Monthly Archives: September 2015

Light a Fire Under Your Butt! A Free 30 Day Exercise Challenge starts October 12

You, me, your living room and just a few minutes a day.

You, me, your living room and just a few minutes a day.

The hardest thing about making exercise a habit is the whole getting started part!

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wanted to start exercising . . .

How many times have you said “I need to start working out! I’ll start tomorrow!” and then found yourself not feeling up to it when tomorrow comes? Or you decide it’s not worth doing unless you can do a whole hour or at least a half hour – which almost never happens. You might also hate working out alone – it’s so  much more fun and the time passes by faster when you’re with a friend (but none of your friends can exercise when you’re free so again, it just doesn’t happen).

How many weeks, months or years will go by before you do start exercising?

How much more fit could you be at the end of this year if you started now?

Why wait?

What’s really stopping you?

One of the biggest reasons people don’t get themselves moving despite a desire to be healthier and fitter is the time issue I mentioned at the beginning of this post. We think if we can’t exercise for 45 minutes 5 times a week then we shouldn’t bother. We think that it doesn’t make a difference to do what we can but even just 3 minutes of intense exercise per week has been shown to have health benefits! Bump it to 7 minutes and you can see some even bigger benefits. Anything is better than 0 minutes!

Another reason people don’t do it is because they think they need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get fit. In the beginning, your body weight can be enough – in fact, some of the most challenging exercises can be done with just your body weight (think planks, push ups, and squats!). I’ve been working out in a variety of ways for years and I still find ways to make body weight exercises strenuous – so I can get some activity in wherever I am.

Lastly, despite what it might look like on Instagram, not everyone who works out does so in $100 tights and $80 sport bras. It’s not a requirement for getting fit! While I’ll admit that wearing clothes that make you feel good will help make you want to workout more often, they certainly don’t have to cost a lot to do that. You just need something comfortable to move in and a supportive pair of sneakers (unless doing barefoot routines like yoga, barre or pilates)! And if you’re going to be wearing them in public, you may want to bend over in front of a mirror (in a well lit room) and check out your rear to make sure they’re not see through. It happens to the best of us.

Because I have a lot of people in my life who tell me that they really do want to start exercising but just can’t get themselves started, I started thinking about what I could do to help that. I’m not a personal trainer and I’m not super buff (though I like to pretend I am) but I do know the benefits of exercise and I have a lot of experience in trying to find activity that keeps me from getting bored (because if I get bored I’m not going to do it!). While I workout several days week consistently now, there have been many times in my life where I was just like you, sitting on the couch, wishing I could find the motivation to do some physical activity and I just couldn’t get myself started.

I want to light a fire under your butt. Please, let me light a fire under your butt. I’m putting together a free 30 Day Exercise Challenge that starts October 12 (Columbus Day). Each day of the 30 days as a group we will commit do doing at least 5 – 8 minutes of activity. I will send out an email daily that has a link to an online workout routine for all of us to do. The daily workout will be between 5 – 8 minutes long and they will be challenging. You will sweat, you will feel clumsy and you might feel like giving up if you’re new to exercise but you won’t because you don’t want to let the rest of us down (and you want to see what a difference it can make in your life).

If you don’t want to do the daily video, you are welcome to do whatever you want for exercise – you can dance, run, bike, lift weights, whatever! But you must do it (a minimum of 5-8 minutes per day!).

This challenge is free. It’s online and you’ll have group support and encouragement. I’ll either be doing a Facebook Group or Google+ community (though I haven’t decided which yet!) to go along with the daily emails and I’ll post the daily workout there as well. All you have to do is show up each day and do your 5-8 minutes. I don’t even care if you do your 8 minutes on commercial breaks while you watch TV. Just get it done!

Can you do that? I know you can.

At the end of the 30 days, you’ll be stronger, you’ll find the workouts don’t tire you out as much, you’ll be sleeping better, you won’t get as winded going up stairs and you might even lose weight or see muscle definition in places you’ve never seen it before! But the best thing of all, is after 30 days, you will have created an exercise habit that you can continue – 8 minutes a day will become a part of your normal day, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. You can then choose to do more or make it harder – whatever you want, but you can pat yourself on the back because you are NOW someone who exercises. You are NOW someone who is making their health a priority (and that is my goal for all of you). You are NOW someone who knows they can commit to lifestyle change.

