Tag Archives: emotional eating coach

A Better Relationship with Food Means Making Deliberate Decisions

We make deliberate choices every day, often every hour about what and how we will eat. There is freedom in this.

We make deliberate choices every day, often every hour about what and how we will eat. There is freedom in this.

I just want to point out that getting better from our struggles with food doesn’t happen by chance.

I talk to a lot of women who seem to believe that there must be a secret way out of all of this – one that will allow them to be somewhat unconscious or inactive while someone or something else does the work (I’ve been there!).

We won’t wake up one day able to eat the exact right amount for our body without judgement, without overeating and without a lot of conscious choices just because we’ve been hoping that would happen.

I certainly tried that. I remember literally trying to “pray” away my weight as a kid. And as I got older, I definitely daydreamed about just waking up in a body that wasn’t confused about food.

We won’t “fix” our stuff just because someone gave us the right diet plan. Being told what to eat and how much is liberating, but only briefly. I say briefly, because on any diet, we will find ourselves choosing to not eat the things or quantities we are supposed to at some point. We will make decisions about food, regardless of what we’re “supposed” to do.

There have been many times over the years where I just thought if someone else would tell me what to eat, exactly what to eat and I didn’t have to make decisions about food, then I wouldn’t have the struggles I did. I wanted to opt out of all decision making about what I put into my body.

But the way out is by actually facing those decisions head on, taking responsibility for our choices and having the consciousness to be able see what our actions lead to.

The best thing to do is to accept that almost everything we do in our food life is because of a choice that we made. Even the choice to not make a choice and have someone else make it for you (i.e. having someone give you a specific diet plan) is itself a choice. The lack of decision is also a decision.

We will only improve our relationship with food by making deliberate and more conscious choices and decisions about:

  • what we eat (ex. Will I choose to eat this compelling donut in front of me or the nutritious lunch I planned?)
  • how we eat (ex. Will I choose to eat slowly, chewing every bite thoroughly before swallowing? Or will I choose shovel handful after handful of chips into my mouth without even taking a breath?)
  • how much or little we will eat (ex. Will I choose to eat until I’m uncomfortably full or will I stop when I’ve had comfortably enough?)
  • when we eat  (ex.  Will I choose to eat because it’s a certain time of day, because it’s been 4 hours since I last ate or because I am physically hungry? etc)
  • why we eat (ex. Are we choosing to eating from a recognition of our physical hunger? Or are we choosing to eat so that we can avoiding feeling our feelings?)
  • even the other stuff like letting go of judgement, loving our body and loving ourselves as we are right now. It all feels abstract and the thoughts we have about ourselves do pop up without conscious choice, but it’s still a conscious choice as to what we will do with those thoughts. Will we choose to let them pass through like clouds pass by in the sky? Or will we choose to choose to focus on them and allow those thoughts to grow?

This is not a blame game. I know people often feel sensitive and defensive when they hear that they have a choice about something because it sounds as if we are choosing to be unhappy, overweight, or to live a complicated relationship with food. But just because we have a choice over our actions, doesn’t mean that it makes it easy to make the best choices all of the time. And it doesn’t mean that you will make good choices even when you are aware of the consequences of the choice you are making. So before we get riled about trying to figure out where to place blame, let’s just decide that there isn’t anyone or anything to blame. This is just how it is and let’s take responsibility for what we can, and not worry about what we can’t.

Focus on the actions you can take to improve things in your food world, like bringing more awareness and more attention to your choices, your meal times, your purchases at the grocery store, how you eat, when you eat etc. Make awareness your job.

When you start to feel acutely aware of the inner thoughts you have as you make these choices (oh, we all have them!), you’ll notice that you can decide to go along with it or choose to do something different. You’ll start to notice that when you decide to make a different choice that you feel better, happier, have less digestive distress etc. And when you feel all the good things that come with making the best choices for your body, making those choices more often will get a little easier!

But first you have to make deliberate and conscious choices regularly, daily, even hourly sometimes. You must do this daily – it has to become part of your life’s practice.

Choose to not reach into the candy bowl again.

Choose to not eat in your car.

Choose to exercise even when you don’t want to.

Choose to eat vegetables even though chips might be more appealing right now.

Choose to go out and visit with friends when you’d rather be downing a pint of ice cream on your couch.

Even with acute awareness and practice, sometimes you will still choose the things that won’t feel best. You will still occasionally choose to eat more than you had planned. You will still sometimes choose foods that don’t feel so great in your body. But that doesn’t have to mean that anything has gone wrong or that you aren’t doing the best you can right now. Normal eaters sometimes do these things too. And for someone healing their relationship with food it is normal to wonder if these perceived “slip ups” are proof that you aren’t improving things or if it’s normal. It’s all in how you handle it. Will you view one single overeating episode as a reason to go back to overeating all the time? Or will you use your knowledge and awareness to let that go and make a different choice going forward?

Realizing that every bite we put in our bodies is because of a deliberate decision we have made is actually very powerful. We can choose to view that as crappy and feel like we are being blamed for our eating challenges or we can choose to see freedom in knowing that we can be active participants in the way out.

Knowing you can choose at every meal and every situation is very liberating. It is freeing. It can help you relax around food. It can help you beat yourself up less (because there will be more choices to make going forward). I know it isn’t easy and I’m not promising that making good choices is easy from the start (it’s not!) – but to get to the “easy” and I know that most of us are always looking for easy, you have to first understand and accept that we have choices to make, bring your attention and awareness to your actions and choices and then start deliberately making choices from a conscious place.

There is a lot of hard work in this. And yes, sometimes it’s really uncomfortable, painful and you’ll feel “I don’t wanna!”. That’s fine – you can feel that way. Just don’t stay there all the time (that’s a choice too cutie!). Come back when you are ready and let’s make more deliberate decisions together.


Could you use some support in this area? Schedule a free consult with me here.

You can also download a free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldnt Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!). It’s my starter tool pack for those who want to begin changing their relationship with food.

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Common Mistakes We Make When Trying to Halt Emotional Eating

Don't set the world on fire while you're changing your relationship with food.

Don’t set the world on fire while you’re changing your relationship with food.

This blog post was supposed to go out early Thursday morning but when I went to put the finishing touches on it Wednesday (last minute, of course!) we had a local internet outage that lasted several hours and by several hours I mean from about 12:30 until 6pm!! I love how easy technology makes our lives most of the time, but I really hate how much we’ve come to require it. So many aspects of my job depend on it and most things come to a halt when it’s not working. And when things aren’t working for me, I tend to have a total meltdown. I’m not very mature when things don’t go my way or according to plan. I didn’t know what to do with myself (luckily, there is always something that needs doing around the house! I took a forced break to house clean after my last client!)

