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How Intuitive Eating Impacts Your Health

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 Dorica, and it is:

 

“Can intuitive eating improve someone’s health, such as migraines or upset stomach?”

 

The short answer is yes! Let me explain.

 

There are 3 reasons why intuitive eating will help improve your health, specifically migraines or an upset stomach (there are many other ways your health can be improved through intuitive eating, but I am specifically answering this week’s question about migraines (or headaches in general), and GI issues).

 

  1. Intuitive eating is stress-free!

 

Stress…. it’s a very powerful word which has a lot of effects on your body. When you live in a chronically stressed state, the switch to your stress response, known as ‘fight or flight’, stays on. This affects you in various ways including cognitively (memory problems, difficulty concentrating), emotionally (moody, irritable, depression), behaviorally (sleeping problems, social withdrawal) and physically (bowel irregularities, nausea).

 

What causes stress? Dieting! Hands down, calorie counting, restricting food, tracking points, logging your food into an app – all causes stress. And this stress triggers your internal stress response. As long as you continue dieting, you will stay in a stressed state and deal with the negative effects of it.

 

Once you decide to give up dieting and embrace the path towards intuitive eating, it’s like a ton of bricks is lifted off your shoulders. The stress disappears, and I bet you’ll see the headaches and gastrointestinal discomfort does too.

 

 

  1. Intuitive eating results in more consistent eating patterns

 

When you ditch eating by the clock, as most diets tell you to do (you know, all those rules that you follow), you learn to tune into your inner hunger and fullness signals. This likely results in a more consistent pattern of eating, specific to your inner wisdom. This consistency will improve the gastrointestinal symptoms you are experiencing, a.k.a. an upset stomach. And, will decrease any headaches that might have come from low blood sugar due to an inconsistent eating pattern.

 

Another point here to make is this. If you are still dieting, you probably find yourself in the restrict-binge cycle. So you restrict foods that you deem as bad for you, but at some point you can’t take it anymore. So, you end up eating said foods, but you don’t just have some, you overeat on those foods, leading to a binge. Then, you experience a flare in your IBS or other GI symptoms. Your mind goes right away to “You see, I can’t tolerate those foods”, but in reality, it’s the dosage of the foods you are eating, not the actual food itself.

 

So, give up dieting and restriction and embrace intuitive eating. You will find that you have more energy and your stomach is digesting food just the way nature intended.

 

 

  1. Intuitive eating encourages you to tune inward.

 

When you practice intuitive eating, you are engaging in mindful eating practices along the journey. That means you are learning to slow down, savor your food and tune in to how your body feels after you eat something. You are moving from auto pilot eating into conscious eating and this allows you to attune, not only to your inner signals, but also to your body’s reaction to food.

 

As a dieter, you listen to what the diets or health gurus tell you to eat. Many times, you don’t even enjoy it. Most of the time, you finish your meal and have had minimal to no pleasure in it. As an intuitive eater, you have rediscovered the pleasure in eating. If you had pleasure after eating when you were dieting, it was likely accompanied by guilt. That guilt turned to shame.

 

No more.

 

Without the guilt and shame and food worry, you can listen to what your body tells you in terms of how it feels. Then the next time you are about to decide whether to eat a food or not, you’ll remember how you felt the last time you ate it. Did your belly hurt? Did your blood sugar plummet? These factors will then play a role in whether you decide to eat that food or not.

 

Wow! Isn’t intuitive eating amazing?

 

Yes, it is!

 

Ready to start YOUR intuitive eating journey? Just email me and say “I’m Ready!”

 

 

 

Say NO the Next Time Your Doctor Prescribes Weight Loss

It’s sad for me to write this but many doctors deepen the diet mentality of those struggling with their body and their relationship with food. I don’t think they do this to purposely harm, as they have taken an oath to “do no harm”. They just don’t know better.

 

But it’s time to wake them up!

 

Theresa is a chronic dieter, she has been on every diet imaginable to lose weight and mold her body into what society deems acceptable for her. She did lose weight on most of those diets, heck she’s a great rule follower, always was as a kid. But her weight loss was very short-lived. She always gained that weight back plus more.

 

I know you can relate.

 

But this time is different. She has PCOS and insulin resistance and her doctor is telling her to lose weight. He referred her to a nutritionist who will help manage her insulin by putting her on a special diet!

