Just a magical fucking reminder…

I am magic. I know I am magic, and no one can stop my magical ass!

I have a T-shirt that announces this truth to the world, and yet sometimes I still forget. Why? Because I’m human. When humans come here from nonphysical, we agree to forget our magic so that we can have the expansive experience of finding our way back to our magic, back to our power – the power of All that Is.

We come here intending to find our way back to magic, and to remind our fellow travelers of the Truth that we are all made of magic, and that we are surrounded by miracles everywhere.

At our core – each of us is magic with the power that creates worlds at our disposal. And we are also magically human.

Being human comes with challenges. We can experience confusion and doubt about our own magic. Some of us have been taught by other humans that magic is not real, yet we may sense it’s presence occasionally and feel drawn toward it. Even those of us who strongly believe in magic are human with human challenges.

When those who are asleep to their own magic lash out in fear at the magic-believing human, it can feel like a punch in the gut. It can feel like being plunged into darkness where the light of our own magic does not shine.

This does not mean that anything has gone wrong!

If we do not experience darkness, how can we know that we prefer the light? The darkness is simply one experience. It is not permanent. Whatever emotion we experience – positive or negative – is temporary and will pass.  

Acceptance of the unwanted emotion is key. 

We can face it head on and say something like, “I would prefer to not feel this emotion, but it is the emotion I am feeling, so I will choose it. I will allow myself to feel it, and be with it until it begins to transform.” 

We can dance with unwanted emotions, or hike with them to help move them more quickly through our experience. Any enjoyable physical activity helps move emotions. We can sit calmly with the unwanted emotion as if it were a visitor, and ask what message it has for us. Welcoming unwanted emotions and listening to them diminishes them, and empowers us.

Emotions are energy in motion. If we resist them, they stay with us longer, and can sometimes get stuck. If we choose to accept the experience of the unwanted emotion, the energy will stay in motion and transform more quickly.

Remembering our magic is key.

There is magic in reminding our fellow travelers of our magic. And while it is purpose-filled, and fulfilling to call others back to the light, we bear no responsibility for the ability of others to see their own light, or to connect with their magic.

Let go of people who tear you down and diminish your light, or make you doubt your own magic. Follow your inner light. Ascend into your own magic without feeling responsible for bringing everyone else along with you.

Find people who remind you that you ARE the light! Read books by authors that remind you that Source energy flows through you and everyone around you. Subscribe to blogs, tune in to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos that remind you of your magic and help reconnect you to the magical flow of life.

Grow on!

When you discover that someone or something in your life diminishes you, or depletes your energy repeatedly, have the courage to let it go.

Make a list of all the people, places, books, or blogs that remind you of your magic. Enjoy everything on your list frequently! Share those uplifting sources with everyone to remind them of their light too! 

In my toy box, I keep a running list of resources that inspire the crap outta me and my clients. Share your favorites with us in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

Power Up!

How often do you charge your cell phone? Put gas in your car?

WHY so freaking often?!

Because when we use something constantly, that’s how fast the energy gets consumed.

Now, how often do you use your body?
And how frequently are you charging your batteries? 
Do you know how to refuel your own energy?

These are crucial questions to consider, and ones I ask my clients every week. One of the biggest reasons we can feel depleted is because we have no idea how to fuel up, fill our reserves, charge our batteries. The things that drain our energy are unending, and come at us all day every day. Just lying still breathing requires some energy! If we actually go out in the world to school, careers, social engagements, and all the rest, we are constantly spending our energy supply.

If we are not making space in our schedule to recharge, or have no idea where to go to plug in, is it any wonder we feel drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed?

We can optimize health and energy by defining what recharges us (energy gains), and releasing any energy drains that are optional. 

Killing Time vs. Creating Fun

Just to be clear – relaxed scrolling, or watching TV is not the same as being plugged in. There is nothing wrong with those activities, but they can’t really be counted as recharging. It’s kind of like not charging the phone, but not using it either.  We end up with no net loss or gain in energy. Our battery charger MUST be plugged in for a gain in energy to occur, so simple “down-time” activities like scrolling social media or watching entertainment are not inherently energy building and should not be included when listing energy gains. 

Rather than helping us disengage (like watching or scrolling), energy gains are usually things that engage our energy and feel like fun. With this distinction in mind, we can begin to define a list of people, places, and practices in our lives that actually feed us energy and fuel us up, and which ones drain our energy and leave us feeling exhausted and empty inside. 

The lists below are merely suggestions to get us thinking about what fills us with joy, and where we actually choose to spend our energy supply. They are not meant to be all inclusive.

