holiday craziness, but remember, you ​DO have a choice about what you put in your mouth and where you put your attention.

​Get in the habit of focusing on all the blessings you have right NOW in your life, especially when you start to worry about overeating and feeling out of control around all the treats that are hanging around.

​Tip ​FOUR: How to ​avoid ​Holiday weight gain

​Learn to Say No + Let Go

Overextending yourself during this time of year will deplete you, and create feelings of resentment. Resentful people usually turn to food to help them feel better. Also, if we are burned out and depleted, it’s harder to make sound decisions that are in alignment with our healthy lifestyle.

​Take a moment and write out all your To Do’s, parties and commitments this season. Then go down the list and ​cross out the ones that feel obligatory or stressful, even certain traditions you think you need to keep out of fear of upsetting others.One year, one of my clients told her kids they weren’t going to bake cookies anymore. The kids were actually relieved and they created a new tradition of making cards instead.

​If you are worrying what others will think of you when you start saying no, or not doing what you always do this time of year, then tell yourself that the decision to tak​e care of and honor yourself is the best thing you can do for those around you.

​​​Tip ​F​iVe: How to ​avoid ​Holiday Weight gain

​​​​​Shift Your Inner Dialogue

​Most of human suffering comes from the stories we make up in our heads about things. If you are constantly making up a story that you don’t have time, or that you will never be able to eat healthy over the holidays, then those things will be true.

I’m sure you’ve seen that quote by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, You’re Right.”

​Well, he’s right. Everytime you find yourself spinning in your head about food, your weight, your to-do list, etc, redirect your thoughts to the present moment and what your VERY NEXT STEP will be. All you can do is put one foot in front of the other. Future thinking will only create feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Tell that inner voice, NO THANK YOU, and then name one thing you can be grateful for RIGHT NOW and move forward from there.

Implement these Five Tips this holiday season and I guarantee you will not put on weight or feel burned out in the New Year. ​If you need ​further support, join me inside my Private Online Food Freedom Group by clicking the graphic below.

November 13, 2018

Beat Holiday Bloat; How to Avoid Overeating at Thanksgiving

Beat Holiday Bloat

​The holidays are quickly approaching and it's the time of year where many ​people ​tend to overeat, over indulge and feel a bit out of control with food. This often leads​ to unwanted weight gain in the new year and feelings of frustration and hopelessness. 

​It's easy to overeat at the holidays because ​not only is there a lot of ​high-fat, gooey, sugary foods laying around, but emotions ​tend to run high at this time of year as well, which leads to ​eating emotionally. Emotional eating, even eating from a feeling of nostalgia, as most of us do at holiday season, results in the ingestion of hundreds and even thousands of extra calories. The average American will gain anywhere from 5-10 pounds during the holiday season due to the amount of food that is available, partnered with mindless and/or emotional eating.

But don't worry, I am here to share some ​powerful tips with you to support you in staying in alignment with your health values this season and to treat your body well, so that you can move into the New Year feeling light and balanced. Who wants to start the new year off on another diet or feeling deprived and restricted? I know I don't! ​

​​Tip ​One: How to ​Avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

​Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable

Don't starve yourself the morning of the holiday, or even the days leading up to it anticipating all the goodies you will eat. This will only set you up to have blood sugar crashes and massive cravings. 

On the morning of Thanksgiving make some time ​to move your body​ not just to burn calories so you can eat more, but to get your blood pumping​ and to give your body some care and attention.  ​Afterward, eat a hearty, healthy breakfast with a combination of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.

This will help to set your blood sugar up for​ stability during the day and there will be less of a chance that you will overeat.  Overeating disrupts digestion ​and prevents ​proper absorb​tion of nutrients. It can also lead to heartburn, indigestion and bloat. Bottom line, it's not comfortable or good for your system.

Tip ​TWO: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

​See the Food ​as​ Food and Nothing More

It's common to start to put rules around what you will and won't eat during this time. Or see the food as good and bad. Or you may even make negotiations or deals with yourself before you get to the Thanksgiving table. The more time and energy you spend ​thinking about these things, the more you will miss out on the experience of the holiday and enjoying the pleasure of the food.

​Come to the holiday with the intention being a normal eater; someone who listens to their hunger and satiety signals, eats what they want, enjoys it and moves on without judgments. By putting rules and attention on how much you will eat, or trying not to think about it will only keep you stuck in the vicious cycle and leave you feeling at odds or deprived. This can lead to overeating and the feeling of white-knuckling through the day.

Tip ​T​HREE: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

​Stay Present and Mindful

Put away your phones, computers and anything that will distract you from being present with your loved ones. The holiday is about enjoying time with ​the people you love the most. Get out a board game, go for a walk or play some cards. 

Use this time to really savor each moment with the people you love. Tell stories, laugh, and connect. Pay attention to what you are doing and how you are showing up. Just because there is a lot of food around, doesn't mean you need to eat it. When ​you stay present and enjoy the experience, there is less of a chance of mindless eating and ingesting way more calories than you need. ​

​Tip ​FOUR: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

Cho​os​e, Don't Try and Control

As I mentioned in Tip 2, by putting so much focus and attention on the food, we can often set ourselves up to "fail." When ​you are trying to control your food, or white-knuckle through a holiday, it will set ​you up to feel like ​you are going off the rails and feeling deprived. 

You are the ONLY one who chooses what to eat and how much. NO one is forcing you to eat seconds, or to have dessert. Make choices that feel aligned for you instead of trying to control it. Eat the things you love. Fill your plate in a way that feels satisfying to you. When you eat, slow down, savor and pay attention (see Tip 5.)

The truth is, our bodies don't actually NEED a lot of​ food an doften our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, or we don't wnat to miss out, so we overdo it. Just remember, that you do have the choice and you will probably feel a whole lot better if you choose instead of control. 

​Tip ​F​iVe: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

​​​​​Practice the Pause

This is something I teach ​all my premium, one-on-one clients who are emotional eaters, over-eaters and binge eaters. It's a highly effective strategy, because it ​attunes us to what our body really needs.  Practicing the pause means taking the time to slow​ down and attun​e to your body before you eat.  

Stop, take a deep breath and check in before you move forward. Your body will always tell you what it wants, and it will also tell you whether it's hungry, satisfied or full. Slowing down will help you tune into those sensations even more. ​It's very common for people to shovel down the food on their plate in 3 minutes flat so they can have more, but this isn't always in service to you or your body.

You can enjoy the foods you like, but there is no need to stuff yourself to the gills with them. Your body will only suffer the consequences from the stress of that. Instead do your best to eat more mindfully. Savor the food, put your fork down between bites and engage in lively conversation with others at the table.

