Are you an emotional eater? An overeater? An emotional overeater? A bored eater? A stress eater? Someone who isn’t any of those things but just LOVES food a little too much?
What’s the difference? And which are you? 🤔
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. They’re all the same thing.
Let me explain…
Let’s start with physical hunger. Physical hunger is when your body is physically hungry. It feels like a grumbling belly. It feels weak and low-energy. It feels like your stomach is going to eat itself if it doesn’t get food in it soon.Physical hunger is a signal that your body is requiring more food to keep you alive and function properly.
Any other feeling of “hunger” that is not physical hunger coming from an empty belly is emotional hunger.
Emotional hunger is that feeling when…
→ You’re full but still craving more food.
→ You’re mindlessly snacking without even paying attention to how full you are because you don’t want to stop.
→ You want a 3rd or 4th helping even when you know you’ve eaten enough to be physically satisfied.
→ Your stomach is full but your mouth is craving more food.
“I KNOW I should be eating healthy and exercising, but I just can’t follow through!”
When you’re not following through on something that, deep down, you REALLY want for yourself, it’s because it’s either too hard, too painful, or too scary. It’s that simple.
When things are easy, joyful, and safe, you follow through.
Think about it…
Binge watching New Girl on Netflix is easy, joyful, and safe. You follow through.
Scrolling through Instagram for funny cat videos is easy, joyful, and safe. You follow through.
Brushing your teeth every morning isn’t necessarily joyful, but it’s easy and safe. You follow through.
Knitting a blanket for a friend’s new baby isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s joyful and safe. You follow through.
So, the key to following through on eating well and exercising are to make them easy, joyful, and safe.
Here’s how to do it…
1. MAKE IT EASY
Think about the effort you’ve put into making Netflix easy. (Or Hulu. Or Starz.) You’ve gotta pay for it. You’ve got to do that weird thing when you set it up where you turn on your tv and hit a button on the remote a million times to type in your password. Or, you have to do that weird “activate” thing online. You’ve gotta go on social media to ask what show to watch next.
Netflix could be hard. But you made it easy.
You put in a lot of initial work so that now, you can come home from work, plop on the couch with your favorite snack, and be bingeing on a show you know you’ll like in less than a minute. It’s easy, BUT YOU MADE IT THAT WAY.
So, put that same initial effort into making eating well and exercising (which I prefer to call “movement” because doesn’t that just feel better?) easy.
Ways to create ease…
Put food and movement in your calendar, with reminders, so they actually happen. 📆
Put your sneakers and athletic wear by your bed or in your work bag.👟
Stop thinking you need to cook a gourmet meal if you don’t like cooking. You don’t need to cook Barbecue Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps for dinner. I got tired just typing that. Keep it simple. 🥑
Search Pinterest for meals you can make in 15 minutes in only one pan. 🍳
Movement doesn’t have to mean you go to the gym and do 30 minutes on the treadmill and then 30 minutes of weights. Movement can be as simple as going on a 15-minute walk with your partner to talk about your days.🚶♀️
2. MAKE IT JOYFUL
We avoid pretty much anything that is not joyful. So if eating well and doing daily movement is not joyful for you, you’re not going to do it.
Yes, there are people who love to “go hard” at the gym and then post about how they “hate it but love the results.” Good for them. But I personally am not gonna doing things I hate, no matter what the results are.
So you have to make it joyful.
Most days, part of my morning ritual is movement. Usually this looks like 5 minutes of joyful, easy yoga by myself on my living room rug.
I don’t get out my yoga mat, because it’s easier not to. (Remember… make it easy!)
I turn on my favorite playlist (Yoga Feels on Spotify), set a timer on my phone, and then move in ways that feel good until my body feels awake and limber.
There are no poses I “have” to do. There are no rules other than it has to feel joyful.
The purpose of this isn’t because I’m “supposed to”. The purpose is to feel joy in my body.
Some weeks I feel all fired up and decide to add in an afternoon dance class or a gym class or a bike ride… because I know they will feel joyful. The next week, I might go back to just my 5 minutes of morning yoga. It’s whatever feels most JOYFUL.
With food, it’s the same thing. What will make it feel joyful?
