Tag Archives for " body image "

August 3, 2019

How to Recover from a Binge

binge eating

​​We all know that a binge can send us off into a spiral of shame, self-criticism and defeat. Binge Eating is often a result of dieting, restriction or depriving yourself of certain foods, over a period of time, especially the ones you love. Having food rules, and judgements around food can also lead us to a binge. 

And binge eating ​can often have nothing to do with food, and everything to do with ​an event or trigger in ​your life that you may not be facing; a pain ​you haven't addressed, or situation ​you don't feel good about. 

One of my clients shared with me that ​prior to our working together, she had gone to the doctor to get a check up. She got on the scale, and he told her she needed to lose over 50 pounds. She also learned that she had high-blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. All of this "bad" news coming at once, and the idea of going on yet another diet, sent her in an emotional tail spin. That night she went home and binged for 3 days straight.

Unfortunately, the dieting mindset is ingrained in most of us. We believe that it's impossible to lose weight without massively restricting ourselves, ​and this can leave a lot of us feeling defeated and wanting to give up. If you ​are someone who has been a long-time dieter, or you have events in your life that you don't want to face, I'm sure you've had a binge episode or two. Bingeing doesn't mean you have failed, it just means that there is a deeper message needing to be revealed.  

Below are​ my top steps on how to overcome the shame after a binge ​so you can move forward with grace.

The dieting mindset often leads to binge eating or over eating. It's time to bring the diet culture to it's knees!

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Step One to ​​Recover from a binge

​Don't ​go into restriction or diet mode

​​Dieting and restricting are most likely the things that you got you here in the first place. I know it's tempting to, once again, promise yourself that you are going to be "good" tomorrow, get back on track and NEVER binge again, but you are just setting yourself up to fail. 

Refusing to make these false promises to yourself is a great way to break the vicious cycle​. By going on another diet or restricting, you keep the cycle alive, which will lead you to another binge. 

Refusing to diet is a great way to pattern interrupt the habitual cycle. We must break patterns in the moment, and the more you turn away from that old cycle, the more you will want to do what feels good for you. You want to do things that are in service to your well-being and that could mean choosing foods that feel good for your body, staying hydrated, facing your emotions and taking care of yourself, versus going into a spiral of self-loathing and hatred. 

Step two to ​​recover from a binge

​Ask Yourself This Powerful Question....

After a binge, it's important to tune into what ​nourishing and loving actions ​you can take to support yourself. As I mentioned above, you want to do things that are in service to your well-being, and by slowing down to tune into this, you are showing up for yourself in a powerful way.  This will help to connect to what you really need.

So, take a moment and ask yourself, What is the most loving and nourishing action I can take right now?

Maybe you feel lonely and need to call a friend. Maybe you are stressed out and need down time. Maybe you are angry that your boss was mean to you. Maybe your kids are driving you nuts. It's important that you ask yourself what it is that you need before you set any rules, restrictions or guidelines around food.

Once you attune to what it is that you REALLY need, instead of what you think you need (rules, diets and restriction),  then you can take action to give ​that to yourself and truly take a stand for your own healing.

Step t​hree to ​recover from a binge

​Practice Self-Forgiveness

​Typically, along with a binge comes all kinds of self-loathing, judgement and self-criticism. We feel ashamed, remorseful and overwhelmed with feelings of failure. These things perpetuate the bad-feelings and the binge cycle.

It's important to be the Warrior Guardian of your Mind in this circumstance, and to cut every negative thought about yourself off at the knees. You can do that by the powerful practice of redirecting your mind to self-forgiveness. 

Could you imagine reprimanding a small child for binge eating or eating more than they should? Could you imagine saying all the mean things you say to yourself, to a friend? You probably wouldn't have many friends left.