 

Theresa’s inner alarm went off! NO!

 

You see, Theresa has been working on changing her relationship with food through learning intuitive eating. And while she is still at the beginning of her journey, she is totally convinced that diets don’t work. Moreover, it’s the diet and diet mentality that have caused her to enter what was the never-ending restrict-binge cycle. So, the fact that her doctor recommended yet another diet for her really pissed her off.

 

“Doesn’t he realize that his “prescription” of weight loss has not and will never be the answer to managing my PCOS and insulin resistance”, she asked me?

 

Well one would think, but I guess not (sigh!)

 

I encouraged Theresa to go back to her doctor and ask him what treatment he would prescribe for a woman in a smaller body that has PCOS. That’s the treatment she wants.

 

When you go for your annual physical, the nurse tells you to “get on the scale”. You have every right to decline. Do not feel pressured to be weighed, even if the nurse says “I won’t tell you”. Nope! As one of my clients recently told her doctor: “I don’t want my health evaluated based in part by the number on a scale.” Bravo!

 

Betty went to her doctor for her annual checkup. All was well, her labs and blood pressure all great!

 

Doctor said “You should lose a few pounds”.

Betty: “why”?

Doctor: “You gained a few pounds this year”.

Betty: ” Well, last year I was restricting and had an eating disorder”.

Doctor: “Oh”.

End of visit.

 

Stand up for yourself when you go to the doctor. If you have health issues, insist he/she address them from a weight-neutral perspective.

 

What has been your experience with weight discussions at your doctor? Please share below!

 

 

 

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.

 

3 Questions to Consider When Choosing an Intuitive Eating Program

It’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday! This is the day I answer your questions on intuitive eating and/or emotional eating.

 

Today’s question comes from a woman I spoke to on Monday. Let’s call her Pat.

 

Pat contacted me to learn more about my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program called Freedom to Eat Forever. You see, she’s been dieting for a long time, has struggled with binge eating and hating her body, and really wants to embrace intuitive eating. But, here’s her question:

 

“I’ve already invested hundreds of dollars in other intuitive eating programs, and I’m still struggling. I’m nervous to commit, even though it sounds like working one-on-one with you is what I need. How do I overcome this worry and make the commitment?”

 

This is a great question and a very valid concern.

 

There’s 3 things I asked her to consider, which I’d like you to consider as well if you have the same question.

 

1. Was it an intuitive eating program, or a diet disguised as intuitive eating?

 

There are many health coaches, holistic nutritionists and self-proclaimed gurus on the internet that are saying they are teaching intuitive eating. Yet, upon deeper investigation, they have hijacked the term intuitive eating and are disguising it in a diet.

 

Case in point: a well-known coach is promoting her program where she teaches you to not diet, but then gives you rules around eating and exercise.

 

Another coach starts you off on the ketogenic diet, but teaches you how to lose weight through mindfulness while on the keto diet.

 

And yet a third coach is telling you not to follow any of the old rules of dieting, but then gives you a whole new list of rules to follow.

 

Huh?

 

Rules are rules, whether they are 50 years old, 10 years old or 2 days old.

 

The idea behind intuitive eating is yes, listening to your body and your inner cues of hunger and fullness, but also to put YOU back in the driver’s seat.

 

Intuitive eating empowers you to trust in yourself again, trust that you can make food choices and exercise decisions for your body that feel right for you. Not that another person feels is best for you.

 

Now don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t benefit from guidance from a professional on nutrition and movement. You can, most everyone can. But the idea is that you get to make the decisions with the gentle, caring support of a professional walking the journey with you.

 

2. Did you have any one-on-one private coaching?

 

Many clients who come to me after having “tried” other intuitive eating programs realize that the missing piece for them was the lack of 1-1 private coaching in other programs. They joined a group program because it was a less expensive route, and while there were group coaching calls, there were no, or very few, 1-1 private coaching sessions. They attended the group calls, but didn’t get to do the deep dive work to uncover the mental blocks and limiting beliefs that were holding them back.

 

Once these women started working with me 1-1, they saw the value in getting the personal help and insight into how their past is affecting their present. That’s when real change happened.

 

The program Pat previously invested in did not have 1-1 coaching, and this made all the difference for her.

