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How to NOT Eat When You Are Sad

photo-1422433555807-2559a27433bdIn your life, there has probably been a day or a moment when you felt sad or lonely. Maybe even right now, as you read this blog. This doesn’t mean you have to be diagnosed with clinical depression. It just means that you are sad.

 

Perhaps you heard news about a loved one’s illness, you got let go from your job, lost a client or got disciplined at work. Or, maybe you are struggling with loving your body and loving who you see in the mirror today.

 

While there are a multitude of reasons why you might be sad, the question I want to ask you is how do you handle that sadness? Do you turn to food to make the pain go away? Do you say “I don’t care, I just want to eat this chocolate cake, it will make me feel better?” You very well know that while that chocolate cake will numb you in that moment, it won’t take away the original source of your sadness. So when you are finished with the cake, which lead to the ice cream and perhaps even to the Kit Kat bars, you now feel bloated, tired, have heartburn and totally disgusted with yourself.

 

And, even more sad.

 

Let me share a story with you if I may. I was having a rough week last week. Suffice it to say I have been working very hard supporting my clients, and at the same time balancing my family responsibilities. Yes, the work/life balance is sometimes not so easy.

 

I recognized I was at a point where I needed to do something. My old way of handling the emotions I was feeling would have been to turn to the peanut butter jar. But instead, I decided to ask myself “what do you need Bonnie?” And I got my answer.

 

I needed to spend time with my parents, who are out of state. I needed to hug them and talk to them and seek their advice. I needed connection as I miss them terribly. Yes, I could “see” them via Facetime, but it’s not the same. I cannot hug Facetime.

 

So, I did something I never did before. I booked a flight and went to see them, by myself. My husband and kids were so supportive. I love them so much for recognizing my need and giving me their blessing. “We will be okay”, they said.

 

I had a wonderful time this past weekend just relaxing and connecting with my parents. I took care of my self-care needs. I slept late (which was very much needed), did not put on makeup (I put on makeup every day when I go to work), went for a long walk listening to music from the time when I dated my husband-we had a special song) and sat at the pool and listened to the birds chirp. While I was only away for 3 days, it felt like so much longer and it was amazing.

 

I returned home to my family and clients rejuvenated and ready to support them from a place of abundance.

 

I recognize that not everyone can pick themselves up and leave for a few days. This certainly isn’t something I usually do either. But, you can find whatever it is that YOU need right now to help you deal with your emotions instead of turning to food.

 

Ask yourself that one simple question I asked myself. Here’s that question again:

 

“What do I need right now?”

 

Answer yourself honestly, and follow through. You’ll be happy you did.

 

If you need help learning to cope with your emotions without food, please reach out to me. Email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com and let me know what you’re struggling with now.

 

 

Stress Less this Holiday Season

DFRM_StressLessEatLess_PrintHeaderWith the upcoming holidays it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. Don’t let yourself feel out of control this year. Start your holiday season off on the right foot! Make this the year that you conquer your dieting habits and turn to intuitive and mindful eating for a body you love.

Here are a few suggestions that work for me during the busy holiday season. I hope you find them helpful too.

  • Set yourself up for success

As I’ve mentioned many times before and I will probably suggest many times again, set yourself up for success. Do a clean sweep of your kitchen before you begin your cooking. I don’t mean sweep the floor, I mean tuck away all tempting foods – out of sight, out of mind. Take those holiday cookies and sweets and put them in the pantry or kitchen cabinet so they won’t be staring at you while you cook.

  • Be sure to eat breakfast each day

Skipping breakfast or lunch before your holiday meal will cause you to be exceptionally hungry when it’s time for the main meal. You might think you’re doing yourself a favor but you will likely eat more than your stomach can handle and you won’t feel good afterwards. Or you might fill up on appetizers and feel full before the meal even begins. Understand that maintaining a state of satisfaction is a huge part of eating right.

  • Pace Yourself

During the meal, pacing yourself is key. Put your fork down and spend time talking to relatives in between bites. As you space out your meal you allow your brain to register the food that is entering your stomach. Your body will be able to signal when you are satisfied and have eaten enough.

  • Anticipate the stress

The holidays are a balancing act. Prepare yourself for stressful situations and learn how to best manage a stressful event so that you do not turn to food to ease the stress. If you know you are going to see family members or friends who drain you physically and emotionally, take the time to mentally prepare yourself in advance. Think of strategies to handle situations and come up with solutions to destress. This can be finding a comforting place to take a break, whether it be your car or an empty room.

 

The stress that comes from the cooking, the cleaning, the planning and of course the eating can all be balanced with the right strategies and support.

 

In honor of the holidays, I have ONE TIME opportunity that I’d like to extend to you.