You can always get more, but you might not need to. Slowing down will actually help you understand if your body is full or not. And it usually supports you in eating a whole lot less than you normally would. ​Savor the experience, don't rush through it.  

Tip ​​SIX: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

​Eat Until You Are 80% Full

Most people are not able to know when they hit this point. When you tune into your body's subtle cues (Tip ​5), you will be able to tell when you are satisfied. This will prevent you from stuffing yourself like the turkey on your table. 

​I can usually tell I am getting full when I take my first deep breath while eating. ​Then I stop, ​ put my fork down and take a break. I give myself ​a little time before continuing on, so that my food can digest.

​Your food expands around 20% after ​eating, so if you are stuffing yourself to the gills, you will be even more ​packed 20 minutes later. You can always go back and eat more if you need to, but it's better to stop before you are feeling full. Go for the feeling of satisfaction. 

​I know this will be hard, but I guarantee you'll feel a whole heck of a lot better! 

Tip ​​SEven: How to ​avoid overeating at Thanksgiving

Volunteer:

This tip is hands down my favorite one because it puts us into service before we move into our indulgent day. Spend your Thanksgiving morning helping those in need. This will put life in perspective when you see how many people in your own neighborhood don't have family to spend their holiday with, or don't have food to eat. Being of service is the best way to get your mind off food and engaged in something meaningful. 

I love to go to my local Soup Kitchen in town and serve meals to the homeless. There are tons of organizations out there and ways to be of service, so make that a part of your plan right now while you still have some time.​

​I know that navigating the holiday season can be tricky, but using these tips will support you in sticking to your health goals, as well as being in alignment with what is important to you. Take the focus off food, and put it on those around you or those in need. Your body and your health will thank you!

Have a wonderful holiday!

April 6, 2018

3 Steps to Stop Food Obsession

How to fall in love with your food

​​Long term dieting, counting calories, restricting and depriving yourself of your favorite foods can lead to one thing: Food Obsession. Being on a diet creates a constant stream of thoughts about food; what you can't have, what you can have, how much you can have, how many calories, and so on. It's exhausting....

And ​included in those obsessive thoughts, are ​are all the ​judgements and food rules that you have been taught along the way. We try to eat perfectly, and stay away from the "bad" and "forbidden" foods that we feel out of control around. When we are "on track," we feel good, but we have to fight to stay there...it's not consistent and then the dreaded pendulum swing happens.

Learning to love your food and enjoy/savor it versus obsessing about it, will be the key to shifting your relationship to it. It will also free up a whole lot of brain space in your head, and the energy you spend thinking about food all the time.  And when I say "loving your food," I don't mean the out of control feeling you have when you're around it, or that you can't stop eating it. That's not what truly loving and being connect to your food is. The obsessive, out of control feeling is how you are ​​giving ​your power away to it. It ends up controlling you.

When I was dieting, binge eating and struggling with food obsession, I was afraid to eat and I ​there was a constant, running total in my head of the calories I consumed. I then based how I felt about myself that day as a result of the calories I ate, or didn't eat and if I was "good" or "bad" with my eating. Or the weight I lost, or didn't lose. It was such a vicious cycle. 

​Over the years of coaching hundreds of ​clients and supporting them in truly shifting the way they approach food, I have ​witnessed ​incredible ​courage and powerful transformation happen. And what my clients come to realize, is that their struggles with food have nothing to do with the food! The food is just the symptom of something deeper.

​Learning to love your food and enjoy it versus obsessing about it, will be the key to shifting your relationship to it.

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Step One to Stop Food Obsession

Identify Your Food Rules

​The diet industry is notorious for ​instilling food rules. And we all know the diet industry does not provide long-term solution. Look, I know it can feel scary to let go of food rules, because we feel as though we might get out of control without them. But having food rules keeps you stuck in deprivation and also creates bad feelings ​every time you eat something you think is "bad." Another important thing that having food rules prevents​ is a connection to, and trust of, our bodies.

​By identifying all the rules you have around food, you can then start to shift your mindset so you experience some more freedom and a loosening of the grip on food obsession. This journey is all about being able to trust yourself and your body to make choices that will serve you. I used to have a hard rule about not eating past 8pm. Or that eating pastry and candy was bad. And guess what? I'd end up bingeing on both of those things and doing it in the middle of the night. SO much for those rules.

The moment we put rules on food, our brain goes into survival mode. Especially when we deprive ourselves of the things we love.  And guess what? Then we want those foods even more. ​

When I finally let go of my food rules, I realized that I didn't even really want cupcakes or candy anymore. So, now if I want sweets, I choose to have ​them sweets in a form that feels good to me and my body. I take the time to truly savor them without judgment, and I give myself FULL permission. 

  • Take out a piece of paper, and write down ​the top 3 food rules you have that you can think of.
  • Choose ​the one out of those 3 that feels like it would be the easiest to break; focus on that one for the next few days. For example; if you have a rule about ​​a cheat ​meal on weekends, allow yourself to have ​those foods more regurlarly during the week so you don't feel deprived and go overboard.
  • Notice what happens when you start to allow yourself permission to eat these foods and let yourself ENJOY and SAVOR them. Do your best to take away the judgment. It might feel hard at first, but you can do it. 
  • Every time your mind wanders to the rule, and you go into judgement, bring it back to the present moment and focus on what you are doing. Tell yourself it's OK!!! Because really, it truly is OK!

​You will need to dismantle​ your rules one by one in order to keep your ego from freaking out! The ego doesn't like change and notices immediately when you're taking a different action. Like I said, pick one that doesn't feel so big, but would feel freeing if you let it go. Over time you will build the trust and confidence in yourself and you will not need to have food rules ever again

Step two to Stop Food Obsession

Stop Dieting and Build Self Trust

​Most of us have been on a diet at one time or another. There is one thing I know about dieting; it keeps the obsessive food thoughts VERY alive. And it also is the creator of all the food rules we tend to live by, as mentioned above.

If you truly want to begin to loosen the reins on your food obsession, you must be willing to give up dieting. Over 90% of people who lose weight on a diet, gain it back (and then some.) This vicious cycle is exhausting and keeps us stuck in survival mode, and self-loathing. When we are dieting, we are in survival mode, and our mind will latch on to anything it can to create safety for us. This means obsessing about the food that we are depriving ourselves of.

I'm sure you've had the experience time and again of telling yourself you will start over on Monday, or "be good" for the rest of the day, or never eat sugar again; and what happens? You quickly fall off track or overeat those foods you swore off just hours earlier. The natural order of things will always create a pendulum swing, so when you are constantly obsessing over food, and restricting yourself, there will be a swing to the other side to balance things out.

