The last few days post election have felt really heavy for many of us.
For some it was celebratory, but for many it was far from it.
Regardless of your politics, the US is divided to an extreme I don’t know that we’ve seen before. Women, LGBT, people of color, many are afraid for their safety as some extremists are acting on the inflammatory rhetoric we’ve been hearing for months.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of energy moving around and a lot of us, especially the empaths, were feeling really raw and drained.
I was feeling so much so deeply yesterday that I ended up exhausted and emotional. Like a train had hit me. And then I heard from a woman in my community who experienced a physical aggression in a grocery store, my heart broke a little more.
AFTER DINNER I FOUND MYSELF EATING AND NOT STOPPING.
Cheese, leftover Chipotle, pretzels, chocolate.
In other words The Bliss Point special.
Sweet, salty, fatty - the perfect combination to that lead to a “bliss point” that would help me numb out and feel comforted.
(Bliss Point is where we find just the right balance of the three main components our bodies crave,” says Karin Allen, PhD, a professor of food science at Utah State. In other words, it’s a precise ratio, or formulation, or concentration of certain nutrients the body is programmed to seek out and like (meaning fat, salt and sugar, which were key to survival in prehistoric times) combined in such a way as to make a food highly palatable - read the rest here)
I ate for a while, well beyond a point of fullness.
At one point I was getting so uncomfortable that I couldn’t check out anymore.
And I hadn't found my bliss.
The thing is, there is no point where you can eat enough bliss point foods to take the pain and sadness and anger and frustration away.
And I know that.
I knew there was nothing else that could really help me feel better at that point.
What I really needed was rest.
Not even journaling.
So I said to myself - with love- “ok girl. You’re done now. It’s time to go to bed.”
Here’s why this is all ok. Why I didn’t get mad at myself. Why I didn’t fall into a well of guilt and shame. Why I didn’t wake up the next day ready to run to the gym for three hours to frantically burn everything off - even though I was bloated.
WHEN YOU AREN’T ON A DIET, THERE’S NOTHING TO FAIL.
Because I don’t diet anymore so there was no wagon to fall off of...and thus nothing to fail and beat myself up for. The next day was a new day, and when I checked back in with my body I knew what I wanted. I ate light and I drank lots of water - not because I was trying to balance out my calories or points for the week out of guilt (I don't count those anymore), but because I wasn’t all that hungry. And I honored that by being present instead of regretting the past, and listening to how my body wanted THAT day.
BINGES BECOME FEW AND FAR BETWEEN WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE TO FEEL.
Its been a while since I've had a binge like that. Years in fact. But I got triggered really deeply. When we feel triggered, the temptation is often to disconnect in some way - to overeat, undereat, drink, smoke, have meaningless sex, or other potentially destructive behavior. We developed these strategies because there was a time we didn’t have the guidance to show us another way to cope in ways that serve us better. There’s nothing wrong with us for doing it. But there are other ways. Feeling our feelings helps us stop stuffing them down. You can do that by giving them space to come up and out through journaling, release writing, crying, screaming into a pillow, breathing, dancing, or talking them through with a coach or likeminded friend. No shame. Its ok to feel it ALL.
I GAVE MYSELF RETROACTIVE PERMISSION AND THEN FORGAVE MYSELF.
Yes, there are a long list of things I could have done instead of eat. But I didn’t. And that’s ok. I’ll admit, there was a part of me that felt out of integrity with what I coach and teach because I didn’t do something else. But then I remembered I’m human, and because I gave myself permission to not be perfect, it WAS in integrity with what I teach. When we allow ourselves the option to cope in the ways we’re used to - meaning we don’t rule it out entirely and tell ourselves we’re bad for doing it - they don’t carry the same weight and the rubber band doesn't snap quite so hard.
So if you find yourself comfort eating this week, or any other week, take a moment to give yourself the space to journal, to feel, to connect with people who understand you and share the same viewpoints, and find someone who can help you process what you’re feeling.
