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Can I Fail on My Intuitive Eating Journey?

No failures in IEI was thinking about a conversation I had with a new client a few weeks ago. She was really fed up with dieting and was looking for a solution to help her finally be at peace with food and her body.  We talked about the process of intuitive eating and it resonated with her greatly, but she had one big fear:  would she fail at this process, like she failed at dieting?

 

Her fear of failure was initially holding her back from saying yes to embarking on the intuitive eating process.  So we talked about that fear and one of the things I helped her to understand is that you cannot fail at intuitive eating.

 

You see, dieting is something you go on and you go off. Dieting is what actually triggers overeating.  Dieting is what causes the feelings of failure.

 

With intuitive eating, there is no failure. Intuitive eating is this process where you’re learning to become an intuitive eater, which is an ability you are born with.  That ability is already within you.   Every step along the path, is a lesson learned.  Every experience you have will be another lesson learned.

 

So what you might have thought of as a “failure” or “setback” on your diet, is now going to be thought of as a lesson learned.  Its growth and progress.

 

If you can view the process of intuitive eating from this place, a place of growth, a place of learning new things and new experiences, it will help propel you forward towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater. Here you will realize that you will always learn something from the process and you will never fail.

 

Once my client realized that she is not embarking on another diet, she realized she cannot fail on this journey.  This process is not something that ends.  You learn to live as an intuitive eater, it’s a practice.

 

And so when there is no endpoint, there’s no failure and no fear that’s attached to that.

 

Once she was able to let go of that fear, she was able to say “YES, let’s do this.  Let’s go on this journey together so I can reclaim being an intuitive eater”. She’s on that journey now and really enjoying it.

 

I say the same to you.

 

There are lessons learned in every experience you have on this intuitive eating journey.

 

If you come upon an obstacle or you think you have fallen off the wagon, let’s change that thought process and just think of it as a lesson learned that’s given you growth so you can continue along your journey.

 

As always, if you need me, I am here.

 

 

Is Intuitive Eating just for Women? A True Father’s Day Gift!

Intuitive Eating is Not Just for Women! (1)I recently had a potential client express how he was stuck in the dieting mindset.  He had tried many diets before and has lost the weight and gained it right back.  He has feelings of failure and did not know how to break out of the cycle.  I suggested intuitive eating and how it can help him.  He realized that is exactly what he needs, but hesitated for two reasons:

 

Reason #1: He is so used to wanting and getting results quickly, that to engage in a “food behavior therapy-type” program wasn’t going to get him the instant results.

 

Reason #2: He thought this type of deep work was only for women, and what would people think if he embarked on this journey?

 

Well, after a few more minutes of conversation, he realized that reason #1 was exactly why he was speaking to me in the first place. Yes, all those diets gave him quick results, but those results never lasted. So, what good were they?

 

As for reason #2, I get it. Quite a few men think the path towards intuitive eating is more for women than men.

 

But listen up men! Intuitive eating is not just for women.  Men and women were both born intuitive eaters and the process to reclaim this is unisex and can benefit everyone.

 

The work I do with my clients in my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program is a step-by-step process to 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.

 

If you are a man reading this blog, I’m sure you have your reasons as to why you assume this process is just for women.  Men don’t like to talk about their emotions, right?  May I ask you why?  Is it because of what society thinks? Is it just because men don’t “do emotions”?

 

Men – It is OK to talk about your emotions!  You are not alone.  Intuitive eating will show you and teach you how to cope with your emotions without food!

 

With intuitive eating, you’ll be able to enjoy eating your favorite foods without experiencing the guilt afterwards.  You’ll learn to accept your body, and with acceptance comes appreciation of your body.  From there, your mindset will change and you’ll be able to build a better relationship with food.  Your body will thank you.

 

What better time to take charge of your health and break free of the dieting mindset than around Father’s Day? 

 

Here are two steps you can take today to start the journey to become an intuitive eater:

 

  1. Commit to saying goodbye to the quick – fixes. Truly recognize this isn’t your long-term solution.

 

  1. Take advantage of my Father’s Day Gift to you – a Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session. During this session we will uncover the challenges that’s been holding you back from losing weight forever, and we will map out your intuitive eating path. Just click here to schedule your free session.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

3 Reasons Why I Will Never Diet Again, and Neither Should You

3 Reasons whyI will never diet again. I say this with confidence. I know that diets don’t work. I also know that in my younger years, whenever I was on a diet, I was miserable. Oh, yes, I always lost weight on the diet, but then I gained that weight back.

