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exercise

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More doesn't always equal more: over exercising will not get you in better shape just like being overly critical will not help you succeed in life

When I first got into fitness, I fell in love. I loved the way I felt, I loved how strong I was getting and exercise became my escape. When I started to see the benefits of exercising four times a week, I thought that if I did six times a week, the greater results I'd experience. I religiously went to the gym six days a week and reluctantly took the seventh day off- in my mind, more equaled more. I carried on working out like this for many years and over those years, I developed an abundance of injuries. The first injury I got was a stress fracture in my tibia (shin bone) from excessive running and jumping. At that time, running made me feel alive. I had gone through so much pain in my youth that running made me feel like I could escape everything for that moment. I would run 10-15km a day on top of weight lifting for another hour. The impact my body was taking was too great and eventually it broke down the best way it knew how.

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Our Inner World has the Ability to Change our Outer World

It's no surprise that dieting for long-term weight loss, doesn't work. We know this by study after study showing that over 95% of people who lose weight on a weight loss diet, will gain the weight back in less than 3 years (if you can keep it off that long to begin with). Most people gain the weight back within a few months, truth be told. I have worked with so many clients that are frustrated and ready to give up all together after being through the dieting-weight loss-cycle over and over again.

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How to Naturally Detox Your Body

It's January! New year, new you, and new goals to achieve. 

"This year I'm going to lose weight and get fit. I'm going to change the way I eat and exercise 5 days a week. I'm finally going to lose this extra weight once and for all"!

Sound like you?

You, and millions of others, are making the decision to get healthy this year. And good for you! Even though many new years resolutions end up fading out by March, the initial drive to get healthy is a huge component of how successful you'll efforts will be.  

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The Toxic Effect Photoshopped Images Have on Body Image and Eating

Have you ever looked through a magazine and wished you looked like the people you saw, noticed billboards of perfect bodies as you're driving, or compared yourself to the models in the posters you see as you walk through the mall?

I have. 

Have you ever noticed how perfect these models appear to be and wondered to yourself "how could I look like them"? Have you thought "I'd be happy if I only looked like that"?

I have.

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Obesity: A Complacency Pandemic

Over the last month I have been challenged to rise above the current standard I have set for myself, and to go beyond the complacency that can so easily encompass me. There are times in my life where I sit in a place of comfort and become complacent to stay where I am knowing that true success and breakthrough in any area comes when we get out of our comfort, or complacency, zone.

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Failing Diets and Rebound Weight Gain

How many times have you gone on a specific diet, lost weight, and gained it all back?

If you're involved in the stock market, I'm sure you've heard all about Weight Watchers soaring prices after Oprah took a 10% stake in the company buying 6.4 million shares and being awarded to buy 3.5 million more. The stock more than doubled in it's worth and she made an estimated 70 million dollars in just one day!

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Eating Healthy at Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? 

The holidays are among us and there is more cheer, laughter, and love than any other time of the year in most cases. Along with a surplus of joy there is also a surplus of food, and not just an abundance of carrot and celery sticks with extra brown rice and lean chicken breasts, but an array of savoury, sweet, fatty, and salty dishes…usually packed into one delicious meal!

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7 Foods You Need to Stop Eating: Part 1

What would your life be like if you didn't have to worry about what you ate? What if you knew that everything you bought was made with top quality ingredients and was completely beneficial to your wellbeing? Unfortunately, we do not live in a world governed by these principles and there are foods you need to stop eating, like yesterday.

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Confessions of the Holiday Eater

Thanksgiving has just been upon us, and what a beautiful chance to express and reflect on all the gratefulness that seems to escape our minds throughout the year. I love Thanksgiving because I love family get togethers, and I love family get togethers because they are always filled with good food, lots of laughs, and an overabundance of love...all in one dinner!

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Why You Keep Eating After Dinner

Have you ever finished a meal only to find yourself snacking half an hour to an hour later? You are not alone! I hear countless stories from clients who have a tendency to snack after they've finished a meal, and most often, this meal is supper. So why are we still grabbing for snacks after we've eaten? Are we really still hungry, did our bodies not get what they needed throughout the day, or is it something else? "What am I doing wrong"!? This is the frantic cry I hear ALL the time. So lets take a look as to why one might be continually snacking or feel like they need to continue eating after a meal, particularly in the evening. 

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What Your Eating Challenges Are Telling You

Have you ever been in a situation when you can't figure out what to do? You may be starting up a business, entering into a new job, falling in love, starting to have kids, or experimenting different ways to eat. Whatever you are trying to do will always be accompanied by times and feelings of uncertainty. A lot of people (including myself) don't really care for uncertainty, yet everyone loves a good adventure. We love going on trips or vacations, spontaneity, and the thrills we get when we watch a movie full of suspense. If basically all human beings like a good adventure, then we offhandedly like uncertainty.