Maximize Energy Gains

  • Any self-care practices you already do, or want to begin doing.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Look at beautiful nature photography.
  • Enjoy nature videos on YouTube.
  • Move your body in any way that’s FUN.
  • Read uplifting books and articles.
    – Find people who inspire you and LET THEM!
  • Listen to inspiring podcasts.
    – Find people who inspire you and LET THEM, but with your ears.
  • Talk to a coach or therapist.
    – This is an excellent way to personalize a shift in mindset.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Relax often.
  • Slow down with meals to gain more pleasure from your food.
  • Offer yourself unconditional love.
    – This takes practice, and often requires support from others.
  • Frequently tell yourself and others what you appreciate in them.
  • Hug everyone.
  • Say what you think always, but say it with love.
    – Speaking our truth is essential for health, and so is not harming others with our words or emotions.
  • Schedule time to do the things that make you happy!
    – THIS is the key to increasing the energy available to us!
  • Dive into my toy box and find lots inspiring ideas!

Play with any or all of these as feels right in your experience!

Minimize Energy Drains

  • Negative self talk!
    – This is the most energy draining activity humans do.
  • Neglecting self-care.
  • Judging self and others.
    – Everyone is right where we need to be, and doing the best we can in each moment.
  • Negative emotions like anger, frustration, irritation, depression, fear, guilt, worry…
    – These are NORMAL human emotions to feel and then move through, and they drain our energy when we get stuck in them.
  • Doing things you do NOT want to do.
    – Don’t force yourself to say yes when you want to say no.
  • NOT doing things you want to do!
    – Not doing what charges our batteries drains our energy double time.
  • Limiting beliefs.
    – Any thought we keep thinking that keeps us from moving forward.
  • Taking things personally.
    – Their behavior is never about me and always about them.
  • Poor quality food.
    – Nourishing foods increase our energy. Poor quality foods deplete our energy.
  • Gossip and drama.
  • People-pleasing.
  • Clutter, disorganization.
    – Visual clutter can drain our energy.
  • Overuse of caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.
    – There is nothing wrong with using some caffeine, sugar, or alcohol, and overuse of any of these powerful substances will deplete our energy.

Play with watching what shows up in your experience. 
Play with identifying where your energy is leaking.
Play with letting go of these as you become willing to release them!

Once we create our own lists, we are able to make choices based on how much energy we have, and how we most want to spend it!

Grow on!

Try creating your own lists of what fills your fuel tank and what leaves you feeling empty! Then schedule some of the battery chargers in your calendar, and play with letting go of some of the behaviors that drain you.

Please reach out if I can help! Schedule a chat at THIS LINK so we ca connect!

Call me at 707-515-8324!

Sweet Release

Sugar is a pervasive, powerful substance.  

It makes us feel good when we eat it. It elevates our mood more effectively than prescription drugs. Sugar can serve as a symbolic substitute for love or intimacy.  Alcoholics getting sober frequently turn to sugar as a replacement habit, and find it gives them a lot of the same benefits as booze. Sugar can numb our feelings, fill our boredom, calm our nerves, or bliss us out. Why wouldn’t we turn to sugar for all this relief?

When we were hunter gatherers and we found sugar in nature – generally in fruits and berries – biology told us to eat ALL of it because it was ripe for a very short time. That was fine for hunter gatherers because gathering sugary foods was limited to harvest season. Sugar helped us pack on a few pounds before winter when food would become scarce, and we would need body fat for fuel. Eating ALL the sugar is driven by our biology, much like bears fattening up for hibernation. We are biologically wired to eat all the sugar!

But these days, the “food” corporations put sugar into every box and package on the shelf. Sugar is everywhere and available 24/7. It’s the first drug children get hooked on, and “food” corporations use it to increase their profits. Sugar is cheaper than both protein and produce, and it HOOKS people into coming back for more by releasing a super dose of dopamine, what we normally think of as the happiness drug.

Millions of people are habituated to the sweet benefits of sugar, without necessarily realizing the long term harmful effects. We want our sugary treats. We don’t want to see sugar as the cause of our symptoms. I get it! 

My name is Cyndi and I am a sugar addict. Sugar has been a problem for me on and off and throughout my life. I tried repeatedly to let go of sugar. I suffered for years under the harmful effects of sugar. Some of my sugar-related symptoms included SIBO, diverticulitis, headaches, night sweats, irritability, brain fog, fatigue, extreme pain from slipped discs in my lumbar spine due to inflammation in my intestines, which caused me to be off work for weeks at a time without pay.

I had to connect the dots between my fatigue and the sugar, between my constant symptoms and the constant underlying inflammation induced by sugar.

