How to Recover From a Binge

Let's forget about it. It doesn’t matter.

What we did. How much we ate. It’s not a big deal.

Can we pretend it never happened?

After a food binge, the aftermath of our struggle carries a heavy weight from shame and guilt. So heavy, that we just want to be free from it. Facing it is too much.

Flashes from last night’s extra Oreos, ice cream and chocolate are painful. We wonder why we can't have more self control. 

Why did we go back for more? We knew we weren’t hungry. Why couldn’t we stop ourselves? Did we think more food would take the discomfort away?

Now, our belly feels so bloated we are afraid to touch it. Feeling the roundness is confirmation that we did eat too much. Our body did absorb each bite. There’s evidence to prove it.

The hangover from a night of overeating can be absurdly difficult when we use guilt and shame to dictate how we feel and what we do next.  All we want to do is cover up our bloated belly in an oversized sweatshirt and try our best to have a “good” day. We try our best to pretend it never happened.

But it did.  Now we will pay for the mess we made. 

An extra long workout. More water. Smoothie for lunch. Salad for dinner.  We pray that a whole lot of sweat and a strict diet plan will be like magic and make everything okay. 

How we react to our binges keeps the binge cycle in place. 

Recovery is absolutely possible. But trying harder to doing more of the same isn't the path. You don't need to be stricter. You don't need more will power. You don't need more time at the gym. 

Stopping the binge cycle starts the moment the binge is over.  

Stop pretending. Pretending takes so much work and effort. Stop hiding and fighting with yourself. Instead of thrashing around your arms and legs, putting a ton of energy into fixing your “so called mistake”, let go of the shame you feel. There is no need to run or hide. 

To stop struggling, you need courage, compassion and curiosity.

  • Be willing to try a new approach.
  • Be willing to explore all parts of yourself with a loving heart.
  • Be willing to look at your actions, thoughts and beliefs with great interest. Be a dispassionate observer.

If you overate or binged last night, today is a brand new day. Allow yourself to be where you are. You're okay. Let your next choice be a new one, one that you haven't taken before. when you do, recovery is one step closer. 


Why You Are Resisting Accepting Your Body As It Is

“I’m willing to love and accept my body just as it is”.

This is the mantra I suggested for my coaching client, let’s call her Susie.

The silence on the other end of the phone is thick, from objections not yet spoken. I know Susie is not buying this and wants to ignore my suggestion. She would end our call right now if I gave her the option.

Susie shares with me what she’s thinking.   

It’s not true. I don’t like the way my body looks. I have a fat ass and my arms are flabby. I’m tired of not fitting into my skinny jeans. I need to lose weight.

I’ve had similar versions of the these thoughts myself. This old voice still whispers in my ear on occasion. When I catch a sideways glimpse of my belly. When a workout feels crazy hard. Or, when life doesn’t seem to be going my way and I wonder if life would be easier if I was thinner.

A few weeks earlier, Susie was so busy throughout her day that she didn’t have time to eat. Her stomach was growling and uncomfortable, but she put her deadlines first. When the early evening came, Susie was beyond hungry. She felt so panicked that she was driven to eat whatever she could get her hands on. Crackers. Cheese. Chips. Pasta and meatballs. And then a huge bowl of ice cream. Susie ate until she felt sick. When bedtime came around, Susie felt horrible. I’m disgusting, she thought.

This is what hating on our bodies looks like. And feels like.

These body hating thoughts have a big impact because they turn into action. When we don’t love our bodies, we ignore, punish, abuse, blame, judge and criticize.

As our coaching session continued, I hear Susie quietly share I’ll love my body when I’m thin.

Her body needs to earn her love. In Susie’s mind, an overweight body can’t be loved. The love of her body is conditional.

Susie flashes back to scenes growing up with her younger sister. Her thin younger sister that always got praise and attention for being so lean. Susie may have been smart and driven, but her body wasn’t as slim as her sisters. She saw the positive attention and heard the casual compliments her sister received from family, friends and boyfriends. Along the way, Susie created her own truth. She needed to be skinny to be loved and accepted.

Hating our bodies for it’s size and shape isn’t just about having poor body image, it’s also about having poor self image. The act of criticizing and judging our bodies is an act of self loathing. We hate our bodies because we don’t believe we are acceptable just as we are.

Our resistance in accepting our bodies isn’t about the claimed 5, 10 or 50 extra pounds of weight. It’s our own resistance in acknowledging our own worth. The weight is just an illusion, an excuse if you will, to understand why we feel unlovable and at times, disgusting.

After all, 5 years ago, Susie finally reached her lowest weight. She didn’t wake up each morning feeling more loved. She didn’t put her skinny jeans on feeling like she could take on the world. She felt the same dreaded feelings about herself. She wondered if all of the diet sacrifices were worth it. Her self esteem hadn’t gone go up when the number on the scale went down.

Stop chasing the fairy tale ending that you’ll love and accept yourself when you lose weight. Each time you buy into it, you are buying into the idea that your own heart and soul isn’t worthy of love.

You have a beautiful light to share with the world.  Go out and share it, with your body and your gorgeous self, just as it is.

The Power of Your Breath: How to Become a Mindful Eater and Wake Up in Your Life

Kate walked into the house after a long day at work. She dropped her handbag on the kitchen counter and went straight to the food cabinet. She was tired, frustrated and so eager to relax. She grabbed the bag of chips and salsa, poured herself a glass of wine and then parked herself in front of the TV.

Less than an hour later, ¾ of the bag of chips had disappeared. Without noticing, Kate just stuffed herself. And now, instead of slipping into the easy part of her day, her belly was bloated and all she could do was watch yet another episode of Homeland.  

Sadly, the promise of Kate’s low key and relaxing evening was just stolen from her. She quickly forgot about her plans to catch up with a friend and go to the gym.  In her desperation for a well deserved break, she checked out of her body and lost all awareness of what she was doing while eating chip after chip. After chip.

Kate had a very easy tool that could have made her evening go exactly as she planned. A tool that she carries with her 24 hours a day and doesn’t cost her a penny. It’s the power of her breath.

Asleep at the wheel:

So many of us are mindlessly walking through most of our lives. And when it comes to meals and snacks, this results in eating more than our bodies need or want. Mindlessly overeating is like being on autopilot, or in a trance. We don’t taste what we are eating. We don’t notice when we are full. During these times, we are often paying attention to something else. A TV show, Facebook, email.

When using the power of your breath, the exact opposite will occur.

The power of breath:

Your breath puts you in your body. After a few intentional inhales and exhales, you can become aware of sensations in your chest , belly, fingers and ankles. Your breath allows you to notice your body.

Your breath grounds you. Instead of flitting around like a butterfly, you can be steady and still. You can sit down, stay and not seek out distraction.

Your breath makes you feel calm and peaceful. Your breath can melt away any frantic edge and allow you to experience what’s underneath. Calm. Peace. You have it in you, and your breath is the bridge to take you there.

