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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Intuitive Eating a Weight Loss Program or Not?

Woman with question marksMore often than not, people struggling to lose weight will say yes to a new diet that hits the market. Whether the catch phrase is diet, program, system or technique, if it is something they haven’t tried, you can bet they are going to get suckered into the claims that THIS is the diet, program, system or technique that will finally help you achieve the weight loss you pray for.

 

So when I was having a conversation the other day with a woman who was asking me about the intuitive eating work I do with my clients, I wasn’t surprised when she asked me about the “weight loss program” that she was interested in learning more about.

 

I quickly stated, “Intuitive eating is not a weight loss program”.

 

Whoa! Wait a minute! That stopped her dead in her tracks. Her mouth dropped open. “If it is not a weight loss program, then what is it”, she asked.

 

I proceeded to explain to her that the intuitive eating work I do with my clients is a step-by-step process to help them transform their relationship with food, where they end the battle with food and their body and achieve great pleasure in eating once again.

 

You see, all the years of dieting has caused food to be your enemy, and has led you to feel guilty after eating foods that you deemed “bad” by the diet industry. On top of that, each time you eat one of these bad foods, or you overeat and feel shame and guilt, you also feel miserable about yourself and your body.

 

Intuitive eating puts all things back into perspective. Intuitive eating reminds you that you are in charge of your food choices and your body. You have the inner wisdom to know when you are hungry and when you are full, when you should start eating and when you should stop.

 

The process of learning to become an intuitive eater puts you back into the driver’s seat of deciding what foods you want to eat, how you want to dress, and helps you to love and respect yourself, and your body again.

 

In turn, as you learn to live life as an intuitive eater with an inner love that shows kindness to yourself, gentleness with yourself and ultimately acceptance of yourself, something wonderful happens. You start to release weight! You start to feel your pants become loser, your stride become longer, your walking pace become quicker and your breathing become easier.

 

Yes, you will naturally lose weight, returning to what is a “natural, healthy weight” for your body, not an ideal weight based on a calculation and a chart.

 

So, is intuitive eating a weight loss program?

 

No, it is not.

 

Can you release weight when living life as an intuitive eater making conscious food choices?

 

Yes you can!

 

Sounds pretty darn good to me!

 

Your turn to take action: Contact me if you would like to get started on your intuitive eating journey. Just click here to learn more.

 

Why a Diet Food Delivery System is Making You Fatter

Menu deliveryBreakfast Burrito, Chickpea Falafel, Shitake Glazed salmon with Basmati Brown Rice and Broccoli, Veggie Pizza….YUM!

 

These sound delicious, right? They are menu items I am reading off a menu that you can have delivered to your door daily for an exorbitant amount of money. But the money doesn’t deter you because this is a “diet food delivery system” that tells you exactly what to eat in the exact amounts to eat each and every day, several times per day. You have ZERO decisions to make about food.

 

Wow, sounds awesome!

 

Or, does it?

 

I’ll tell you, at a quick glance, sure who wouldn’t want cooked food delivered right to your doorstep which all you need to do is eat when it arrives. But let me ask you. For how long can you shell out the big bucks for this convenience? And, what happens when you want to live your life again by going out to dinner, meeting your friends for lunch, going to a party, wedding, or barbecue get-together. I could go on and on and mention all the social occasions that revolve around food, and you won’t know what to eat. Or, worse yet…

  1. You will sit there and NOT eat and stick out like a sore thumb.
  2. You will bring your boxed food, and again, stick out like a sore thumb.
  3. Say, “the heck with it” and eat everything in sight because tomorrow you are going back to your delivered food. But in the meantime, you overeat, feel bloated, cranky, lethargic and guilty for having blown your diet once again

 

Let me ask you, why do you put yourself through this time and time again?

 

I know the answer. It’s easy to follow what someone gives you, or the foods someone else prepares for you.

 

It’s easy to not make any decisions about food.

 

But ultimately, this does not make you happy. This NEVER helps you reach your ultimate goal of a healthy body and a healthy life where food is just…dare I say…NORMAL!

