Insights from Telluride Yoga Festival 2016

Insights from Telluride Yoga Festival 2016

How lucky was I to attend the Telluride Yoga Festival this past weekend with my best friend and hundreds of other yogis.

Priest Lake - South of Telluride Yoga Festival

We rode the gondola and braved camping at 10,000 feet elevation. We ate shrimp tacos and chocolate birthday cake. Everyone was so nice. We had numerous invitations to stay at condos, come by if we needed a shower, or meet up later to take a yoga class. I stopped being surprised when I remembered where I was, and if you are grumpy in Telluride then something definitely needs to shift.

Mountain Girls - Telluride Yoga Festival

And that was my biggest takeaway from this weekend at Telluride Yoga Festival (TYF)….

You have the power to shift your thinking thoughts that cause you to suffer – towards thinking thoughts that provide you relief.

I volunteered my time to help with the Telluride Yoga Festival. I attended Sacred Dub Flow with Anton Mackey/Kiyoshi/MetaPhysics. I walked the river with Karl Straub. Then, took a Journey to the Heart with Roger & Albina Rippy. Later I learned even more about Yoga Psychology with Alanna Kaivalya (my favorite class). Finally, I  surfed Wave Rider: the six qualities of consciousness with Coby Kozlowski (close second).

View from the Gondola - Telluride Yoga Festival

 I loved Alanna and Coby’s classes because they weren’t asana (or the physical practice of yoga) at all. They were both a deep dive into the psychology of yoga and living yoga on and off the mat. They both spoke about letting go of old stories but also writing new ones. Alanna’s class brought many (including myself) to tears of relief and self-acceptance after a very simple yet powerful meditation. Coby learned every single student’s name in her class, and remembered them. She didn’t just see you, but she saw into your soul. 

It is common to first come to yoga because you are searching for stress relief, physical pain relief, or because someone else said it is good for you and you should just do it. The definition of “yoga” is different for everyone. Some think of yoga studios and stretchy pants. Others think of gurus sitting on top of a mountain in Nepal meditating for days. But once you keep practicing and learning about yoga, you realize that your everyday life is yoga. If you allow it to be.

Classically in the Yoga Sutras (ancient yogic text of Patanjali) yoga is defined as, ‘the sensations of the fluctuations of the mind’ or ‘the state of union with the divine’.

Yoga is not who we want to be, but who we are, and the promise of yoga is freedom of suffering. 

So how can yoga promise freedom of suffering? There is so much suffering in this world how is that possible?

In my next blog post I will go more in depth with Yoga Psychology, and introduce the 4 Steps to Freedom that Alanna Kaivalya went over in her class. Similar(ish) to Byron Katie’s “The Work” – only with a yogic twist.

partner yoga - Telluride Yoga Festival

I hope this blog post gave you some inspiration to attend a yoga festival of your own! If you want to say YES to the  Telluride Yoga Festival in 2017, purchase now for the best price.

Light & Love,

Macy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Sculpt – Love Your Arms!

Can yoga sculpt help you LOVE your arms?

I remember a time when I hated my arms. I was lifting really heavy weights in college athletics, and I was bulking up like crazy! My arms made me feel so masculine and heavy. I felt like I didn’t have a choice because it was part of my workout, and that’s what I was told to do in order to be successful on the track. Yet I was sucking performance wise. So not only did I now hate my arms, but I was jumping and hurdling slower and shorter than ever before. I was like, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”

That was meant to be super negative.

Because that was truly my head space, and the way that I talked to myself. Honestly lifting heavy and not training properly probably did affect my performance some, but looking back it was my psychology about my body image and my relationship with food that was making me suffer. 

If you tell yourself over and over again that you hate a certain part of your body, then you will attract that hate and continue the downward spiral of negative body image.

Instead of hating your arms (or whatever body part it is for you) – you should be grateful for all the things that they allow you to do. Your arms allow you to pick up things, keep your balance, drive, workout, type on your computer, hold a leash, cook, etc. What if you didn’t have arms?! Can you imagine all the challenges you would have to overcome that you don’t even have to think about now?

(If it’s not your arms that you are hating on – pinpoint what body part it is, and make a list of all the reasons why you are grateful for it.)

So I made this yoga sculpt video for all you lovelies out there who are hating on your arms. Unlike my past experiences with lifting weights, this is a yoga sculpting sequence that uses light weights and mindful movement. If you don’t have dumbbells at home you can use shampoo bottles or anything that will give you a little extra to hold onto.

Until next time, stay grateful and find movement that you LOVE!

XO – HY

 

Overcome Binge Eating Faster: 4 Effective & Intuitive Ways To Do It

Overcome Binge Eating Faster: 4 Effective & Intuitive Ways To Do It

One day, all of a sudden, you found yourself binge eating, turning to food for comfort. It was so weird and strange because it had never happened before, but now it felt like the habit had completely taken over your life. Who knew a damn cookie could have so much power behind it!

Hi, I’m Macy, and this used to be my story.

In college I would come home from track practice, a late night party, or even when I first woke up in the morning, and some “thing” (a demon I thought at the time) would literally hijack my body and mind, and make me stuff my face.

“Oh you have no willpower. Push through. Just stop eating,” I would tell myself.

But those comments just made things WORSE!

How was I ever going to get my eating under control and get my happy go lucky life back?

After years of self-study, Yoga & Meditation, Eating Psychology Coaching, Lifestyle Design and LOTS of change…. As my mentor Kris Ward would say, “I’M BACK!” That happy go lucky me emerged once again, and I’m so so SO excited to share my secrets to success with you.