Why breath works:

When you use the power of your breath, you create space between your thoughts and your actions.

In this space, you have an opportunity to be intentional about your choices. You have an opportunity to set the course of your actions instead of mindlessly going through the motions. 

After a quick breathing practice, you feel more calm and centered in your body. When you are more calm and centered, it’s easier to make better choices in your life.

Using her breath, instead of stuffing herself, Kate could have eaten the exact right amount, given herself the break she needed and then moved off the couch and onto something else.

How to:

A 3 count breath and can be done very subtly anywhere. Breathe in to a count of 3, hold your breath full for a moment, breathe out to a count of 3, hold your breath out for a moment. Do 3-5 rounds of this breath.

Consider the power of your breath to be a miraculous gift. One that you have with you all of the time. Use it often throughout the day and you will wake up, make intentional choices, become a more mindful eater and shift the course of your life.  

Frosted Mini Wheat Insight

My husband, Mark, was eating frosted mini wheats on Saturday morning.  I was taken aback. Where was his omelette? Egg sandwich? Bowl of oatmeal? “I don’t think the kids like mini wheats”, he responded to my obvious curiosity. 

Somehow, he thought he was doing our kitchen pantry a favor by lightening its load. Or maybe he felt the same way about that sugary cereal that I once did.

I remember eating Frosted Mini Wheats at my grandmother’s house when I was a little girl. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about them. I loved them when they were crunchy, not yet drenched in milk. And I loved them at the bottom of the bowl, when they were soggy and sweet.

When I saw that bowl of cereal before Mark, I wanted one too. My mind went into overdrive.

I want them. I want them, I want them, I want them. 

Here’s how the rest of my thought process proceeded:

Something cold and crunchy would taste really good right now.

I know I do best on a gluten free diet, but what’s one little, teeny-tiny, bowl?

I don’t want to be good.

I want what I want.

Why can’t I have it? Why?!

As you can tell, my inner voice had a whiny tone to it. Like a 3-year old. Feet stomping, arms crossed, pout on her face, tears on the way. A meltdown ensued because she wanted that stupid cereal, and she wasn’t getting what she wanted.

Oh, the head drama.

What do you do when your drive to eat isn’t coming from physical hunger?

What do you do when you want to feed your body food that you know won’t make it feel good?

What do you do when you’re experiencing mental chaos over something so small, like a bowl of cereal that someone else is enjoying?  

After years of coaching women on how to drastically change their relationship with food, I want to share with you some Frosted Mini Wheat insights.

  1. See food, want food, eat food. As human beings, we are highly food suggestible. We know this when we walk by a bakery window. Not only do we see baked goods, we also smell them, which makes us immediately want to rush the joint and consume a dozen croissants.  It's not a problem if we eat something from the bakery. However, to get to know our true hunger and consider what food would make our body feel best, we may need to walk away from the bakery first!

  2. Food holds memories and therefore, feelings. My grandmother helped raise me. I even lived with her for short while when I was first born. At a very deep level, being with my grandmother represented love and security.  Have I associated love and security with Mini Wheats? Yes. Just like you may be comforted by homemade lasagna or Sunday morning pancakes.

  3. Restriction leads to rebellion. Dieters work so hard to be good and to eat the right things at the right times. Dieters are also different. They don’t get to eat what everyone else eats. When everyone is enjoying their pizza and cake, dieters may be confined to their lame salad with crappy bottled dressing and fruit for dessert. Why can’t dieters eat like everyone else? Have they been bad? Do they need to be punished?  When I had the thought “I don’t want to be good”, that old dieting mentality came right back up in full force. What I was really thinking was,  “I don’t want to be different.” “I don’t want to be the freak.” “I don’t want to be punished.” “I want to eat what my husband eats.”  

Knowing all of this may be helpful to you as you shift your relationship with food. But now, let’s put this into action. What to do when you face your own brand of Mini Wheats.

  1. Walk away.  Remove yourself from those foods that are tugging at you so you can connect with your true hunger. When you’re not enticed by seeing and smelling the food, check in with your body. Are you hungry? What are you hungry for? What does your body need? How do you want to feel after you’ve eaten?

  2. Let the feeling pass. Emotions do come and go. Often they sneak up on us without warning. Was I feeling sad or lonely on that Saturday morning? Did I need some extra comfort? Maybe. And letting the emotion pass on by instead of reacting to it, is one of the most powerful practices you can engage in. When you are feeling something big, you may naturally want to turn to food. Especially if you have a history with emotional overeating. Instead, separate out your desire for food and the emotion you are experiencing. Let the emotion pass and then choose to eat, or not.

  3. Stop the labels. When food is good or bad, it gives that food an undeniable power over you. What happens when you want a “bad’ food? What happens when you want a “good food”? You become good or bad. Instead, let the food be food. You can eat it if you want or not eat it. You get to choose, but don’t let it dictate how you feel about yourself.


When I was in the midst of this Frosted Mini Wheat whirlwind, I had to let all of these emotions and thoughts play out. I went to my laptop and I wrote. I sat with it. It felt like a very long time, when in reality, it was probably just 20 minutes of inner work.

That’s a critical step when you heal your relationship with food. Step back and sit with it. Practice taking care of your needs in a way that doesn’t involve food.

When I rode this all out, I was able to make a fabulous choice for myself. It wasn’t about being good or bad. I met my needs and didn’t feel like a freakish outsider. This time, Frosted Mini Wheats were not on the menu.

Two Words to Say to Yourself to Put Yourself In Charge of Your Health and Stop Overeating

On the coffee table were dozens and dozens of empty candy wrappers. A shameful reminder of just how much she ate. Her belly felt so uncomfortable. She even tried eating more, to numb away how sick she felt. If only that worked. Instead, Mary felt worse. She curled up in bed, hating herself for how bad she felt and filled with worry about the consequences. Her mind was racing.

This is a catastrophe. What I did was wrong. I’m going to gain weight. I need to fix this.

Fueled with fear, Mary would respond to such a binge like a project. The very next day she promised herself, she would have a plan, goals, checklists and ways to hold herself accountable.

I’ll be better. I’ll be more in control. I won’t binge again. After all, I’m working on my new weight loss project.

This was serious work.  It needed a lot of her attention and energy. Because in her mind, Mary did something wrong and lost control, this was her way of getting it back.

Nothing else mattered.  

All because of 30 Hershey Kisses.


Those Kisses took on a story of their own. By eating them, she was going to gain weight, get really fat, look pathetic and feel disgusting. (Her sick, bloated belly confirmed this story.) Worse, the consumption of those 30 Kisses made her worthless and unlovable.

For Mary, a made up summation of many of my coaching clients,  binge eating and overeating become a call to action. Bugles sounding, war flags waving overhead, they ready themselves for a grisly battle. “It’s time to make a change,” they proclaim. “I can’t take this any longer.”

But instead of regaining a sense of control, instead of getting back on the wagon, they find themselves continually binging. Hopelessness and raw fatigue set in when they realize that they’ll never, ever, EVER win the war.  The rigid dieting and restrictions they worked so hard to enforce have only backfired.  