Long term sugar use can be as powerful a pattern to release as alcohol or tobacco abuse, and it takes awareness to finally let it go.

Sugar causes inflammation.

According to Harvard Health: Too much added sugar can be one of the greatest threats to cardiovascular disease. Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation.  Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Gastroenterologist, Suhirdan Vivekanadarajah says excessive sugar can reduce beneficial bacteria leading to a leaky gut syndrome, and other serious health conditions. Too much sugar may also block the production of a protein associated with being lean.

According to Anthony William, refined sugar is the number one preferred food of viruses and tumors. He also has a GREAT article on how the natural sugars in fruit are different, and not to be avoided. According to Anthony, “Fruit is actually the most important food to eat when healing from disease.”

Am I saying we should not eat sugar? 

No. I am absolutely not saying that. Sugar is delicious and pleasurable, and in small amounts can be a wonderful addition to a special meal. I am saying that sugar is a powerful substance and it will benefit the health and wellbeing of many people to bring awareness to how much sugar we are truly consuming.

The dose makes the poison.

We don’t need to avoid refined sugar, but we absolutely want to avoid too much sugar.

  • Overusing sugar causes chronic inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Overusing sugar erodes our energy. We may feel an energy boost when the sugar hits our system, but a crash soon follows, and continuous use of sugar overall reduces the amount of energy available to us.
  • Overusing sugar can raise blood pressure.
  • Overusing sugar erodes gut health and immunity, making us more vulnerable to all sorts of disease.  
  • Overusing sugar erodes mental clarity. Brain fog is caused by high levels of inflammation.
  • Overusing sugar erodes our taste buds. Taste is an intelligence, so overusing sugar can dumb down our taste buds, so they are no longer as sensitive to healthy foods.
  • Overusing sugar can lead to poor digestion, lack of nutrient absorption, and contributes to protein deficiency.
  • Overusing sugar can lead to sugar cravings!
  • Overusing sugar leads to weight gain, and inability to release weight.
  • Overusing sugar can erode physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, as well as our self esteem.

If you can’t imagine letting go of your daily habit of sweetness, you are not alone! Is it the taste that brings us back for more? Or is it the slight energy buzz it brings? Maybe it’s the relaxing effect we’re after, that comes post buzz.  

The reasons we reach for sugar are myriad, and unique for each of us. Those very same reasons are the key to releasing the overuse of sugar.  If we’re using sugar to cover uncomfortable feelings, it may be easier to experience those feelings and grow through them, than to endure the life long health effects of using sugar to cover them up.

Grow on!

Are you choosing sugar as a sweet treat, or as an escape plan?
How frequently are you choosing sugary foods?
How challenging would you find it to let go of sugar for a week?
Two weeks?

Create a list of all the foods you love that do NOT have added sugars.

Practicing this mantra in my power pose helps me say ‘no’ to extra helpings of sugar!

If you want help letting go of sugar from someone who understands what you’re going through, use THIS LINK to schedule a free 30 minute chat to see if I am the right Mind Body Eating Coach for you!

I will lead an Elimination Experimentation group soon where we experiment with releasing some of the foods we tend to overdo!

Multiple levels allow us to choose to release one type of food – or many – depending on your needs and desires!

If you are interested in releasing one or more foods for a SHORT trial, email me at cyndicombs@gmail.com.

Can’t wait!

WTF is a Mind Body Eating Coach?

I am super excited about my training at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where I am becoming a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach! 

As I discussed in my post, Who the Fuck Needs a Life Coach, not everyone is familiar with professional coaching, so it’s sometimes necessary to explain what coaching is, how it works, and who coaching can help.  Beyond that, it may be easy to identify what a business coach, nutrition coach, or fitness coach does – and who might hire them – but what the fuck is a Mind Body Eating Coach?

I’m glad you asked!

While an eating coach might sound like someone Joey Chestnut would hire, a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach helps people who struggle with weight, body image, low-energy, digestive issues, or compulsive eating behaviors like stress eating, overeating, and binge eating.  

Mind Body Eating Coaching (MBEC) addresses the nutritional aspect of what’s going on for the client, but our sessions also focus on the personal, emotional, and psychological aspects of what may be driving unwanted eating behaviors.

MBEC training is a nine-month course of study focused on Mind Body Nutrition, and Dynamic Eating Psychology. According to the school’s founder, Marc David, “Mind Body Nutrition takes the science of nutrition to a whole new place, and Dynamic Eating Psychology is a positive, results-oriented approach to eating concerns that speaks to heart, mind and soul.”

