8 unexpected changes when I traded in the dieting trap for a healthy lifestyle.

8 unexpected changes when I traded in the dieting trap for a healthy lifestyle.

I dieted for 22 flocking years!  Twenty-two.  What a waste of a my best years.  What a waste of my energy.  What a waste of my spirit. The deprivation.  The disconnection.  The depression.  The constant feeling of failure. The scale that owned me.  The mirror that mocked me.  The cute clothes that shunned me.  The wagon I jumped on, and off until I just wanted to drive it full speed over the side of a cliff. I wish I could tell my 17 year old self to steer clear of the dieting trap. I wish I had known that the confusion I found myself in, and the fad diets I found myself on, were all designed to fail me, and make me a slave to the outside world. I wish I could tell my 17 year old self to run as far from conventional nutrition advice that I could. I wish I knew that those diets were designed to make me care more about my appearance than my character.  They were designed to make me feel like my looks would dictate my happiness. They were about superficiality, not substance.  And maybe that is the real reason I hated myself on a diet.  Aside from feeling deprived and disconnected, I never felt like myself. I wish I could tell my 17 year old self that feeding my ego would never really change me, while feeding my soul would transform my life. Here are the 8 unexpected changes that I have experienced since I turned my focus from weight and diets, to health. I became a learner.  A devoured books about...
Whatever you do, don’t hate them back.

Whatever you do, don’t hate them back.

Photo Credit- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst You can’t hate, hate.  Really, you defeat your purpose. And let’s be honest with ourselves, it isn’t just the guys in Charlottesville, it is all around us.  I am dumbfounded, daily, by the hate spewed on the news and social media.  The name calling, the trolls, the attacks on “the other side.”  Let me share what my own conservative family member said when I told her that I tended towards a more liberal mind.  She said “well that disappoints me.” Fucking seriously?  You have known me my entire life!  You know what is in my heart.  You know the type of person I am, yet you allow your hateful brainwashed definition of “liberal” define me, instead of saying to yourself “well, maybe I need to rethink this liberal thing.” In that moment, I felt like her identity politics and chosen beliefs meant more to her than her love for me.  You know why I don’t hate conservatives or tolerate hate towards them?  Because many are my friends and family, and I LOVE them, and know they are good people. I have never seen so many people willing to stick up for a political figure they don’t even know!  Men or women who have never actually done anything for them.  Yet they are willing to throw their friends, family and neighbors under the bus all because of identity politics. I have never seen so many people who choose to watch/read toxic, drama creating idiots on the news or talk shows who provide no education about real issues.  Instead they spew vitriol about black people, brown people,...
What we see is what we get, but what we see is our choice

What we see is what we get, but what we see is our choice

Here’s the truth. The war on cancer, brought us more cancer. The war on drugs, brought us more drugs. The war on terror, has brought us more terror. A focus on hate and fear, has just brought us more hate and fear. A focus on what we divides us, (politics, religion, race, etc)has further divided us. This is due to one simple fact. What you focus on is all that you see. So, I have a great idea, and it is actually quite simple. Let’s rid ourselves of high cancer rates and drug abuse rates, by focusing on HEALTH! Let’s rid ourselves of terror, by focusing on peace. Let’s rid ourselves of the selfish fear and hate in our hearts, by focusing on selflessness, love, compassion, and courage to do what is right. Instead of labels and arguing, let’s talk about what we stand for, instead of what we stand against. There is always common ground in things we all stand for. It is all a mindset people. What we focus on is exactly what we will see and it is exactly what we will get in our lives.  And what we focus on is our...
Curiosity will change your life