I believe my Dharma, my entire existence leading up to this point in life, is to help specifically young women who binge eat, overeat, and/or have negative body image.

WE ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS BODY MY FRIENDS.

So here are 4 Effective & Intuitive Ways to Overcome Binge Eating Faster than you would have figuring it out on your own (Trust me, help is a good thing).

1. Slow Down & Breathe ~ It’s basically IMPOSSIBLE to binge eat when you are in a relaxed state. Think about all the times you have binged or overate… Were you ever eating slowly? Did you ever take a breath in between bites? I highly doubt it.

Next time you feel a lot of anxiety and stress being built up to a binge, I want you to consciously be a witness to yourself. Notice what comes up for you. Take note of the time of day, where you are at, what you just finished doing, the last time you took a break, etc. As you are doing this take deep Ujjayi or “victorious” breaths to calm your nervous system and promote prana (life energy) to flow freely.

If you don’t know how to do an Ujjayi breath, watch this video.

2. Enhance your Awareness & Presence ~ A big drive behind binge eating is to numb out to what’s really going on. There is an intense emotion of shame and guilt that causes you to act out with food, when really that’s not what the binge is about.

Maybe those feelings of shame and guilt stem from negative body image, not trusting yourself, or just feeling insignificant in life. Binge eating is actually a wonderful coping mechanism that our subconscious leans toward when life gets tough.

So in order to enhance your awareness and presence I suggest that you find other ways to cope with tough feelings other than food. Whether that’s going for a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, beginning calligraphy, going to a class, meditation, etc. Self-Care will always help you find balance and instead of numbing out, you will be turned on, inspired, and connected with your highest self.

REMEMBER I’ve been where you are now, and my guess is that you’re thinking,
“What do I do if I can’t stop myself and I start to eat anyways?”

Know that that’s okay too. The best way to take the power away from a binge and into your own hands is to ACCEPT that in this moment, you are going to eat whatever it is that you desperately want, and you are going to ENJOY doing it. Get rid of guilt. Get rid of shame. Allow the pleasure of the ‘bad’ food (more on this next time) to fill you and that desire UP. Make the binge a ritual by using your favorite bowl, listening to music or sitting on your porch. The more aware and present you can be, so no other distractions, the better your chance of reducing the binge.

3. Embody through Movement ~ I love the idea of Movement vs. Exercise. When you hear the word Exercise, what words come to mind? I think push, prod, can’t breathe, feels bad, and can’t wait till this is over! Now, when you hear the word Movement, what words come to mind? I think walk, gentle, flow, ease, effort, energy, and wow I feel amazing during and after!

My favorite way to move is with yoga. This doesn’t mean that yoga will be your beacon of hope, but I want to encourage you away from high-level stress and into relaxation. See, when the body is performing from the parasympathetic nervous system, or the relaxation response, it’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to binge.

How many of you have gone to the gym and worked your ass off for two hours, pushing, burning calories, etc. to find yourself self-sabotaging later standing in the kitchen with a pint of ice cream (Weird)? If this sounds similar to a scenario of yours, I want you to try this instead: Go to a restorative or yin yoga class, go on a long walk or hike, or try a class or sport that you truly love and enjoy. Then, let me know how the rest of your night goes ; )

4. Redesign your Lifestyle – I didn’t see any changes in my binge eating until I decided to take small steps toward becoming a better person, living a more fulfilled life, following my passions, and changing my physical environment. Binge eating is a symbolic substitute for other pieces of our lives that are missing or not quite right. In my upcoming audio I will break down the 8 Dynamic Lifestyle Dimensions, how they play a role in your binge eating, and some easy shifts that can improve your life right away.

I hope this blog post resonated with you, and will help you begin a healing journey towards positive relationship with food and body. I know it might seem impossible now, but I’m living proof that you CAN overcome binge eating and take charge of life again!

If you’re ready to dive deeper… to invest in a higher quality life and stop Binge Eating right in its moose tracks!

Be sure to follow @hungryoga on Facebook and Instagram for more.

If you live in the Denver Metro we offer LIVE Strength, Stretch, Pilates & Yoga classes in Littleton, CO.

With Light & Love,
Macy

Pain Free 15-Minute Guided Meditation

Pain Free 15-Minute Guided Meditation

Do any of you find yourself desperately wanting to be pain free?

Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.

This world can cause us to hold onto a lot of trauma, which manifests pain into the body.

There are several techniques to become pain free. Physical therapy, massage therapy, yoga, chiropractic, pain medications, etc. A combination of these modalities can be great, but we can’t forget about the thoughts we think. Do you believe that negative thoughts can cause tension and stress in the body?

I do.

Which is why I created this 15 Minute Guided Pain Free Meditation. This is a beautiful option to release any subconscious blockages, and to drop your body into the parasympathetic nervous system (aka the relaxation response).

For beginner meditation my favorite yoga posture is Viparita Karani or “legs up the wall” pose. Once you get the hang of it you can sit cross legged like the monks, or lay flat on the ground in savasana (as long as you don’t fall asleep).

It’s common to have feelings of frustration, sleepiness, lack of concentration, or boredom when you first begin your journey towards pain free in meditation. Stick with it. When I catch my mind begin to wander I say, “Inhale” to myself as I breathe in and “Exhale” to myself as I breath out. This really helps keep you in the present moment. The more even you can keep your breath the better. You can think 4 seconds inhale, 4 seconds exhale.

