Eating Psychology – What Everyone Should Know

Eating Psychology – What Everyone Should Know

Eating Psychology

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be here. If you don’t already know my name is Macy and I’m the sole coach and owner of Hungryoga. The health and wellness platform that advocates yoga, mindful movement, eating psychology, lifestyle design, and conscious business. ~ Today I’m here to share with you in the realm of Eating Psychology.

I chose Eating Psychology today because I realize it’s a newer term that’s been buzzing around the last couple years. I was blessed enough to be in one of the first coaches from the Institute for Psychology of Eating. I’m super excited to share some nuggets of wisdom with you. My goal is to inform you about what I think Everyone Ought to Know About Eating Psychology.  

Eating Psychology – What You Should Know

WHY I think everyone needs to know this?

  • Some of you may relate to almost being too smart and know almost too much about nutrition. It can end up just making you feel less than. You’re not able to follow all the rules, and eat all the best foods all the time. You get stuck in perfectionism. You look to “experts” to try and “fix” whatever food system you are trying to follow.
  • Maybe you are getting hung up in the fact that you simply don’t have the willpower to stay on a diet. You should be able to do it but you just can’t. If only you could control what goes into your mouth then you would have the body you want and you’d be happy.
  • And I know for certain many of you have negative thoughts about yourself running in the back of your mind 24/7. Thoughts such as, ‘omg I can’t eat that it’s so bad for me (but then 5 seconds later you are eating it with regret)’. OR ‘I’m so lazy, I hate the gym, but I have to workout or else I’ll get even fatter’. OR ‘I want to get seconds but tell yourself you can’t so then you don’t. Then all you’re left with is an intense need to eat more so you binge on cookies or eat out of your pantry standing up.

WHAT I want you to know is that:

  • There are so many amazing tools and resources and experts out there to help inform us about health and nutrition and fitness. BUT the experts don’t know it all. They probably had a transformational experience of their own which made them very passionate about that certain way of being. Just because they had this success doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you – but maybe it will! It may be for a short while or a long while. The only way to know for certain what works and what doesn’t is to follow your own body wisdom and experiment with different ways of being. Keep this open mind and act as your own scientist in the realm of health and nutrition. This is the key to your own health and happiness. It’s all really just a big experiment, and there’s not ONE right way to eat – everyone is different.
  • Be passionate, research and read different techniques, methods, and hear the ‘experts’ out – I mean they do what they do because they love it – and they have had a very personal transformation from the beliefs they teach – But in order to not get stuck within ‘perfectionism’ and trying to model after someone else – make your own rules – experiment – and tune into your inner body wisdom.

For example: I know that the most common food sensitivities come from wheat, dairy, corn, and soy. I started to notice how I felt after eating these certain foods. I realized I don’t really like to drink cow’s milk anymore, whole kernels of corn make my tummy hurt, and damn it to hell I love pizza but I generally don’t feel the best after consuming it. 

I made my own simple shifts: I love almond milk and coconut milk, canned corn really isn’t worth it anyways but put a cob in front of me and watch me work, and my love for pizza is usually thin crust and I love adding in a side salad so I have a better macronutrient balance.

  • All of those unwanted symptoms. I want you to embrace them. Be grateful that they will lead you to a more fulfilled life. They are a challenge to step up. Evolve into a better version of yourself. One that is embodied. One that knows its boundaries. One that isn’t afraid to make changes in order to feel better. More supported. More grounded.
  • When you struggle with food and body. Maybe emotionally eat, hate your body, not feel comfortable or confident, eat low quality food, overeat, binge drink alcohol, simply feel helpless, out of control…. All these issues are leading you to something deeper. There’s a much bigger lesson behind all of these self-imposed stressors than just telling you to lose weight and be prettier.
  • Those toxic thoughts and beliefs about yourself will hurt you just as much as the toxins that are found in the food that you stress about. The thoughts you think as you eat affect the way you metabolize food. The way you talk to yourself, the way you visualize your body, is the exact reality that you create. You make assumptions about a certain way to eat, instead of tune in and listen to what you really want, how it makes you feel, and being able to enjoy the experience and MOVE ON!

Some questions you can ask yourself are:
If there was a deeper meaning behind all of my eating challenges, what would it be?
Is this unwanted symptom actually a gift in disguise?
In what ways can I be more kind to myself?
Can I be a better person?
Should I listen to what my body truly desires?

