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Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Paradox of #WeighThis

A friend of mine posted a link on my fb timeline today, asking if I had seen it and called it amazing.  Below is the link, so you know what I'm talking about:

Go ahead and watch it.  I'll wait.

If you chose not to watch it, SPOILER ALERT...

It shows women coming near a scale and an unseen narrator telling them that she wants them to approach the scale, asking them if they would like to weigh themselves.  Then, the narrator says that she is not going to weigh them and asks instead, "What is your greatest accomplishment?"  This is followed by a 50 something woman who went back to school, another person who is celebrating 24 years of marriage, another woman celebrating her divorce, and a tearful woman who is a single mom that made the dean's list.  There are a few more heartwarming stories that are designed to tug at your heartstrings.  The video then shows these same women putting their "accomplishments" on the scale.  When asked what it weighed, one woman replied, "It's just not measurable" while another one said, "I'm more proud of what I'm doing than what my weight is". The description on the youtube clip reads:  If you’re going to weigh something, weigh what matters. Share how you want to be weighed with the hashtag #WeighThis.

Aw.  It's touching, right?  Did it make you tear up?  Give you goosebumps?  Get you all emotional?

Welcome to the amazingly powerful world of advertising which, defined, is a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something, usually a business's product or service.  I have to give it up to Lean Cuisine for using the scale tactic to hit you right in the feels.  After all, they certainly do know their target market (women) and manipulated their emotional nature to elicit a response.  I can imagine women everywhere watching this and applauding, exclaiming loudly, "oh!  They get me!"

Not so fast.  I may sound like a cynical, jaded killjoy, but this has to be said.

Did you know that the dietary guidelines set forth from estimates total calorie needs for adult women to be between 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day?  Sedentary women aged 19-30 need between 1,800-2000.  SEDENTARY WOMEN.  Quite a far cry from what Lean Cuisine offers.  Their Creamy Basil Chicken with Tortellini offers 230 calories.  How about the Cheese & Tomato Snack Pizza?  This one comes in at a paltry 160 calories.  The Lasagna with Meat Sauce looks hearty in comparison weighing in at 320 calories.  So, if we were to average these three meals, we are talking about 235-240 calories per serving.  Multiply that by three and you get a grand total of 720 calories.  Hell, I'll be generous.  Multiply that by six (if we adhere to the three small meals/three daily snacks "diet" staple) and you get a whopping 1,440.  For.The.Entire.Day.

 May I remind you what Lean Cuisine does?  They sell low calorie, prepackaged diet food which is specifically marketed to women.  They are the Diet Industry.  They ARE.  They want to you get by on as little nourishment as possible so you can shrink yourself down.  They claim to be an ally for Women's Wellness, but how can that be when they are clearly representing diet culture?  They also say that they are here to make food that helps women thrive, but do you realize HOW MUCH of their food you would have to eat in order to "THRIVE" and be satisfied, particularly if you are active?  

Ladies, please don't be fooled by the touchy feely, warm and fuzzy approach used in this youtube clip.  They may be deemphasizing the scale, but they are certainly aligning themselves with every other facet of diet culture, particularly low calorie, portion controlled "meals".  How can you take their message seriously in light of who they are and what they promote?  

You don't need "lean" cuisine.  You don't need pre-portioned, pre-packaged meals that leave you hungry ten minutes later.  You need to take your power back.  You need to trust yourself.  You need to think critically about these sneaky, subliminal messages that the diet industry is feeding us. 

So, that's my opinion.  Feel free to #WeighThis.  

Friday, October 2, 2015


We've heard the above expression countless times, haven't we? And it's true: Comparison IS the thief of joy. So often, we measure ourselves against photoshopped images, fitness bloggers, people on instagram, and supermodels. We feel like failures because we haven't reached their level of "beauty and perfection."

That's been talked about quite a bit, as it should. We do compare our behind the scenes to other people's highlight reel and it's not serving us. But, there is another aspect of comparison that is equally troubling.

A few weeks ago, I was working with a client. She and I have been together off and on for two years. We had sessions to help her heal her relationship with food and body image as well as personal training time. As I took her through her workout, she told me that she was starting to become more accepting of her body and wasn't being as critical, which is GREAT. But then, she said, "I mean, I look at other women and I say to myself, 'hey, I'm not half bad'.

Seems pretty harmless. I'm sure we have ALL done this. I know that I have. And I was WRONG.

Do you see why that is problematic? If she is comparing herself to other women and coming to the conclusion that she isn't "half bad", what does that say about the other women? That they ARE bad? In other words, she is still judging other people's appearance and bodies. It may seem like I'm nitpicking here, but think about it this way: how would you feel if YOU were the criteria someone was using in order to feel BETTER about themselves???

Make sense?

So, what's the answer? What is the solution? Well, it starts with us "being the change". We need to STOP placing so much emphasis on APPEARANCE. It gets WAY too much of our attention and there are so many other things that are more deserving of it. We are visual creatures and, of course, you are going to formulate an opinion based on what you see. You may not be able to control the thoughts that come in to your head, but you can certainly control what you do with them.

What if we just stopped comparing ourselves to others for ANY REASON, period? Because, let's face it, we are all different and it makes no sense to do it at all. And maybe, just maybe, if we really took some time to be still and question whether or not we are still in judgement of our bodies, we wouldn't feel the need to compare at all.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Problem With "No Excuses"

The phrase "no excuses" gets a lot of airtime these days. Particularly in sentences like:

"That's it, I've had it. From now on, I'm going to do meal prep for the week on Sundays. No excuses!"


