You Are Worth the Commitment to You, Not a Diet Plan

Yesterday I did a quick at-home workout and the instructor opened with…

 “What would happen if you committed to something for 30 days? 30 days of eating “right”? 30 days of workout?”

At the end of the workout I was standing there dripping is sweat, still thinking to myself what the instructor said at the beginning and thought to myself, why couldn’t she say…

“What if you committed to yourself to only do things that made you feel amazing, confident and your best because you’re worth at least that much?”

I think was irked me so much was the fact that she automatically tied happiness to working out and dieting for a set amount of time that made me side eye my computer real hard.

In today’s diet culture everything is based on some fictional end date. You are sold the idea that in X days if you follow X meal and workout plan you will finally be happy and become the person you have always dreamt of being and never go back.

We believe so deeply that if we follow the plan and make it to that date all our problems will be solved and we can finally enjoy life again.

But guess what? That isn’t true. You know it. I know it. It’s not true at all.

When it comes to your health and wellbeing there is no quick fix and there is no end date.

 I repeat, no end date!

 You have to commit to yourself every day that you are worth feeling amazing, confident and our best.

 You need to learn how to fit pizza, salads, ice cream and veggies into your everyday so you don’t feel deprived but feel satisfied.

 You need to learn how to listen to your body and nourish it in a respectful way.

 You need to learn how to enjoy movement in your body and not look at working out as punishment for the things you eat.

 You need to learn how to look at food as neutral and not as something you can’t have.

When I went on my first diet 13 years ago it worked, and I lost 60 pounds. All I ate were prepackaged meals, portioned out in perfect little sizes and guess what? I never learned how to cook, I never learned how to identify foods that made me feel great and I never learned how to properly eat and only felt safe eating those prepackaged and proportioned meals. When I finally stopped eating the meals, I gained some of the weight back and was right back to square one.

 And so began the years of yo-yo dieting until I decided no more.

 There had to be a better way to live and there was and there is for you!

It’s time to claim freedom in food, exercise and all the things that drive you to restrict, starve and panic when Monday rolls around making you think you need to start another diet.

It’s time to commit to yourself to finally break up with diets and feel amazing and confident in who you are because you are worth at least that.

So I ask you now…

Are you ready to commit to yourself and only do things that make you feel amazing, confident and your best because you know you’re worth at least that?

xoxo,

Kristen

Why a Healthy Meal Plan from a Coach is Just Another Disguised Diet!

The other day I was journaling and sometimes I just write the words that comes to my head. They may not make sense in the moment but I try to let whatever needs to flow out flow out onto the paper.

The two words that came out were – meal plans.

As I studied these two words on the piece of paper I thought to myself how much history I have with these two words, how I have come to not trust these two words and what they mean in today’s diet culture.

Let’s start here.

When we desire to lose weight, be healthier or be happy with our bodies we…

  • Search out the next hot diet or meal plan

  • We watch social media story after social media story of those who tout it cause if it works for them it should work for us, right?

  • We desperately believe in the meal plan and that this is finally the answer we have been seeking to finally lose the weight

  • We sign up for the meal plan with all the excitement and motivation that this is it. We are going to be thin

  • We drastically commit to the meal plan for the first week and believe we have to be 100% perfect for it to work

  • Second week we start to revert back to old habits because it’s hard being perfect

  • Week three we yearn for the foods we are clearly instructed not to eat so we start eating them again because we made a little progress and it won’t hurt us

  • And by week four the diet or meal plan has fizzled out completely, we are back to our old habits and we are left feeling frustrated and thinking we are failures

  • Cycle back to week one, start the search all over for the next hot new diet or meal plan that promises to be the one that will work, this time

 
What.A.Cycle! Meal plans are exhausting.
 
When I first started health coaching I believed I needed to provide client with a carefully crafted and curated weekly meal plan. The first time I did this I automatically felt yucky and knew this was not the style of coaching I wanted to offer my clients at all.
 
I realized what works for one doesn’t work for another.
 
I realized life is not a plan and life sure doesn’t care about your plan.
 
I realized my mission to help clients was so much more than a meal plan.
 
I’m on a mission to my help clients quit diets once and for all.
 
I’m on a mission to help my client feel normal around food and not automatically start counting calories or labeling food good or bad.
 
I’m on a mission to help my clients feel beautiful and confident in their bodies – not the bodies we are told to conform to.
 
I’m on a mission to help my clients reclaim their worth and know they too are amazing.
 