What if.

What if, after overeating or binging, you didn’t beat yourself up?

What if you didn’t believe the story that the sleeve of Oreos you ate made you pathetic and worthless?

What if you didn’t feel the need to jump on the next cleanse to punish yourself for your sins?

What if you said, instead, “So what?”

What if you welcomed in some lightness around the whole experience?

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.

If you’re not beating yourself up, then you must be giving yourself permission to overeat.

If you aren’t punishing yourself, then you must be okay with treating yourself this way.

If you aren’t more disciplined, then you will never lose the weight you want to lose and worse, you will even gain weight.

This is a big leap. Beating the crap out of yourself is all you may know.  But beating yourself up never creates positive action or results. Deep down, you know this to be true.

“So what” is a step toward forgiveness. “So what” is also a powerful step toward taking responsibility.

When you say, “So what,” you aren’t saying, “I don’t care.” In fact, when you say, “So what,” you care more than ever. Because you know that to move yourself forward, you need to let go of the meaning you have been making from your binge. “So what” is part of your recipe for positive momentum, and a way to pivot into something new.

Trust in love and compassion. Try it on and see if it fits. The only thing you have to lose is what is holding you back from loving yourself and your life.

Are Your Attempts to Lose Weight Failing? 5 Things You Can Do to Stop Sabotaging Your Efforts

Jen had a big meeting that afternoon with her largest client. She’d been prepping for days and wanted it to go well. For the past three weeks, Jen had also worked really hard on her diet. She’d avoided sugar, eaten more salads and finally got her ass to the gym after months of avoiding it. She secretly hoped that she could now squeeze into her favorite power skirt.

Standing in her closet, she held her breath as she slipped on the skirt. She pulled it up and wrestled with the zipper, knowing immediately that it was too tight. As she let out her breath, she also let out the hope that she’d held.  Not only did Jen feel frustrated, she felt defeated.

Why am I even bothering? All those workouts. All the sacrifice. For what? I’m the same exact weight. I’ll never lose weight.

Jen hung her favorite skirt back in her closet and put on her “go to” safety dress. As she made her way to the office, she tried to push all of these defeatist thoughts of her mind. But underneath the surface, Jen was taking this battle to heart.  Not only was she second guessing her ability to lose weight, her confidence was crushed. A familiar train of thought  passed through her mind.

I can’t lose weight and keep it off. I don’t deserve to have a skinny body.

Jen, a composite blend of my own and my coaching clients’ experience, is in a negative thought cycle. Most of us experience these without even realizing it, and they can do incalculable damage.

Let me spell out the cycle:

  • Jen was looking for evidence to support her beliefs that she would never be free of the weight, or keep it off.
  • When she tried on her favorite skirt and it didn’t fit the way she wanted it to, she got the confirmation she’d been looking for.
  • Even though her client meeting went well, the days and weeks that followed looked nothing like the weeks before. She stopped going to the salad bar and skipped the gym more often than she went.

Jen’s thoughts and beliefs created her actions, right from the get go.

What if Jen believed that she could lose weight? Or at least, didn’t believe that she couldn’t lose weight?

When she tried on her favorite skirt that morning, the conversation with herself would have been entirely different. She might have thought, Well, it fits better than it did a month ago. I just need to be patient. Or, My body feels better and lighter. Eventually, my body will catch up.

As human beings, we have a hard-wired psychological need to be right. When we’re right, well, we’re justified and validated,  which is the ultimate goal. Sadly, our wiring doesn’t distinguish how we are right, it just needs to be. We look for situations, words, actions, and circumstances that we can interpret in a way that will support our belief system. When we find this evidence, our beliefs are affirmed and we are right. Our beliefs and the evidence we gather can serve us well. Or, our beliefs may tear down our confidence and our self esteem. We will interpret conversations and situations all around us to make us right about that too.   

When her skirt didn’t fit the way she wanted it to, Jen interpreted that as confirmation of her belief that she can’t really lose weight. That little voice said, “I told you so. You’ll never have the body you dreamed of.” And with that, she made herself right.

This is why what happens on the inside is so incredibly important. Because we react and make choices based on that I-must-prove-myself-right mechanism.

Having an acute awareness of your thoughts and beliefs is critical to breaking out of those past unproductive patterns and cycles. The one’s that are keeping you hating your body, exhausted and feeling hopeless.

Let me warn you: Becoming aware of negative beliefs isn’t a pretty process. It’s not fun to look at beliefs like:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m unlovable
  • I’ll always be alone

But when we shine that light on this dark side of us, we can see that our actions and reactions have been reinforcing these beliefs.

The good news is that you don’t have to excavate all of your beliefs to change your life. You don’t need to buy into the belief that you will have a life you love when you finally really love yourself. So, while you are practicing loving yourself and your life:

  1. Make your commitment to your highest self bigger than your commitment to lose weight. Losing weight for you isn’t just about dropping the weight. Deep down it's about how we feel about ourselves and our self worth. Commit to nourishing yourself in a kind way. Instead of focusing on losing weight, how about focusing on feeling great, light and energetic in your body?
  2. Practice identifying those moments you’re looking for evidence. We’re interpreting situations all of the time. Some big, some small. Looking in a full length mirror at the Mall? Just finishing  bowl of ice cream? Notice how these situations support the beliefs you want to hold for yourself.
  3. Focus on the long term. You want the changes in your life to stick. To do this, there is no quick fix. No short cuts. Habits take a while to reinforce and permeate through our lives. Give them the benefit of time and notice all of the successes along the way.
  4. Don’t argue with your thoughts and beliefs. When that little voice says. “You’ll never lose weight,” you don’t have to turn around and say, “No! I will lose weight.” When you argue and debate, you’re just giving the negative thought more time and energy. Instead, simply acknowledge the thought and move on. You can even say, “Thanks for sharing.”
  5. Acknowledge the power of choice. Yes, you have your beliefs and you have your thoughts. But you don’t have to believe everything you hear and everything you think. You get to choose your actions.

As you change what’s happening on the inside, what’s happening on the outside will change too.


Don't Be Tricked By the Treats; 5 Easy Steps to Not Binge or Overeat Halloween Candy

Halloween is just a few short days away. Costumes are ready, the decorations are out and the pumpkins are carved.  Did you buy some of your favorite snack sized candy bars for the little Treaters, hoping you can just enjoy one or two pieces for yourself? Or,  does having all of that Halloween candy around the house feel so stressful, like a cruel trick?

In the past, to me Halloween candy seemed like a supernatural being that possessed multiple powers. It would act like a magnet pulling me in that I couldn’t resist no matter how hard I tried. Or, it would act like burning coals and I knew if I touched it I would get burned. Or, if somehow I forgot it was there, it disguised itself into something friendly and kind.  I would be tricked me into having just one piece, that ultimately turned into two, or five, or 10 or countless more.