A Certified Mind Body Eating Coach is not going to offer you a specific eating plan, nor exercise program, though she may help you create one specific to your body.  MBE Coaching helps clients get to the root of why we do the things we do, and why we do what we don’t want to do.

This unique approach offers a pathway to finally heal our relationship with food and body that is different from anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’m willing to bet most of my readers have never tried anything like this before either.

So WHO might hire a Mind Body Eating Coach?

Those who will benefit from Mind Body Eating Coaching are those who wish to:

  • Replace endless dieting with lifelong nourished eating.
  • Release unwanted, or compulsive eating behaviors.
  • Find a natural and sustainable way of eating that suits their own body.
  • Savor life instead of rushing from one moment to the next.
  • Feel confident in the skin they’re in, instead of feeling worried about what they weigh.

Here’s what my current clients are saying about Mind Body Eating Coaching:

“Even though I have had only 2 coaching sessions with Cyndi, I cannot believe what a difference it has already made with myself as a whole. The week following my first session was amazing. I was able to actually have calm peaceful moments, (which I have not had since my husband passed almost 3 years ago). I am so looking forward to where my next sessions lead me.” ~ ST in Vallejo

After only two months, my insatiable desire to snack after dinner is almost completely gone. I can’t believe it was this easy. I thought I was eating a healthy low fat diet, and it turns out THAT was why I couldn’t stop snacking! I’m eating more food, and I am starting to release excess weight!” ~ SL in San Francisco

“Cyndi is a great coach- she’s patient with her clients as they learn.  She’s funny, insightful, informative and easy to work with. I like how she celebrates the smallest “aha” moments as she guides you in your journey.” ~ PC in Vallejo

“Cyndi has been very helpful in keeping me focused and keeping me grounded and bringing me back to earth when I lose it. She has taught me a lot about enjoying what I’m eating and being mindful when it’s meal time. I derive great enjoyment from our sessions. I find them very useful and Cyndi very uplifting” ~ BK in Pinole

Please forward this blog post to anyone you know who might like to:
– Replace endless dieting with lifelong nourished eating.
– Release unwanted, or compulsive eating behaviors.
– Find a natural and sustainable way of eating that suits their own body.
– Savor life instead of rushing from one moment to the next.
– Feel confident in the skin they’re in, instead of feeling worried about what they weigh.

What do you have to lose?

Grow on!

If you’re considering hiring a coach, please use THIS LINK to schedule a chat or a discovery session!

My Lucky Day!

I read an article somewhere about 40 years ago that explained that people who expected bad luck on Friday the 13th often found bad luck, while those who did not expect bad luck rarely find that Friday unlucky.  I decided then and there the I would not expect bad luck on Friday the 13th.  I took it one step further when I decided to dub Friday the 13th my own personal lucky day.  Since then I have had many happy encounters on Friday the 13th, in fact my first child was conceived on Friday the 13th.

Around that same time I also read an article that explained that symmetry was one of the markers for beauty in human faces.  The more symmetrical the face, the more attractive other humans find it.  In fact currently Wikipedia says “Facial symmetry has been found to increase ratings of attractiveness in human faces. More symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive in both males and females, but facial symmetry plays a larger role in judgments of attractiveness concerning female faces.”

I agreed with the concept when they trotted out photos of beautiful celebrities and started measuring and comparing the two sides of their face.  Symmetry is wonderful indeed.  Nature is symmetrical in many beautiful ways.  Symmetrical lines of architecture always draw my camera’s lens.

When I woke with Bell’s Palsy, that long-ago article was the first thing that came to my mind.  My next thought was, “I’m no longer beautiful,”  because my face was completely asymmetrical.

My smile opened many doors to me in the first fifty years of my life.  It was difficult to imagine my life could ever be the same or that people would ever see me the same magical, privileged way I had been seen when I had my symmetrical beauty.

I mistakenly believed that my value, my worth, was intrinsically tied to my physical beauty. Once I began working with my amazing energy coach, I began to see that my worth was intrinsic. My value had nothing to do with my smile.  My beauty emanates from my core vibration, not my face.  This shift in perspective improved my life in more ways than I can say.

It must be my lucky day!  After all these years it finally occurred to me that if I can just decide that Friday the Thirteenth is lucky for me, then I can just decide that asymmetry is beautiful.

Grow on!

What thoughts/beliefs/perspectives are you currently holding onto that do not serve you?
In what ways is that thought/belief/perspective limiting you?

Listen to Your Body

As I explained in my post, Failed Fucking Fairy Tales,
there are no magic fucking beans.