"I have to get my lazy ass out of bed so I can hit the gym before work. No excuses!"

Here's a question: does that strategy ever really work for anyone, forever? Like beyond the first week or two at the most?

The thing is, we are hardest on ourselves than anyone else. You know it's true. If our loved ones talked to us the way we speak to ourselves, we'd have no loved ones left. So, to add insult to injury, we add the "no excuses" caveat after beating ourselves up for not being Superwoman (or Superman for the males who are reading this). 

Here is another question:  How's that working for you??? I don't know about you, but it's never done squat for me.

Maybe you're overworked, overstressed, overcommitted and overwhelmed. Those sound like pretty valid excuses, if you ask me. You don't need a mantra of "no excuses". You need a heaping dose of TLC and you need it STAT. You need to take a deep breath and relax more into your life. You need to be kinder. 

"No excuses!" or "I'm doing the best I can with where I am right now."

Which one FEELS better???

Letting go of the compulsion to shame and guilt yourself into change is the first step to seeing those "excuses" through a much softer lens.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Consider taking some time today to FORGIVE.

Forgive yourself first and foremost.

Forgive yourself from withholding affection, approval and unconditional love for who you are. Fill your cup up and allow those feelings to wash over you. Bask and bathe in that powerful sensation of relief.

Now, take a mental inventory of the people in your life who didn't accept or love you unconditionally.

Maybe it was your mother. Your father. Your siblings. Your teachers. Your boyfriend. Your girlfriend.

Think back to the condemnation, criticism, and disapproval. And, forgive yet again, while telling yourself that people hate, judge, and make fun from a place of fear. It's THEIR fear. See them as scared, little children who are just trying to survive in society.

And send them blessings and love with your whole being.

Revel in the knowledge that you now have awareness. You know you can be in control of your life and your happiness.

You don't need their approval. You only need your own.

Release everyone from the responsibility of fulfilling you.

Set yourself free.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Did you know that your words are very powerful? How you talk about food and the ways you use to describe your eating habits can dramatically affect how you feel about it.

For example:

if you say you should "eat clean", then you will always feel "unclean" if you eat foods that aren't considered "clean". Being "unclean" doesn't feel good.

If you say you want to have a "cheat meal", then you will associate certain foods with "cheating", which implies that you are being dishonest when you eat certain things. Being "dishonest" doesn't feel good.

If you refer to food as a "reward", then the underlying implication is that you need to earn the right to HAVE IT. Feeling like you have to prove yourself or earn your food doesn't feel good either.

Do you see what I mean?

No matter what you eat, it CANNOT make you dirty or "unclean".

No matter what you eat, it CANNOT make you "dishonest" or a "cheat."

No matter what you do, or do not do, you have the RIGHT to eat food if you want to. There is nothing you need to do in order to obtain that right. You were BORN WITH IT.

Today, pay extra special attention to how you talk about food. See how your words affect how you feel about food and yourself. I think you'll be surprised by what you learn.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Breaking Free From Rules

Lots of us have gone on and off diets. We are sucked in by the flashy infomercials, the sculpted people pushing the products, and the promise that we too can FINALLY lose the weight and have the bodies that we have always wanted, because, HAPPINESS.

We try diet #1 and last for a while. Then, life happens, and we fall off. This is followed by intense amounts of guilt and shame for being so out of control. The solution? Diet #2, which is followed by #3, #4, #5...
You get the picture?

The very thing it is that we THINK we need is what causes us to rebel. We are told by the gurus that we can't be trusted. So, we buy a structure, a system, that tells us, "if you do what we say to the letter, you will lose weight." We WANT someone to tell us what to do. We desperately WANT it to work. But, it never does. The diet model comes from a "ONE SIZE FITS ALL" type of mentality.

We are not ONE SIZE FITS ALL people. We are delightfully specific and unique individuals that require a specific, unique course of action.

Enter the "NON-DIET APPROACH": No calorie counting, no macro restrictions, no measuring, and no specific meal or snack designations. Just focus on eating when hungry and stopping when full. Brilliant! Right?
Well, sort of.

We are fed up with dieting and want to break free of the rigidity of rules. So, we embrace the free form nature of eating intuitively. But, sometimes, this can fail us too. Why?


"Eat ONLY when hungry. Stop ONLY when satisfied, but not stuffed." This is good advice, don't get me wrong. Food does taste better when you are hungry and eating past fullness doesn't feel so good. But, we don't give ourselves any flexibility when trying to figure this all out. God forbid we don't get it right. We really let ourselves have it, don't we? By doing this, we have essentially traded one set of rules for another.

Take sleep for example. The Sleep Foundation Organization recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults 26-64 years of age. Well, what if you get 6.5 one night and 9.5 the next? Do you obsess about it? Do you think you are "sleeping wrong"?? Does that mean you failed??? Of course not! It just means that you probably don't feel as well rested when you get less, so your body compensates by getting a little more the next day.

Think about eating intuitively the same way. Life happens. Some days, you'll be in tune and other days, not so much. Maybe you'll be offered some birthday cake at a party when you're not hungry. Maybe you'll get caught up in work and skip lunch when you are. Be aware of how your body feels when in these situations, take the feedback it gives you and then, let it go and move on. What if you just extended yourself some compassion instead of judgement? What if you just realized that you are human and you acknowledge that you are doing the best you can with what you currently know?

