He called me chubby and everyone laughed.

April 16, 2017

 

I remember the way I used to feel around food. When I was in middle school, I’d come home after school and sit in front of the TV and mindlessly eat Oreo after Oreo after Oreo, sometimes until the whole package was gone. Then I’d hit up the Ho Ho’s and Ding Dongs. If you asked me why I was doing it, I wouldn’t have known what to tell you. It’s just what I did.

But now, I know that it was because stuffing my face with cookies and watching Saved By the Bell and living through those characters was so much better than my real life. It was because the Oreos and TV made me not have to think about the test I didn’t want to study for, or the boy who said in front of the whole class, “I want to marry Breanne one day because I just love a chubby girl with a face full of pimples” while everyone laughed. It let me live a different life, and escape. 

A decade later, nothing had changed. I was still numbing out things I didn’t want to feel with food. Again, it didn’t feel like that at the time. It wasn’t conscious. It just felt like I was HUNGRY ALL THE TIME and couldn’t make “good” food choices. But, now, I know that I ate because I felt behind in organic chemistry and didn’t know how to catch up. I ate because I was taking more classes than a normal human could handle without going insane. I ate because my dad was really, really sick. I ate because I was getting no sleep. I ate because it’s just… what I did to cope with life.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you might know that one day I even ate a whole wedding cake by myself (if I haven’t told you that story yet, comment below and let me know and I’ll give you all the gory deets!). The bingeing led to feeling horrible guilt and shame, and feeling totally out of control with food. This led me to want to CONTROL my food. I was sure that if I could just get it under CONTROL, everything would be fine.

I did Weight Watchers. I read nutrition books. I bought weird ingredients that rotted in the fridge for meal plans I couldn’t stick to. I did a Richard Simmons thing with a little plastic board I was supposed to carry around all day and tick off the food I was eating. I ordered frozen meals that were really expensive and tasted gross. I had a journal I used to write down everything I ate and the calories it contained. I tried it all.

Each night, I either felt like a champion or a loser, worthy or unworthy, all depending on how well I controlled and tracked my food that day. Sometimes I succeeded short-term, but never long-term. And it was exhausting. I never felt good enough.

When I had finally had enough, the day I ate an entire wedding cake, I decided I was going to figure out once and for all, how to have a normal, healthy relationship with food. I will tell you about that journey another time, but it ended with learning how to listen to my body and eat intuitively. I learned how to devour my life instead of just food. It changed everything for me, and I have never looked back.

These days, I live an amazing life, eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, and eat delicious treats anytime I want to, and as much of them as I want to. There is no such thing for me as “good” or “bad” foods. I never feel restricted. I feel free. Light. My body is at her ideal weight and composition. Easily. Effortlessly.

I work through my emotions in ways other than just with food. I comfort myself without relying solely on food. I do adventurous things to feel naughty instead of getting cheap thrills from sneaking chocolates in a dark pantry.

If you want to learn more, comment below and ask me anything you want to. I’m an open book, and my mission in the world is to help as many women as possible to finally feel the way that I do — calm, confident, and free around food.

If you want to see how eating this way looks day-to-day, go ahead and “like” my business page so that you get notified when I go live or post new videos. 

If you want to find out your unique “Eater Type” to learn why you, specifically, feel addicted to food, TAKE THE QUIZ. 🙂

Hugs & High Fives to Food Freedom,

P.S. Join my NEW and FREE Devour Life Facebook Group where I share emotional eating tips, recipes, and help you with the tough parts of getting to the bottom of your emotional eating.

P.P.S. Feeling like you’ve tried solving it alone and it’s just not working? Schedule a discovery call with me and let’s get it figured out. It’s free and all you have to do is show up.

P.P.P.S. If you know someone who would LOVE to finally get to the bottom of their emotional eating, forward them this email and make sure they go to my site and sign up for my email list so they’ll have the insider info, too! xoxo

How to follow a diet (when you have to).

April 01, 2017

I hate diets for weight loss. They’re dumb and they don’t work.

Creating a life that’s more delicious than food works. Listening to your body and eating intuitively works. Ending the restricting diet mentality that leads to binging works. But diets don’t work.

So when my doctor recently told me I needed to go on a very specific diet (short-term) to fix a medical issue I had going on, I was less than thrilled.

But I didn’t doubt my ability to follow it once I committed. That’s because the philosophy I teach works, even if you have to commit to a specific way of eating.

