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6 Tips to a Mindful Holiday Season

The holiday season is a joyous time, but it can also be a very stressful time. Your celebrations likely include hosting friends and family, which means lots of planning, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. This stress can start to affect how well you listen to your body – which is why it’s extra important this time of the year to take care of yourself.

 

Taking Care of YOU

 

When it comes to taking care of yourself, start with what your body needs.

 

Is it an extra 20 minutes of sleep? Or, making time for yourself to exercise, read a book, or take a bath?

 

Whatever it is that helps you to remain relaxed and calm, make the time each day to do it!  Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks or ask family and friends to help. Your physical and mental health is just as important as everyone else’s!

 

The Day of the Dinner Party

 

You got this! You’ve worked hard to take care of your own needs in the early weeks of December. But now that the big day is here, and your company will be ringing your bell, (or you’re ringing their bell), do you push your needs to the side?

 

Along with taking care of yourself leading up to the holidays, it’s also important to take the steps you need to on the day of the dinner party to ensure you are honoring and respecting your body’s needs.

 

6 Tips to Help You Stay Mindful During the Party

  1. Plan ahead. It’s important to plan ahead so you can enjoy your favorite foods without guilt. The day before the big dinner party, plan out what you will eat for breakfast and lunch that day. It’s important to stay nourished so you don’t arrive at the dinner party too hungry!
  2. Focus on friends and family. The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends (I know you know this, but it can be challenging to remember this when you are not at peace with food). Give thought to something special that you love about each guest, and be sure to tell them how you feel. Put the focus on them, not the food.
  3. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food. Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.
  4. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing around the buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating. Fill your plate with food and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.
  5. Listen to your body. It’s important for you to take the time to listen to your body’s inner signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest for another time.  This will help you enjoy the homemade pie without guilt.
  6. Indulge in your favorites. Don’t avoid your favorites that come around once a year. Avoidance can lead to caving in and then to overeating.  It’s much better to eat a small portion of something you really want than to give it up entirely. Choose those foods that you don’t typically have year-round. Take a portion and enjoy without guilt.

If you’re looking for more help to ensure you have a stress-free holiday season, look no further than right here!

December 1st marked the month-long Holiday Special of my Stress Less, Eat Less – Holiday Edition Program. This program is designed to help you develop personalized strategies specific to your situation to help you beat holiday stress eating.

 

In this program, you can go at your own pace. I will walk you through the 3 simple steps to developing a calm mindset and learning the strategies you need that will help you stop stress eating in its tracks.

 

Click the link here to read more about the program and sign up today! You can also reach out to me here if you have any questions.

 

Here’s to a stress-free holiday season!

 

4 Tips for a Happy and Mindful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is hands down one of my favorite holidays.  I love having the whole family over and a table full of good food.  It is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

 

Despite my love for this holiday, I do know it can be easy to get lost in the chaos, especially for an intuitive eater in training. I can understand that 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.

 

Well, I’m here to help you because I don’t want you to let yourself feel out of “control” this year. It’s time to start your holiday season off on the right foot! Make this the year that you conquer your dieting habits and turn to intuitive and mindful eating for a body you love.

 

Mindful Eating 

 

Engaging in mindful eating can be the perfect way to help you enjoy Thanksgiving this year.  Here are four tips to help you stay mindful.

 

1. Stay fully conscious. It’s easy to lose yourself in all the food, conversation and football.  If you maintain an awareness of your food choices, amount of food you are serving yourself and eating, you can avoid overindulging.  This can be difficult in a social situation, but if you set your intentions out in the morning, you can do it!

2. Serve small portions. With a holiday that only comes once a year, you can easily serve yourself large portions of your favorite dishes.  You may even fall prey to “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”.  Start with small portions to avoid overeating yet still satisfies your craving.  If you are still hungry you could always have more.

3. Listen to your body. Do you belong to the “clean your plate club”?  This year commit to staying present and listening to your body’s signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest of your food and take it home.  If you do this, you will be able to enjoy your favorites when you get hungry again.

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

 

The holidays can be a difficult time for someone who has just started on the intuitive eating journey.  Resisting the urge to overeat can be hard to overcome.  But you can do it!  

 

Still looking for more ways to have a mindful Thanksgiving?  Start your day off with a long morning walk to kick-start your body.  Also, don’t forget to eat breakfast!  This will keep you satisfied and help you avoid heading into dinner starving.

 

Remember, 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!

 

Digging Into Desserts as an Intuitive Eater

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I am often asked about the role that dessert plays in our eating plan. Many people who are stuck in the diet mentality see certain foods as off-limits. This is largely due to the many diets they’ve been on that place foods into two categories, healthy foods and “junk foods” (or “good” and “bad”, “legal” and “illegal” etc…you get the idea).

 

When food is labeled as forbidden, it just becomes that much more appealing. When you place limits on how many sweets you can have or when you can have them, you are giving that food power over you. You are treating certain foods like a vice instead of a delightful treat to be savored.