Just do your best. It's enough.
Enjoy your life. You only get one.
Be in the moment. It's all we have.

Friday, August 28, 2015


If you have ever been caught up in the world of dieting, then you might have experience with taking someone else's advice over your own body's wisdom. "They" may have told you what to eat, what to avoid, when to eat and how much of it you should have. And, you probably went along with it...for a while, because it was easier than trusting yourself. It was better, for a while, to let someone else drive, because then you wouldn't have to be responsible. 

But, it didn't last forever. It couldn't. Because it wasn't sustainable. It wasn't YOU.

That is because you are a unique individual with your own unique preferences. Did you know that? You have your own internal blueprint telling you what is appropriate for you in taste, timing and quantities. Who could POSSIBLY know you better than you??? Certainly not the diet guru "expert of the week". I have been employed in the fitness industry for several years. I used to put clients on meal plans. And yeah, they did what I said...for a while. But, it got old. And, eventually, they rebelled. Can't say I blame 'em. Had I spent my time and energy empowering them to make the right choices specific to their own body chemistry, things would have turned out differently.

Are you afraid? Are you afraid to let go and trust yourself because you don't think you'll make the "right" choices? Maybe you won' the beginning. Who cares! We all have to start somewhere. Think about the first time you wrote your name. The letters were probably misshapen and sloped "downhill". But, you kept doing it. You kept practicing. Now, you can write your name effortlessly without even thinking much about it.
Learning to trust your hunger, preferences and satiety signals are no different. It's a process, just like learning to walk, writing your name or driving a car. Lots of things can be unlearned, and learned.

Give yourself a chance. You're worth the effort!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Revering Weight Loss...At All Costs?

When I was fully entrenched in the "dysfunctional dieting mentality", I remember revering the occurrence of weight loss, no matter what the circumstances surrounding it happened to be. For example, I had the flu one time. I was sick for about four days. But, guess what? THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE WENT DOWN. I actually welcomed the sickness because it made me lighter. It was worth puking my guts out because WEIGHT LOSS.

Imagine that?

I ran into someone over the weekend that I haven't seen in a while. I immediately noticed she looked smaller, but kept that to myself because I've been working on not commenting on people's appearance. After a while, she called attention to it by saying that she lost 30 lbs. I told her that I thought she was beautiful at any size and my only question was, "Are you OK?" She replied that it was family stress that caused the weight loss. (In addition, she also has an auto immune disease.)

Do you see anything at all wrong with these two scenarios that I described?

We would rather be SICK and STRESSED if it means we can be SKINNY. That is not healthy. That is DISORDERED. That is the caustic effect of our culture relentlessly bombarding us with images and messages about our bodies being unacceptable.

Our bodies are not unacceptable.

We are not unacceptable.

But the pressure to be someone that we are not and the idea that weight loss is healthy no matter the method is.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Illusion of Appearances

It is so easy to look at celebrities and think that they have it all: looks, money, a passionate relationship, etc. How many times have you read a magazine or watched a show on television while thinking, "wow, they have everything. I wish my life was more like that."

Let's take the relationship part in particular. What is more alluring and hypnotic than "two beautiful people" being "beautiful together"? Then, you hear about the breakups. Ben and Jennifer, Blake and Miranda and, the latest celebrity casualty, Will and Jada. 

We hear about this and we are SHOCKED. Our heart sinks and we die a little inside. We cry, "but they looked so HAPPY!"

Did you catch that last line? They. LOOKED. So. HAPPY. But, they weren't in the long run. At least, they weren't happy together or else they wouldn't be separating. Their looks, money, and passion just weren't enough to hold it together. And yet, we can't accept that. We are so disillusioned because we are under the impression that all we need to be happy is a beautiful face, a killer body, a model spouse and a big, fat bank account.

Do you get sucked into the comparison trap? Thanks to technology gifting us with the internet and television, it's pretty damn hard not to. We are virtually assaulted with hundreds of images on a daily basis. The media, social and otherwise, teaches us how to fall in love and worship illusions. We so desperately want the fantasy of flawless beauty and perfection because they make it look so freakin' appealing!

Appearances mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. You cannot judge a book by it's cover. No matter how good something may look on the outside, there is no guarantee that it's good on the inside. How things look in public is not an accurate representation of how they may be in private. We assume that what we SEE is how things ARE. But, they usually aren't.

Instead of watching people in Hollywood on the internet, what if we paid more attention to our own lives? Instead of wishing we had what other people have, what if we took care of what belonged to us? What would your life be like if you no longer measured it against the lives of your co-workers, favorite, actors, family, friends, or peers?

Food for thought.

Friday, July 31, 2015

I wrote a guest post for Adios Barbie regarding the topic of aging.  It was published on their website yesterday!  Below is a sample paragraph from the piece:

"My early impressions of aging were, of course, procured by watching my parents deal with it. Both of them have their fair share of hang-ups when it comes to appearance. Mom would spend almost two hours fussing over her hair and make-up. Dad went so far as to dabble in cosmetic surgery. It seemed like the emphasis was on preserving any semblance of youth in order to be deemed acceptable. God forbid you let the world see a wrinkle on your face or a gray hair on your head."

For the entire article, go here:  5 Unexpected Truths About Aging No One Talks About:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Love Your Body Project Interview

A few months ago, I was asked by Patricia, Editor of, to be featured in their June magazine.  The interview is now available online!  Click on the link below.