Our food conversation is around what makes them feel good, what fits within their lifestyle and is sustainable, understanding and developing awareness of what is in their food (hello, ingredients!) , sharing real food recipes that are a good fit for them, and so much more!

It's Time We Tune Into Our Bodies and Listen

Fact - many of us are disconnected from our bodies. We have a hard time understanding when our bodies are speaking to us, what our bodies are trying to tell us and what these cues actually mean. We place all the emphasis on external factors such as food, weight loss and our physical exercise routine to signal good health, but in reality, true health is the balance of mind, body and home (spiritual home or physical home).

As much as we need to evaluate our relationship with food and exercise, we also need to evaluate our actual relationships, home life, work life, social life, stress levels, sleeping patterns, and everything else happening in our daily lives to holistically understand our overall health and wellbeing. Everything is connected and impacts each other, so to achieve total health and wellbeing, it is not through diet and exercise alone!

Life is busy and hard, so it can be really easy to checkout without even realizing it, leaving us out of touch with our bodies, emotions, relationships, you name it. When we check out is when we make the choices that don’t make us feel great, we ignore internal cues, and we de-prioritize ourselves to the back burner.

But starting today, no more! Decide to check back in, prioritize yourself and prioritize your health and wellbeing.

So, you may be asking what does it actually mean to listen to your body? Well, this is what I know. It is the time we take to slow down, tune in, listen and evaluate how we feel mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Life does happen and we all go through different seasons of balance and imbalance, but it is really important for us to take the time to check in with ourselves internally and understand where those balances and imbalances are occurring.

For example, food and emotions are often deeply connected. There are so many rituals our culture has around food from holidays, to date night, to a night out with friends. It is easy to develop or inherit unhealthy attachments with food and to look at food as a reward, a punishment or an emotional escape. We place so much external power and trust into food and assign it so much emphasis which can cause an imbalance in other areas of our life. When we are able to shift our mindset, trust our internal body cues (are you really hungry or just bored? are you full or trying to fill a void? is food happiness to you?) and redefine our relationship with food is when real habit change and balance can occur.

It takes time, practice and trust in yourself to start to rebuild your relationship with your internal self and body in order to listen and understand what is going on. But when you do check-in and understand what is going on with food, relationships or any other area of life, this is your opportunity to make a choice and seek out positive ways to stay healthy and feel your best. You can make plans with a friend, go for a walk, listen to your favorite playlist, or maybe read. The idea is to do something positive that can help you feel good and move forward towards balance and your desired wellbeing.

Give yourself the permission to slow down and go at your personal pace. You do not need to be perfect; you just need to start looking inward and hear what your body is trying to tell you.

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Learning to Understand Our Hunger Cues

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Are You Hungry?

Is there a certain time of day when you are always jonesing for a snack? Maybe that special hour hits and all you want is a sweet or savory treat? Do you grab for a snack, even a healthy one, but have no idea if you are hungry or not, but feel the urge to eat because the snack is just there? Or maybe you are so used to eating at certain times of days because you always have but don’t even stop to ask yourself if you really are hungry?

Most of the time when we eat, especially snacks, it is because of a rigid schedule we are following or it is based on a feeling we want change. We have groomed ourselves to use food to fill voids, especially boredom. We have been groomed by culture to think we need to eat X amount of times at X times throughout the day. We have learned not to listen to our bodies and our internal cues because we follow our external signals and schedules, so in turn we don’t actually understand our hunger and fullness cues.

Usually when we want something sweet or salty at that magical hour every day, it is more of a cue that we are emotionally dealing with something in that moment (stress, tiredness, boredom, etc) and we are not actually hungry. Think about what you are grabbing for? Is it cookie or is it veggies? If the veggies sound good, great, you probably are hungry. If the veggies sound terrible and all you want is the cookies, there might be something else going on. Or maybe, you just want the cookies (or the ice cream like me above) and that's okay too. But what I know is true when you are truly hungry you want to eat and even the good things like veggies sound good. When you are emotionally eating, all the other things like chips, cookies, wine, etc. are what you want, not the veggies.

The important thing is to stop and ask yourself what is driving your hunger. Is it true hunger or is something else? The more you stop to ask yourself this question, the more you will learn how to decipher between your hunger cues. If you are one who is used to yo-yo dieting, depriving yourself, keeping to a strict schedule and only following external cues, understanding your internal hunger and fullness cues can be hard at first. However, the more you stop and ask yourself the questions, the more you will learn and understand your internal hunger cues.