If you can do this, what else will you be able to accomplish?

Come light a fire (under your butt!) with me! It’s free and we start October 12th. Sign up here . Share this challenge with your friends who also could use some help changing their habits – it’s always more fun to do something like this with friends!

Join the Light a Fire Under Your Butt free 30 Day Exercise Challenge.

Please read below
Participation in this challenge is free but joining means that you accept and agree to the following disclaimer:

All information provided by Andrea Quigley Maynard for this Free Exercise Challenge is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information provided is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information and participation in the Free Exercise Challenge is at your own risk and hold Andrea Quigley Maynard harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.




7 Ways to Get Your Daily Poop On

If ever I’m in a bad mood or had a rough day, there is one surefire way to get me to giggle, and that is to make a joke about poop. Or for someone to fart. Or talk about farts.

I know, I know, that’s really immature! I have a pretty immature sense of humor – not very classy – but it is what it is. Poop humor makes me laugh like a 6 year old and it always has.

But, as much as I find poop humor hilarious, my day is completely ruined when I can’t poop. In fact, I feel like my day doesn’t even really begin if it doesn’t start with a poop (I can’t believe I just typed those two sentences. I never thought I’d be putting that on the internet for all to read). If you’re reading this, you either enjoy poop humor also or you’re someone who feels the same way about the need for a daily poop! Your thoughts in the morning go, coffee, food, poop, shower. Everything else comes afterwards. If you are shaking your head in agreement right now, you might be my spirit animal.

This need, um, expectation for a daily, regular poop (should I use the term bowel movement?? Is that more appropriate? Probably but “bm” grosses me out more than poop. I’m going to keep saying poop.) came about because I’ve spent way too much of my life chronically constipated. Yes, I am the constipated kind of lady. This probably explains my lack of filter in social situations. It’s all about balance.

(Oh my God. I’m writing about my constipation on the internet.)

When constipation becomes the norm for you, you start to look for ways to fix it. The trouble with constipation, is that it can be caused by a zillion things – poor diet, medications, IBS, IBD, diverticulitis, not drinking enough water, not eating enough fiber, stress, pregnancy, lack of exercise, thyroid disorders and more, but it isn’t always easy to figure out the source. And seeing a doctor about it usually means just leaving with a recommendation of taking a daily dose of fiber supplements or laxatives. But long term use of those things can be problematic as well!

So if you’re in the constipation camp yourself, what else can you do about it? I was on the Metamucil and Miralax train for years and while both helped for awhile, I found I got addicted to them – in the sense that my body couldn’t go without taking them. No good! My intestines were so messed up from using them for years that I was terrified of going off of them because things don’t just start magically working when they haven’t for years.

Thankfully with a little trial and error, I’ve found a few sure-things that work for me so I thought I’d share (however TMI) in case they help you too!

7 Ways to Get Your Daily Poop On

1. Prunes or prune juice can do wonders for constipation. Your grandparents were right! Eat a couple right before bed and they’ll kick in in the morning. You can also pour hot water over a couple of prunes and let it stew like tea for a few minutes and then drink it (and eat the prunes). Sounds really gross and the prune flavor/texture might be tough to get used to, but at least it’s just fruit. Also, it’s way grosser to be constipated, yes? We’re still not 100% sure what it is about prunes that makes them such a reliable natural laxative but it’s suspected that it’s due to their fiber, phenolic compounds and sorbitol content. Who cares, as long as they work, right?!

2. First thing in the morning, drink a big glass of warm water as soon as you get up. While we’re sleeping, digestion slows down to a crawl so the body can use it’s energy for repair. We also are a bit dehydrated when we first wake because we’ve been fasting overnight. Drinking water when you wake up rehydrates you (essential for healthy poops!) and gives your entire digestive system the signal that it’s time to start cranking. Add a little squeeze of lemon juice to your water for an added boost – it is believed to stimulate the liver to increase bile production which also can help you poop.