So, if your doctor has told you to follow a specific diet for health-related issues, here’s how to do it.

1) Focus on the WHY. Remember that your body has trillions of cells that are constantly working to keep you alive and happy. Even when you’re punishing her with food choices that make her feel gross, she’s ALWAYS got your back. So following a way of eating that is guaranteed to pay her pack for a lifetime of taking care of you doesn’t sound so terrible, does it? Think of a sentence that reminds you why you’re doing this and say it often.

2) Focus on what you CAN eat. Instead of feeling sad about what you’re giving up, focus on the delicious things you CAN have. Put pictures of them on your phone and around your home. Find new ways to prepare them that are delicious. Think of it as a temporary food adventure and make it fun.

3) Find other things that give you pleasure. Since you’re losing some of the comfort foods and drinks you are used to going to for comfort, there will be a void that needs to be filled. Fill it with new things that make you feel even better than the foods did. You might need more time outside, more sex, more dancing, or more time with friends who will cheer you on and support you.

Here’s how I incorporated these tips for success:

1) I want to nourish my body and take amazing care of her, like a mama would take care of a sick baby.  I repeated this sentence to myself constantly. If I had a sick child, I would feed her healing foods, not foods that would make her sicker. And I would make it as enjoyable for her as I could. So that’s how I treated myself. With a big dose of mama love.

2) Oddly enough, I was allowed to eat plenty of cheese on this diet. I don’t typically go crazy for cheese, but I enjoyed trying new types and planning a “cheese date” at a fancy cheese store in town with a friend to make it extra fun.

3) Daily bubble baths with candles, extra time to journal about how I was feeling, extra meditation time, and, I’ll be honest, more time for sensual pleasures (wink, wink) became pretty important with this new life change.

And guess what? I followed through like a champ and took beautiful care of my body by eating super nutritious and healing foods.

If you’re facing a similar issue and need some support, feel free to reply to set up a call and I’ll give you a boost!

If you want to see videos of the delicious things I eat for some inspiration, go ahead and “like” my business page so that you get notified when I go live or post new videos.

Hugs & healing,

P.S. Join my NEW and FREE Devour Life Facebook Group where I share emotional eating tips, recipes, and help you with the tough parts of getting to the bottom of your emotional eating.

P.P.S. Feeling like you’ve tried solving it alone and it’s just not working? Schedule a discovery call with me and let’s get it figured out. It’s free and all you have to do is show up.

P.P.P.S. If you know someone who would LOVE to finally get to the bottom of their emotional eating, forward them this email and make sure they go to my site and sign up for my email list so they’ll have the insider info, too! xoxo

How to Completely Forget About Food

February 24, 2017

See that delicious-looking cake ball? Drool-worthy, right? And I just totally forgot it was even there. Let me explain…

I spent the last week in Southern California and was reminded of a crazy simple trick to stop binge eating in its tracks.

I flew to LA for a retreat and spent a few days with some rock star women for the purpose of working together to reach our goals. The focus was on learning, stretching, getting uncomfortable, reaching higher, and making s**t happen.

During the process, I was IN IT. I was furiously taking notes during lectures, writing out ideas for new dreams and goals that kept popping in my head because I was so inspired, and nailing down the processes required to achieve, achieve, achieve. I was in the zone and it felt amazing.

Sometimes, when life is boring or feels like something we want to escape from, we look forward to the next meal or snack like it’s an oasis of water in the desert and we’ve gone three days without drinking.

But, because I was in this inspired flow state, I would accidentally go hours without eating or even thinking about food, and I was even kind of annoyed when the (delicious!) catered food arrived because I just wanted to stay in my flow.

Annoyed. When delicious food arrived.

This, coming from a former raging emotional eater.

I felt like that kid who’s having so much fun in the hotel pool that she throws a tantrum when her mom says it’s time to get out and go eat dinner.

And, when you think about it, don’t you think your one, very precious, life should feel as exciting to you as a hotel pool does to an 8-year-old?

Listen, I know you can’t make every moment of every day feel like a vacation. That’s not real life. But you can take some time each week to focus on getting into a flow that brings you back to your deepest inner joy and creative rhythm. And that can replace the time you’re currently spending snacking on junk food when you’re not even hungry.

So how’s about we make a deal this week to do something that gets us into that blissful flow state? Maybe for you that’s knitting, or singing, or writing, or planning out your year, or playing piano, or something you loved to do as a child and have forgotten.