​Every time you think a negative thought, ​say the following out loud:

​1. Stop (this helps pattern-interrupt the thought)  

2. I forgive myself for judging myself as a failure (or insert whatever other negative words you say about yourself).

Continue to repeat #2 with all the negative judgements you made about yourself after the binge. You can even write them out on paper to make it even more powerful. T​his step helps you get in touch with your own compassion. 

Integrate these loving actions after a binge and see if you can get to the root of what your binge is telling you. There is always a message in our triggers and struggles. 

​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. 

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. 

November 10, 2017

How Accepting Your Body Leads to Weight Loss

Accept Your Body and Lose Weight

​When it comes to accepting your body, ​do you need some serious help?  What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see a body you like and accept? Or do you pick it apart and criticize every little thing you want to change about it?  I'm guessing it's the latter.

A large majority of people, particularly women, do not like what they see in the mirror. In fact, they downright HATE what they see in the mirror. I would've included myself in that ​majority up until about 5 years ago.

Now, I'm not saying that I always LOVE what I see in the mirror, but the difference​ is that I have ​come to learn to appreciate what I see, instead of hate it, criticize it or pick it apart. 

​For years, I had this crazy morning "ritual"  where as soon as I woke up ​and got out of bed, I would walk to the bathroom, ​pull my shirt up, look in the mirror and see how big (or ​flat) my stomach was. It was my ​Morning Fat Check.​

If I was dieting or depriving myself, or I had started some new meal plan or fat burner, I would check to see how much weight I was losing, or if any of the pudge had ​miraculously disappeared overnight.

​If was off the rails with my food, which happened more often than not, I would lift my shirt, stare at my bloated belly, pinch my love handles and curse myself.  ​Then I would swear to start over and "be good" for the rest of the week.

I would start to make the running list in my head of all the foods I had to stay away from, and​ make a promise that I would only eat salad for the next 10 days and nothing else.

It was exhausting, and seriously detrimental to my well-being AND self-esteem.

I truly hated what I saw every time I looked in the mirror. It didn't matter if I was thinner than the day prior, or not. I would criticize, poke, pinch, prod and shake my head in disgust. This ​was the way ​I started every single day for years, so you can imagine how I ​entered into the day feeling about myself.

​Sometimes I would end up on the floor in a ball of tears when I was trying to get dressed for work. Other days, I felt on top of the world, because my stomach looked flat that ​morning, and I was convinced that whatever I was doing was FINALLY working, and I was a rock-star. But that didn't last long, because I would eventually overeat and break that big lofty promise I made to myself, yet again.

Basically the Morning Fat Check set the entire mood of my day into motion. Most of the time, it resulted in a SHITTY one (excuse my French) of devastation, feeling like a failure and riddled with shame and disappointment.

The big turning point for me was the day I called a close friend of mine for support. I was in tears about how fat I felt. I hated the way I felt in my skin. I was gaining weight and felt puffy, bloated and defeated. And I was out of control with my eating. ​ I was looking for someone​ ​to be in the trenches with me; to feel my pain.

​But what I got instead was a hefty dose of tough love. The words my friend said in that moment stung me, but they were the catalyst to me deeply healing the years long​ ​battle with food and ​my body, 

​After she waited for me to finish whining and complaining, she calmly said,  "I'm sorry you feel this way and you are struggling, but this obsession with your body and weight is SO self-absorbed. GO OUT and BE OF SERVICE. STOP feeling sorry for yourself, get off the couch, get outside and make a difference in someone else's day that needs you." 

​BAM! It was like a stinging slap in the face, but it was just what I needed to hear. ​​​Those words set a series of events into motion that ​dramatically transformed the way I see myself, and my body​ to this very day.

So, here are a few of the steps I took in order to learn to come into acceptance with my body, and stop hating myself. This change didn't happen overnight, but I was committed to ​the process. It required patience, consistency and a tremendous amount of courage.  

​Step One to Accepting ​YOUR BODY

​Stop the Morning Fat Check + Daily Weigh Ins

The first thing I did was give up the Morning Fat Check and I stopped looking in the mirror so much. As hard as this was to break, it was a huge part of my healing process.