 

If you are reading this blog, I bet you can relate. You are a dieter, a chronic dieter. Perhaps you are reading this after breaking your current diet and you are desperate to find another way. Or, you are reading this and you are at your goal weight, having lost the excess pounds by starving yourself, drinking shakes or eating “clean” but tasteless food.

 

Here are 3 reasons WHY I will never diet again and neither should you:

 

1. Diets cause you to think about food ALL. THE. TIME. What did I eat yesterday, what did I eat before, what am I eating now, what will I eat later, what will I eat tomorrow. Whew, that’s exhausting. Food should not be the center of your day, food should not encompass your entire brain. There is so much more to life that you can be doing than thinking about food all the time.

 

2. Diets cause you to feel guilty when you eat something you think you should not eat. The diet lists foods for you to choose and those to avoid. But what if you happen to want to eat a food that’s on the “avoid” list? Well, what usually happens when you are told you cannot have something? Yep, you want it more (everyone always gets this question right!) You can deny your desire for only so long. So you indulge and the guilty feelings and harsh self-talk start. Isn’t it time to put that to bed?

 

3. Diets cause you to lose trust in your own food decisions. Well, last I checked, I am the owner of my body, of my inner signals and my thoughts. I can certainly make decisions about what I want to eat. Don’t you think you should too?

 

These are only 3 reasons I will never diet again, and why you shouldn’t either. There are plenty more that perhaps I’ll discuss in another blog.

 

In the meantime, I would like to hear from you. Do you resonate with any of the side effects of dieting I discussed above? How will you break this vicious cycle? Let me know in the comments below.

 

And, come and join the discussion in my free private Facebook group where you’ll join women and men who are giving up dieting too. Click here to request free access.

 

 

 

How to Be an Intuitive Eater When You Are Sick

tea 3Learning how to be an intuitive eater after years and years of chronic dieting is certainly a journey with twists and turns. But it’s those twists and turns that lead to movement forward on your path towards food freedom.

 

Some of these twists and turns we can expect and plan for, such as an upcoming wedding, party or night out on the town. We think ahead, set intentions for the evening and stay aware during our night out.

 

But there are some twists and turns that we do not plan for. One such is getting sick. Now, there’s all kinds of sick. There’s the flu that keeps you in bed, the stomach virus that keeps you in the bathroom, and there’s migraine headaches which keeps you under the covers. And, then there’s laryngitis.

 

I am writing this blog as I sit at my desk with no voice. I open my mouth to speak and nothing comes out. Zero, zilch, nada! This happened last night after I finished a 90 minute webinar training on my 5 Step System to Break Free of Dieting (if you didn’t catch the webinar, you can listen to the replay here!)

 

I could tell my voice was starting to go earlier in the day, it felt a bit scratchy. I drank hot tea and sucked on throat lozenges all in hopes of preserving my voice so I can host the training that hundreds of people signed up for.

 

And, my voice held out! Until right after the webinar. It was so strange. Within a half hour of the training ending, I lost my voice. The universe really wanted me to share my 5 Step System with as many people as possible, as it is really a life changing process towards eating without guilt and achieving a body you love without dieting.

 

I was grateful. I took a cup of tea and headed to bed.

 

Then, this morning, when I awoke, I noticed something. I wasn’t experiencing my hunger signals for breakfast like I usually do. And, throughout the day, I noticed that I was having a hard time identifying hunger. I knew, however, that illness blunts or dulls the hunger signals and in these types of situations, it is important to eat and nourish my body with wholesome foods to aid in my healing.

 

So this is what I did. I chose soft foods that wouldn’t irritate my throat, and I took the time to sit at my table and eat in a mindful fashion. I found that I became satiated a bit earlier than usual, and I stopped eating at this point.

 

It takes a bit more effort to tune into your inner signals when you are not feeling well. But your body deserves to be nourished, especially when it needs to heal. And, food is thy best medicine.

 

Your turn to take action: If you missed my free webinar, request access to the replay here.

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to STOP Dieting Once and For All

5 steps webinar graphic 1You know how to eat healthfully. You have heard it time and time again.

