It’s no lie I love writing. I love sharing my thoughts with the world, note-taking, blogging and quite possibly my favorite form: journaling. Unfortunately, the only type of journaling I did in college (i.e. my years of dieting) was counting calories in Calculus class while pretending to take notes. Not very comforting or journal-esque if I do say so myself. Food consumed my thoughts, actions and overall social life and, well, I let it.
All I could think about was my next meal, the calories in my lunch, where we were going to go out to eat, what I would order at dinner, or what would happen if I “cheated” and fell off the “band-waggon.” My thoughts were filled with guilt, shame and defeat and I had no one to share these thoughts with (or so I thought) and therefore I filled the void with dieting and self hate…my form of control.
After I quit dieting once and for all, I threw away the rusty scale, my calorie-counting notebook and any negative restrictive thoughts I had about myself. I decided it was finally time to wake up and live! For Real. Because what I was doing…was not living. It was hiding. It was torture. It was restriction. It was not who I was meant to be.
During my years of diet-hood, I only wished I had an outlet to get my thoughts out, to somehow make sense of it all. And that’s exactly why I’m fortunate to have discovered the Food/Mood Journal, essentially a personal diary tracking what you ate and most importantly how you feel (both inside and out). Journaling –no matter what your form may be — is a key step in breaking free from diet-obsessed living as it allows you to get real with yourself.
Be careful not to confuse food journaling with calorie counting or obsession, as it is quite the opposite as that. You see, after a few days of tracking what you’re eating and how it’s making you feel you’ll begin to see little patterns that help unlock your true emotions around food. Better yet, you’ll begin to understand & become more in tune with your body, improving the relationship you have with youreslf.
Not quite sure where to start?
Step 2: Take a Deep breath & clear your mind. Get excited – this is going to be fun!
Step 3: Purchase a journal, whip out a pen & get the writing started! I absolutely love these colorful leather journals from the universe knows, made with recycled paper with little inspiring words of wisdom on the covers. How pretty are these?
SPECIAL OFFER: Since I love you guys too, all Healthy Chicks readers can get 15% off their journal of choice with coupon code healthychicks.
Step 4: Schedule your FREE Diet-Free Breakthrough Session if you need more support through your journey to happy, healthy diet-free living.
Happy weekend friends! Do you listen to your body when it comes to food, or do you let mind games take over? Have you ever made a food journal?
If you’re new to my blog, each and every Friday I post a Friday Flashback, taking you on a journey back into my past life. Why? Well, because I’ve been there and can totally relate to body image issues, dieting struggles and all the other things in between.
This week, I want to touch upon how we treat our bodies. During my prime time of diet-obsessed living and calorie counting, I completely disrespected my body.
I filled up on toxic, chemicalized “diet” foods that promised to make me skinny (at least, according to all the magazines and advertisements) and ate or drank my feelings away. I abused myself in the mirror (telling myself I am fat, I am not pretty enough, I am not good enough) and abused myself in the gym by overworking it and forcing myself to exercise (even when I didn’t want to or when my body was saying “No! Enough!”) I listened to what the number on the scale said, instead of what my body was telling me loud and clear.
I remember being so hungry: for real food, for love, for the answers. Unfortunately, I was starving myself by loading up on both toxic foods and toxic relationships alike. And if I ever decided to “treat” myself & go all out? (I put “treat” in quotes because my treats really weren’t treats at all) Forget it! I’d spend the rest of the weekend consumed with guilt and attacking myself for being “bad.”
It’s safe to say, I was not treating myself with love (far from it). In fact, I was treating my body with hatred, fear and guilt and quite frankly it didn’t feel good.
Flash forward to now, and I’ve learned that our bodies are one of the most powerful and beautiful tools we have. Now why would we treat something so miraculous so poorly at times? I want you to be honest with yourself and ask, “When was the last time I did something truly nice for myself?” Can you answer that question with 100% confidence?
I challenge you this weekend to throw all your self-sabotaging thoughts out the window and pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Put the scale, rules and guilt on the back burner and bring a lil love to the spotlight. Know that it’s OK to be “bad” once in a while, and break the rules. Trust that your body will give you the answers you need, leading you to the truth. And remember, no matter what, treat your body with pure love…always.
When was the last time you did something kind for yourself? How do you treat your body with love? Are you stuck on dieting and self-sabotaging thoughts? I’m here for you! Please feel free to email me or schedule a FREE 15-minute info session to learn more about my health coaching programs/ to see if we’d work well together. My programs are designed to help women like me live to their fullest potential, break free of diet-obsessed living, and learn to use REAL food & self-care as n.o.u.i.s.h.m.e.n.t.
You know when you get so caught up in life that you forget to just pause and breathe? Well, I was having one of those weeks. In between training for a half marathon, working, starting my own business, planning for my event tonight and MOVING (tomorrow!) things got a little crazy, needless to say.
So yesterday I decided to break my perfect go-go-go routine and simply be, imperfect that is.
Instead of forcing myself to go a training run when my body was saying “please, no!”I packed. A lot. I cleaned the entire kitchen, put stuff into storage and got my room ready for the move out. Cleaning and packing felt surprisingly refreshing.