There is no one right answer that fits every body. There is no food plan that is perfect for every human, no exercise prescription that suits every life, no one plan that will create the a healthy body/life for every person.  That’s why we can’t just read a book, follow all the guidelines, and create our body in whatever image we deem perfection.  If there were one right way to transform our body, that “way” would have been discovered and marketed for zillions.  

There are billions of dollars being made annually by diet systems, workout plans, and nutritional supplements, but have you noticed how different they all are?  Some say eat large amounts of protein, some dictate no protein at all.  Other diets are non-fat, while still others include healthy fats at every meal.  Some are effective for some people.  All of them claim to be the magic bean – the one system that works miracles. 

While it’s true that many of these methods may be effective for some – at least short term – how do we know which one works for us?

If you feel confused or frustrated around this topic, it’s with good reason!

What should I eat?  What exercise should I do?

These questions have been documented and debated to death for decades.  It’s no wonder so many people are confused about what works and what is hype!

So how do we do what is best for our health and our body?  If I have a goal to transform my body in some way, what is the best approach for me?

There is only one authority on your body and your health: YOUR Body.

If we ask the body what it needs and then listen, our body will clearly tell us what is beneficial and nourishing, and what is not.

This is a super simple technique, but it requires slowing down and being present.  In our fast-paced society where time is in short supply, we rarely do that.  But if you are telling me that some kind of transformation is your goal, slowing down and being present will allow you to find your way.  YOUR way, the way that most benefits you.  

The path to the healthy body you desire will not be found in books, but in slowing down and really listening to what your body says.  This takes practice, and patience, and time.

Elimination Diet – 

The elimination diet is one of the BEST ways to help people find out what is, or is not, working for their health and their body.  An elimination diet is NOT a diet meant to sustain us for life.  It is meant to be used over a few weeks to discover which foods we eat regularly are not serving our health.

The main thing I want to tell you is that NOTHING IS FOREVER.  Many people won’t try the elimination diet because they fear they will find out they are allergic to a food they love, and will have to give it up forever. 

Nothing is forever.  This is just an experiment to see how different foods nourish or deplete the body.  Even if you discover that you are allergic to something, you don’t have to give it up!  That’s a choice you get to make.  We make better choices when we are informed, so this is simply a way to gather information.

Think of the elimination diet as a playful experiment to uncover valuable treasure.  In this case, the treasure is information that allows us to make choices to improve our health and transform our body.  There are myriad reasons one may wish to undertake a playful experiment with the elimination diet.  Many kinds of digestive complaints are eradicated with an elimination diet.  Many people release all kinds of other issues including skin problems, headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sleep issues, low energy,  brain fog, and more!  Many people accept these issues as a normal part of life, when they may actually be caused by something we are eating regularly.  If you suffer with any of these, wouldn’t it be AWESOME to be able to stop the suffering?

The elimination diet is a very simple basic experiment that anyone can try without paying a dime.  Since it’s not profitable, we don’t hear about it.  It doesn’t have an advertising budget.  The elimination diet provides specific answers right for YOU.  Then, armed with body wisdom, you get to choose.

I will briefly discuss each step below, but I attach a PDF HERE from the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine that explains the details fully. 

Grow on!

Explore which foods enhance your life, and which foods are depleting your energy.

Step 1 – Planning
• Decide which foods to avoid, which to include.
Ask yourself a few key questions: 
– What foods do I eat most often? 
– What foods do I crave? 
– What foods do I eat to “feel better”? 
– What foods would I have trouble giving up? 
– What foods have I noticed symptoms of irritation when I eat them? (Runny nose, burning sinus, upset digestion, low energy, headache, etc.)
Make a list of the foods from your answers above, and any from the list below that your health care practitioner advises:
Foods problematic for many people:
Dairy
Gluten 
Soy
Corn
Eggs
Peanuts
Tree nuts
Citrus
Shellfish

The list you just made is your list of foods to avoid for 2 weeks.
Now make a list of foods you CAN include! 

Step 2 – Avoiding
Enjoy eating from the “Eat this” list.
Avoid foods on your “avoid this” list
• For 2 weeks, avoid the foods that may be causing issues.  Many people notice health symptoms improve in the first few days.

Step 3 – Challenging 
• If your symptoms have not improved in two weeks, stop the diet and talk with your health care practitioner about whether or not to try it again with a different combination of foods. 

• If your symptoms improve, start “challenging” your body with the eliminated foods, one food group at a time. As you do this, keep a written record of your symptoms. 

To challenge your body, add a new food group every three days. It takes three days to be sure that your symptoms have time to come back if they are going to.

Step 4 – Choosing
• Based on your results, choose which foods you want to continue eating, which foods to let go, and which foods you want to eat in smaller amounts.


