Shutting Down the Food Police

Do you have a set of unreasonable rules that dieting has created? Is your head constantly filled with chanting words that promote or demote you from eating food that you love?

 

This is the “food police” voice that is constantly telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat. It’s sort of like the angel and the devil sitting on your shoulders, one telling you it’s okay to eat the chocolate cake, but the other yelling “NO” don’t do it.

 

Let’s say you decided to have that chocolate cake and the “devil” is sitting on your shoulder beaming with pride because you followed her advice. But, as soon as you eat that cake you feel guilty about the amount of calories and fat that you just consumed. Even though you enjoyed the chocolate cake, you still feel guilty.

 

Most chronic dieters have this sense of guilt each and every time they eat something that the “food police’ is saying they shouldn’t.

 

This is the voice that can make it hard to choose foods your body is really asking for.

 

The media and various companies place thoughts in your head related to nutrition and ways to “cheat” and make yourself feel guiltless because of the way these food items are advertised. The slogans and jingles are created to convince you that this cookie will prevent you from being “bad” on your diet, and will keep you on track.

 

These are the advertisements that cause you to have negative food thoughts and judgments towards food.

 

You are not born with these food judgments; you develop them over the years of dieting and being influenced by the media (or friends/family) penetrating these images of good vs. bad in your head.

 

The next time you pick up a food item that you enjoy and you contemplate “should I or shouldn’t I”, take a moment to listen to your body and the food talk going on in your head.

 

Push away the negative thoughts and change the tape that plays in your head. If this is a food that you truly desire, go ahead and enjoy it without guilt in a very mindful way. Eat the food slowly, truly savoring each bite. Put your fork down between each bite and let the food settle in your body. Describe the texture of the food? How does it taste? Are you enjoying each bite?

 

When you start to eat food mindfully, you’ll learn your true food preferences and be able to identify fullness more easily because you are giving your body the time to talk to you.

 

It is important to realize that this one food eaten in this one moment will not make you gain weight. You may actually find that you don’t love the chocolate cake as much as you thought you did.

 

Are you stuck in a dieter’s mindset due to your “food police” and negative self-talk? I can help you reframe that negative talk and turn it into something powerful. You can change your thoughts and get rid of the guilt around food!

 

Head over to TalkWithBonnie.com and answer a few questions – we’ll pick a time to talk that works best for you.

 

Mastering Intuitive Eating

My client, Amanda, who is working with me on intuitive eating, walked into my office, sat down and starting crying. Once she was able to stop crying, she told me how she recently had a breast cancer scare. Her doctor called her and told her she needed to go for a second mammogram, they “saw” something on the first one. After the mammogram, a biopsy needed to be done. The results came back as benign, and she was crying of happiness.

 

What a sigh of relief.

 

Now, her focus shifted back to taking care of herself since in the 2 weeks prior while she was going through what seemed like torture and waiting for results, she found herself soothing herself with comfort foods.

 

Isn’t it crazy how life often throws you curveballs? They come with no warning and can sweep you off your feet.

 

These curve balls can often make it difficult for you to stay focused on your intuitive eating journey. You may come face-to-face with various obstacles you don’t expect, and feel like you have no support, even when you need it the most.

 

In theory, you should be able to use the techniques you learned throughout your journey, but training is one thing; practice, support and accountability is another. It can be extremely beneficial to continue to have support while you start integrating your intuitive eating training into your daily life.

 

This is where my new membership program Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle can play a role. This program will provide you with the support and accountability you need while you embark on integrating your intuitive eating practice into your daily life. You will have my support as well as the support of a group of wonderful women who are all on the same journey.

 

With this membership program, we meet twice every month for live, small group coaching calls on the phone and during open office hours in our private Facebook group. During these calls and during open office hours, we work through any lingering diet mentalities you may have, bust through your limiting beliefs and, most importantly, deal with challenging times in your life without falling back to using food to cope.

 

The best part of this Mastery Circle is that what we focus on and discuss depends on YOU. Whatever obstacle you may face or struggle you may have, you can ask me and your new family for support and we can help you through it. You will always have someone on your side.