Now I don't negate the fact that there are those text book, A type personalities, that read the plots and outcomes of movies before they watch them, they look at dinner menus online before they go out to eat, and they read the last chapter of a fresh new novel before they begin the book, but even those people like a good adventure...they just want to know it's a good adventure before it begins.

The way we can embrace the uncertainty of life is to change the way we view uncertainty. When we look at uncertainty and we change the verbiage to something like "Life Unfolding", we can take a step back and look at the big picture. We are never going to know what's going to happen at every moment in life, but that's the adventure. Some circumstances are not fun, like experiencing illness, or the death of a loved one, losing your job, or going through a divorce, but in every situation Life continues to unfold for us.

Because I deal with people's eating behaviours, I see all kinds of uncertainty when it comes to the foods they eat and the way they consume them. I see uncertainty with the thoughts they have towards themselves or food, and I see uncertainty when we sit in a session together and I tell them to embrace uncertainty. But everyone loves a good adventure.

Eating challenges present us with a chance to view Life Unfolding in a tangible way. When I was bulimic, I used to hate myself after each episode, and although I no longer struggle with an eating disorder, I look at it now as being a teacher and a guide. My behaviours, though damaging both mentally and physically, were actually helping me at the same time. They were a continual wake up call from my body saying that it needed help. This was my experience with Life Unfolding.

What areas of your life cause you anxiety or stress because you're uncertain of the outcome?

What is the uncertainty of each situation trying to convey to you?

Most often, we are challenged with uncertainty because Life is calling us to trust, to have faith, and faith in something greater than just your own self. The interesting thing about trust and faith is that they physiologically put the body into a relaxation response (Ie: Rest and Digest), which is the exact opposite of the Fight or Flight response. When we are in Rest and Digest, we think clearly, we breath slower which increases oxygen to all organs and muscles efficiently, and we can be at our highest metabolic potential. When we are in fear or anxiety, Fight or Flight is turned on and we are no longer in Rest and Digest. Do you think your body could possibly be smart enough to try to get it into a state where it can be at it's most vibrant and healthiest place?? The answer is yes. The body is physiologically beckoning us to trust.

Stress and uncertainty will always present itself, but the more important question is how will present yourself before stress and uncertainty? Will you continue to live in fear, or will you trust that Life is calling you to a higher purpose and trying to convey a higher message?

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What Am I About??

Hello Readers!! I am happy to announce that I have officially graduated from The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and am a certified Eating Psychology Coach!! With the training from the institute under my belt and as I look forward into the future of my practice, I want to give everyone reading this a clear message of what I am all about as a practitioner, what my mission is, my vision for my practice, what my core thoughts and beliefs are, and what services I provide.

 

My Mission Statement

I help people understand how their relationship with food is a direct reflection to their relationship with life. To empower and enrich a deeper understanding of oneself, and to elicit powerful changes in the mind, body, and spirit.

 

My Vision

I have this overwhelming sense of urgency to get the word out that we have been brainwashed by so many different mediums when it comes to the way we view food and the body. We have been taught to hate it, abuse it, criticize it, starve it, over-work it, and pick it apart piece by piece. The vision I have for my clients, as well as myself, is to help uncover the many lies and toxic thoughts that have been ingrained in us from a very early age, to start to discover the meanings behind the symptoms and challenges we face on a daily basis, and to equip you with simple yet powerful tools and strategies that will transform the body from the inside out.

 

My Core Beliefs

  1. Where the mind goes the man follows
  2. The way we eat is a reflection of how we live and vice versa
  3. Embracing change creates transformation
  4. Self chosen stress has to go
  5. Change comes from being more not doing more
  6. Quality of food = Quality of life

 

Where The Mind Goes The Man Follows

  • Wherever you allow your mind to wander is exactly where you will go
  • If you want to be successful in any area of your life, you have got to change the way that you think about life first and foremost
  • Before we "train" our body, we must train the mind first

The Way We Eat Is A Reflection Of How We Live And Vice Versa

  • We can tell a lot about ourselves by the way we choose food, and the way we consume food.
  • By looking into this avenue, we can identify root problems we have with food and with self.
  • Example: If I eat every meal as fast as I can, 9 times out of 10 I am living life at a high speed.

Embracing Change Creates Transformation

  • If you cannot embrace change in life, how do you think you're body is going to change shape or health?
  • Change is the flow of life. You can see this clearly and evidently through each season. The world constantly changes, it has a rhythm to it and that rhythm is change.
  • The way we eat should be constantly changing and evolving through life. If you are under the impression that you should eat the same way forever, you are not going to see the change you want in your body or in your health.

