well being

Taming The Voice In Your Head

Click the image above to see my Facebook Live
Click the image above to see my Facebook Live

There is nothing wrong with you. Do you believe me? I bet the voice in your head is saying, maybe there’s nothing wrong with you, but there is definitely something that needs fixing in me!

Let’s talk about that voice in your head, it’s been called “ego” “inner critic” “shadow voice” “survival mechanism” even “obnoxious roommate living in your head.”

Whatever you choose to call it, it is a collection of thoughts, fears, negative beliefs and stories that you made up as a child. Yup, it’s like having a little kid living inside your head.

I keep a photo of myself as a little girl just to remind me that the voice in my head is just a scared little girl. In my case, a little kid with a potty mouth because it says things to me and about me that I would never say to another human being.

6 year old me

The inner critics job is to keep us safe and protected inside our comfort zone.

I remember, years ago, how scared I was when I was supposed to go to a party or gathering, it didn’t matter whether I knew the people there or not. Thinking about walking into a room full of people made me sweat, my heart would beat out of my chest and panic would set in, just by thinking about it.

This was definitely outside my comfort zone and something that was effecting my relationships and my career. I needed to do something about it because there were many times I could not bring myself to walk into a room full of people, without a glass of wine or two.

My shadow voice would shut me down and I would hide.

Even though we develop our ego or survival mechanism to help us cope and survive childhood, as adults we don’t really need it anymore.

And, just by thinking about what we want and the action we need to take to get there can be enough to trigger our ego or inner critic.

I knew that there was nothing to fear from going to that networking but that voice was running the show and shutting me down. Kinda hard to make progress with that going on.

And, that’s where we normally stop. We get stuck in the thoughts, the fear of stepping into the unknown.

The hard truth is, to keep growing and reach our goals, we must feel the fear and keep going.

So what do we do about that obnoxious roommate (or scared child) that lives in our head?

  1. Realize that that voice is not who you are. It’s just something you made up as a kid.
  2. Understand that the inner critic will likely speak first and speak loudest.
  3. When you notice your ego is triggered, do not react, as this will likely lead to all sorts of bad choices. Stop, take a breath and allow the thoughts to move through without sticking. Let them flow on down like a sparkling stream.
  4. Once you have space, you’re able to connect with your intuition (instinct, higher self) and then choose from there.
  5. Don’t try and push it down or get rid of it, it will only come back stronger. What we resist persists, as the late Debbie Ford said.
  6. Take away its power by NOT giving it what it wants, your attention. I recently had an email in my inbox with the subject, ‘Your ego is the enemy.’ Personally I don’t think we should give our ego that much power. What do we do with an enemy? We normally try and fight it. Stop fighting and go back to step 3.
  7. If you notice that you are stuck in a hole of negative thinking, check first on your well being. Are you tired, hungry, been working way too much? When our well being is off, we are ripe for being triggered.

The bad news is that your ego is not going away, it is yours to keep. The good news is that with practice you can learn to tame that obnoxious roommate living in your head.

With practice, and, there will always be ample opportunity to practice, you will begin to create a more joyful, calm and peaceful life. Life won’t be so heavy. It’s worked for me and for my clients so give it a try and let me know how it goes.

5 Simple Steps To Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm

Are you stressed out, feeling swamped and anxious? These five simple steps will help bring more ease and calm into your life AND still get stuff done.

One of the things that my clients often struggle with is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Either over the amount of things they have to get done or with all of the stress and anxiety in their life.

When you get stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or frustrated, what happens?
When your thoughts are running rampant, you’re confused and overwhelmed, how does it normally go for you, what’s your pattern?

For me, I’m going to shut down, burn out or go hide.

My best friend and I developed something that we have used for years and now I use it with my clients. (Pretend you see me touching the tip of my nose with my finger.) This means, do the next right thing in front of your nose.

I’ve boiled this down into 5 simple steps that you can use starting immediately, when you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, anxious or overwhelmed.