 

Food is not meant to be categorized in such a way. As a matter of fact, I have a pet peeve when people call food “junk food”. Food is not junk and food is not garbage. Food nourishing to our body and soul. Food is neutral and there are ways you can incorporate what you would call “junk foods” into your eating style without demonizing it.

 

In order to build a healthy relationship with food, it is imperative to stop demonizing it, and look at it as a source of nourishment.

 

When working with my intuitive eating clients, I take them on a journey in which, together, we work to rebuild a happy and healthier relationship with food. During this journey, we reframe the way they way they look at desserts and sweets, and refer to these foods as either “fun foods” or “play foods.” They find it enjoyable to incorporate play foods into their eating style once they rebuild that trust within their body. They no longer fear these foods.

 

Chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, and salty caramel ice cream are not “off limits”. As you learn to enjoy all foods on your intuitive eating journey, you will find that every food has a place in your life, if you so choose.

 

Some sweet treats that can’t be beat:

  • Anything with berries in it. Berries are a great way to sweeten up any meal or snack. They have antioxidants, they protect your cells from free radicals and they are delicious. Check out my favorite ways to add berries into my meals.

 

  • Cookies, in any shape and size. Cookies are great because you can have one or two or five! You decide based on your level of hunger, not based on a pre-determined portion. To learn more about these delicious treats, check out my blog post.

 

  • Nuts – I’m just nuts about nuts. Nuts are packed with nutrients, fiber and healthy fat making them the perfect snack or after dinner dessert. While nuts might have once been an “off limit” food for you, as an intuitive eater you are now embracing them for their healthy fat content. Learn more about the various nuts and how to incorporate them into your menus.

 

  • The perfect parfait. Parfaits are a great after dinner treat, especially when they are homemade and you get to decide what to put in them. For simple instructions on how to make your own click here.

 

In practicing an intuitive eating lifestyle, you will learn how to pay attention to your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues.

 

Quick Tip

When you are eating a food, try and remember how that food is affecting you both mentally and physically.

 

Remember how you felt after eating a quinoa salad and compare that to after you had a giant cheeseburger. When you pay attention to how foods affect you, you will feel more in charge of your eating. You may not crave that BLT as much when you realize how much better you feel when you eat a yogurt for breakfast instead. Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when a giant stack of pancakes is in order, however as you become more intuitive and skilled at listening to your body, this may not be as common of an occurrence as before.

 

Interested in learning more about intuitive eating? Contact me to learn more about my various intuitive eating programs.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What is your favorite sweet treat? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

5 Ways to Avoid Dieting Before the Summer

Finally! The weather is cooperating, it’s in the 70’s and I couldn’t be happier. The windows in my office are open, there is a slight breeze and I am just loving this spring weather.

But for some of the women in my online community, the warmer weather brings up mixed emotions. Their inner voices are screaming both “yay, I love this weather”, and “oh no, I can’t cover up in a coat any longer”. This means that they need to feel comfortable in the clothes they are wearing. Yet, that brings up another issue…

…their summer clothes aren’t fitting as they hoped they would. And vacations are coming, family reunions will be happening and weddings are scheduled. This is causing them to feel like they must go on a diet to lose weight or else …

  • “I’ll have the worst summer!”
  • “Everyone at the reunion/wedding will stare at me and think how fat I got!”
  • “I won’t be able to go on the amusement park rides!”

Can you relate to these thoughts and feelings?

These feelings are made worse by the “bikini body influence” that is surrounding you on a daily basis. From magazine covers, to radio advertisements, to T.V. commercials, you are being bombarded by tips and tricks to get in your best bikini body shape by summer.

What happens when you fall prey to all this bikini body marketing?

You start to bash your own body, you engage in body loathing every time you look into the mirror, and you start comparing your body to everyone else’s (and it never measures up, right?).

All this body hatred fuels the vicious cycle of dieting.

5 Power Thoughts to Chase these Diet Thoughts Away

1. Reality Check
Diets never worked for you, and never will. Let’s say you decide to diet for a few weeks before summer so you can fit into your summer clothes. Summer comes, you’re now wearing those cute shorts, but you are also hanging with your friends, going to outdoor concerts, and eating out in restaurants and lo and behold, you are overeating. Yes, the restriction you endured during the weeks leading up to the summer is coming back to bite you in the butt.

2. Dress for the Present
If you pulled your summer clothes out of the closet and you don’t feel comfortable in them, go shopping. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just buy a few pieces that you can mix and match. Wearing comfortable clothes that aren’t pinching you and squeezing you will make all the difference on whether you spend your day bashing your body or respecting your body.

3. Thank Your Body
Your body is an amazing machine. Have you stopped recently to consider all the miracles it performs for you on a daily basis? From breathing, keeping your heart pumping, to being able to see the beautiful spring flowers, there is so much to be thankful for. All too often you get wrapped up in body negativity because it doesn’t “look” the way you want it to look, which is influenced by diet culture and the thin ideal society has you chasing after. Instead, start each morning with saying “thank you” to your body for working hard for you another day.