Ways to create joy…
Make cooking dinner a fun evening ritual. Light a candle. Put on some Beyonce. Have a glass of wine. Dance around. 💃🏽
Have your morning breakfast and beverage out on your patio or balcony. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of the morning. Feel the sun and breeze on your skin. ☕️
Practice gratitude and take a few deep breaths before you eat. 🧘♀️
Stay AWAY from work, stress, or screens while you eat. 🚫
Eat with your family or a friend and calmly talk about your days. 👭
Call a friend and chat on speaker phone (no staring at the screen!) while you’re both having dinner. 📞
Take a walk with your partner or a friend as the sun sets and enjoy conversation. ☀️
Jams. Always some sweet jams.🎵
Think about how good you feel in your body as you’re joyfully moving. 😃
3. MAKE IT SAFE
I don’t mean like “don’t climb a really high rock wall” kind of safe. I mean emotionally safe.
You will eat well and do movement if the reason is because it feels good in your body.
If it’s expected of you, either by your partner or the media or that mean girl voice in your head, you will not do it. You will rebel against it.
I mean you may do it once or twice, but you’ll quit. And that’s your most inner wise selfkeeping you safe from a life of trying to change to please other people.
So, to follow through, it’s got to be something that is YOUR choice to do because it FEELS GOOD. And because you love your amazing body and she deserves to feel strong, capable, excited, and gently stretched.
Ways to make it safe…
When doing movement, replace repetitive should thoughts like, “I’m exercising like I’m SUPPOSED to. I’m being SO GOOD! I’m going to do it HARD and LONG to burn off all those calories I ate because I have NO WILLPOWER”
“I love how it feels for my heart to pump faster. I love how strong my legs feel right now. I love how agile and graceful this dance move make me feel right now.”
Remind yourself that any movement that feels good is enough. A 2-minute walk to the end of the street and back with your dog is enough. Dancing for 3 minutes to your favorite song is enough. Can you do more than that if you want to? Sure. But I’d rather you move joyfully for 5 minutes each day than sit on the couch and think about all the “real” workouts you “should” be doing. 💯
If you grew up being told you needed to exercise to lose weight, then specifically move in ways that those people wouldn’t approve of and do it while (literally, seriously) giving the middle finger to anyone who ever told you that.🖕
If you haven’t done much movement at all recently, ease into it. Trying to hop up after a year of no movement and immediately spend an hour in a zumba class will make you never want to get off the couch ever again. 🚫
Stop counting calories, macros, points, and all of that other exhausting bizness. Eat in a way that feels nourishing and good in your body. Period.
Eat any food you want that feels good in your body. Don’t restrict a food because someone a long time ago told you it was “bad”.🙄
Notice the difference between physical hunger (belly grumbling) and emotional hunger (physically full but for some reason still hungry). Feed your physical hunger with food. Feed your emotional hunger with things other than just food. Things like connection, relaxation, sleep, and fun. 😴
That’s it, loves. Make food and movement feel easy, joyful, and safe… and you’ll follow through. Focus on THOSE, instead of willpower and force and shoulds. 🙅♀️
Let me know in the comments one way that you’re going to make food and movement more easy, joyful, or safe so I can cheer you on!
I’m writing to you from beautiful Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. This trip has been a dream of mine for 15 years, and I am loving every second of it!
On the plane ride here, I sat next to a really nice Irish guy who was afraid of flying. He was especially anxious during take-off and landing, so I tried to chat him up to keep his mind off of the fear.
I, on the other hand, am cool as a cucumber when I fly. Once I’m on the plane, I’m totally fine, but the weeks before a trip I am a ball of anxiety.
There’s something about getting ready for a trip that is just stressful for me. I have to plan my itinerary, book all of my transportation and places to stay, pack my suitcase, and make sure everything in my business and life is going to be taken care of while I’m gone.
And I can’t even imagine what it would be like also having to factor in a partner and kids. It’s just me and I still feel like I’m gonna have a meltdown getting ready for travel.
Like many of you who have taken my quiz, I am a stress and anxiety eater. So, if I don’t manage my stress, my natural tendency is to cope by eating everything in sight.
Enter, my killer anti-anxiety practice that puts me back into a zen state no matter how anxious I am. I do it every single day, but I upped it to 3 times per day in the weeks before my trip. It absolutely saved me.
I highly recommend you try it, and to make it fun and SUPER easy, my team made a super cool infographic that I am just drooling over. I saw it and lost. my. mind. If you’re like me and like visuals when you’re learning something new, you’re going to love it.
I mean look at this!
Want one of your very own? Just click the image to download your copy! As soon as I get home I’m printing one and putting it up in my office. I just love it that much.
In news of other free stuff for you, I was interviewed by sisters Donna and Gwendolyn for their Eat With Intention series. We talked about my own struggles with food, and why eating with intention is so important for feeling like, with food, you’re the one controlling the show. You can see it right here.