  1. The first is, STOP. When you notice that you’re feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, just stop.
  2. Next, take a breath. Give space to those thoughts that are running rampant in your head right now. Breathe. Our current culture and societal pressure is to get stuff done and succeed. Stopping and taking a breath releases pressure and brings us out of our heads and into the present moment. Which leads us to step 3.
  3. Give your thoughts some space. As we disconnect from our head, we can drop into our heart, intuition, instinct, higher self, whatever you call that part of you that connects with your inner wisdom and guidance.
  4. The next step is to ask, “What is the next right thing to do?” You’re not looking out over the week or even the day, you’re looking at just NOW, what is the next right thing to do?
  5. Finally, do it. We can’t get anywhere if we don’t get into action. After you do that thing, check in, how are you feeling? If you feel the anxiety coming back, follow the steps again. There are days, I follow this even when I’m not feeling stressed because it keeps me moving and helps me get out ahead of the stress and anxiety.

It works really well when you have a partner because we are not always reliable to notice when we are caught up in our emotions. There have been days I’m talking with my friend, spiraling into a story of overwhelm not sure what to do. She simply touches the end of her nose and I’m immediately brought out of my head and into the present.

I have been able to get things done when I didn’t think I could. It’s worked for me and for my clients.

I have a video on this that you can share. (https://www.facebook.com/linda.heeler/videos/10218420561973393) Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Beware Your Sunscreen

My husband and I recently spent a couple of days staining our deck. Now that I’ve hit a certain age, I am no longer interested in hastening the onset of skin cancer so I grabbed the sunscreen spray, SPF 70, and liberally sprayed it on my arms and legs.   I did this faithfully both days we worked out in the sun.   The day after we finished the deck, however, I felt like I had a sunburn even though my skin looked perfectly normal. The burning sensation lasted one day and was replaced by itching that took a full week to completely disappear.   This was not the first time this happened to me. I used another spray-on sunscreen a few years ago and had the same reaction. I dismissed my itching as having sensitive skin and decided to try this brand that I thought would be less likely to cause a reaction.   The following week, while listening to a podcast called Travel Snacks, the host, Allison Sharpe, recounted items that she would not bring again on future trips.   Allison told how she brought a sunscreen bar with her on one of her travels and when she used it, her symptoms were pretty much the same as mine. Not thinking that her symptoms were sunscreen induced, she used it again when she got home and the results were the same, itching, itching, itching!   She went on to say that she did some research and found that people can develop an allergy to a chemical found in sunscreen called oxybenzone.  

I immediately felt a sense of relief when Allison reported her findings (and a little stupid for not having done it myself:).

  This wasn’t all in my head, it really WAS the sunscreen!   I decided to do some research myself.   According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (acaai.org), oxybenzone can cause a “photo-allergic reaction or photo contact dermatitis.”  Red, Itchy Bumps Wearing Sunscreen Outside? – acaai.org   What happens is the sunscreen plus the UVA and UVB rays of the sun can cause you to develop an allergic reaction. Some develop red swollen and itchy bumps but others, like Allison and me, have no visible symptoms, just itching.   I also learned that Hawaii and Key West have not only banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone but also those containing octinoxate. They believe that these chemicals are contributing to the bleaching of the coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean.  Key West Bans Sunscreen Containing Chemicals Believed To Harm Coral Reef- NY Times article   To all of you who thought you were doing the right thing by applying sunscreen and ended up losing your mind because of the itching, you are not alone and you are not crazy.   Be sure to look for an oxybenzone free sunscreen. It can be difficult so here’s an article that lists 9 products. 9 Oxybenzone Free Sunscreens- Health.com   And please, if you’ve been using this on your child and they have been complaining about burning and itching, CHECK THE SUNSCREEN INGREDIENTS. They are not exaggerating how much it itches!   This is a different post than I normally do but after learning about this, I felt compelled to get the word out but don’t take my word for it, do your own research. Let me know what you find.  

Take good care, my friends, and have a safe, healthy, itch-free summer!

Ask Linda: What do I do if others won’t change?

Photo compliments of eastbrooklyn.com

Photo compliments of eastbrooklyn.com

Q: I would love to switch to a whole food, plant-based diet but I’m afraid that I won’t be able to get my family on board. How did you handle that?

