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Can You Mindfully Eat Fast?

Mindful eating. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

 

Actually, it’s not! If it was, many more people would be doing to. Why is it so difficult to eat mindfully?

 

I think a big reason is the chaotic lifestyle that a lot of people live.

 

We live in a society where we are constantly running, running, running, doing, doing, doing. If we aren’t ‘running’ and ‘doing’, then we are considered lazy.

 

When we have a chaotic lifestyle like this, chances are our eating is chaotic as well. We don’t plan, and even if we do, we don’t have time to carry out the plan, so we just grab what we can when we can.

 

Some people call this winging it.

 

Do you experience this?

 

Let me share a story with you. This is an experience that happened to me 2 weeks ago.

 

It was Wednesday.

 

Wednesdays are very busy days for me with client appointments often back-to-back. I planned a lunch break into my schedule, but this particular Wednesday morning time got away from me. It was 12:40 pm and I was 10 minutes late to leave the office for lunch. But, I figured that’s alright, my next appointment isn’t until 1:30 pm, so I will work for another 10 minutes to finish up a project, and then I’ll still have 40 minutes left for lunch.

 

My assistant then says to me, “Bonnie, you need to break for lunch. Your next appointment is in 20 minutes at 1:00 pm”!

 

I jumped up, looked at my appointment book and in fact, the next appointment was only 20 minutes away. I made a mistake in my timing. I was noticing gentle hunger, and I knew I needed to eat lunch before my next appointment, otherwise I won’t have a break for many hours.

 

I left the office, went to my kitchen and prepared my lunch. I was intending to have soup and a salad (I love soup and it was a bit chilly out), but noticing the time, I knew I would not have enough time to mindfully eat and enjoy.

 

So, I changed course.

 

I asked myself what else would I enjoy eating now, that I can prepare quickly and not rush eating? The answer was a sandwich.

 

By the time I sat down to eat the sandwich, I had 10 minutes to eat. Oh no, I thought. Can I mindfully eat my sandwich in 10 minutes?

 

The answer is YES!

 

Here are the things 3 mindful eating strategies I used that you can use too when you are in a hurry, and still want to eat mindfully:

 

  1. Sit down at the table, do not eat standing. This is so important. If you eat while standing at the counter, or running around the kitchen, you won’t actually process that you just ate your lunch. So, while you may fill your belly, I can tell you that psychologically you won’t feel satisfied and you’ll be searching for something to eat the moment you have a break.

 

  1. Put your fork down in between bites. Or, in my case, I put my sandwich down in between bites so I can focus on what’s in my mouth and not on the next bite I am about to take.

 

  1. Avoid all distraction. Mealtime is not the time to catch up on your texts, emails or the local news. Give your food the attention it deserves.

 

 

I mindfully ate my sandwich in 10 minutes and returned to the office just in time for my next client appointment. I felt satisfied, both physically and psychologically.

 

Now it’s your turn: Tell me a time when you have eaten mindfully when in a rush! Comment below!

 

 

Is the Holiday Stress Already Getting To You?

Does the approaching holiday season stress you out? I have had a few clients come in to my office recently who are already beginning to feel the stress of the holiday season now that it’s November!  One conversation really stuck with me.

 

Sara walked into my office this week all stressed out. I asked her what was wrong, and she started to tell me about how overwhelmed she’s feeling about Thanksgiving, Christmas, all the parties and family visiting. There’s still 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, yet she’s already anticipating and feeling the stress.

 

These are some of her stressors that she started listing:

 

  • Gift shopping. Sara is a mom of four children and in charge of gifts for them for the holidays as well as the rest of her large extended family. This causes her a lot of anxiety about finding the right gift and making sure she’s getting what everyone wants, while still staying on budget.

 

  • Hostess. Her parents come in from out of town during the holidays and tend to stay with her and her family. She said this becomes very stressful because she has to make sure her house is spotless the whole time, cooking meals every night and she feels pressure to constantly entertain them.  This becomes overwhelming and takes away from her own self-care.

 

  • Cooking. Finding a balance between cooking what her family wants and finding meals that nourish her own body has become very stressful. Normally, she likes to choose meals based on whole foods. During the holiday season, her family requests lots of holiday favorites, which she enjoys as well, yet she has trouble balancing the holiday favorites with foods that feel best in her body.

 

  • Cleaning. As the holidays approach and her extended family visits, Sara finds that she is cleaning nonstop.  This chore becomes daunting and stressful, as it’s hard to keep a full house clean all the time.  However, she feels she needs to do it to keep everyone happy and not let anyone know she is overwhelmed.