 

Did you have the deep dive 1-1 coaching as part of your previous intuitive eating program?

 

3. Are you a self-starter and self-motivator?

 

This is a very important question to ask yourself, and to answer honestly. If you are not a self-starter and don’t do well holding yourself accountable, then that is probably one very big reason why those other programs didn’t work out for you.

 

In the case of Pat, she joined a group program that had modules for her to complete. The problem is she isn’t a self-starter and would push off doing the modules. When she motivated herself enough to sit down and do some of the work, it didn’t last long. Her kids needed her, her husband needed her and she got pushed back down to the bottom of the totem pole.

 

There was no consistency, and this lack of consistency and action kept her stuck where she was.

 

If this sounds like you, that’s okay. Not everyone can ‘go it alone’. The fact that you identify this now helps you to take your next steps.

 

After considering these 3 questions, Pat decided to take a leap of faith and work with me one-on-one so she can finally be at peace with food and her body.

 

Are you ready to take your leap of faith? If yes, just email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com with the subject line: I’m Ready!

 

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and intuitive 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreading the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal? Here’s 3 Survival Tips!

It’s only 5 days until Christmas, which means you’ll likely be surrounded by family, friends, food and wine! The holiday season brings with it all types of emotions, some happy and some sad.

 

Add to these emotions the fact that you are surrounded by dieting messages at every turn. “New Year, New You” is a common theme as we end one year and begin planning for the next. This message is enmeshed in diet culture, sucking you into thinking there’s something wrong with the “current you”!

 

I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you, just as you are now!

 

If you have achieved a peaceful relationship with food and your body, then you are in a place where these media messages are benign to you. They don’t affect you, except make you mad as hell that the diet industry is praying on those desperate to lose weight.

 

But thankfully, that is not you anymore. You appreciate your body, you are at peace with food, and you are enjoying the holiday meals without guilt. And I am so happy for you.

 

If you aren’t yet there yet, just know that I realize this next week may be challenging for you. If you will be surrounded by family members who are dieting, you will hear comments at your holiday meal such as:

“I shouldn’t be eating this, but…”

“I’m starting Diet X on January 1st…”

“I can’t eat that dessert, you are?”

 

How you handle these comments will determine whether you slip back into diet mentality or not.

 

Here are 3 Tips to Help You Navigate the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal:

  1. Maintain awareness: That word right there, awareness, will be the difference between you throwing in the towel or standing your ground. Stay present within your body and make purposeful food choices that honor you! If at any point you find yourself losing that awareness, that’s okay. Bring yourself back to the present moment with a pause and a few deep breaths.

 

  1. Tune out the diet talk: When the family starts getting into all the diet talk, just tune them out. Start to sing your favorite song in your head, think about the good time you had on your last vacation, or excuse yourself from the table for a stretch and walk around the house. You will be so thankful that you are no longer going down the rabbit hole of the ‘New Year Diet’!

 

  1. Change the topic: When the conversation goes to the food and should/shouldn’ts, change the topic! Be the leader in moving the conversation to where you want it to go. A good idea is to have some conversation starters ready to go such as:

 

  • “What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in the last 6 months?”
  • “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?”
  • “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”
  • “What’s your biggest pet peeve?”

 

You have the power within you to resist falling back into diet mentality. Keep reminding yourself of this, especially as December is coming to a close and a New Year is beginning!

 

And, give thought to how you want your intuitive eating journey to look in 2018.

 

If you are content in continuing to go it alone and are happy with your progress, then I am happy for you too!

 

But if any part of you would like a smoother transition into the world of intuitive eating, then reach out to me and let’s see how I can support you in the New Year. Just answer a few questions at www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we will set up a time to speak.

 

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday!

 

 

When Diets Rule All Your Life’s Decisions

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday topic is inspired by a client of mine who shared her frustration about some members of her family who are dieting. I will only share the relevant info, as to protect the privacy of her and her family.

 

We are knee deep in December and holiday festivities. My client, let’s call her Jane, has given up dieting 3 months ago when she committed to working with me in my Freedom to Eat Forever™ 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program. She is so happy and so sure she is NEVER going to diet again, and she is enjoying the holiday parties she is attending without fretting about the food that will be served (what a relief for her, can you relate?)

 

So why is she frustrated?