 

Take a moment to digest what I am saying. I know that you are in agreement here. But I also know that you are afraid to let it go. It feels safe to you, and without it, you don’t trust yourself. This lack of trust comes from your years of dieting and following what others tell you to eat and do. If for just one moment, you can think back to your early childhood, before you had a weight problem, you trusted your body to tell you when you were hungry and when you were full. You can get back to that point. But you have to let go.

 

Let go of the diets, the boxed food, the food rules, the conditions you place on your food.

 

Open yourself up to learning to trust yourself. It will be a journey, that’s for sure. And, some days, that trust will be there more than on other days. But learn from it each and every step of the way. You can only do this if you are willing to stop obsessing about the scale right now. To stop obsessing about numbers, how much you lost, how much you gained. If you continue to watch the scale, you will continue to diet for many years to come.

 

But, and this is BIG…if you can trust yourself enough to put the scale away (hid it, throw it away, ask your partner to discard of it), then you are one step closer to reclaiming the trust in your body and to forever NEVER DIET AGAIN.

 

I am here to support you in whichever way you please. Just reach out and ask.

 

 

The Most Important Step in Losing Weight

It's all about your mindset-no logoI’m going to keep today’s blog short. It’s a quick message for you, although I realize it might not be so easy or quick for you to internalize.

 

I was asked a very interesting question yesterday. The question went like this:

 

“What is the most important thing I can do to lose weight besides changing my eating?”

 

I imagine what comes to your mind, besides food, would be….exercise. But that’s not what I answered her.

 

The very first and most important thing you need to do if you want to lose weight and never gain it back is to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!  That’s right. It has nothing to do with food.

 

You’ve tried changing your food and exercise before. You’ve been on multiple diets, on and off. You’ve gained weight, you’ve lost weight, and you’ve gained the weight back again.

 

You’ve exercised at the gym, at home, you’ve done boot camps, you hired a trainer, you tried Zumba and even spinning.

 

And, you are right back where you started from. Trying to lose the weight again.

 

This is because you have been starting at the end, not at the beginning. You have been so focused on what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat as dictated by the diet plans and what is “healthy”, that you aren’t understanding the big WHY– why you choose what you choose, when you choose it. You are stuck in a diet mentality and are afraid to let it go.

 

It is most important to start by changing your mindset around food, around dieting, around your body and your life. As a dieter, you must move past your dieting mentality and the idea that you need to deprive yourself and/or restrict yourself of your favorite foods in order to lose weight. You must move past the thought that you must “follow” what someone else tells you to eat because you no longer trust yourself to make those decisions.

 

The sooner you can do this, the sooner you can develop a healthier relationship with food and allow yourself to be guided by your inner body wisdom to know when to start eating and when to stop. However, if you say in the cycle of food worry, you will continue to think it’s the food that’s at the core of the problem, and that’s just not so.

 

There’s a lot more I can say on this topic. We are discussing it in our online private Facebook community.

 

Come and join the discussion.

 

 

Don’t allow a number (on a scale) to determine your self-worth

Feet with measuring tape on scaleFor many people, the scale has always been used as a measure of happiness. Whether you realize it or not, the number on the scale often influences your mood and subsequent decisions each day.

 

The scale is one of the biggest threats to anyone trying to make peace with food and to find comfort with their own body. If you weigh yourself on the scale to see your weight loss progress, you probably connect the number shown to a value of your self-worth. And you likely have expectations of what the number on the scale means.

 

What am I referring to? Let’s say you really commit to making mindful, healthy choices all week and at the end of the week, you hop on the scale all excited to see a loss but instead you see your weight hasn’t changed much. It will be easy for you to say “I did all the work and for what?”

 

Or maybe you had a very “lax” week and you had a few late night food binges or ate past the point of comfort and when you weighed yourself that week, you lost weight! Maybe you will think “why try so hard if I can lose weight eating chocolate cake with each meal!”

 

Weighing yourself on the bathroom scale is a sure way to undermine all your efforts and hard work. The scale is tricky. You may not see your weight dropping as much or as quickly as you hoped for. You may feel discouraged and want to give up on your efforts or you may feel inclined to switch to extreme weight loss measures for fast gratification.