When I made this meditation I kept being pain free in script for a reason. I have suffered from low back pain for several years now. If I don’t take care of myself with proper nutrition, stretching, mindful movement, and meditation it starts to flare up again. I hate to see my clients on several different pain medications or going through an unnecessary back surgery.

My hope is that this meditation will give you instant relief, all on your own. Your awareness, breath, and dedication to your pain free meditation practice will also set you free.

Light & Love,
Macy

Pain-Free 15 Minute Guided Meditation❤

 

11 Mind Body Nutritional Dimensions

11 Mind Body Nutritional Dimensions

The 11 Mind Body Nutritional Dimension from the Institute for Psychology of Eating are a fundamental part of my coaching practice. After leading a workshop about Stress, Food, & How to Heal with Chiropractor Dr. Elisabeth Edrington, I wanted to give a review of the material I provided for everyone who wasn’t able to make it.

The 11 Mind Body Nutritional Dimensions I learned at The Institute for Psychology of Eating  provide a foundation for me to work with clients and their unwanted eating habits.  I became a Certified Eating Psychology Coach because I knew there was more to weight-loss, overeating, digestive issues, emotional eating, and binge eating then what meets the eye. SO if you are reading this, and believe your relationship with food could be a lot better than what it is now, you are exactly where you need to be.

1. Stressed vs. Relaxed Eating – What response are you usually in?
The way we relate with food is the way we relate with life. Examples of stressed eating are rushing into your meal, feeling anxious around food, worrying about what you eat, overeating, eating too fast, comparing your meal to others, negative self-talk, feeling guilty or shameful about how/what you’re eating. On the flip side, making a homemade meal, family time, being patient for your meal, being grateful for your food, breathing deeply, making it an eating experience, celebrating life with food, and trusting in your eating decision are examples of relaxed eating. The mind body connection is relevant when we discuss stressed vs. relaxed eating.

2. Eating Speed – Are you a fast, moderate, or slow eater?
Make small changes that will lead you toward slower, more relaxed eating.  It takes time to break a life long mind body habit of fast eating, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t change right away. Sometimes we kill off awareness because we multi-task, avoid pain or discomfort, or ignore our true feelings. Drop into the relaxation response, live in the parasympathetic nervous system, and slow down. Your digestion, anxiety, and stress levels will thank you.

3. Rhythm – When we eat is just as important as what we eat.
Our calorie burning capacity is highest when the sun is highest in the sky. Think of your mind body metabolism as a campfire; you have to feed it to make it burn (and extra oxygen will REALLY light the fire)! If you are not hungry in the morning it’s probably related to eating late the night before, and the afternoon ‘slump’ is natural, quit fighting it and take a siesta. If you like ‘guidelines’ 6:30am-9:00am for breakfast as the sun rises, 12:00pm-1:30pm for lunch when the sun is at its peak, and dinner 4 hours before bed as the sun slowly goes down will help reset your metabolic rhythm inevitably changing your life rhythm. Rhythm sets the course of our lives – emotionally, biologically, and nutritionally

4. Toxic Thoughts/Beliefs – This gets to the core of unwanted habits and symptoms with food. The Institute for Psychology of Eating set out some common toxic mind body nutritional thoughts and beliefs that we as coaches can recognize in our clients. You may find that you have had one (or all) of these at one point in your life.

Food is the Enemy – Yet it’s 100% require by Biology for us to live?

Fat in Food Makes Me Fat – Essential Fatty Acids are called ESSENTIAL for a reason!

Less Food and More Exercise = Weight Loss –  If this was true, it would have worked by now.

If I Were Only Thin, Then I’d Be Happy – Substituting the power of NOW for LATER.

THESE THOUGHTS ARE MORE TOXIC THAN THE TOXINS THAT WE PUT IN OUR BODY FROM FOOD. Furthermore, toxic mind body nutritional beliefs drain our emotional energy, personal power, and dignity. They are especially toxic to “the Feminine”.

What are the benefits you expect from losing your unwanted habit? How many of those can you begin to feel NOW?

5. Pleasure – Pleasure catalyzes the Relaxation Response which is the state we need to digest and assimilate our food fully. We are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain, yet society makes pleasure feel like a sinful thing and makes us have a deep fear around it. With eating, a pleasurable food is called “sinfully good”. As we restrict and avoid pleasure foods, stress, tension, and negative thoughts build up until we give in. We begin to feel guilty and shameful, feeling worse than if we would have just allowed ourselves to have the pleasurable food. When living in a stress response and not inviting the pleasure of food in, you have to eat more of the food to gain the pleasure you desire. (Binge Eating, Overeating, Chronic Dieting).

Lets face it, a low-fat diet leads to behavioral changes and loss of pleasure. Restricting pleasure with food leads to restricting pleasure with sensuality, sexuality, and relationship. Overeating can be a symptom of not feeling loved in your primary relationship OR not allowing yourself to be loved.

What gives you pleasure in life? (persons, places, thoughts, feelings, etc.)

6. Nourishment – Supersedes Nutrition; a Whole-Body Feeling. The experience of Nourishment creates a physiologic relaxation response, which means full, healthy, calorie burning power. What other words come to mind when you think of Nourishment (warm, celebration, slow, relaxed, alive, present, aware, empowered)? Are you limiting your nourishment to one part of the body? We can get attached to taste on the tongue and forget about other ways to nourishWhen we limit sensation, we get intense, disembodied, and live in our heads. We get attached to things to make up for our life not nourishing us.