If you would like further guidance in creating a sustainable way of eating, and a happy relationship with food and body, please, schedule a free 30-minute chat HERE to see if I’m the right Mind Body Eating Coach for you! 

Celebrate the Body!

Over my nearly 20 years as a massage therapist, I’ve seen hundreds of clients over nearly five thousand office hours.  I’ve seen every shape and size of body, but the one thing I’ve seen that every single body has in common is that it is truly a miracle, without doubt.  You may have forgotten that your body is a miracle, and if that’s true for you, you are in the majority, because most of us have.  

We forget about breathing because we don’t have to think about it.  Our miraculous lungs do that for us.  We do not have to think about making our heart beat, so it’s easy to take it for granted and forget that our entire form is a miracle.  When a baby is born – our children and grandchildren – we glimpse the miracle of human life, we may even remember that we are also miracles.  But days, weeks, months, years later we simply don’t think about it because we don’t have to.

Our miracle bodies often take enormous abuse and neglect before breaking down.  They support us 24/7 without ever stopping – even while we sleep – until they stop for good, then our Soul/Spirit/Energy moves on without the body.  The true essence of Who We Are moves on, and leaves the body like an astronaut stepping out of her spacesuit.

Our spacesuit supports life, so it’s worth taking care!  We care for all kinds of things; plants, kids, cars, pets.  If you own a home, you take care of it.  The body is no different!  It is the home for the physical experience of your eternal being.  Our body is supposed to be loved and nourished in return for all it gives us.  Our physical body is meant to be enjoyed while we are in it, and it’s so much easier to enjoy when it’s feeling great.

It’s super easy to fall out of the habit of self-care! 

I’ve been fascinated for years by something I have observed as both a massage therapist and a life/health coach.  I have observed that any time humans feel short on time or money, we let go of the things that serve us best to make space for the “have-tos” in life.  We focus on finances and chase work hours at the expense of our health.  We take care of parents or children, and let go of our own spiritual and physical needs.  Most of us assume that at some point things will calm down and we’ll get back to the yoga class or the spiritual practice when we have more time.

I invite you to celebrate your spacesuit NOW!  That miracle you’re wearing has been with you, supported you, given you life 24/7 since you arrived here.  I invite you to celebrate that amazing feat, that miraculous performance, that steadfast support, in whatever way feels satisfying to you!

Honor the temple that houses your eternal spirit in ways that elevate your spirit!

The following is a short/incomplete list of little daily acts that honor/celebrate/nourish the body.

Brush & floss teeth.
Wash hair.
Moisturize skin.
Eat slowly.
Choose foods that nourish YOU (different for everyone.)
Be present when you eat.
Rest. (Two ten minute relaxation periods a day do wonders.)
Hydrate. 
Soak in the tub.
Move in ways that feel good.
Make love.
Focus on breathing.
Get a massage/facial/mani-pedi.
Walk barefoot in the grass or sand.
Ask the body what it wants and LISTEN to what it’s saying. (MORE on this in my next post!)

Grow on!

Make a list of ways you are already celebrating your body.
Congratulate yourself for all the things you already do.  That’s awesome!
Look at the list above and pick one or two that sound really great to you.
Add them to your schedule and try them out.

Slow Food

Remember last week’s blog post when I talked about stress, the effects of stress on our body, and the difference between life stress and self-chosen stress? 

If not click this link to read all about it!


This week I want to talk about one self-chosen stressor in particular.  It’s insidious in our culture, and most of us are not even aware that it is a stressor!  

Are you a fast eater, a slow eater, or a moderately paced eater?

Ninety percent of people asked this question answered, “fast”.  And guess what?  Human biology interprets eating fast as being stressed.

Remember, we saw that constant low-level stress causes increased insulin, and increased cortisol which can lead to:

  • weight gain
  • inability to lose weight
  • inability to build muscle
  • decreased calorie burning
  • increased fat deposits at midsection
  • increased inflammation
  • gut microbiome die off
  • nutrient wasting
  • decreased energy
  • appetite deregulation
  • desensitivity to pleasure
  • decreased metabolism
  • decreased Thyroid function 
  • decreased oxygen uptake
  • poor sleep

Imagine how this affects us if we have a weight challenge, or body transformation goal!  Even if we are not pursuing a food and body goal, none of these optimizes our health.  It makes complete sense that we want to reduce stress whenever possible. 

If you answered that you are a “fast” or even “moderately paced” eater, then you have now identified a stressor that you can choose to get rid of!  Reducing stress always has positive benefits, so why wouldn’t we put some effort into slowing down with our food?

The main reason is because eating fast is a habit. 

