Posts

3 Steps to Stop Overeating on Vacation

Summer is in full swing, it’s my favorite season! There’s less stress, no school carpools or tutors to schedule and it’s a time when my husband and I take some much needed time off.

 

In the days when I was dieting, I would often be apprehensive about an upcoming vacation. It would start with the thought of trying on all the summer clothes in my closet to see what “looked good” and have them piled high on my bed until I narrowed it down to what would make it into my suitcase.

 

Then of course it was the thought of what I would eat on vacation. Would the restaurants have food that was “on my diet”? What would happen to my weight if I ate out at a restaurant each evening? And what about the drinks? I don’t mean water, that I have no problem drinking. I mean the cocktails that I may want to enjoy at the pool or at dinner. How many calories and how much sugar will it have and how will it affect the number on the scale?

 

Oh my, this is just so exhausting, so forget it! I’ll just enjoy my vacation and start my diet again when I get home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you done this, or thought these same things? (Please comment below the blog in the comment section….)

 

The above scenario depicts what I call the “Vacation Diet Mindset”. Yep, there’s a name for this. You are so good on your diet all week/month/year long, but vacation comes and all that “goodness” gets tossed out the window. Why?

 

Well, since you’ve been depriving yourself of the food you love while dieting, you figure that when you are away on vacation and enjoying yourself, you might as well enjoy yourself with food too. But the problem is it leads you to overeating and overindulging and quite honestly, not respecting your body.

 

Here’s the thing. If you were not restricting all week/month/year before your vacation, you’d be enjoying all the food you love all the time and you wouldn’t have to go into “Vacation Diet Mindset” when you went away.

 

So how do you shift out of this mindset? Here’s 3 steps to get started:

  1. Commit to no longer dieting. And by dieting, I also mean your own self-designed diets and food rules you put into affect for yourself. I know that’s a tall order, but until you are able to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire, you will restrict and deprive and fall into the Vacation Diet Mindset on your next vacation.

 

  1. Take the Mindful Eating Pledge. Basically, this means promising yourself that you will be mindful of the food choices you make and you will maintain an awareness so you can fully savor and enjoy the food you are eating. When you do this, you will find that it will be easier to recognize fullness and stop before you get overfull.

 

  1. Ask for Support. The journey towards returning to being an intuitive eater and achieving WholeBody Trust™ of your mind, your hunger and your food takes time and requires support. There is no reason you need to do this alone. Seek support from your loved ones, a registered dietitian nutritionist-certified intuitive eating counselor and a community of like-minded women on the same journey as you. It’s powerful!

 

Are you struggling with your intuitive eating journey and want to take it to the next level? Join us in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. Learn more here.

 

If Not Willpower, Then What?

In speaking with prospective clients, there’s one comment that comes up a lot in the many conversations we have. That is “I just need more willpower”.

 

I really do understand the reason behind this comment from so many women who have been struggling with their weight and on diet after diet. It’s because diets require you to have willpower.

 

You have your lists of “legal” and “illegal” food. But at some point, you want to eat something that’s on that “illegal” list. But you can’t, the diet says NO! You white knuckle it as long as you can, you have willpower! Until you don’t anymore.

 

So, when the Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question came in for this week, I just knew I HAD to address it. Here’s the question…

 

 “I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

Before I get to the answer, let’s get clear on your dieting history. It probably goes something like this:

 

You’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers. the Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, the HCG Diet, Weight Watchers. Oh, did I mention Weight Watchers?!

 

It is SO easy to get sucked into sensational claims that come with each of these diets. But what you are finding is that they don’t work. Well, they do “work” if by working you mean losing weight, only to gain it back.

 

Yes, I won’t disagree. All diets can work in helping you lose weight. But can we agree that they ultimately don’t work, seeing you are here looking for another way?

 

Throughout all the diets you’ve been on, you’ve tried SO hard to have SO much willpower so you can resist your favorite food that the diets deem bad for you. And, the reason you’ve been sucked into many fad diets is because you only have to endure them for a short period of time and therefore only need to have a little willpower until the diet is over. 