 

A:  This is a question I get a lot lately.

 

My children are adults and on their own so I only cook for my husband, Mike, and myself.

 

When I told Mike I was thinking about giving up meat and dairy, he was supportive. He also made it clear that he had no intention of following suit.

 

I have a tendency to rebel when something is pushed on me so I knew better that to fight him on this.

 

We made a deal that I would still cook meat for him and not judge or guilt him when he ate cheese or his nightly bowl of ice cream. He agreed to try the food I made for myself.

 

He was also supportive by asking me to share what I was learning in my CHIP classes.

 

We were both shocked to learn that not only is there more cholesterol in chicken than there is in beef  but that our liver produces all we need. We do not need to ingest any additional cholesterol to survive!

 

At that point, Mike was eating at least 2 eggs for breakfast most days.

 

Even though this alarmed me, I said nothing.

 

One day, he said, “Dear, I think I would like to cut down on the number of eggs I’m eating. Could we maybe find something more healthy for me to eat for breakfast? But it has to taste good.”

 

Music to my ears!

 

The first hot cereal we tried was a miss.

Breakfast in the 1000 Islands

Breakfast in the 1000 Islands

Then we tried a hot cornmeal cereal that has dates, lemon zest and pumpkin pie spice (see photo above). That was a winner for both of us!

 

Now, most mornings, he has the cereal topped with berries. And he loves it!

 

He has also started snacking on raisins and peanuts instead of cheese.

 

Most of the food I make for myself, he enjoys. There have even been times when I’ve had to ask him not to eat all of my food.

 

If I was constantly preaching, trying to guilt or push him to change his diet, this probably would have gone a completely different direction.

 

Just like it had to be my choice to change, I have to give him the space to make his own choices.

 

As a coach, it’s not my job to tell my clients what I think they should do. We all need to choose and own our choices.

 

Giving others the space to make their own choices can be challenging. Especially when we think we know what’s right for them.

Courtesy of RunForYourSole.com

Courtesy of RunForYourSole.com

 There are times when we learn best by making our own mistakes. And sometimes the mistakes that others think we are making turn out to be the best decisions ever.

 

And if I judge others for not following what I’m doing, then they will likely do the same to me.

 

It’s not up to us to police the world. It’s up to us to do what we think is right and allow others to do the same.

 

Good luck with your new lifestyle!

Death to Dieting: Give up Dieting and Save Your Life

Photo courtesy MedicalNewsToday.com

Photo courtesy MedicalNewsToday.com

Since I last posted about my journey with food, I felt like I was wandering aimlessly and at the end of my rope.

 

I felt hopeless and helpless when it came to my weight. I had lost 9 lbs. since the beginning of the year but now it seemed the only way to get the scale to move was to starve myself.

 

I needed support and a plan but which one?!

I was confused by all of the ads. Oprah loves Weight Watchers, Marie Osmond loves Nutrisystem. Even Dr. Oz seemed to have a different health expert every day, tout the benefits of their weight loss plan.

 

Everyone had advice for losing weight.

 

Then I began having bouts of nausea, vomiting and stomach pain. I went for blood tests and an ultrasound to see if I had gallstones.

 

The ultrasound showed no gallstones but the blood work shocked me.

 

My cholesterol was 233! Thirty-three points higher than recommended!

 

My crappy diet was coming back to haunt me and it scared me.

Suddenly this was less about losing weight and more about being healthy.

Photo courtesy MVPPT.com

A dear friend had been telling me about a program that she discovered about a year ago called CHIP.

 

CHIP stands for Complete Health Improvement Program and is sponsored by Rochester Lifestyle Medicine.

 

I resisted CHIP at first because it is about adopting a whole food, plant-based diet; no meat, no dairy.

 

It was hard to imagine life with no steak, butter, eggs, and OMG! No cheese or ice cream!

 

In my mind that meant food with no flavor and that meant SUFFERING!

 

But I watched my friend change her life over the last year simply by changing her diet and increasing her activity.

 

She’s lost 25 lbs. and no longer takes medication for fibromyalgia. She’s 65 years old and looks and acts at least 20 years younger!