Self Chosen Stress Has To Go

  • Because the stress response has such powerful effects on the body, it is of the upmost importance that we rid ourselves of self chosen stress.
  • Example: self deprecating beliefs, negativity, an unforgiving attitude, stressful thoughts about the body, the need to be famous or noticed, using exercise as punishment, etc...
  • Stress will always present itself but the more important thing is how you present yourself while under stress.

Change Comes From Being More Not Doing More

  • Change occurs when we embody, meaning when we are in our bodies. Everyone embodies differently but we disembody by many of the same ways.
  • Example: preoccupying our minds with other peoples bodies or lives, comparing ourselves to others, constantly trying to change the body, ignoring the symptoms or challenges we have or by putting a bandaid on them instead of looking for the root causes, by refusing to be aware or present.

Quality Of Food = Quality Of Life

  • No matter what you eat,  eating the highest quality version of that food will yield powerful results.
  • When we take the time to nourish ourselves with high quality food, our lives begin to reflect that quality in the way we conduct ourselves, dress ourselves, the thoughts we think, and the way we treat ourselves and those around us.
  • Quality supersedes any diet plan.

My Services

  1.  one-on-one Nutrition Coaching in person or over Skype
  2. Group meetings or lunch and learns for corporations
  3. Speaking at private events or health and wellness seminars
  4. Customized meal planning for individuality of lifestyle
  5. Eating Psychology Coaching
  • Mood and food, immunity and the diet, chronic dieting, binge eating, over eating, weight gain, fatigue, macronutrient balance, meal timing, stress and weight gain, desires, sexuality, spirituality, and the many aspects of our lives that directly effect the way we eat.

I want to thank everyone for your continued support and openness to what I talk about. I know it's not as the rest of the world teaches, but I think we can all agree that what we've been doing isn't working. It's time to truly think out of the box!

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The Top Lies and Deceptions We've Been Fed by the Health and Fitness Industry: Part 1of 5

The more I hear about different ways to lose weight, different diets to try to find that "perfect way of eating", or all the miracle pills, powders, surgeries, and strategies to help you finally lose that weight and achieve your full potential, the more I want to take a stand. I'm done being angry about contradicting information in the health industry because it will never go away. One day you'll hear that eating low fat is the way to go, the next day low fat is the worse thing you could do. One day coconut oil is better than anything else, the next day it's not. So with all of the contradicting information we have, what can we TRULY believe?

I will be discussing some of the most common "health" claims you've probably all heard at some point or another and explaining why they can be extremely deceiving and how some them are downright lies we've been fed to keep us unhealthy, overweight, and living in fear.

1. Exercise More + Eat Less = Weight loss

This is probably one of the biggest deceptions that we've been told when it comes to weight loss. And the worst part about it is that 90% of the world believes it. Does exercise burn calories? Yes. Does eating food add calories? Yes. But we are more than just calorie burning machines. We are organic human beings who need more than just a math equation to function optimally. I want everyone to know that I am in favour of movement. The body was created to move and to move beautifully and functionally. What I am not in favour of is how so many of us use exercise. We use it to punish the body into submission when we feel we have an extra pound or two to lose, we exercise out of a place of disgust with our bodies, and we create a stress response that will end up lasting for far too long. This means that the entire time we are exercising, we are creating an even bigger stress response and singling the body to stop the production of lean muscle and to start inhibiting the body of burning fat. If we are in this state, a state of self loath, our negative thinking creates stress in the body. Because exercise is a stress in itself (even though it's a good stress), and overabundance of it is a recipe for disaster. We tend to really go for it in the gym when we feel the need to be somewhere with our bodies, so we push and we push hard. The central nervous system literally takes a beating, the psyche takes a beating, and our hormones take a beating. Mix this with a low calorie diet used to "lose weight", and you have the perfect storm.

When you restrict the body of calories or any nutrients for that matter, the body becomes undernourished on every level and has no other option but to slow down. It slows down the metabolism to utilize the little food it's being given, it slows down the immune system because we aren't getting the vital nutrients we need for it to ward off infection, it slows down the digestive tract, the reproductive system, and it slows down the rate in which we burn fat and build muscle. The body is literally just trying to survive in this state. Not only are we physically undernourished, but we are emotionally and spiritually undernourished. This is itself perpetuates the already raging stress response that's going on.

Anything that puts the body in a stress response will inhibit its ability to shape shift. Period. When I talk to my clients about exercise, I encourage them to adopt the word "movement". Exercise has a very rushed and frantic connotation for most people, but movement gets us to tune into body wisdom and what the body needs specifically each day for each individual. Does that mean I don't agree with going to a gym to workout? Absolutely not. As long as it's for the right reason. Why are you exercising right now? Is it to lose that belly fat, trim your thighs, lift your butt? Or are you doing it for the health of your body? It's ok to want to look good, there's nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward and feel sexy, but when it's done from a place of criticism and judgment, and a place of "not good enough", the body will predictably fight back. You won't lose the weight you want, your body won't change in a sustainable way, and you put your health and your body at risk for injury and disease.