This behavior translates into other areas of my life.

When things get tough, when I don’t understand something, when I hit a wall, I flip out and give up. I essentially set my emotional world on fire. Emotionally I’d just say “No way, not going to do this, feel this or experience this!”. I do this when I’m learning something and struggling with it. When I discover I’m wrong. When I don’t like an outcome. You name it. And in the past, I would turn to food to cope with whatever I didn’t want to feel. Whatever obstacle I encountered would be attempted to be climbed over with food. It was how I soothed bad feelings.

I don’t do that anymore. Or at least, I rarely do it now. And if I do catch myself reaching for food when I don’t want to feel something, I’m aware of it and can bring my attention to the feeling.

If you’re an emotional eater, I know you can relate to this. You probably have a bit of an “all or nothing” mindset yourself. If a little bit of something will help, then a lot will really cure it! Right?  Let’s burn it all down and start over! Because of this kind of thinking, and an inability to deal with uncomfortable emotions, emotional eaters tend to fall into several “traps” of the same nature when they are trying to stop eating emotionally. Instead of viewing it as a staircase where we make changes step by step on the way up, we try to leap from the bottom step to the top step without touching on the steps in between. We want to skip over the hard parts. We want to get from A to B without feeling uncomfortable on the way there. But that’s not possible!

I want to share a few of the most common mistakes people fall into when they are trying to halt their emotional eating in the hopes that you can avoid getting stuck in them like I (and so many others) have. Watch out for these!

Common Mistakes We Make When Trying to Halt Emotional Eating:

  1. We equate getting better with being perfect. Healing from emotional eating does not mean you’ll never have another moment where you put food in your mouth for reasons other than hunger – it just means you’re making a concerted effort to eat thoughtfully and while fully present most of the time. Some days it will look really great, other days it’s going to be ugly. Don’t make too much of it. The day to day is really is no big deal.
  2. We get too dogmatic about the rules, tools and which teachers that can help. Some people need to eat mindfully 100% of the time to stay on track, others do better when they eat every 2 hours whether hungry or not. Some only listen to what Geneen Roth’s ideas or only Kay Sheppard’s or only Ellen Satter or only their Yoga teacher and are distrustful of anyone but their preferred “guru”. There are lots of teachers, tools and rules that can help you have a better relationship with food. You don’t have to subscribe to one and one only. Try to remain open minded and be willing to listen to the experiences of others, even if they’re different from your own. You never know when you might learn just another way to peace. And different tools and teachers will make sense for us at different times in our lives. It’s ok to change with time.
  3. Avoiding social situations that center around food. Don’t you dare kill your social life. If you want to heal your relationship with food, you have to be able to manage food in all settings and that includes socially. Consider each social situation with eating as a component as practice in figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. Maybe you need to eat a snack before the event so that you don’t go overboard during. Maybe you need to eat cleanly and thoughtfully during. Maybe you need to eat exactly what you crave during so that you don’t go home and binge. Go to events. Eat. Be thoughtful about it. Let yourself be human and enjoy human things.
  4. Automatically banning the scale. Yes weighing ourselves obsessively doesn’t help and if weighing yourself causes you to feel bad or virtuous depending on the number that appears, then yes, you should try reducing your use of a scale (and dumping it completely in some cases). But if you’re one of those people who can weigh themselves and it’s entirely neutral for you, then it’s ok to keep using it as a guide. I find weighing myself several times a month gives me feedback that tells me if I’m on the right track in listening to my hunger signals and stopping when I’ve had enough. When it moves up or down a few pounds I don’t worry (normal fluctuations) but if I see if trending too far in any direction, I know that means I’ve gone off track and helps me bring my attention back to where it should be. When I’ve stopped weighing myself completely, I tend to go back to old eating habits and it has on more than one occasion resulted in unhealthy amounts of weight gained. So I keep the scale in my arsenal of tools. That works for me. It does not work for others. The only way you should keep using the scale as a tool is if it is no more upsetting than taking your temperature would be. When we take our temp, we either have a fever or we don’t. It doesn’t affect how we feel about ourselves or our body. Can you be that neutral with the scale? You need to decide what is the most loving thing to do for you.
  5. Thinking that it’s not worth doing if you can’t do everything. You may have great success when you first start implementing different tools and strategies to conquer your emotional eating. This is the “honeymoon” phase. Things will go well, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, and then because this is real life, something will happen that throws you off your game. You’ll find yourself back at square one, resorting to all your old habits and when you get sick of it and want to get back at it, it won’t feel quite so easy to implement those tools back into your life. You’ll feel resistant and even resentful. You’ll wonder why you ever thought you could do this in the first place. You’ll think everyone who claims they healed their relationship with food is a fucking liar. Slow down. Take a step back. You don’t have to get yourself back to where you were when you slipped. That’s a huge hurdle! Just pick one tool or one strategy that was working for you before that seems doable and go from there. You will get to where you were before, but not by skipping any steps along the way. Just pick up the pieces one at a time!

You didn’t become an emotional eater overnight. It’s not like one day you were eating normally, competently and the next day you turned to food for comfort. It was a coping strategy that you adopted over time in response to certain situations. In many cases it developed over many years. We have to have patience in changing it. We have to accept that we’re going to stumble a little, slip a little and that it might be uncomfortable, sometimes painful and often ridiculously slow! Be cautious of falling into these traps, take your time and don’t judge yourself for wherever you are in YOUR process. This is your journey and you need to do it however makes sense to you.


How are you doing with you own emotional eating or chronic dieting struggles? Could you use some support? If so, contact me to set up a Discovery Session. It’s free.

Like this? For more, download your free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldnt Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!).

What is Normal Eating? (What Normal Eating Looks Like and What it Doesn’t)

Is eating food for pleasure normal? Is it normal to overeat? Find out the answer to these questions in today's post!

Is eating food for pleasure normal? Is it normal to overeat? Find out the answer to these questions in today’s post!

If you have a complicated relationship with food, you may have noticed that you tend to fall into some sort of extreme, at least most of the time. You may overeat for weeks at a time, only to find yourself trying to “make up” for those extra calories by undereating and overexercising in the weeks following. You may eat super “healthy” for long stretches of time only to have it backfire and lead to binge eating spurts.