The first step is to start to pay attention to your dieting mindset. Identifying your food rules will definitely help with this. Notice all the times you think about food, and all the negative talk you have around it. Awareness is the first step in giving up the dieting mindset. The more you put these new strategies into practice, the more you will begin to trust yourself.

​We search for answers all over the internet ​but never check in with our​ most important source of wisdom, our bodies!

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Step t​hree to Stop Food Obsession

​Get Off every List about Nutrition, Fitness and Diets

​Yep, that's what I said. With social media and the internet, there is a constant barrage of information coming at us all the time that can be confusing, and feel overwhelming. The other day a client of mine emailed me to say how confused she was after hearing two different experts talk about the best diet for curing Type-2 diabetes. 

One of them said a high carb, low fat diet was the best way of eating, and the other one said a low carb, high fat diet is the answer. Who is right?? ​This is why we are all so dang confused, and feel like we will never figure it out. We search for answers all over the internet ​but never check in with our​ most important source of wisdom, our bodies!

​I do believe that most of us understand the basic rule of thumb when it comes to healthy eating, but then why do so many of us struggle to figure out how to eat? Because we are listening to everyone outside of us, versus our own body. By getting off all nutrition, diet and health lists, you can start to learn to rely on yourself and your body to give you the information you need. And trust me, it will.

When I stopped looking for answers outside of myself, and started to attune to and listen to my body's own wisdom, it changed my world. My body knows exactly what it likes, and what it doesn't like. But so many of us will override these signals our body is giving us, or the things we are craving to follow some diet because it worked for your neighbor's-daughters-boyfriends- sister. NO!

Start by unsubscribing from all those email lists you are on. The ones that confuse you, or leave you feeling like you still don't know what the answer is, or how you should be eating. Look, when it comes to nutrition, there​ really isn't that much new information out there​. And most of the time people are looking for the next quick fix, or that THING that will finally make them lose weight. But none of those things will be the answer, or work for the long term. But building trust with your body, and shifting your behaviors and mindset around food WILL!.

Continue to practice taking different action when it comes to your relationship to food. By doing that, you will begin to create new neural pathways, that will eventually become brand, new healthier habits down the road. Remember, this is not a quick fix solution, and takes consistency, and patience. You have to be more committed to your freedom, then getting sucked into another external diet or program that will only lead you back to the same place.

YOU GOT THIS!

​Are you ready to break out of the vicious food cycle? 

​I work with smart, busy professionals, just like you, who are frustrated and tired of the vicious yo-yo dieting cycle. I help them to stop dieting and radically transform their relationship to food so they can say bye-bye to diets once and for all, and find their natural body weight. If you're ready to finally BREAK FREE, learn more about my ​private and group coaching to​ see how you can ​finally create the life you have dreamed of ​that is free from diets and food struggles. 

March 2, 2018

VLOG: Stop Blaming The Food and Learn to Enjoy It

Stop Blaming the Food

​It's easy for us to blame food when we are making poor choices, or say we have addictions to food, or that we are out of control with food. And even easier to blame our body when ​it gains weight, or d​oesn't look the way we want ​it to. We think it's fighting against us.

​What I have learned through my years-long struggle with food and body image issues, is that both are blameless. I only blamed them because I wasn't looking deeper at what was driving me to eat the food and hate my body. I had to start to take responsibility for my actions and behaviors, and that meant ​looking at what was behind my need to set food rules, and what was behind my emotional eating, and all the other crazy ideas I had in my head about food and my body. Food was just the symptom of something else going on that I wasn't ready to face.

​How often have you said to yourself, "I will never eat [insert "bad," "unhealthy" food] again," or "I will start over tomorrow and be "good?" Those two lines were famous in my vocabulary for years. I started over a million times, and I swore I would never eat cupcakes again for as long as I was alive. But that just kept me stuck in the vicious cycle with food and my weight, and I NEVER kept those empty promises to myself.

​The truth is; our issues with food have NOTHING to do with the food.

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​In today's VLOG, direct from my Facebook LIVE training, I ​offer 2 strategies you can use to start to take responsibility for yourself, and to stop blaming the food and your body. These strategies will help you to take a step back, and to begin to relate to food and your body in a different way so you can be more of a "normal" eater. 

​How you can stop blaming food + learn to enjoy it

February 1, 2018

What’s Beneath Your Binge; 3 Keys to Disrupt Binge Eating

How to beat binge eating

​Binge eating is a mystery to many of us, and it's hard to understand why we actually do it. What is it that drives us to overeat and binge on food until we feel sick, ashamed and at the end of our rope?

​One of my current clients who has struggled with binge eating most of her life, never understood ​why she couldn't heal even though she sought help from multiple therapist​s, nutritionists and organizations. ​During her binges, she ​would feel completely out of control and like she couldn't stop. She would binge ​all day long, not just at night, or in mini-sessions. She would ​overeat in massive quantities, all the foods that have been on her forbidden list for years, like bread, tortillas, chips, etc.

These foods were not allowable in her eyes, and they were "evil," because ultimately they would lead to weight gain, ill-health or she had heard from some "expert" along the way, that these foods were "BAD," and she needed to cut them out of her life.

As we dug deeper into her eating patterns and this out of control feeling with food, I would often ask her, "What's beneath the binge?" In other words, what's driving your binge eating? And it was always difficult for her to answer, but she knew that was where the real healing would happen.

This question, for many of my clients, often stops them in their tracks, and leaves them speechless, and it did with her too. ​She is the reason why I am writing this blog, because she suggested​ it so I can help others who struggle in this area too.

​The question is something ​most people never consider, or think of. They've always blamed the food, or their bodies or chalked it up to addiction, and never​ took into account that it ​could be something outside of the food that was responsible for the binge​s.

​Food, it turns out, is usually the symptom of something deeper that we are not addressing. ​I know this can be a hard pill to swallow for many, because isn't it easier to blame the food for our issues? ​Well, maybe, but that won't solve anything or help you understand WHY you are bingeing and what is driving it. It also will do nothing to help you shift your relationship to food and heal​.

Binge eating is often a by-product of restriction and dieting. It can also be ​linked to other areas in your life such as relationships, money, career, sexuality and more. ​Often times when we are not living our authentic truth, food can be an escape to that. It's a way to fill a void, if you will. ​When I was bingeing regularly, it was due to feelings of loneliness, being unsafe in the world, and uncertainty. 

Being raised in a violent household created tons of uncertainty and ​feelings of being out of control. Food became my safe haven. The place I could go to get comfort in any given moment, and feel like I had control over something, even though I ended up feeling worse afterward. It was a vicious cycle for years but I didn't know how to change it.