2. No Pain/No Gain

I have lived a life of many struggles, and I always thought (and sometimes still do) that I've got to live life from one struggle to the next. I always thought that if I'm not struggling, I'm not making any progress, that everything has to be a fight. I found out that this was a very toxic belief that I had to purge. What happens in life when we live from one struggle to the next is our perception of success becomes dysfunctional. We then create unnecessary drama so that our situations feel more "normal" for us, and we sabotage our efforts. Consider this postulation though, life is not meant to be a struggle, but a journey.

This became very real for me when I chose to stop lifting weights. I had this no pain no gain mentality where I always had to work really hard, sacrifice my energy and time, my health, or whatever it took just to be "fit". While I continued to live in this routine, my body started to fight back and I gained weight. I would exercise even harder thinking that just a few more sets of exercises or twenty more minutes on the treadmill would do it, but to no avail. When I started to listen to what my body was telling me, I started to slow down (it pretty much forced me to). I started to walk instead of run, and I started doing Pilates. If you know anything about Pilates, you know that although it's not easy, it's defiantly not fast...it's slow...really slow. This was a big leap of faith for me to take. "What if I don't sweat each time, what if I don't feel my legs aching the next day, what if it doesn't make me gasp for air"?!?! These were all the thoughts going through my head. What happened when I finally let go? My body let go. I stopped weighing myself everyday, I stopped restricting my food intake, and I stopped compulsively exercising. I do Pilates 4 times a week, walk a few times a week, and eat food that is high quality and that gives me pleasure. This was my outcome. Needless to say, what I was doing wasn't working for me, and it would have continued to not work for me. It was only after I slowed down and listened to my body that I finally gave it the chance to change. IMG_5677

 

Another situation that this rang true for me was with the way I ate. I thought that I always had to be on some form of diet or another to truly get the body I wanted. With every diet I tried, I failed. Nothing worked sustainably, and it never would have. I started to eat foods that I enjoyed. Finally I was able to eat what my body truly needed and wanted, and what happened when I let go of my restrictions is that my body naturally gravitated towards certain foods and away from certain foods. I've always eaten healthy but I had all sorts of notions about "good" and "bad" foods. For example, one thing I found out was that my body doesn't like coconut, and that my body likes dairy. I don't care how many Paleo hacks say coconut is the miracle food, for my body, it's not. I react when I eat coconut, but when I cook with butter or cream, I don't get bloated and my tummy doesn't hurt. You tell me who's right, Paleo protocols or my body wisdom? Eating food doesn't have to be a struggle to get your body to where you want it to go. When we have pleasure (and I'll talk about the importance of pleasure in another article), the body switches from a stress response into a relaxation response. Does that mean I'm saying to gorge yourself on cookies and ice cream? No, no I am not, if you think that's what I'm saying, you  need to grow up. But the body was designed to receive pleasure. The moral of the story, I work diligently at what I do, but I don't kill myself. I do some form of exercise 5-6 times a week but I don't brake my back to do it. I eat healthy, high quality food that I prepare with love, but I eat what I want and what my body says it needs on any given day. I do not follow one specific diet, I refuse to live in extremity anymore.

It's time we start putting a little more faith and trust in our bodies. It is trying to relay information to you all the time, we are just too busy to give it a word in edge wise. It doesn't matter what any weight loss or diet strategy claims, it won't work if it's going against what your body actually needs. When we put faith in our body wisdom, we activate the relaxation response and turn off the stress response. This just so happens to be the state where the body naturally lets go of unnecessary weight and is able to function optimally on every level.

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How Did We become So Insatiable?

I think that we can all agree that in today's society, we have never been more overweight, sick, and unsatisfied than we've ever been. We have never had the technology that we currently have, we've never had the recourses that we have, and we over consume food day in and day out. So if we have everything we could possibly need and more, why are we as humans so insatiable? When it comes to our priorities, we are a mess. We place money, fame, and ego at the forefront, and everything else that truly makes up who we are on the back burner. I noticed this while I was walking in the mall the other day. Now I have to admit, I am really into fashion and absolutely love getting new clothes, but I find my insatiability for clothing comes the more I set my first and most important priority on looking good or seeking outward approval.

While looking at Summer 2015 fashion, I noticed that Fall 2015 fashion is already coming out. In fact, they were having "sneak peaks" at Fall 2015 in May! Now I know that in the fashion industry, you have to be "fashion forward", but it's getting ridiculous. While I appreciate Fall fashion as much as the next girl, I also appreciate enjoying the summer as well and not rushing though it. So as I'm trying to enjoy and relax in my Summer attire, I'm being bombarded by consumerism saying that "I need the next best up and coming wardrobe"...for a season that's 4 months away?? This is what I call insatiableness. We are never satisfied with what we have and we are always looking for the next best thing. We are rushing forward and forever living in the future (or the past), but never being here, being in the now. How did we get here?