3. Get yourself onto a “toilet schedule”. Yep. Go at the same time everyday. One reason people get constipated is because they ignore the urge to go and the nerves that are responsible for letting us know it’s time get desensitized after a while – this means you stop getting the urge to go, even though there is plenty in the exit queue. Sitting yourself down on the toilet at the same time each day whether you feel like it’s time or not will help your body get the clue that this is the appropriate time to do it’s business. This is one that will take consistency for it to work. Having your body learn the schedule is like teaching a little kid to tie their shoes. You’ll have to show them over and over again and it’ll seem like you’re not getting anywhere and then one day they’ll do it on their own and everyone will be proud. 🙂

4. Get into proper position. As part of that toilet schedule, buy yourself the squatty potty or put your feet up on a stool, basket or something else that is a few inches from the ground and gets you into a more natural squatting position. Humans aren’t designed to be pooping the way we do. Pooping with your legs bent is life changing, I promise! Do this and you’ll start investigating what items are the correct size for doing your business when you go on vacation or stay in hotels. Of course, you could always buy the travel squatty potty.

5. Eat Chia Seeds that have gelled. If the prune treats don’t help you or they don’t help enough, take 2 tbsp of chia seeds and stir them into a 12 oz glass of water. Cover and put in the fridge – stir again in 20 minutes and continue to let them gel for at least an hour. The chia seeds will begin to absorb the water and a gel will form around them. If eaten with enough water, the seeds will become slippery and act like a lubricant, helping waste move along easily in your colon. Eat a tbsp or two of this mixture every day for best results. I also recommend washing it down with some extra water and doing it around the same time each day.  Don’t try to eat the seeds without soaking first – they can cause even worse constipation or even be a choking hazard if not taken with enough liquid.

6. Consider trying a Magnesium supplement. If you do everything listed above and still have trouble, it might be worth trying a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is a mineral that most of us are pretty deficient in anyway because our soil has been heavily depleted of it so most of our foods don’t contain as much of it as our bodies require. Magnesium is responsible for a ton of processes in the body – one of which is helping our muscles contract and relax appropriately. Pooping happens because of peristalsis, which are the muscle contractions that help waste move along the digestive tract. Taking a magnesium supplement regularly can help restore muscle function. This is huge. The hard part is figuring out the correct dose and type (magnesium comes in many forms – some more absorbable than others) you’ll need for your particular body. The amount of magnesium we need each day changes depending on stress, how much sleep we’ve gotten, what our diet is like etc so you’ll have to pay close attention to how your body reacts. The body wants to keep a very particular balance of magnesium in your blood stream – and if you take in too much it will rid itself of excess in the form of diarrhea. No thanks! So when starting to supplement, go slowly and take less than you think you’ll need at first.

I take magnesium for more than preventing constipation – it’s really beneficial for a lot of things. It helps me sleep more soundly at night, my muscles recover faster from hard workouts and it helps keep my asthma under control. I also have high blood pressure and it’s making a difference there too. If you take any medications or have any medical conditions, please talk to your doctor before taking any supplement on a regular basis. Magnesium is pretty safe but there are definitely people for whom it is not appropriate for. Safety first kids!

7. Try an Elimination Diet. This one is more complicated to do, but might be the right thing for some of you. Food sensitivities can cause a lot of symptoms (or none at all) and they’re often missed because the symptoms appear slowly over a long period of time – not all at once. During an elimination diet a few years ago (for coach training), as I added back in wheat/gluten and dairy, I noticed I got more constipated than I was before. As I mentioned earlier, constipation has long been an issue of mine. While on the elimination diet, I noticed things were a little better (but I was eating a lot of veg, fruit and seeds)  but when I added those foods back in, it was like my insides turned to bricks! I have other symptoms with those foods -but this clued me in to the fact that my constipation could be partially caused by sensitivities to these foods.  I stayed away for a long time – every so often, if I decide to have a piece of bread or some cake – I’m assaulted with days of serious anger in my colon. Yeah, that’s certainly a sign I shouldn’t be eating it. A major way for me to keep things happy there is to not eat wheat or dairy. Might be something worth looking into if you’ve tried everything you can think of and still have some troubles. I can help with that.

There they are! Like with anything, consistency is key. Try any of these alone or in conjunction with another for at least a week before deciding that it doesn’t work for you. If your body is totally out of whack and you’ve been constipated for years, it may take more than a week to even see if something is working. Be patient and open minded!

Now go out and get yourself on a pooping schedule and report back if it worked for you!