 

  • Parties. This is where Sara said she has the most stress. Sara is usually the hostess at the family holiday parties and dinners. She feels extra pressure to entertain everyone while still ensuring they are well fed and happy. She really doesn’t have any help, and finds it difficult to ask for assistance from her husband and kids. She feels she ‘should’ be able to do it all.

 

And then of course there is the obligation of attending her workplace holiday party where there’s lots of food and drink available. By this time, she’s physically and emotionally drained and just says “What the heck. I’ll deal with my eating in the New Year!”

 

Woah! No wonder she is already worrying about the holidays.  This is a lot to handle and can be hard for anyone to keep from getting stressed.

 

In working with Sara, I’ve identified that she has the all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to the holidays.  She needs to do everything herself at 100%, or it doesn’t count. She needs to eat perfectly, or she eats “terribly” (her words!).

 

Does any of this resonate with you?

 

Can you relate to Sara?

 

Well, Sara asked me to help her handle the stress better this year and lucky for her, and you, I have exactly what she needs.

 

I invite you to join my 3-week free challenge Enjoy Your Holiday Festivities (and Sweets) without Guiltwhere I’ll give you tips on self-care during the holiday, navigating holiday parties and eating your sweets without guilt.

 

Yes, you CAN eat your holiday sweets and not have any guilt. 

 

You CAN rid yourself of the all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to your food and the holidays.

 

Allow me to show you how.

 

In this challenge, you’ll get step-by-step training and support every step of the way.

 

We start Monday, November 6th!

 

Learn more and join us HERE!

 

I look forward to supporting you through the holidays, so you can enjoy your holiday festivities and sweets, without the guilt!

 

I’ve Already Tried Intuitive Eating, and It Didn’t Work

I’ve heard it many times! Women who are skeptical about intuitive eating. They tell me they’ve tried it and it didn’t work. But did they really try it?

 

Or, were they just treating it like another diet?

 

You likely know by now that there are no rules in intuitive eating. As a matter of fact, one of the first things I do with my clients is help them kick all those diet food rules to the curb. However, it’s possible that, unbeknownst to you, you have created rules around intuitive eating.

 

I must eat ONLY when I am hungry.

I must ALWAYS stop eating when I am satisfied, and not full.

I must ALWAYS feel my feelings.

I must ALWAYS eat at the table without distraction.

 

And, you think:

If I don’t do these things all the time and do them perfectly, then I have failed at intuitive eating.

 

This sounds like a diet to me, with a long set of rules (oh, there are a lot more, I just kept it to these 4 for now!).

 

This is the Intuitive Eating Diet!

 

I don’t blame you. Many times, women (and of course some men) tell me they are ready to give up dieting and work towards intuitive eating. And to them, that means eating when hungry and stopping when full. They ask me to teach them how to do this again, because they haven’t heard their signals in a long time.

 

That is all well and good, and I am happy to help these women reacquaint themselves with their inner signals. The issue is that we cannot start at this point of hunger and fullness, because then it becomes the “Hunger-Fullness Diet”, aka The Intuitive Eating Diet.

 

So, where do you need to start?

 

At Step One – Shift Your Mindset

 

Shifting your mindset means moving away from the dieter’s mentality. And, this takes time, especially if you’ve been dieting for MANY years. And, that’s okay! There is no rush! Gift yourself with the time and patience to understand how your mindset got to where it is today and to learn the strategies you need to make this shift.

 

This is more than just knowing what diet food rules never worked for you. This is delving into your belief system. Really challenging yourself to understand what beliefs you’re holding onto that might be causing you to self-sabotage….over and over again.

 

These beliefs were born from messages you were given years ago. You’ve assumed them to be true, and they have been driving your actions all these years from your subconscious mind. Once you can change those beliefs, you will see and feel the mindset shift that is so key for your intuitive eating journey.

 

Is this difficult to do?

 

You may think so. And, you may say it’s just easier to go on a diet (even though diets have never worked for you, and you’re pretty sure they never will). But it’s safer. If this is the case, can you now understand why saying “I’ve Already Tried Intuitive Eating, and It Didn’t Work” doesn’t hold any water?

 

If you are ready to do the deeper inner work necessary to change your relationship with food and your body, just head on over to http://TalkWithBonnie.com and let’s set up a time to speak.

 

Have you been on the ‘Intuitive Eating Diet’? Comment below!