My story begins on page 60:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Pledge

I am thankful for my body.

I am thankful for my birthmarks and moles, for they make me unique.

I am thankful for my scars, for they remind me of my ability to heal.

I am thankful for my genetically predisposed shape, for it pays homage to the parents who created me.

My body is a temple, a sacred temple, that houses my soul.

I will treat it with love and care.

I will give it food when it hungers and drink when it thirsts.

I will rest when it's tired and move around when it's vibrantly awake.

I will celebrate all of the things that it can do. I will make good use of my two arms and two legs, 
remembering that I am blessed to have all moving parts in working order.

I will recommit myself to this every single day, because it's important.

I will not give up on myself.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Balance and Normalcy

Hello, Tuesday.  Welcome back to normalcy.

Not only was this a holiday weekend, but, for me, it was also our wedding anniversary yesterday.

We had a GREAT day.

My husband and I went to a wonderful restaurant in Newburyport, MA with a great view of the water. I sipped wine while we dined on calamari for an appetizer followed by lobster pie for me and a lobster roll for him. 

After lunch, we walked around the downtown area (which is so quaint) to check out the sights. There was a lot to see, both people, and vendors, since it was a holiday.

We got home around 4 pm and opened a bottle of champagne to toast each other to 14 years of marriage. Our day was topped off by frozen yogurt sundaes for dinner.

I will say it again: it was a GREAT day!

So, now it's back to "normalcy". What does that mean for me these days? Well, it no longer means "atoning for the sins of the weekend" by restricting my food intake and doubling up on exercise. It means listening to my body and honoring my hunger and fullness cues as best I can. You see, nothing is off limits for me anymore. Nothing is forbidden, so I choose what I want, enjoy some or most of it (I rarely finish a full portion of anything since making peace with food), and I move the hell on.

Think about Christmas for a second. There is such a huge build up to this holiday every year, isn't there? For about a month before, there are holiday songs on the radio, decorations, parties, holiday themed beverages and rich foods to enjoy with friends and family. There is a huge build up that culminates into a fun and festive day.

Now, imagine if every day was Christmas. Yeah, that's right, you heard me -- pretend every day was a holiday. Do you think it would hold the same magic and meaning if it was the norm instead of the exception?
The point of that analogy is simply this: all food can be good food and all food can be enjoyed no matter what day it is. If nothing is ever demonized, deliberately withheld or off limits, then you can choose more intuitively based on what your body is asking you for. I'll tell you this much: mine doesn't ask me for champagne in the afternoon or frozen yogurt sundaes for dinner every day. I used to worry it would back then because I had such an "all or nothing mindset". I bounced between the extremes of restriction and binging. Once I let go of the food rules and the diet mentality, I found my balance.

Learn how to eat with your heart and not your head. Decide your body can be trusted. Stop fighting your appetite and let everything be on the table. Be flexible with yourself. It's a practice. We don't need to make it a "perfect".

Friday, May 22, 2015

How to "Be the Change"

The legendary Mahatma Gandhi has been famously quoted as saying, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." This means you must embody the characteristics and principles that matter most to you.
How does this apply to spreading the message of body love, neutrality with food and self-acceptance? It means choosing to be part of the solution instead of continuing to contribute to the problem.

Here are a few ways to do that:

** Consider the cessation of commenting on people's appearance COMPLETELY. This can be done innocently enough; you see someone out and about and notice a significant change in their size. We have been taught to revere thinness in this culture, so your first reaction is to praise this person for reducing their weight. Remember, you do not know how healthy someone is by looking at them. A noticeably smaller person could be healthy. They could also be in the throes of an eating disorder. Or undergoing chemotherapy. These may sound like extreme examples, but the fact is, it can happen.

** As a follow up to the first, ask yourself if you are unknowingly participating in body shaming. Saying things like, "oh, you are so skinny. Why don't you eat a sandwich?" or "Must be nice to eat whatever you want and be rail thin" or even "Gee, I wish I had your discipline. I'm too busy having fun and living life to the fullest to have the abs you do." These kinds of comments are just as damaging as criticizing someone who may be considered overweight. I have known people who are genetically predisposed to be thin. Sometimes these very same people don't like being that thin or wish they could have more curves, build muscle, etc. I have also known some people who are excessively exercising and obsessively trying to construct the perfect body...and it's slowly KILLING them. Think before you speak. And remember: ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES. We all don't have to look the same

** Eat for enjoyment and nourishment. Feed yourself well and take pleasure in your meals. This also means respecting the eating habits and food choices of others. We are not supposed to be the food police, here. I don't know where the idea that commenting on what is on people's plates is socially acceptable, but guess what? It's not. And it's rude. Don't do it. And, if someone does it to you, feel free to tell them politely that you appreciate their concern, but you don't need any help figuring out what to eat.

When in doubt, always be part of the solution. Always.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

You Are Where You Need To Be

Sometimes, we tend to forget what it was like to be where we were when we dieted, purged, restricted and self-loathed.

More importantly, sometimes, we have contempt for our former selves...not wanting to accept that we could have been that lost, that confused, or that sick.

It's not so much that we's that we DON'T WANT TO REMEMBER.

Maybe we haven't forgiven that part of ourselves. Maybe it's something else entirely.

I think what I have been learning to do is to bless my journey instead of curse it. 

I never want to forget where I came from or what my impetus for change was. 

A wise person once told me we teach what we most need to learn. 