But most importantly, be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself if you default to the self-soothing comforting things that are easier to reach for. It’s ok.
When the dust settles, take the time to develop some rituals that serve you better so they feel easy to reach for the next time you find yourself feeling raw.
Sending you ALL my love <3
P.S. Between the post-election unrest, and the holidays coming up, the potential for stress and emotional overeating is at an all time high so I’m offering a special “get me through the holidays” package. Read more about it here or book a consultation right away to find out if its right for you.
I love helping women to feel better in their bodies. To love the skin they're in.
But what does loving your body really mean?
Does it mean you really have to love every bit unconditionally?
Does it mean never having a negative thought about your body when you look in the mirror?
No. Not really. I mean maybe one day.
But loving your body is a daily practice.
And it starts with acceptance.
It also starts by talking about it with other women.
Sharing our stories, our pain, our hurt, our shame, so that we can realize that every woman no matter what her size struggles to love her body.
Yes every woman.
Even that one you're thinking of right now.
The one who you look at and think "If I could JUST look like her then I'll be beautiful".
Well for the last year I've been hosting an in person coaching and connection group in my home called Body Love LA, and a website called littlethings.com asked my friend Ian Midgley, a documentary filmmaker, to do a piece about me and the group work I'm doing here in LA to help women accept and love their bodies in a city that makes it extra hard.
You can read about and watch the piece here!
And if you're interested in joining in the conversation and having opportunities to talk about and feel more empowered in your relationship with your body, your food, and your self, I invite you to join my new community - The Rebellious Eater - on Facebook where I'll be doing live streams and hosting online group discussions, as well as posting about local LA opportunities to be a part of the conversation.
Three of my clients this month asked me about going on cleanses.
All of them within a week of each other.
Coincidence? I think not.
In the typical health coach realm, this could be an exciting prospect, probably viewed as a win.
“Yay! My clients are ready to eat better!”
That’s good right?
In this case, not really. Because eating better - or having a well-nourished body - isn’t what it this was really about. Not for my clients anyway. And probably not for a lot of people on cleanses in the months of May and June.
These cleanses had nothing to do with eating better, but they had everything to do with summer being right around the corner and the fears coming up that their bodies aren’t perfect yet.
… or about the messaging getting louder in the media that made them feel like their bodies were flawed and disgusting.
… or because their butts didn’t look like the photoshopped bikini butts in sponsored posts on their newsfeed which even though they know are fake still manage to push the buttons installed so deeply by diet culture that they just can’t shake the thoughts of compare and despair.
These cleanses were about going back to the default re-set button so they could feel some relief because the feelings of self-loathing, shame, and fear of food were so loud they just wanted to shut them up. And fast.
I get it.
I’ve been there.
I repeated that pattern at least a hundred times from age 15 to age 30.
And every. single. time. The same thing happened.
I starved. I binged. I hated myself.
My clients all struggle with loving their bodies. They have yo yo dieted or struggled with overeating for most of their teen through adult lives.
They came to me to learn how to love themselves into sustainable weight loss and health.
For these clients, crash cleanses were not in alignment with this goal.
They were not about eating healthier or detoxing or resetting their palette.
They were about dropping pounds and fast.
Cleansing in this case was about crash-dieting. And crash dieting is not a sustainable or a self-loving strategy that will work in the long run.
So what can they - and you - do instead?
Here are a few things to start with...
If you are looking for a little extra help feeling body confident before the summer kicks into full gear, join me this Sunday the 12th in Eagle Rock for my monthly Body Love LA meetup (this month's topic...Beaches and Bikinis and Diets, oh my!) or on June 22nd as part of the Free the Nipple Yoga Workshop series....
And if you want to get deeper and transform your relationship with food, your body, and yourself, you can schedule a discovery call and discover the possibilities of what can happen when we work one-on-one!