Home » Blog

Intuitive Eating 101

Life these days has been hectic!  But in a good way 🙂

via GIPHY

Don’t for a minute thing I’ve forgotten about this blog and my message.  These past few months, I’ve been focusing my time on in-person seminars (? that feels like an overly formal word ?), 1:1 coaching, and deepening my own knowledge in the word of food psychology.

So it’s all good!

In between watching the election results roll in 😯 …I’m quickly popping in to share with you a piece that I wrote for the Institute for Hormonal Health.  I call it Intuitive Eating 101.

I’d love for you to check it out  😉

And if you’re in the Greater Toronto Area and suffering from any hormonal or woman’s health concerns…PLEASE do yourself a favour and check out the IHH.

Dr. Kristy Prouse and her team at IHH are bridging the gap between traditional, Western medicine and holistic, integrative nutrition.  And in doing so, they are uplifting and empowering women like me in our own journeys.

I am so honoured to be a part of the holistic weight management program; to bring my message of body image, self-care, and food freedom.  Check us out here.

XO

Kristen (4)

 

 

 

 

Food is *just* food

Every once in a while something happens during the day to remind me of how far I’ve come and how different my relationship with food and body really is.

Today that moment came in the office kitchen.  And it came in the form of cake – carrot cake with ooey gooey cream cheese frosting to be more precise. 

 

My office is blessed to have a hobby baker on staff who routinely brings in left over samples of her weekend experimenting.  Rough, eh?!   😉

Quite often I take a pass on sampling the goods because I’m really not that much of a sweets girl.  If she was bringing in homemade potato chips – that would be a different story!!

But today, she brought in the most dense, moist, ooey gooey carrot cake that I’ve ever seen.  I would have taken a picture had it not been demolished within 2 minutes of making its appearance in the kitchen. But let’s pretend it looked something like this (in real life, it looked better!).

 

slice-of-carrot-cake-1

Needless to say, I have a soft spot in my heart for all things pumpkin and carrot (yes – fall is my favourite time of the year food wise!).  So I cut myself a good ‘ole slice of cake…making sure to scoop up as much nut coating as possible…and enjoyed every last morsel after finishing my lunch.

And while this might not sound like anything worth celebrating for a lot of people out there, for me it is.

It’s further evidence that I now see food as just food.  Here’s why:

  • I wanted a slice, so I took a slice.
  • I didn’t forsake my lunch to have the cake; and I won’t be forsaking dinner or any other snacks today. If I’m hungry again in an hour, I’ll eat.
  • I won’t be spending the rest of my 6 hours here at work thinking about how many calories were in the cake and how I can “burn” them off tonight at the gym.
  • I won’t “throw in the towel” and dive face first into an evening of binging.
  • I didn’t deny myself a slice only to think about it N.O.N-S.T.O.P for the rest of the day.

So cheers to food freedom….and Fall baking  🙂 

Kristen (4)

My 5 Thoughts on “Set Point Theory”

By definition, set point theory “is the belief that the body maintains its weight and body fat level with internal regulatory controls”.

weight loss and reaching the ideal weight scale illustration

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

But if set point theory holds true, then why do so many of us struggle – daily – to contain, shape and mold our bodies into something different? 

Here are 5 thoughts on set point theory that may help to answer that question:

(1)  It should be called set range; not set point.  And that range is likely upwards of 15 pounds either way.  Don’t expect your weight to be the same during early motherhood as it was when you were 25.

(2)  My set point will never be the same as your set point, even if we’re the same age and height.  Some of us are meant to carry more meat on our bones.  And if that’s the case for you, are you willing to spend your entire life trying to lose those “last 10 pounds”.  Think long and hard about whether 10 pounds is worth all that you’re missing out on in the meantime.

(3)  Your set point is influenced by a complex network of physiological, psychological, and social factors.  It’s not determined by that dreaded online BMI calculator 😈 .

(4)  The best indicator of your set point is the weight range in which you are:

  • energized
  • menstruating regularly
  • not obsessing over food or your next meal
  • engaging in moderate, non- punitive exercise, and
  • nourishing yourself without judgment and guilt

(Note: this last point usually comes last).

(5)  If you’ve spent a large part of your life cycling between diets, over exercise, over eating, and back again to dieting – finding your set point isn’t going to happen overnight.

It will take time, a great deal of patience, and above all else – trust in your body.

Kristen (4)

The way you do one thing….

the way

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately.

After so many years of hard work, my eating disorder still has the ability to reflect itself in other areas of my life.

The need for perfection, order, and control.