By staying connected to who I was at the height of my disordered thinking, I can be more compassionate and understanding to those who are at the height of theirs right now. 

I can remember that lots of people tried to talk me down at various points and I didn't have the ears to hear.

So, wherever you may be right now, know that it's exactly where you are meant to be.

Be proud of where you came from, who you are at this moment and joyfully anticipate the insights and wisdom that's waiting for you when you are ready.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Just Say No to Guilt

We have learned how to mistrust our bodies because so many experts saw fit to give us advice, as if they knew what was better for us than we did.

We rejected our body wisdom for the latest New York Times Bestseller on how to be thin.

There is nothing sexy about tuning into your hunger and satiety cues.

I know it's scary for people to grasp, particularly in the beginning. The thought is, 'if I let go of all my food rules, I'll be out of control. I'll eat junk food all day, every day.' 

This is why it's CRUCIAL to legalize ALL foods, putting them on a level playing field. 

Food is neither good nor bad. 

It's all FOOD.

Ultimately, I believe we are meant to eat what feels good in our bodies.

We are meant to innately know what those foods are when we pay attention.

But, in order to do this, we MUST let go of the guilt.

How does guilt make you feel? Has anyone ever ENJOYED feeling guilty???

If you never let go of the guilt surrounding food, HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHAT FOODS FEEL GOOD TO YOUR BODY????

Make the peace.
Eat the food.
Ditch the guilt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Get Angry!

Do you want to stop feeling powerless around body, food and weight?

Here's a tip: GET ANGRY

Get angry at the diet industry who insists on telling you that you can't trust yourself.

Get angry that you bought into the lie that you need an external source to tell you when, what and how much to eat.

Get angry that the media doctors up pictures of women and then uses this as an insinuation that all of us should conform to it.

Get angry at the lies you've been told.

Get angry that our beloved sisters pick themselves apart over a few pounds.

Get angry that the number on a clothing tag holds so much significance.

Get angry that we care more about back fat and muffintops than we do about the depth of our soul and character.

Get angry that you are slaving away in a gym for two hours instead of going for a walk in nature with a dear friend, having a heart to heart talk.

Get angry. I did. In fact, I was FURIOUS!!!

So, yes, be angry. You deserve to feel that righteous indignation.

And then, get over it. Move forward in love and peace. Life is too short to be in bondage.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Numbers used to rule my life. Whether it was the number on the scale, the number on the tag in my jeans or the amount of miles I ran each week, I lived by them. I relentlessly pursued perfection by using numbers as milestones. If I could weigh a certain amount, wear a certain size or boast a certain 5K time, I was bound to be happy.



It was an empty pursuit. I didn't find perfection when I hit the milestones I set. Numbers didn't make me love myself. In fact, quite the opposite happened on many occasions. If the dreaded weigh ins did not reflect the desired result, I plunged deeper into self-loathing. If I didn't PR (personal record in running lingo) at every race I ran, I was a complete and utter FAILURE. If I DID hit my goal of weight, size or speed, my happiness was fleeting. In that split second, I felt the excitement of achieving something I had worked so hard for, but it never lasted. Like an addict with their drug of choice, I was on to the next weight goal, the next size down, the next fastest time.

After hitting rock bottom, I realized I had to let the numbers GO. They weren't serving me. They only served to LIMIT me. I finally understood that that it didn't matter how much I weighed, what size I wore, or how fast I ran. The only metric that I could possibly rely on was how much love I could give my body and my soul. I had to stop DOING and start BEING.

Maybe you are like I was back then. Maybe you have all of your hopes hung on a number. Maybe you are obsessively measuring calories burned or calories consumed. Maybe you have put your life on hold until your "number" comes up.

But the thing is, when it does, you'll find something else to criticize, something else to blame, something else that you find unacceptable. We strive for the holy grail of impeccability and are so busy trying to achieve that we forget to enjoy the journey. We can't celebrate who we are, because we are too consumed with TRYING TO GET SOMEWHERE.

Let it go. Just stop striving and trying so damn hard. Decide that today is the day you will choose differently. Today can be the day that you celebrate where you are.

And you are so much more than a number.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

You Can Have It ALL!!!

I see lots of women who are just overloaded. They have a full-time job, children to raise, a marriage to maintain, other family members to deal with, social obligations and Lord knows what else. Growing up, the message for some women was, "you can have it all!" And so, we thought that was the ideal to pursue: having it ALL.

These same women desperately try to make it all work as perfectly as they can. And they are so HARD on themselves because they aren't Superwoman. You see, they have ALL OF THAT responsibility that I listed above and then wonder why they can't muster up more energy to work out five days a week and look like a fitness model.

"But, look at Susie over there! She has just as much on her plate and can do it! She can go to Zumba five times a week!! And she wears a size 4!"

"I commute an hour each way, am responsible for feeding my family, have to help my kids with their homework, and, well, I know I'm just making excuses, but...I'm just too tired to go to the gym. I wish I weren't so lazy."


Well, what if I don't WANT IT ALL?? What if I can't HANDLE it all???

Sometimes, the idea that we have to "have it all" hurts us more than it helps us. It causes us to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. It makes it easy to fall into the comparison trap. We look at others who "seem to have it all and make it look easy" and we wonder what the hell is wrong with us.

Stop. Stop thinking you have to "have it all". You don't. We all have our own individual threshold for what we can and cannot handle and that's okay. It doesn't matter what Susie over there is doing. That's her business. Besides, you can't judge a book by its cover. Appearances aren't always what they seem. Public lives and private lives don't always match. You don't know what is happening behind closed doors.

Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, ask yourself: What are YOU doing? What do you want YOUR life to look like? That is where the focus needs to be.

And, for heaven's sake, be a little kinder to yourself. Yes, an exercise routine can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but not when it's a "should" or a "have to", not to mention it is more stress on the body which, if the body is already stressed, will hurt more than it will help. It's not healthy when we are already burning the candle at both ends and then try to add something else to the mix.

Take a deep breath and let yourself off the hook. Figure out what part of "having it all" makes sense to you and then just let the rest of that crap go. You don't have to be Superwoman.

Sometimes, having it all is realizing that you don't. And that's just fine.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday, Monday...Can't Trust That Day...Or Can You???

Hello, Monday, my old friend. Long time no see.

When I was dieting, Mondays were always THE day. That was when I would "start" my new regime, whatever it happened to be at the time (hint: it was a diet cleverly disguised as a "lifestyle change"). I was filled with hope and resolve, because this would be the beginning of my new life! This is where I would shed the body fat that was the cause of all my misery and I would FINALLY have the life that I always dreamed of!

How many of you read that passage, shaking your head up and down saying, "uh huh" or "you did that too???". I bet there are a lot of you. And here we were all thinking that we were such special snowflakes. (wink, wink)

This honeymoon period with the diet du jour could get you through a few days or even a few weeks, but it could never last, could it? It was all sizzle and no steak (throwback to the days of high carb...remember when pretzels and fat free everything was considered health food?? But, I digress). You had the excitement and the novelty of something new which would quickly be replaced by the realization that you couldn't stick with this new plan either. You were too weak willed, too lazy or, even worse, too hungry.

What if a Monday could be like any other day?
What if there were no extremes to bounce between?
What if we could just learn to eat when we were hungry and stop when we were satisfied?
What if we figured out the types of exercise we genuinely enjoyed and just did that because we wanted to???
What if you made peace with the body you have right now and decided to just stop saying mean things about it?

Oh, is it you Monday? Back again? I hadn't noticed. It's just like every other day.

Say yes to normalcy. Say yes to balance. Say yes to Monday.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Eyes On Your Own...

In the course of my daily life, I often hear people talk negatively about food or their bodies It may be statements such as:

"I really have to drop about 10 lbs. My thighs are getting HUGE."

"Oh, I could never eat pasta. I couldn't be THAT bad."

"Can you believe what she's eating? No wonder she has a weight problem!"

Considering my history of body dysmorphia, chronic dieting, disordered eating and excessive exercising, you can imagine how I feel when I hear women (or sometimes even men) say these kind of things. It takes a little mindfulness and a whole lot of restraint, but the best response to comments like these is: nothing.

See, these are things I "overhear". They are not said directly TO ME. None of these people have asked for my advice or opinion. So, I do my best to stay silent. Yes, it's hard. But, I really believe it's the best thing to do.

There can be nothing more obnoxious than a reformed "something or other". This person had the habit, the weight problem, the "whatever" and was able to overcome it. Good for them. No, seriously, good for them. But, they have such CONTEMPT for the behavior, body or habit that they left behind. They never accepted themselves for having been the way they were, which is why they regard other people with that same contempt. It's easy to put on an air of moral superiority when you can't possibly understand why they can't just "get over it" -- how someone can possibly respect themselves for being "less than" when you couldn't.

But, hear this: IT IS NOT HELPFUL.

The world would be a much better place if we tended to our own gardens instead of hopping the fence and plucking our neighbor's weeds.

Think about it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shifting the Focus

I remember having conversations with friends back in my dieting days. Sometimes, we would get together for lunch or dinner, and decide to share a dessert, because a) we had worked out for a few hours that day and "earned" it or b) we would run double digit mileage the next day to "work it off". Sometimes, we would bond over self-deprecating comments. I would insult my thighs, my friend might complain about her belly, or vice versa. We would plan and plot for our next big weight loss campaign, trying this new meal plan or that new workout routine.

Once I started healing my relationship with food, this was something I let go of. Don't get me wrong, I still love to bond with friends over food. It's a beautiful, celebratory way to share time with someone you love. Dining out is one of my favorite things. But, I no longer have to "do this" (workout a ton, not eat all day, etc.) in order to "get that" (delicious, nourishing food). And the self-deprecating comments had to go. That's never helpful, period.

Wouldn't it be nice if women could bond over how smart, successful, and talented they are instead of exchanging negative comments about their bodies? What if we cared more about what we did with our lives than how we looked in a bathing suit? What if we realized that there is more to us than our appearance?

Something to think about.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In the Name of Health?

In my coaching practice, I see lots of women who say they want to lose weight "for health reasons". Sometimes, this is a valid reason, so, then I ask them what health concerns they have. Then, they look a little confused. "What do you mean?" I then reiterate the question, and ask them specifically about their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, liver profile, sleep habits, relationships, work/life balance, etc. The majority of the time, most of these markers are within the normal range. (This is typical with women who say they want to lose 10-30 lbs.)
Then, I say, "You told me you wanted to lose weight to be healthier, yet you seem to be healthy already. So, why do you REALLY want to lose weight?"
The answer: We have been taught to associate skinny/thin with healthy. In fact, we are so deeply entrenched in this cultural notion that we are willing to engage in UNHEALTHY measures (extreme caloric restriction, diet pills, excessive exercise) to achieve a "healthy body". These women aren't consciously lying to themselves about why they want to be "thin". They really believe what they have been told!
Does that sound a little misguided to you?
Sometimes skinny/thin DOES equal healthy if THE PERSON IS GENETICALLY PREDISPOSED TO BE SKINNY. Not all of us are and that is okay. Don't try to make a cat a dog. If you have to resort to unhealthy measures in an attempt to be skinny, that is exactly what you are trying to do and you will find nothing but frustration and misery.
We need to learn how to pick apart these cognitive distortions about what is healthy and what isn't. We need to learn how to embrace our own unique body type and honor it by feeding it well and giving it ample amounts of movement and rest.
There is nothing healthy about trying to be something other than who you are. There is nothing healthy about self-hate.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Joy of...Aging???