When I started to ​get curious about what was underneath my binge eating, ​​I started to heal and shift my relationship to myself, which led to shifting my relationship with food. ​It's not an easy road, but it's one that​ is worth traveling because ultimately it leads to freedom. Awareness will always be the first step in healing, and then comes the action.

Below ​I am sharing a few of the powerful actions I took to bring awareness to my binge eating and ultimately heal it. 

STEP ONE TO DISRUPT BINGE EATING

Get Curious and Lean In...

The first step to getting to the core of your eating issues is to be curious about them and bring awareness to the patterns. It's common to immediately go into judging ourselves and feeling guilty about what we ate, or the binge we had. Studies have been shown that as humans, we are wired for negativity and it's easy to spiral down into a well of negative thoughts. Judging yourself will never help anything and it will continue to ingrain the pattern even further.

When you get strong cravings or find yourself obsessing about food, take the time to pause, take a breath and then check in with yourself. Once you pause, you can ask the following questions to bring awareness to your patterns:

What am I really craving right now? What is that I am looking for food to give me other than nourishment? What am I avoiding? Why do I want to binge? What would a binge solve in this moment? 

Start here and see what comes up. You might want to spend a few minutes writing it out and just dumping these thoughts on paper to interrupt the pattern. Remember, awareness is the first step.

S​TEP TWO TO DISRUPT BINGE EATING

​Let Go of Dieting and Restriction + Attune to the Body

​Dieting is the number one culprit to binge eating AND emotional eating. Any time ​you restrict yourself, there will be a pendulum swing to the other side, guaranteed. I ​know ​we are taught that in order to lose weight, we must diet, but what that does is keeps us stuck in the dieting mindset, which will keep us in a food prison.

I understand that the idea of letting go of dieting can bring about feelings of being out of control, but what it also does is sends the message to our body that we don't trust it. Your body has it's own innate wisdom, and wants to be balanced and healthy. Unfortunately, our society doesn't support that and it's almost the cultural norm to be on a diet these days.

I believe that whatever we control, ends up controlling us. Control is an illusion, pure and simple. One thing to always remember is that you have a CHOICE. When you can start to let go of dieting, and remember that you have a choice, then you will begin to heal even further.  

There is no ONE perfect diet for anyone, and that mindset will keep you spiraling. Constantly searching for​ the perfect way of eating will keep you on edge, and in continued obsessive food thoughts.

Instead start to tune in to your body to see what feels good for it. After you eat, notice any physical sensations you have, or emotional reactions. Make a note of these, as they will start to give you information on why you struggle and binge.

​In my Food Freedom LIVE Group Program, we ​use a tool called Food/Mood Tracking where the participants will write down what they eat and how they felt before and after they ate. They will even tune in to see if there was a trigger present for their eating like stress, feeling tired, sadness, etc. This is a powerful process that attunes them to their body and emotions. The key is to track the food without judgement and to use it as a tool to uncover your patterns. Give it a try and see what you notice.

Step T​HREE to ​disrupt binge eating

​Get Honest and Show Your True Self

One ​thing I learned about myself in ​the journey of healing my binge eating was that I wore many masks. I was constantly hiding who I was, worrying about what others thought of me and trying to please everyone. This resulted in major feelings of resentment, loneliness and NEVER feeling good enough. Which ultimately led me to a box of licorice and bag of oreos. 

​I wanted people to see me in a certain light, and to think that I had it all together when in truth I was struggling inside. I look back on photos of myself when I was deep in my food struggles and ​I have a big old fake smile on my face. But no one knew it was fake, I was pretending everything was A-OK but the truth was, I was in a world of pain and battling internally with myself, my body and food on a daily.

​When I started to get real, to say what I felt, and to stop worrying about what others thought of me, my food issues started to wane. The pull toward food became less powerful and I started to feel more empowered and aligned in my life.

Showing ourselves to the world can be scary, because we are taught that vulnerability is weak.  ​But what I have learned through my journey, is that vulnerability is strength. Being vulnerable, speaking my truth and standing in my power ​has resulted in so much richness in my life. I have zero desire to hide anymore, and because of that, I no longer find myself wanting to binge, mindlessly eat or numb out with food.

​Start small, and share with people you trust that are in your inner circle. Get honest about your struggles, and let people know you need their support. I guarantee a HUGE weight will be lifted off your shoulders.

Binge eating is something many Americans are faced with daily, and the feelings of shame, disappointment and self-criticism can be overwhelming. By implementing these 3 keys, you will be taking steps toward your deeper healing, and getting to the core of what is beneath your binge. The key is to practice patience and be consistent with taking action in the moment to break old patterns. 

December 28, 2017

VLOG: How to be a Normal Eater with these Top 3 Strategies

​Normal Eating. What the heck is that anyway?

​Most people who struggle with any type of food issues, have no idea what it means to be a normal eater. The constant roller coaster of yo-yo dieting, starting over, the next meal plan, the next fad diet; none of this helps ​​support normal eating and ​leads to a whole lotta feelings of failure, frustration, disappointment,​ and exhaustion.

Here is what normal eaters DON'T DO:

  • Start over every Monday or every day, for that matter
  • Restrict + Deprive
  • Diet
  • ​Weigh​ oneself daily
  • Track​ and count​ calories or macros
  • ​Think they need to be PERFECT with their eating
  • The list goes on....

If you do pretty much everything on that list, then it's time for you to learn how to become a normal eater and to let go of the vicious struggle with food, so you can live your life fully and freely. Imagine no more obsessing over what you can and can't eat, how many calories are in something or if that certain food will make you fat?

Can you say FREEDOM??? That's what normal eating will give you. 

strategy one to become a normal eater

Set Yourself Up for Success

​​Being a normal eater doesn't mean you fly by the seat of your pants. It means that you set yourself up for success so that you have nourishing food available to you. ​If you are here, I know you are someone that cares about eating well, feeling good and ​experiencing optimal health and energy. Prepping ​and loosely planning your meals will set you up for success.  

I know this may sound like a rule, but it's actually not. It IS meant to help you build a sustainable habit that will support you in nourishing your body. Being healthy takes commitment and alignment, but it doesn't have to be a lot of work.

​It's pretty hard to ​have optimal health and energy, if you are eating out every night, going through the drive thru and eating on the go because you don't have nourishing food available to you.

​​Spend a ​couple hours each week, (yes, just a couple - which is less than what you probably spend wasting time on social media or binge watching Netflix) planning out what yummy, nourishing meals you ​will have for the week​, then schedule in your day to shop and cook. 

strategy two to become a normal eater

Loosen and Let Go of Food Rules

​Having ​lots of rules with food will also keep you stuck in a vicious cycle.  When we are continually labeling foods as "good" or "bad," "healthy" or "unhealthy," we put ourselves into deprivation mode. Those "bad" foods become forbidden, even if we love them.