 

Many diets proudly state “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, or “6 weeks to flat abs”. I know this is very tempting. And you think to yourself “ok, I need to have willpower for 30 days (or 6 weeks) and that’s it…I’ll reach my goal and the diet and misery will be over.”

 

But we know that you can only resist your favorite food for so long. Maybe you can last the 30 days or 6 weeks. Or maybe you can’t. Either way, what happens? When your willpower weakens and you have an emotional trigger, you cave and have the very food you’ve been longing yet been restricting. And now you don’t just have a serving, you have several servings, and it eventually turns into a binge. Next thing that happens >>> feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, failure and the negative self-talk and body bashing.

 

Well, the good news is this.

 

In the practice of intuitive eating, there is no willpower required. Yay! You learn to take all the conditions off your food and when you do, the power those foods hold over you are no more. Even better, once you learn to trust in your inner signals as your guide to eating, you will no longer need to rebel against the diets that are telling you what to eat and not to eat.

 

Because YOU are in charge!

 

So, back to the original question that came in from one of my followers:

 

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

There is no willpower in intuitive eating. What I want you to recognize is if you are still relying on willpower, then you are still harboring a diet mentality. And this will cause you to continue to stumble on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Give thought to how many times a day or week you think to yourself that you need to have willpower to resist a food.

 

How many times do you call up your willpower before heading out to a party or dinner with friends?

 

Call yourself out on it. Recognize it. The more you do and the more you remind yourself that you don’t need willpower in intuitive eating, the more you will see the diet mentality dissipate.

 

Grab this freebie that I have for you: Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap.

 

 

Intuitive Eating: I Don’t Know Where to Start

It’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday when I answer your questions and troubleshoot your challenges around intuitive eating and emotional eating.

 

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Sandy, and it is:

“Bonnie, I have decided not to start a diet in the New Year! And while I’m excited about this, I just don’t know where to begin my intuitive eating journey. I have the original Intuitive Eating book, which I’ve read twice, but I just feel overwhelmed. Can you help me?”

 

Yes, of course, thank you Sandy for writing in to me.

 

As I started to put together some steps for Sandy, I thought about you.

 

Are you in the same place as Sandy?

 

Have you historically started a new diet or “healthy way of life” (a.k.a. diet) every January 1st?

 

Have you decided that this year it will be different….no more dieting, but you don’t know where to start your intuitive eating journey?

 

First, let me congratulate you for making the commitment to yourself to not diet in 2018! That is huge! I realize that it might have been a difficult decision with all the diet ads and marketing of the ‘right’ way to eat and exercise to shrink or sculpt your body (into something that is not sustainable anyway)!

 

Second, I feel your overwhelm. There is so much information on the internet about how “to do” intuitive eating, but often these suggestions contradict one another.

 

Most of my clients that finally reach out to me for help have already dabbled in intuitive eating. That dabbling can look like a few things:

  1. They’ve read the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elsye Resch.
  2. They’ve taken an online course in intuitive eating.
  3. They’ve been receiving support in the myriad of free private Facebook groups that offer intuitive eating support (by the way, if you’re not a member of my group yet, click here).

 

So the question is, with all this ‘dabbling’, why are you still feeling overwhelmed and questioning “where do I start”?

 

I believe the answer lies in the following reasons:

  1. You’ve read the intuitive eating book, but are having trouble implementing the principles because while reading the book helps you become familiar with intuitive eating, for most people (I’m not saying all people, but most people), they need more structure and coaching to help implement the principles into their daily life. Is this you too?

 

  1. You’ve taken an online course but admittedly didn’t show up for yourself by taking appropriate action. Or, the course lacked the private coaching that you really need to take this to the next level. Or, the course was marketed as an intuitive eating course, but in fact once you got into it, it was really dieting.

 

  1. You’re a member of a number of free Facebook groups but you aren’t receiving individualized coaching by certified intuitive eating counselors in these settings, nor should they be giving you coaching for free. This would be a disservice to you and to their clients who have invested in themselves. The free groups can only take you so far.

 

So what’s your next ‘first’ step?