Generally, until someone asks us this question, we never even consider our eating speed.  In fact part of the problem is that many of us never even consider our food! 

We may skip breakfast or grab a pastry at the coffee shop, then eat lunch at the desk or running between clients, then grab some take out on the way home for dinner.  If any of these behaviors sound familiar, then you have a golden opportunity to release some of the stress that you carry!

(Slowing down with food is also a first step in releasing patterns of bingeing, after-dinner eating, and overeating.)

If you are interested in trying to break the habit of eating fast, you have much to gain!  So what do you have to lose (besides stress)? 

Here are some other symptoms caused or exacerbated by fast eating which can also diminish or go away completely:

Eating fast is a habit.  Eating more slowly requires some effort because we are creating a new habit, and new habits take time. This is NOT about counting bites. This is about relaxing with food and increasing pleasure! This is about enjoying our mealtimes and boosting happiness. This is about being present, becoming aware & listening to our body.

Fast eating is a habit.

Slow eating is a habit worth cultivating.

Grow on!

If you want to release the stress of fast eating, start by coming to your meals in as relaxed a state as you can.  Try to eat somewhere quiet when possible, or at the very least not in an environment that feels stressful.  Don’t watch the news, and incorporate some music that relaxes you if that appeals to you.

Before you begin to eat, take two or three grounding breaths.  Allow your heart rate to calm, then turn your attention to your meal.  Be present with your food.  Savor the flavor.  Explore the textures on your tongue.  Really enjoy the relaxed time with your food.  Food is meant to be a satisfying pleasure.

If you are eating food you do not enjoy, ask yourself, “why?”.  Food is meant to nourish body, mind and spirit, and we absorb far more nourishment from food we enjoy than from food we do not enjoy.

If you generally take 5 minutes for your meal, try to make it last 10 or 15 minutes.  If you generally eat in 15 minutes, try to stretch that out to half an hour.

I hear you!  

Life is busy.  Sometimes, unfortunately, we might actually have only five minutes to eat.  We can still approach our meal in a more relaxed and calm manner.  If you truly only have a short time, make that time count.  Breathe deeply and relax.  Taste what you are eating.  Be present to the flavor and texture. 

Enjoy!


Find lots more information on the benefits of slowing down when we eat in this fabulous book by Marc David, the founder for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Be Your Own Best Friend!

Have you ever told your best friend that she looked fat in her outfit, or that she needs to drop a few pounds?  Have you ever looked your best friend in the eye and told her she should be ashamed of her body or her weight?  No?

Then why the fuck would you do it to You?

Have you ever looked at an infant with her chubby knees and thought, “I just can’t love someone with all that fat!”  I seriously doubt it.  

So why do we withhold love from ourselves, or shame ourselves for fat on our body?  Why would we hold ourselves to a higher standard of perfection?  How possible is it to love ourself the way we love our friends?

Hate does not help.  Hate does not motivate.  Hate does not inspire.

If we perceive that someone does not like us, we often feel wounded, or hurt.  It is no less painful when the disapproval comes from self!  Disapproval of self can damage the psyche, delay healing, and derail our goals.  

We cannot hate ourselves into loving our body, and as a wise client recently reminded me, we cannot heal what we hate.  If we live in a home we hate, how much effort will we put into repairing it?  Same goes for our body!  If we have a body transformation goal, how much effort are we willing to put in if we constantly tell ourselves the body is unlovable as it is, and needs to be fixed?

Next time you look at yourself appraisingly, give yourself as much love and support as you would give your best friend!  Next time you get a little off track with your plan, or goals, try gently encouraging yourself back on track rather than belittling or berating yourself for a perfectly normal human moment.  

Perfection is a damaging illusion, a standard to which we rarely hold others, yet frequently try to hold ourselves. Our body transformation goals cannot manifest when we are under attack.

What will it take to treat you like your own best friend?

Grow on!

Practice looking in the mirror and telling that beautiful human how MUCH you love them. This is challenging for many people, so don’t give up. Persist with the practice of telling you that you love you, more often than you tell yourself negative messages.

Next time you catch yourself saying something mean to self, pretend you caught yourself saying it to your friend, or your child. What would you do? I might hug them and apologize and promise to be more intentional as often as possible moving forward.

Make a list of everything that you appreciate about your body! Our body is a miracle that we often take for granted. We can be so grateful for our lungs that breathe without any effort, a heart that beats for our lifetime, and so much more! We cannot focus appreciation and disgust onto the same object at the same time, so keeping this list handy can help when we are feeling frustrated with our body in some way.

No one has ever been Motivated by Shame

I feel confident in saying that one of the larger underlying goals of most body transformation goals is to increase the amount that we like ourself, and be more happy.  