And last, I’ve had quite a few of you emailing me asking when I’m doing free calls again. I’m taking a break while in Australia, but I did go in and open up a few slots for when I’m home. So, if you’ve been thinking of hopping on a call with me, grab your spot while they’re open and let’s do it!
On our call, I’ll ask you some questions about your history with food, and learn more about your unique food story. Then, I’ll help you get down to the root cause of why you feel the pull to overeat, emotionally eat, or binge eat.
And you’ll leave with the perfect next step to get you on the right track. It’s easy, incredibly helpful, and free.😄
Hugs and high-fives to holding koalas,
P.S. I really did hold a koala and it was the best day of my life. It did get a little fresh with me. 😂
Raise your hand if you’ve ever lied to the lady taking your take-out order over the phone. “Hahaha yes I know it’s a big order it’s for me and a bunch of my friends!”
Yeah. Me too. And I’d lie to the delivery guy, too.
I used to eat a whole pizza and then feel a terrible sense of shame. Or a whole cake. Or 3 meals from the drive-through. Or enough take-out for a large family… just for me. (The shame when they bring you enough chopsticks for a family of 10 is real, amiright?)
I’d eat it all because I couldn’t stop myself. Then, I would roll around in my sense of shame like a pig rolls around in mud. I would COVER myself, head to toe, in guilt and shame.
Why do I do this? I’m so fat and lazy.
Why don’t I have any willpower? I am so gross and broken.
Why does the food have so much control over me? I’m so disgusting and weak.
And those were the nicest things I’d say to myself.
I would berate myself, then feel terrible about myself, and then do what every overeater does to feel better…
I’d eat again.
I was stuck in a vicious cycle and couldn’t get out.
I’m writing you today in a hormone injection-induced tizzy. I have been giving myself 3 shots per day this month as part of the egg-freezing process I chose to pursue, and I am hyper-emotional.
I saw an old man sitting in a rocking chair and I cried. I saw a little girl learning to ride a bike and I cried. I saw a roach with especially beautiful pearlescent wings and I cried. The UPS lady smiled at me with her eyes (she smized!) when she handed me my Amazon package of lip balm yesterday I literally sobbed.
Also, it hurts my boobs just to put a bra on in the morning.
Egg-freezing is weird. It’s sort of like a very expensive but not-so-reliable insurance policy in case you want to have kids later in life.
Basically, they pump you full of hormones (well, you have to actually do the daily 2-3 injections yourself) and get your ovaries to produce way more eggs than they naturally would in a normal month.
Then they monitor the growth of the eggs in your ovaries via bloodwork and ultrasounds every day or sometimes every other day. The timing of everything is incredibly PRECISE and IMPORTANT.
For example, when my “shot alarm” [shot emoji] went off at happy hour last week, I gave myself injections in the public restroom of a bar after diluting my medications on a changing table.
Anyway, once the eggs are big enough, they put you to sleep, suck out the eggs, and put them on ice until you want babies.
The whole process takes 1-2 months.
It’s a huge commitment in terms of time, money, and physical and emotional energy. And I feel very privileged to have a body that seems to be cooperating so far (fingers crossed!), and the ability to save up enough money to go for it.
One would think I’m doing this because I’ve got babies on the brain. But, in reality, I don’t even know whether I want to have children. (Again, recognizing the privilege I have in even having the option.)
But when I ask myself whether I want to be a mom one day, the answer is, “I don’t know, but I really don’t want to make that decision right now.”
So, egg freezing it is. (Along with all the hormonal craziness that comes with it.)
As an integrative nutrition nerd, it’s been so cool to watch my body’s cravings change with my hormones.
I can tell when I’m craving certain foods because of specific nutrients my body needs, and I can tell when I’m craving foods for emotional medicine.
And being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want it, without feeling fearful, guilty, or out-of-control has never felt better than it does right now, when I’m a hormonal mess.
When I’m craving milk, or a banana, or dark chocolate, or 3 giant glasses of orange juice, I know exactly why. I know exactly what nutrients I’m needing a mega dose of.
Calcium! Potassium! Magnesium! Folic acid!
And when I am aimlessly searching around the kitchen for food when I know I’m not actually hungry; alternating between opening and closing the pantry and fridge 45 times hoping that the next time I open the door a cake will appear, I’m able to quickly identify exactly what I’m looking for emotionally.
Comfort. Security. Connection. Rest.
I remember when I used to do the mindless, frantic, little dance between the fridge and pantry and I would feel so confused. Like, “WHY am I doing this???”
Now I know why. It’s for emotional medicine. That’s all. So I feed myself the emotional medicine I need in ways that feel so much better than just food.