Halloween candy doesn’t have to have that kind of power over you. You can breeze through this upcoming holiday without the worry that those bite sized Snickers bars may get the best of you. You don’t have to go to bed on October 31st with remorse and a bloated belly.

For starters, make the choice to eat the candy when you truly want it and are actually hungry. I realize how basic this advice sounds: eat when you are hungry and eat the food you desire. However many chronic dieters do not follow these simple guidelines. A few years ago, when I looked through my daughter’s trick or treating bag, the Peanut M&M’s jumped out at me. I was hungry and they were exactly what I wanted.

Now that you made your candy choice, give the candy your full attention. Sit down. Get away from the TV and the laptop. Shut down your Facebook and Instagram. Notice the taste and the consistency and experience the whole eating process. When I was eating the Peanut M&M’s, I did notice how much I liked the crunch but not the taste. They were too sweet to me and the peanuts were tasteless.

After you had one piece, you may want a second. Check in and ask yourself some questions. Are you still hungry? Are you still enjoying the taste? Knowing you can eat this candy without guilt, how do you want to feel after you have eaten it?

If the answer is- I’m not sure (often my answer), then make a choice to leave the candy where it is for 20 minutes and go do something else. Give yourself full permission to eat another piece in 20 minutes if you still want it. This step is not about not eating the candy but about giving yourself the space to eat with intention.

After I had the Peanut M&M’s, I noticed that my belly felt bloated. Assess how your body feels, so that next time you can make a powerful and informed choice. I can choose to eat Peanut M&M’s again, but if I do, I may be choosing to not feel my best.

Changing your relationship with food is a process and a practice. Certain foods don’t need to be bad or forbidden. You can trust yourself around all foods and build confidence in yourself that you can be in charge of your own choices. Halloween candy is a great place to start.

Now, I enjoy the little ones in their costumes that come to the front door. The Halloween candy is there if I choose to have a piece or two. I don’t give it much thought or concern. You can have that same freedom, which is one amazing treat. 

Stressed Out About Stress Eating? Don't Do These Three Things

Do you have your stash of snacks hidden in the top left-hand drawer of your desk? Do you know that the code in the vending machine for pretzels and Peanut M&M’s are B6 and A4? Or, if you are lucky enough to have a home office, do you find yourself in front of the food pantry every day at 3pm?

Why you are stress eating at work.

More and more Americans are experiencing significant stress in the workplace. The Huffington Post published “Work Stress On The Rise: 8 In 10 Americans Are Stressed About Their Jobs, Survey Finds” in April 2013.  According to the Harvard Health Publication “Why Stress Causes People to Overeat”, when someone is under high levels of stress for long periods of time, their body produces a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is known to increase your appetite and your motivation to eat.

One way to look at stress in the body is to consider what happens when a seltzer bottle is shaken. Fizz and bubbles build and the cap is difficult to twist off without seltzer spraying out. Similarly, stress often feels like that same tension and pressure. In the human body, this is very uncomfortable. The natural response to relieve discomfort is to want to let out that tension. Depending on the food chosen, eating can relieve this tension by creating a distraction, a relaxation response and/or a short term increase of energy.

But eating when stressed never resolves the actual causes of the stress or it’s symptoms; it just hides them.

Ready to make a change?

Stress eating not only has an impact on your waist line, it can also erode your confidence and limit your ability to build the momentum you need for optimal health. Lori, a coaching client of mine, hated herself when she kept reaching for the bowl filled with miniature chocolates in the kitchenette in her office. Sure, her boss was driving her crazy and had incredibly high and unrealistic expectations. But more importantly, Lori was distracting herself from what the real issues were. Eating chocolate allowed her to avoid them. Her self esteem also plummeted when her belly felt so stuffed. On days like those, Lori often chose to come home from work and sit in front of the TV. Her yoga mat and walking shoes stayed in her downstairs closet.

Think about it this way.

There are two components to stress eating. The stress you are feeling at work on a day to day basis and the choices you are making around food. In order to stop stress eating, it’s important to shift the way you think and your actions in both of these areas.

Don’t work harder and faster.

When the to-do list is a mile long and deadlines are coming fast and furious, you may automatically want to put your head down and plow through it. You may be thinking that you will feel less stressed when you’ve finally finished this one project. But you know how it goes. Once you complete one milestone, the next one is there waiting for you. To stop stress eating, you must manage your stress daily. You have to take yourself off the gerbil wheel that will have you running endlessly and perpetually stressed out. I encourage all of my coaching clients to make it a habit of doing 3 core daily practices. These practices reduce stress, improve how you feel and offer a clearer connection to yourself and your purpose. My core daily practices include meditating for at least 10 minutes, practicing yoga or running, and journal writing. The practices don’t need to take much time but the key is that they are done daily. Choose your core daily practices, practice them consistently and you will be on your way to reducing stress in all areas of your life.

Don’t avoid the candy bowl.

I’m suspecting that you have tried to avoid the candy bowl in the past and it hasn’t worked. You’ve tossed out or given away your snack stash, tried to avoid the vending machine and even did your best to decline the birthday cake and bagels sitting in the kitchen. Trying to avoid something doesn’t work permanently and easily because of a simple law of energy. Energy increases where you place your attention and focus. When you spend time thinking about the candy bowl (even trying to avoiding it), you are creating more energy around it.  To be successful avoiding the candy bowl, you need to put your energy onto what you do want. Pivot your attention from the candy bowl toward other habits that will help you feel better and less stressed. Focus on drinking more water, walking outside at lunch time or taking some deep breaths throughout the day.  Do that and you will forget all about the candy bowl.

Don’t eat on the fly.

In a former office of mine, Katie, our office manager, kept a full bowl of M&M’s on her desk. She was very sweet and I know she meant well. To get to the main conference room, we had to walk by her desk (and the M&M’s). Many of my coworkers (and I included) would scoop a handful and eat these M&M’s on our way to or from a meeting. Eating mindlessly can lead to overeating. Stress eating can be significantly reduced when you pay attention to what you are eating. When you are eating, do it with all of your attention. Don’t eat and walk, eat and text or eat and work. Just sit and eat.

Life can be hectic, fast paced and even stressful. And your health and vitality doesn’t have to be compromised. Stress eating isn’t the underlying cause, it’s the symptom. Stop stress eating by taking time for yourself daily, focusing on nurturing the right habits, and bringing more mindfulness in your life. When you do, your relationship with the vending machine will be a thing of the past.

Sound simple? It is, but there is so much more. If you want to know more for yourself and incorporate these guidelines in your life, contact me to set up a free exploratory conversation.



Why Stepping On The Scale Is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts And 5 Things to Do Instead

Lauren had her morning ritual. Before she got out of bed, before her feet even touched the floor, Lauren would ask herself “How is this day going to go?”. She then walked into the bathroom to step on the scale and find out.

Lauren would have two numbers in her head. Her goal weight and what she weighed last. Depending on how she worked out and ate the day before, she may be mildly scared or a little hopeful.