I guess you could blame a lot on the media, and sure, the media plays a key role, but I believe it's our priorities. The trouble we face when we simply blame the media, is that we take zero responsibility for our own actions and behaviours and pin the accountability on someone or something else. The truth is that no one can make you feel or do anything, you consciously or subconsciously make the choice to allow or permit others to make you feel a certain way or do certain things.

The outcome of insatiability can come in many different circumstances and vary according to behaviour and mindset. Someone who puts their first priority on outward approval may chronically over exercise and in turn will become insatiable with that particular action. They are never strong enough, fast enough, thin enough, etc. Their diets reflect their insatiability by displaying extremity and an eternal dissatisfaction. They can never find the "right diet" and will be forever searching of new ways to cleanse and rid their bodies of toxins they believe they have all in efforts to achieve the "perfect body" and gain the worlds approval.

We all want people to like us or "approve of us" to some extent or another, but when we place our first priority on it, we become insatiable. Money can be the same, when our first priority is money we predictably become insatiable for it. We never have enough, we always need more. What we place our priorities on will become either building blocks for our success or something that will tear down our inner peace and joy for life.

One thing that I find interesting is that when I am done writing a blog, helping a client, or having a deep and meaningful conversation with someone, I don't feel or leave "hungry". In fact, I leave full. Full of life, full of energy, full of compassion, and ready to take on the world. I feel satiated. How can that be? Because my focus is not on me. When we focus on Me, we live in our ego, and our ego is insatiable. When we focus on others, we live in our spirit instead.

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what your priorities really are. You have to ask yourself and look deep down inside in the areas you feel insatiable. Are you forever unhappy with your body, with your marriage, with your diet, with your job? If you answered yes, then the problem is not what you're unhappy with, the problem is that your priorities are solely on you.

If you are unhappy, you've made your entire world about you. It revolves around you, the sun rises and sets on you, and you put yourself before anyone else. You blame your unhappiness on what others do or think and you make everything about you. It's time to grow up and see the world for what it is. If you are insatiable in any area, you've missed the mark.

What areas are you insatiable in?

What are your top 3 priorities in life?

Do they contribute or detract from your insatiability?

Our focus needs to be greater than just put own needs being met. We have relationships and community for a purpose, and it's a purpose that's greater than just you. You play a role in society but you aren't the be all and end all of it.

 

 

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Letting Go of the Things That Don't Serve Your Journey

Throughout our lives, we learn lessons. Some people call them Life's Lessons and some call it Soul Lessons, the two are interchangeable. The more work I do on my inner world, and the more I work with clients, and their inner worlds, I  see a consistent pattern of this particular Soul Lesson: Letting Go

At some point in time as we go through life, we will have to "let go". We have to let go of relationships that no longer serve us, beliefs that no longer serve us, behaviours, actions, jobs, careers, money, addictions that no longer serve us, and we will eventually have to let go of our lives.

If we do not let go of old ways of thinking and behaving, we forfeit evolution and we forfeit expansion. We will stay in a contracted position and ultimately start to regress. There is no maintenance, there is only progression or regression. The thought of "maintaining" something is like the thought of the "perfect diet" or the "perfect body". We can get stuck in a mindset where we think we can achieve this optimum result and stay there.

This is what happens when people try to follow a specific meal or diet plan for too long. They think that, "If I could just find the holy grail of a way of eating then I will be perfect, my health will be perfect, my body will be perfect, and I will just stay here and never leave or stray or go off my plan. All will be good and I can just maintain my perfect life".

Letting go of the "perfect diet", the "perfect body", the "perfect heath", etc, are all essential for us to evolve into something greater.

Sometimes life is asking us to let go of relationships that no longer serve us anymore. They don't contribute to our Soul's growth, and they don't contribute to our journey. Sometimes, life is asking us to let go of a job that we've worked for years that no longer serves our journey anymore. Whatever it is, it is consistently being asked of us to let go.

The Hard Part

As human beings, we like to give ourselves labels. We like to identify with positions, financial status, the friends we have, the kids we raise, the sports we play, you name it and we will identify ourselves with it. The problem with doing this though is that when we have to let go of something (which is inevitable), we also then tend to feel like we are losing our identity along with letting go. We often see this in situations like when a mother says goodbye to her children when they leave for college, an athlete going through an injury and asked to give up their sport, or the business man who has worked at his career for 20+ years and is now retiring. The mother 'loses her identity" because she identifies solely as a mother, the athlete identifies with being an athlete and the businessman identifies with his job.

If we eventually have to let go though, who do we become, what happens next?