I might like myself better in that special occasion dress, or maybe I like myself better as a potential employee at an upcoming interview.  Maybe I believe that I will be more likable to possible romantic partners once I achieve my goal.  I will like my life journey more when I reach that goal!  I’ll like the way I look in my vacation photos more once I look a certain way.  Along our path we became conditioned to believe that we are “not enough” and that our body is not good enough.  “If my body’s not good enough by cultural standards, I can’t love my body.  If I can’t love my body, I have to hate it.”  But we know we’ll like ourselves much more once the body transformation goal is met.

Here’s the fucking problem ~

We try to hate ourselves to the goal!  We may restrict calories, skip meals, increase workouts that we hate, over commit to new changes, get on the scale every day, get discouraged by weight fluctuations, overeat to soothe our emotions, then beat the crap out of ourselves for not being perfect at body transformation in every way.  We compound our brutal physical treatment of ourselves by brutally beating ourselves mentally for what we see as our own failure.

If this sounds familiar to you, please know you are not alone.  This is pretty common human behavior.  It’s the way we’ve been trained to go after our body transformation goals, and we’re beginning to realize that it’s doomed to failure.  We simply cannot hate ourselves into liking ourselves more.  The path to love and friendship is not paved with hate and shame.

No one has ever been motivated by shame.

Shame and self-hate take us in the opposite direction of our goals.

Let’s shift for a minute from a body transformation goal to a reading transformation goal.

Imagine you have a child who is struggling in reading.  The teacher tells you they are behind the rest of their class.  Would we shame and belittle them into reading better?  Would we hate them until they catch up with the rest of the class?  Would we tell them that we can’t love them until they are a better reader?  Of course not!  This course of action would not only damage the psyche, it would cause the child to hate reading.

Will we create success by insisting they do exercises they hate or by finding fun ways to grow their love of reading?  Will they gain more confidence if we yell at them each time they are imperfect or if we are supportive and encouraging each time they perform well?

How can we shift this same loving approach to our weight and body challenges?

Rule #1 ~ Don’t beat yourself up.

Our healing journey is a roller coaster full of ups and downs.  We need to be easy with ourselves as we learn what works for us, and what does not work.  As I mentioned in a previous post, there are no magic fucking beans. There is no magic pill, nor is there one right way to do relationship to food and body, nor one right way to eat.

For these reasons, we are the scientist in our own body transformation journey. Through trial and error we will find what is best for us individually, though it might not be right for anyone else! What does not work is not “failure.” Rather it is valuable information to inform our future choices!

"The more you beat yourself up for doing something you said you didn’t want to do, the more you will continue to return to the ‘scene of the crime’ and you will continue to do the very same thing that you said you didn’t want to do - NOT because there is something wrong with you - but because that is how body wisdom, and life wisdom teaches us.  We learn through repetition, so body wisdom, life wisdom will return us to the scene of the crime - life classroom - until we learn to integrate the lessons.  Until we learn to love ourselves, until we learn to stop beating ourselves up because we did something we said we didn’t want to do. Until we learn to forgive self."  
            ~ Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and author of Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being

Body transformation starts with love, not hate.

If you’re feeling shame or hate about self or body, please remember you’re not alone.  You didn’t make this stuff up – it’s embedded in our culture. Shame and hate feel icky because they do not belong to our true vibration (our true vibration is unconditional love).  Since they don’t belong to us, we can choose to simply let them go! Check out two ways to do this below in the “Grow on!” section.

Letting go of body shame and self-hate is the ESSENTIAL, non-negotiable first step toward every body transformation goal. We can’t transform the body while simultaneously beating it up. Healing transformation can never happen in the presence of the toxic body chemistry created by shame and hate.

True body transformation is possible

Every body transformation is a unique journey, a process that requires time and love. Making the shift from hate to love is possible. If you’d like some help making that shift a reality, you can schedule a private chat with me at THIS LINK, or check out my Body Transformation group at THIS LINK.

Grow on!

Here are two techniques that are wonderfully useful in letting go of negative emotions like shame and hate that do not serve us.

Grounding it – When you become aware of feeling shame or self-hate, remind yourself that it is not yours and you don’t have to carry it.  Take a deep breath and as you exhale, simply drop it onto the ground.  Imagine it pouring out of your palms onto the ground until it is gone and you feel lighter.

Give it to the light – The vibration of shame and hate can feel BIG.  See it shrinking smaller and smaller until it fits in the palm of your hand, or on the tip of one finger.  Hold it up and offer it to the Light.  You feel lighter as the light easily removes the unwanted emotion.