You might find yourself having a lot of black and white thinking around food or needing to control your food intake very strictly. Other people making food for you might stress you out or not having access to foods that you feel “safe” with might cause stress for you.

If any of this sounds like you and you are trying to go from a disordered relationship with food to a more natural or normal one, you may find that you feel a little rigid about what you think that is. Since our relationship with food has been very strict or extreme, we tend to want to attack “normal” eating the same way.

But normal eating is anything but rigid, strict or extreme. It’s actually the opposite.

Normal eating is:

  • occasionally eating more than our bodies need.
  • occasionally eating less than our bodies need.
  • eating for pleasure.
  • eating just because something tastes or looks really good.
  • eating because we are hungry.
  • eating sometimes because we are bored, tired or having a rough day.
  • eating food that you desire.
  • eating foods that give you energy.
  • eating until you’ve had enough.
  • eating nutritious foods and also less nutritious foods sometimes.
  • not judgemental or very rigid.
  • flexible and adaptive to day, the seasons, your schedule, environment and mood.
  • permissive. You can eat whatever you want or need and nothing is off limits.
  • not full of shoulds or shouldn’ts.
  • listening to and eating according to your fullness and hunger signals on a regular basis (but sometimes overriding them).

I know this can be confusing, right? On one hand, we hear that overeating and emotional eating are problems (and I even work with the population who struggles with these things). Or that undereating is a cause for concern. Or that we shouldn’t eat whatever we want whenever we want.

The difference between “normal” and abnormal eating

The difference between “normal” and abnormal or disordered eating from my perspective (remember I am not a therapist and do not give out medical advice) is in what we make this stuff mean (for example: “I am a bad person for eating this.”, “I am going to get fat from eating that ice cream.” etc) or the frequency with with we engage in these behaviors and thoughts. Overeating or undereating occasionally is not a problem. Doing those same things daily or for long periods of time (or bouncing back and forth between the two in extreme ways) is likely an issue. Inflexibility is another hint that something is off. It is not normal eating if you refuse to eat before you know the amount of calories in something. It can be normal to want to eat nutritious food most of the time but it’s not normal to never be willing to eat something that isn’t 100% for nutrition.

Another clue that eating strays from normal is if we have any physical or mental health issues developing because of our eating habits. Also, our own perception is a big clue to whether it’s normal or abnormal (though there are lots of people with eating issues who are unaware that they are doing anything abnormal). Does it “feel” like your eating is not normal? Do you find you think too much about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat? Do you make judgements about yourself if you eat too fullness or eat junk food? Does eating make you feel stress? Do you avoid social situations where food may be involved?

It’s entirely normal to sometimes overeat and sometimes eat for emotional reasons but when you find yourself always doing it or responding to it with harsh measures of retaliation it has entered disordered territory. Eating for pleasure is wonderful and a completely normal part of life but when eating becomes your sole pleasure in life or you don’t allow yourself to eat pleasurable food, it can be an issue. As a side note, you don’t have to be diagnosed with an eating disorder to have an unhealthy relationship with food or to not be eating normally. There is a huge spectrum of what is normal and what isn’t.

A final note if you want to work on eating normally:  Be cautious about labeling food or yourself as good or bad based on what, why and how you eat. Watch out for guilt, shame, rules, judgements or retaliative measures about eating – they never lead anywhere good! Be wary about how much of your thoughts or energy go towards thinking about food. It’s one thing to plan healthy meals to make your week easier, it’s another thing to obsess over it or freak out if you have to get take out one night. It’s one thing to look forward to a delicious upcoming meal, it’s another thing to have it be all you can think about.

You are supremely knowledgeable about your own body and her needs. Believe this! If you feel like you are really far removed from knowing what is “normal” eating anymore, let’s hop on the phone (schedule a discovery call with me here). Coaching a helpful and non-threatening way to explore what is going on in your life, find out your motivations and make lifestyle changes with judgement free support (all in a way that helps you get back to listening to yourself!).

Things That’ll Happen when You Stop Obsessing Over What and How Much to Eat

This croissant is not "bad" and you are not "bad" if you eat it. It's just food and eating one of them is not going to alter your body in a significant way. You can enjoy it freely.

This croissant is not “bad” and you are not “bad” if you eat it. It’s just food and eating one of them is not going to alter your body in a significant way. You can enjoy it freely.

Improving your relationship with food is a little bit like cleaning your house. You think you’re making awesome progress and you’ve worked really hard, but every time you turn around there is another pile of junk to deal with! Who put this here? When did I acquire this?? How did this get here?

All joking aside, it might be helpful to think about our food relationships getting “better” as something like a long hike! You may spend some time in valleys and on several peaks. It’s not a straight line from A to B. There might be detours onto a different trail, occasionally it might feel like you are back pedaling (why is this trail going down again, when we’ve been going up for so long!?), there will be some gorgeous views if you’re lucky, but sometimes it’s cloudy out and there won’t be any view – you’ll just have to trust that it’s there. Sometimes it’s all you can do to just keep your eyes on your feet and pray that they keep lifting up off the ground to take another step in front of you. At the end of the day, you’re exhausted, sore and filthy and yet you feel proud of your tenacity and maybe even look forward the next hike.

Improving your relationship with food is a little like hiking - tiring, long and sometimes frustrating but totally worth it.

(Summit of Mt Tecumseh this past weekend) Improving your relationship with food is a little like hiking – tiring, long and sometimes frustrating but totally worth it.

I’ve stumbled a lot along the way. The women I work with have too. Sometimes it feels like you are still at square one. But other times, if we look back at where we were a year ago, 2 years ago, 10 years ago, we can see how much progress we really have made.

One thing I’ve been noticing lately is how different my thoughts around food have gotten. For so very long, it was almost impossible for me to enjoy a meal without first having calculated the calories in it. I’d look at menus before arriving at a restaurant, so that I could factor in what meal would fit in calorically with the other meals that day. Everything had to add up correctly and I would plan and adjust constantly so that it did. It felt like a game that I could never win. When I stopped religiously calorie counting, it was incredibly hard not to do the mental math automatically. I had memorized the calorie count and nutritional details of almost every possible food out there. It’s really hard to “unlearn” that but I’ve made a huge effort to put my mind on the quality of the food I’m eating and learning how to read my hunger and fullness signals. Sometimes I’ve had to essentially “hush” that part of my brain that wants to add up the numbers. A lot at first. But I do that less and less now.