I call a friend and vent. I meditate to remind myself that I am safe. I cry in a bubble bath. I go for a walk in nature. I take a nap even if it’s irresponsible. And the previously out-of-control food cravings just magically disappear.
If you’re ever feeling “hungry” when you know that you’re not actually physically hungry, but rather because you’re hormonal or sad or bored or stressed, ask yourself…
“What emotional medicine do I need right now?”
Learning the root cause of your overeating and emotional eating changes EVERYTHING. It’s how I went from feeling like food had an indescribable power over me, to my relationship with food just feeling… easy.
I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me, what sort of emotional medicine do you need that you tend to seek in food?
Hugs and High-Fives to Modern Medicine,
P.S. Got questions about the fridge dance, overeating, or egg-freezing? Post them in the Devour Life Facebook Group with and I’ll answer them all in next week’s Live Q&A!
Today in the Devour Life group I asked this question.
What boulders are you carrying around in your backpack that are not yours? 🤔
I realized a while back that taking on the pain of others as my own pain felt like what I *should* do. It felt like the *right* thing to do.
But… it drained my energy pretty much instantly.
And when we’re low on energy… food is easy to turn to.
We can care for others without taking on their pain as our own. We can be compassionate and caring without leaving our own selves completely empty.
(Because if we’re empty, then we’re of no service to anyone anyway!)
So think about it…
What boulders are you carrying around in your backpack that are not yours? 🎒
Dropping them takes the weight of everyone else’s problems and feelings off of your shoulders, immediately. And it’s the only kind of quick weight loss that is actually good for you.
Hugs and high-fives to dropping what’s not yours to carry,
P.S. This is one of the tricks of Devouring Life (Instead of Just Food) that I teach in The Devour Life Academy. Instead of using willpower to stop emotional eating and overeating, I teach you how to just not want to anymore. Sounds too good to be true, I know. But it’s just as amazing as it sounds. Intrigued? I’d love to tell you more, and your first call is free. 😃
Several of you loons also submitted questions about my hair (😂), so I touched on it in the video.
I joke about it because I’m the furthest possible thing from a hair expert, but, I get it — sometimes it’s just fun to see what other people do in their routines.
So, if you are legit interested in all things hair, comment on the Q&A video and let me know and I’ll do another one answering all the questions you guys asked (How do I style it? Do I have extensions? How often do I wash it? What products do I use?)
Spoiler Alert: It’s not that exciting. But hey… I aim to please. 💁♀️
Anyway, I loved the live Q&A so much that I decided to do it again next week!
So, comment below and ask me a question about food, exercise, overeating, diets, BMI, weight, intuitive eating, follow-through, self-sabotage, or anything else you can think of.
P.P.S. I was invited last week to be a guest expert speaker on overeating, motivation, follow-through, and other juiciness for my friend Tia Christianson’s Energy Empowerment Masterclass. I had so much fun doing the interview and I got so fired up. If you want in on the masterclass, you can sign up to watch all of the interviews, including mine, right here.
I remember one time in college I was sitting by the pool with two girlfriends.
Friend 1 had just learned she was pre-diabetic and was completely freaking out at the idea of having to change the way she ate, for real this time. She had zero trust in her ability to follow through on changes to her diet, even if her health was at stake.
Friend 2 was what I call an “effortless eater” who had never struggled with food at all. Food was not a big deal to her. It was just… food.
Friend 2 took a deep, lazy breath in her lounge chair, sighed, and slowly said, “Well if you don’t want to be healthy, why don’t you just eat less?”
Friend 1 turned beet red, stared at Friend 2 and screamed, “I can’t stick to a diet! IT’S NOT THAT EASY!!!” 😡
Friend 2 then said, “I just don’t get it. Don’t diet. Just eat normal meals and you’ll be fine.” 🤷♀️
I remember trying to keep the peace, but feeling like Friend 2 had been born with some magical gene that Friend 1 and I were completely missing.
Some days she’d eat half a sandwich and then proclaim that she was full and just leave the rest on her plate. Other days she’d eat an entire burger, shake and large fries without feeling an ounce of guilt. If she was handed a piece of cake, she would eat at most, 3 bites.
I wanted to know how she did it. I wanted to know her secrets.
I asked her, “HOW do you not eat the entire piece of cake? Do you not like it?”
She said, “I don’t know. I just really liked the first couple of bites and then the third one just didn’t taste as good so I knew I was done.”
I said, “But sometimes you eat entire burgers. So like what are your rules about portions? What are your RULES about how much you can eat and when?”