The drive to keep things neat and organized.   Schedules, emotions, clutter and toys; everything in its place.

The feelings of anxiety – even anger – when things don’t go as I’ve so carefully planned.

And my tendency to then try even harder to get things back under “control”.

So while I no longer find control through food, I know that my happiness – and that of my family – depends on so much more.  It requires making peace in ALL areas of my life.

There will be days – or weeks – when I slip up.  But I now have the self-awareness and tools to regroup and get myself back on the path to happiness.

And that is exactly what I’m doing.

Kristen (4)

The Four Agreements

Sorry for the silence these past few weeks.  Between holidays, end of the school year for the kiddies…and life in general…it’s been crickets on the blog.

via GIPHY

I hope to be back on a more regular basis going forward  🙂

Today, I NEED to share with you one of my favourite books.

You need to get yourself this book – today.  And not just because Oprah says so (although she does have a bit of street cred).

I cannot do this book justice in one blog post.  In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a book.  It’s better filed under “life manual”.

But it wouldn’t be nice of me not to give you a little bit of background…so here it goes:

In a nutshell, The Four Agreements outlines 4 seemingly “simple” principles that one should follow in their daily life.

Don Miguel Ruiz (the author) claims that if you do,

“…the transformation in your life will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream—your personal dream of heaven.”

Wow – sign me up  😛

And while I can’t promise that all your dreams will come true, I will say this –

The Four Agreements brings you back to basics – say what you mean, stand by your word, and DON’T assume anything.

Done and dusted.

These days, I’m focusing my efforts on the blue and red agreements…

four agreements

Kristen (4)

One of those days

I’m a recovering “glass half empty” kinda girl.  Even now I find myself going down the path of pessimism – sometimes more often than I’d like.

via GIPHY

Today was a prime example.

I got all the way to work and realized that I’d forgotten my laptop at home.  The extra ½ hour it took me to turn around and retrieve my laptop left me feeling rushed….behind….and as though the day was going to run me; not the other way around.

“This is going to be a waste of a day”.

Then, it was “pointed out” to me that a metric on a key report I’d issued was wrong.  And let’s just say that the audience for this report is MUCH higher on the corporate ladder than I’ll ever be.  Shame.  Big time.

“They must think I’m useless”.

Later in the day, I had to make a presentation to yet another group of executive leaders.  I was NERVOUS, to say the least.  I was less poised and wayyy less effective than I’d hoped.  More shame.  Confirmation that I’m not cut out for this.

“I suck”.

And to top off the day, my eldest son hung up on me when I called to tell him that I had to work late and couldn’t take him to soccer.  Of course this had to be the week that I’m single parenting it.

“I’m a lousy mom”.

Needless to say, I came home feeling like CRAP.  A large part of me wanted to grump my way through the night….simply go through the motions of feeding the kids and putting them in bed….so that I could be alone to beat myself up a bit more.

But I’m so thankful that there is another part of me that knows when I’m starting to spiral down into negativity.

That’s the voice that apologized to my son (after letting him know that it’s NOT ok to hang up on someone) and suggested that he plan something fun for us to do when I got home.  He chose a bike ride and ice cream.

That’s the voice that faced the shame and disappointment; accepted it.  But at the same time it reminded me that I didn’t intentionally make a mistake.  I admire people who accept their mistakes – take accountability – and move on.  I choose to do the same.

That’s the voice that gave me credit for even making it through a presentation in front of such a daunting audience.  The past me – the me that feared public speaking more than ANYTHING else in the word – would have backed down from the opportunity.

I am so thankful for that little voice inside my head.

glass half full

 

Kristen (4)

Let go

One of the most important things you can do as part of your journey to food and body freedom is

LET GO

Let go of all expectations around where your weight will settle.

Let go of the fear that others will reject or judge you.

Let go of the meaning you’ve attached to food, body size, and your worth.

When it comes to healing your relationship with food and body, expectations almost always lead to disappointment.

We view any alternate result as failure. 

If you hold onto weight loss as the outcome of making peace with food, you’ll never celebrate the fact that:

* Your life no longer revolves around food *

* You can go to dinner with your girlfriends not obsess about the menu and calories *

* You no longer starve yourself all day and binge to discomfort at night *

* Your energy levels and mood have improved *

* Your relationships are so much richer and fulfilling *

Be open to what your own journey might bring.

Kristen (4)

5 reasons you DON’T need to lose weight

Hello everyone!

I’ve been a little quiet on the home front these days.  Lots of good stuff going on  🙂

For today’s post, I’m pulling out an oldie but goodie which I’d only issued to my subscribers (ie – not publicly on my blog).