 

However, if you would like to make meaningful changes to improve yourself and your life, LISTEN UP! It’s time to put the scale to rest.

 

The scale measures your total body weight and the number can fluctuate based on hormones, when you last ate, and more. If you are relying on the scale to report to you how you are “doing” on your eating plan, you will likely be disappointed if you don’t take these other variables into consideration.

 

If you want to experience true results, stopping watching the scale and start listening to your BODY. That’s where the true AHA moments happen.

 

Do you have a “goal weight” hovering in the back of your mind? Forget about it. Shift your focus away from the number to how you FEEL and how well you are LISTENING to your body.

 

If you need some help with this try to focus on some of the following instead of focusing on the scale:

 

  • How do you feel when you engage in exercise each day?
  • Did you only decide to eat when you were physically hungry? Did you stop when you felt comfortably satisfied?
  • How is your energy and stamina? Your mood?
  • Are you comfortable and confident in your own body today?

 

Your turn to take action: Put away the scale and commit to not weighing yourself for one month. Focus on listening to your body and let me know how you feel.

 

I Want OFF this Roller Coaster Yo Yo Diet Ride

Yo-Yo dietingI’m sure it feels like everyone you know is starting a new diet or workout regime this month. In the past I’m sure that even YOU have fallen into the hypnosis of the “January start a new diet” trend set by the diet industry. I want to challenge you to try a different approach to your health this year.
 

The truth is that every “new diet” you see is actually the same. There is always going to be the latest trend hitting the internet or newsstands. But at the end of the day, all diets have one thing in common: someone other than yourself is telling you what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat.  And truth be told, they aren’t going to help you feel better about your relationship with food OR yourself.

 

So, let’s not kick off 2016 with a cloud of dieting thoughts over your head, okay? It’s time to jump OFF the diet roller coaster and to start listening to your inner wisdom. Who better to listen to than your own body?
 

Okay, so this sounds all great, right? And the new programs that are being marketed now are calling themselves “Lifestyle Programs”. But let me let you in on a little secret. Those “Lifestyle Programs” are just fancy names for diets. They say they want to help you make lifestyle changes, but they are still giving you lists of foods to eat and not to eat.

 

Oh, by the way, don’t even get me started on those doctors with Harvard degrees that are promoting “Detoxes”. Give me a break! Anyone is going to lose weight if they drink these concoctions for a week or a month. Then what happens after the detox is over? You know what happens….

 

But I divert. Let me get back on course here.

 

If you are riding this diet roller coaster, you’re probably unintentionally making 3 common mistakes that are preventing you from losing weight forever.

 

I explain these 3 biggest mistakes in my new video series. Click HERE to learn more about the mistakes you are making that keep you glued to the seat of the roller coaster, AND find out how you can get off.

 

Oh, and feel free to share this blog with other friends and family members who want off this roller coaster ride too!

 

Discover the 3 Mistakes that Keep You Glued to the Seat of the Roller Coaster HERE.

 

 

How to Achieve Your Health Goals In 2016

Goals 2016I cringe this time of year. You know why? Because my inbox is flooded with dozens of miracle diets for the New Year. They promise quick and easy weight loss by following a set of rules to reach unrealistic goals.

 

Join me in throwing your New Year’s resolutions out the window. Start this New Year by doing the opposite of so many people. Release yourself from the prison of rules that you set for yourself, or worse – that someone else has set for you. Instead continue on your path towards becoming an intuitive and mindful eater.

 

I realize this isn’t an easy path. But remember, it may not be easy but it is worth it!

 

There are 3 essential ingredients I believe you need to piece together in order to achieve this goal for 2016.

 

Here they are (and resources to help too!)

 

Essential Ingredient #1: Create a healthy mindset. Commit to NOT listening to what others tell you to do. You need to decide for yourself what is best. What makes YOU happy? What makes you feel good? What eases your mind and fills your stomach?  Stop letting dieting books, relatives and TV hosts dictate what you need or what you should eat. They don’t know what is right for you. Only you know how to make yourself the best you can be. Re-learn to trust your body. You may be surprised what you get out of it.