Imagine for a moment a woman in her early 50's, 60's, or even 70's, watching a twenty-something year old girl and saying things like, "I wish I looked like that. Why can't I be more like her?"
This kind of stuff happens, particularly in gyms. I work in one, so I witness this. A lot.
We are only meant to be twenty-something once. It's just a mere stop along the road of life. Why are we so hell bent against getting older? Is it the messages of the media, which is constantly pushing "anti-aging" products, sending us the message that growing older is unacceptable? Are we that afraid of losing our youth??
Okay, I get it. Once upon a time, your body may have been tighter. Your skin may have been smoother. Your hair may have been less gray.
Once upon a time, I was twenty-something. My body was tighter, my skin was smoother, my hair was not gray (actually, it still isn't, thanks to genetics, but I digress). I was also insecure about my body, unsure about life and my place in it and questioned myself all the time. I was constantly in need of approval and validation. I needed to be noticed. I needed to be loved. I needed others to build me up.
Then, I turned 40. At that moment, things began to change for me. I no longer wanted to look "twenty-something" simply because, I wasn't. I was ready to move forward. I was ready to embrace the next stage of my life. It was going to happen anyway, whether I chose to go along with it or not, so why fight it? I owned my 40 year old body, my 40 year old skin and my 40 year old hair. I also realized I was more secure with my body and more sure about life. I had my own approval which meant more than anyone else's, for the first time EVER. I felt love deep in my core. I felt validated just by my own existence in the world. I'm now 43 and it just keeps...getting...better.
Trading a tighter body and smoother skin for all of that amazing stuff? I would do it ten times over without a single backward glance.
Let yourself BE where you are. Relish it. Live your life on purpose. Aging is not a curse. It's a reward. It's your time to step into your own power. Realize that the physical part of you isn't the most important. It's the knowledge contained within that is.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Be Kind

We're too hard on ourselves. We expect to have the perfect body, the perfect diet, the perfect job, the perfect relationships.

The perfect life.

Life is not perfect.

Life is about growing into your fullest potential. Life is about discovering who you are and why you are here. Sometimes, it's hard. There are days where you just don't like who and where you are. It can be real messy.

But, hear this: nothing in life is permanent. Everything is temporary. Sadness won't go on forever. Neither will happiness.

We experience each at different times in our lives for very important reasons. If it weren't for the sadness, we wouldn't appreciate the moments of happiness. If all we had was happiness, we might take it for granted and stop trying to become more. It hurts to hurt, but that's how we grow. Some of the most painful times in my life led to some of the most amazing parts of ME. The lessons I learned and the wisdom I gained wouldn't have come to me otherwise. Pain is a gift to bring us to joy.

So, today, whatever you are doing, and wherever you are doing it, please remember to be kind to yourself.

There are lots of people out there who are willing to make you feel unhappy, unloved and unworthy.

Don't help them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What Will You Choose?

While you are spending energy and time hating your body and obsessing about your diet:

-- books remain unwritten
-- portraits are not painted
-- adventures are not experienced
-- art is not created

While you are locked in a cycle of self-abuse and hate:

-- healthy relationships aren't being cultivated
-- happiness is not being enjoyed
-- your potential can't be realized
-- life is passing you by

YOU have a purpose for being here and until you stop playing small, you cannot possibly live the way you are meant to live.

You can't rewrite the past, but you can certainly refocus in the present. It's never too late to make a change.

There is still time to be what you want to be.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

You Are An Experiment Of One!

Remember, there are no absolutes in fitness and food. There is no ONE right way to move or eat, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.

I tried so many ways of eating and moving in the past 30 years. Whenever I would "go off plan", I would berate myself for having failed. It never occurred to me that perhaps the plan failed ME instead of the other way around.

Perhaps you have done the same thing.

Today, things are much different. Now, I move and eat the way I am inspired to. I experimented with lots of different ideas until I found a system that fits ME instead of trying to conform to a SYSTEM.  Turns out, I really DO love running.  I've done it for over 12 years and it seems to work for me.  It's the ultimate mind/body "moving meditation" activity, in my opinion.  There is nothing else I'd rather do more than run.  However, I'm under no illusions that it is THE only way to move.  Perhaps you prefer biking, or kickboxing, or yoga, or hiking.  Doesn't matter what it is.  The only thing that matters is that you DO it.  Period.

There is no ONE right way for all, but there is ONE right way for you. Keep trying. You'll find it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Peace, Love, and Food for Me

It took me over 40 years to stop wishing I was someone else. I was in pain and suffering about my body for so long. I flip flopped between an almost "superhuman" desire to whittle myself down by exercising 2-4 hours a day and the overwhelming need to eat everything I could get my hands on.