As for me, I’m writing this blog to get into my flow state. Because writing to you guys right now has me in such a delicious creative flow that I’m completely ignoring the cake ball that is sitting right next to me. And I do not typically ignore cake balls, you guys.

Think of an activity that will make you feel like a blissfully hustlin’ & flowin’ diva, then comment below and let me know what’s inspiring you!

Oh! And if you missed my Facebook Live from Southern California where I was feeling all giddy about my flow state, here ya go!

Hugs and hotel swimming pools,


P.S. Join my NEW and FREE Devour Life Facebook Group where I share emotional eating tips, recipes, and help you with the tough parts of getting to the bottom of your emotional eating.

P.P.S. Feeling like you’ve tried solving it alone and it’s just not working? Schedule a discovery call with me and let’s get it figured out. It’s free and all you have to do is show up.

Why I Ditched New Year’s Resolutions (And What I Do Instead That Actually Works)

January 08, 2017

 

I used to really love making New Year’s Resolutions. One year, my New Year’s Resolution was to floss every day, no matter what. Another year, it was to give up all added sugar for a whole year. And yet another year, I vowed to run around the block anytime I ate a cookie.

Some of these I actually followed through on. The flossing every day actually stuck because I put my flosser in the shower and I’ll always look for reasons to stay in the shower longer because it’s just so quiet and steamy in there, ya know? It was a win-win.

But the food ones were harder.

I remember when I ate my first cookie of 2006, I walked outside into the cold and immediately decided that running around the block in exchange for every cookie I ate would mean I was pretty much living a life of perpetually running around the block. Hard pass, thanks.

I did give up sugar for a year, and it was cool seeing the effects it had on me (for example, my taste buds changed so that everything even slightly sweet tasted like straight sugar) but I didn’t continue it into the next year because I realized that a life without baked goods is just not a life worth living for me.

These past few years, I have traded making New Year’s Resolutions for something that works so much better.

Instead of making a list of things I want to do or stop doing, I cultivate a list of words that describe how I want to FEEL in the upcoming year. And by doing that, I end up totally rocking out all of the “resolutions” I had in the back of my mind, without even really trying.

If you want to learn more about the detailed process for this, it’s all in Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map, which I highly recommend. But basically you go through a series of questions about each area of your life and it leads you to come up with words that describe how you want to FEEL when you get all of the things you dream of the most.

This year, I want to feel SEXY, LIT UP, and like I’m FLOURISHING.
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Flourishing is how I feel when I’m taking amazing care of the people I love, including, most importantly, my own body and soul.

Lit up is how I feel when I’m letting inspiration, excitement and adventure take the lead in my work and daily life.

And sexy is in there to remind me that everything isn’t about how much I can get done — I also want to feel lovely and calm and powerful and feminine while I do it. Like I want to check things off my to-do list, but while wearing some cute boots and maybe with a little strut and a wink, ya know?

So, for any decision I make on a daily basis, I ask myself if it will help me feel those things. 

Examples:

If I feel like I want to spend my Sunday staying in bed staring at my phone for four hours after waking up instead of getting dressed and going outside and living my life (special shout out to the mamas of little ones who are drooling over the idea of even having these options – I bow to you!)…

Or, if I feel like I want to spend my entire Sunday eating takeout while wearing dirty sweats and rocking greasy hair, only to look up from Netflix eight hours later and realize it’s dark outside and the sun never even kissed my skin, I ask myself, “Will spending my Sunday this way make me feel like I’m SEXY, LIT UP, and FLOURISHING?”

Ummm, no. So I get up and brush my hair and put on real clothes and spend a Sunday enjoying life out in the world with people I love, instead.

If I’m stressed and don’t know what to do next on a project for work that has a looming deadline, and I want to inhale a sleeve of Oreos to cope, I ask myself, “Will dealing with stress this way make me feel like I’m SEXY, LIT UP, and FLOURISHING?”

Nope. So, instead, I make a green smoothie and then furiously journal about all the things I’m stressed about (and all the ways that the world is just like SO UNFAIR to me in that moment) and then I brainstorm ways to make the project easier on myself, like asking for help and turning overwhelming action steps into easy, manageable ones.