 

Essential Ingredient #2: Find caring love and support. It’s no fun being on this journey alone. And, it’s possible that all your girlfriends are about to embark on the latest New Year’s diet. So what are you to do? Find a support group filled with people just like you who have decided to never diet again. They do exist. If you are interested, come on over to my private Facebook intuitive eating support group. This is a judgement-free space where real people share real intuitive eating struggles and successes. I offer my own advice and tips along with fun challenges and giveaways throughout the year.

 

Essential Ingredient #3: Be open to learning about nutrition from a reputable source. There is so much overwhelming nutrition information on the internet that it gets downright confusing. Just this morning a client mentioned to me that she has no idea what to eat anymore, there are so many recommendations she reads that contradict each other. It is key to connect with a reputable nutrition source such as a registered dietitian nutritionist to learn about nutrition. Get to know what you’re putting into your body. The more you know the more you will find yourself being more conscious about what you’re eating.

 

To help clarify the many nutrition questions you might have while you are food shopping, check out My Supermarket Sidekick: Your Aisle-by-Aisle Shopping Guide. I wrote this guide to help you as you navigate the aisles in the supermarket. Learn more here.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What are your health goals of 2016? Comment below!

 

Protecting Yourself Against New Year’s Diet Talk

New-years-resolution-writing-with-a-red-pen-in-a-calandarYou have made the commitment to never diet again. Yay you!! The only problem you are facing now is the constant bombardment of the media with THE way for you to finally lose your excess weight now that the New Year is approaching.

 

All this diet talk sends chills up my spine. Actually it makes me downright mad. I am really so tired of hearing about the next miracle diet to hit the market.

 

You know why I am so mad about it?

 

Because it’s the innocent, decent people like you that get hurt. It is so easy to get sucked into the amazing claims these diets tout, why wouldn’t you say “let me try it, this will be THE one.”

 

But sadly, it isn’t so. Not too soon after January 1st you will be throwing in the towel on this diet too.

 

So the question is, how do you deal with the media and how do you deal with your girlfriends who are getting ready to embark on a new diet come January 1st?

 

Here’s how:

  • Recommit to your diet-free way of life. Remind yourself why you began your intuitive eating journey. Then every time another commercial hits the airwaves, an email pops up in your inbox or your friend chews your ear off with the new diet she is on, quietly repeat this mantra to yourself “I have committed to a diet-free life. I rock!”

 

  • Unsubscribe from all diet-related email subscriptions, or magazines that advertise the latest diets and “here’s how to lose the baby weight fast” articles.

 

  • Find a buddy to join you on your diet-free journey. Not sure where to find one? Join us in the Diet Free Radiant Me™ online community where there are hundreds of others who are breaking free of diets!

 

I’m keeping this blog short, sweet and to the point.

 

1.Commit to your diet-free lifestyle and learning to practice intuitive eating.

 

2.Close your eyes and ears to others who talk diets.

 

3.Get the right support for your journey.

 

Your turn to take action: How does all this end of year/New Year diet talk make YOU feel? What action will you do to stay free and clear of the diet industry vultures?

 

 

There’s No “Throwing in the Towel” in Intuitive Eating

Shocked WomanIf you are a chronic dieter, then more than likely you have “thrown in the towel” quite a few times.

 

A new diet comes to market. It’s exciting, this will be the one. You start the diet and things are going well. But then you had a bad day at work, you went on vacation or you had a fight with your boyfriend. Or, you get on the scale on weigh-in day and it hasn’t budged.

 

Either way, you ended up in the pint of ice cream saying to yourself “forget it, what does it matter anyway”.

 

You have just “thrown in the towel” from another diet. When will this end?

 

I’ll tell you when!  When you finally realize that diets are not working for you. Never have, never will. When you decide that to give up dieting, you need another path. And, you have discovered intuitive eating is that path.

 

Okay, so let’s talk about this. You start working with me to learn how to reclaim being an intuitive eater (I say “reclaim” because let me remind you that you were born an intuitive eater). And you immediately are having major “aha” moments. Wow, you are discovering things about yourself, your past, your beliefs that you never realized impacted your relationship with food.

