Tag Archives for " dieting "

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 ​avoiding weight gain.

Exercise helps to relieve stress, stabilizes your blood sugar, keeps your metabolism fired up and also supports healthy sleep habits.​ 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. Put them on a plate, walk away from the table and go sit down to eat. 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, and I can REALLY enjoy what I am eating without all the thoughts of guilt and regret.

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. The holiday season has much MORE to offer than food....

​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. ​Last year a client of mine told her kids they weren't going to bake cookies anymore because it was so stressful for her, and she didn't enjoy it anymore. The kids were actually relieved and they created a new tradition of making homemade 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."

​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!

May 3, 2018

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. 

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. 

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​.

September 6, 2017

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is something many of us do, without being aware of it. It is the number one culprit to weight gain, and can keep us stuck in a vicious cycle with food. It can also leave us feeling like a failure when it comes to healthy eating and “staying on track.” Any time you eat without being physically hungry, it’s usually for an emotional reason. These emotional reasons could be boredom, loneliness, anger, needing comfort or soothing, or just wanting to numb out. There are many others, but these are the main triggers. Eating during times of transition can be a big trigger for emotional eating as well. Especially when we are transitioning to the evening after dinner and life slows down and quiets down. This is a time where we want to feel comforted after a long, stressful day at work or with the kids. And although we can have good intentions, those good intentions often turn into a whole pint of ice cream on the couch while binge-watching Netflix. Identifying if you are an emotional eater is actually simple. Ask yourself how often you eat when you are NOT physically hungry. If it’s more than 30% of the time, then that is a pretty good indicator that you turn to food to soothe yourself. In this video I share my top 2 tips on how to overcome emotional eating and what to do in the moments when you feel like you might spiral out of control with food. I also share ways in which you can identify triggers for emotional eating.