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Finding Balance with Intuitive Eating

I recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Jessica. Jessica was at a barbecue when chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies were being served. She thought that maybe she would overeat on these desserts because that’s what she’s always done in the past. So she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few spoonfuls of the ice cream, then a few bites of the cookie, and something that has never happened to her before happened…

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked.

She was able to savor each bite using her mindful eating techniques and felt satisfied after only a few bites.

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 ice cream or a cookie, 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. However, that’s not how this process works.

Changing your mindset 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 Jessica 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 2 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. You can find a balance that works for you!
  2. 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 form at the link below and I’ll share how I can support you on your journey:

 www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

Handling Life’s Twists and Turns

Life happens. Twists and turns appear out of nowhere and even as an intuitive eater, you may lose focus for a bit.

 

The truth is that no matter where you are on your intuitive eating journey, stressful life events are bound to occur. It’s okay to feel stressed or anxious, but you don’t want to lose yourself to life’s surprises. I encourage you to stay focused on your big WHY to keep you pushing through the obstacles.

 

When you feel life weighing you down, you may feel inclined to turn to food… But food is meant to nourish you, not be used as your crutch. There are other things you can do to help you handle life’s twists and turns that don’t involve food. I’m here today to help you find out what those other things are (and they are often different for everyone).

 

I will turn the question around on you for a moment. “What can you do to keep moving forward when life throws you curveballs?”

 

Before you answer that, I want you to really focus on WHY you are on the intuitive eating journey. As you feel like you are falling apart, ask yourself the reason you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Was it to feel better in your body? Was it to be a good role model for your kids? Was it to stop the diet madness?

 

Chances are your “why” still resonates somewhere within you, even on your darkest days. Let this motivate you. Some days are easier than others but if you keep your “why” in focus, you can navigate the bumps along the way. Instead of letting the tough times discourage you from working to better your health and yourself, use mindfulness to clear your head space and find peace within yourself.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to help you handle life’s twists and turns:

 

1. Prioritize your own needs. Make every day the best it can be by prioritizing your own needs. That may mean making a list of goals, tasks to tackle, or fresh produce to pick up from the grocery store. Each step in the right direction is an important one.

 

You can make the most of each day by scheduling time for your own needs into your daily routine. There is a time for work, a time for taking care of the needs of others, and a time to care for yourself. This includes time to sit down for meals and to be engaged, mindful and do nothing but focus on your food.

 

2. Take time to unwind each day. This can be movement you enjoy, taking a bath, catching the newest episode of your favorite TV show, or talking with a friend. Remember that you do not have to navigate alone. At times life is too much to balance on your own so reach out to friends, coworkers, family, and loved ones for support when you need it. By letting go of pent up emotions, you will be clearing your mind and allowing more room for mindfulness.

 

You may be thinking “but I don’t have TIME to relax.” Trust me, I know the feeling. With busy schedules, sometimes it may feel like there is just no time to unwind. Even just taking 15 minutes to vent to a friend or to decompress your thoughts onto paper will benefit your day and your overall goals.

 

3. Write down your motivation. Instead of making excuses as to why you cannot do this or that, put that energy towards focusing on the reasons you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Write down your motivation and the messages your body is sending you. You will gain clarity and feel motivated to continue along your journey.

 

The truth is, life comes at you fast. You cannot go back in time but you can make the most of your present and future. Honing in on your intuitive eating and mindfulness will help you navigate through life’s obstacles and keep you on track to being the best version of yourself.

 

Always remember, when you are feeling low, there is nowhere to go but up! If you keep your focus and mindfulness, you will find inner peace on even your worst days.

 

Special invitation for you: Come join an amazing group of women in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. They are navigating life’s twists and turns while successfully moving forward on their intuitive eating journey. Get all the info and join us here!

 

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.

 

Navigating Life’s Surprises as an Intuitive Eater

big whyLife happens. Twists and turns appear out of nowhere and even as an intuitive eater, you may lose focus and veer off track.

 

The truth is that no matter where you are on your intuitive eating journey, stressful life events are bound to occur. It is okay to feel stressed or anxious, but you don’t want to lose yourself to life’s surprises. I encourage you to stay focused on your health rather than slipping back into old ways.

 

When you feel life weighing you down, it may feel most comfortable to turn to food but the thing is, food is meant to nourish you, not be used as your crutch. So next time you find yourself in this situation, what can you do to keep going and to stay on track?

 

First, I want you to really focus on why you are on the intuitive eating journey. As you feel like you are falling apart, ask yourself the reason you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Was it to feel better in your own body? Was it to stay healthy for your kids? Was it to get off medication?

 

Chances are your “why” still resonates somewhere within you, even on your darkest days. Let this motivate you. Some days are easier than others but if you keep your “why” in focus, you can navigate the bumps along the way. Instead of letting the bad times discourage you from working to better your health and yourself, use mindfulness to clear your head space and find peace within yourself.

 

Make every day the best it can be by prioritizing your own needs. That may mean making a list of goals, tasks to tackle, or fresh produce to pick up from the grocery store. Each step in the right direction is an important one.

 

You can make the most of each day by scheduling time for your own priorities into your daily routine. There is a time for work, a time for taking care of the needs of others, and a time to care for yourself. This includes time to sit down for meals and to be engaged, mindful and do nothing but focus on your food.

 

Take time to unwind each day. This can be exercise, taking a bath, catching the newest episode of your favorite TV show, or talking with a friend. Remember that you do not have to navigate alone. At times life is too much to balance on your own so reach out to friends, coworkers, family, and loved ones for support when you need it. By letting go of pent up emotions, you will be clearing your mind and allowing more room for mindfulness.

 

You may be thinking “but I don’t have TIME to relax.” Trust me, I know the feeling. With busy schedules, sometimes it may feel like there is just no time to unwind. Even just taking 15 minutes to vent to a friend or to decompress your thoughts onto paper will benefit your day and your overall goals.

 

Instead of taking time to make excuses as to why you cannot do this or that, put that energy towards focusing on the reasons you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Write down your motivation and the messages your body is sending you. You will gain clarity and feel motivated to trek on this journey.

 

The truth is, life comes at you fast. You cannot go back in time but you can make the most of your present and future. Honing in on your intuitive eating and mindfulness will help you navigate through life’s obstacles and keep you on track to being the best version of yourself.

 

Always remember, when you are feeling low, there is nowhere to go but up! If you keep your focus and mindfulness, you will find inner peace on even your worst days.

 

The Gift of Support this Valentine’s Day

Flowers and chocolates are great, but most of the time material gifts do not make us feel nearly as good as a compliment from a loved one.  Even better than a compliment is support.  You are on your own individual journey into mindful eating, but while you work on loving yourself this Valentine’s Day, ask for the gift of support from your loved ones.

 

This journey into mindful eating that you are on is very personal.  It can sometimes be hard to let others in.  But when you involve the ones you love in matters going on in your life, you may be surprised how much it helps.  Chances are they have seen you go on and off the diet roller coaster so many times and they will be excited to see you embracing a diet-free approach.  They don’t want to see you trapped by a “meal plan” and they certainly don’t want to see you disappointed and not able to reach your goals.

 

So this Valentine’s Day let your loved ones in on the new, diet-free you.  Ask them for support while you travel the road to mindful eating.  Ask them what is it they love about you and let this remind you of the wonderful person that you are.  Love and emotion is a powerful thing, and the support that comes with loving relationships will certainly help you succeed!

 
Let me know what your loved ones had to say about your new diet-free mindset!