 

Eat whole foods, lean proteins, whole grains, plenty of fruits and veggies (the colors of the rainbow) and healthy fats. And, yes, avoid highly processed foods!

 

You don’t need a “Food Revolution” to tell you this! You know this already.

 

You actually have eaten like this. Then stopped eating like this. Then started eating like this again, then stopped again! Yikes, I’m getting dizzy!

 

Why do you NOT do what you know is good for you?

 

Well, there might be several reasons. For starters, it’s easy to fall back into old habits. Change is hard, there’s no doubt about that. And change takes time, patience and perseverance. You can do it as long as life cooperates. But once life throws you a curve ball, you haven’t learned how to juggle that curve ball while maintaining your newfound healthy habits. So, you fall back into old familiar habits that feel safe, even if they aren’t healthy for you.

 

Now, don’t feel bad about this. It happens to the best of us. What you should feel bad about is if you don’t keep trying. If you just throw in the towel and say and do one of the two following statements:

  • “It doesn’t matter, I’m destined to be fat, and so I might as well just forget trying. I’m going to enjoy my food and I’ll show them (by the way, who is “them”)?”

 

  • “I’m going to try the Atkins diet again, or Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time”.

 

Now, let’s discuss each of the above statements.

 

In statement number one, you are engaging in pessimistic thinking (the cup is half empty). This type of self-talk is negative messaging that only leads to more unhappiness and self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.

 

In statement number two, you know full well that diets don’t work. I don’t care what diet it is. Diets just don’t work as a ‘forever’.

 

Again, you know this. So, why do you fall for the fad diet’s false advertising time and time again?

 

I am going to explain why in full detail AND I am going to give away my 5 Step System to Break Free of Dieting so you can get the body and life you love on my upcoming Free Online Webinar.

 

Here are the deets:

 5 steps webinar graphic 1

Monday May 16, 2016 at 8 pm EST/5 pm PST.

 

Join HERE.

 

This is a Pitch-Free Webinar. I am not selling any home study or group program.

 

In honor of my birthday month (May), I am giving back to you by teaching you my system at no cost to you.

 

There is no reason not to show up live.

 

Register here. I can’t wait to speak to you!

 

 

Where’s My Baked Potato? Eating without Distraction!

Young girl on appWe live in a world where it’s all about staying connected….not to each other, but to our electronics. If we leave the house and forget our cell phone at home, we fall into panic mode. “Oh my gosh, what if my friend tries to call me?” Or, “What if that email I am expecting comes in when I am out?”

 

What if?

 

The phone message and email will be there for you when you return.

 

I was recently shopping with my daughters. While we were waiting on the very long line to pay, I noticed that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was looking down and scrolling on their phones. I pointed this out to my daughters, who by the way, were on their phones too! Now, I will admit that I am prone to doing the same thing. But, I am trying really HARD to disconnect from my phone when I am out.

 

We decided to put our phones away and just do a bit of “people watching”. Come on, I know you like to do that tooJ.

 

Anyway, we noticed that even when there were two or more people in line together, they were not talking to each other. And, if they did speak a word or two to each other, they did not even lift up their head to look into the eyes of the person talking. Actually, the person talking didn’t lift her head up either.

 

This need to be connected to our electronics isn’t just when we are shopping. Unfortunately you see this when people are driving (NOT safe people!) and even when dining out. The next time you go out to a restaurant, take notice if the people dining together are actually speaking to one another, or looking on their phones. Or if someone is dining alone, they are likely reading the newspaper, checking email, or updating Facebook.

 

I ask my clients to eat and just eat, without any distractions. This means no T.V., newspaper, book, email or texting. This is probably one of the hardest things for my clients to do. Actually, when I first suggest this, they resist. They tell me it will be boring. They even try to tell me that they eat slower when they read or watch T.V.

 

Well, your meal might drag on longer, but you are not focused on your food, not aware of what you are eating, will not have the utmost pleasure in your meal and will find that even if you are satisfied physically, you will not be satisfied psychologically after you finish your meal. And then you are looking for food later on in the evening.

 

Let me share a story with you.