What else is Nourishing in your life besides food? (Interacting with your partner, being outside in nature, being with your friends, creating, playing) Why do we forget to do these things? Nourishment is a practice in intimacy. Be intimate in how you choose “to be here now”. If something makes you feel nourished, then you would think it is nutritional for you as well.

Begin to feel nourished again by slowing down, relaxing, living in the now. ULTIMATELY WE DECIDE TO RECEIVE THE VALUE OF NOURISHMENT OR NOT! Wanting to be here makes us take care of ourselves. If there is no inner change, there will be no outer change.


Embodiment

7. Embodiment – In our life journey from birth to death, we are learning how to live in our body.
The body is constantly learning how to be here on planet earth. Consider how your relationship with food has changed throughout your life – breast milk to baby food, small bites to bigger bites, or hating a food to later in life loving it. As we get older we can begin to disembody because of our addictions and unwanted habits. They affect our body image which is the way we see our body real or imagined, in a negative way. We literally disembody when we call ourselves fat, criticize, and body hate. We make our body wrong, which makes ourselves wrong. We slowly learn how to be in one’s body by accepting the body we have now, and letting who we are now live within us. Like this idea of movement vs. exercise – exercise shouldn’t feel like a punishment, so consider moving your body in ways that make you embody (gardening, walking, hiking, sports, nature, dance). A lot of us are here, but not fully. A person can be fully here in a diseased body, fat body, skinny body, any body, until you push aside your feelings. Our inner world, thoughts, hopes, suffering, and undigested life events ALL live in the body and the more we can lean into them and truly FEEL them, the more they reveal themselves and the more we can heal.        

So ask yourself: Am I “in” my body or “checked out”? What % embodied am I? What would happen if I embodied more and more fully? You would become more aware of physical pains and symptoms that would no longer be masked, pleasure would be fuller, and you could honor your body wisdom.

If we don’t feel our pain we can’t feel our pleasure as much. 99% of people gain weight back after a diet because they never truly embody. “You don’t have to love your body, but at least like your body a little bit more.” – Marc David, Founder of the Institute for Psychology of Eating.

8. Macro-Nutrient Balance: the appropriate ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in the diet.
This is a fundamental way to make a simple, nutritional shift that can create immediate results. In Western nations there is an intense reliance upon poor quality carbohydrates (mass-produced breads, crackers, boxed items) that are generally not good for the human body. I don’t care about the macro nutrient balance of a person UNLESS they have a complaint.  For example, someone who wants to lose weight who usually skips breakfast and eats mostly carbohydrates until dinner I would consider their MN Balance. Begin be having them eat breakfast including protein, more fats, and more calories.

The body is going to need something different everyday; begin to listen. MN Balance asks us to be nutritional explorers. It asks us to step into nutritional uncertainty. It invites us into strengthening our body intuition.

Food Quality

9. Food Quality – The quality of your food can improve the quality of your life. What does this statement mean to you? Is it important? How does “Quality” show up elsewhere in your life (food, clothes, cars, houses, friends, etc.)? How can we put more quality into our lives?

Upping the quality of life in small ways such as shifting to higher quality places to eat, being conscious of what’s in our food, and shifting spending habits so we don’t feel guilty can greatly improve your relationship with food. Yes, high quality food is more expensive, just like anything else in this world that’s a higher quality. Spend more now on high quality food to spend less later on medical bills, insurance, etc. Quality food is food that is in line with the natural body as much as possible. Some companies do their best to be able to provide that, but way more companies are out there for profit with low quality food that is made for consumers to become hooked, addicted, and wanting more. This makes it even more challenging for us to take care of our bodies; with hidden artificial sweeteners, non-fat labels, and processed junk options.

Asking yourself to increase food quality promotes attention to the body, and has greater power than giving a simple list of good foods and bad foods. Challenge yourEmbodiment by increasing the Quality of food and gain body wisdom.

10. Food Allergies and Sensitivities – Foods that are usually eaten in large amounts, that you used to be able to handle but can’t no longer. A lot of people get food allergies later in life, which is a sign of the immune system being weakened. Food allergies test our soul’s growth by seeing if we going to listen to them or ignore. The body is brilliant and knows what is good for you and what isn’t. If you know anyone who has Celiac disease they will tell you how much it changed their life. You can’t eat with your friends, you can’t have birthday cake, you can’t eat at 98% of the restaurants.
Even some of the best labs out there aren’t the most accurate. You could send 4 different tests into the lab on the same person, samples within minutes of each other, and they come out with slightly different results. That’s why gold standard is the elimination diet to know your food allergies.
Top 4 Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Wheat (gluten), Dairy (protein component casein), Soy, and Corn (then eggs and citrus). These have become ‘’buzz words’’ in the health and nutritional world. Once again the best way to know is the elimination diet.

11. Use of Powerful Substances: THE DOSE TRULY DOES MAKE THE POISON. Respect the power of these substances. They are not “bad” but simply need to be respected and used wisely.
Alcohol – Can be used as a way to celebrate, socialize, let loose, embody, have fun, relax OR we can check-out, disembody, numb out, not feel, depress, use in excess, hurt, sabotage. Overuse can be closely linked to overeating, binge eating, increased weight, depression, and not being connected to our highest self.
Caffeine – Can be used as a way to perk up, energize, ritualize, nourish, cherish, reflect, comfort OR we can substitute this for food, for fake energy, push ourselves too far, overwork.
Sugar – Can be used as a way to give you pleasure, to celebrate, embody, love, and spread joy OR you can feel guilty, block pleasure, overeat, feel out of control, shameful, judgment.
Medications – Can be necessary for survival, alleviate unwanted symptoms, and help us live better OR they are unnecessary, a quick fix, a scapegoat for our issues, overdosed, or not prescribed. We can become so oblivious to the powers of the foods and drugs we consume. Culture can promote such non-awareness. Simple Science for all Toxicity – The dose makes the poison.  Begin to notice if your powerful substance usage is connected to your unwanted eating habits. Ask yourself, “What is this really doing to my body?”