Weight Loss, Honesty and Denial Part II: The Nice One, The Sharp Dresser and The Doormat

photo credit: Gifts from Saville Row via photopin (license)

You can have all the accessories you want, but who are you doing it for?  (photo credit: Gifts from Saville Row via photopin (license))

Last week I wrote about the role honesty has to play in order for weight loss to happen permanently. To sum that up, if we can’t own up to what we’re actually putting in our mouths and what actions we’re taking (or not taking), it’s going to be a long frustrating road!  For women with food and weight issues, not being able to be totally honest, or denial, shows up in many forms in our lives.

Today we’re doing a part II on Weight loss, Honesty and Denial, which focuses on how we deny ourselves, either as a form of punishment or as a way to compensate for our size and how that interferes with weight loss.

We’re Good at Denying Ourselves
When food or weight is an issue for us long term, we might get really comfortable in the world of denial. We try denying ourselves the food we want so much, we deny ourselves the relationships and jobs we want, we deny ourselves of the experiences we want, we deny feeling our emotions and turn to food to numb out and we deny reality by ignoring the reason we’re overweight. There’s so much denial and lying going on that it’s hard to know where it ends and where we begin.

For some reason, we wholeheartedly embrace the idea that until we lose the weight, we don’t deserve these things (the jobs, relationships, experiences etc). As if the way to fix the “problem” is to punish our way to thinness. We think we can’t handle feeling our emotions until a certain set of unnamed parameters aligns in such a way that we’re suddenly invincible. We dream of the day when we’re thin enough that we can eat all the things we’ve been denying ourselves (a day that will never come since we overeat lots of stuff that we don’t even want).  Where did we get the idea that punishing ourselves is the way to get what we want? No idea but most of us are plagued by it in some way.

We spend our time half in our lives and half thinking about the life we would live if we finally reached that size or goal weight. Even the half that we do spend in our lives, much of it is spent projecting a person that we think others want to see. A person that would be more accepted, loved and interesting than the one who currently resides in the body we have. We numb ourselves out of the very life we have and then we create a carefully cultivated image for others to see. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, we’re not going to be able to put our guard down around others either.

What am I talking about?

The Nice One, The Sharp Dresser and The Doormat
We do things to prevent others from seeing who we really are.

You might have grown up being the nice girl because from a young age you learned that people might not like you because of your weight – at least if you’re nice they’ll have one less reason to dislike you.

You may be an impeccable dresser, have all the best purses and your hair and nails were always perfectly maintained because you learned that looks and size matter – if you look good maybe they won’t notice your weight.

You might have become known as the caretaker in your circle of friends and family having learned that you need to have another value to be accepted if you’re overweight.

You may have become a doormat having learned that you better be agreeable if you’re overweight or you won’t be loved.

Or maybe none of these are you, but you’re known as the funny one, the smart one or the outgoing one in your circle of friends because you learned that you needed to stand out in some way in life other than for your weight.

Disclaimer: This is not to say that overweight people don’t stand out in these ways naturally, just as normal weight folks do – it’s just that some of us may have purposely cultivated these things a little more than we might have otherwise as a distractor from out weight.

This was me for years. I can’t tell you how many times I was over-dressed for an event when everyone else was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  When people would comment on it, I’d just say “I prefer skirts!” or “Makeup is an art!”. The truth was that I didn’t feel like my body looked ok in the clothes everyone else wore – I felt like a tank and at least if I was dressed up and had flashy colorful makeup on someone might notice me for more than just being the “big girl” at the party. I’d still be the big girl but I’d be the well dressed girl too. I still love to dress up and love makeup – it’s a part of me now, but these days I also feel just as adorable in a pair of jeans or a pair of workout tights. I still don’t like t-shirts and never will.

As I got older, I tried out other roles, like the strong one, the nice one, the funny one, the outgoing / outlandish one and I’m sure others. Since I could never shake the weight for long despite my sincere desire to be thin, I tried on whatever camouflage I could access – thinking one of these eventually will fit! None of them did.

You Don’t Need to Apologize for Your Existence 
The point of this post isn’t to make you feel badly for being the nice girl, or for wearing makeup or having nice purses and shoes. And I’m not suggesting you change these things – especially if these are things you now love about yourself. I love accessories myself.