4. Recommit to a Diet-Free Life and Enjoy Each Moment
Using self-compassion, realize it’s okay to think at times “I want to lose weight”. But be curious about what triggered this thought and use self-compassion to recommit to your diet-free life and your intuitive eating journey. Then practice living in each moment and challenge yourself to stay present without judgement.

5. You are not alone!

Remember, others are likely feeling the same way as you. Sometimes knowing this makes all the difference! Reach out and support someone today! Not a member of my private intuitive eating support group yet? Join us here (it’s free!)

 

What thoughts about your journey fill your mind now that summer is here? Post below!

 

3 Powerful Approaches to Defying Diet Culture

Last week I called out the 3 biggest crimes of Diet Culture. If you didn’t read that blog yet, check it out here!

 

As a quick review, the 3 biggest crimes of Diet Culture are: Dishonesty, Disregard, and Destruction!

 

Any eating pattern that emphasizes how you look over your mental and physical well-being is detrimental. Diet Culture thrives on dichotomous thinking, also known as black-and-white thinking. Eat foods on the good list and you’ll be “thin” (good); eat foods on the bad list and you’ll be “fat” (bad). Thin = win!

 

In reality, no one food has the power to make you “thin” or “fat”.

 

I realize this might not be a popular belief among dieters or programs and people that spew dieting information. But if you think about it long and hard (and re-read that sentence multiple times), I believe you’ll come to this realization – eventually.

 

So what can you do NOW to help you come to this realization before you jump back onto the diet bandwagon?

 

3 Powerful Approaches to Defying Diet Culture

 Let’s address 3 very powerful impactful approaches that can help you defy diet culture.

 

  1. Non-Diet Living and Intuitive Eating

Non-diet living and intuitive eating used to be less traveled paths, but more people are choosing these with great success. Dieting is physically and mentally exhausting and people are simply tired – tired of dieting and tired of hating themselves, 2 things which go hand-in-hand.

 

Intuitive eating, along with the Health at Every Size movement, are striving to shift the focus away from body weight and demonizing food. They are displacing the current definition of healthy, broadening it to encompass more than simply a number on the scale. This shifts the perspective inward, focusing on listening to what your body is telling you, and on habits and behaviors for improved long-term health, versus how many pounds you’ve lost. More and more research is finding practices such as intuitive eating helping people with disordered eating habits become more in tune with their bodies again.

 

I recognize that the idea of no longer dieting is a scary thought if you’ve been dieting for many years. Logically you realize that the diets have never given you long term weight loss. In fact, you weigh more now than when you started dieting all those years ago. Research will back that up. Diets lead to weight gain, end of story.

 

So what would help you on this journey? This takes us to approach #2…

 

  1. Self-Compassion

Diet Culture thrives on you hating yourself. If that sounds harsh, it’s because it is. Dieting is about willpower and when you don’t have enough willpower, you start beating yourself up, telling yourself you’ll always fail.

 

Try something different. Try using self-compassion.

 

You’ll find that treating yourself with kindness is much more satisfying because it’s impossible to hate yourself into positive change. You’d never dream of speaking to your friend the way you speak to yourself, yet Diet Culture has taught you to do just that. After decades of believing it, be gentle with yourself in your escape from that mentality. It took time to build and it will take a long time to break down. It’s important to remember there is no perfection in the healing process. It will most certainly be challenging but you are most certainly worth that effort.

 

Sounds logical, right? When asked if you’d speak to your friend who is struggling with her food that way you speak to yourself, of course the answer is no, you would not.

 

Part of this journey is body acceptance. And a very important part of accepting your body where it is now is the 3rd approach to defying Diet Culture.

 

  1. Weight Inclusivity

Accepting and respecting the shapes and sizes ALL human beings come in defies the perfectionist ideology of Diet Culture. There is no one height/shape/weight everyone should be. Our culture needs to move further toward a mindset where judgement is no longer passed on people who don’t meet Diet Culture’s moving target of “perfection.”

 

More and more research is supporting the idea that being a certain weight or looking a certain way does not equate to being “healthy” or “not healthy.” Intuitive eating and Health at Every Size are teaching internal acceptance as well as acceptance of others, appreciating the diversity. They temper the internal diet wars being waged.

 

The principles of intuitive eating remind you how different everyone is and helps you to accept and respect your body where it is right now.  It is key to stop passing judgement on others which will make it easier to stop passing judgement on yourself.

 

So how do you mesh these 3 approaches together, so you can defy Diet Culture?

 

Start with having a heart-to-heart sit down with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions:

  1. Has all the dieting I’ve done helped me achieve weight loss that I can maintain for a lifetime? No.
  2. Do I bash my body every day, maybe even multiple times per day? Yes.
  3. Do I wish food could just be a “non-issue” and meal time can be relaxed? Yes.
  4. Am I afraid to try this new approach of intuitive eating? Yes.
  5. Do I need support and a partner to walk the journey with me? Yes.

 

Great job! Contact me here and let’s defy Diet Culture together!

 

 

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!

 

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!”

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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!