 

This is great! You laugh, you cry, all from a good place of finally moving forward.

 

Then it happens. You disappear, stop showing up for your appointments and stop returning emails and phone calls.

 

What is going on?

 

More than likely, an old familiar trigger has popped up and you haven’t yet learned how to handle it. So, you fall back into past overeating habits. Now you feel bad, embarrassed and say to yourself “you see, this won’t work either”. And, you throw in the towel.

 

Please listen up! What I’m about to say requires capital letters.

 

THERE IS NO FAILURE IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

THERE IS NO “THROWING IN THE TOWEL” IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

Intuitive eating is a learning experience. It’s a process of ups and downs. Whatever trigger has thrown you “for a loop”, let’s learn from it. Don’t let it take you back to a place that you DON”T want to be….back to the land of dieting!

 

If this sounds like you, I care about you and I am here to help you.

 

Reach out and ask for help. There’s no shame in that. It’s something to be proud of.

 

Click here to send me an SOS email.

Eating Intuitively While at Summer Camp

Kids eating watermelonI work with both adults and children in my private practice. Most of my posts are geared towards adults, but today’s post will be focused on kids.

 

Obesity in kids is on the rise. This, I know, is not news to you. During the school year kids spend an awful lot of time in front of the screen such as the television, computer or smartphone screen. This takes away from the time they can and should be active and running around. Add to this the high fat school lunches, fast food dinners and processed food snacks and we have a problem.

 

Years ago when a parent would call me in tears that their child is overweight or obese and needs to lose weight, they would beg me to put together a meal plan for their child. I would reluctantly create this eating plan, keeping it fun and including the child in the planning as much as possible. And for many kids, this worked well. They changed their food choices, began to exercise and would lose an appropriate amount of weight. When working with kids, I stress the importance of the first goal being to stop the weight gain, and if needed, then encourage some weight loss. But oftentimes if we can stop the weight gain and change food choices, the child will “grow into their weight” and settle in at a healthy BMI.

 

But not unlike the adult chronic dieters that I work with, this was often not the answer for many children. There were underlying reasons why they would overeat and we needed to get to the root of the problem. So, what do you think happened when I would create this eating plan for these kids?

 

They would not follow through, they would sneak eat and hide the wrappers from their parents and would ultimately continue to gain weight.

 

This scenario sets this child up for a life of dieting and a poor relationship with food.

 

I decided no more. I will no longer create meal plans for these kids. I will teach them about mindful eating and intuitive eating just like I do with my adult clients.

 

And they are thriving!

 

It’s still important to teach nutrition but I do so in a non-rule based manner. I teach them to listen for hunger and fullness, and how to respond. I teach them how to figure out if they want to eat because they are hungry or because they are upset at someone or something.

 

A number of my “kid” clients are now heading off to sleep away camp for the summer. While they and their parents worried in the past about the food at camp, they are no longer worried. These kids will take with them what they have learned and will have a fun time focused on friends, laughter and good times.

 

If your child is heading off to summer camp, here are 3 tips to help him make healthy mindful choices and feel good doing it:

 

1) Take 3!

Encourage your child to have 3 food groups present at each meal. This will prevent an overlarge portion of one food item that might be a less healthy option. For example if the main lunch option is mac and cheese, suggest that your child pair that with the vegetable option (say green beans) and a salad, and finish off with a fruit. This is much better than saying “don’t eat the mac and cheese”. You and I both know that’s not going to happen.

2) Tune in!

It’s very easy to be distracted when eating at a table with a bunch of other kids in a noisy dining hall. Remind your child to put his fork down mid-meal and check in to see if he is still hungry. If he isn’t, then let him know its okay to stop eating and not finish what is on his plate.

 

3) Drink up!

Water, water, water. Need I say more? Send water bottles to camp with your child (if the camp allows). And, encourage your child to hydrate throughout the day with pure water. Remind him that juice drinks, bottled teas and sodas are full of sugar and don’t do a body good!

 

Here’s to a fantastic time to all the kids heading off to summer camp. Enjoy and take it all in!

 

Your turn to take action: What will you do to help your child have a healthy mindful summer?