The Benefit

The good news is that when we let go of what Life is asking us to let go of, we can be certain of one thing: we have room to receive, and we have room to expand. Wen we let go of labels and situations, places, people, etc that we find our identity in, we end up finding out who we really are. Your identity is not dependant upon anyone or anything but you. Who are YOU? You could say "well I'm a vegan, or I'm a mom", but that's not your identity, that's the way you eat and that's one of the things that you are, but who are YOU?

Life will always ask you to let go of labels and with the things you identify with. It's not because life is mean and the world sucks, it's because Life is asking you to evolve. We lose our jobs, our kids move out, we get injured, because Life is trying to get our attention, and it's asking us to find our true identity. When everything else seems to crumble and fall around us, Life is showing us who we really are.

 

What labels are you identifying with? 

What kind of person are you inside?

What are some of the labels you need to let go of and what are some positive words you can start to identify with?

 

Some of the words I identify myself with are these:

Bold, courageous, forgiving, giving, faithful, loyal, creative, healthy, caring, intuitive, worthy, successful, a force to be reckoned with...

 

It's time we stop identifying with the things that will pass away, and start to create a new identity in the things that will remain forever.

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Fed Up

I've had this scratching feeling on the inside since I started my studies through The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. The feeling that leaves me so deeply moved to say something is the feeling of being fed up. I'm fed up with all the lies we've been fed and manipulated to believe around food and body, I'm fed up with mass producing companies claiming to be healthy, low fat diets, eating less/exercising more protocols, and focusing on weight loss first before focusing on what's happening inside of us. I'm fed up with a lot, but most of all I'm fed up with people hating their bodies, beating themselves up in the gym, starving themselves, not diving deeper into themselves, tricking, playing, restricting, measuring, weighing, pinching, poking, and dismissing themselves. When will we all get what life is really about? We teach what we need to learn....

I'm at fault too, no one is immune to this way of thinking and behaving, not even me, especially not me. I have been through physical, emotional, and verbal hell against myself when it comes to my body and the way I eat. You name it, I've tried it, all in the name of "something greater". Ask me about any diet, I've done it and I've put countless people on programs just like them, all in attempt to finally be happy. That's the goal isn't it, To happy? Though we continue to learn and progress in our knowledge everyday, this I know for certain:

Happiness is not in the future

Happiness is not in the extra 0-25lbs you want to lose, happiness is not in the gym putting on muscle, it's not in the new shiny car, or in a pair of skinny jeans. Happiness doesn't come when, happiness comes now. This is what we've been made to believe, that happiness will only come when .... you fill in the blank.

I've been so skinny and still hated my body, I wanted to kill myself at one point I hated me so much. I may have been ultra thin but it wasn't because I was the poster child of health (even though that's what I claimed to be). I would workout twice a day and claim to be this big health nut, but then go and sniff coke and throw up everything I ate at the end of the day just to keep my slender figure and my inner world numb. Does that sound like happiness? What kind of life is that? Do you want to live like that if it would mean you were this unrealistic size or shape?

I'm fed up with people believing that every skinny person walking around is the most happy, vibrant, sensual, loving person they can be because more often than not, this couldn't be further from the truth. Does that mean all skinny people are unhappy? Of course it doesn't, that's not what I'm saying, but I am saying that whether skinny or bigger, if you hate your body now you will hate your body then, regardless of it's shape.

There will always be something for you to pick apart when it comes to your body, always. Every time we flip through a magazine or turn on the tv we are reminded of how unworthy we are, not matter what you look like. There's always someone who's thinner, prettier, richer, taller, shorter, more symmetrical, has nicer hair, bigger muscles, a small nose, straighter teeth, whiter teeth, nicer clothes, bigger house, nicer car etc... The list goes on. When will you finally be happy?

Happiness is not when, happiness is now. If you live a life of comparison, or with your appearance being your most important goal, you've completely missed the mark and your life is as shallow as a bed pan. When will we all get past the surface and get deeper with ourselves, with our lives?

I am not immune to it either, just so you know that I know that I'm not. I'm just fed up with an unending strive for something that never comes. I'm done letting the world dictate how I should look, think, feel, act, or talk. I'm fed up with conforming for the sake of pleasing people who don't truly care for me and who have no interest in seeing me for who I truly am, which is more than my body. Your body is an expression of you, it doesn't define you. If your identity is solely in the way you look, it's time to grow up and open your eyes. Life is more than just creating your appearance, life is about creating happiness as you are right now.

 

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The Masculine Vs The Feminine

Archetypes are vastly underrated but are deeply important and make up the polarities of the world. The masculine and the feminine are the same as yin and yang, sun and moon, emotional and mental, earth and sky, and so on. Each archetype plays its essential role in the world and is needed in equal parts to create harmony and optimal function. The problem that we face, especially in the society we live in today, is that masculine traits and how we approach living and eating are overpowering the more feminine approaches many of us are internally seeking.

