This sends me into a frenzy....

The excitement of starting something new.  A new diet, a new workout, whatever kind of new plan.  It’s so exciting!  And then you realize all the things you can’t have or do.  

Now, starting a new exercise routine and leaving behind a favorite exercise or two is a whole helluva lot different than starting a diet and having to leave behind chocolate or wine, right?   Or maybe it’s another favorite for you.  

I am one of those that the minute I decide something is off limits, I become obsessed with it.  Even if it’s something I don’t even enjoy that much!  Frenzy or just plain whack?  

When I was competing in natural bodybuilding I ate 5 times a day.  But, I weighed, measured and counted every ounce, gram and bite that I consumed.  I was a bodybuilder and that’s just what you do.  I learned a lot about food and portions.  I also learned some foods just weren’t worth it to consume because they would set me back up to 2 weeks on the scale!  I learned Splenda or diet soda could set me back 3 days!  

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I did that for about 7 years.  I worked my ass off, literally.  I felt great...until I didn’t.  

I loved life...until I didn’t.  

I had abundant energy….until I didn’t.  

I had a social life and friends….until I didn’t.  

I rebounded.  When I competed for the last time, I went crazy eating foods I never cared for before.  I felt off the rails.  I had to get balance and gain some control over myself.  But, I had to do something different because I just couldn’t make myself adhere to a strict program anymore no matter how hard I tried, how badly I beat myself up or how much I tried to exercise.  

So what exactly sends me into a frenzy?  

RESTRICTION!!!!  DEPRIVATION!!!!  

I’ve obviously been there and done that and it was a sick game while it lasted.  But, I’m so over that.

I remember during the post competitive bodybuilding period sitting in a restaurant, having lunch with a friend during the week and watching a table next to us of 3 women.  They were having such a great time and they were having wine!  WHAT?!  During the week.  During the day.  That is some crazy shit!  I had rules around wine and food that was "non-diet".  

SPLURGE FOOD RULE #1:  It must be weighed, measured, consumed only on one night a week which was going to be a weekend and limit of 1-2 glasses only and probably only after a heavy leg day (that burns the most calories).

Pu-LEASE!

Are you feeling exhausted yet?  Me, too!  

And that’s exactly what happened.  I got tired.  Sick and damn tired of restriction and food rules.  I saw people enjoying their life, their food AND during the week and they were thin and happy!  

I started to wonder why they were so lucky?  I also decided I wanted what they had.  

I decided to get curious.  

I decided to be adventurous and crazy myself and have wine with lunch on a Wednesday!  

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I had to loosen the hold that diets had on me.  One way of doing that was to do the complete opposite of what I’d been doing.  

I don’t know about you, but the minute I ward of some sort of food that I’ve deemed off limits, I crave it like there’s no tomorrow.  Don't tell me what I can and can't do or have!  :D

So I just stopped making food bad.  

 

Instead, I let myself have whatever I wanted, but I made sure to check in and make sure I really wanted it.  And that I wanted everything that goes along with it.  

 

Maybe that food brings with it:

  • Gas

  • Bloating

  • Rumbling tummy and loud gurgles

  • Headaches

  • Foggy thinking

  • Low energy

  • Anxious energy

  • Swelling of my hands/feet

  • Mood swings

  • Or in the case of wine at lunch, pretty much no productivity for the rest of the day

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And if I CHOSE to have something like cake, that doesn’t make me feel good in my body, then I practiced eating less of it.  When it ceased to taste truly decadent, I stopped eating.  Brilliant, right?!  

Yes, I’m saying you don’t have to eat the whole damn thing because this is your only shot to have a cake.  The reality is that is ISN'T the only cake you'll ever get to eat again!

Try this instead:

  • Don’t make any one food be off limits.  After all, it’s just food.  

  • No matter what you are eating, pay attention to how your body reacts and feels during, after and a few hours later.  Take notes on that and remember it.  

  • Enjoy every bite like it’s the best damn thing you’ve ever eaten.  Even if it’s a fast food burger.  No judgement here.  

The best tip I’ve ever gotten around eating decadent or splurge food was:

!Stop eating when it ceases to taste amazing!

What?!  I didn’t know that was ok.  Because of restrictive and deprivation diets, I always thought I needed to eat the entire cake in one sitting because I didn’t know when my next chance would be.  You feel me?  

Well, screw that.  I changed my thinking and settled my monkey mind by letting it know that I can have anything I want at any given moment.  And my monkey mind started to relax.  