Curiosity will change your life

If you never question the status quo, you will never experience anything but the status quo.  Curiosity will change your life. Most people spend a life time struggling with food, weight loss and health. They follow all “the rules,” they try countless diets. They use meal replacements and/or supplements, yet within 12-24 months, they find themselves right back where they started. Then they give up for awhile, many (like myself) go hog wild after a long period of restrictions and calorie counting because it feels good to live again. Let’s all be honest. Diets suck. And they don’t work. Weight loss is a 61 BILLION dollar industry that leaves us feeling like failures, and keeps us coming back for more, “on another Monday,” or when “we are ready” to exercise extreme willpower again. Have you ever been curious about why 70% of Americans are overweight or obese? Have you ever been curious about why 1 in 2 American men, and 1 in 3 American women will get cancer in their life time? Do you really think we are all a bunch of gluttons with bad genes? The truth is that it is far easier to be unhealthy in America, than it is to be healthy. The truth is that our culture breeds diets, drugs, disease, and death by lifestyle. The truth is that we think we know a lot about food and health but we don’t. The truth is that we will never solve our weight loss and health problems with the same way of thinking that created these issues in the first place. I spent 22 years dieting....
Healthcare reform that makes sense

Healthcare reform that makes sense

I have a really novel idea for healthcare reform. We can start by subsidizing fruits and vegetables instead of our current practice of subsidizing animal products and GMO crops. You see our tax dollars go to support/subsidize certain food industries- in particular animal agriculture and processed foods. Subsidies help create a surplus, and they lower the cost to the consumer thus ENCOURAGING consumption of the subsidized products. This is the reason why soda is cheaper than a bottle of water. This is the real reason why unhealthy food is much cheaper than healthy food. In fact, organic farmers have to pay a premium to prove that they do not use toxic chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and growth stimulants just to name a few of the conventional practices. That would be my first simple solution. Next, let’s not only pull subsidies from these food industries, let’s put a tax on the junk food to help pay for the health issues that these foods cause. For those of you about to yell “Nanny state, I do not want my govt telling me what I can or cannot eat!!!” Remember, if you eat the Standard American Diet (which consists of heavy on animal products and processed foods, and light on the plants) you already are eating exactly what the gov’t wants you to eat. Subsidies are just a back door way of encouraging your consumption. And it obviously works. Subsidies covertly encourage us to eat more crap. Let’s subsidize food that increases our health and well-being, and let’s tax (think of this as discouragement) the food that makes us sick and overweight. Then,...
What I love most about hosting the Healthy Life Club

What I love most about hosting the Healthy Life Club

What do I love most about hosting my group coaching class called the Healthy Life Club? Sharing delicious, nutritious, colorful, and energy filled food! Changing the conversation about food and health. Changing the words we use to describe ourselves and our lives. Teaching people how to live in a beautiful and empowering state of mind. Shifting perspectives and paradigms. Breaking the food and weight loss rules that have failed us. Bringing women together to talk about things that really matter to us. Like our health, our children, and the relationship we have with ourselves. Helping women make peace with food and their body. Helping women realize that everything worth having in life is about the journey, not the result. Overall, I love to offer a supportive environment filled with healthy food, positive words, and empowering emotions. I share interesting and engaging facts about food, health, choices/behaviors, habits, mindfulness and self awareness that allows women to cast aside the doubt, confusion and excuses that keep them stuck. My Healthy Life Club is not a mere set of rules on how to lose weight. It is a guide to acquiring the right mindset for creating health, and becoming your best self....
A Love for Learning is a Love for Life

A Love for Learning is a Love for Life

I am researching colleges with my 16 year old son. At nearly 48 years old, I am in awe of this process. How I wasted my high school and college years thinking school was a means to an end. Thinking “I have to get good grades. To get into a good college. To get a good job. To make money. To have that perfect life.” Not once was I grateful for the opportunity. I mean, yes, I was thankful to my parents, but school was a given. I never thought about all the people who did not have the same opportunities that I had. I never thought how lucky I was to have access to LEARNING. As I go through these college websites, and all these schools have to offer, I am in literal awe of education. I am pleasingly, and humbly astonished of all that I do not know. We are all just tiny people in a big miraculous world. I spent much of my life being externally motivated by school. It was a means to an end. It was about grades, resumes and a job, more than learning. This is still the case for many school aged kids and it is a shame. I am not young. So many of us adults are set in our ways, our thinking, our beliefs and we think we know everything that we need to know. We don’t have time to learn anything new, as our lives are on auto-pilot working and bringing up children. I was living like that in my 30’s, and I was not my best at that...
Food Matters