 

Head on over to IntuitiveEatingMasteryCircle.com for all the details and to get started right away. Register by midnight Eastern on Wednesday September 13th and SAVE 50%.

 

If you have any questions about the program, please email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com so I can help you and see if this program is a right fit for you.

 

I look forward to seeing you in our Mastery Circle!

When Eating is a Non-Issue and Food Decisions Just Happen

When you want to get into a routine and build something new into your life, one way to do so is to schedule and plan.  As a chronic dieter, this was (or maybe still is) also true for you when it comes to eating for weight loss (a.k.a. dieting).

 

You schedule the number of meals you’ll eat that day based on when the plan tells you to, and you restructure your life around that plan.  You find that you’re constantly thinking about what you’re supposed to be eating next, will you be eating it “on time” and if you didn’t pack it with you, will you be able to find something comparable.  You find the only thing you are thinking about is food.

 

I want you to remember a time where you weren’t worrying about your weight or your food.  You lived your life and when you were hungry you ate, you stopped when you were full and you weren’t frantically wondering if a food fell into your plan if you wanted to have it.  For many of you trying to get back to this memory, it might take you all the way back to your childhood days—and that’s OK.

 

When you were younger and there’s less to worry about, that carefree attitude translated easier to food.  Eating was just something you did in between all the other fun things you did each day. And you enjoyed every bite you took.

 

This is intuitive eating at its finest….when

 

…..Eating is a Non-Issue and Food Decisions Just Happen

 

Now that you are older and have been influenced by the diet culture that surrounds you, well, it hasn’t been so easy for you to return to the way you were born.

 

I know you have this deep desire to become an intuitive eater again. I know this because I have spoken to hundreds of you wishing it were easier.  I know how easy it is to fall back into diet mentality, and I also know how important support is for you on this journey.

 

Free Training

Join me tomorrow, Thursday September 7 at 8 pm EST for a Facebook Live training where I will discuss how you can make intuitive eating second nature again.

 

I’m going live in my private Facebook group, so if you aren’t yet a member of our group, click here now to join us for free.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn during our Facebook Live training:

  • The #1 reason you struggle with implementing the intuitive eating principles
  • What it really takes to make intuitive eating a part of your being
  • How you can be at peace with food and yourself so you can enjoy life to the fullest

 

Oh, and if you are not on Facebook and want to watch the replay, just send me an email to Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com and I’ll send you the recording.

 

How Do You Handle Food-Related Stress?

Food is supposed to be enjoyed. Yet, when speaking with so many clients, and potential clients, they tell me that food is stressful. All aspects of food, whether its deciding what to eat, shopping and preparing food for meals, or even the thought of going out to eat food.

 

Stress, stress, stress!

 

Do you feel the same way?

 

If you have had a difficult relationship with food for some time now, then you can probably relate.

 

I know you probably want food to be a non-issue in your life. And you know what? It can be.

 

Let’s first start with 3 strategies that you can put into place immediately to help you minimize the stress around food.

 

Strategy #1: Set up your environment for success.

While I’m all about teaching you how to be intuitive in your eating (of course…I teach intuitive eating!), I am also very practical. It is important to be mindful of your eating and one way to do that is to reduce your external eating cues. That means put all food away after you’ve eaten and don’t leave food on the counters or table. If food is left out, it can very easily lead to mindless munching which then leads to feelings of guilt and frustration for eating when you weren’t hungry.

 

Strategy #2: Seek assistance from your family members.

Food shopping and meal prep doesn’t have to just be your responsibility. Get everyone involved in the menu planning. Even better, assign everyone a night to prepare the dinner. This way the whole family is involved, the kids will more likely eat what they help to prepare, and you get quality family time too.

 

Strategy #3. Start to use meditation and visualization. Meditation can be a powerful tool to help keep your mind clear and stress-free. You can use meditation as a way to visualize yourself being stress-free around food and, by visualizing that, you can start to believe it will happen too.

 

These strategies are a good place to get started and you can use them as a way to figure out what works best for you.