The point is to become aware of the ways that we do things to punish ourselves (with the denial of food or life stuff) or compensate for our weight because when we believe there is a part of us that we have to make up for, disguise or deny – we walk around feeling ashamed and almost apologetic for just being here and that’s exactly the type of stuff that leads to weight gain, chronic diets, restriction and we get more of the same.

If you feel ashamed on a daily basis for just being in the body you have, it’s really difficult to do the things needed to lose weight. If you feel you deserve punishment or that you shouldn’t have certain things because of your weight, you’ll end up doing things that actually make you gain weight (cycles of deprivation lead to bingeing). So much of successful weight loss actually has to do with what’s going on in our heads, being aware of it and not what’s on our plate!

Your weight or size does not mean you have something to apologize for. It does not mean you need to make up for something. It does not mean you don’t have many things going for you. It does not mean that something is wrong with you. It does not mean you are starting off with a lower score than everyone around you. It does not mean you can’t be loved and appreciated exactly as you are. It does not mean you deserve punishment or need to be someone else.

Yes, there are lots of people in this world who might think less of you for being overweight. I’m not in denial about how things are. But why are we trying to please people who would judge us on something like that?

Realistically you can’t change others opinions of you and frankly other’s opinions of us are none of our business. Someone else’s opinion about you says more about them than it does you and nothing you do, say or what you look like will change that. Since you can’t change how someone else thinks about you, you may as well focus on what you can change and that is how you think of yourself! The good news is that you can think of yourself however you want, without approval or validation from anyone else and you can do this now, even without losing an ounce of weight.

And when you think of yourself positively, without shame, with acceptance, guess what happens? We stop punishing and hiding ourselves and weight loss becomes a lot easier.

A few questions to consider (and feel free to answer in the comments):
What have you been denying yourself because of your weight or size? (food, relationships, jobs, experiences etc.)

Are there personality traits or physical attributes that you’ve focused on projecting more of as a way to distract others from your size? If so, what are they? How have you used them? How have they helped or hurt you?

What do you think about the idea that you can accept yourself now, at your current weight? How do you think it would change your life if you could do that?

If this speaks to you, I hope you’ll contact me to set up a mini session – where we can discover what might be getting in the way of the person you want to be. (To not miss out on my emails – put your name in the green box below). You can also find me on most social media outlets, though I’m probably the most active on Facebook.


Weight Loss, Honesty and Denial Part I: Why Are You Overweight?

One of the things that needs to happen if we want to lose weight permanently is being able to be completely honest with ourselves. No armor, no bs, no stories, no excuses. Pure, direct and clear accountability to ourselves. We have to get honest about why we’re overweight to begin with.

Can you answer the following questions with more than “I don’t know.”?

Why do you think you’re overweight?
What do you think caused your weight gain?
What actions do you take on a daily basis that keep you overweight?

If you can’t, it’s possible you’re not being fully honest with yourself. Sometimes we use “I don’t know” as a way to not be fully present in our lives and not take responsibility for the outcomes we’re getting.

Unintentional Lies
If you asked me 20 years ago why I was overweight, I would have told you I was born that way and had always been a big kid. While that was partially true, I was slightly bigger than other kids in elementary school, it was actually the habits I developed during adolescence and teenage years that made me truly overweight. I’d come home, park my butt on the couch to watch “General Hospital”, mindlessly snacking on whatever I could find in the house – chocolate chunk cookies or frozen pizza or mini pizza bagels by the trayful. The TV and snacks served as a way to me to numb myself from a crappy day at school.

If you asked me 15 years ago why I was overweight, I would have told you it’s because the food at the dining hall was so bad that I had to live off of grilled cheese and french fries – the only edible things in the dining hall. I gained the “Freshman 15” three times by the middle of sophomore year. I conveniently forgot that I also drank double the beer than most of my peers and often ordered pizza late at night. Oh and I forgot to mention that I ate 2 grilled cheese sandwiches with those fries most days.

If you asked me 4 years ago why I had gained back so much of the weight I had lost in the last decade, I would have probably told you it was because of the desk job I had. Going from waiting tables to sitting at a desk for 8-9 hours a day was a bit of a shock to the system. What I would have probably omitted telling you is that I had turned to binge eating after the said desk job on many nights.