That will surely lead to going off the rails at some point. Whenever we deprive ourselves, the pendulum will swing the other way in order for you to stay in balance. 

​I used to have a million rules around food. Now I eat what I want and ENJOY it. When choosing food, make your choice based on what will nourish you and feel good to eat.

 And then take the time to SAVOR whatever you are eating and make it a positive experience. It's often the judgement we have about the foods we eat, or don't eat that cause most of the suffering. See if you can truly enjoy eating one of your forbidden foods without the judgement. Give yourself permission to enjoy it.

Strategy three to become a normal eater

Slow down and Savor the Experience

As I mentioned in strategy two, it's important to savor the food we are eating. Eating on the go, distracted and at your desk while working is hard on the body and actually puts your body in a physiological state of stress.

Next time you eat a meal, sit down, slow down and savor the food. Try this as a daily practice with at least one meal. This will attune you more to your body's hunger and satiety signals. Always being ​distracted while eating will often disconnect us from ou​r hunger, and knowing when we are full. How many times have you shoved something in your mouth without even checking in to see if you were hungry? 

Make this a regular practice and you will start to understand and see how much less you eat when you just-slow-down, and savor your food.

Becoming a Normal Eater takes time, practice, patience and consistency. There is no magic pill to change your relationship to food. 

​​These are just a few strategies to build a normal way of eating. ​If you start to put these into practice on a daily basis, you will notice small shifts in how you relate to food. 

​To learn more on how to become a normal eater, check out the video below to hear my story around normal eating, and the person who modeled it for me in my life.

https://youtu.be/vA6Ap1A5uyI
October 28, 2017

Stop Overeating with Four Simple Steps

​Overeating is something most of us have done at one time in our lives or another. It happens more often than not, especially this time of year with the holidays looming around the corner. How many times have you stuffed yourself full to the brim on Thanksgiving or ate more cookies, cake or pumpkin pie than you needed to?​ I know I have. 

One year I ate a whole pound of black jelly beans on Christmas eve. A whole pound. Needless to say, I was up vomiting all night long from sugar poisoning. My system couldn't handle it. 

Unfortunately, holidays are not the only time people overeat. It can happen any time, and for most people it happens in the evenings during the time of transition from dinner to nighttime, when things start to wind down.

​​It can be easy to ​ingest more than a third of ​our daily calories just in the evening, and I'm talking AFTER ​dinner has already been eaten. Overeating happens very often when people sit in front of the TV and eat mindlessly. It also happens when we feel bored or {insert emotion we don't want to feel} and need to numb out.

Overeating is only a symptom of a deeper issue. When ​you start to look at WHY you overeat, you will be able to gain insight and understand your motives.

​Overeating is merely a symptom of something deeper going on inside of you. It has nothing to do with the food.

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In my coaching practice, I work with all kinds of busy professionals who overeat on a regular. Evenings and weekends tend to be the most difficult times, or at parties or social gatherings. Food seems to be something that brings comfort in uncomfortable situations, or relieves boredom and bad feelings. But this often leads to a too-full-tummy and ​emotions of regret, guilt, shame...and TONS of judgement.

​Wanting to stop overeating is not as simple as making up your mind to do so. As I mentioned earlier, the overeating is merely a symptom of something deeper happening. When I was overeating, it was due to loneliness and ​hating the way I felt in my body. You would think that would stop me from eating, but as soon as I thought about restricting myself, I'd want to, and often would, eat more. It's a vicious cycle. 

Step one to stop overeating

Get Curious About the Why....

​Getting curious about why and when you overeat will be one of the biggest steps you can take in this journey. Like I mentioned above, there are many reason why we overeat and it usually has ZERO to do with the food. When you find yourself in a situation where you are overeating, start to ask yourself why you are doing and what you are feeling right in th​at moment.

Instead of continuing to shovel food into your mouth, PAUSE. There is a part of you that KNOWS what is going on, even though you may not want to admit it. Unfortunately, that part tends to fly under the radar, whereas the part of you going for the food and too much of it, is way louder.

If you start to lean into your behavior with non-judgement and curiosity, you will start to be able to tune into what is really happening that is leading you to overeat.​

Step Two to stop overeating

​Slow Down and Take a Pause

​One of the biggest reasons why people overeat is because they are in a rush. Everyone is SO busy and eating can feel like one more thing we have to do. People want to rush through meals to get it done, or eat at their desks so they can keep working, but this is a surefire formula to overeat.

Every time you are going to eat a meal or a snack, find somewhere quiet to sit down and enjoy your food. Make eating an experience. ​It's common for people ​to rush through eating because they feel guilt or shame around what they are eating. I used to hide in the kitchen at night when no one was around, and shove 2-3 cupcakes down my throat as fast as I could. It was almost as if I was trying to trick myself, but that never worked.

​Slowing down while you eat will allow your body to slow down and absorb the food better. You will also be able to tune into your body's satiety signals much easier. I know that when I eat at my desk while working, I eat WAY more food than I need to. And half the time, I don't even remember I ate because I plowed through it so fast. It also happens when I watch TV and eat...bag of chips...POOF!

Step Three to stop overeating

​​​Nourish Yourself

​When I say nourish yourself, I mean more than with food. Overeating can be a by-product of not taking care of yourself and feeling nourished on a deeper level.

When you are stressed and out and overloaded, food can feel like the quickest way to change your state and bring you some other feeling. Most people don't want to admit they feel stressed or overwhelmed, and food is easily accessible. When you eat, dopamine is released in the body, and it feels good. Especially if you are eating something sugary, gooey or crunchy. 

This release can become addictive, and that is why so many people turn to food when they are feeling stressed, ​depleted, overwhelmed, etc. So, find other ways to nourish yourself on a deeper level in your life. Find things you love, and do those, and make sure to put it in your calendar or it will never happen. This whole self-care thing is NOT a cliché, it's one of the most important things you can do for yourself in this lifetime. Trust me.

Step ​FOUR to stop overeating:
​​​​
Build body trust

​Most of us live in our heads all day long. Our egos run the show and tell us all the things that are wrong with us, or the things we should do or shouldn't do, especially when it comes to eating.

The diet culture is SO prominent today and it's almost the norm to be on a diet. It's the first thing people turn to when they feel as though they need to lose weight or have been eating "bad."  It creates massive disconnection and mistrust of our bodies.