 

I will personally coach you through the holidays in my Stress Less EAT LESS™ Program. Learn the 3 key steps to best manage the stress and overwhelm to STOP STRESS EATING once and for all.

 

Stress Less EAT LESS™ is a 4 week program that includes live group coaching calls, a private Facebook group, My Holiday Menu Planner and Recipe Guide and so much more.

Save $100 by getting all the details and signing up HERE.

 

We start November 30th so don’t wait.

 

Have questions, email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s No “Throwing in the Towel” in Intuitive Eating

Shocked WomanIf you are a chronic dieter, then more than likely you have “thrown in the towel” quite a few times.

 

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. 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. 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.

 

Please listen up! What I’m about to say requires capital letters.

 

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”, let’s 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!

 

If this sounds like you, I care about you and I am here to help you.

 

Reach out and ask for help. There’s no shame in that. It’s something to be proud of.

 

Click here to send me an SOS email.

The Rush for the French Fries

IMG_4142.JPGWere you ever eating with another person, or group of people, and found that you were eating so quickly for fear there wouldn’t be more food available if you wanted another portion?

 

Yesterday, my daughter Lauren spent the day with her friends. She has another few days before camp begins and they decided to walk to the local pizza store. The girls each ordered their respective slice of pizza, and one order of fries to share.

 

They placed the fries in the center of the table. And, here’s what my daughter reported.

 

Everyone was eating so fast, hurrying to eat the fries for fear that they would run out really quickly or one of them would eat more than the other. I explained to my daughter that this is a form of “rebound eating” and happens when one feels like they are in competition for the food and fears food deprivation.

 

I found it interesting that Lauren mentioned this to me, as she clearly noticed that something was wrong with this picture.

 

There are many reasons and different scenarios that you might find yourself in where you resort to overeating, even binge eating. More than likely if you are a yo-yo dieter or emotional eater with a list of forbidden foods, this happens quite often when you finally give in and eat something on your forbidden food list.

 

The key is to realize that no one food has the power to help you lose weight or gain weight. I know, there are a lot of so called “experts” on the internet telling you, no let me correct that…shouting at you, to “avoid these 5 foods at all costs” or something similar. They make you think that if you avoid those foods, your skinny jeans will fit you perfectly and your prayers will be answered.

 

Not so.

 

Take the power back from the food! You are in charge of your food choices. When you do this, you will see your forbidden food list begin to shrink, and you might even surprise yourself and realize that you don’t happen to even like those foods that plagued you for so long.

 

Your turn to take action: Share with me below a time when you felt you were in competition for your food and you feared deprivation.

 

 

 

 

Resources and Support for Yo-Yo Dieters and Emotional Eaters

Help is HereHow do you feel about seeking help for things that aren’t always going so right in your life?

 

Whether it be relationship tension, marital problems, school issues, work-related problems, do you suffer alone and try to figure it out by yourself, or do you seek the guidance of a professional who can be objective and help you work through the difficult times?

 

There is often a stigma around seeking help and many people feel like they should just be able to handle it on their own.

 

Are you one of those people?

 

I’m specifically talking here about getting help to overcome emotional eating and years of yo-yo dieting. One of my clients recently confessed to me that she had my phone number for a long time but didn’t call me until recently because she was embarrassed. She felt that she should be able to lose the weight and keep it off without having to seek professional help.  When she realized that time after time she was unsuccessful with dieting, she finally called me and made an appointment.

 

As she reflected on the experience, she realized that she wasted so many years and wished she had started this journey a long time ago. But even so, she is so glad that she finally called me and got over the shame she felt for not being able to do it by herself.

 

You are a strong person and probably accomplished in many areas of your life. But if you are struggling with yo-yo dieting and emotional eating, give yourself the gift of seeking the support you need to jump over the hurdles. You may even know where your specific struggles lie, but you just need the strategies and the right partner.

 

You don’t have to go it alone!

 

I have a number of Free Resources to help you.

 

  • E-book: 5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting available by putting your name and email in the boxes to the right of this page, or at http://DietFreeZone.com

 

  • The Diet Free Zone Show™ on my YouTube Channel, released on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Each episode discusses another aspect of intuitive eating and breaking free of dieting. Check it out here and subscribe to my channel.

 

  • Private Facebook Support GroupThe Diet Free Zone™ with Bonnie R. Giller. Request to join for free here.

 

  • To Your Health e-Newsletter – published twice per month. To subscribe for free, send an email to bonnie@brghealth.com and write “Subscribe me to your newsletter” in the Subject line.

 

I look forward to having you in my community. Please comment below and let me know how I can best support you.

 

How to Manage Your Emotions without Turning to Food

Sad woman eating donutOne of the things that come up often in my work with my clients is how they deal with emotional eating. We all experience different emotions throughout a given day. For some, there might be more than others. Such emotions include anxiety, loneliness and sadness. Other more subtle emotions that often might lead you to turn to food include boredom and stress. It is totally normal to experience these emotions from time to time, but how you cope with them is key. (Note: if you are experiencing intense sadness and depression, please see an appropriate mental health professional.)