Resolutions checked off in just those two examples:
– get out of bed earlier on days off
– go outside more
– less TV
– spend more time with friends and family
– avoid junk food when stressed
– journal everyday
– make a daily green smoothie
– delegate when I’m overwhelmed

This way of transitioning into the new year is so much more fun and effective than making a list of things to start or stop doing. Because what would eventually happen before is I’d feel controlled by the resolutions list, guilty about the resolutions list, or just ignore the resolutions list.

When I think about how I want to feel, I just feel happy. And then I naturally want to do the things that support those happy feelings. The new way actually gets results. 

My three feelings for 2017 are also written everywhere. On my bathroom mirror, phone screen, refrigerator, etc. This process reminds me that I really am in control of how I feel in my life, and that the point of changing my behaviors is not to punish myself or be a “better version” of my (what? previously terrible?) self, but rather just to be happy.

Wanna take a turn and try it for yourself? I’d love to know a few words that describe how you’d love to feel in 2017.  Comment below and let me know what you come up with!

If you want to see the videos I make about these topics, please join my free Devour Life facebook group!

Hugs and a heavy dose of resolution-ditching, 

P.S. If you’re interested in reading The Desire Map, you can get it here. 

An Alien Took Over My Body and Made Me Eat the Cookies

December 14, 2016

If you’re an emotional eater, then you probably find yourself eating when you are not even a little bit physically hungry.

Like maybe you’ve just had a perfectly healthy and filling meal, but it feels like an alien has taken over your body and that alien is DEMANDING cookies. Or ice cream. Or cheese. Or chips. You know the drill, but the point is that you feel powerless to that alien.

To get to the bottom of your emotional eating, you have to dig deep and figure out what’s really going on. Because you don’t actually need the food, right?

I mean you’re full. So what gives?

The issue is that there is something deeper. There is a deep, deep craving you have to feel a certain way, and it has nothing to do with the food.

And the only way to heal your emotional eating, is to figure out what that deeper thing is.

So, today I want to give you the insider scoop on how exactly I walk a client through these alien-moments, and back to sanity.

If you no longer desire to eat emotionally, then you don’t have to stress about having more willpower and controlling yourself around food. Let me say that again:

If you no longer desire to eat emotionally, then you don’t have to stress about having more willpower and controlling yourself around food. 

It’s like building a force field around yourself to keep the alien from ever entering in the first place, instead of trying to fight the alien. And it’s just as amazing and freeing as it sounds.

Here is an example scenario I’ve had with a client, when she was on the verge of a cah-raaazy binge.

Me: Ok, so tell me how you’re feeling right now.

Her: If I don’t eat this cookie dough right now I will die.

Me: Ok, so on a scale of 1-10, how much physical, stomach-grumbling hunger do you have right now?

Her: A zero I think? I just had lunch and it was a good, filling lunch. But I still NEED the cookie dough. Like I’m even annoyed that I’m talking to you right now instead of just eating the cookie dough.

Me: Great. Good info. I need you to know that at the end of our conversation, if you still want the cookie dough, you can have all of it, guilt-free. Ok?

Her: Deal.

Me: Great. So, on a scale of 1-10, how much are you craving the cookie dough for non-physical-hunger reasons?

Her: AN ELEVEN

Me: Got it. Great job checking in with your body and listening. So tell me what feeling you’re craving right now that you think the cookie dough will give you.

Her: I have no idea. I just want it. And I love you but I’m so annoyed right now.

Me: That’s ok. It’ll pass soon. Tell me what would happen if the cookie dough disappeared right now. What would happen if eating it, or anything else, were absolutely not an option in this moment. What would you feel?

Her: Utter despair I think? I feel so dumb for feeling despair over cookie dough, though. What’s wrong with me?

Me: Nothing is wrong with you. The despair feeling isn’t actually about the cookie dough. It’s about something else. Let me ask this a different way. Once you eat the cookie dough, how will you feel?

Her: Better.

Me: Better how?

Her: Like everything is ok.

Me: Other than not having cookie dough in your mouth, what is not ok in your life right now at this moment?

Her: I mean I think it’s really just the cookie dough sitch.

Me: Try again.

Her: I don’t know it just feels like everything is just too much. I don’t have enough money to travel or ever do anything fun. I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m lonely.

Me: If you could travel, where would you go?

Her: The beach. I need to be near water.

Me: If you went to the beach with someone and didn’t feel lonely, it would be because you’re doing what?