 

And she certainly is NOT suffering!

 

So I checked out CHIP.

 

The program is based on studies by top researchers around the world like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell. The studies they cite, like the China Study, are not funded by the pharmaceutical companies, the food lobbyists or others with an interest in skewing the results.

 

The program looked sound and I knew my current lifestyle was leading me down the path to heart disease and likely an early death.  It was time to change.

 

In July, I signed up for CHIP and met 17 other people who were struggling like me.

 

Twice a week, we learn the truth about the typical American diet and how it contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and more.

 

They share with us the research about how eating a whole food, planted-based diet can reverse disease.

 

We look at the difference between the typical American diet and what research has found to be the optimal diet for health.

 

There is no judgment. No one is telling us we HAVE to change. They simply educate us and we decide the changes we want to make.

 

Some of us have jumped in and embraced the optimal diet. Others have decided to make a few changes each week.

 

I could not do this on my own.

 

I need the support of others who are going through the same thing. We encourage each other and talk about how to handle challenges like eating out or dealing with family and friends who are not supportive of our new lifestyle.

 

Since July 15th, I have been eating the optimal diet and I can honestly say that I love it!

Courtesy of Allison's Gourmet

Courtesy of Allison’s Gourmet

My fear of eating bland, tasteless food was totally unfounded!

 

Along with a textbook and a workbook, they also provided us with a cookbook.

I am having a blast trying new foods and have learned how to change recipes to suit my new lifestyle.

 

And listen to this: as long as I am eating foods that are part of the optimal diet, I can eat as much as I want!

 

I feel like I should have gained 20 lbs. because of the amount of food I’m eating. But I’m actually losing weight!  It’s crazy!

 

Am I perfect? Of course not. I eat potato chips and taco chips. And I still  have a drink a couple times a week. This may change as time goes on but for now, I’m not going to beat myself up.

 

After one month of eating a plant-based, low fat diet, I have not only lost 4 1/2 lbs but I have lowered my cholesterol by 32 points! And, no more nausea, vomiting or pain.

 

It wasn’t easy getting here but it’s getting easier every day! I’m eating food that I love and I know is good for me. Physically I feel better and mentally I feel free!

 

If you’ve been struggling like I have, check out CHIP and see if it’s right for you.

 

And feel free to reach out with any questions regarding my experience.

 

To learn more about CHIP, go to Rochester Lifestyle Medicine and click on What Is CHIP?

 

If you do not live in the Rochester, NY area and would like to find the nearest program, go to Lifestyle Medicine Institute.

Photo courtesy of RochesterLifestyleMedicine.com

Photo courtesy of RochesterLifestyleMedicine.com

Dealing With My Inner Critic

Inner critic

Thanks to all those who have shared with me either through Facebook or in person, what has come up for you as a result of me sharing my weight loss journey.

I’m grateful for the honesty and for the opportunity to know that we are in this together.

 

Here’s my update:

 

-I have been consistent with my exercise, running or walking 2.5 to 4 miles at least every other day.
-I have drastically reduced my consumption of sugar, flour and meat.
-I have increased the number of vegetables and fruit I eat.
-I am down 9 lbs.

 

I even went to NYC for a few days and was able to come home without having gained any weight.

 

I’m glad I’m writing all of this down because the voice in my head has been very active lately and this is how it has been going:

 

Me: “I lost 9 lbs!”
Voice in my head: “You need to cut down even more so you will lose more, faster. Stop eating sweets and snacks all together, you shouldn’t be eating any of that stuff anyway if you’re really serious about losing weight.”
Me: “But I’m ok with how it’s going…”
VIMH: “You’re not doing good enough! Look at those people on Facebook who are posting pictures of all the weight they’ve lost. And you’ve only lost a measly 9 lbs.! You have at least another 15 lbs. to lose! You might as well give up now, you know you don’t have the willpower and besides wouldn’t some peanut M & M’s taste real good right now, but you can’t have them because you need to lose weight…”

 

And on and on and on!