My point is that the less I focus on how much to eat and whether or not I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat something, the more “normal” eating makes sense. By holding on a little less tightly to controlling it all, the hold food has had on me has loosened up too. I let go of what I thought I couldn’t let go of and by doing that, it’s letting go of me too. I’ve been finding myself making choices lately, that may not be the “healthiest” of foods but being able to enjoy them in a reasonable amount – without it turning into a binge, or beating myself up. Enjoying without making it mean anything more.

I’ve been compiling a list of surprising things that have happened along the way as my relationship with food has become easier. Things I wasn’t expecting or I thought wasn’t a big deal until I looked back at where I was originally and could see what a huge deal it really is.

For someone who doesn’t eat emotionally, hasn’t spent their life dieting or bingeing or overeating every night of their lives, this stuff must sound so stupid! But for those of us for whom, food has taken on a larger than life personality, this kind of progress is invaluable.

I feel like I have so much more life, so much more to give and so much more ability to connect with others now since my mind isn’t completely consumed by thoughts about food or my body. That doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do still, but holy crap, I have come so far.

I’m sharing my list with you, in case you want to know how different your life could be if you work on some of these things too. (Check out my Pay What You Can Coaching offer this fall if you’re looking to make some big strides in your own relationship with food).

Things That’ll Happen when You Stop Obsessing Over What and How Much to Eat:

  1. I can fill up my plate at a bbq or other social gathering without spending even 1 second worrying about what everyone else is thinking about what I’m eating. And I can watch others eat without wondering how the heck they can eat what they do and be as thin as they are. Really, I can eat and be present with the people I’m with instead of interacting with both our plates of food.
  2. If I want ice cream, I can eat a big serving of real full fat ice cream and be both satisfied and not have it turn into a downward spiral into binge-land. I don’t have to satisfy my craving with a fat free, fake sugar filled pretend version of the real thing (which only makes me want to eat more and more of it). I want it, I eat it.
  3. That being said, eating what I want and when I want it, now means I want less of the things I thought I always wanted. I thought that if I had certain foods at my fingertips all the time, then I would eat them all the time – but that was only the case when I was telling myself that I couldn’t/shouldn’t eat them. Telling myself it’s ok to eat these things if I really want them strangely enough means I usually don’t even want them or if I do, I can eat a serving or two and be done with it.
  4. Going out to eat I can order whatever I really feel like eating – which might be a salad or baked fish or it might be something really decadent. It used to be about ordering whatever the most indulgent thing on the menu was – since I viewed going out to eat as a time to “cheat” and I usually went overboard.
  5. Not going to bed really full is nice. I am less likely to binge or eat too much because I’m not spending half my week eating as little as I possibly can. I’m able to listen to and eat what my body needs.
  6.  A chip is just a chip. A cookie is just a cookie. It’s not the doorway to weighing 400 lbs. A glass of wine does not equal gaining 3 lbs. An extra handful of nuts doesn’t mean I won’t fit into my jeans. It’s not a big deal.
  7. Eating too much is just something that happens occasionally. It is not the end of the world and it no longer ruins my day (or week). I move on instead of wallowing in it.
  8. Eating too little is no longer a badge of honor. I know I need more food to get through the day successfully so I feed my body appropriately – especially as I’ve started to lift heavier weights and go on longer hikes and bike rides. I just can’t do that stuff (and I enjoy it) if I’m not well fueled.
  9. Feeling strong and powerful in my workouts has become the goal and is now way more important than looking skinny or feeling thin. Do I look better because I exercise? Sure. But my size is no longer my focus. It’s barely even in the lens anymore.
  10. I regularly go into my closet and get rid of clothes that no longer fit. I no longer hold onto too tight clothes for the day when I finally fit into it again or onto too big stuff in case I gain weight again. I can live in my present body and not live in hope or fear of the future.
  11. Foods that I used to think tasted amazing actually don’t taste very good upon further inspection. This surprised me a lot! The texture of store bought frosting leaves a disgusting greasy residue in my mouth. Foods with artificial sweeteners taste too sweet and generally “off”. Cheez-its don’t really taste cheesy to me anymore.
  12. My weight is more stable. I go up and down a few pounds normally. No massive ups and massive downs. I know if I end up on the scale my weight will be somewhere in an 8 lb range (constipation, PMS, normal body fluctuations are much of that). As long as I don’t see anything way over or under that, I know I’m eating the right amount for my body.  Having this data, while triggering for some, actually helps reinforce that what I’m doing is working for me right now. I know I can trust my body, because things are balancing out on their own.

What do you think? Can you relate to any of these? What has been the most surprising benefit for you as you’ve made progress on your own eating concerns? What habits and changes have been the most helpful?

How to Feel Your Feelings (so You Can Stop Eating Them)

How to Feel Your Feelings instead of eating them

How to Feel Your Feelings instead of eating them

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile (or are on my email list), you’ve heard me say many times that a huge cause of emotional eating is from us not being willing to feel our feelings. We feel the first twinge of something uncomfortable – something we think we can’t feel – and our first response is to push it away and stuff food in our mouths as a barrier to keep those feelings at a distance. We think we won’t survive if we let these uncomfortable feelings in, if we allow them space, they’ll take over and we’ll be stuck feeling terrible forever.

But that’s not how feelings work. Feelings come and go. They pass just like clouds on a windy day. They come over us in in waves, and yes, sometimes they are quite strong, but they’re not deadly. You will survive them.

 

Toddlers and Cats are Skilled in Feeling Feelings

I have two examples I like to use when describing how feelings really work and how easy it is to actually survive them. Hopefully you can relate to one of them! The first is that of a cat. One minute, your cat is purring happily on your lap, enjoying you petting her. She might even lick your hand and drool – that’s how much she’s loving the attention. This might last for 2 minutes or it might go on for a half hour or more, but eventually, she’s going to decide that she’s had enough and she’ll jump off you and go do her thing elsewhere, and then look at you like she doesn’t even know you. If you get up and go try to pet her now, she’ll probably walk away again, almost recoiling from your touch. She’s totally over it. Her reaction to you is so changed that it’s almost as if she has no memory that she was begging for your attention just a moment ago. The other example is that of a toddler. Think of a toddler in the grocery store. One minute, he’s happily babbling and playing with a toy he brought from home. All is well in the world. The next minute, a colorful snack in the store catches his attention and he has a complete meltdown over it. He must have it but the parent is unaware of what specific object of his desire is. He can’t communicate verbally what it is that he wants so his only tools are crying, screaming and stomping until hopefully the parent figures it out. By the time the parent has gotten through the checkout line and back to the car, the toddler is calm again and happily playing with his toy. Except for a few drying tear streaks on his cheeks, you would never know that anything dramatic had just occurred.