Overeater – Stop Blaming Others for Your Problem

I love Elephant Journal. I have stumbled upon some wonderful teachers, healers, and have found inspiration that can change a bad day into a good one. Here is an Eating Psychology Coach’s take on Ben Ralston – The three steps to profound healing and how an overeater may relate.

overeater

1. Take Responsibility – What’s Your Problem?

“Whatever the problem, it’s your problem. Own it. It’s yours. Not anyone else’s.
Even though you may have thought in the past that it was someone else’s fault.
Even if you wanted it to be someone else’s problem.
It isn’t. It wasn’t.
It’s yours, and yours alone.
Own it.
Face it.”
~ Ben Ralston

As an Overeater your problem may be…

– I like to eat. I like to eat whatever I want. I like sweets.

–  I eat when I am alone, stressed, overwhelmed, wanting to escape from the present moment, wanting to feel better than I currently do, when my back hurts, etc.

– I use food as a way to cope, but I overuse it, and it makes me feel worse than if I wouldn’t have done anything.

– I have became afraid of my appetite, and get very anxious around being hungry. Most days I don’t wait until I feel physically hungry. Sometimes the reason is because of ‘food rules’ that I try to follow and instead rebel and do the opposite. Other times it’s being bored and wanting positive stimulation, or being afraid of getting too hungry.

Overeater Excuses have been..

“YOU always fall asleep on the couch which makes me lonely so I eat.”

“YOU want me to be home at night when you are home so I can’t go workout or do something creative, so instead I eat.”

“I have to buy YOU food that I don’t want in the house, so I eat (the bad food).”

But these are all examples of blaming someone else for your overeating instead of taking ownership of it.

You could have chosen:

“I’m going to bed because I feel tired, and I care about YOU enough that you get to come with me.”

“I’m going to go workout because it is what I truly want to do, and when I come home I will be in a better mood for YOU.”

“I am going to buy food for both of us, there is no he or she food, so please don’t judge me if I have a few of OUR terribly good processed granola bars.”

By choosing the latter, you completely take away shame and blame, which are two HUGE contributing factors to overeating.

2. Find the Cause of your Problem.

” To find the cause of the problem, there is a very simple formula. Trace the problem (to use the analogy of a tree) to its roots. The topmost branches of the problem are in the head. The outermost symptoms are in the head (thoughts, beliefs, idea). The trunk of the problem is the heart (emotions). The roots are in the gut (deeper feelings of trauma, stress, fear, etc)… and the cause is a reaction to those deep feelings of trauma. The reaction is a survival instinct.” ~ Ben Ralston

Go DEEP. There are numerous reasons why you may be overeating…

Being single and hating it, hating your job, being confused about your current relationship, hating your body, drinking too much alcohol, being jealous of other women, smoking too much weed, financial burden, family issues, death, postpartum, eating low quality food that makes you crave more, feeling depressed, not achieving something you wanted badly, overworking, overexercising, fear of your purpose, sexually abuse, parenthood, perfectionism, and sooooo much more.

How does being an overeater make you feel?

– It makes me feel really good at first. It gives me time to be by myself, to feel pleasure, release endorphins, be happy. Then I can’t stop, the pleasure turns into pain, the endorphins turn into a deep depression, and I feel very sad for myself.

What would you lose if you healed as an overeater?

– Feeling high, losing a powerful moment, not being able to relieve stress, losing a ritual, having to sit with my loneliness, and no longer having an excuse to fulfill my purpose. “Sometimes, we choose subconsciously to hold on to the benefit, even though consciously we don’t want to.” This is the secondary gain, or the secret benefit derived from the problem.

3. Heal the Cause

Subconscious – of or concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings: my subconscious fear.

“The cause of the problem is a subconscious blockage. To be specific, the blockage is a subconscious association between safety / survival and an instinct (either fight, flight, or freeze). What belongs there is pure consciousness. When the blockage is removed, pure consciousness flows through the space again naturally, spontaneously and joyfully.” ~ Ben Ralston

– Subconsciously I feel unsafe before I begin to feel hungry, as if I won’t be able to survive unless I eat (which is true, but I’m far from starvation). OR Subconsciously when I’m alone I feel lonely and get anxious because I don’t trust myself around food.

Acknowledge the blockage by becoming completely aware of it.

“So our lives become ruled by subconscious tendencies towards fighting (conquer, destroy, kill, argue, conflict, win, etc); flight (hide, run away, escape, remain passive, etc); and freezing (numbness, paralysis, stiffness, lock-down, tightening up, etc).” ~Ben Ralston

Do not fight yourself by stuffing your face. Do not fly away by trying to escape the moment by overeating. Do not freeze by trying to numb yourself out to the pain. Just be in the moment. Allow yourself to feel anxious. Allow yourself to feel lonely. In that moment lies pure consciousness, where you are completely aware of how you feel and what is happening. Overeating is often fast-paced and unaware. Slow down. Allow yourself to eat and tell yourself it’s okay. Just because you’re not hungry doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to eat. It’s better to eat without guilt and guilt than it is to eat with it. Either way you are still getting to eat, so choose the one that makes you feel better inside.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope it has opened up a few eyes and hearts to self-healing. Please comment or share this message to anyone you think it may help. Also, thank you to Ben Ralston for being a leader in the healing world. If you haven’t been to his page yet… it’s time.