Photo courtesy www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Photo courtesy www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

 

Needless to say these thoughts caused a downward spiral as I let them take control.

 

This felt so familiar.

 

I could feel that sense of wanting to give up, feeling helpless and hopeless, the feeling that I can never be happy eating food that was good for me and that I will never lose AND keep this weight off.

 

The next step of this pattern is letting myself have cake to celebrate a birthday, after all it was just one small piece. Then it’s having ice cream 3 nights in a row just because I wanted it.

 

Suddenly I felt terrible. And I don’t just mean psychologically, I mean physically. I wasn’t sleeping well. I felt bloated.

 

I felt old. I know I’m getting older but I have never felt old.

 

Suddenly I realized I had lost track of why I wanted to lose weight in the first place.

 

After reading Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map a couple of years ago, I started setting my goals with the idea that it is not the goal I’m actually after, it’s the feeling I will have once I reach that goal.

Posted on my office wall, my vision, how I will feel when I achieve this vision and what I can do to feel those feelings NOW!

Posted on my office wall: my vision, how I will feel when I achieve this vision and what I can do to feel those feelings NOW!

 

Since then, I have not only reached my goals but I have actually enjoyed getting there.

 

The reason I want to lose weight is because I want to FEEL better! I want to feel confident and empowered.

 

I noticed that when I eat good healthy foods that is exactly how I feel, confident and empowered both physically and psychologically.

 

When I binge on cookies, candy, chips and cake, I feel better, temporarily. Then comes a wave of regret and the after effects of all those carbs which includes mental fogginess, bloating and the path to diabetes.

 

I’m eating healthy whole foods again. I have more mental clarity and feel happier.

 

I also like going to bed just a little bit hungry. I sleep better and seem to dream more, which I love!

 

A lower number on the scale is just a result. The real reason I want to lose weight is to feel happier, more powerful and confident. And I can achieve that right now just by the food choices I make.

 

How will you feel when you reach your ideal weight? What can you do right now to connect to that feeling?

 

Uncomfortably Numb

My Favorite Novocaine

My Favorite Novocaine

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to a client, “Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just want to be expressed…”

I’ve wasted so much time numbing myself with food because I didn’t want to deal with certain thoughts and emotions.

I use food to help me relax and even celebrate making it through the day. It’s as if it helps me take a deep breath and relax.

Of course, I know better.

When I am in my “I can eat anything I want whenever I want” mode, it isn’t long before I’m numbing my anger, shame, sadness, frustration, boredom, overwhelm etc… and packing on the LB’s.

Then I use even more food to try and feel better. It’s a set up for disaster.

The thing about numbing emotions is that we can’t pick and choose which ones to numb.

When we numb one emotion, we numb them all.

We numb our emotions with drugs, alcohol, food, shopping or today’s most popular numbing activity, being crazy-busy.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown says, “…research taught me that there’s no such thing as selective emotional numbing. There is a full spectrum of human emotions and when we numb the dark, we numb the light… We can’t make a list of all of the “bad” emotions and say, “I’m going to numb these” and then make a list of the positive emotions and say, “I’m going to fully engage in these!”

When I numb myself with food, alcohol or busyness, I feel like my world is painted gray.

It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t really enjoy what I’m eating because if everything I eat is special then nothing is special. Do you get what I mean?

As soon I stopped using food to numb my feelings and dull my thoughts, I began to feel and hear everything that I didn’t want to deal with. It was uncomfortable but I survived.

I started by not judging myself. I began meditating again so I could practice separating who I know myself to be from the thoughts in my head.

Choosing to run away from my thoughts and feelings, comes at a cost.

India Arie’s song, Break The Shell, talks about this. She says, “life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt…” because “we have a choice to live or truly be alive…”

In order to truly be alive, I have to break the shell that I put up to keep the pain away.

Lat Saturday night, we went to a dinner party and the food was amazing! I ate everything I wanted, even a bite of the homemade ooey-gooey, chocolatey, butter and sugar-filled Paula Deen brownies that our hostess made.

I took a bite and savored it. Did I want more?

Hell yes! But I knew that another bite was not going to taste as good as that first bite.

