Tag Archives for " The Daily Love "

January 27, 2012

Losing the Weight of Your Emotions

When I begin working with new clients and I hear from them that they have tried every diet known to man with no “success,” I always know there is something deeper happening than their desire to lose weight. Of course their desire is valid, but usually it’s not just about the weight that they are carrying and they want to shed. They’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting and cleansing and many other avenues that they thought would get them healthy and lean, but they ended up back where they started or even further back.

The reason I became so interested in food and nutrition, is because I have struggled most of my life with emotional eating and a distorted body image. I must say, it hasn’t been an easy road at all and I have done so much work around deeper healing and looking into why I have this “issue”. Some days I have intense feelings that keep me up late into the night obsessing over the bag of rice chips I ate, or the ½ pint of coconut ice cream that I downed when I wasn’t even hungry.  I can also tend to obsess over body image issues…that my jeans are tighter today than they were yesterday, or my belly is not as flat as it was the day before, or if every calorie I put in my mouth is going to make me fat.  These times come much less frequent these days and I am not going to say that I have totally healed, but I have definitely dug into deeper parts of myself to see what is running these parts of me and learned how to give myself what I really need in those moments to move through them much more gracefully than in the past.

Eating is something we need to do to stay alive. It’s not like other addictions where we can give up said substance and still survive, even though it may feel like we are going to die without it. Food is our nourishment, our vitality, our life. If we don’t know how to relate to food and our bodies in a healthy way, then we will have issues with weight, overeating, under-eating and so much more. I think you get the picture.

Our emotions and feelings play such a big role in our lives. It’s so important to look deeper into these feelings we have around our body, eating and food as they will give us messages of what our bodies and our souls really need. It’s not about the next quick fix diet, or cleanse or fast. It’s about really going inward and asking your body what it needs, or asking your soul what it needs and most of the time that answer is – Love.

Loving ourselves is such a huge part of learning how to live with emotional eating. I don’t think this “addiction” ever fully goes away, but the more we learn to love ourselves, the more this little, or big, monster will calm down and take the proverbial back seat. I know that some of you may be thinking that you are not ready to look at what it is that is driving your overeating, or emotional food choices or body image obsession, but I am here to tell you that the only way out of this, is through this.

If you struggle with any of the things that I have mentioned, seek out help with a professional, start to write in a journal, begin to really get in touch with “WHEN you are eating, WHY you are eating and WHAT you are eating.” Start to notice what you put in your mouth and why. Is your body really hungry or are your emotions screaming out to you for something else? Are you craving love, attention and affection? If so, how can you give this to yourself? Maybe you could call a friend, or stop and take a few deep breaths – whatever it is that will help you really tune into what is going on internally, before you fill your mouth with an unhealthy food that will not nourish you in any way except to feed your “in the moment” craving for something else bigger.

Begin to really notice those moments when you have a craving and see if you can stop, take a breath and check in with yourself. Do you really want that sugary donut, bag of chips or chocolate bar? Or do you really want a hug from someone?  So many of our food cravings are brought about by memories of comfort when we were kids. So it’s normal to want certain foods if we are feeling down or sad, but the wise thing to do in a situation like this is to skip the food and find a way to comfort yourself. I know this sounds strange, but the love we give to ourselves and feel for ourselves is the most important love of all. So where and how can you start to love yourself more so that you don’t become slave to your emotional eating, which can lead to extra pounds, depression, shame and self-loathing?

Just one small, positive action can start to break the cycle…what will yours be?

Planning – A Key to Happiness…

AS SEEN ON….There is a little old saying from a funny looking guy with specs, and I mean that in the most loving way, that goes something like this, “If you want to make God (or the Universe) laugh, tell Him your plans.” How many of us have planned something for months, days, weeks or even years only for it to turn out completely different than we wished or hoped?? I think that’s what Woody was talking about when he came up with those very clever words. As much as I agree with Woody on so many levels, I also think there are specific arenas in our lives that are very important to make a plan, and healthy eating and taking care of our bods is one of them.

As a wellness coach and nutritional educator, I teach my clients to plan their meals, plan their eating, plan their workouts, plan their cooking, plan their shopping, etc.  When it comes to health, Planning is the Key. You can’t be healthy without a plan. Well you could, but it would be hard and take a lot of work and you’d eventually get frustrated and give up.

The most important thing planning does for us, is gives us a structure which most of us need when we are learning anything new. Actually it even works when we aren’t learning anything new. It gives us a schedule – a way of being with ourselves that is committed. If you really want to eat healthy but don’t know how or where to start, planning will be the way to get you there. Of course pretty much anything new we try out has a learning curve, and eating healthy is no different. It’s about a commitment you make to yourself and your family, if you have one, to lead a healthier and happier life.

As I lead my participants through 30-day Vegan cleanses, I tell them that their key to success is PLANNING and it doesn’t just end with the 30 days, it’s a lifestyle choice! If they don’t do this, they will be stuck in the middle of the day with nothing to eat and then they will make an unhealthy choice. How many times have you done that??? And this doesn’t only apply to my cleansers, this applies to anyone who wants to eat healthy and take care of their temple that they have while being on this earth. It may not come easy at first, but aren’t you worth it?

Some people tell me it’s too much work. What? Too much work to take care of your health? They’d rather go through a drive-thru because it’s quick and convenient than make a choice to plan out their meals for the week. Well, let me tell you, the first choice will lead you to sickness, disease and possibly a heart attack.

This is not to say that you have to keep this plan for the rest of your life, in fact, it will eventually become habit. Just like driving through that greasy drive-thru became a habit when you’ve had nothing to eat. Keep in mind that all habits, good or bad, are created on our own. Some in childhood where we were taught to make certain choices, and some in adulthood out of pure laziness, convenience and not caring about what we put into our bodies.

This is about creating NEW, HEALTHY habits that will last you a lifetime and you need a plan to do that! I still do it, I plan out my food on the weekend that I will cook for the week, then I go shopping and buy the food and spend a couple hours in the kitchen, listening to some cool tunes, sipping some tea and chopping my veggies, not all simultaneously of course. This has become a way of life, and it’s a way of life that produces happiness. I look forward to it. Why? Because I’m healthy, I have no illness, I have no disease, I have energy, I have vitality…are those good enough reasons for you???

So when I say that planning is A Key to Happiness, I certainly think that all the benefits you get from healthy eating and the time you take to make sure you do so will bring you a happy belly, a happy body and in turn, a happy life!

What change will you make today to make a NEW plan for your healthy life??