Toddlers are good at feeling their feelings. You can be too.

Toddler’s feelings change in just an instant and they feel them deeply. One minute they are happy and peaceful and the next it is a total meltdown, and back to being peaceful all before you can catch your breath. Their feelings are felt deeply and they come out of it ok. You will too!

Our uncomfortable feelings act the same way as the cat and the toddler – they come on strong and may feel overwhelming but suddenly they’re gone and we’re still the same person we were before they happened, and a new feeling is in it’s place. You can get through this. You don’t have to eat to deal with it.

Feeling your feelings can take a little work to get used to doing regularly, but it’s actually surprisingly simple.

 

How to Feel Your Feelings

How do you feel your feelings?? You just feel them.

That’s really it. Step 1: Feel them.

You let them happen. You let them be. You let the awful, the uncomfortable and the stressful feelings come over you and then you don’t react to them beyond letting yourself feel the way you feel.

Feeling your feelings almost feels like you’re not doing anything. There’s very little action and doing and for some of us, this is what makes it so challenging. We are used to “doing” – eating, avoiding, restricting, resisting, distracting in every area of our lives.

Feeling uncomfortable feelings takes practice because we’re not used to letting ourselves feel that way.  Most of us do better with feeling good. Have you ever just sat outside for a few minutes and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine? You feel good doing this. It’s easy. You don’t have to work hard at feeling that way. We know how it feels to just be, for a few moments and enjoy the peace and quiet and be with our thoughts in those moments. After a few minutes in the fresh air, you feel renewed, empowered and ready to go back to your day. But your mood can change quickly even after a nice time outside – you might get a phone call you didn’t want to get, your boss may throw a huge last minute project on your desk or you may run into someone you really don’t like. Really our feelings change all the time due to our interactions with others and thoughts we’re having (conscious ones and unconscious ones). The good feelings pass and the bad ones pass too.

When a feeling you don’t want to feel comes up, think of a time when you were sitting outside enjoying the day and how easy it is to feel your feelings in that moment. You can feel your less comfortable feelings just as easily if you get into the habit of doing it.

 

Step By Step “How to Feel Your Feelings” For Those Who Can’t Believe that “Just Feeling Them” is All There is To It.

 

  1. When a feeling you don’t want to feel makes you want to run to the kitchen, go to a quiet place where you can be alone, without food and without your phone, ipad or TV.
  2. Just be with your thoughts and feelings. There is nothing to do but feel whatever way you are feeling.
  3. Notice that you’ll probably repeatedly feel the urge to get up – and you might keep feeling like you have to do something but not remember what that was (that’s your autopilot reaction to go comfort and distract with food). Notice that that is what you are doing (going on autopilot) and just consciously bring your attention back to your feelings.

Most of us need something to “do” when we’re first starting out with this stuff. We’re so not used to just allowing ourselves to be that we will feel like we’re wasting time or that we’re doing things wrong if there isn’t a clear linear path to progress. There isn’t one so you can stop looking.

4. If you need something more concrete in the beginning stages of this work, here’s a           writing exercise to help you feel your feelings and pull your attention back to them:

  • Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
  • Write down exactly what you are feeling. Describe it as best you can. What does it feel like? What does it make you want to do? If it had a color, what would it be? Where in the body are you physically feeling the feeling? Describe any physical sensations and where you feel them. Is the feeling heavy? Does it vibrate? Does it give you energy or take your energy away?

Flesh out as much as you can about this feeling. Doing this will help you start to recognize this feeling the next time you feel it, and it will also help show you that it’s something that is harmless. By the time you finish describing it the feeling will probably have just about passed.

 

What Not To Do When Feeling Your Feelings

I’ve already mentioned that when we’re feeling our feelings it’s important to not avoid, resist or push away the feeling (which we often do by “doing”). Another thing that we have to do when learning how to just “feel” is to not find ways to distract ourselves. Obviously distracting ourselves with food is how we got into this situation to begin with and so distracting is something we’re really good at.

If you look at advice articles on how to stop eating too much, the advice is almost always full of things like have a glass of water, chew on something crunchy and low calorie like celery, go for a walk, call a friend, read a book etc. Now, I think those things can sometimes be helpful overall when learning new habits that don’t include eating junk food – but they’re not helpful to someone who has spent years not feeling their feelings and is trying to learn how to do that. In those cases, going for a walk or drinking water just serves as a temporary filler or distraction which will defeat the whole purpose of this. Sure, going for a walk when you don’t want to feel uncomfortable will probably make you feel better (and it’s good for you), but for today’s purpose, we’re not trying to make ourselves feel better. We’re trying to learn how to be ok when we feel badly. Teach yourself that you don’t have to “fix” your feelings, you just need to be able to feel it and food will becomes less of a coping mechanism (because there’s nothing you have to fix – nothing went wrong and this will pass!).

Don’t do anything right now. Just feel. Your job is to get comfortable with being with yourself and not do anything other than that.

If you find yourself resorting to avoiding, pushing, resisting or distracting yourself – planning your next vacation, thinking about cooking dinner, reaching for your smartphone (which is supposed to be in the other room, remember?) come back to the writing exercise above. Start writing again. See if your feeling has changed from when you first started to write.

Am I Better Now?

That’s really it. I know, you might have expected a complicated process but really feeling feelings is something simple that we innately know how to do. We’ve taught ourselves to not feel them and it’s just a matter of relearning how to feel.

As with most things I write and teach my clients about, this is not something you do once and then are suddenly great at. It takes a lot of practice, vulnerability and a willingness to embrace your fears. You will occasionally resort to old habits of trying to comfort yourself with food when you feel bored, frustrated, angry, sad, confused etc even when you think you’ve mastered this skill. But keep coming back to it over and over. Be willing to feel your feelings always, no matter how terrible they are and no matter how badly you don’t want to feel that way. You have no choice really. You can either feel the crappy feeling now and have it move on (like the cat or the toddler above) or you can avoid the feeling and eat instead, only to still feel crappy later anyway!

Just like with all the other peaceful eating skills I talk about, feeling your feelings is just one of many things we need to do for ourselves to be well. It’s a practice that you can develop and customize and make your own, so that you can have the relationship with food that you’d like to have. This alone won’t make you better, but it’s absolutely necessary if you’re an emotional eater.