Instead of working another three hours on blog/business stuff, I treated myself to a massage from Exhale Spa. I don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. I literally melted into the massage table.
Instead of rehearsing for my event (even when I know I do best when I act naturally and don’t plan), I decided to be BAD and go shopping for a dress for a friend’s wedding this weekend. I got the most adorable purple dress that I feel like a Pretty Princess in, even if I may have spent a little more than I had wished. I deserved it.
Instead of making a gourmet, fancy dinner, I ate what my body wanted: a leafy green salad packed with veggies, nuts, tuna, balsamic and olive oil with a piece of homemade garlic bread on the side. It was simple, but it was enough.
This week I encourage you to be a little bad, to break your routine or to just say “no.” Go ahead, be imperfect.
I’m off to go get the keys to my new apartment (eek!) Things are really happening. Also, wish me luck. Tonight, I will be speaking at Soul Train Yoga Studio in front of a group of healthy living bloggers. Hope to see some of you there!
What are ways you could be a little more imperfect this week?
Once I got back to Boston last week, and the half marathon was over I got a a really weird feeling. You know, that feeling you get when the holidays end, when you went back to school after prom or on the flight home from an incredible vacation. I can’t believe it’s all over. Now what? It’s an odd thing going from running nearly every day, plus long runs on the weekends to nothing. And I have to admit, now that I’m not training for anything I haven’t been very good about keeping up with my exercise, let alone running.
The other day, I decided I’d end this mood I was experiencing. Even though I knew I wasn’t quite ready to run again, I laced up my sneakers and hit the gym. After a light cardio workout on the elliptical, I hopped on the big, bad treadmill. I ran a mile and ran it fast. Then it hit me: my right shin / knee were in major pain. I had to stop, and at first felt defeated in a way. Last week I ran 13.1 miles, and now I can barely do 1? I was angry.
But rather than throwing myself a pity party, I realized it’s because my body isn’t quite ready to run. That doesn’t mean I’m not strong, powerful and healthy; it’s just a minor set-back. So I shrugged it off and hit the weights. It actually felt amazing to take a little break from running and really focus on my strength training for once. Not to mention that arm definition I noticed in the mirror while doing my lat pulldowns. Damn. Guess all that running paid off.
So the moral of the story is that you don’t have to feel bad when you realize you need a little time…you need a little break. Whether you’re taking a break from running to get your knee back in shape, or aren’t quite ready to give up late-night sweets, or need a little extra time to complete a project at work, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. You will achieve and accomplish these little goals when YOU (and your body) are ready to!
I’m about to go for a long walk outside. Yes, a walk not a run. And I’m totally OK with it! It’s 60 degrees out & I can’t wait to soak it all up…
Have you ever got down on yourself for giving your body a break, or giving yourself a little more time than you thought needed? How did you cope with it? Have a lovely day and enjoy the sun!
We listen to our heart…Why not listen to our body?
As I’ve talked about many times on my blog, my summer trip to Italy about four years ago was one of the happiest times of my life. Before Italy, I used to fear food. I thought it was an evil substance that would make my thighs even bigger, my pants even tighter and the number go up, up, up on the scale. To put it simply, throughout college, food (and calories) was all I thought about. I wasn’t ever able to enjoy food because I was too busy calculating calories, planning out my “meals” and exercising my little butt off. It was unhealthy. Now I adore food. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, and I love trying out new restaurants and exploring decadent flavors I’ve never explored before. Now I am happy, though it took a long time to get there.
When I went to Italy, the country made it difficult for me not to enjoy food. Everything looked oh so fresh, beautiful and mouth-watering. So I ate. I ate it all. The fresh-baked breads from the corner cafe that you could smell from a mile away, the cheese that melted in your mouth and made you want to sing of joy, the fresh stuffed fish and seafood salads that made me want to cherish every bite because it was so darn delicious, the savory risotto and pasta smothered in fresh herbs and olive oil that made you feel satisfied not full, the sweet treats like chocolate and gelato, and well chocolate gelato. I was in heaven.
One of the foods that I savored nearly every day while abroad was nutella. It was the first time I had been introduced to it, and I think I fell in love. The combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa is absolutely decadent. I fell in love more and more after every bite, so I made it part of my daily treat. Sometimes I’d have just a few dollops on top of sliced fruit, and other times I’d go a little crazy and eat maybe just a tad too much. But I didn’t care. I loved it and was learning to listen to my body. That meant sometimes going a little overboard if I was reallllllly hungry, and sometimes eating a small lunch to save up for the Italian dinner feast with our new friends. I learned self-control, listening to what I wanted not what I thought was the “healthy” or “right” choice, and most of all I learned to love food.
It’s been some time now since my Italian dream trip, and I have to say I haven’t enjoyed nutella in quite some time. For Italians, it’s like their peanut butter so they have it atop every store shelf, but here it’s at times hard to come across if you don’t have your eyes wide open. Well, yesterday while perusing the local convenience store in Miami, I saw it. A beautiful jar of nutella. It looked exactly as I remembered, and it was totally calling my name. Since my best friend, who’s also on the trip with me, is obsessed with nutella even more than I am, I bought a jar for her and wrapped it up in some newspaper as a “thank you” gift. She totally deserved it for working her butt of all week while I tanned all day, and I knew I would be able to steal a few bites.