I have a ways to go before I reach my goal but I’m learning that overcoming my issue with food and my weight (and any other issue) starts with looking at what’s going on inside of me, not judging it.  Then I can give myself permission to feel it all.

What is your favorite way to numb yourself?  What is it you’re not allowing yourself to feel?

I’m Afraid Of Food!

The delicious cake my niece made for my mother's birthday. I didn't have enough sense to be scared!

The delicious cake my niece made for my mother’s birthday. I didn’t have enough sense to be scared!

When I decided to tackle my weight thing once and for all, I went back and did an “autopsy” to determine why things went sideways in the past.

The last time I got to a weight where I was happy and comfortable, I was following a low carb diet. Not South Beach, Atkins or even paleo but one that included lean meat, fish, poultry and dairy and lots of vegetables, some fruit and grains. I ate carbs like cookies, cake, crackers and bread very rarely.

After about 8 months, I reached my goal weight and kept it off for about a year and a half.

I seem to be good at losing weight but I stink at keeping it off.

Step one in the “autopsy:” Tell the truth.

I used the excuse that I had a bad case of shingles, was basically bedridden for 3 months and the inactivity caused my weight gain.

Not the truth.

My eating habits had started to fall off before I got sick.

I had begun allowing myself a taste of cake here, a spoonful of ice cream there. Then it turned into a cookie here and a candy bar there.

At first the scale didn’t move so I didn’t panic. But then it slowly began to inch up little by little and before long I had put on 6 pounds.

My workouts became intermittent.

I was pushing myself to succeed in my business and volunteering a lot of my time. I was stressed and tired and I began to use food, mainly sweets, to make myself feel better.

I now see that it wasn’t the shingles that caused me to gain weight. It was my lack of self-care that brought on the shingles. And that led to many bags of Doritos trying to take my mind off the pain.

But the main thing I realized was, I got cocky. I thought that I would never go back to being addicted to sugar and carbs.

I even remember saying the words, “I’ll never go back!”

Words that came back to haunt me.

I see now that I lost the fear of the weight coming back. I forgot about the tired, wrung out feeling when I eat too much crap. And didn’t even consider the possibility of not only getting sick but contracting a chronic condition like high blood pressure or a disease like cancer.

I got cocky and the weight came back.

I’ve lived most of my life worrying about what others think and I’ve done a lot of work to break through that. I don’t believe I should live in constant terror and worry about becoming obese.

What I do now believe is that there is nothing wrong with a little healthy fear to keep me on my toes and out of trouble.

This fear includes a healthy respect for things like alcohol and food. It is an awareness that I have to be careful not to let my guard down too much.

I need to set my own limits and be clear where the line is.

I’m back to cutting down on processed carbs and sweets and eating more whole foods. And I’m always paying attention to what makes me feel like I want to eat and drink a bit too much.

That’s working for me right now.

Do you struggle with keeping weight off once you lose it? What have you learned from your past experiences when it comes to losing weight? What do you think about having a “healthy” fear of food?

Breaking The (Food) Rules

Here's one of the few photos of me. Notice me trying to hide behind the kids.

Here’s one of the few photos of me. Notice me trying to hide behind the kids.

A few months ago, I decided it was time to take a hard look at my relationship with food. It was time to figure out how to eat without it turning into an internal emotional battle.

I stopped following my “food rules” and noticed the thoughts that ensued:

“What am I doing???”
“I am going to lose control and end up weighing 300lbs!”
“Everyone is going to see that I’ve gained weight and judge me for it.”
“People will think I’m lazy and a loser.”
“Ok, I can do this for the holidays but as soon as they’re over I’m going on a strict diet.”
“I can NOT permit myself to eat any cookies, meatballs, crab dip (insert any food that is not a raw vegetable here).”

After the holidays were over, it turned into:

“OMG! I gained 10 lbs! I’m fat!”
“I look terrible and I need to lose weight!”
“My family loves me no matter what size I am.  Who am I kidding, they’re probably as disgusted with me as I am!”
“I just want to hide out at home.”
“I can’t buy any new clothes until I lose weight.”