 

Grab your freebie here: 5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting. This will give you the step-by-step approach I take my clients through.

 

Then, if you want me to walk you through this step-by-step journey, contact me here.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Structuring My Meals Still Dieting?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is:

Is it okay to have some structure around intuitive eating? Like having a basic plan to go by, with suggestions of what to eat, especially when you’re new to intuitive eating.”

 

This is such a common question, and I’m sure you have been wondering the same thing. It all comes down to 2 questions.

 

  1. What do you mean by having “structure”?
  2. Do you still possess a diet mentality?

 

Let’s tackle question number one first.

 

The definition of the word ‘structure’ according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

something arranged in a definite pattern of organization.”

 

Arranging your eating pattern for the day into meals plus ‘as needed’ snacks would be putting a structure to your eating pattern. It’s basically laying down some guidelines for yourself so you have a basic idea of what you will eat for that particular day. As long as these are foods that you love and feel good in your body, then what you are doing is planning. And my motto is:

 

 

You plan vacations, you plan your children’s activities, and you plan work tasks. You plan many different areas of your life. Why wouldn’t you plan your meals?

 

However, if you break out in hives because your plan does not pan out, and you have difficulty being flexible with it, then this meal plan structure is just another diet.

 

Which leads me to question number two.

 

Do you possess a diet mentality?

 

As stated above, if the meal plan structure you’ve created for yourself leads you to feel deprived of foods you didn’t include in your plan because you think they aren’t “nutritious” for you, and this leads to overeating or bingeing on these foods when you “just can’t take it anymore”, then this structure is doing you more harm than good.

 

This is why the first step on your intuitive eating journey must be shifting your mindset. It requires you to acknowledge all the damage that dieting has done, biologically, health wise, psychologically and emotionally! And not just acknowledge it. Really get down deep to understand why you will never ever diet again. This step takes time. You must not rush it.

 

Is it scary to no longer diet, and not have a meal plan to guide your eating?

 

Absolutely. I’m not saying stop dieting and stop paying attention to what you put into your mouth. I’m saying to throw away the diet rules and relax your eating. Eat your meals, and choose foods that feel good in your body because your body needs the nutrition and the energy it gets from food.

 

It’s okay to plan, but be conscious that the planning does not become dieting.

 

Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 1:30 pm EST on my Facebook business page HERE. LIKE the page now so you get notification when I go live.

 

If you are reading this after we went live, just head on over to the FB page and you’ll find the replay under Videos. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions.

 

 

Getting Rid of “I Can’t” with Intuitive Eating

ie-blog-1I have had many clients who are stuck in a negative, diet mentality.  They often come to me with lists of things they can’t do and never mention anything they can do.

 

I can’t stop dieting.

I can’t lose weight.

I can’t change my eating habits.

I can’t listen to my body.

I can’t exercise.

 

When a client comes to me with this mindset, I like to tell them a story about my son’s third grade teacher.

 

For homework one night, my son had to write a list of all the things he can’t do.  Naturally, I thought this assignment made no sense.  Why would his teacher want him to do this?  Shouldn’t he make a list of all the things he can do?  Nonetheless, we still worked on his homework and came up with a list of things he can’t do.

 

When he came home from school the next day, I asked him what his teacher did with his list of “I can’ts”.  He said his teacher had them march out to the playground, dig a hole and bury their “I can’ts”.

 

I was astonished.  This is brilliant.

 

Why didn’t I ever think of this idea for my clients?

 

Well, now I do use this concept for my clients, and you!

 

This activity falls right into the practice of eating intuitively.  While you are on your intuitive eating journey, you are working on reframing your mindset.  You are changing the way you think about your body, food and the way you eat.  This activity is a great way to help you solidify why you want to change your mindset.

 

You can get rid of your “I can’ts” by reframing your mindset.

 

Change your “I can’ts” to “I am”, “I can”, and “I will”.  Look at them as challenges that you will overcome, which will lead to success.