Your body wants to be healthy, balanced and vibrant. It's actually working really hard every day to do that, but sadly we are listening too much to what other people are telling us to eat, or the latest diet fad that is out there that we think will be the answer.  Being disconnected from our bodies is one of the biggest reasons why we overeat. We are SO in our heads all the time, we can't feel what is happening in our bodies.

Next time you eat, when you slow down (Step 2) take a deep breath and connect to your body. See how it's feeling and what it wants. Get quiet enough to listen and hear it. It is always talking to you, trust me on that. Your body doesn't want to be stuffed to the gills, it actually hates it. Your body wants to be nourished, cared for and respected. So, connect, tune in and listen. Then take your next step.

​Try these steps on for the next 7 days and see how you feel. I would love to hear your comments and insights below! 

Stop Overeating
October 20, 2017

The Perfect Diet and it’s Downfalls

The Perfect Diet and it's downfalls

I think most of us wish we had the Perfect Diet or the perfect way of eating that would keep us thin, fit and healthy. The problem is, there is no perfect diet, and thinking there is will likely result in consistent feelings of failure and disappointment​.

Living in black and white thinking and all-or-nothing thinking are two examples of wanting to be perfect with our eating.

If you wake up every day and vow to start over, or eat perfectly, or restrict yourself in some way, then I can guarantee you are going to be disappointed in yourself at the end of the day, or maybe by the time breakfast is over. [Yikes]

Boy oh Boy, do I remember those days. Yep, I admit it, I'm a recovering perfect eater who was in the search of The Perfect Diet. I thought having the perfect diet would be the answer to all the issues I was facing with food and my body. Little did I know that it kept me stuck in a vicious, yo-yo cycle for years.

Anytime I would get off track, or not eat "perfectly," I would consider myself a failure, and throw all my healthy eating efforts right out the window. I'd take a huge (not intentional) pendulum swing to the other side and go off the rails. Can you say cupcakes?? And shame....?

Needing to have the perfect diet is a disaster waiting to happen when it comes to weight loss

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You see, there is no such thing as a perfect diet. There is no such thing as being a perfect eater. ​Th​inking that there is will set you up to feel a whole heckuva lot of frustration, disappointment, restriction and ZERO balance.

It's hard to know why we behave this way with food. Sometimes it's linked to weight loss, sometimes it's link to body image, sometimes it's linked to wanting to be healthy.

Most of the time, it's linked to needing to feel a sense of control in our lives over something.

How I became a perfect eater

​You see, growing up in an alcoholic home resulted in me feeling as though I needed to always control my surroundings, my food, my body, my relationships, etc.

I never felt safe. I was always scared. I never knew what was coming around the corner.

So, to cope, I turned to food and did whatever I could to control that. But, the problem was that I was also at war with my body, so trying to control my food and eat perfectly was a HUGE detriment to me.

Being such a perfectionist not only with food, but in general, built a huge wall around me.  I had such a warped sense of self due to all the chaos at home, and food became my only safe haven, and place of comfort. Or so I thought...

In my early years, I literally had a top dresser drawer full of candy that I would secretly eat behind the closed doors of my bedroom. (You can read more about that here.)  That made me feel good for a while, but it didn't last long because then I turned 12 and realized my body was changing, and that took my issues with food to a whole other level.

Now, I wanted to control my food so that my body would look a certain way. I strived during my teen years, and well into early adulthood looking for The Perfect Diet that would promise me all the results I wanted; a thin, perfect body and optimal health.  Because I thought that was where happiness resided.

But happiness didn't reside there. The only thing that resided there was misery and suffering. And I spent over 20 years stuck in the cycle of restricting, dieting, creating food rules, binge eating, emotional eating and starting over every day before I was finally able to heal and let go of my very unrealistic need to eat the perfect diet and have the perfect body.

So, I felt I must share the ways I navigated this tricky terrain, and some of the steps I took to heal and come to a healthy, balanced and free place with my eating and my body.

STEP ONE TO NAVIGATE PERFECT DIET PITFALLS

Make a list of all the rules you have around food. Every single one.

 Here are a few examples of ones I had:

  • I can't eat carbs
  • I can't eat sugar
  • I can't eat after 7pm
  • Cupcakes are BAD
  • Candy is BAD
  • I can only eat candy on the weekends
  • I can NEVER eat candy
  • I will only eat salads for the next 10 days
  • I am giving up chips forever

​Choose one of those rules, the one that feels the easiest to let go of, and tell yourself you are going to practice letting it go for the next 5 days. Every time you catch yourself wanting to believe whatever you tell yourself about that food, say out loud, "I'm letting that go...." Observe what happens.

Food rules keep us stuck. They are loaded with judgement which is shortly followed by shame. We can never feel successful if we have a ton of food rules that we aren't able to follow.

Often when we let go of the tight reins we have on certain foods they lose their pull, meaning it's very possible we might not want it as much ​when it's no longer forbidden. You get the idea.

STEP TWO TO NAVIGATE PERFECT DIET PITFALLS

​Give Yourself Permission. 

Shift the word perfection to permission. I know you might be thinking that if you give yourself permission you will go off the rails, or get out of control, and it may feel that way at first. Once you give yourself permission to eat something WITHOUT JUDGEMENT, you will have a whole different experience, I promise.

It's the judgements that create the most suffering. And the judgements are all tied to the Food Rules I talked about in Step One.

Whenever you judge yourself for what you ate, how much you ate or your actions, it solidifies it into your brain even more. Our brains feed off of negativity, and once we go there, it's hard to get out.

Once you let go of a rule, and allow yourself to have that food with FULL permission and NO judgement, I guarantee that food won't have as much pull or attraction for you when it's no longer forbidden. Try it and see what happens. 

Once I let go of my rule around not allowing myself to have cupcakes​, I had a cupcake, and guess what? I didn't even want it....it lost all it's "sparkle."

STEP THREE TO NAVIGATE PERFECT DIET PITFALLS

​Check in with your Body. 

So many of us are completely disconnected from our bodies and what they need. We get ourselves into trouble by listening to our minds, which will often not make ​the best most optimal choice.

​Before you eat, pause. Ask yourself what you are needing. Check in with your body. Connect with a deep breath. Are you even hungry? If so, what would feel good. If you aren't hungry, what are you needing? Wait for the answer, and then make the next best choice from that place.

​Sadly we all-too-often listen to our minds ​which will usually overrule the subtle sensations of the body. Our body, at it's core, wants to be healthy and balanced, but our mind, behaviors and patterning have different ideas for us.

You can break these patterns and behaviors that have been ingrained for a long time, you have to do it in the moment, consistently by making a different choice then the one you've always made. 