When the scale offered good news, Lauren felt that little high and privately celebrated. She felt good about herself.  When the scale offered bad news, Lauren was in disbelief. “Maybe the scale is wrong”, she thought.  She would step off and on again, hoping for a lower number. When the number didn’t change, her stomach would drop and she felt defeated. “I can’t believe I let myself get here”, she would say to herself. She felt disgusting.

For Lauren, the scale isn’t just assessing how closely she had followed her diet plan. It’s personal. When Lauren sees that number on the scale, she also sees if her hard work has paid off, if it’s worth it to keep trying to eat so well, and ultimately, if she has been good or bad.

What comes next is critical. How Lauren felt about herself and her body in that given moment would set the tone for how she ate that day. If she felt good, she would likely eat well. If she felt bad, she would likely throw in the towel, and would inevitably overeat and binge.  

For Lauren, who is a made up aggregation of many of my coaching clients, stepping on the scale every morning put in motion food patterns that were destructive and disconnected from herself and her body.

The scale is a tool to measure body weight. However, for many dieters and those interested in weight loss, weighing themselves isn’t as simple as finding out how much they weigh at a given point in time. Ultimately, the number has meaning. The number becomes a personal story of individual self worth and value. The dieter will then choose how to eat based on how they see themselves in a positive or negative light.

Our self worth doesn’t come from something that makes its home on our bathroom floor. Nor do we need to let the number on the scale determine how we treat ourself and our body.  

It’s time to stop the madness that comes from stepping on the scale. This ritual is NOT the way to achieve long lasting health, vitality, and yes, even permanent weight loss.

At first, Lauren was afraid to not weigh herself. She was panicked because she believed the scale was her way of staying in control. Until she understood that stepping on the scale was ultimately creating chaos in her day to day life, was she able to consider something different.  Until she saw that the scale was disconnecting herself from her body, determining her mood, and dictating how and what she ate, did she find the courage to try something different.

If you have found the same courage, here are 5 things you can do to stop letting the scale rule your life:

  1. Create a new morning routine that doesn’t include weighing yourself. A large glass of warm water with lemon is a beautiful way to start the day.

  2. Move your scale to a part of your home where you won’t see it regularly.  If it’s in your bathroom, take it out.

  3. Find 3 other ways to measure your health and vitality. Consider being aware of your energy levels, how well you sleep, how clear your skin is, and your patience.

  4. Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel today?”. Keep that intention in the front of your mind for the whole day.

  5. Connect with yourself by asking “what do I need?” throughout the day. More often than not, drinking more water, rest, movement, and getting outside are all things that will make you feel better.  

Permanent weight loss, health and vitality comes from creating daily habits and rituals that are rooted in love and connection. Start your morning with the question “How is this day going to go?”. Instead of letting the scale answer for you, choose for yourself.   You have the answers you need.  


One Simple Step to Take to Stop Overeating

I sat in the sunshine on the front steps of my house. It’s finally warm enough here in New Hampshire to be outside.  It’s lunch time and I’ve left my laptop, phone, iPad and any other reading material at my desk. It’s just me and my big-ass salad. No work. No distractions.

For years, I would work through lunch. I would eat quickly at my desk, prioritizing a project deadline or catching up on emails ahead of anything else. I firmly believed that I didn’t have the time, not 5 minutes or  20 minutes, to take the time to just eat. Work was too busy and I had to keep checking things off my “to do” list.  Taking the time to eat was simply a  waste of time. I could be more efficient and effective by multi-tasking.

During that same time, my relationship with food was all about:

·       limits and restriction,

·       numbing and overeating,

·       shame and defeat, and

·       disconnection and discomfort.

I was desperate to lose that last 5,10, or 15 pounds and I was trying every diet I could to do it. What I didn't realize at the time was that my painful relationship with food was in large part due to not listening to my body. 

How can anyone tune in to hunger cues, fullness signals or how certain foods made their body feel if they don't listen?

When you don’t eat with your full attention, you are missing an opportunity to notice feedback that your body desperately wants you to have.   

Now that I eat my meals with all of my attention, I leave food on my plate. After decades of overeating and binge eating, this simple habit is a small miracle. I notice when I’m no longer hungry. I no longer rush through my meals. I enjoy the taste of what I’m eating and feel much more satisfied. Eating has become a nurturing act of connection.

If you are reading this while eating your breakfast, lunch or dinner, put your fork down and push your meal away, even for a few moments.  

Practice eating at least one meal a day without any distraction.  Start with the meal that’s the easiest to focus completely on.

When I first started not working through lunch, it only it took me 12 minutes to eat. I quickly realized that taking this small amount of time allowed me to return to work with fresh eyes and renewed energy. I increased my productivity by giving myself this break.

Whether or not you struggle with overeating and binge eating,  doing one thing at a time and being mindful is the key to fully experiencing life. Consider that taking time to simply eat a meal is a way for you to slow yourself down and enjoy a few moments in the day. Practice eating with all of your attention. It will become practice for how you want to live: fully awake, connected, and present to the warm sunshine on your face.


5 Ways to Make Permanent Change in Your Life

My bookshelf is filled with books offering the best, life-altering diets, the cure for overeating, and the secret to making peace with food. I bought my first Geneen Roth book in college, and from there, I was insatiable. I couldn’t get enough information.

I wanted to know. How could lose weight? Why was I overeating and how could I stop?

One would think that because I knew so much and I was so well read, that I must have been able to solve all of my eating problems.

Far from it. I was really good at collecting information, but I had a very hard time making a permanent change and following what the books told me to do.

If we KNOW how to make the change we need to make, why don’t we do it?

What I have come to find out for myself is that knowing just doesn’t matter. Having the information is only one small ingredient in the recipe of everlasting change. But many of us stop there and think reading that “miracle, end all be all” book will be our quick fix. You know that you feel better when you work out at least five days a week. But unless you get off your duff and get to the gym or lace up your running shoes, knowing that doesn't make any difference. 

“We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” John Dryden, 1631-1700

This is the key. We must repeatedly take action until that change is who we are.

> Stop seeking and start doing. Spending time reading and following the latest fad and what others are doing can be a distraction. If you already know what to do, take one step in the direction you want to go in right now.

> Keep the change you want to make top of mind. A daily reminder and a plan in your weekly schedule will certainly help. Keep a sticky on your laptop or bathroom mirror or a reminder on your calendar.

> Drop the idea that it’s hard, painful or it’s going to take a lot of work. I’m in the process of kicking my caffeine habit. Initially, I assumed that when I’m no longer drinking my caffeinated tea or coffee that I will have a big brain fog, get a caffeine withdrawal headache, and simply feel miserable. My idea of what would happen when I kicked the caffeine habit was initially keeping me from making any change at all. Letting go of that idea made it much easier for me to begin making the switch to decaf.  

> Connect the dots between the change you want to make and how it impacts your life. When I drink more water, I just feel better. I have more energy. When I sleep more, I have so much more patience with my family, and it feels so great to have more energy to do the things I love. Take a careful look at why this change you want to make matters so much to you.