I wouldn’t have seen my answers as lies, certainly not intentional ones. I was in denial as to the source of my weight for a long time. I talk to a lot of women who have been in the same boat. Looking really closely at ourselves and owning up to how we got to where we are is not easy.

Even now, a few years into what I feel is my healthiest relationship with food yet, I still find myself in periods of mild “dishonesty”. When my weight hasn’t changed in a long time, there’s a part of me that wants to contribute it to metabolic changes due to a lifetime of dieting but if I’m honest, it’s because I’ve let certain things sneak back into my regular diet more often than I’d like them to be (like sugar and cream in my coffee). It’s ok – while I’d like to lose a few more pounds, I’m comfortable at my current weight but that tendency to lie to myself does try to inch its way in. This is the nature of the beast and I know I need to keep an eye out for the games I used to play with myself. I know all my old tricks and not being honest with myself is one of them. Lying to myself was a huge component of why I gained so much weight back a few years ago. Deny deny deny! Gain gain gain!

Barring a handful of medical conditions, which I talked about briefly in Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight (even though you’re giving it your all), the reason most of us struggle with getting to a weight that we are comfortable with is because we’re eating more than our bodies need for fuel.

It’s really that simple for most.

Many of us believe that we’re overweight for some unknown reason. We don’t believe that there is a direct correlation between the amount (or quality) of food we’re putting in our mouths and the weight that is on our bodies. But to be direct, unless you’re dealing with a medical condition as mentioned above, you are probably overweight because you eat more than your body needs. That is the truth.

There’s no judgement in that statement. There’s no shame here. There’s no reason to feel badly about yourself. There’s a million reasons why we eat more than our bodies need an none of them require beating yourself up over. If you want to get to a happier place with your weight, it really does start with being 100% upfront and honest with yourself. The only person we hurt when we stay in denial and ignore reality is ourselves.

Ignoring truths sure makes it easier to go about our day and continue the habits that we believe we’re participating in to bring us comfort or because we “deserve” to, but in reality just keep us fat and unhappy. And our weight will continue to cause us pain as long as we deny to ourselves how we got into this mess. When you can be totally honest with yourself, it’s a lot harder to plow through an entire bag of chips, hitting the drive-thru in secret or eating entire cartons of ice cream in one sitting. (Not impossible – just harder!)

Can you take responsibility for how you got to the weight you are at? Can you be honest about how much and what you put into your body?

Do you often eat secretly, in private or alone? Do you look forward to when you can next do that? Do you actually count down the minutes until you can put that secret food in your mouth?

You don’t have to beat yourself up for it, you don’t have to feel ashamed about it but you do need to be totally honest with yourself. Getting to a weight that you feel good about starts with laying out all your cards on the table. If you are unwilling to do that at this stage in the game, what else will you be unwilling to do to get to where you want to be? This is only one obstacle that will be in your path while losing weight – we have to be ready to get around many obstacles.

How can you learn to trust the hunger signals your body sends you if you can’t trust yourself? How can you be willing to feel the emotions you’re feeling if you can’t own up to the reasons you are overweight?

You can’t.

Let me tell you, trying to conquer emotional eating without learning to pay attention to our true hunger and feel our emotions is like trying to win a gold medal in the breaststroke in the Olympics without learning to swim. I sincerely wish you luck but I won’t be surprised when you don’t come in at the top.

Losing weight for the long term means putting down your armor and being completely honest to you! When you do that – recognizing the difference between hunger and fullness is more accessible, feeling our emotions is possible, food becomes less of a weapon and weight less of an issue.

Maybe you think you’re being honest but are still confused as to why you are heavier than you want to be? Ok, I get that – it certainly happens – especially when we first start wanting to get serious about this stuff.