The true definition of "yo yo" dieting. Back and forth, back and forth...

When I had my epiphany and began the process of healing, I decided to start my facebook page (January 2013). I called it the Love Your Body Project because I knew this would take some time. A project, which is an individual enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim, can take weeks, months, or even years, depending on how long it took me to learn and absorb the lessons along the way.

The Peace, Love and Food part was sort of my process to get where I am. First, I had to make PEACE with my body as it was in order to learn how to LOVE it. I could no longer withhold my own approval if I wanted to move forward. I had to decide that if my body never changed, I would accept and care for it as it was. Period. I would choose to love it unconditionally. Part of loving it is nourishing it when it needs FOOD. I would release my food fears, let go of labeling, and eat freely. So, it seemed like the perfect name for the page and captured what my journey was like.

Now, I'm 43 years old and I feel pretty good about the skin I am in. I'm a lot more confident now. I no longer need to rely so much on other people's advice. I'm more tuned in to what my body needs and wants, which took a lot of practice and time. But, it was time well spent. I am more relaxed about eating now than I ever was. I eat when I'm hungry most of the time. I stop eating when I'm full most of the time. I may not get it right every single day, but I am not in guilt or shame. I don't beat myself up. I'm human and I do not need to be "perfect" to love myself or be loved by others.

May today be the day that you make PEACE with your body as it is and take those steps towards LOVE and FOOD. You are worth the effort!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First

Never underestimate the importance of self-care, particularly if you are in a coaching, helping, healing or teaching profession. You expend a lot of energy being there for others, educating, helping navigate challenges, and just holding space for them to express themselves.

I love what I do. I'm thankful for the people I work for and with. It's very rewarding. But, sometimes, I need a break. Sometimes, I need to not be a coach or a co-worker or an employee or a trainer. Sometimes, I just need to be Cyndi puttering around the house, getting my hair done, sipping a margarita with a friend or sleeping in. Sometimes, I need to stay in my pj's until noon. Sometimes, I need to be away from anything fitness and health related. 

It's all okay and it's all important.

I was starting to feel a little frayed at the ends, and I knew a time out was in order. So, to that end, I am taking a FOUR DAY WEEKEND. Starting today, I'll be doing all of the activities described above, and then some, until Tuesday at noon when I report back for duty. I'm confident that I'll be energized, inspired, invigorated and refreshed.

How do you practice self-care?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Eating and Exercising

There is no one right way to eat. There is no one right way to exercise. What works for you may not work for someone else. What didn't work for you may work perfectly for someone else.

I do not do crossfit because it doesn't interest me, but I support your choice to do it.

I do not practice veganism or vegetarianism because it doesn't work for me, but I support your choice to eat that way.

I am not a fan of Zumba (my hips don't lie -- they don't move that way), but I support your choice to be devoted to and enthusiastic about it.

I am not a promoter of Paleo/Hunter/Gatherer Diets, but I won't try to talk you out of eating that way if you like it.

See a pattern?

I had to go through a MYRIAD of dietary regimes and exercise programs before I found something that works for me. I had to find my own way. So do you. So do your family members and friends. If someone asks for your advice, of course, give it. Otherwise, just let them be and trust they can figure out what's best for themselves.

We can promote what works for us by living it. Plain and simple.

*** You can find the Love Your Body Project: Peace, Love and Food on facebook:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wisdom on a Wednesday

Be the kind of person you would want a best friend to be.

Ideally, a best friend doesn't:

-- tell you that you're stupid and worthless
-- criticize you for your weight
-- think you need to be different to be loved
-- ever feel ashamed to be with you

Instead, a best friend:

-- loves you as you are
-- wants you to be happy always
-- supports you no matter what your shape or size
-- wouldn't change a thing

Be your own best friend. You need you.

Like what you see?  Find Love Your Body Project: Peace, Love and Food on Facebook:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Will the Real Food Please Stand Up?

When I was in the mode of deprivation, dieting and restriction, I had lots of habits. I exercised as much as I possibly could, I got by on the minimal amount of calories and I used lots of substitutes. I ate things that were lower calorie and I did my best to talk myself into liking them.

Some of these substitutes were:

-- spray "butter" instead of butter
-- spaghetti squash instead of pasta
-- mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes
-- protein bars that tasted like plastic
-- sugar free/fat free everything

I reached for these things, hoping they would fill the space, but they never did. It brought a few minutes of relief, but the thoughts of the foods I really wanted always returned. When I hit rock bottom and decided never to diet again, I rebelled against this behavior. I got angry that I felt like I had to go without and eat things I didn't enjoy, and I vowed that I would do my best to honor my cravings from this moment forward.
If you like spaghetti squash, eat it. If you like cauliflower, eat it. And, if you like pasta and potatoes, eat them too. It's okay to like pasta. It's okay to like potatoes. It's okay to not like substitutes.

You're okay.

(If you like this content, find Love Your Body Project on FB:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Different Kind of "Activity Tracker"

I used to log my workouts and post them on facebook so I could tell the world at large how many miles I ran or how many push ups I did. Reflecting on this practice got me thinking...

Wouldn't it be AWESOME if we had a tracker for self-love activities and non scale victories?? Some examples could include:

Today, I let go of the need to be perfect.

I high fived my reflection as I passed the mirror today.

Instead of pushing through a workout when stressed and tired, I rested.

Enjoyed sharing a brownie sundae with my best friend.

Went one whole day without criticizing myself.

Oh the possibilities!