 

But I have more!

 

Come join my 3-Day Challenge – Managing Food-Related Stress.

 

It starts TODAY, August 30th and runs through Friday September 1 and is happening in my Private Facebook Group.

 

Download your free e-Book “How to Manage Food-Related Stress” (which we are using throughout the challenge) as a tool to teach you ways to manage your stress around food.

 

Head over to our Private Facebook Group to see what Day One of the challenge entails!

 

See you there!

 

Here’s the BIG Difference Between Intuitive Eating and Dieting

Picture this: A new diet comes to market. It’s exciting; this will be the one. You start the diet and things are going well. But then you had a bad day at work, you went on vacation or you had a fight with your boyfriend. Or, you get on the scale on weigh-in day and it hasn’t budged.

 

Either way, you ended up in the pint of ice cream saying to yourself “forget it, what does it matter anyway”.

 

You have just “thrown in the towel” from another diet. If you are a chronic dieter, then more than likely you have “thrown in the towel” quite a few times.

 

But, have you ever asked yourself, “When will this end?”

 

I’ll tell you when! When you finally realize that diets are not working for you. Never have, never will. When you decide that to give up dieting, you need another path. And, you have discovered intuitive eating is that path.

 

Okay, so let’s talk about this intuitive eating path.

 

You start working with me to learn how to reclaim being an intuitive eater (I say “reclaim” because let me remind you that you were born an intuitive eater). And you immediately are having major “aha” moments. Wow, you are discovering things about yourself, your past, your beliefs that you never realized impacted your relationship with food.

 

This is great! You laugh, you cry, all from a good place of finally moving forward.

 

Then it happens. You disappear, stop showing up for your appointments and stop returning emails and phone calls.

 

What is going on?

 

More than likely, an old familiar trigger has popped up and you haven’t yet learned how to handle it. So, you fall back into past overeating habits. Now you feel bad, embarrassed and say to yourself “you see, this won’t work either”. And, you throw in the towel.

 

Now here is the difference between intuitive eating and dieting….

 

THERE IS NO FAILURE IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

THERE IS NO “THROWING IN THE TOWEL” IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

Intuitive eating is a learning experience. It’s a process of ups and downs. Whatever trigger has thrown you “for a loop”, you’ll learn from it. Don’t let it take you back to a place that you DON’T want to be….back to the land of dieting!

 

I am here to help you become an intuitive eater. I can help you reach your goal of being diet-free.

 

Reach out to me if you are interested in going from Dieter to Intuitive Eater! We can have a strategy session to see how I can help you and what will work best for you.

 

Eating Intuitively While You’re Sick

Do you ever worry about what will happen the first time you get sick while on your intuitive eating journey? Do you worry that you’ll find it hard to listen to your body and may fall back into old habits? Unfortunately, it can be harder for you to eat intuitively while you’re sick, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall back into old habits.

 

Let me tell you a lesson I learned a few years ago about a time I was sick and how it affected my intuitive eating journey.

 

I don’t usually get sick so when I do, it really throws me for a loop.

 

After I woke up one morning from a difficult night sleep, with a sore throat, coughing, and achy body, I went into the kitchen to prepare my breakfast. What I realized as I tuned into my hunger signals was that I wasn’t really hearing hunger. I stopped to think about this. The last time I ate was dinner the night before, and I am usually hungry in the morning. Yet, I just wasn’t feeling it that morning.

 

So, what do you think I did?

 

Well, I could have left the kitchen and said I’m not going to eat because I don’t hear my hunger. But that’s not what I did. I changed up my breakfast a bit, and had a much smaller breakfast with a cup of tea.

 

A few hours later, I sensed a gentle hunger, but still not typical of my usual hunger mid-day. Yet, I realized that it’s been some time since I’ve eaten, and it’s very important to keep my energy levels up with proper fuel. And so again, I tweaked what my usual lunch would be, and had a smaller lunch with another cup of tea.

 

The lesson I am sharing with you here is this.