Let’s just say, it was glorious. Creamy. Chocolaty. To-die-for. After just a few bites, I was satisfied so I stopped. But the taste stayed with me throughout the entire night. It’s like a good kiss. You just don’t forget it. Does it have 200 calories per 2 TB, 20 grams of sugar and 11 grams of fat? Yea. But it’s totally worth it in my opinion, that is if you let yourself enjoy it.
Allow yourself to just enjoy today. Whether that means indulging in some gelato or freshly made pizza, or taking yourself out for a mani/pedi. Life is too short not to enjoy the little things…you know like eating nutella out of the jar and such…
It seems as though doctors, and society in general, continuously change their minds about what is “good” and “bad” for you. One week soy milk is the miracle milk, another week it causes cancer and makes you gain weight. Everyone has their opinions, and everyone’s opinions are always 100% different. Some say coffee is a terrible toxin that stunts your growth, and some people (like me) think it’s a daily necessity and without it many people would be Oscar the Grouches. Anyway, today on my morning run I got to thinking - when am I not thinking? – about all these little “bad” things I do that are actually 100% OK, and healthy too. Hopefully you can find comfort, or at least a chuckle, in knowing all those little, weird “unhealthy” things you do are completely OK in my book! [Side Note: I've been reading Melissa Nibbles blog for a while now, and every Friday she posts a similar "It's OK" series (kinda like a spin off on Glamour's). Anywho, it cracks me up every week and you should totally check it out! I definitely don't have her humor nor her wit, however!]
1. To be Utterly Addicted to coffee: “It stunts your growth!” “It stains your teeth!” “It’s filled with toxins!” Blah Blah Blah. I don’t care. I need my cup (or three) of morning java to make my day run smoothly, and if you do too DON’T you dare feel bad about it. In fact, recent studies have found that coffee – in moderation – can help protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and even liver cancer. Oh, not to mention its boat load of antioxidants! So as long as you’re not drowning your morning cup of joe in loads of cream, sugar and whipped cream it’s totally OK. Drink on, my friends.
2. To think about cheese as much as you think about sex: OK, whatever I’m addicted to cheese. I’ll admit it. I simply love it. But you know what? Everyone has their obsessions and mine is cheese. I don’t go crazy with it; I just simply love it and fantasize about it from time to time. Especially paired with a nice glass of red wine and some delicious whole grain crackers. And you know what? I’m totally OK with it. Cheese is loaded with calcium and can help promote bone strength due to its richness in vitamin B, and the health benefits don’t end there.
3. To read food blogs more than you read novels: Some days I spend hours perusing the internet looking at glorious food blogs. I simply adore the pictures, the descriptions, the recipes, the writers behind the scene. Lately, I’m obsessed with Can You Stay For Dinner? and How Sweet It is. These ladies recipes make me want to jump through the screen and eat whatever it is they’ve cooked up that day. If you are a food blog freak like me, give yourself a pat on the back. It lets you broaden your cooking horizons…for free. Can it really get better than that?
4. To Not Be able to Stop Watching Californication: At first my boyfriend told me I could watch an episode of Californication but that I probably wouldn’t enjoy it because it’s a “guy show.” Well, I haven’t been able to stop since episode 1. I’m already on season 4 in the matter of a couple of weeks. Yes, it may be a guy show, but I find it 100% healthy to watch. It lets me inside the mind of a dude, and gives me a nice break from reality TV and my addiction to Sex and the City. It offers a new perspective if you will.
5. To Eat When You’re Hungry: It’s TOTALLY OK to forget all that “you must eat 6 small meals a day” crap. If that’s what works for you, so be it! But if you are like me, sometimes eating every 3 hours with measured out portions just doesn’t cut it. Lately, I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and have never felt better. Since I’m on vacation in Miami, I’m not looking at a computer or clock all day so it makes it easier to listen to my body. Listen to YOUR body. If you are not hungry at 12 on the dot for lunch, wait an hour. If you don’t want your “mid afternoon snack,” hold out for a more savory dinner. Listening to your body works wonders, and helps you stay in tune with what you really want and crave.
6. To Be One of “Those Girls”: I’m totally one of those girls who is obsessed with their crackberry. I just can’t help it. What can I say? I like to stay on top of things, and I’m addicted to Twitter. Sometimes, I tweet more than I eat. It’s bad. But really, it’s good because I feel like I learn a lot from fellow tweeters and bloggers. Today I went as far as going for a run with my crackberry. But to justify, I needed it because my iPod died and I had to keep track of my time. I won’t lie. I may have tweeted during my run a couple of times and took a few “notes” when ideas came to me in my notepad section. But whatever. There are a lot worse addictions out there. And when I almost tripped on an ugly, creepy cat, I just had to tweet it to the world. It was freakin’ weird!
What are some of your “weird” supposedly “unhealthy” obsessions that some may look down upon? Share them here! I’d love to have a good chuckle!