"The field of nutrition and the field of eating psychology both suffer from an intense, lopsided, and imbalanced masculine approach".

Heres are some terms that have been used throughout centuries to describe each archetype:

  • Masculine: left brain , logical, linear, one-pointed, straight, to the point, goal oriented, intellect, mind, hard, heroic, purpose, clarity, systems, hierarchy, protection, boundaries, order, commitment, will, strength, information, science, numbers, calculating, measurement, penetration, problem solving, directional, singular, war, combat, fight, muscle, metal, survival, king, prince, father, brother, warrior…
  • The feminine: right brain, creative, nourishing, embodied, artistic, circular, emotional, musical, unpredictable, chaotic, flowing, watery, colorful, connecting, associative, soft, loving, caring, food, body, fat, earth, soil, procreative, communicating, inclusive, intuitive, no boundaries, open, receptive, spacious, non-linear, curvy, sensual, touch, pleasure, images, pleasing, surrender, yielding, dance, birth, earth, mother, queen, princess, devouring mother, sister, goddess, unknown, mystery…

With our focus solely on nutrition and ways of feeding ourselves, do you notice how when you look at the terminology above that we are wired towards a more masculine approach? In a masculine approach we focus on numbers, grams, measurements, systems, more muscle, heroic exercises, the "right way", or the "perfect" diet. I'm not saying that these methods are wrong or bad, but what it shows for women is that it is an approach that simply won't work long term.

Young woman on the market

Men and women are very different, we may be equals but make no mistake, we were not created the same. All you have to do is look at the general anatomy of each and see that it's not rocket science to realize we aren't the same. So if we aren't the same, why are we told to use the exact same, cookie cutter methods of dieting and exercise programming regardless of gender?

You can fight me on this one but the fact of the matter is that women are not encouraged to embrace their femininity when it comes to eating. Adopting a more feminine approach when it comes to how we feed ourselves would look more like this:

nourishment over nutrition, pleasure over feeding, mystery over scientific certainty, flow over meal plans, movement over exercise, eating over will power, body wisdom over body knowledge, fat over muscle, garden grown over laboratory grown....

Natural vs Unnatural Real Against Fake Arrow Words

Until we start to embrace a more feminine approach to food, women especially will continue to struggle with body image, disordered eating patterns, and re-bound dieting. I want to just say again that masculine approaches aren't wrong or bad, but that for your average woman on planet earth they will not work long term because the woman will not feel embodied and will not be encouraged to find her natural appetite. Notice that the feminine approach is not only for women, but for men as well. Finding natural appetite, using self love rather than self loath as motivation, and letting go of the scale and this "perfect" number you may have in your head that you have to be, that has no real scientific basis, is essential for an overall healthy practice when it comes to the psychology of eating. Everyone would benefit from eating more naturally and freely regardless of gender.

Homework:

1. Start to tap into your own body wisdom of what to eat and what not to eat. You know your body better than anyone else so let go of searching for the perfect diet because it doesn't exist. Eat foods that fully nourish you on every level, not just the foods you think you have to eat to meet nutritional requirements. Keep in mind that the body will always naturally gravitate towards foods that build it up if you allow it to. Even though you may crave certain foods out of circumstance, the body actually craves nutritionally dense foods.

2. If every exercise burned the same amount of calories, what would you do? Whatever your answer is, do that. This is called embracing movement rather than just simply exercising.

3. Go on a No Diet diet for one month and see what happens.

 

 

Information in this post was taken out of the lectures: Feminine and Masculine Psychology by Marc David, Founder of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

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Getting Acquainted With Rhythm

Hello all my faithful followers, I apologize I haven't blogged for a few weeks. Thank you all for your patience while I continue to learn through my psychology studies.

I want to talk to you about rhythm today. Life is all about rhythm, and rhythm is life. Everything we do follows a particular rhythm, from the sun rising to the sun setting, from our blood pumping in and out of our heart, and from the breath that goes in and out of our lungs, we as humans, are rhythm.

Our bodies are created to follow rhythm in everything we do, and in terms of eating, our bodies follow what science calls "bio-circadian nutrition". Circadian rhythm refers to our sleeping pattern, or our rhythm with the sun and moon as we sleep, so bio-circadian nutrition, like circadian rhythm, also works in tandem with the sun.

Our metabolisms are organic, and we are organic as humans. We live harmoniously and are closest to our homeostatic level when we flow with nature.

