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

Criticism: why it doesn’t work & what to do instead

Criticism: why it doesn’t work & what to do instead

3 Simple Inquiries to shift criticism into acceptance 

Do you notice what happens when we (society) allow criticism into our lives?

  • Negative thoughts (about them, the others, and you) swirl around in your head.
  • Someone (somewhere) is being rejected, not allowed, or boycotted.
  • Stories are made up depending on how the situation was perceived.
  • And what results is suffering, anxiety, sadness, anger, resentment, and hatred.

Is this the experience that you want to have? Do you want to feel those feelings or are you stuck in the pattern of criticism?

Now I want you to see what happens when we bring acceptance into our lives…

  • Positive thoughts (about them, the other, and you), aspiration, inspiration, and creativity live abundantly in your head space.
  • Someone (somewhere) loves you, cares about you and your highest values.
  • Stories are being created in the moment, and shared with others to spread joy.
  • And what results is love, gratitude, relaxation, happiness, and freedom.

So here is what you can do to rewire our reaction towards acceptance instead of criticism.

acceptance

1. Speak from the heart, not from the head. Remember when your mom used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”? I’m considering the same concept, but worded as, “Tell the truth, but always (always) stem from a place of love.”

NOONE IS GOING TO TAKE, GROW, EXPAND, EVOLVE FROM YOUR CRITICISM IF YOU ARE COMING FROM A PLACE OF JUDGEMENT, RIDICULE, OR LACK.

On the flip side,

EVERYONE IS GOING TO TAKE, GROW, EXPAND, EVOLVE FROM YOUR CITICISM IF YOU ARE COMING FROM A PLACE OF LOVE, CARING, COMMITMENT, AND TRANSFORMATION.

For example,

A mother notices (duh they freaking notice everything) that her 20 year old daughter is struggling with weight and body image. She tells her daughter to go on this particular diet because she needs to lose weight, and that she will help her keep track of weekly weigh-ins, measure her BMI, measure food portions, and scold her if she misses a workout.

(Note a few keywords: diet, track, measure, scold, and miss.)

Another mother notices that her 20 year old daughter is struggling with her weight and body image. She talks to her daughter about life in general to see if she notices any self-sabotage. She asks, “you’re not acting like yourself, what’s going on? Are you struggling with anything in particular right now? I’m here for you and have probably gone through something similar in my life. Lets talk.”

The first mother is not accepting who her daughter is in this moment and all her actions are an attempt for her daughter to change. The second mother is full of acceptance and compassion for the struggles that her daughter is going through.

criticism

2. Reflect on your judgements of others and turn it around onto yourself. What we perceive as flaws or criticize others for is the exact thing that we see as our own flaws.

Oh my, look at the girl’s ass, it is huge!

Well…. what do you think of your own ass?

Whenever you catch yourself being the mean girl, turn that thought or statement around to yourself and see what comes up for you. Nuff said.

3. Acceptance of what is will give you freedom in the present moment. We have to accept reality, what is true. Even if it’s not where we want to be, it’s where we are supposed to be. The more we can honor that place the less self-imposed suffering we will have. Byron Katie is the queen of this idea, and for that I’m going to leave you with a few of her quotes.

“I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
― Byron KatieLoving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them”
― Byron Katie

“Our parents, our children, our spouses, and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves, yet. They will point us to our freedom every time.”
― Byron KatieLoving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

criticism

So what if you are able to shift away from criticism and towards acceptance every time you notice that you are judging yourself or someone else? When you give criticism it is actually more like feedback, coming from the heart instead of the head. And whatever advice you give someone else, you reflect that same statement onto yourself in order to enhance your experience and evolution. Then, in the end, you were full of acceptance. Accepting what is, and at the same time creating your own reality through inquiry of thoughts.

 

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