Stay Hungry,
Macy

Binge Eating – Amy Pershing

Binge Eating – Amy Pershing

Would you consider yourself as someone who tends to put others before yourself? (your mother is probably like this too)

Who would have thought that a giving characteristic such as this could be linked to your emotional eating.

In a recent interview at the 2nd Annual Online Eating Psychology Conference, Amy Pershing stated, “…they (binge eaters) tend to put others first, and food may be the only place that they allow themselves to have exactly what they want.”

Paradoxically binge eating is the last thing that this giving soul wants to do. Instead, they have a burning  power within them that they really don’t know what to do with. They want to help people and change the world, but know deep down inside they have to help themselves first in order to do so. Unsure of what their true power is, binge eating becomes a substitute for it.

“I’m going to do the opposite of what I want to do. Instead of stepping into my power I’m going to use food.” – An example given by Amy Pershing

So the vicious cycle continues, and shame is built on top of shame, making the toxic dietary belief of, “I have no control. I can’t help anyone because I can’t help myself. I will never overcome this.”

Have you ever considered the way your relationship with self has evolved in your lifetime?

In high school I had a very loving relationship with body and food. I practiced sports for 3 hours, ate three meals, listened to my natural hunger cues, and truly loved my body. Being a collegiate athlete you would think this relationship with self would continue, but it did not. I was constantly challenged with stressful situations that I never had to encounter before. It soon changed my perspective of self, which indeed changed my eating habits.

Anyone who has had a negative relationship with food knows that life cannot be the best that it can be if you are not taking care of your body. What you DO is correlated with who you ARE. When you decide to decrease your own worth and value with negative self talk, judgment, and sabotage, you are allowing the voice that doesn’t want you to succeed to take over.

“The safest place in the world should be in your body, not your distractions. When you begin to feel shameful or unacceptable, then it becomes a lot harder to take the best care of our yourself.” ~ Amy Pershing, 2nd Annual Eating Psychology Conference

We tend to distract our boredom, loneliness, tiredness, or anytime we are in ‘victim mode’ with food or some other vice that gives us immediate relief from our unwanted feelings. What we really need to do is tough it out, sit there, and be with those feelings instead of trying to fill them up to make ourselves feel better. When we overeat we are choosing that as the one and only way to take care of ourselves. Short-term it works, long-term it sucks ass (and gives us a bigger one too). We need to practice patience, long deep breaths, and reflection.

Everyone is struggling, even someone as funny and uplifting as Robin Williams can be dragged down by their own internal demons. Don’t let yourself get that far. Keep being hopeful and positive. Continue to learn more about yourself and the people that inspire you. Don’t be blind by your own shortcomings. Understand where your life force is being used and if that is the way you want it to be used. Reach out for help, thousands of people are waiting for you to tell your story.

Stay Hungry,
Macy

Do You Have Digestive Issues?

Do You Have Digestive Issues?

As my mentor Marc David says, “How we digest and assimilate food is how we digest and assimilate life…”

Do you have digestive issues? Do you get stuck in your head? Come to find out they can be one in the same problem. Digestion can be a very intimate subject, one that can be quietly ignored and the symptoms become “a part of life.”

At the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, “Digestive problems aren’t problems at all. Every digestive symptom or complaint is a message, a whispering, body wisdom, feedback, an opportunity to listen and deepen into our journey.”

How can you help your body be the best that it can be? How can you improve your digestion and actually make it stronger?

As a yoga teacher, I know that an automatic function that we take advantage of throughout our day is our breath. It’s easy to ignore something that happens without having to think about it. Bringing awareness to your breath, creating space by slowing down your inhale and exhale, and noticing the way oxygen makes your body feels is a gift that yoga gives us.

Digestion is another automatic function that we can take for granted. Once you eat food, you are handing the keys over to your body to break down and process foreign substances.

Luckily, by bringing awareness to our breath we will inherently improve our digestion. Relaxation, Breath, Slowing down, Time, Awareness, Body Wisdom, and Rhythm can turn your digestion completely around. These are all part of Mind-Body Nutrition.

In the physiologic relaxation response the breath is rhythmic and deep, and digestion is fully turned on. When we are living in a stressful state, we are moving too quickly, not living in the moment, anxious for the future, don’t have enough time in the day, and ignore our body wisdom.

If you have a sensitive digestion, you are a sensitive person. Start embracing it instead of thinking something is wrong with you. Being sensitive gives you the power to take care of yourself to the highest degree. Don’t be worried if you can’t eat foods that you used to, that’s not a bad thing. Your digestion is actually getting more specific with what it agrees with, and it is constantly learning from its past experiences.

Body wisdom trumps ANY expert, because if something is causing you unwanted symptom, it’s obviously not working for you.

Over 60% of our population has experienced indigestion and upset stomach. The time and age that we are living in isn’t one that is supportive of improving digestion. We are constantly stressed, overworked, and using extra food as a substitute for self-care because we aren’t taking the time to nourish and pleasure our bodies.