 

When I was newly married and had my first baby, I returned to graduate school in the evenings to complete my education. I ate an early dinner before the babysitter came and then I was off to school. One night while I was eating dinner, I was watching T.V. When the show was over, I turned to my plate and my baked potato was gone! I looked on the floor, it was not there. I know the baby didn’t eat it, he was sound asleep in his crib (and not even eating solid food yet!). I realized that I must have eaten it and didn’t even realize it because I was tuned into the T.V. I SO wanted another potato! I promised myself at that moment that not only will I never eat and watch T.V. again, but I will be tell this story to my clients in my future practice as I teach them to eat without distraction.

 

I have been telling this story for 28 years.

 

Don’t let your potato escape your plate without notice. Make an effort to put away your electronics during mealtime, and eat and just eat! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.

 

 

 

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.

 

A Mindful Passover

Passover -  MindfulWhat comes to your mind when you think of the holidays?

 

For most people, the first thought is food. The second thought is “oh, no I am going to gain so much weight”.

 

Passover is just two days away and if you celebrate this holiday, you probably understand when I say that preparing for Passover is exhausting. Cleaning the house, planning the holiday menus, writing your shopping lists and finally “turning over the kitchen” so you can begin cooking even before the holiday begins can really take a toll on your energy level.

 

For those reading this who might not understand what “turning over the kitchen” means, let me take a moment to explain. It is required on Passover to use different dishes, silverware and pots than you use all year round. One has to clean out the refrigerator, oven, stovetop and microwave of all leavened bread and crumbs before using it for Passover food and cooking. So when someone says “I am turning over my kitchen tonight”, that means from that night forward until the end of Passover, only Passover dishes, pots and foods are in the kitchen.

 

Needless to say, this is a lot of work! And, cooking for the 8 days of Passover is a lot of cooking. Many of my clients tell me that by the time Passover begins, they are exhausted and they don’t make healthful food choices. Exhaustion is definitely a feeling/emotion for many people that triggers poor food choices.

 

But for the chronic dieter, this goes even deeper.

 

I see one of several scenarios in the chronic dieter and how they handle Passover. Here are just two that come to mind now:

 

Scenario #1:

She arrives at the Passover Seder exhausted and over hungry, having not eaten all day due to Passover preparation. She overeats on the appetizer and then says “I blew it already, so forget it. I’ll start again after Passover”.

 

Scenario #2:

She enters into the holiday with the mindset of “I am not going to eat anything I am not supposed to”. She says no to her favorite traditional holiday foods for the first 4 days of Passover, and then BAM, she can’t do it anymore. On day 5 she says: “I just want to taste a sliver”, which leads to a second sliver, a third sliver and so on until she says “Forget it, I’ll start again after Passover”.

 

So, what’s the best way to stay mindful and intuitive over the Passover holiday?

 

  • Banish the rules. Be rid of the “I won’t eat anything I’m not supposed to mentality”. That is a dieters thought and will keep you struggling.

 

  • Remember to eat! I know this sounds funny, but it is very important to be sure you are eating meals on Friday so that you don’t arrive at the Seder starving.

 

  • Take it slow. There is no need to rush the meal. Take your time and savor each bite of food, really exploring the taste and texture so you can have great pleasure in your meals. You will be less likely to be on the prowl looking for snacks later in the evening.

 

  • Forget about deprivation. If you have a favorite Passover food, enjoy it. Deprivation leads to overeating, keep that in mind. If you are interested in exploring traditional Passover foods with a healthy twist, check out my cookbook Passover the Healthy Way!

 

Your turn to take action: Which scenario above do you resonate with, or share a different scenario you have found yourself in. And, how will you stay mindful this Passover? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Doctors Who Just Don’t Understand Intuitive Eating

Doctor telling woman what to eatIt seems that ever since I started teaching the process of intuitive eating to my clients, the terms “intuitive eating” and “mindful eating” are popping up everywhere on the internet. These are the new buzz words when it comes to people looking for a way to lose weight.

 

You might wonder why that bothers me. I’ll tell you why.

 

Intuitive eating is not about losing weight. It is not a weight loss program per-se. It is a process that helps you transform the way you look at food, think about food, and have food present in your life. Becoming an intuitive eater (or shall I say reclaiming your ability to be an intuitive eater since you were born one) is about you making peace with food so you can enjoy a diet-free life of guilt-free eating which in turn will help you achieve weight loss and a body you love.

 

Will you accomplish this in one or two months of intuitive eating work?

 

Absolutely NOT!