But I’ve been around enough “I need to lose weight” talk these days, that I thought it was worth while to pull it out of the archives and “re-share”.


“I NEED to lose weight”

I’d place my money on this ranking as one of the most frequently spoken phrases in the English language.

After all, most of us approach weight loss as if it’s this magical panacea that will somehow fix every single aspect of our lives.

Today, I’m playing devil’s advocate the debunking our myths around weight loss.

1. I’ll be so much happier if I lose weight.

I’m calling bullshit on this one (pardon my French!).  Obsessing over calories, forcing yourself to the gym when all you really want to do is lie on the couch DOES NOT produce happiness.  Neither does backing down from social events for fear of falling off your meal plan.  Isolation, disengagement, and fear are a few more suitable adjectives that come to mind.  It is much more likely that a focus on losing weight will result in misery than happiness.

2. I’ll be so easy going, go with the flow if I lose weight.

This one is almost laughable because it couldn’t be further from the truth.  In reality, you’ll become a bat shit crazy control freak.

A spontaneous girls’ nights out?  NO WAY, all those appetizers and wine!

Dinner at 8pm?  FAT CHANCE, food eaten after 7:30pm is stored as fat.

We all have “that friend” who’s a pain in the ass because of her freaky food rules.  But for some reason, we think that we’ll be different – we’ll lighten up our control once we lose the weight.  The reality is, if and when we do lose the weight, we obsess even more to keep it off because we’re doubly scared of “failing” and gaining it all back.

3. I’ll be healthier if I lose weight.

Oh…the lies behind this statement.  If I had my way, Healthy at Every Size would be compulsory reading for high school students.  We’ve been led to believe that having “fat” and being overweight is unhealthy.  But study after study proves differently.  In fact, the source of these original claims is shady to say the least.  And where does mental health fit into all of this?  I’d like to see a study done on the mental health of folks who are under vs over weight. 

4. I’ll be more confident if I lose weight.

WRONG!  For many of the reasons I’ve already stated, you’re much more likely to live in constant fear of gaining it back and being judged for failing.  Fear does not breed confidence.  I can tell you first hand that I have more confidence in the body I have now (which just happens to be bigger) than I EVER had at my lowest weight.  Ending the diet and body image battle has allowed me to find my authentic self – what really fires me up and what I have to offer the world.  My confidence is based on the inner me…not some outside manifestation of my insecurities.

5. I’ll be more attractive if I lose weight.

Ay yi yi.  This one is hard.  Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by images of society’s ideal body.  And for 99.9% of the population to achieve that ideal, it means losing weight – and usually not an insignificant amount.

Sure, we’re seeing small shifts in the media (Dove’s real beauty campaign, France’s ban on “waif” models), but we’re nowhere near where we need to be.

So what is my rebuttal to this thought pattern?  It’s a call to redefine YOUR definition of beauty.  Beauty is found in all different shapes and sizes.  We accept this as fact in all other areas of our lives, so why not our bodies?

Who said that beauty is only defined by body shape?  What about our personality? Ask a group of men what is most attractive about a women and the vast majority will say confidence or sense of humour.

I like to think of physical beauty (as defined by society) as “surface” beauty.  If there isn’t a deeper beauty within to back it up, then it’s all just smoke and mirrors.

So next time you start telling yourself that you’ll be better off when you lose weight – pull out this guide and play devil’s advocate on yourself.  After all, we really have been fed a load of BS when it comes to weight!

Kristen (4)

Slow the hell down

Excuse my language, but this message warrants some harsh talk.

Much of what we complain about on a daily (hourly?) basis would be resolved if we simply slowed down and chose to be present.

“I’ve got no time to do anything for myself”

“I’m always nagging my kids”

“How did I just finish off a whole pint of ice cream?”

“I feel so stressed”

I firmly believe that slowing down is the first step towards changing the way in which we experience life.

STOP racing through the day to check items off your to do list.  If it’s not going to matter in a year’s time, then it’s not worth the stress and worry today.  So scratch it off your list.

STOP sitting on the sidelines of your life.  If you can’t show up in mind, body, and spirit – don’t bother showing up at all. 

STOP going on auto pilot.  Put your food on a plate, sit down, and savour each and every morsel.

But most importantly, STOP and take a deep breath.  Ask yourself how you want to show up in life.  Let that voice guide your actions.

Tonight, I’m letting another load of laundry pile up because cozying up in bed to read a story with my children is how I choose to show up in life.

Kristen (4)