Her: In my mind, we’re just sitting and talking and drinking a beer and listening to the waves.

Me: Great. How could you do something really fun near water right now with another person so that you’re near water and not lonely?

Her: Well… uhhh… my best friend was wanting to hang out tonight and she has a new roommate who is new in town and wanted to meet me as well. But there’s no ocean here so it’s not going to work.

Me: Didn’t you say that you live like 10 minutes from a really pretty lake?

Her: Yeah, but people don’t really hang out there.

Me: Well today, you’re going to. Pick up your friends and a couple of beers. Grab a blanket, some tunes, and a portable speaker. Then go to the lake and send me a video of those little lake waves.

Her: What??? I mean, I guess I could? Ok. [long pause] I’m kind of nervous about this. Is that weird?

Me: Not at all. You feel nervous because you’re going on a little adventure instead of eating cookie dough and watching Netflix all night.

Her: An adventure! Ok! I don’t really know how this is going to play out but I’m excited!!! I’ll call them now and text you a video!

Me: Awesome! So now, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you want the cookie dough?

Her: Oh wow. I actually forgot about it. Like a 1. Or maybe even a zero. I have too much to do and am too excited to eat cookie dough right now!

Try having this little conversation with yourself next time you’re wanting to raid the fridge for absolutely no reason.

Sometimes you realize you need to make a change at work, or in your relationship, or in how you talk with your parents. Or (eeeek!) all of the above. But I promise it works. And it’s sooooo worth it. And if you need some hand-holding, I’m here.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to join my Devour Life facebook group where I share emotional eating tips, recipes, and help you with the tough parts of getting to the bottom of your emotional eating.

High-fives to willpower being totally overrated, babes.  

xoxo, 

 

How to Use Rocks to Cure Your Anxiety

October 27, 2016

I know the idea of using rocks to cure anxiety sounds like something a witch would do in the 15th century, but hear me out. So, these are my rocks. Some of them are crystallized and some are polished which makes them extra beautiful, but really they’re just rocks and stones.

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A lot of my clients blame their emotional eating on anxiety, and they have a good point. Food and alcohol are the most widely abused anti-anxiety drugs in the developed world.

To get to the root of the emotional eating or drinking, we have to get to the root of the anxiety.

I’m a big believer in anxiety cures like exercise and talk therapy, but I also have little rituals I do each day to keep my own anxiety under control and they work really well.

Which brings me to my little rock ritual:

I have a little plate of stones, and each day I empty them out into my hands and put the empty plate back on the shelf. I pick up one stone, close my eyes, and think of one thing I am grateful for, and then I put the stone back on the plate. I repeat this again and again until all the stones are back on the plate.

Sometimes I’ll correlate a memory of something I’m grateful for with the color or shape of the stone. Like with my heart-shaped rose quartz stone I’ll always think of something I’m grateful for related to love.  I also always focus on the fact that these stones were made by the pressure and heat of the earth, millions of years ago, and the fact that they will still be around long after I’m gone. This makes me feel connected to nature, which is a proven anxiety-reducer, and it reminds me that…

…if I’m ephemeral and temporary on this earth, then so are my worries.

So the stones feel like a rock-solid place to store my most grateful energy. (Pun intended.)

It works best if the things you are grateful for are very specific and invoke positive feelings when you say them.

For example, instead of saying, “I am grateful for my family” I might say, “I am grateful that my mom called to wish me luck on my project yesterday even though she was sick.” Or, instead of saying, “I am grateful for my job” I might say, “I am grateful that every single day when I walk into work, Bianca at the front desk smiles and waves and says a cheerful, ‘Good morning!’ to me.”

You want each thing you are grateful for to give you the warm fuzzies, and that works best when you think of a very specific moment or memory to be thankful for. The more details that invoke your five senses, the better.

It’s impossible to feel things like fear or anxiety when we are in an active state of gratitude, so doing this little practice every day helps to train your mind to focus on the positive.

You are enough. You have enough. You do enough.

I always finish this ritual with a new perspective on how lucky I am, and feeling like everything is going to be ok. And like maybe I shouldn’t have been internally huffing and puffing about the extra long line at the grocery store because, really, I am grateful that I could afford to buy an entire grocery cart of food, and stand in line on my two very healthy legs. Not everyone is so fortunate.

So, tell me in the comments, what are some very specific things you are extra grateful for today? And what are some ways you could add more gratitude into your daily life? The time you spend thinking about it will take your anxiety down a few notches, I promise.