A toxic belief that I have learned is our society’s obsession with hard abs. We condition ourselves to believe that if we have a hard stomach, that means we are “tough and have guts, are worthy, put the time in,” and if your belly is soft you are “weak, can’t handle yourself, and are lazy.” I believe we are truly searching for our inner being, our core, that place where we feel aligned with our world and what’s happening in it. A person can be physically strong in the core, but lack their emotional core, and vice versa. Once again, slowing down and noticing the way we feel in our body, the way we are holding ourselves, and how awake we are to the present moment, may be what our obsession around the midsection is really longing for.

So if you have problems with your digestion, take a deeper look into your unwanted symptoms. What are they truly trying to tell you? How can you evolve as a person?

Maybe you need to take a few extra minutes at meal times, eat higher quality of foods, change your eating rhythm, breath deeply, or relax.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please comment below or email me at macymig@gmail.com

Much Love,
Macy

7 Things Americans Can Learn from Italians

7 Things Americans Can Learn from Italians

Something you may or may not know about me is that I studied abroad in Italy for a semester in Business School, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was immersed into the Italian culture, stayed on course to graduate college in four years, met new friends from all over the world, and grew more than I could have ever imagined.

This recent article from Huffington Post, “7 Things Americans Can Learn From Italians”couldn’t be more on point with what I experienced while living in Paderno del Grappa, Italy. Reflecting on my journey, there is so much symbolism between the path I was on as a student in the CIMBA program, and the path I am on now as an Eating Psychology Coach IT. It is a prime example of how new life experiences make you grow as an individual, and allow you to find what you are truly passionate about.

So here is my Eating Psychology Breakdown of Huffington Posts’ “7 Things Americans Can Learn From Italians”.

I have heard numerous times, “Why are Americans so fat, and Europeans not?” They eat more cheese and bread. They drink wine daily. They definitely don’t workout as much as “we” do. So what’s their secret?

1. “Eat slowly, locally and with others.”

Italians are not trying to “Live in the Fast Lane” as so many American feel obligated to do. Americans work through their lunch hour, take a bite of food, and begin typing ruthlessly again to meet their deadline. We believe that ‘time is money’, and that’s the most important thing. We forget to take care of ourselves, and feel like work should come before our well-being.

One of the most important things to improve your metabolism and your overall relationship with food is to eat slowly. What’s more memorable, gathering your friends together at The Melting Pot (a recent three hour experience of mine that will never be forgotten), or shoveling pizza down in front of the TV by yourself? I mean really… the eating experience can be so powerful! Like anything with such energy, it can be extremely empowering or terribly heartbreaking.

Birra Moretti

2. Drink a little bit, but not too much.

I’m going to be vulnerable here, I drink too much.
Growing up in Western Kansas, it’s part of OUR culture to let loose, real loose. That includes binge-drinking, “country cruising”, lake partying, eating our 4th meal, and passing out god knows where. Haha, judge all you want, but I still wouldn’t change it for the world. My best memories were those times, well, the bits and pieces that I do remember.

Thankfully, I have grown quite a bit, and though sometimes I do drink more than I should still, I have seen significant growth in the this area of my life. It has been tough work, though. I’m learning how to let loose by using my personality, and not an altered mindset.

Italians love their vino. But they don’t overdo it. Here in America, there’s a culture of binge-drinking. In Italy, a bottle of wine is shared among friends or around the dinner table. Stumbling around drunk in Italy is not viewed favorably. (I learned that one the hard way ; ) Italians like to drink, but they know how to keep it classy.

3. You should indulge a little every now and then… perché no??

There are so many delicious treats in Italy — rich gelato, mouth-watering pastries, decadent chocolates. Much like the philosophy on drinking, Italian culture has a “perché no?” take on treats. “Perché no?” translates to “why not?” The idea is to treat yourself by having a little bit of something tasty (because, why not?) but not having so much that you’re gorging yourself. Take Italian gelato shops for example… the normal size of a “coppa” (cup) would look tiny compared to the average size of a cup of ice cream in America.

Yes, yes, yes! Through my Eating Psychology Coaching Program, I have learned how IMPORTANT it is to keep these small pleasures in your life. Don’t deny yourself these wonders because of added sugar or extra calories. These lovely beauts surprisingly will help you feel balanced with no deprivation. The poison comes in the amount, not the actual richness of it. So….. dark chocolate with your next cappuccino? “why not.”

4. Stop hurrying, start relaxing.

Life is less hurried in Italy. People don’t rush around with to-go cups of coffee, but rather sip their espresso at the “bar” (aka coffee shop). Meals tend to linger, whether they be at restaurants or at home. Pedestrians tend to meander. There’s significantly less emphasis put on being on time — rather, the emphasis falls on how that time is spent. Many Italians take a siesta of sorts — a break during the day, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., to eat lunch and relax.

There is a way to actually slow down time, within the same amount of time. For example, being late running around the house in the morning for five minutes will feel a lot different than meditating for five minutes. Find simple strategies throughout your day to be MORE productive, by actually slowing down instead of speeding up. Try these for 5 minutes the next time you feel anxious: deep breathing, a walk around the block, stretching, calling a best friend, or mindfully eating an apple.

5. Having family nearby is the best thing ever.

Families in Italy tend to stay in the same area, rather than moving around. Grandparents often care for grandchildren, siblings remain close and extended families are huge and welcoming. While it’s more common in the U.S. to go away for college and settle down somewhere other than where you grew up, it tends to be the opposite in Italy. Having family nearby is deeply valued in Italy. Having nonna(grandma), aunts, uncles and cousins drop by for dinner during the week or having a weekly extended family meal every Sunday is common and brings everyone together.