  • Challenge the thoughts that create stress or suffering – because almost always – the opposite is also true. So just because you think it, doesn’t mean it has to be your reality.

For example: You may feel like “Food is my enemy” – and rightfully so if it causes you this much life energy and guilt and shame. But isn’t the opposite of that also true? “Food is my ally” – I mean it was literally the first relationship you ever had in this world, and you can’t live without it.

Can you imagine if you were able to truly listen to your inner wisdom?

You knew through experimentation what food and routine and lifestyle made you the best and truest version of you.

And when unwanted symptoms appeared you didn’t push them away, or ignore them, or feel like a victim. You welcomed them in, became very curious as to why they were there and what was their underlying purpose. This made you compassionate towards yourself and others who are struggling just like you.

AND – when your mind starts to be mean, you question those thoughts, and realize that that’s not completely true, and that the opposite is also true.

I hope you found this helpful. Please comment with any questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you.

Right now I have 4 spots open in my Eating Psychology Coaching Program. If this info really resonated with you, and you want to go deeper – the first step is setting up a Discovery Coaching Call with me. Just this call alone is very powerful and can give you a great sense of relief and clarity. It’s my passion and mission to help anyone struggling with food and body, and to give them a realistic approach that will empower and educate their mind, body, and soul.

All my love to you,

Namaste

How to be a Confident & Relaxed Bride Instead of Bridezilla

How to be a Confident & Relaxed Bride Instead of Bridezilla

smile forever
confident bride
dirty little secret

 The biggest takeaways from my wedding day, and why it felt so perfect.

Sure there was a lot of planning involved, but when it was finally 10.15.16 I didn’t have a worry in the world.

This isn’t the story for all brides. Way too often we hear about bridezillas, being so freaking stressed out the day of they just want it to be over with, or being so rushed they forget to eat and pass out at the alter (this literally happened to a bridesmaid of a previous wedding at the Denver Athletic Club).

And this just wasn’t the case for me. Now I’m not saying that there wasn’t stressful moments in the planning process – for example I messed up some of our RSVP cards and really upset some family members (but they got over it) – but when the big day had finally arrived I felt ready, excited, relaxed, beautiful, and confident. That is the reason why I’m writing this – because if this post helps any future bride feel the way I did on my wedding day then that would bring me so much joy.

Here is what I focused on while planning in order to feel confident and relaxed on wedding day:

1. Start the Planning Process ASAP – The Knot Website & Organizer

As soon as I got home from the surprise engagement in Seattle, I started planning. Now I know everyone’s timeline is different, and for some people they could be engaged for years before deciding to tie the knot, but my advice is to give yourself at least a year to plan the big event (or maybe not so big event). The best engagement gift that I received was The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer from my good friend Carey. Ladies if you have a good friend that’s engaged – GET THIS FOR YOUR GIRL!! People that know me best will tell you I have room for improvement in the organization world. This binder really helped me stay on task, prioritize what needs to be done first, brainstorm small details, budget, and so much more!

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner

2. The Venue can Make or Break Your Stress Levels – Denver Athletic Club

So definitely the most challenging part of the planning process for me was finding the perfect venue. I’m not kidding when I tell you I visited at least 10 different venues in Colorado. When David and I were discussing what was most important to us (venue wise) we came up with The 3 C’s: it needed to be convenient for all our out of town guests, the capacity had to fit at least 200 people (both from Kansas, surprisingly 200 is a small wedding), and it had to be ‘classy as f***’. (Oh, and that last little bit – it had to fit within our Budget). Haha, so after searching high and low we finally found the Denver Athletic Club – the absolute perfect place for us to get married. Besides the criteria mentioned above, it was all-inclusive (WHICH IS HUGE) with catering, bar, clean-up, wedding coordination, and call/email support throughout the whole process. I can’t thank my coordinator, Natalie Cutter, enough for everything she did for us to make our day perfect. The reason why I can say I WASN’T a bridezilla was because Natalie told me so herself, thank goodness.