 

While I encourage you to tune into your inner hunger signals as your guide to eating, there are times when those hunger signals might be blunted. And, one of those times is during illness. Therefore, even if you don’t hear and feel the hunger signals like you normally do, it’s still so important to eat so you can properly nourish your body.

 

The best option when you’re sick and don’t feel or hear your hunger signals, is to choose healthful “sick friendly” foods. These types of foods are easy on the stomach (and in my case, easy on my throat). But do keep in mind while you are eating that this might be one situation where you just don’t hear those hunger signals as sharp as when you are feeling well. And that’s okay!

 

The most important thing to remember is that while you are sick, your body needs nourishment to feel better, which is why it is necessary for you to eat, even if you have trouble hearing your hunger signals.

 

If you are on your intuitive eating journey and struggling with this journey while you are sick, please reach out to me. I can help you navigate this hurdle and continue on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com and we can work through your sickness together.

 

Intuitive Eating While on Vacation

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes just in time for the mid-end of summer vacation that you might be planning.

 

It comes from a woman who has been following my work for over a year and was ready to speak about starting her intuitive eating journey. At the end of our talk, she asks me:

 

“Do you think this is the right time for me to start this journey? I have a vacation coming up, and then the kids are starting school again…” (she speaks quietly and her voice trails off.)

 

As I began to answer her question, she stops me and says, “this is my diet mentality speaking, isn’t it?”

 

Yes, it is!

 

Remember the last time you were thinking of starting another diet? You would think to yourself that maybe it wasn’t the right time? You had so much going on and you feared you would not be able to ‘stick’ to the diet.

 

When you apply the same thought process to either starting your intuitive eating journey, or continuing it as you plan your vacation, this is your diet mentality speaking.

 

Here are 4 tips to help you navigate your intuitive eating journey during your vacation.

1. Stay strong against the chatter in your head that is screaming “I have to lose 10 pounds before vacation!” This will only put you back into diet mentality and onto the latest quick fix which will keep you riding the dieting roller coaster. Continue on your intuitive eating journey with confidence. And, if you are contemplating starting the journey, now’s as good a time as any.

2.  Be aware of mindless snacking while vacationing. Oftentimes when you’re on vacation, you have less structure to your day. You might be laying on the beach where your friends are passing around the snacks; or touring through a new city, walking the streets and trying the local fare. So just pay attention and have an awareness of whether you’re hungry or not before you dig into the snacks.

3. Be prepared. Whether you are sitting at the pool, lying on the beach, in an amusement park or on a full day tour, you are going to get hungry at some point. It’s very important to be prepared and have snacks with you so you don’t have to wing it. Remember, one of the principles of intuitive eating is to honor your hunger. If you wait too long, you tend to not choose the most healthful choices and you tend to overeat, so be prepared.

4. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied and not when you’re overly full. I know when you’re on vacation it’s so tempting, especially if you’re at a resort hotel which is all inclusive. This means that all the food and beverages (including alcohol) is included in what you’re paying for the hotel. It’s very tempting to just eat and eat and eat to “get your money’s worth”. This is not staying true to your intuitive eating journey.

 

Honor yourself and honor your body by paying attention, being aware and making conscious food and beverage decisions. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied so that you can enjoy your vacation without regret and without guilt.

 

Which of these tips will you focus on during your summer vacation? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

The Diet Mentality Runs Deep

You’ve struggled with your weight and you’ve tried diet after diet. Sometimes you were successful, sometimes you weren’t. You measure this success in only one way … “did I lose weight?”.

 

By now you recognize that diets don’t work. But, you still want to lose weight. You still want to go down 2 dress sizes. You are still not happy with your current body. Yet, you know that going on another “shake diet” or elimination diet is not the right thing for you. Perhaps you have a sister who struggled with her weight just like you, but she went a different route. She saw a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who teaches the intuitive eating approach.

 

The “nutritionist” you went to takes food away from you. She convinced you that carbs are “bad”. You are now afraid to eat bread, potatoes, pasta, or any food that has carbs in them. You believe these foods will cause you to gain weight immediately. But your sister convinces you to see her registered dietitian nutritionist. And so, you make an appointment.