There they were. The thoughts that have come out of my longtime struggle with food, weight and body image. And I know exactly where these thoughts were created.

They came from people in my past who thought they were being cute by calling me pleasingly plump when I was in that awkward stage right before puberty hit. And the words of the boys on the school bus who knew exactly the right buttons to push by calling me fat and ugly.

As with the many attempts before, I knew if I put myself on a diet, eating or fitness plan it was doomed to fail because I was not doing it for the right reason. I would be losing weight because I was afraid of what others thought, not because it was something I wanted.

Then I thought, “What if these thoughts aren’t true?  What if I wasn’t a loser or lazy? What if I’m just me, not what I look like?”

So I asked myself the question, “Who do I know myself to be?” (A question I often ask my clients)

I know myself to be: kind, funny, smart, generous, loving, strong…

Does the size or shape of my body change any of that?

No! Hell NO!

If someone judges me or doesn’t like me for the size or shape of my body, it hurts. But quite honestly, they are not someone I would choose to be friends with anyway.

By replacing negative thoughts of my body with positive ones about the whole me, it not only made it easier to walk into a room full of people, I felt gratitude for the body that has brought me through 54 years and carried and birthed two healthy children.

I would love to say that the angels sang and my eating habits were suddenly transformed.

That didn’t happen. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I inherited my dad’s muscular build and not my mom’s thin beautiful legs. And, I’m likely addicted to carbs.

I have also learned to listen to the shouting in my head rather than pushing it down and hoping it goes away. Now I ask myself, “What am I really looking for these cookies or this bag of peanut M & M’s to do for me?”

I have learned I like the way I feel when I eat healthy, whole foods rather than processed, sugar laden food.

It would be easy but miserable to go back to my automatic routine of forcing myself through a diet, losing weight, keeping it off for a while, rebelling against the diet and then regaining the weight.

Right now, I’m in an unknown space and it’s really uncomfortable. I don’t know what’s around the corner but I do know I am committed to breaking up this pattern of self-abuse.

Are you struggling with the same thing? What are you doing to break through your old patterns? Let me know I’m not alone.

I’ll keep you posted…

Women Inspiring Change Retreat

frustrated-woman-at-computer

*THIS RETREAT IS SOLD OUT! IF YOU DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THIS ONE, CHECK BACK FOR WHEN THE NEXT REGISTRATION OPENS UP.*

Join us on August 23rd, for this full-day retreat designed to help you learn how to live your best life! We will explore ways to shift our common belief that taking care of ourselves is selfish. We will uncover what is truly in the way of you making positive changes in your life.
Come and learn how to take good care of your greatest asset, you.

Located on 135-acres, the beautiful and serene Chapin Mill Retreat Center will thrill your senses and ignite your imagination.

During this day long retreat, you will:

  • be led through exercises designed to uncover what’s keeping you from making lasting positive change
  • discover who you really are and how to use this to create transformative change
  • learn and practice yoga asana (movement) appropriate for everybody, and pranayama (intentional breath work) in order to manage stress and harness optimal energy
  • explore stillness and deep relaxation to refresh and revitalize yourself
  • uncover what foods are keeping you addicted and hijacking your weight loss efforts
  • get tips on how improving your digestion can lead to weight loss and increased energy
  • learn how to make smoothies and juices that taste great, are easy to make and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine

Imagine a safe and welcoming place where you can get your questions answered and learn simple, effective ways to create a body and life you will love! You will also be served a delicious and nutritious breakfast, lunch and filling snacks throughout the day. Enjoy superfood smoothies (demos and recipes just for you), delightful salads, yummy detox juices, homemade almond cherry bliss protein bars and other great snacks to keep you fueled all day.
Our Retreat facilitators are:
Linda Heeler, Professional Certified Coach, Meet Linda
Christine Porter, Certified Health + Wellness Coach, Meet Christine
Mary Aman, Master Yoga Instructor, Meet Mary
These women will bring their talents and expertise to guide you as you begin your journey toward positive change in your life.
Cost for this day long retreat is $247
Registration closes on August 18th.
To register, go to PeaceAndPear.com