> Replace perfect with your best. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Many of us want to do things perfectly or exactly as planned, but that may keep us from doing anything. Your ideal workout may be 45 or 60 minutes, but if you only have 15 minutes, that is better than nothing at all.

There will come a point when the change you want to make is no longer a change you want to make, it will be the fabric of your being. If you are not doing what you know to do, you just won’t feel like yourself. You have changed yourself forever. And you will know that for sure.

With Love and Inspiration~


If It's Not A Diet, What Is It?

**This is the final post of a multi part series on why diets and the diet mentality simply cannot work, the distraction and impact diets can have on living the life we are meant to live, and how to shift our view of food to eat in a way that supports our health and vitality, and ultimately brings our bodies back into balance.  **

I remember going on Weight Watchers after I gave birth to Ryan, my oldest. I was assigned 36 “Points” to eat a day based on my current weight and my weight loss goals. I quickly learned I could eat more food that was lower in fat and higher in fiber. I would eat a whole bag of low fat microwave popcorn because it was only 3 points. It didn’t matter If I was hungry for the whole bag or not, nor did it matter if it felt satisfying or not.  Microwave popcorn was cheap food, and I convinced myself I was getting a huge bargain.

When I couldn’t stay on Weight Watchers any longer, I struggled with not knowing what to eat, when to eat it or how much to eat. I felt so lost and didn't trust myself around food. The Points calculator was still in the back of mind. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was overeating and bingeing more than ever before because I was trying so hard to restrict calories and fat.

Dieters embrace the mentality that they must restrict calories to lose weight. The sad part is that despite best intentions, food restriction leads to overeating and bingeing.

The good news is that there is a much better way to nourish yourself and bring your body into balance. A reliable, effective and permanent solution to making food choices. It’s not a diet or a mind-set of restriction. It’s a process of connection and listening.  Ready to fly solo and make diets a thing of your past? Start here:

  • Understand what you value most.  When it comes to your health and your body, what is important to you? Be specific. If your answer is, I just want to lose weight, then look a little deeper. What are benefits of weight loss? How will you feel when you weigh less? Maybe this means you have boundless energy so you can chase after your kids all day like a superhero and then have enough left over to clean your house before you go to bed or maybe you want to run a half marathon and want to feel lean and strong all the way to the finish line. When you are clear that you may simply want to feel light, radiant, energized or strong in your body, then your food choices will be so straightforward. They will either support what you value or they won’t.

  • Ask your body for feedback constantly--before you eat, when you are eating and after you have finished.

    • What do you want to eat?
    • How does your food choice make you feel?
    • Did your food choice give you a steady amount of energy?
    • Did your food choice fill you up for a few hours or are you hungry a short time after?
  • Shift your view of how you look at all food. There are high quality choices and low quality choices. Throw out the idea that food is good or bad. Quality is defined as how the food serves you, your health and what you value. Your food choices will fall in a range between serving you and fulfilling a higher purpose and what you value (higher quality) or it will not serve you as well (lower quality). When we label a certain food as bad and off limits, we may be drawn toward it and want to eat it more. The more you focus on choosing high quality food on a daily basis, the better you will feel.

  • Love your body, not matter what it looks like. You are not your body. Your body houses your spirit. Caring for your body is choosing to love and nurture your highest self. Your body isn’t something to showcase or define your self worth. It’s something to honor and cherish.

What we discover when we stop dieting and start listening, is that certain foods don’t make us feel good and feeling good is important to us. When I was eating bags of microwave popcorn, what my body desperately craved was some protein.  After eating all of that popcorn, my belly still felt empty, and I was hungry a short time later. I no longer diet. Now I ask my body what it needs and I listen.

Listening to the wisdom of your body is the answer to vibrant health and balancing your body. Trust that listening is all you need to do. It won’t lead you astray.

Wishing you peace and connection~


You Have Finally Made Peace With Food... Now What?

When I was struggling with food, I would binge most Sunday afternoons. Maybe it was on a couple of extra bowls of ice cream, some chocolates from a past holiday, or leftover brownies I made for the kids. This binge pattern took away my loneliness or my anxiety about the upcoming week, or sometimes it was my last chance to indulge before I had to be “really good” and go back to my diet. I would wake up Monday morning, quietly despising myself and determined to stay on track with my eating.  This pattern, even though deeply painful, was also oddly comfortable and well-known. It felt safe emotionally and mentally when, at a subconscious level, I knew the outcomes of my battles.

I’ve since transformed my relationship with food. Without my destructive patterns, I’ve created a clearing and an opening. I have time and energy to create something new. In the past few months, I’ve done a major clean out of my closet and have taken some pretty significant steps to expand my businesses. I keep asking myself and the Universe “How do I serve my communities with my highest and best self?”.  My food struggle wasn’t just keeping me safe, it was also keeping me from living a bigger life. Now that my struggle is behind me, there is nothing in my way.

Even though that sounds incredibly exciting, it’s actually pretty freakin’ scary. I’ve known myself for so long as someone who struggles with food. Now I have gotten to know myself as someone who thrives, is mindful and compassionate around food and my body, and has created habits that serve me best. This new “me” doesn’t know what the future looks like because I’m finally not recreating my past, over and over again. I’ve been scared that this new “me” will disappear, that she is too good to be true, and that I don’t deserve to be her.

As I’ve navigated these new waters over the past year, I’ve come up with a few strategies that have helped me deal with my fears and embrace the newly created “me”. It’s our divine right to live a life full of passion, inspiration and love. If you too have cleared some space and are ready to start living a bigger life right now, try this:

  1. Name your fear. You may need to do some soul searching and deep inquiry here. What is it that you are truly afraid of? Write it down. Get it on paper.  
  2. See that named fear as false. I love the acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. Your fear isn’t real; it’s just something you created.
  3. Stay present. Our fear is a projection of the future. When we are truly in the moment, fear, anxiety and worry cannot exist. Keep yourself present by asking yourself, “What is actually happening right now?”.
  4. Commit to not letting your fear stop you. You are meant to live a life you love. Commit to forward momentum every day.
  5. Say a daily mantra to yourself. Make up your own or try one of these: "I breathe in love. I breathe out fear." "I am safe. I am supported. I am enough." "I am present and grounded in this moment." "I release my fears and stay open to the love and support all around me."
  6. Don’t wait. Even if you are still struggling with your relationship with food or some habitual pattern that is wearing you down, move forward toward the things you want in your life. The momentum may be small, but the impact of moving past your fear is significant.
  7. Practice living with fear. It’s not about removing our fears, it’s about living fully despite them. When we try to remove our fears, we are giving them more energy. Living with them means quietly acknowledging them as artificial and then moving forward.

If you are considering some big and exciting things in your life, that’s an awesome thing. You are ready. Leave the safety of the unknown and embrace what is possible. Simply take a big breath and SHINE bright.