 

Here is an example: You can reframe “I can’t exercise” to “It’s a challenge for me to exercise, but perhaps I can start with a 5 minute walk each day”.  By changing exercise to a challenge instead of an “I can’t”, you are recognizing the fact that you can overcome this challenge.

 

Simply reframing your mindset will help you get “I can’t” out of your vocabulary and you will feel great doing it!!

 

If you want to learn more about how you can reframe your mindset, you can contact me here.  I am here to help you.

 

 

There’s No All or Nothing in Intuitive Eating

cakeI recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Susan. Susan was at an office party when two delicious looking cakes were served.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to resist trying the cakes, so she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few bites of the chocolate cake, then a few bites of the white cream cake, and something amazing happened!

 

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked. She was practicing mindfulness around her eating and she savored each bite and she was satisfied before she polished off both pieces.

 

This. Never. Happened. To. Her. Before.

 

How did she do this you ask?

 

By using the intuitive eating strategies that I am teaching her, she is learning to move away from the all or nothing way of thinking.  She didn’t feel guilty for indulging in a food she wanted.  She has made peace with food and has reaped the benefits which is showing up in so many ways in her life.

 

Had she found herself in this scenario a few months ago before we began working together, the outcome would have been different. The all or nothing thinking is part of a diet mentality and usually leads to overeating, followed by guilt, unhappiness, dieting, restriction, overeating etc.  It’s a vicious cycle.

 

Intuitive eating is tuning into what your body wants, even if it’s a slice of cake, and giving it what it wants.  If you listen to your body, you won’t feel the need to overeat and have guilt afterwards.  Your body will be happy it can enjoy the foods it wants.

 

You may be asking yourself, “How do I get myself to this point?”  The answer is to change your mindset.  You have to step away from the diet mentality of restricting certain foods or entire food groups.

 

The way to make peace with food is to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want. I know, this sounds like an opportunity to eat uncontrollably. And to be honest with you, some people use it as an excuse to do just that.

 

It’s a process my dear readers. It does not happen overnight. Those who work through the process with the support, encouragement, positive attitude and patience are the ones who will experience what Susan did. The intuitive eating process can help you transform your relationship with food, where you end the battle with food and your body and achieve great pleasure in eating once again.

 

Here are two steps you can take today to become and intuitive eater and change your mindset:

 

  1. Commit to saying goodbye to the dieting mindset! It is time to recognize that you can have your cake and eat it too. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

 

  1. Start tuning in and listening to your body. Your body gives you signals when it starts to get hungry and full. Tune into these signals to know when and what you should feed your body.  You’ll learn to eat what your body craves without overeating.

 

I am here to help you embark on this journey and break out of the dieting mindset.

 

If you’d like further individualized support, just fill out this risk free request form at www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

 

Fitting All Your Favorites into a Healthy Eating Plan

Tell me if this sounds familiar.  You are about to embark on the latest diet plan of the moment.  This diet requires you to avoid eating certain food that you love most; maybe that’s pasta, chocolate cake, or in some cases, even fruit is forbidden.  You assign a date for which you are going to “start” this plan and in the days leading up to the “start” you overindulge in all the foods you love that you will have to give up while you are on this diet.  Why do you put yourself through this torture?

Intuitive eating restricts no foods.  It encourages learning to make a place for all your favorites by exercising your right to honor your hunger, while still respecting your fullness.  Eat healthfully but allow yourself to enjoy food without punishing yourself or feeling guilty.  If you truly want a bagel for breakfast, then by all means, have a bagel; but tune in.  You may find that once you take the label off that bagel, half will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Food should not make you feel bad.  Diet plans foster this mentality if you decide to eat something that is not on “the diet,” conjuring up words like “cheating” and “falling off”—both negative terms that take away from the joy that those foods can and should bring you.  Yet when you are eating intuitively and giving yourself permission to eat any food, how much and how often you eat that food completely changes.  You are mentally more clear and less stressed about what you eat, which usually leads to better eating habits in the long run.

So don’t forbid your favorite foods.  Everything can be part of a healthy eating plan as long as you are listening to your hunger and fullness signals.

Your turn to take action: What food do you love that you have given up in the past?