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

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.

 

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