Denver Athletic Club

3. Get Your Makeup Professionally Done – Alli B Makeup Artist

The thing I was most excited to give my girls, and myself, on wedding day was to get our makeup professionally done. NONE of us had ever got our makeup professionally done so it was such a treat. I was lucky enough that two of my girls, Trinity and Anna, are both amazing hair stylists so I knew I had to do something special for all of us. Besides finding the most perfect cutoff T’s from Spiritual Gangster that say ‘Good Vibe Tribe’ and the always comfy pajama shorts from Old Navy – what else could I do for my loves to make them feel just as beautiful as I? It was really, really important to me that my girl’s didn’t feel like the ugly bridesmaids with the ugly dresses. And this goes for both mother’s too – I wanted us all to feel magical, to forget about our flaws and focus on what we loved about ourselves.

QUE – Alli B Makeup Artist. I found this gem on Instagram @alli_b_makeupartist searching #denvermakeupartist and she stood out right away. For one, she is working her business toward 100% cruelty and vegan free – and though I’m not vegan, I love the concept of no harm done. Just scroll away on her Insta and you will amazed at the beauty she captures in all types of women. Come to find out Alli had heard of Hungryoga before I reached out to her because she lives in the Littleton, CO area. Sold.

4. UP the Self Care X’s 10 – Yoga, Strength Training, Baths, & Absolutely NO DIETING!

I’m not freaking kidding. You need to make time for yourself now more than ever – just not in the punishing and shameful kind of way. My favorite type of movement, well you can probably guess, is yoga! I actually made an executive decision (of my own life haha) during this time to cancel my membership at my yoga studio and focus on my home practice. I did this because time was of the essence, and it was actually causing me more stress to try and make it to a class that took 2 hours out of my day. I realized that without leaving home I could fit in a lovely practice that was less less than an hour long. Some days I craved strength training so I looked to my loves Karena and Katrina over at Tone It Up for creative at-home total body workouts, or took my own strength classes right along with my clients at Ascent Therapy Clinic.

yoga bride

I also UPPED my bath game – my favorite bath salts are from Pacha Soap.  They are all natural and the founder Andrew Vrbas was in my [itty bitty] 21 person high school graduation class. For every bar of soap purchased they help educate kid’s in Peru about proper sanitation. Oh and they also are creating jobs there too, so amazing <3.

The last little bit here was a “strict” rule of mine – NO DIETING! Seriously, as a bride you have enough to worry about, why would you add dieting onto the list? Okay, so this doesn’t mean you can eat all the nachos and all pizza and not feel bloated in your dress – that’s not what I’m getting at. HINTS why no dieting is under ‘UP the Self Care’ – you still should eat foods that make you feel better, not worse. What I’m trying to say is that you should practice mindful eating. Intuitively listening to your cravings. Somedays you will crave salads and quinoa and other days you will need what I like to call more substance, like spaghetti, one of our household staples. I encourage you to get creative with your meals and stay inspired in the kitchen. Try new recipes, give your favorites a healthy makeover (like ground turkey spaghetti with organic marinara sauce and brown rice noodles), and drop the black/white perfectionism around food before your wedding.

cheese and crackers

I’m sure that I’m one of the few brides that ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at her wedding. I know for a fact, that if I don’t eat my normal eating rhythms, that I WILL be a bridezilla or a Hangry Biotch, take your pick.

5. Find Creative Ways to Save – Dolla Dolla Bills

Jinkies I totally understand why some people decide got straight to the courthouse to save money and start their lives together. We were lucky enough to have help from both sides of our families, and whipped out our own checkbooks too. I’m sure many people can agree that this is the most stressful part of the wedding. I found it really helpful to have a budget in mind from the very beginning, and to STICK WITH IT! When I was reading up I came across a statistic that said most couples go at least 30% over their budget – that’s INSANE!!

Now everyone has different priorities about what is the most important to them and where to allocate the most money. For us it was (of course) food and booze (we like to party), but really that just translates to we wanted to take care of our people. So some little places that we saved money; our officiant (believe it or not his slogan was ‘the bargain minister’ and he did a phenomenal job.) We ordered Save the Dates and Invitations off of Vistaprint – such much cheaper then the fancy ones. We felt like we didn’t need to print ceremony programs so I made a pretty mirror sign instead. DIY projects were so much fun and saved a lot in the big picture. I made a ‘Welcome to the Wedding Sign’, mom made dried flower and grass bouquets to accompany us down the aisle and also cute little succulents for the centerpieces. All of us girls were together two nights before the wedding and homemade all of the extra desserts for the dessert table (Graham Cracker Toffee, Dark Chocolate Snickers, and Peanut Butter Balls). Other bargains were getting our wedding cake from King Soopers (it was absolutely gorgeous, half the price, and I only ate the ONE bite), buying centerpiece mirrors for 50% on hobbylobby.com,  IKEA for candle votives, and picking a venue that needed NO extra decorating.