 

 

 

Revealing Your Dirty Little Secret…Night Time Bingeing

You’ve worked really hard to get the amazing body you have now. You’ve been on diet after diet but this last one was THE one. You lost the weight you wanted to, but to do that you eliminated lots of foods that you love.

 

You know what I mean. Bread. Simple good old-fashioned bread. The kind you make a sandwich with.

 

Sandwich you say? Oh, you haven’t eaten a sandwich in years. As a matter of fact, if you’re being honest with yourself, you’re probably afraid of eating a sandwich. If you eat a sandwich, your inner critic starts screaming at you that you’ll gain the weight back, you’ll get fat again, and tomorrow you’ll wake up with an additional 3 pounds on your body. Bread is bad!

 

Does this inner critic voice sound familiar to you?

 

To quite the voice, you stick to the rules you followed that helped you lose the weight. No bread. No pasta. No cookies, No ice cream. No carbs!

 

People admire your body, tell you how great you look, how good you are when they see you eating your salad for lunch. But when you get home after a long hard day at work, what happens?

 

Fatigue, hunger, deprivation all set in and you have just one cookie. But that leads to feeling guilt and shame, and then another cookie. Then you feel even more guilt, shame and alone, and that leads to finishing the cookies and binge eating for the next few minutes, hours or even the rest of the evening.

 

But no one knows, except you! It’s a secret you are hiding from the world. You look perfect, you act perfect, and you eat perfect. Who would know that your dirty little secret is that you binge eat at night all the foods you don’t allow yourself to eat during the day.

 

How can you get out of this binge eating trap?

 

3 Steps to Stop Binge Eating

 

  1. Stop restriction yourself and allow all foods into your life again. I know this is so scary! But it’s important if you are ever going to have peace with food and your body.

 

  1. Be aware when you are binge eating. Don’t numb out like you usually do. Stay present, experience it and you will find that you will stop eating before the cookie package is finished.

 

  1. Breathe through it! Yes, identify the emotions you are feeling and breathe through it. Once you know what the true underlying feeling is, you can address it without food.

 

You are not alone. There are others who are experiencing exactly what you are! Seek out the support you need to beat binge eating. You don’t need to fly solo.

 

There’s a community of women ready to welcome you who understand what you are going through. Click HERE to get the support you need.

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to Get Your Spouse on Board Your Intuitive Eating Journey

There are many women that I coach in my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program who complain to me that their spouse is not supportive of their journey. This is either because they just don’t get it or they think that you should be able to “do it on your own”.

 

They may say to you, “just stop eating”, and don’t understand it often isn’t even about the food.

 

Do you find this to be true about your spouse?

 

Let’s explore this further…..

 

Perhaps your spouse himself is a dieter and isn’t ready to stop dieting.

 

Or, he doesn’t see an issue with your eating and doesn’t understand your need to make changes.

 

If we go even deeper, he may fear that your relationship will change once your relationship with food changes. After all, who will he binge eat at night with while watching TV?

 

Whatever the reason, there are ways to get your spouse on board with your intuitive eating journey. And, there are ways you can approach the topic of support with him without him getting defensive.

 

5 Tips to Get Your Spouse on Board:

 

1. Share your BIG WHY with him – This will help him understand why you’ve made the decision to no longer diet and why you are making changes in the house. If you explain to him your desire to be more in tune with your body and why this is important to you, he’ll know more of what you need, i.e. no T.V. while you eat dinner.

 

2. Be open with your struggles – Sometimes your spouse can be threatened by your new way of living because as we said, he may be a yo-yo dieter and is not ready to stop dieting.       It can be helpful to show him that it’s not that you’re better than him; it’s that you are ready to end your struggle as you’ve come to the realization that diets don’t work for you. And, you need help. Explain to him that you are struggling with your relationship with food and need to make changes in your own life to help form a stronger, and healthier relationship with food.

 

3. Be specific with the support you need from him – Remember that your spouse isn’t a mind reader!       If you want help from him, you need to specifically ask him for it. The more specific you are, the more support and help he will be able to give. If he always suggest to go out to dinner for happy and sad occasions, ask him if you guys can do something else together that doesn’t revolve around food for those same occasions.   Whatever it is, just be specific!

 

4. Understand it’s not about you, it’s often about him – Unfortunately, your spouse may not understand what you are going through and won’t want to make changes in his own life, even if they are better for you. If that’s the case, remember it’s about him and has nothing to do with you. You can still change your relationship with food and look for support from friends and others on the same journey as you. Hopefully once he sees how happy you are with your changes, he’ll get on board too! If you haven’t yet joined my free intuitive eating support community, you can do that here!)