Here’s what you do then:

  1. Find out if you are dealing with a medical issue. Get your doctor to run some tests to rule out Thyroid issues, PCOS and other medical conditions that legitimately can interfere with your natural weight. They are common – but not as common as we want to believe!
  2. 2. Keep a food journal for a month. Write down on paper every single thing you consume. Food, drink, supplement etc. Calories we don’t care about so much but quantity is helpful – did you go back for a second serving of mashed potatoes at dinner? Did you eat out of the bag of chips instead of pouring out a serving and putting the bag away? Did you have 3 cans of soda? Did you finish an 11 serving box of cereal in 3 days? This exercise is just to help you see what and how much you are actually eating.
  3. Analyze your food journal. Were you 100% honest in the journal? Lots of us have trouble doing that at first – even if we’re the only ones who will see it! Something about writing it down is scary. If you were honest, you should see some info that will surprise you. I know for me, when I began keeping a food journal years ago, I noticed a pattern – If I went out for drinks or if I had a bad day, I would skip finishing my entry for the day. It looked like I ate less on those days but I actually ate more. Or I would put down that I had less than I thought of something – I would put down that I had 2 tbsp of cream cheese on a bagel but after measuring one day I discovered that I was using double that! Try to be as honest as possible – and equally as important, don’t judge yourself for your choices
  4. Call me. If you are stuck and dumbfounded as to where your weight has come from (or just want help period), I want you to schedule a Discovery Session with me. We’ll talk about where you are and how you think you got there and I’ll help you uncover some of what might be getting in your way. It’s not always easy to see our own shit and a second pair of eyes can help you do that. No judgements – I promise. I’ve done whatever it is you do to yourself and probably worse. What do you have to lose? other than weight? 🙂  You don’t need to live near me to schedule one of these – I coach many people by phone and it’s just as effective as in person sessions, sometimes more so!

Being honest and taking responsibility is just the beginning of having a healthier relationship with food and your body. If you are willing and committed to do this, you are far ahead of many many people! Want that as much as you want to eat food your body doesn’t need and you’ll be able to see your way out.

It’s time to show up in your life the way you were meant to. Don’t let yourself down. You’ve got this. Can you show up fully? I challenge you to do this!

Stay tuned – Next week I’ll be posting part II on how Honesty & Denial affect Weight – this time I’ll be talking about the false Images we create and where else in our lives we practice denial. I hope you’ll check it out!

If this kind of stuff interests you, make sure you are on my email list (green box below), as I’m in the beginning stages of creating a program specifically for emotional eaters who want to end the struggle with weight and being on my email list is the BEST way to hear about it when it’s ready.

Did you hear? The 12 Day Detox Program is returning September 14, 2015. Join us!

Did you hear? The 12 Day Detox Program is returning September 14, 2015. Join us!



Shush . .I’m fabulous and so are you!

I really do think I'm fabulous when I'm not busy beating myself up.

I really do think I’m fabulous when I’m not busy beating myself up. (apologies for the grainy camera phone quality).

I hope you’ll forgive me for the formatting and flow for this one – I was in a ferocious typing mood and didn’t feel like editing. Let me know your thoughts!

We spend so much time talking and thinking about what is wrong with our bodies or ourselves.

I wonder how much amazing stuff in this world doesn’t get done because some woman woke up and decided her jeans felt too tight, she was fat and now the day was ruined.

The internal dialogue might go something like this:

My stomach is so flabby.

My skin is too red and I have such huge pores.

I’m such an idiot!

I have so much back fat it looks like I’m smuggling two hams under my armpits.

When did my ass get so saggy?

Why am I so boring? I never have anything good to say.

The thoughts may come all at once in succession (maybe after trying on a bathing suit) or they may come one by one throughout a day (each time you catch yourself in the mirror).

It doesn’t matter if they’re assaulting you in a barrage all at once or if they’re dripping in slowly like a leak in an old roof.

They’re destructive either way.

We think it’s no big deal since they’re just passing thoughts most of the time.

But like a roof that leaks – you have to address it at some point or you’re going to have a big mess on your hands.

Repetitive negative thoughts become part of our regular thinking and with time they become beliefs. Beliefs are really hard to change.

Thinking negatively about yourself – physical or otherwise, contributes to your mood, it contributes to how you interact with others, it affects the actions you’ll take everywhere in your life.

How you think about yourself influences hugely the life you will ultimately have.

Why do we think that it’s a badge of honor or a sign of humility to put ourselves down?

Why is it often seen as being conceited or boastful to take pride in or even just acknowledge that you’re good at something or that there is something about your body that you like?

Why do we think the only way to be in this world is to be disgusted in some way by our own bodies? Somewhere along our journey we learn that a woman who dares to love her body is actually betraying the rest of us. She’s an alien from another planet. There has to be something wrong with her for daring to think so highly of herself.