Hugs and all the shiny rocks,
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That Time I Got Busted at the Gym

October 09, 2016

Lately I’ve been craving some pretty intense workouts. I go through phases where my daily movement consists of just yoga and walks, and I do really love my yoga and walks, but I woke up one day craving some serious booty-kicking movement.

I am a champion at listening to my body, so I added some pretty intense gym classes into my daily schedule about a month ago.

I have to be very careful in my life to avoid migraines, and I typically know my triggers. (If you have migraines, bless you. I feel your pain. If you’ve never had one, please take a second to thank your lucky stars.)

Anyway, the super hard core classes were consistently leaving me with post-class migraine symptoms, but I had been able to catch them in time and avoid one.

But eventually I got a full-blown migraine and had to take multiple doses of my meds and basically lost an entire day to screaming/sobbing in bed. It wasn’t pretty.

The next day, after my workout I was feeling symptoms again, so I talked to my coach after class. I wear a heart rate monitor in class so she took a look at my stats and said,

“Breanne! Geez! No wonder you feel like you’re going to die! You’re pushing yourself way, way too hard. I never tell people this, but you need to start half-assing your workouts. Go easier on yourself. Slow down and enjoy yourself and have fun. If you don’t you’ll either quit or get hurt or both.”

Ugh. Busted.

Remember that one time at the beginning of this post when I said I was a “champion of listening to my own body?” Cue all the eyeroll.

I literally teach women how to listen to their bodies to overcome emotional eating, for a living. It is my JOB.

And still, when my body is telling me to slow down in class but my coach is telling everyone to speed up (!) and go harder (!), the little people pleaser in me chooses to listen to the coach over my own body, putting my own health at risk.

The eager little girl in me wants a gold star and an A+ and lots of praise.

But guess what? Like all normal gyms, this one doesn’t actually hand out grades or gold stars at the end of class. At all. Which means it’s all in my head.

It’s me pushing myself way beyond where I need to be to get the best results and to, you know, actually enjoy myself as I move my body.

Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns? It says there’s a point at which the level of benefits gained is less than the amount of energy invested.

Meaning, at some point you’re giving way more than you’re getting back, and that’s just wasted energy.

Message received, coach. I decided to chill the eff out and try to actually enjoy myself.

I eased up and slowed down in the next few classes. I had to actively ignore that little voice in my head telling me that I was lazy and not doing enough and that everyone else was judging my glacial pace.

But guess what?

That little voice can shove it because I had way more fun and no more migraine symptoms!

My body feels amazing and pleasantly tired instead of like she’s just been hit by a truck. #winning

Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment below and tell me, where in your life are you pushing yourself way too hard, past the point of getting out what you’re putting in? Where can you slow down and enjoy yourself and smell the roses a bit more?

I don’t know about you, but I need a giant glass of water and some scrambled eggs, stat.

Hugs and protein,
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What even is emotional eating, really?

May 12, 2016

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I was working with a woman a few days ago who confessed to me, “I suppose I’m an emotional eater but I honestly don’t even really know what it is. I mean is it just like eating ice cream when you’re sad?”

Great question!

Emotional eating is any eating that happens when you’re not physically hungry.

A lot of us don’t even remember what it feels like to actually be physically hungry, but it’s that gnarly, rumbling feeling in your stomach that happens when your body is trying to communicate with you that she is in need of some serious fuel.

If you’re feeling “hungry” because you’re bored or sad or anxious or depressed or for reasons you can’t really put a finger on, but your stomach is NOT rumbling, then you aren’t actually physically hungry. You are emotionally eating.

If this feels kind of new, what I’d like for you to do is to try and just start noticing when you eat emotionally versus when you’re physically hungry. This is NOT an exercise in being mean to yourself or feeling ashamed. This is just about noticing, without judgement, when you tend to eat because you’re physically hungry versus emotionally. (And hint, hint… Pretty much all human beings eat emotionally from time to time.)

It’s hard to get to the bottom of our emotional eating if we don’t even realize when we’re doing it.

So, in the comments, tell me what you’ve noticed. Do you pretty much always eat emotionally? What does it feel like in your body when you are physically hungry? Do you ever go so many hours without eating that it feels like your stomach is going to eat itself? Can you tell when you’re emotionally eating versus physically hungry?