 

And anyone who expects that you will just does not understand what intuitive eating is or what the process entails. This is also probably someone who has never had a weight problem before and has always told you to “just stop eating what you shouldn’t eat”. Really, if only it were that easy.

 

This is also possibly your doctor who is so good at telling you that “you have to lose weight” but doesn’t give you any realistic coaching on how to do that. Or, worse yet, the doctor tells you to “avoid all bread and carbs to lose weight”.

 

Listen, there are many quick weight loss methods out there that you can follow to successfully lose weight. If your doctor is looking for the weight to come off in any way possible, then he will recommend these quick fix methods for you. You will lose the 50 or 100 pounds he is bothering you to lose. Great. But where will it leave you when one year later those pounds are back on plus another 30?

 

Do I sound frustrated? If I do, well that’s because I am. There are too many people out there in the world falling prey to the latest quick fix diets, and doctors who push their patients towards them for the quick weight loss are really doing a disservice to their patients. While they think they are doing a service, they are truly not!

 

The process of intuitive eating is not about disregarding what you are eating. I am not telling you that in intuitive eating, you should overfill your plate with pasta a la vodka, donuts or cookies.

 

While on the intuitive eating journey, you can still nourish your body with wholesome foods but the guilt of eating the piece of cake is gone. I actually encourage nourishing foods but you are the one who chooses it because you will find that as you learn to tune into and listen to your body, these are the foods that make you feel well, energized and healthy. You aren’t eating them because you are TOLD to eat them, and that is the big difference.

 

So, the next time someone says to you “you need quicker results”, tell them that statement is part of the diet mentality, and you are no longer dieting. Intuitive eating is a process and you will allow it to unfold naturally for you, whether that be 6 months, 9 months, or one year.

 

If you need help in getting started on your intuitive eating journey, request a free consultation here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Your Mind Guides Your Body towards Losing Weight

Woman eating while reading textThe concept of intuitive eating is regarded as a “new science.” However, being mindful and tuning into your body’s natural signals is a science that is rooted in our oldest ancestry. Tapping into those innate practices that your ancestors once held, or being mindful when you eat, is one way of conquering your battle with food.

 

So what is mindful eating?

 

Let’s start with understanding what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is a state of being conscious or being aware of something. Its paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them, without believing that there is a “right” or a “wrong” way to think or feel in that particular moment.

 

When you are being mindful, your thoughts tune into what you are sensing in the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or the future.

 

Mindful eating involves developing a special kind of awareness that you bring to the table when you eat. It is less about what you eat and more about the way you eat. It’s the act of slowing down, savoring the flavors, and enjoying every bite.

 

As you mindfully eat, you become aware of your eating habits, especially the ones that sabotage eating well.

 

Becoming a mindful eater takes practice.

 

Being mindful in other aspects of your day are also important and can include deep breathing exercises, meditation and writing in your journal. No matter how you focus on being mindful, small steps are key. There are psychological as well as physical reasons why slowing down can influence the way your body works.

 

For one, mindful eating can actually readjust your metabolism for efficient and effective calorie burning. The reason for this is because your body is basically functioning in one of two modes. One mode is the fight-or-flight response. This response is stimulated when you are in action. This response releases cortisol, and designates blood to your extremities in your muscles and bones.

 

The other mode is rest and digest. When you sit down and peacefully enjoy your meal, your body draws your blood flow to these organs of digestion. This effectively breaks down the carbohydrates, protein and fats that you consume.

 

Based on these two physiological responses, it’s clear to see where you may be going wrong in your quest to lose weight. When you eat on the go, in your car, on the bus or on your walk to work, your body is designating its blood flow and energy to muscles that are moving instead of your stomach. Eating on-the-go causes the absorption of nutrients to be impaired.

 

And, on top of that, you aren’t focused on what you are eating, and likely are not satisfied psychologically. Therefore you find yourself looking for food soon after to fill some sort of “need”.

 

If you want to maximize your body’s absorption and efficiency and have utmost pleasure in your food and meals, start by avoiding all distraction while you eat. Eat and just eat. Take the time to sit down, take your mind off your tasks and simply eat. Step away from your desk at work or find a spot to eat outside to increase the joy you have when eating. Do the same for each meal.

 

While this might seem difficult at first to do, you will reap the benefits soon enough.

 

Your turn to take action: Name one mindful eating technique you will try tonight?