Beating my body up and criticizing it ​first thing in the morning, left me feeling depressed, angry and defeated.  ​No matter what I did, it was never enough.

And ​the crazy thing is, ​weight can fluctuate anywhere from 2-7 pounds within a given day depending on circumstances, so I never knew what it was going to be from day to day and that created even more uncertainty and feelings of ​failure.

​So, I vowed to stop lifting my shirt, looking in the mirror and stepping on the scale first thing in the morning. I even threw my scale away!

At first, I ​had a huge fear of getting out of control if I wasn't constantly checking my weight or size. Because how would I gauge if I was getting skinny or not? How would I know​ what to feel about myself that day and if I was reaching the goals I had set to lose weight?

But, what started to happen, as I let go of the constant ​ slew of externally focused, self-deprecating comments and lifting my shirt each day, was that I started to focus on ​the amazing other qualities I had and how I felt from the inside. ​

​​Step ​Two to Accepting ​YOUR BODY

​Practice Appreciation

This was a powerful practice for me in body acceptance. Once I gave up my Morning Fat Check, and started to focus on how I felt internally, it prompted me to truly feel connected to the mirac​le of my body.

As a nutritionist, yoga teacher and former massage therapist, I have studied a lot about the body. I understand a lot about the anatomy of it, and what foods are good for it, etc. but I ​always treated my body as a separate entity. I was disconnected from it, and felt it to be a burden. 

I hated that it wouldn't listen to me, or drop the weight I wanted it to, when I wanted it to​. I felt like my body was constantly betraying me and I was ​in a constant battle with ​it.

Each day I committed to writing down and/or saying three things to my body that I appreciated about it. ​ I focused on it's strength, health, and all the little intricacies of my body that I often don't think about because they run on auto-pilot, literally.

This practice alone helped me to create such a deep appreciation and honoring of my body that I didn't want to say mean things to it anymore. And the funny thing is, after a while, my clothes started to fit looser. Go figure.

​Step ​​THREE to Accepting ​YOUR BODY

​​Tune in and Listen to Your Body

As I mentioned in step two above, I was in a constant battle with my body and completely disconnected from it. By practicing the daily appreciation of my body, I was also able to ​attune to it more. 

I started to pay closer attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle signals that my body would give me. After I ate, I would notice how I felt in my body, not what my mind thought about what I ate (which was usually full of judgement, by the way.)

This would help me feel connected, and be able to give my body what it needed. I stopped listening to the craziness in my mind, and the outside world, and starting listening to the wisdom of my very own body. 

This usually looked like resting more often, not working out as hard, or pushing as hard and doing a whole lot less than I was used to. I relaxed more, and ​​ate less because I was paying attention to my ​satisfaction cues. I slowed down at meals and enjoyed what I was eating. I was getting fuller quicker and didn't overeat as I normally would when I was distracted.

All of this led to me feeling so much more at home in my body. I would check in and see ​what type of movement would feel good instead of what I think I should do (to lose weight.). Some days it was yoga, some days it was hiking, others it was weight lifting. 

​My body appreciated this. And it started to change. It didn't happen overnight, it was a journey, but one that has been so empowering and transformative.  

​Remember: accepting your body takes patience, practice and Consistency.

​​Not only was I ​implementing these steps on a daily basis, I was also doing some further personal growth work to look at my skewed relationship with food. Although it's all connected, I had to dig deeper to get to the core of some of my eating behaviors.

​These​ 3 key elements mentioned above were the most powerful ​and truly helped me come to an incredible acceptance of my body, which resulted in ​my body normalizing to it's natural weight over time.

​So, I'm curious; How do you feel when you look in the mirror? What has been your experience with your body? Do you feel accepting of your body? Or do you loathe it and fight against it? 'd love to hear your thoughts and comments below​.