With Love and Inspiration~



Why We Let Diets Distract Us From Living

**This is the second post of a multi part series on why diets and the diet mentality simply cannot work, the distraction and impact diets can have on living the life we are meant to live, and how to shift our view of food to eat in a way that supports our health and vitality, and ultimately brings our bodies back into balance.  **

Do you remember your very first diet? If it was anything like mine, I felt so motivated and inspired to take on this brand new undertaking. I poured through the pamphlets, note cards of recipes and calendars of eating plans.  After all, I wanted to lose weight, and this was a way for me to get there.

I treated this diet like a part time job and was willing to go to great lengths to follow it to a T. I chose to forego wedding cake at my cousin’s wedding, bring my own meals out to a restaurant, and stay up late logging my food intake and counting calories.

If you can relate, you also believed this effort was an investment into a skinnier version of yourself. But what I was really doing was sacrificing my precious time, energy, and attention in the moment for some future hope. Instead of enjoying my life with family and friends at a wedding, I found myself fretting over cake. Instead of enjoying a great conversation and connecting with friends at a restaurant, I worried about what I was eating. Instead of getting a good night’s sleep or reading a great book, I assessed my performance on my diet plan.  

For many, the diet mentality locks us into a belief that we must sacrifice today to have the body and the life we desire tomorrow. We take that thinking one step further and actually put our life on hold for some fantasy in the future. In the backs of our mind, we believe:

“My life will be ________ when I weigh ________” . Fill in the blanks.

My life will be complete when I can fit into my skinny jeans. Or, when I wear a size 6, I’ll be finally the young professional woman I think I should be, and I’ll have it all. Or, when I lose 15 pounds, more men will be attracted to me, and I’ll be in an amazing relationship.

But we can’t blame diets and a diet mentality for this. They are not the problem. They are just covering up something much more painful that we don’t want to confront: We believe we are not good enough.

This mentality started before we went on our first diet. The diet was there to distract us from looking at this painful belief. If we run from it and hide from it by dieting, maybe we can convince ourselves that we are good enough and prove this little voice inside of us wrong.

While we are dieting our life away and putting our hopes and dream on hold until we finally believe we have become good enough, life is happening around us. Our bodies may not be perfect. Our life may not be ideal. But they are the only ones we have, and we don’t get another one or another chance. We can live our life trying desperately to change our bodies and our lives, or we can live today like we want to live and feel at peace with our bodies and our lives. Stop struggling with the thought, “I’m not enough.” It’s simply not true. You are enough. Your body is enough. Your life is enough. Put down the fight and the distractions that come from dieting and pick up the truth. Your life is waiting for you, and it’s time to live it! 

With Love and Inspiration~


Why M&M's May Have So Much Power Over You

plan m&ms

**This is the first of a multi part series on why diets and the diet mentality simply cannot work, the distraction and impact diets can have on living the life we are meant to live, and how to shift our view of food to eat in a way that supports our health and vitality, and ultimately brings our bodies back into balance.  **

Everywhere you look, there are articles and blogs telling us what foods we MUST avoid eating. For anyone who has been on a diet, you know what foods you are not suppose to eat and what’s outside of your eating plan. You look closely at calories and grams of fat, carbs, and sugar. And even though a bag of M&M’s may have the same amount of calories as a medium avocado, you know which one you are allowed to eat.  We label our foods good or bad and we tend to go so far as to call bad foods “off limits”, “forbidden” and “fattening.”

When we are not barraged with WHAT foods to avoid, there is a lot of advice available on HOW to avoid these forbidden foods.

On your way to the grocery store?  
Never buy THAT food in the first place or even think of having THAT food in your house.

Going out to dinner?
Call ahead to the restaurant and plan out what meal you can have.

Getting ready to attend a graduation party or wedding?
Eat before you go, so you are not overly hungry while you are there. While there, fill up on fruit and the raw veggie plate so you won’t be tempted to have a piece of cake.

I read some advice from a well known inspirational author. He suggested that if you are constantly tempted by a certain food or restaurant, change your driving pattern so you don’t even have to drive by and be tempted in the first place. For someone that lives in the suburbs of New Hampshire, I can tell you I would be doing a lot of driving if I took this guru’s advice.

Our diet and diet mentality has us believing that we can’t trust ourselves around that bag of M&M’s (and the rest of the forbidden food list), and we must put in some herculean effort to avoid eating those little chocolate candies at all costs.

The design of the forbidden food mentality is doomed for failure from the very beginning because we put so much time and energy into fighting ourselves.  From the first moment we decide we can’t have something, we immediately want it. This is just how human beings are wired and here is why:

  1. Energy flows where our attention goes. Does it feel like that plate of cookies is drawing you in like a magnet? Of course it does. You are spending all of your time and energy thinking about those cookies. Sure, you are trying to avoid them, but you are still giving those cookies plenty of energy.
  2. When something desirable is in short supply, we value it more.  When a food we enjoy is off limits and not available to us, we want it even more. I see this with my three kids. If the last piece of gum or Popsicle is up for grabs, each of them naturally jockey for top sibling position and fight over who get’s it. They don’t want to miss out. The opposite of this is also true. We still have bags of Easter candy, a few months old, in the cabinet. We clearly had too much candy and there was plenty to go around.  Those chocolate bunnies and peanut butter cups have long been forgotten.
  3. Free will. Our authentic desire is to have an influence on our own lives and not be controlled or have our actions dictated by someone or something. We really don’t want anyone or anything to tell us what to do and how to do it. When it comes to food choices, our diet plan is making those choices for us, and there is a very strong part of us that will fight it over and over again.

This explains why we haven’t just gone on one diet. The first one didn’t work and neither did the second, third or thirteenth. Labeling foods as bad and putting all of our energy into avoiding them, goes against how we naturally want to function and thrive. Consider how the little M&M that is forbidden and may make you fat, is just a piece of food. It doesn’t need to be good or bad, forbidden or allowed. How you see that M&M is really up to you.  And when we can see that little M&M for what it really is, we’ve taken back all of the power it has over us.

How to Stop Your Overeating Habit

How to Stop-1
How to Stop-1

Are you one of those people that eats everything on your plate no matter what? I’m a former member of the Clean Plate Club myself. Actually, I often had second helpings at meal time. You can say I was a member of the Two Clean Plates Club ;). It didn’t matter if I was hungry or full. I just ate what was in front of me, and then some. I started my journey to transform my relationship with food and my body because I knew I was overeating and overstuffing. Sometimes when I was hungry, I felt empty. Not just physically, but emotionally. When I was full or even very full, I felt calm and a little sedated. These emotional causes and side effects of my overeating created a very well-ingrained habit that was in place for many years. It took me a while to break this habit, but after trying and failing a few times, I found a practice that made a big difference. Try this exercise to eat just enough and leave every meal satisfied:

  • Sit down to eat your meal when you are hungry. Please notice the two important things: Sit down to eat. Eat when you are hungry.
  • Create the intention that you are going to eat mindfully. Eat your meal slowly.
  • Put your fork down occasionally to check in with your body. Drop your awareness to your belly and notice.
  • When you have come to that point when you have moved past no longer feeling hungry and begin to feel satisfied, PAUSE.  Promise yourself that you are going to temporarily set your food aside for 15 minutes. After that time, you can freely and without guilt, eat what’s left on your plate.  Wrap up any remaining food, whether it’s one bite or 10 bites, and put it away.
  • After 15 minutes, check in with your belly. Are you hungry? Does the idea of finishing or eating more of your meal appeal to you? If so, sit down and eat. If not, save your remaining food for another time.