So what if you were able to create your dream wedding too! One where stress and overwhelm didn’t take over your day, and you were simply there bask in all the amazingness around you. Well, hopefully this post gave you some insights on how to make your own dream, a reality.

With Light & Love,

Macy

Binge Eating: Bake cookies without the freakout

binge eating cookies

Do you love to bake cookies, but are afraid that you will begin binge eating?

There’s is an underlying fear that once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop.

Binge eating is very common with sugary foods. We label them as ‘bad’ (but eat them anyways).

Sugar is also addictive in nature, and connects us to memories from our childhood. For me, it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. I remember in high school eating two cookies for breakfast and two more after lunch. At the time I didn’t consider this a binge because I never felt guilty or hated myself for it. It wasn’t until college when I would come home over break and have the urge to eat every cookie in site. I knew I would feel terrible after doing so, but I didn’t care. This was my way of managing my tough emotions and finding comfort. 

It used to be such a debate (in my head) as to whether I should bake cookies or not. I love baking, but when it started to cost me my happiness and sanity because of binge eating I stopped baking all together. I took this ‘break from baking’ to figure out the underlying issues about why I was binge eating.

So here is how you can bake cookies without the freakout of binge eating.

  1. Allow yourself, fully, to have the cookie – You have to allow yourself to have the cookie. If you have binged after baking before, ask yourself if you were really allowing yourself to eat. Or if you were eating and subconsciously telling yourself that you shouldn’t be eating. Get excited that you are about to eat one of the most pleasurable foods ever!

When you don’t allow yourself to eat what you want the “outer child” rebels. She throws a tantrum – which means you end up eating more than you would have. 

This seems most challenging with strict food rules. You try to follow a specific diet or program, and are on a mission to lose weight (or shape shift). Everyone is entitled to experiment with their way of eating in attempt to enhance their worldly experience. But emotional eating, binge eating, and compulsive eating require you to let go of all the rules, ride the wave, and feel into your emotions. The more strict you are around what foods you eat or how much to eat the more your binge eating will persist.

So for now, let go of being paleo, vegan, Whole 30, or whatever program it is that you’re trying to mold yourself into. There will be a time again that you can come back to this diet to experiment and see what happens. But right now your way of eating is causing you to binge eat, and leaving you emotionally drained and unhappy. Try tuning in, and fully allowing yourself to have the cookie.

Binge Eating cookies

        2. Bring all your senses – Did you know that binge eating is literally impossible when you are in a slow and relaxed state? Think back on all the times that you have binged… it was fast, furious, and out of control. Most of us have five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing), but we don’t always use these to our highest ability when we sit down to eat.

I have clients say, ‘I don’t even know how my food tastes because I eat so fast.’

So savor the eating experience. Bring gratitude back into your routine and bless the food with your time and presence. Take some deep breaths for the aroma to wash over you. The smell will switch the Enteric Nervous System, or your ‘brain belly’ ON. You will begin to feel physically hungry (stomach growling, mouth watering). Chew slowly, mindfully. Feel the food work down the throat and into the belly. Hear your inner voice speak to you. I am full now. I feel good now. I am okay and nourished and ready to move on with my day now.

Leave the table with the intention to feel good.

3. Positive Cookie Psychology – Yes, I’m aware this is a very technical term.  But really, imagine that eating a cookie is a life enhancing moment. A place in time where you are doing exactly what you want to be doing. The chocolate chips, the crisp, the soft, the ooey gooey, the pleasure of eating with no guilt or shame. Positive Cookie Psychology states, “I am not a bad person for eating this.”

binge eating

And all in the same breath, if you really don’t want to eat the cookie, don’t. We could get into a whole new topic about friends pressuring friends to eat what they do so they don’t feel bad about what they are choosing. But hey, in the end, it’s always your choice. It’s beautiful that we get to decide what we want to eat on an everyday basis. It’s not like that everywhere. Be grateful.

So what if you were able to bake cookies at home and not binge eat on them? You were relaxed, and turned on by the entire experience of eating a delicious blob of awesomeness. And your Positive Cookie Psychology says, ‘I’m a badass and can eat whatever I choose at any given moment.’

For me, that feels like freedom.

Light & Love,

Macy

 

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

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