By connecting to your body each time you go toward food, you will start to shift this pattern and eventually break it.

​IN CLOSING

​Needing to be perfect in any sense of the word is detrimental to our self-esteem and well-being. Perfectionism keeps us stuck and disconnected from our authentic truth. It also keeps us distant from others; it creates a suit of armor around us.

​Let yourself be OK with not being perfect. Remove the judgements, cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to start living in a way that feels authentic, joyful and connected.

​Try out these 3 awesome steps and see what starts to change in your relationship with food, and yourself. Give up the need to have the Perfect Diet and see what your body chooses instead. I think you will be pleasantly surprise. And always know that you are doing your best, no matter what! 

Check out my video below to hear my Whoopie Pie Story and how I was stuck in Perfect Eating for years.


October 6, 2017

How to Tame Sugar Cravings

How to Tame Sugar Cravings

Sugar cravings. I’m sure you are familiar with them, as most people are. They can run your life and often leave you feeling out of control.

When working with new clients I always ask them what their biggest food vice is or the biggest challenge they face when it come to their eating, and the answer is always; Sugar, or foods that turn to sugar, like refined, processed carbs.

It’s next to impossible to avoid it. It’s in almost every processed food in some form or another. It’s in yogurt, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, toothpaste, mouthwash and even mustard!

Manufacturers are even using fancy names like, evaporated Cane juice, fructose, maltose or raw cane sugar to try and trick us, when the truth is, it’s still sugar and it still has the same effect on the body.

One thing is true, our body needs sugar to survive. Our muscles need it after a workout to restore glycogen supplies and our brain needs it to function. We do need it, but not in the amounts, or from the sources that an average American is ingesting it from today.

That’s insane! And not only is it insane, but eating that much sugar is causing a whole slew of health problems for kids and adults.

The Pitfalls of Sugar

Sugar inhibits the effect of leptin, which is a hormone that lets your body know when it’s full. So your body never feels full and you keep right on eating!

Adult onset diabetes rates are at their highest ever, and so is obesity. Sugar is the biggest culprit of these two diseases. Some agencies are claiming that sugar is as addictive as cocaine and heroine, in that it releases the same “feel-good” chemicals in your brain that heroine AND cocaine do, short-term of course, leaving you wanting more.

There has even been recent talk of taxing it, like we do cigarettes and other addictive like substances.  Anything that creates a craving for more, even from just having a small amount, is considered an addictive substance.

Think about this: if you drink one cup of coffee every day and put 2 teaspoons of sugar into that coffee, and multiply that by 7 days, that’s 14 teaspoons of sugar a week, just in your daily coffee. If you multiply that by year, it’s 728 teaspoons or 15.16 CUPS per year! And that does not account for all the other foods you eat daily that are loaded with sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup.)

Did you know that eating sugar can suppress the immune system for up to 6 hours? Why do you think so many people get sick right after the holiday season? Their immunity is so worn down from eating so much sugary, fatty food that they are completely vulnerable to any bug that is out there.

Here is what my dear friend, Christa Orecchio from the Whole Journey writes about sugar: “Today, over a third of the calories we consume come from sugar or white flour, which is highly refined and acts just like sugar in our system. When these foods are consumed, your blood sugar spikes creating alarms to sound in your bloodstream and forces the release of insulin into the blood to turn the blood sugar into energy. Once turned into energy, your blood sugar should start to return back into the acceptable range. When a soda or a piece of candy is consumed, our bodies struggle physiologically to cope with the enormous potency of sugar. The human body doesn’t have a compensatory mechanism or the ability to adapt to the massive quantities of sugar we consume today.”

You Can Overcome Sugar Cravings

Well, there is hope; there is a way to tame your Sugar Monster and overcome sugar cravings. There are ways you can still keep sweetness in your life while cutting out the “bad” stuff. You don’t have to fully deprive your taste buds, which do need to be sweetly satisfied from time to time, but you can do it in a healthful way.

Many of us also tend to turn to sugary food for comfort, which seems to be another big mountain to climb in the world of healthy eating. Comfort eating otherwise known as emotional eating (Click here to see my blog on Overcoming Emotional Eating), is something many of us engage in when we are stressed, anxious, feel alone, or experience anger or sadness.

We use food as something to “get us through,” or comfort us, when in all actuality it could be negatively feeding our feelings, and causing major mood disorders. During my Vital Life 30-day cleanse, which are 95% sugar free, except for certain types of fruit and small amounts of low-glycemic sweeteners, mostly all of my participants claim feeling more even-keeled, more patient, level-headed and full of natural energy.

This is due to balanced blood sugar levels, which is next to impossible when you keep feeding your sugar monster and the sugar cravings day in and day out. Keeping blood sugar levels stable will help you to have sustained energy and focus throughout the day, as well as help your metabolism to fire properly.

Below are some simple steps you can follow to begin to tame your sugar monster and alleviate sugar cravings. Remember, that Rome was not built in a day, and breaking habits can take any where from 21-32 days of consistent action. If you really want to break your sugar addiction, these steps can help you on the road to “recovery.”

Remember, coming off any “substance” can cause detox like effects, so be sure to drink a lot of water and take care of yourself by listening to your bodies needs.

Step One to Tame Sugar Cravings

Eat foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber throughout the day (when you are hungry) like beans, gluten free grains, yams, apples, and pears.  This will ensure that glucose is slowly released in your blood stream giving you stable blood sugar levels all day long.

Step Two to Tame Sugar Cravings

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and have some protein with complex carbohydrates, this will help to slow the release of glucose in your system.

Step Three to Tame Sugar Cravings

Drink 2 teaspoons of Bragg apple cider vinegar in 6-8 oz of water before bed each night, or sip throughout the day, this will help to curb sugar cravings by regulating your blood glucose levels. It’s especially beneficial for those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Step Four to Tame Sugar Cravings

Take a high quality B-Complex and 1,000 mg of Chromium Picolinate per day to help with your daily cravings. A significant number of studies have shown that chromium can normalize blood sugar levels, improve blood sugar utilization and decrease insulin requirements in patients with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

Step Five to Tame Sugar Cravings

Manage daily stressors. Stress can be one of the reasons we seek out sugary foods for comfort. Stress is also hard on our adrenals, and makes them work overtime, which will affect blood sugar levels. If you are someone who needs caffeine to get your started in the morning, or as a pick me up in the afternoon, chances are your blood sugar levels are out of whack.

Step Six to Tame Sugar Cravings

Use lower glycemic sweeteners such as Stevia, Coconut/Palm Sugar, Mesquite Powder, Lucuma Powder and Xylitol (these can all be found at your local health food store.) Remember these are still a form of sugar, it doesn’t give you free reign to eat as much as you want. Use a drizzle here and there, or replace these sweeteners for real sugar when baking.