Can you feel anything without turning to food? That’s the goal. When the day comes when you are willing to feel any feeling, not because you like feeling bad (no one does), but because you know they’re just feelings and you can handle anything, that’s how you’ll know that you are beating this stuff. What’s the worst that will happen if you let yourself feel what you’re feeling (instead of turning to food)? Nothing.  I know you can handle any feeling. Now it’s your turn to convince yourself of it.

Do you want help putting this practice in your own life? Contact me to set up a free consult and let’s see if we’d be a good fit to work together.


Download your free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldnt Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!).

Want to Lose Weight? Commit to A Sacred Self Care Plan (and yes, you are worth it)

Make self care sacred, non-negotiable so that the things you need to do to lose weight or live your live don't fall to the wayside.

Make self care sacred so that the things you need to do to lose weight or live your life your way don’t fall to the wayside.

If we want to successfully lose weight or stop overeating once and for all, we need to create an environment where this is possible.

Unfortunately we tend to live high stress lives where we don’t have much time to tend to needs beyond work and family , which means that our health isn’t always at the top of our priority list, but if we want to make progress in this area, it has to be. There is no option other than making it a priority (if you are serious about making it happen). Working on this stuff has to be just as important as sleeping, going to work, and caring for your family. We have to fit it in. We can’t keep putting it on the back burner and expecting the same results as people who do make their life fit their goals.

An environment that is conducive to weight loss and not overeating is one that holds a sacred space for self-care. People who lose weight for the long term do it because they have committed themselves to a lifestyle that includes self care. Knowing this can be a great tool for weight loss and for finding ways to make self care a priority in your life.

What is self care?

Self care is all of the deliberate things we do to keep ourselves performing and functioning our best. Fitting in exercise that makes your body feel good, Making time for friends, setting aside the money and time for a massage, eating food that nourishes your body and practicing meditation which calms your anxiety are all examples of self care. Even basic things that most of us may take for granted – like showering each day and taking medications can be included in self care.

I want you to make self care sacred, which means holding some space for yourself at the top of your priority list. I’m not saying you have to save all the room at the top for you, but please put yourself at least on the same lateral line as your partner, your kids or your job. You are not less than them and you don’t deserve less care.

The idea of sacred self care may seem indulgent, it may seem like a luxury afforded to those who have more time than you, or it may just seem completely out of reach if you are someone who does nothing but give to everyone in your life but you.  It’s not indulgent, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to have the emotional, mental and physical capacity to be the woman you want to be. And especially if that woman is someone who wants to lose weight or stop eating too much.

I understand that you want to be a great mom, wife, sister, friend, employee and/or boss and so you think that means sacrificing your own needs and wants in order to provide for others (because that’s what society tells us we’re supposed to do). Here’s the thing though, a physically exhausted mom is not going to be able to respond to her child the way she’d like to, a mentally drained employee is going to be less productive and more likely to make mistakes at work. An emotionally tapped out wife is not going to be able to connect to her partner at the end of the day or be able to maintain friendships. When we support our needs first, we actually have more to give elsewhere in our lives. If you are well nourished – body, mind and soul – then think of how much more you will be able to connect to the people in your life? How much more will you be able to understand your child’s needs? How much more will you be able to focus at work? How much more of a friend will you be able to be?

If sacred self care isn’t appealing to you on the grounds that it will help you be more available in all the relationships you are already giving everything to, guess what? The benefits don’t end there. It’ll also help you be more creative, connect to yourself or your higher power on a deeper spiritual level and you’ll be able to tap into your abilities in ways that you didn’t know were possible – all because when you are well cared for your brain and spirit have the flexibility to go places beyond just making it through your daily routine.

Why does self care being sacred matter for weight loss and ending overeating?

It’s pretty simple actually: Holding self care sacred means that you don’t automatically push your needs aside as at the first inkling that someone requests your time or attention.  Someone who is has made self care a priority is not afraid to raise their hand and say “Hold up, I can’t stay late after work tonight” because she has an exercise class to get to or “Honey, will you do the dishes for me?” so that she can do food prep for the week” and she is going to get where she wants to be. The woman who holds self care sacred sees herself, her needs and goals just as important as the goals and needs of the other people and things in her life. This means that the things they need to do to make those things happen, won’t be pushed aside until all the kids are out of the house (or retirement).

She’s going to get her workout in. She’s going to move her body the way it asks to be moved. She’s going to make sure she has time to plan, buy and prep healthy nutritious foods that keep her satisfied (and less swayed by chips and sweets). She recognizes that getting a massage isn’t just an hour of quiet to herself – it’s also a super healthy thing to do for her health, which spills over into the health of her family. She’s not going to ditch what she needs and wants for another day, another time – she can care for her family, do an amazing job at work and make time for herself too and she understands that having all of this may require asking for help.

To create an environment where weight loss and overeating is a thing of the past, you want to create a self care plan. This plan or routine has to be one that speaks to you, that makes you feel soothed, supported, nourished and tended to. A self care plan should contain the things that you need to have in your life in order to feel and function your best. Only you can determine what those things are and maybe right now they are so far out of reach that you don’t have the faintest idea of what you need to be your best – ok, then brainstorm. Get out a pen and paper and dream a little – if you had all the time, help and support that you needed, what do you think you would need to be your best on a daily basis? To keep you running efficiently and not stressed?

Here are some of the things that are requirements in my self care plan (which I definitely hold sacred):