There is so much contradictory bullshit in this. It’s divisive and creates pain for all involved. One feeling inadequate for not having what the other has and the other feeling ashamed for not having ingested the shitty memo the rest of us ate up.

I’m sure there’s at least a few of you reading this whose first thought was something critical about the photo I used at the beginning of this post. Who am I to post a photo of myself on a blog about being fabulous? I’ll admit I hesitated to use a photo of myself here because I had those exact thoughts myself. But then I said, fuck it, that’s the whole point of this post.

And when we all feel crappy about ourselves, we do less of the important stuff. We don’t put ourselves out there. And we’re not a good example for the young women and little girls in our lives.

What if we all did something different and spent time noticing what is right about our bodies?What if we declared out loud the qualities we have that we are proud of?
What if we boosted ourselves up and other women too, instead of tearing both of us down?

There’s no need to compare and knock someone down. Comparing and determining that one is less and one is more, gives one the idea that there is only a certain amount of good stuff out there and that if someone else has what you want (be it a shapely booty, a ferocious drive, thick hair, money or major charisma), that there isn’t enough of that thing out there for you. That’s not true.

Her having something doesn’t make it less likely that you can have it too.

Her having it actually means that it is possible you can have it.

If you’re going to compare, use it as proof of what you could have, what is available to ALL of us in this life we have.

When we can sincerely appreciate and love ourselves, without feeling like we’re wrong for doing that, we have more capacity for kindness, generosity and productivity. When we can sincerely look at other women and not want to tear them down to lift ourselves up, we will have more love for ourselves and love to give everything we do.

Can you start changing your own dialogue today? Next time you find yourself wanting to pick yourself or another lady apart, can you turn it around and find something you LOVE instead?

If you can’t, ask yourself, why. Why do you want to cause yourself more pain? Why would you choose to think negative thoughts about yourself? Or others? You can choose love.

It takes practice to be comfortable saying positive things about yourself. When you’re not used to doing it, at first it’s pretty hard. It might be painful and make you want to cringe. But after awhile, you’ll find it’s pretty easy and with that comes the ability to see the good stuff in other people too.

Here is some of the stuff I’ve been loving on me lately:

I love my eyes. I’m not really sure if they’re blue, grey or green but I love them.

I love my arms. They’re strong and they look strong too.

I love my curves. I’ve been big and small and those curves are always still there keeping me company.

I love that I have thick muscular thighs that can cycle 30 miles like it’s no big thing and they also look fab in a short skirt, at least I think so.

I love my skin – it’s soft and smooth and it’s usually a reflection of how well I am caring for myself.

I love my smile and the dimples that form in my cheeks when I’m really happy.

I love my laugh. I love my ability to empathize with other people. I love the little intricacies that make me, me, even if other people might think that they’re bizarre.

I love my brain. It doesn’t always go the conventional route, but it gets me there. The shit it remembers and the details it can conjure up are almost sick.

I love how dependable I am. If you ask me to do something or be somewhere and I say yes, you know I will do it, I will show up (albeit late!) and if I can’t, I will own up and let you know. No slinking away in a corner here.

I like me.

That’s probably enough for now.

Don’t think that just because I was able to rattle those off that there isn’t a part of me that was like “ah, don’t write that!” or “you’re writing too many!” or “you should mention that you love your smile despite your messed up jaw!”. I’m human and a work in progress. There are things I’ve gotten better at, but it doesn’t mean that I never have my “stuff” come up again. I’ve gotten so much better at being WITH myself instead of AGAINST myself. No need to aim for perfect but there’s always room for doing better.

If you’re reading this and you’re the one thinking “she wrote too many!” or “wow, she’s full of herself!” then sister, I ask YOU to please spend a little time coming up with a list of things you love about YOU. When we knock others, it’s a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. And you should feel no other way than fabulous about yourself, because lady you ARE fantastic and I hope you can say that about yourself some day. And if you love this and want to stay in touch, you can do so here.

Guess what time it is? Time for the 12 Day Detox! We start September 14! Join us! You’ll love how you feel as we move into fall!

Did you hear? The 12 Day Detox Program is returning September 14, 2015. Join us!

Did you hear? The 12 Day Detox Program is returning September 14, 2015. Join us!