People overeat for a lot of different reasons. You may find that overeating has become a habit you would like to break. Stopping overeating takes awareness, patience, and practice. Try this exercise when you eat your next meal, and you will be well on your way to honoring your body and yourself in a very powerful and loving way.

Create Your Focus, Create Your Life

Years ago when I was dieting and feeling desperate to shed some extra weight, unconsciously I was choosing to disconnect from my body. I chose to follow a meal plan or to eat a predetermined number of calories instead of asking my body what it needed.

For years I floated around without any intention of what I wanted my relationship with food and my body to be. Consciously or unconsciously, our focus is on something that results in us living a certain way.

When we aren’t aware of how we are living, it is as if we are a small boat in the middle of the ocean being tossed around by each smashing wave and pulled along by the current. The small boat may stay in the middle of the ocean or it may ultimately arrive on shore. Without awareness or purpose, the boat’s destination would be haphazard and accidental. The other option is creating where we want to go, how we want to be. This is like giving that same small boat a GPS and ultimately a guide to whatever destination we choose.

Now, I create guidance for myself daily. Sometimes my intention is for my whole day and sometimes just for certain areas of my life. I keep my language simple- one or two words.  I create ease and peace around food and compassion and healing around my body. If you ask me tomorrow, my intention may change. I can recreate how I want to be based on what intuitively feels right. This guidance helps me navigate through food choices and also whether I choose to go for a run, take a bath, or go to bed early. My intentions are the foundation of all my actions.

Creating an intention is the starting point for creating the life you choose. When it comes to shifting your relationship with food and your body, you are also in the driver’s seat. Changing your relationship starts with choosing what you really want and keeping that top of mind moment to moment. This isn’t hard, but it does require effort and awareness. The beautiful thing about this process is that you can create a loving relationship with your body, peace around food, and a life you love.

Right now, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Ask yourself: What kind of relationship do I want to have with food? How do I want to view and treat my body?

Chances are, you’ve been trying to restrict what and how much you eat, and you berate yourself when you fall off the wagon. You are scared you will gain weight and worry you will never lose the weight you want. When it comes to your body, the criticism doesn’t stop. It’s now time to replace the criticism, restriction, fear and worry with how you really want to live around food and your body. You get to pick. Choose what comes to mind first. And if nothing comes to mind, love and compassion are always great places to start.  Put your energy in the right place and your actions will follow. It starts with you.


How to Recover From A Food Binge

If I were the superstitious type, I would have thought I jinxed myself. I had recently told a few people: my husband, my Naturopath, my coaching group. I said out loud, “I don’t binge eat anymore.” And then Saturday afternoon after a big shopping trip, I came home, made a plate of crackers and cheese, and pretty much ate everything on the plate. As expected, I immediately felt disgusted. And because I am now coaching women on how to listen to their bodies and change their relationships with food, I also felt like a complete fraud. If I can’t stop binging myself, how do I expect to guide others? My mind raced:

I shouldn’t be coaching women in this work. I’ll just go back to what I know.

I can’t believe I ate that whole plate of cheese and crackers. I even had gluten. Why do I make choices that will make me sick?

I have tools, I should be using them! What is wrong with me?

My belly feels so bloated. I’ll need to hide that so no one suspects.

From the outside that evening, I appeared quiet, reserved, and disconnected from my family. I probably seemed a little melancholy. I went to bed early and wrote in my journal.

This is what binges do. They absorb us into a shame cycle. They have us questioning and doubting everything about ourselves. Our body feels sick; therefore, we assume everything about us is sick too. Binges make us withdraw from the world. We don’t want to show our disgusting selves to the people we love around us. After all, they must be judging us the same way we are judging ourselves, right? This episode refreshed my memory of how destructive binges are because the binge eater withdraws, hides, and feels terrible and full of shame.

We are disconnected from our bodies when we binge and overeat. I clearly felt disconnected on Saturday afternoon and resorted to an old habitual pattern. When I woke up Sunday morning, I reminded myself that I have a choice where I focus my energy. I can beat myself up about the afternoon before, like I have in the past, or I can see my experience as an opportunity to go deeper in my own healing. I’m choosing to go deeper.

As I look back to my earlier declarations of binge eating being something of my past, I realized there was a part of me that felt being binge-free was too good to be true. I secretly worried that all of this healing and new learning would disappear. I know now this process is not a delicate one. Our practice of connecting to our body grows stronger the more we listen to it. I don’t need good luck to be aware of my body. My journey to freedom around food and body struggles may have it’s share of up and down and side trips. I’m okay with that. I’m also really okay with not being perfect. I’ll take confidence and connection over luck and crossed fingers any day of the week.

Love The World Because The World Loves You

I popped into Walgreens the other day to pick up a few things and couldn’t help but to notice the 50% off Valentine’s Day candies and stuffed animals. The Easter candy going up on the other side of the aisle also served as a reminder that the holiday of love came and went. Mark and I had a really nice long over due dinner at a restaurant that we have gone to every Valentine’s Day since we moved up here to New Hampshire. Without taking away from the celebration and the appreciation that can come from Valentine’s Day, I’ve come to experience love in a much different way. It sits underneath the surface of the love I share with my family and friends, but it expands so much farther and wider than I can often imagine.

Here is how I have come to know love.

~ Love can expand infinitely when we are in the present moment and shrink drastically when we our thoughts and views are coming from either the past or the future.

~Love is a choice we make.

~Love isn’t something we earn or is something than can be taken away.

~Love is a verb and is a practice.

~Love and fear are the exact opposites.

~Love is defenseless.

~Love is generous.

Love comes from within me. It’s something I connect with. It’s not something I can find in the kindness and thoughtfulness of others or notice the lack of it with hurtful words and actions.

Over the years, I’ve taken a hard look at past relationships. Why are their words and actions still hurting me? Are they still staying those things or am I still saying them to myself? Are they still hurting me or am I revisiting my memories that hurt? Through this insight and willingness to accept me and the people in my life exactly as we are, I’ve come to see love in a much more powerful way. The only thing that gets in the way from me loving them, is some how believing that what they did or said to me meant I wasn’t lovable.

I am love. You are love. It’s not something we need to seek because it lives within us. Think of love as a source of energy. The more we use the energy, the stronger and more expansive it becomes. Our practice, whether it be on Valentine’s day or the other 364 days of the year, is connecting with that source again and again.