And, as always, if you have any questions, ask away!

It Shouldn’t be So Hard

August 17, 2015

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Today a client of mine said, “Please tell me how I am supposed to find time to exercise. I don’t even have time to breathe.

I asked her what a typical day looks like, and it went something like this:

  • hit snooze a million times and wake up exhausted
  • wake the kids up and act happy even though I am exhausted. They whine and say they want to stay in bed and I try to act positive but I just want to scream, “ME TOO!”
  • Coffee, coffee, and more coffee
  • rush through breakfast and feel annoyed once again that nothing in my closet fits
  • get to work 10 minutes late. Ok, fine, 20 minutes late.
  • Open my inbox and see a flood of emails before it’s even 9am. Craving sugar. No, cheese. Actually, both.
  • Can’t respond to the emails because I am in meetings all day. One was 2 hours long and I swear it could have just been an e-mail
  • Go, go, go through the day. No time for lunch so I grab some stale pretzels out of the snack cabinet in the kitchen at work. They are gross, but I think of how many calories I’m saving and halfway pat myself on the back for at least this one thing
  • Get a text from kid number 1. I forgot it was dress up day and she’s feeling left out and I am the worst mother ever
  • Get home, starving but have no idea what to do for dinner. Throw a frozen pizza in the oven.
  • Help kids with homework and put them to bed. They go right to bed when I tell them like little angels. Just kidding. Getting them into bed is a war every. single. night.
  • Collapse on the couch and watch brainless TV with the hubs to cope with my exhaustion. Eat all the kids’ leftovers plus like a gallon of ice cream. It was delicious and worth it and I haven’t eaten all day and it makes me happy stop judging me.
  • Wish I could go to bed at a decent hour but I’m totally wired, plus, I don’t WANT to go to bed even though I’m exhausted. I haven’t had a single second to myself all day and don’t I deserve that?
  • Watch more brainless TV until way too late and then finally fall asleep

Sound familiar?

Is it a surprise that she finds it difficult to have a healthy relationship with food and movement? The way her life is structured now, it is impossible for her to take care of herself. If I lived out that day, I’d probably eat a gallon of ice cream, too. I wouldn’t eat stale pretzels because I myself am a sweets fanatic, but I would probably find some stale chocolate in that same snack cabinet if I were in her position.

This is a great example of how emotional eating is not about the food.

Our bodies crave certain things that are common to all humans. Among other things, we crave safety, love, fun, pleasure, adventure, passion, and a lack of chronic stress. We not only crave these things; we must have them.

One time, years ago, a friend of mine was pregnant and taking a prenatal vitamin. I said, “I guess it’s really important to make sure the baby gets enough nutrients. I would be so worried about not having enough of something and damaging my baby!” She said, “Oh no. These are for me. Because that baby will take whatever he needs to grow. If he needs calcium, he will take it from my bones. The baby always takes what he needs to survive. Ideally, I keep us both fed well enough that he doesn’t need to!”

As I’ve studied emotional eating, that story has always stuck with me. Like a baby in the womb craves nutrients and does whatever he needs to do to get them, our own bodies crave pleasure. They crave fun. They crave calm. They crave adventure. They crave rest. They crave passion. And our bodies will do whatever is necessary to get those things at at least a baseline level.

If your body is craving calm and you’re feeding her nothing but anxiety, she is going to do whatever she needs to do to feel calm, even if it’s harmful to you. Oreos feel calm. Ice cream feels calm. Potato chips feel calm. A wheel of cheese feels calm. Three giant bowls of pasta feel calm. Just think about the warm feeling of fullness that washes over you after a binge.

Just think about the warm feeling of fullness that washes over you after a binge.

So what’s the answer? The answer is to first identify the feelings that your body craves, which can be a lot harder than it sounds. Then, once you identify the feelings, look for ways that you can give your body those feelings that she craves by changing your life to make them a priority.

Once that happens, your cravings “magically” disappear. Without diets. Without punishment. Without the huge struggle that you’ve been led to believe is necessary.

Your cravings “magically” disappear.

After listening to and empathizing with my client’s struggles, I led her through a meditation to identify what feelings her body was begging her for in the form of cravings. We had a major breakthrough, and I then worked with her to set up an action plan to start making some serious changes.

Life shouldn’t feel like a constant climb.

So tell me in the comments, what’s your “naughtiest” go to binge food? And how do you feel after you eat it?