I recently made the move to Denver, CO, and a big part of that decision was to be close to mi familia in Atwood, KS, a mere 3.5 hours away (including one pee break : ) Before that move, I had a lot up in the air, I could have basically moved anywhere I wanted. With a summer of traveling the West Coast under my belt, the warm coastal climate was hard to turn down. When it came down to it, relaxing into the opportunities that arose and following my heart lead me to Colorado. As my Facebook status said this morning, “Isn’t it a good day when you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be?!” Why yes, yes it is a good day.

6. Gather and spend time outdoors.

Part of the great communal feel of Italy comes from the fact that people tend to congregate outdoors. Friends will meet up at a piazza and hang out there, rather than in a home. Piazzas are vibrant, outdoor hubs where tons of people gather, children play and tourists roam, creating a lively atmosphere. Similarly, many Italians do most of their shopping at a mercato, outdoor markets where vendors sell everything from food and wine to clothing and leather goods. In America, we have malls — which are great. But there’s nothing like wandering a mercato, sampling the fare and interacting with other locals.

Piazza

As one of my mentors, Marc David, continuously reminds me, it is SO important to get into nature. It’s easy to be consumed by the city lights, electronics, or the comfort of our own home. There’s a renewed energy when you are outside, breathing the fresh air, watching the wind blow the leaves, and living like the animals we truly are. Ya, I sounds like a thumpa hippy, but hey, take your bike out on a trail and tell me I’m wrong.

7. Maintain a “bella figura.”

Bella figura literally translates to “beautiful figure” — but it’s more idiomatic than that. The idea of maintaining a bella figura is more like the idea of maintaining a good public image. Italians don’t get drunk in public, eat while they walk or wear pajamas to the dinner table because it would have a negative impact on their image. Bella figura is more than just looking good, it’s a way of life that emphasizes aesthetics and good behavior.

This one is great reminder for me personally. I can be caught in workout clothes, no makeup, and hair up on many days of my week. I remember how underdressed I always felt in Italy, and couldn’t imagine dressing up everyday as the Italians do. When it comes down to it, how do you want to take care of yourself? How will you express yourself today? If you’ve been feeling frumpy lately, take an extra 10 minutes in your morning routine to take care of yourself, and feel the difference.

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you Italian, American, or somewhere in between, we can all learn something from each other. Being open to new cultures and making your own can make you a more rounded person, that will attract many differing individuals.

Happy Friday!
Macy Moo

Overcome Binge Eating Faster: 4 Effective & Intuitive Ways To Do It

I’m Not Hungry… But I Still Want To Eat

How many times have you caught yourself wanting to eat when you know you are not physically hungry? Instead you are bored, irritable, happy, or just wanting an escape from life for a bit. The environment you are in, such as your couch, the grocery store, or a social event full of goodies, can also be a trigger to eat when you don’t necessarily need or want to.

Luckily, you have the self-awareness that you are NOT hungry, which is more important than actually deciding if you are going to eat or not. In your mind you ask yourself, “Am I even hungry right now?” Here are three answers that you can choose from depending on your mood, environment, situation, etc.

Choice One
Eat Anyway-
Yes, this is a decision that is okay, as long as we practice it not being anxiety driven. If you are stressed about deciding to “eat anyway”, then you are likely to move into the behavior of overeating, binge eating, or being unconscious around your behaviors. We want to avoid negative self-talk such as, “Why did I just eat that? I hate myself now. I’m worthless. I have no willpower.”
If you are relaxed around the decision to “eat anyway”, you are making a conscious effort to eat other than hunger. Food isn’t here just to merely help us survive. That’s why it also gives us pleasure, contentment, and aids us through many situations in life. Choose to use food as a medicine rather than a poison, no matter if you are physically hungry or not.

Choice Two
Distract Yourself-
This is a great option if you are feeling uncontrollable, confused, anxious, stressed, and you don’t trust yourself enough to make the right decisions around food. Your environment may also be affecting your inner emotions in a large way (break room at work, alone in your kitchen at night). Distract Yourself by completely taking yourself out of the current situation. Go to a different room, go out for a quick walk, change your activity, take a 10 minute cruise in your car, whatever it takes to make you not feel overwhelmed and begin relaxing. One of my personal favorites is calling a friend on the phone. It’s a great way to catch up, and let them know that you are thinking of them (If you are super close, talk to them about what’s really going on.) That small window of distraction will likely change your stress physiology, and allow you to return to the experience with a new perspective.

Choice Three
Take care of the underlying need-
Easier said than done, taking care of the underlying need allows us to find peace with food, our body, and strengthens us within. We all deserve to live a balanced life, but in order to do so we have to truly understand our needs and desires. By experimenting with Choice One and Choice Two, we can begin to see patterns of eating and connect the reasons why they worked in some situations and not in others. Once we have more awareness around our physical hunger, the doorway to fulfilling our needs opens to so many other realms: taking a bath, going for a walk, getting out in nature, laughing, giving and receiving hugs, taking a break, etc. Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to find out what we really need, and makes us feel good about our decision. If you suffer from emotional or overeating, it’s crucial to healing that you find strategies that decrease stress and implement relaxation in your mind-body connection.

I hope The 3 Choices will help you when, ‘You are NOT hungry, but still want to eat’.

Live well,
Macy