 

You like her philosophy. Intuitive eating, something you’ve never heard of before, but really makes a lot of sense to you. But you’re afraid. Afraid to not diet anymore, afraid that if you’re left to your own food decisions, you will eat out of control. You beg the RDN to give you a meal plan but you promise to use it with a healthy mindset.

 

The meal plan is well balanced, using wholesome foods, and yes, it incorporated carbs! Yay! You can eat carbs again. You are happy. You come for your appointments weekly, you say you are okay with the slow rate of weight loss, and you are trying hard to implement the mindful eating strategies she is teaching you.

 

Then it happens. You come for your appointment today and you say, “next Tuesday is a religious fast day, I cannot eat. My weight the next day won’t reflect my real weight. That’s why I’m not coming for my appointment on Wednesday.”

 

Bam, just like that you are back in diet mentality.

 

I have news for you.

 

You never left diet mentality.

 

Every time you came in for your sessions, you focused on the scale, how good or bad you were during the previous week, and spoke about how important it was for you to lose weight and fit into the clothes in your closet that you haven’t fit into for years. And, you allowed the scale to dictate if you were coming in for an appointment or not.

 

The beautiful thing about the sessions I have with my intuitive eating clients is there is no scale involved! Whereas before as a dieter, the main purpose for your session was to “weigh in”, that is not the case when traveling the intuitive eating journey. Instead, it’s about understanding how you got to your current mindset today, overturn those limiting beliefs and negative messages that drive your actions, and begin to really listen and hear your internal signals and trust that they will guide your eating.

 

Dieting has never served you and never will!  I recognize that moving past the diet mentality is difficult as the diet mentality runs deep! As hard as you try on your own to shift out of a dieter’s mindset, you need support.

 

If you’re ready to get rid of the diet mentality for good, feel free to contact me here. It’s my honor to help you achieve food freedom.

 

NOTE:

I put the word “nutritionist” above in quotes because unfortunately in New York State, this is not a regulated term. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist so you must be careful to whom you get advice from.  Ask them where they got their degree(s) from, and in what field. Don’t assume anything.

 

 

Trash the Scale

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kay, a woman who has been working on overcoming emotional eating. I received an email from her that said the following:

 

“Sometimes eating healthy is easy. But sometimes eating healthy and losing weight feels like a struggle. I had to stop weighing myself recently. The scale was showing that I am going up and down around a pound per day.  I was getting worried, and it seemed like all of a sudden, I was struggling more (emotionally.)

 

This early morning, I went out to the backyard to water my lawn on my watering day, and my pajama bottoms almost fell off me. I wanted to go back inside and weigh. But if I did, and the scale didn’t show less, I knew that I would be upset.  How can I give up worries about how much I weigh?

 

This is such a great question and I know it’s something you are thinking as well. As a chronic dieter, you’ve used the scale to measure your success. Each day you’d get on the scale to see how you did the day before and to determine your plan of action for the day ahead. And, if we are being real, you probably go on the scale more than one time per day.

 

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

 

Scenario #1: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “good” number. Your mood for the day is happy.

 

Scenario #2: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “bad” number. Your mood for the day is depressed, even angry.

 

Both scenarios can trigger overeating, whether it be celebration eating (“I lost weight, I can have a treat”) or consolation eating (“I was so good and didn’t lose any weight. Why bother trying”.)

 

Other self-talk around the result of your morning weigh-in might sound like:

“I ate horribly yesterday, and I still lost weight. Thank goodness, I don’t have to starve today”.

“I only lost ¼ pound, it wasn’t worth it”.

 

This self-talk is the talk of a dieter. Without a doubt, weighing yourself keeps you in diet mentality. It fuels the body worry>food worry vicious cycle of emotional eating and dieting. If you truly want to be break free of this cycle, you must start with throwing away the scale.

 

Do you let the scale dictate your mood? Are you ready to throw it away?