She replied, “Huh? I don’t have any rules. I just am really hungry sometimes and then other times I’m not. So like I just eat according to how hungry I am I guess? Doesn’t everyone do that?”
No, sweet Friend 2. No. Everyone does not.
What was even more annoying was that she also seemed to enjoy food more than we did. Like she took real pleasure in eating, and also never obsessed or felt guilty.
All I wanted in the world was to be like she was with food.
Meanwhile, 90% of my brain power was taken up with obsessive food thoughts.
Ooooh it’s time for breakfast! I wonder what I’ll have for lunch. How long until lunch? Should I be good at lunch or bad? How much time will I have to spend in the gym tomorrow if I eat this cookie? Oops there went the whole box. I need to hide the evidence. No big deal I just won’t eat tomorrow. And since I’m not eating tomorrow I can probably have a bit more to eat tonight. How did I eat a whole pizza AGAIN???
I wondered… If I could stop obsessing about food, what would I do with all that freed up brain space? What would I do with all that extra time and energy? What could I achieve?
I made it my mission to become an effortless eater like my friend, no matter what it took. Life felt way too short to spend so much time stressing about food.
And I did it.
I thought she had some secret magical gene that I just was not born with. But it turned out all I needed was a shift in my mindset and a few new totally-learnable skills.
Was it easy? No.
But with a lot of dedication and wise teachers to guide me, I figured it out. And I’ve never looked back.
I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full and it’s just… easy.
I often only want to eat a few bites of a piece of cake because I just don’t want any more.
I take so much more pleasure in food and never feel controlled by it.
I have the desire to emotionally eat about once every few months. So I do. And it’s no big deal.
Food is now completely effortless for me. And it feels even better than I thought it would.
It changed my life so much that I have made it my life’s mission to help other women feel as free as I do now.
If you’re looking for some support, I’ve just opened the doors to my Devour Life Academy. I only take a small number of women so that you get all the one-on-one attention from me that you need for success.
In 90 days, you can go from feeling completely out of control around food, to feeling the desire to overeat and emotionally eat just… disappear.
Feeling a pull to find out more? Hop on a call with me and I’ll tell you all about it.
Even if the academy isn’t a fit for you, you’ll still leave the call with a clear, actionable plan to get you on the path to effortless eating.
Hugs and high-fives to trusting what’s possible,
P.S. Don’t worry – Friend 1 joined me on my effortless eating journey and is healthy as a horse! 👭
P.P.S. I was invited this week to be a guest expert speaker on overeating, motivation, follow-through, and other juiciness for my friend Tia Christianson’s Energy Empowerment Masterclass. I had so much fun doing the interview and I got so fired up. If you want in on the masterclass, you can sign up to watch all of the interviews, including mine, right here.
If you follow my stories on social media, you know that January tried to kill me.
First, I went to the doctor for a routine thing and she said, “Ummm… you have a temperature and strep throat.”
THEN, after I finished my antibiotics, the strep came back and turned into scarlet fever, which I legit thought was a disease from victorian times that no longer afflicted humanity.
My tonsils and hangy-ball were one giant swollen conglomerate in my aching throat, and I was covered in a rash of red dots.
THEN, I re-injured an old stress fracture in my foot by… putting away groceries.
I stopped. Took a few VERY deep breaths. And checked in with my body.
“Whoa. What is going on? Are you ok? What do you need?”
I had already been resting quite a bit since the first bout of strep. I mean, that felt like a LOT of rest for me.
But when I listened carefully to my body, I heard her ask me to slow down more, to rest more, and to put the self-care on steroids.
(In addition to the actual steroids I was taking to get my elephant tonsils back to normal size.) 😂
That same week, I was interviewed by my friend, Robyn Landis, about the importance of self-care for her Self-Care As A Sacred Practice summit. Coincidence? Ummm… I think not.
It was a deep and soulful interview, and I loved jamming with her about all things self care, especially in how it relates to overeating and emotional eating.
If you’re feeling like you could use some self-care on steroids yourself, the Self-Care As A Sacred Practice summit is coming up February 4-14, and I feel honored to have been chosen as an expert speaker.
As for me, I’m off to heal myself by doing a whole lotta nothin’ this weekend.
Hugs and high-fives to remembering to rest,
P.S. I’m about to run a new round of The Devour Life Academy! In just 90 days, my graduates go from out-of-control overeaters to being those women you’re super jealous of who are *legit* satisfied with just a couple of bites of cake. Or chips. Or cheese. The pull just isn’t there any more.If you wonder why you self-sabotage and are sick and tired of the food controlling you instead of the other way around, hop on a call with meand I’ll explain why you do it. I promise it’s fixable.