 

So the question here is: do you find yourself reaching into the food cabinets when these emotions arise? If you do, how do you feel after you eat the cookies, candy or whatever your “go to” mood fixer food is?

 

I know that deep down you realize that food is not resolving the issue at hand. Yet, you still find comfort even for the moment in the box of chocolates. But you know what? After you eat them, you now have to deal with the guilt, physical discomfort of overeating and the original emotion you were trying to numb. You are now worse off than when you started.

 

Does this sound like you? How do you get out of this viscous cycle?

 

The first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you turn to food to comfort negative feelings, even to numb the emotional pain you might be feeling. Then, you need to commit to learning a new way. Before immediately turning to food, STOP and ask yourself what are you really feeling. If you can honestly say you are hungry, then by all means you should eat….a well-balanced power snack or meal. But if you are being true to yourself and really want to help yourself, you won’t automatically say “I’m hungry”. Instead, you will think about what you are feeling and how you can comfort yourself without turning to food.

 

If you are unsure what you need, seek out the support from a friend, counselor or therapist. Talking through your emotions instead of eating through them is an amazing feeling.  If you are not ready to face your feelings, then engage in an alternate activity.

Write down some things that you enjoy doing that can distract you during these times. Take a walk, do a puzzle, read a book, go for a ride etc.  Figure out what works for you.

 

I’ll tell you what works for me. When I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed or upset about something, I remove myself from the area I am at that is causing me distress. I then take several deep breaths and count down from 10 to 0. It really helps me clear my head, and prevents me from heading to the peanut butter jar:)

 

What works for you? Please let me know in the comments section below. And if you need help sorting through your emotions, I am here for you. Just click here and request to speak with me so you can get clear on your challenges and have a clear path towards dealing with your emotions without turning to food.

The Many Voices of Hunger

peace with food programThere are many facets of intuitive eating…thus the “10 principles”, which are what I call your empowerment tools to help you acquire and understand your internal cues that drive your hunger and satiety.  If you are unfamiliar with the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, read more about them here.

 

One of the intuitive eating principles is Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food.  There are many emotional triggers that can lead you to emotional eating.  Identifying those triggers and finding ways to cope without turning to food is key to overcoming what might be plaguing you for a long time.

 

Sounds easy to say, but not so easy to do, right?  Yep, I agree.  I work very closely with my clients on this principle and it can take a long time to overcome, especially if you have been using food to cope with your life for many years.

 

I have recently come across a book called The Emotional Eating Rescue Plan for Smart, Busy Women.  Now, it’s not to say that men don’t experience emotional eating, but this book happens to focus on women who have a lot on their plate and tend to put their needs on the back burner.  Sound familiar?  Yes, I’ve discussed this before, the need to practice self-care, and make yourselves a priority.

 

The Emotional Eating Rescue Plan for Smart, Busy Women helps to define hunger in ways that you may never have thought of.  The definition of hunger as “a strong desire or craving” has the reader starting to think that hunger might be experienced for something that is not actually food.  Utilizing the tools in this book, you will begin to differentiate between hungers.  The reader is guided through a series of questions to help figure out what she is really hungry for….love, companionship, fun etc.   You are not given answers, but you are encouraged to explore and journey on the path of self-discovery.

 

This book is a great resource to complement your intuitive eating journey.

 

“Comfort Foods” Making your Clothes Uncomfortable?

There is nothing wrong with foods being a source of pleasure.  In fact, the more your relationship with food can be a positive one, the better you will feel about your eating habits.  However, confusing a positive relationship with eating your favorite foods with the notion of seeking “comfort” from certain foods can lead to problems with your relationship with food.

If you are eating something to gain a sense of comfort, this begins to connect your eating to emotions instead of satiety.  There is a difference between eating a food you love because you are enjoying the taste of it or the ceremony for which the food represents and eating to soothe emotions.

If you are eating for comfort, you are expecting that food to solve a problem for you.  It’s important to figure out if you are turning to food when you are frustrated, sad or bored.  If you are, then more than likely you need something else, other than food.  For example, if you are up late working on a project for work and you wander into the kitchen, stop and ask yourself if you are truly hungry.  Most likely you are tired, not hungry.

Let me encourage you to move away from using the term “comfort foods.”  Use food as fuel rather than therapy.  It is not to say you can’t consume foods you previously considered to be “comfort foods”; simply redefine their place in your eating plan, and make them a part of your healthy lifestyle, not a part of your mental well-being.

Your turn to take action: How will you work on banishing the phrase “comfort food” from your vocabulary?