So stop.  

Just stop depriving yourself of nourishment.  

Just let yourself eat.  

Relax and trust your body’s innate wisdom that it knows what it needs at any given moment.  

Learn to recognize when it’s emotional hunger or physical hunger and go with it.  

I hope you learn something about yourself when you give this new way of thinking and being a try.  Life can be so much more fun when you aren't tied down to food rules and restrictions.  

Are you curious to learn more and would like support while you figure this out?  Let's talk!  Tell me about your experience in the comments below.  I want to hear from you.  

  

Does this sound like you?

I recall a time when my children were younger, when I was so busy with their activities and needs I didn't think much about myself.  I tried to take care of myself, but I did a shitty job of it.  

One day, I recall racing to get kids picked up from school and then on the road to an activity, a sporting event or maybe both and I had this vision of myself:  Cruella Deville when she's driving her car!

Needless to say, I was feeling pulled in all directions, not taking time for myself, running on coffee and caffeine and definitely not taking the time to fuel myself properly.  I realized I needed to slow down the pace and take better care of myself.  

There are multiple ways to nurture yourself as a woman, wife, mom, sister, daughter.  But during this time of my life, I had developed some really bad habits around food, so that's what I'm going to focus on today.  

EATING and NOURISHING YOUR BODY  

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If you are at all like I was:

  • finding yourself at the drive-thru

  • skipping meals due to poor planning or lack of time

  • eating in the car as you're driving down the road

  • gulping down your food mindlessly

  • scarfing down your kids' leftovers

  • never feeling satisfied making it easy to overeat

implementing these simple techniques into your daily life will be a great start to taking back your life and your health.

3 SIMPLE TECHNIQUES TO CONNECT TO YOUR BODY AND YOUR FOOD

  1. Remind yourself to BREATHE.  

Try 4 counts in, hold for 4 counts and breathe out for a slow 4 counts.  

Try 4 counts in, hold for 4 counts and breathe out for a slow 4 counts.  

You don't have to spend a lot of time in meditation, which honestly would have set me on edge at that time of my life, but just remember to breathe.  As simple as this sounds, I often hold my breathe when I feel anxious, fearful, worried, stressed.  Maybe you do, too?  Take time to notice what you are feeling and then take a few nice, deep breaths.  You might even try practicing breathing first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.  Definitely take a few seconds before each meal to breathe and connect to your body.  Check in.  

2. SIT when you eat. 

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Regardless of where or what you're doing when it's meal time, take the time to stop what you're doing and sit still.  When I find myself rushing around to get things done and there are other things I'd rather do than eat, I find myself eating at the counter, the kitchen sink, grabbing a bite straight from the fridge or eating while driving.  Ugh!!!!   When I catch myself doing this, my mantra is:

"STOP, DROP AND EAT."  

There have been several times my kids have walked in to find me eating in the middle of the kitchen floor.  "Mom, what are you DOING?!"  Well, I'm slowing life down and taking back time for myself.  I'm helping my digestion and I'm connecting to my food and my body.  So, stop, drop and eat.  Your digestion will thank you!  

 

3. CHEW slowly.

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I know for myself when life feels hectic and I get wound up too tightly, I tend to gulp my food.  

Gulping your food results in bloating, gas, overall digestive discomfort and you really haven't even enjoyed a single bite!  What's the point?  

Digestion begins in your mouth the second saliva comes in contact with your food.  Saliva helps break down your food so the body can assimilate and absorb the nutrients.  You owe it to your body to chew slowly and completely so your body gets the nourishment it needs, your mind gets the satisfaction from eating that it needs and your soul feels nourished and taken care of, too.  

 

These are the top 3 things I have to constantly remind myself to do when life gets hectic.  I have noticed such a big difference in my own digestion, food preferences and overall state of be-ing when I incorporate these simple tricks in my daily life.  The minute I catch myself standing at the counter and eating or walking around with my food, I stop and drop. 

No matter where I am, I stop and drop if I have food in my hand. 

No matter what you're eating or where, sit down.  Even if you're hitting a drive-thru, pull over in the parking lot and stop to eat your food. 

Life is precious and yours to enjoy every minute, why waste it not being present?  

Give these techniques a try over the next week and check back with me.  Let me know what you noticed, if it helped, what your thoughts are.  I can't wait to hear how this works for you and what you're more aware of now!