 

Her family holiday party is coming up. She was in charge of hosting this year and she takes pride in planning a fun time for her immediate and extended family, both with delicious food and fun, interactive games. But here’s what happened.

 

She got a call from a family member who basically told her that she would like to host the holiday party this year. Jane asked her why and told her she’s already been planning and prepping. But her relative said that she just really wants to, and to PLEASE let her. Well, Jane felt she had no choice but to say okay. Only later did it occur to Jane why this relative was so insistent.

 

Can you guess? I’ll tell you.

 

This relative, her husband and her adult children are all on a diet. They’ve been losing weight and have been boasting about it all over social media. The diet they are on is quite restrictive, although they’ll tell you it’s a “healthy lifestyle”. Yep, the diet companies have hijacked the words “healthy lifestyle’ and are masking their diet rules under the guise of eating healthfully. And worse yet, the diet company encourages their dieters to pull other people into their web “If I did it, you can too!”.

 

Jane’s family members don’t want to be tempted by food they cannot eat. Yes, I said ‘cannot’ eat because when one is on a diet, they have a list of foods they can and cannot eat. Jane remembers last year’s holiday party when this family was just beginning this diet. They came to the holiday party and were salivating over the food, and were found sneaking bites in the kitchen. They were overheard saying, “it’s okay, we’ll get back on tomorrow’.

 

Oh, so sad, just so sad. Is this how you want to live your life?

 

Do you want your diet to rule your life’s decisions?

 

Decisions such as:

“Do I go with my spouse to his holiday party or not?”

“Should I go with my friends on that cruise?”

“Will I attend that party I was invited to, or make up an excuse why I cannot go?”

“Should I breastfeed my baby? Hmm, I’m drinking these chemically-filled weight loss shakes, so perhaps not.”

 

If you resonate with any of this, it’s time to realize that the diet you are on is RULING YOUR LIFE! You are not living free! You are probably thinking about food 24/7. “What did I eat, what am I eating, what will I eat?”

 

This my friends, is FOOD OBSESSION. Yes, dieting causes food obsession.

 

I’d like to encourage you that you don’t need to rely on any diet. You can trust yourself to make food decisions on your own. I recognize that if you’ve been dieting for a while (and most likely if you are following my work you have been), then you have lost that trust in yourself and your food choices. But with the right support, you can learn to trust yourself again.

 

You know how to eat. You know about proteins, carbs and fats. You know how to balance your plate. I’m not saying there aren’t some things you can learn. I’m sure there are. But you know the basics. You don’t need to be drinking shakes, eating bars or following a diet that doesn’t let you live your life to the fullest.

 

Commit right now to stop the madness. I’ve got your back.

 

Comment below: “I will no longer let a diet rule my life’s decisions”.

 

 

How the Diet Industry Positions Users to Blame Themselves

I was thinking about something the other day. It was about the diet industry.

 

According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm, Americans spend more than $60 billion annually to try to lose weight, on everything from paying for gym memberships and joining weight-loss programs to buying diet foods and beverages.

 

That’s a lot of money to spend blaming yourself when the “product” you are buying doesn’t work.

 

Think about it.

 

If you purchased a new iPad, and it didn’t work, you’d complain to Apple (“this is a defective iPad”).

 

If you bought a wall clock at Target and it stopped working, you’d return it to Target (“this is a cheap clock”).

 

If you were working on a home improvement project and the drill stopped working, you’d blame the manufacturer (“this is a faulty drill”).

 

But when it comes to the diets you’ve tried, and you’ve regained the weight you lost PLUS a few extra pounds, you don’t blame the diet company, you blame yourself.

 

“I didn’t follow the rules correctly.”

“I must have done something wrong.”

“There’s something wrong with me, I need to try harder.”

“I’ll never get this right.”

 

And eventually, because you are so desperate to lose weight, you go running right back to the diet that you’ve tried multiple times.

 

I’m not going to name diets, it doesn’t matter which ones. The diet industry is brilliant, really they are. They have set themselves up to be the winner over and over again.

 

Here’s how:

Action                                                                                               Feeling

You want to lose weight, you go on XYZ diet.                            Excited

You lose weight and meet your goal.                                          Yay, celebration!

6 months later, you’ve regained the weight, plus more.         Disappointment

You spend a few weeks or months feeling sad, ashamed and berating yourself.