 

5. Don’t try to change him, that will never work – You can’t force your spouse to change his lifestyle just because you want him too. Although it would be nice and better for you, he doesn’t need to change.  You are still able to change your own relationship with food, even if he doesn’t change his.

 

If you are looking for more help on how to get your spouse on board, please reach out to me. I can help you. Answer a few questions at TalkWithBonnie.com and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What steps will you take this week to get your spouse on board with your intuitive eating journey? Let me know in the comments below!

 

How Can You Tell When You’re Feeling Satisfied?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kristy, a member in my online community.

 

She asks:

 

“How can you tell when you’re satisfied??”

 

A short straight to the point question. But often so difficult for someone to figure out.

 

Kristy is referring here to when she is eating a meal, how does she determine when she is satisfied enough to stop eating.

 

If you’re someone who has dieted for quite some time, then likely you’re also struggling with not being able to hear your fullness signals. The mere act of dieting causes your signals to atrophy.

 

Why?

 

Because you aren’t using them. You are stopping your meal when the diet plan tells you that you have had enough. You are pushing the plate away when it’s empty. You are putting your fork down based on a limit imposed on you by an outside source. This means, it’s a source external from your internal signals that truly guide your eating.

 

Remember, you were born an intuitive eater. You were born knowing when you were hungry to start eating, and when you felt satisfied to stop eating. You didn’t need to ask this question, because it was just a feeling you had. And, you TRUSTED it, because you knew no other way but to trust your body.

 

All these years and oh so many diets later, you no longer feel those signals. And, you don’t have that trust in yourself either.

 

Which makes it so difficult to know when you’re truly satisfied enough to stop eating.

 

Okay, so you get this. But now what?

 

I’m not going to tell you how to feel your signals. This is something you need to relearn. And it IS POSSIBLE, with the right support, as you travel down your intuitive eating journey.

 

But before you do, you must do these 5 things:

 

  1. Make the commitment to never diet again.

 

  1. Re-affirm this commitment to never diet again.

 

  1. Stay strong in this commitment even though you are surrounded by diet culture and its harmful messages (and family and friends that might be dieting and want some company).

 

  1. Move away from determining success on your journey based on a number on a scale.

 

  1. Re-affirm your commitment to never diet again

 

You see, if there’s any part of you that is still holding on to “maybe that will help me lose a few pounds”, then you will turn intuitive eating into the hunger-fullness diet (aka ‘The Intuitive Eating Diet’).

 

I’ve seen this happen way too many times. So, check in with yourself and ask yourself if you’re truly ready to leave your dieting habit and the scale behind.

 

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Can Intuitive Eating Lead to Your Natural Healthy Weight?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from a new member in my online community:

 

“Can intuitive eating lead to a natural weight?”

 

This is a great question. The short answer is yes, I believe that it could. But the longer answer requires us to have a bit of a conversation.

 

What does ‘natural weight’ mean to you?

 

Do you mean that if you “do” intuitive eating, will you lose weight? The truth is, some people lose weight, some gain weight initially, and some people’s weight remains stable. Keep in mind that the process of becoming an intuitive eater is NOT a weight loss program.

 

I’m going to repeat that. Intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. And if anyone tells you that it is and promises you weight loss, then run the other way.

 

Intuitive eating helps you change your relationship with food and your body, it helps you regain the trust in your inner body wisdom to guide your eating. You have this ability deep within you, it’s just buried under years of dieting and trying to interfere with what your natural weight is.

 

Back to the question…what is a natural weight?

 

A natural weight is the weight your body will maintain with ‘normal’ eating and ‘normal’ movement. This means no food restriction and no boot camp exercise regimes pushing yourself beyond your limits.

 

The problem is that your natural weight may not match the weight you have in your mind that you desire, which is likely influenced by the surrounding diet culture, current fashion, celebrities and even recommendations of your doctor to lose weight to an unrealistic number based on outdated height and weight charts and calculations.

 

So take a moment and ask yourself if you are chasing an unrealistic weight or body size. A lot of clients that I start working with are. They have a number or vision in mind of what they want to look like, but that is not realistic for them. And, let’s add to this equation your genetics. Genetics also plays a role in determining body size, and this may not match up to the weight or size you have in mind.

 

I do believe that your body will balance out at your natural healthy weight by practicing intuitive eating consistently, respecting and caring for your current body, and practicing self-care.

 

How long will this take? No one knows. Just enjoy the process as it’s happening.

 

 

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.

 

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.