  • I sleep late. I’m naturally a night owl and am my most productive and creative in the evening hours. This means I stay up  later than most but I also require a lot of sleep (and obviously sleep is really important). So to combat my late hours, I sleep late whenever it’s possible. I’m up early when I have a morning client or an appointment, but if Saturday comes and I don’t have to be anywhere, you will totally find me in bed until 11am (possibly later)! Getting enough sleep and doing it on the hours when it makes most sense for my life is super important to me.
  • I exercise as frequently as possible but also listen closely to how my body is feeling on any given day. I have learned that I’m someone who needs movement in her life to stay sane and the more I move, the better I feel. Exercise reduces my anxiety, helps to clear my head and keeps my body strong. I push myself when it feels right but I also back off when it’s right for me. It’s really important to know your body and what it needs. Because I want to be able to keep moving my body, I have to listen to it and that means adapting to how it feels on any given day – some days I feel like I can do anything and other days, a short walk or gentle yoga is all I will feel like doing. When I miss a few days of activity, I start to feel cranky, restless and borderline depressed. I also know that a lack of exercise can be a trigger for me to eat more (may sound crazy but it’s how my mind works!). If I want to do what I need to do in life (and also keep my weight stable), exercise is a must and I make the time for it, even if it’s only 10 minutes some days.
  • I get an extended massage and facial every 6 weeks. Indulgent and expensive? Maybe, but that’s where I choose to spend my extra money and it’s worth every penny to my physical and mental well being. I have high blood pressure so getting a massage is a great way to force me to relax and unwind (something that is challenging for me) and it keeps my muscles from getting too tight from all my workouts. And the facial is also relaxing of course, but really I do it because it keeps me looking my best (and I am vain as they come)! Haha!
  • I spend time doing a few things I love every week. My personality type is one that gets stressed out easily so I make sure I have some time for hobbies and activities that relax and reenergize me. Reading, working on my genealogy projects, meeting up with friends, dinner out with John, cooking an elaborate fancy meal (that may or may not fit into the category of healthy) or working on different craft projects are a few things I like to “schedule in” to the week. If I don’t make room for at least 2 or 3 hours of “fun” time for myself throughout the week then I find I start to get stressed and restless which honestly affects my work, mood and relationships. Doing the fun stuff keeps me more balanced!
  • I plan ahead and prepare for the week. As I’ve mentioned, I’m an anxious, easily stressed lady (see a pattern to my self care, haha!) and there’s nothing I deal with more poorly than being unprepared or not having enough time to do things. I’m not good at rushing and I know I need a certain plan and order to keep me functioning my best. This means, if I have a really busy week coming up, I look ahead and plan out simple meals, snacks and even my workouts. If I do this, I know I’ll stay on track. If I don’t do these things, convenience foods that make me feel like crap suddenly find their way into my diet or I will miss 3 days of exercise in a row, which tends to make me slide into tricky territory with my eating habits. Taking the time to think ahead and prepare for busy weeks makes a massive difference in whether I finish the week feeling awesome or feel completely broken down. I’d rather feel awesome so it’s worth the hour or two it takes me to do this!

    Reading is a part of how I relax and destress - so it's something I make room for in my self care plan.

    Reading is a part of how I relax and destress – so it’s something I make room for in my self care plan.

That’s just some of the non-negotiable stuff in my self care plan. It took me a long time to feel comfortable making room for all of this in my life. I think as women, naturally we tend to feel guilty about making time for ourselves (because we’re the caregivers in many areas of our life) but it’s really something we need to overcome if we want to get the most out of our lives. You may not be able to do the specific things I mentioned in self care (not many folks have the luxury of sleeping late or keeping my weird hours!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what you need and how that can work in your life. 

My weight journey has been complicated but it got less so when I decided to make myself a priority. When I put “me” first (through sacred self care), I’m less likely to have a binge, less likely to skip a month’s worth of exercise, less likely to “need” that cheesecake and less likely to yo yo up and down on the scale. That kind of peace with food is invaluable to me and I don’t think I could have it without dedicating some room for a serious self care practice!

If you don’t have a life that has room for self care in it right now, what can you do to change that? Can you hire someone to help with childcare (even for 2 hours a week)? Can you ask your spouse or partner to pitch in more? Can you talk to your boss about flex time at work so that you can work hours that make more sense for your life? Is there anyone you could barter with to get your needs met? (Maybe you have a skill or time you could offer to someone else in trade for what you need help with?)

Think about all possibilities before you say “I can’t do any of that”. What could you do? What could you possibly ask for? Where can you get help so that your needs are a priority?

First, know that you are worth being on the front burner and second, ask for the support you need so that you can create the life you want.


Download your free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldnt Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!).

Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight Forever (Instead of Fast)

A few things to practice if you want to lose weight forever (give up losing weight fast!)Last week I talked about the benefits of switching from a “fast” weight loss mindset or timeline to a forever one. This week, I promised I would share some of the ways you can switch out of that “fast” mindset into a “forever” one. Yes, it is slower – the weight will not fall off you in a week. It may take months and in many cases years, but if you learn how to live this way and really commit to it, you won’t find yourself yo-yo-ing up and down attempting to solve the same problem repeatedly – and that means you’ll have more time to live your life the way you were meant to live it.

So how do we get you on the path to forever weight loss?

Here are a few things you’ll need to start practicing:

1. Aim for what we call the 90/10 rule. I’ve talked about this several times on the blog, make 90% of your daily food intake high quality and nutritious (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, animal or plant protein sources etc) and then 10% can be whatever you want (sugar, candy, chips, booze). You can do this several ways – some people do this by meal – they’ll have 9 super high quality meals and then their 10th meal is a fun cheat meal. If you’re a calorie counter (not my preference) and you are aiming for 1800 calories a day, you can sprinkle in 180 calories of treats in your day (and the other 1620 calories would be super nutritious stuff). I do it a little more loosely because I don’t like counting things anymore – I tend to save my treats for sugar in my coffee, some wine or chocolate. Do I stray from 90/10? Absolutely. It’s not a hard and fast rule – it’s a general guideline to try to live by (and it can help us make better choices throughout the day).

One thing people get confused with when talking about 90% nutritious / 10% treats is that they think that means that their nutritious food has to be boring or bland. Not at all! I use things like avocado, spicy extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, spices, herbs, lemons, chile-garlic paste, tamari and toasted sesame oil to add richness and flavor to my food. Those are all nutritious things. And I always buy the highest quality ingredients that I can afford. Try not to confuse nutritious with being low fat, low calorie or low flavor – they are not mutually exclusive.

2. Get familiar with how foods make your body feel. Often we think we “know” how a food makes us feel because we like or don’t like a food. We see our preferences for food as being evidence for how they feel in our body – but it’s not the same thing. I loved doritos and bagels and found myself buying them when I needed comfort – thinking that emotional comfort was the same as making my body feel good but they actually both make me feel awful physically which I only noticed when I started to look into it.

Keep a food journal for several weeks and write down everything you eat / drink and note how you feel immediately after each meal and how you feel a few hours after. After awhile you’ll see patterns emerging – you may discover that every time you eat rice noodles you feel ravenous at bedtime and that makes it hard to sleep. You may find that when you have oatmeal for breakfast you feel like you can go forever between meals. You may find that eating beans makes you feel bloated and tired but eating salmon makes you feel energized and satisfied. Once you know what foods make you feel great and what ones make you feel not so good, you’ll find making choices about what you should eat (and how much) becomes really easy. Now that I’m so aware of how awful bagels and doritos make me feel, I have no interest in them. And it’s way easier to not binge on something if you don’t want it!