You go back on XYZ diet.                                                              Excited

You lose weight and meet your goal.                                          Yay, celebration!

3 months later, you’ve regained he weight, plus more            Disappointment

You spend a few weeks or months feeling sad, ashamed and berating yourself.

You go back on XYZ diet.                                                               Excited

 

How many times have you repeated the above sequence of events, with the length of time between diets getting shorter and shorter? Let’s figure it out together.

 

Doing the Math

  • Take a piece of paper and make 5 columns.
  • Label your columns: Diets I’ve been on/Pounds lost/Length of time weight stayed off/Pounds regained/# times I’ve tried this diet

 

Reflect on your chart. What did you discover?

 

If you are being true to yourself, then most likely you have tried a particular diet more than once. Why is that?

 

Because the diet industry has set it up that they are the winner when you lose the weight (“Our diet works). And, they are there to pick you up when you fall and gain the weight back (“It’s okay, you had a stressful few months, come back and try again, it works when you follow it”).

 

People, listen up!! This is not normal! Stop blaming yourself, you are NOT TO BLAME.

 

The diet industry is the ONLY industry where the product user blames themselves. Shame on you diet industry for making so many people feel so badly about themselves.

 

If you are reading this, please know that you are not alone in trying to break free of the diets and the manipulations. You have it within yourself to trust your body to make the decisions around what to eat and when to eat! Speak back to the diets you’ve been on. No, actually, YELL at them. Show them that you are on to them and their deceit. You don’t need them anymore.

 

Once you’ve made the decision to fight back against the diet industry, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders and you will empowered to take the next step towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater.

 

Comment below with your commitment to fight back against the diet industry!!

 

3 Tips to Shut Down Diet and Food Talk at Your Thanksgiving Table

It’s Thanksgiving and I couldn’t be more excited. I just love this holiday where we stop and say thanks and show gratitude for all we have in our lives.

 

I also love cooking all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Since I’m off from work on Thanksgiving, I take my time cooking, with my daughters by my side helping. No pressure, no rushing, just some music, laughter, great conversation and recipe making.

 

We then sit down to an intimate meal with my immediate family and bond. I love it.

 

But for the intuitive eater in training (that might be you if you are in the midst of your journey), the whole thought of sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast might be intimidating. Maybe you still have some food fear and haven’t fully allowed all foods into your life yet. Or, maybe you have made peace with food and feel super comfortable approaching this holiday meal, but the issue you are worrying about is what others might say or think when they see you eating stuffing, sweet potatoes and pecan pie.

 

Let me back up and explain.

 

The Struggle for an Intuitive Eater in Training

 

You have been on your intuitive eating journey for some time. You have made peace with food and your body, and you are ready to approach your very first Thanksgiving as an intuitive eater. You have no qualms about eating what you love. But, what about all those family members who have seen you dieting for most of your adult life?

 

You know the ones. Your sister-in-law, mother, or cousin who have dieted with you in years past and who have joined in with you at the holiday meal saying things like “I shouldn’t eat this but …..”, or “this has SO many calories, and is SO bad for me, but I’m going to eat it anyway”.

 

They are probably still dieting, but you aren’t (lucky you)! But when they see you eating and NOT commenting with them about how guilty you feel or how stuffed you are, you may feel they are judging you.

 

Or, there may be family members who just know you as the ‘dieter’ and have never seen you eat in public. They don’t realize that when you’ve restricted in the past, you’d just go home and eat whatever you can find. So for them, they may say outright to you: “YOU eat that now? I’ve never seen you eat this.”

 

3 tips to shut down the diet and food talk at your Thanksgiving table:

 

  1. Say with confidence: “Yes, I eat all foods. Food is just food”. And, leave it at that.

 

  1. Say with boldness: “Please do not comment on what I am eating. Let’s focus on the beauty of the holiday, not my food.”

 

  1. Say with firmness: “This house is a diet-free talk zone. We don’t discuss diets or shame people for eating. Thank you for respecting this house rule”.

 

The most important person is YOU. Have confidence in yourself and in your food choices that you are making to honor and respect your body. You are in the drivers seat now, you are no longer a passenger on the diet train.

 

If you’d like my support at any point on your journey, just reach out to me HERE.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

 

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!