Step Seven to Tame Sugar Cravings

Address underlying emotional issues that cause you to eat sugary foods. Work with a coach, or therapist to help you get to the root of your comfort eating and sugar cravings. When you feel a craving, sit with it instead of feeding it. See if you can determine if the craving is real or if you are seeking solace outside of yourself. You can journal about it and see if anything further comes forward. You might feel super uncomfortable, but sit with it until it passes. Awareness is the first step to breaking any habit.

Not only is sugar the culprit of many prevalent diseases today, but it is also responsible for premature aging, arthritis, brittle bones and more. It is highly acidic, which creates an unhealthy and toxic internal environment in your body.

Over time, the more you eat clean, healthy, alkaline rich foods, the less and less your body will crave the sweet stuff. You will be crowding out those bad foods to make room for the good ones, and your body will let you know! I am rooting for you, and a sugar-free life!

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Sugar can rule our lives, learn how to tame your cravings with my seven simple steps

September 11, 2017

Diet Plans and Willpower; a recipe for Disappointment

When it comes to dieting, diet plans or being consistent with healthy eating and exercise, most of us think that willpower is the way to stay on track, avoid temptation and keep going strong.

But here's what most people don't know about willpower; it  doesn't go very far and it depletes very quickly. It needs to be replenished often, so it's not going to be a reliable source to keep you on your diet plan or on track with your eating and exercise. In fact, I say, "Screw willpower." (Excuse my bluntness)

​Willpower is one of those things...we think if we have it and engage it, we can stay on track with our diet plan, exercise, not eating crap, whatever, but the truth is, willpower tends to be a precursor to "failing." It doesn't stick around long and it's very fleeting. Stay with me here.

Yes, the dictionary does describe willpower as the ability to control yourself; strong determination that allows you to do something different. Yet, how many times have you told yourself, "I'm going to be strong and not eat the whole pint of ice cream, or half a bag of cookies, or a whole bag of chips?"

Or, you start a new diet plan, you do well, lose weight and then gain it all back, and more.  Or you eat healthy for a month, then you slip up once, so you throw it all out the window and you feel icky about yourself? And what happens? Willpower fails you!  Or, more accurately, your sabotaging, unaddressed behaviors fail you.

You rest on the laurels of your "strength," yet you haven't looked at WHY you make the choices you do, what leads you to believe you need willpower and how your inner belief system is really running the show. Willpower is NOT enough OR something to rely on when it comes to food and diet plans, especially.

What you really need is the CIA:

​Commitment. Intention. Action

​Most of us have values in our life, especially when it comes to being healthy. I've NEVER (and I don't use that word lightly,) come across anyone who has told me they don't care about their health. So, it's important to know your values when it comes to your health and wellness. 

step one to let go of your diet plan

​Make a Commitment to Yourself + Know Your Values

​Commitment is huge when it comes to your health and eating. Start by asking yourself if you are you committed to being the healthiest you can be? Are you ​more committed to your freedom than you are to eating crappy food? Are you committed to taking impeccable care of yourself? Are you committed to treating your body with respect? And, can you forgive yourself and not beat yourself up or criticize yourself when you make a so-called "bad" food choice that could send you into a spiral? 

Knowing your values, living by them and being committed to them will keep you present with what's important in your life. By connecting to and writing down your top 3 core values, and posting them where you can see them each day,  you will be reminded of what's truly important to you. I know how crappy it can feel to be out of integrity my values, and I'm sure you do to. Every time you make a choice, ask yourself if that choice is in alignment with your core values. 

step two to let go of your diet plan

​Be Intentional

Intention is super important when it comes to your health and eating. Before I head out to a party or sit down at the table to eat my meal, I check in with myself to be sure I am present and aware. Intention is powerful because it helps us to stay focused on the present, and connected to our values.

For example, before you go to a party, what is your intention? Or when it comes to eating over the holidays? ​Focus on the positive, ​and what you want to experience, versus what you DON'T want to experience.

Setting a clear, positive intention will help. It's very similar to setting goals. For example, when I go to a party where I know there will be a table full of yummy, tempting food, I set an intention to connect with at least one person, and ask them about their life/day.  This gives me another focus besides food, especially in a situation where I might be uncomfortable. 

​If I want dessert,​ I set an intention to ​stay connected to myself while ​truly savoring it and enjoying the experience without the self-criticism and judgement that usually comes along with eating dessert. This gives me a focus, and supports me in attuning to my body so I don't overeat because I am uncomfortable or the food is in front of me. Just because it's there, doesn't mean we need to eat it. ​

step three to let go of your diet plan

​Take Empowerd Action

Taking empowered action is the most important thing when it comes to how we shift our relationship to food. Because we cannot rely on willpower, we must make a choice (which is an action) in the moment. By doing this, we can feel more empowered.  ​Remember, you are the ONLY one who has a choice about what you put in your body. This is not willpower, this is choice. 

​You get to decide for yourself if you want to put ​food in your body that doesn't feel good, or overeat, drink too much, and so on. If you do, then you are choosing that. If you want to feel more empowered, take a ​different action than you normally would. For example, if you normally stand by the buffet table and nibble on all the food until you are stuffed and sick, make up a plate instead and go sit down somewhere away from the table and eat slowly. ​By doing this, you will start to make new brain grooves and shift your old behaviors over time. AND, if you do ​it consistently, ​these​ intentional actions will become new habits. 

​​how to practice these steps

​I know that making change can be hard, and it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Here are some immediate actions you can take so you are more in touch with your behaviors around food, and more connected to your values.

  • ​Take 10 minutes and write out your values around health. Consider these questions: What does your health mean to you? What does being healthy provide in your life? Is there anything more important to you than your health? If so, why?
  • ​Write out 3 Power words that encapsulate what your health means to you. Mine are Freedom, Wealth and Joy. If I am healthy and vital, then I feel free, happy and rich. Post your power words somewhere you can see them and connect to them daily. Every time you go out to a party, or on a vacation or find yourself stuck in a rut with food, your health and your weight, focus on these 3 words and their meaning.
  • Set an intention for yourself when you know you will be in situations where you normally overeat, or feel uncomfortable and use food to comfort you.
  • ​Continue to repeat CIA in your head; ​Commitment, Intention and Action​. By staying connected to these words, over time you will start to notice shifts in how you show up with food. This will help to bring you long-lasting results.
  • If you "mess up," forgive yourself and move on. NO ONE IS PERFECT! ​I'm pretty sure that will feel a whole lot better than telling yourself you're a failure!