3. Eat according to how much food it takes to make you feel comfortable/ just satisfied. This one can be a huge challenge but is so worth practicing. Don’t eat to total fullness or very full. But also don’t let yourself get too hungry. Aim to keep yourself always between just satisfied and slightly hungry. What does that even mean? You have to experiment to figure this out for yourself. Most of us eat according to how many calories something is, or how many serving sizes, points or some other unit of measurement. But how many times have you finished eating your portion of one of these measurements and felt like it was too much or not enough? Instead of using units of measurement to determine how much you should eat, I want you to get used to using your own body’s signals to determine when you should stop eating.

This is really scary at first if you’ve never done it before. You’ll need to keep a food journal (like above) for several weeks and note after each meal where you were on a hunger scale – still hungry? satisfied? full? very full? Start to notice how little food it takes to get you from very hungry to just satisfied. There are many hunger scales out there (a quick google search can help you find one that works for you) –  use one that makes the most sense to you.

How much food do you have to eat to go from just satisfied to full? This experiment requires patience and quite a bit of mindfulness – which is possibly something you are not used to doing when eating. Stick with it until you are sure you know what “satisfied” vs. full vs. hungry feels like. Describe those feelings in your body in great detail – what do they feel like to you? Most of us have forgotten what hunger, satisfaction and fullness feels like – but when we were children we naturally ate according to listening to our body. Once you know what they feel like and the difference between them, your goal is to always eat to “just satisfied”. Practice doing this over and over again until it becomes second nature. One key to being successful in doing this is to not let yourself ever get too hungry. A little bit of hunger is fine (in fact it can do many of us some good) but letting ourselves get past a certain point of hunger will make it incredibly hard to make good decisions when food is finally within reach. A little hungry is ok. Starving is not.

Lose weight forever instead of fast.

Want to lose weight forever? We have to practice things a little differently.

4. Practice being “okay” about food/body things we normally freak out about. The scale going up a little. Your pants fitting tight today. Skipping a couple of workouts in a row. Eating too much at your last meal. Eating foods that you have labeled as “bad”. Life is going to happen – no matter how long you are on this journey, you are going to have days where you don’t eat the way you want to or you eat more than you would have liked. The best thing to do when that happens is to not make a big deal about it. Accept that it happened, don’t beat yourself up or make judgements about it and move on. One of the things that keeps us make poor choices about food is constantly feeling bad about our choices. We think that if we don’t criticize ourselves then we’ll just keep doing it and blow up to extreme proportions but really our constant criticisms is exactly what makes us feel bad enough to reach for the extra food. Notice your reaction when these situations come up and try swapping out negative words and thoughts towards yourself for neutral ones (I like saying “oh well” or “no big deal”) and then literally force yourself to move on. Don’t wallow or go back looking for more evidence that you did something wrong (yes, I know this is challenging – it only gets easier if you interrupt the pattern regularly).

The less a “big deal” I make any of my eating stuff, the less of a big deal it is. It’s the truth. My weight doesn’t go up and down by 10 or 20 pounds every other month now. I can enjoy an indulgent night out with my husband that includes truffle fries, wine and dessert without hating myself for 10 days afterwards.

Try to be kinder to yourself for 2 months. No name calling, no catastrophizing, no harsh punishments, restrictive eating or excessive exercise regimens in retaliation. If it’s easier to put yourself in the right mindframe, practice living the same way as you think someone without an overeating issue or weight problem might live. Does a naturally slender person panic when they have a single piece of cake? Does she tear herself down for 3 days after eating it? No. She eats it. Enjoys it and goes about her life. Pretend you are her (for 2 months) – and then let’s see how many of her natural kinder habits you’ve started to acquire.

5. Make feeding yourself properly a priority.  In our culture, we’ve come to value convenience, speed and comfort over the quality of the food we put in our bodies. Yes, our lives are busy today, but they’re also way easier than those of our ancestors. We whine about having prepare meals that take more than 10 minutes to make which is hilarious when our ancestors essentially spent their entire days doing tasks that contributed to the feeding of the family. We have all these conveniences in life now that make it possible that we can live these busy lives full of other things that take up so much of our time – but we bitch about this tiny thing we have to do like grocery shopping and cooking. Why is something that is so crucial to our health and survival given so little priority in all of our lives? We all have the same amount of hours in our day and I will bet that there is something in your life that can take a back seat so that food prep can take a priority. It’s really about weighing what’s important to us and there is no way around this one – if you want to lose weight, if you want to get healthy, if you want to be less challenged emotionally by food – then you must make food planning, shopping and prep a top priority.

Time and time again when I see people fall off the wagon, it’s because they gave up in this area. I know it’s easier to order pizza 3 nights a week and to hit the drive thru at lunch – but it’s not going to get you where you want to go.

Look, I know as much as I love to cook, there are days where I just want someone to come into my kitchen and cook for me (and clean up!! So much clean up!). I know how hard it can be. But you know what’s harder? Eating for convenience and comfort and being unhappy forever with how that makes your body look or feel. Keeping you fed well is the only way you will ever reach your goals – and unless you are in a tiny subset of the population who can afford to have a private chef, this is something you need to put at the top of your priority list. There is no negotiating here.


So those are just a few of the things you can start doing today to make a switch from fast weight loss to forever weight loss. If you need some support in making this switch – I know someone who could help (me!). Shoot me a note and let’s set up an appointment.

Make no mistake – none of this is easy at first. It’s essentially a complete reversal to what most of us have been doing our whole lives and it takes a lot of discipline to change it. Remember, anything we want to get good at, we have to practice. No one wakes up one day and is an amazing piano player or fluent in 4 languages after reading one blog post or book. No one is an incredible public speaker the first time they get on stage. No one can do advanced yoga asanas the first time they get on the mat. No one creates their best artwork the first time they ever put pencil to paper. Overhauling our eating habits so that we can have less ups and downs throughout our life is something we have to practice – daily. You can’t do these things once or twice and expect to be fixed. But if you come back to these things daily, and really make the effort to put them into your life and call yourself out when you try to hide or lie your way through it, then I know you will make huge strides towards forever weight loss and a happier relationship with your body and food. And isn’t that worth it?

Download your free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldnt Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!).