Food Matters

Something to think about today. As our nations health continues to suffer, we respond in two ways. The food companies ALTER the food we eat (less fat, more fiber, skim milk, 93% lean, gluten free etc). And the pharmaceutical companies patent more drugs. Neither of these solutions are working because it’s the processed foods, animal products and pharmaceutical drugs that are wreaking havoc on us. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. Cancer is a very close second to that. Pharmaceutical drugs come in third. The solution is to CHANGE our diets, not alter the food that’s causing our ill health. May I remind you that the Tobacco Industry altered cigarettes to give the impression of a healthier product. Low tar and light cigarettes were never healthy options, and they still caused cancer. We humans are funny creatures. We are highly intelligent yet easily manipulated. This is because we believe what we want to believe. We believe that which affirms our thoughts and behaviors because it’s hard to change. It’s easier to keep eating the same food and believing the new health claim makes it better. And it’s simple to pop a pill for our every ill. Change is the only constant in our lives. Over the years our bodies change, our health changes and our relationships change. We let change happen to us, instead of creating the change we want. Because creating begins in our minds. Creating requires an expansion of our minds. And it’s the changing of our minds that we fear most. This is why Einstein said the highest form of human intelligence...
Make your life about courage

Make your life about courage

Make your life about courage. Can we stop mimicking the movie “Groundhog Day?” I am astounded by how many people live the same day over and over again. We get married, we work, we raise kids, and our lives go to autopilot. And just like the movie, we are destined to live the same day of stress, busyness, overwhelm, and mindlessness until we figure out how to do it right. We get set in our ways because we get set in our thoughts and emotions. Did you know that the average person has between 60-70 THOUSAND thoughts a day, and 90% of those thoughts are repeated the next day? How boring are we?!! This is the real reason why you cannot get out of your own way because every time an opportunity presents itself, you jump to the same thought patterns. And those thoughts, and excuses are designed to keep you down. “I don’t have time.” “I am not ready.” “It is too much for me to think about.” I have news for you. You will never be ready or motivated, until you take action. You will never have time, until you make time. You will never be able to think about solutions, until you let go of your excuses. We go to school for years, and no one teaches us about food, health, and our own minds. No one tells us that to master our minds and our fears is to master our lives. No one tells us that empowerment is crucial to health, and fear and stress is detrimental to it. No one explains the basic laws...
10 “healthy” beliefs that will confirm that you are brainwashed by the food industry

10 “healthy” beliefs that will confirm that you are brainwashed by the food industry

After 22 years of dieting, and following all the weight loss and healthy eating “rules,” I found myself feeling confused and defeated. The diets were constant. The energy was low.  The allergies, sinus infections, and migraines were real, and recurring.    My battle with food, weight loss, and health seemed like an endless, complicated, and pointless cycle. I hated dieting, and I hated myself on a diet. But I hated being overweight and unhealthy just as much.  What can we do when we feel we only have two choices, and neither of those choices are what we want for ourselves?  We can realize that the solution must be outside of our realm of thinking. We can become curious.  We can question everything we think we know.  We can disrupt our beliefs.  We can allow our minds to open to new possibilities. My solution turned out to be healthy living.  And healthy living had nothing to do with calories, carbs, proteins, fats, diets, or any of the rules I had lived by for most of my adult life.  On the contrary, healthy living was about escaping the rules, and breaking the dieting patterns.  It was about forgetting everything I thought I knew about food and health.  It was about simplifying, and the truth. Health is vitality.  Health is energy.  Health is connection.  Health is intentional.  Health is simple. What complicates our efforts, and confuses us are the lies we have been told for decades. I came to learn that healthy living was about expanding my life, not limiting it. I came to understand that nearly everything about the American lifestyle and...