 

Watch this video (click image) as I discuss this topic further and comment below with your commitment to stop weighing yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Dieting But I’m Still Gaining Weight

You’re standing in front of the mirror having changed your clothes three times already this morning.  Nothing seems to fit right.  You are discouraged and start with the negative self-talk you are all too familiar with.  “Why can’t I just stick to my diet”, you say to yourself.  “I am such a failure; I will never succeed at weight loss”.  “Tomorrow I will start my diet again”.

 

Does this sound familiar to you?  If you have been battling your weight for some time, then likely you have been on countless diets that have not worked long term and you have gotten very good at berating yourself for your failures.  The commercials all sound so promising!  The radio ads promise fat burning powers of the miracle pills you just bought at the health food store.  Why aren’t you able to lose weight?

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

Let me repeat that!

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

You see, nobody lives on a diet.  One goes on a diet but eventually goes off the diet.

 

The Stats You Know

 

Forty to 50% of American women are trying to lose weight and are on a diet at any point in time.  Half of pre-teen and teenage girls are on diets. However, 95% -97% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within 1 to 5 years.

 

These are very alarming statistics because dieting clearly doesn’t work and repeated “yo-yo” dieting has been shown to have negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease and long-lasting effects on the metabolism.

 

The Side Effects of Dieting

 

Dieting makes you preoccupied with food; what you ate yesterday, this morning, 1 hour ago, and what you will eat later and tomorrow.  Dieting makes food the enemy and causes guilty feelings when you don’t eat diet-type foods.

 

When you go on a diet, you are in essence putting your body into a short-term starvation state.  When given the first opportunity to really eat what you desire, you will often experience a feeling of such intensity that any initial thoughts of wanting to be thin fly out the window.  You feel out of control, guilty, and view yourself as having no willpower.

 

However, listen up!

 

This type of eating in response to semi-starvation is actually normal.  It has nothing to do with willpower!  When you are underfed, you will obsess about food.  Period!

 

The best solution to achieving peace with food and your body is to embrace an intuitive eating approach to food.  Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological hunger and satiety cues not based on situations or emotional cues.  So, that means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied or comfortably full.

 

Now, I recognize that for the chronic yo-yo dieter, this is not necessarily easy.  It requires you to explore how you got to where you are today in your eating habits and understand deeply what it means to become an intuitive eater.  During this process, it is important for you to begin to get rid of the diet mentality that you have, and to truly believe that you will never diet again.  If you continue to think there is “just one more diet, this time I’ll be good”, then you won’t be able to move forward to becoming an intuitive eater.   You will continue to have foods that are “good” and “bad” and you will continue to think of yourself as being “on” or “off”.

 

To help you get started on the path of intuitive eating, commit to the following 3 steps:

 

  1. Throw out all the diet books and pre-printed menus from magazines that you have tried over the years. Make a commitment to yourself that you will no longer be tempted by new diets that come out because you are committed to learning to listen to your body.

 

  1. Get rid of the bathroom scale. Do you weigh yourself every morning or even several times per day?  Does the number on the scale influence your mood for the day?  Most likely it does, even if you don’t consciously realize it.  Your weight fluctuates day to day and is a measure of more than just fat.  It includes your bones, organs, muscle and substances such as water, food and waste that pass through your system.  Begin to measure your success by other factors other than the scale such as improved blood work, blood pressure, mood, energy level and overall satisfaction with your progress toward becoming an intuitive eater.

 

  1. Seek out caring support to help you on your journey. Becoming an intuitive eater is a process and the amount of time it takes will depend on how long you have been dieting, how strong your diet mentality is, how long you have been using food to cope with your emotions and how willing you are to trust yourself.  It is very important for you to surround yourself with like-minded people who can provide positive feedback and support.

 

You were born with the natural instinct to eat when hungry and stop when full.  Chances are you lost this ability due to all the diets you tried and the media exposure to quick-fixes.  You can reclaim what you were born with and achieve guilt-free eating, a body you love and a life free of dieting.   Intuitive eating is the answer you have been looking for.

 

Reach out to me if you are interested in going from Dieter to Intuitive Eater! There’s no shame in asking for help!