In the morning our metabolism is like a small fire, if we put too much wood on the fire, we will snuff it out, but if we give it small amounts, our fire can ignite. Eating a smaller, nutritious breakfast is the best way to stoke the fire. As the sun rises to its highest point, our metabolism also rises to it's highest point, this is between the hours of 12-130pm (high noon). Knowing this, we can then gage when our biggest meal should ultimately be. As life ebs and flows, so our metabolism follows throughout the day. Between the hours of 2-4pm our metabolism starts to drop, which then shouldn't come as a surprise that most people start to crave sugar or caffeine around this time of the day. This is very good news because it means that you don't have a willpower issue, your body is actually just following its natural rhythm! Between 5-9pm your metabolism starts to rise again signalling the time to eat your last meal of the day. Lastly, between the hours of 1-5am, your metabolism is at it's lowest, which means calorie burning potential is also at it's lowest.

Now I know that life gets in the way and we can't always eat our biggest meal at noon, but we can use the information about an ebbing and flowing metabolism to help us understand our physiology better. Remember though that the most important thing about eating is to be in a state of relaxation. Eating a big meal at noon while talking over a stressful business meeting compared to eating a larger dinner in a peaceful environment will not win due to meal timing. I believe that in the long term bio-circadian nutrition is an extremely helpful and beneficial concept to grab hold of if for nothing else but to work in harmony with nature.

Working night shifts are not natural or organic to the body, nor is eating a bunch of food very late into the night (or early depending on how you look at it). I'm not saying not to work night shifts, especially if that is your job, but I am saying it is not a natural way for the body to conduct itself.

Start to experiment with bio-circadian nutrition and see how your body responds, and start to notice all the areas in your life that follow a natural rhythm.

 

 

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Eating Set Backs: An Avenue to Know Yourself Better

Many of you most likely equate a set back with failure, but I want to propose a different view point. What if every time you "screwed up", "fell off the wagon", or "relapsed", that it was actually a good thing? Struggling with bulimia for 6 and a half years taught me that set backs will happen. Being addicted to drugs and alcohol also taught me that set backs happen (or relapses as they call them in the substance abuse world). With every set back I used to get really down on myself because I did exactly what I didn't want to be doing, or what I said I didn't want to be doing. When we say one thing and do another, it is very frustrating because we view ourselves as hypocrites and failures. With every set back that I came face to face with, I got angry with myself. What I learnt about anger was this though: when anger is channeled appropriately, it can be a driving force, and a very successful driving force. There is belligerent anger but there is also a very healthy and passionate anger, and when you learn to direct your anger for something that truly bounds you in a passionate way, and out of love for yourself, the potential for success is astounding.

In the start of bulimia, I was motivated by a hatred and anger for my body. I hated the way I looked, I picked a part my body piece by piece, and nothing was ever good enough. As I grew to love myself and appreciate my body, flaws and all, I was motivated by an anger towards hurting myself because I truly began to love what was. Can you can see how passionate anger spawned from love can be a driving force now? We have been made to believe that anger is bad and that we have to shove down intense emotions, but in my case, singing koom-bi-ahh around a campfire wasn't going to motivate me to change. I guess you could say that love was my main motivator, and you'd be absolutely correct, but it was also deep passion, and the anger towards self-injustice that drove me to get better.

With every set back, I learnt more and more about myself, and after a while, it was almost if I welcomed them because it would cause me to dive deeper into getting to know me better. If you don't have the desires to get to fully know and understand yourself, your triggers, your fears, loves, hates, desires, etc, every set back will keep you knocked down. It's time to get to know yourself better and the things that set you off. It's time to get angry and passionate for your own sake. If someone was treating your best friend like garbage, and you could see the hurt it was causing in your friends life, you would probably have some intense emotions (like anger), towards that or those individuals. You would be angry because you love your friend more than anything else. Now see your friend as you.

Learn to love yourself like you would a best friend and I promise you that your body will transform. Your body will have no other option but to transform because you've created the appropriate breeding ground for shape shift to take place. Your body will not let go until you let go of perfection or the belief that every time you fail, you're a a failure. When you start to view each set back as the opportunity to get to know yourself better, you won't be stressed out when you fail, because here's a helpful piece of advice, you're going to fail...over and over and over again. If you can't handle failure, you are not prepared to be a human being on planet earth. Failure is not a bad thing, but an avenue to learn. Life prepares us and teaches us that we are more than the labels we place on ourselves, like the label "failure". Although you've failed at something doesn't make you a failure, and although you've encountered a set back, doesn't mean you're not going to overcome in the end.

Eating challenges prepare us for life because the are direct reflection of our life. Look at each set back with food as a way to learn more about the life you live now. For example, if you failed at trying to eat more slowly, take a bigger look at the pace of your life and see what areas you may be going light speed in. If you over indulge or struggle with disordered eating patterns, what areas of your life may be in disorder? The way you eat is a direct reflection of the way you live.

I want to thank everyone for following my blog and all the feedback I've been getting. Everything I write, I write for you guys, and for everyone who truly wants life transformation and a new relationship with food.

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