New Year… New Cleanse, Detox, Diet?

If you guys have followed me for any period of time, you probably know I feel about dieting, or anything else along those lines like detoxes and cleanses.

I hate ’em with a passion.

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I KNOW that none of those things work in the long term. It’s a colossal waste of time and energy to follow any sort of meal plan or diet, when you could be putting your energy into so much more amazing and exciting things!

I know that after Christmas most people (including myself) don’t feel their absolute best after lots of treats, wine and all that good stuff. BUT- step away from the scale. The average weight gain over the holidays is 1.5lbs. THIS IS NOTHING. WHY would your torture yourself with stepping on the scale? Here’s a better idea. Just get back into your regular routine (no need to add extra or change anything) and the weight will naturally adjust.

Guys, your body is a magical thing. It likes to stay in homeostasis. It will go back to where it was before when you get back to your regular routine! So, get back to your favourite workouts, and favourite meals, and drinks lots of water. This is the ONLY “detox” you will ever need.
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The following is an excerpt from my Body, Mind & Soul Binder – in Week 1 we talk all about ditching the diets and I provide several studies showing you how pointless it is. Check it out! It’s a bit of reading but I highly encourage you checking out these studies if you need any convincing that dieting doesn’t work!

“Arthur Frank, medical director of the George Washington University Weight Management Program, reports that out of every 200 people who start a diet, only ten of them will successfully meet their weight-loss goals. Only ten of them! And the odds get significantly worse when you look at the long-term outcomes. Out of those ten people, only one of them will keep the weight off over time. ONE person. That’s a failure rate of 99.5%”

“A team of experts at UCLA analyzed every study that followed dieters over a two- to five-year period. Not some studies. Not most studies. Every single published, long-term dieting study was included. The results were published in the APA journal, American Psychologist. When interviewed about the findings, UCLA’s Tracy Mann said that the results of their data were conclusive: “Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss, or health benefits, for the majority of people.” She added that most people would be “better off not going on a diet at all. Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back.” Initially, she explained, many people lose five to ten percent of their body weight. But the majority of people regained any weight that they had lost. So, the exhaustive review of every published long-term dieting study—by one of the leading universities in the country—found that diets are ineffective for weight loss. And it gets worse! It turns out there is one outcome dieting consistently produces. Are you ready for it? Weight gain. Yes, you read that correctly. The data indicates that dieting consistently leads to weight gain. The UCLA team concluded that “one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started.”

“Not only are they ineffective for long-term weight loss (and make you heavier!), but studies also show that dieting leads to food obsession, emotional distress, and—wait for it—binge eating. That’s right. Dieting is scientifically proven to lead to binge eating. These far more insidious and long-term repercussions of dieting are best illustrated in what remains, to this day, the most definitive research on the subject: The Ancel Keys study.”

The Ancel Keys Study

“Dr. Ancel Keys became well known in the 1940s for introducing K rations. Around the end of World War II, he led the first scientific study of calorie restrictions at his laboratory at the University of Minnesota. He was contracted by the War Department, which was interested in establishing a minimum amount of daily rations necessary to nourish and rehabilitate those suffering from famine in war-torn Europe. He was trying to determine the most efficient rations. In other words, at its onset, Keys’ study had nothing to do with dieting.

Keys recruited four hundred men for his study. After a detailed screening, which involved rigorous psychological and physiological examinations by a team of doctors, the top thirty-six mentally and physically robust men were handpicked to participate. This elite group was chosen because they were the most psychologically and socially well-adjusted, active, good-humored, and motivated. And, just to ensure that the men were mentally and physically thriving—and that the initial exhaustive screening didn’t miss anything—the researchers followed the men for three months before the onset of the experiment.

Then, the study began.

The men were put on what was called a “semi-starvation diet” of around 1,600 calories a day. (Okay, I know you veteran dieters are out there thinking, 1,600 calories is semi-starvation? Are you kidding me? That’s what I eat on a bad day!) The participants, mostly U-Minn students, went on with their lives. At first, they noticed some physical changes. They complained of feeling cold, tired, and hungry. They had trouble concentrating. Some felt dizzy. Some had headaches. But these minor discomforts were nothing compared to the profound—and totally unexpected—psychological impact of restricting their diet.

Finding #1: Increased Preoccupation With Food

One of the first significant changes that emerged was a dramatic increase in their preoccupation with food. Suddenly the men were obsessed with food. They talked about it. They daydreamed about it. They began to develop elaborate rituals and rules associated with mealtimes. They’d spend an inordinate amount of time planning out what they would eat and how they would distribute their calories throughout the day. They started collecting cookbooks. We’re talking about young college men —guys with no previous unusual or particular interest in food—who are now spending every free moment ogling Good Housekeeping recipes. One of them collected over a hundred cookbooks during the course of the study. Another participant, who was interviewed years later about the study, recalled going to a movie and not even caring about the plot (or love scenes)—instead, he remembered noticing every time a character ate and every single thing they consumed. Another participant recalled that he couldn’t wait for the experiment to be over. It wasn’t because he was in physical discomfort. It was because the study “made food the most important thing in one’s life.”

In addition to the growing food fixation, the men began to demonstrate other disturbing changes in their relationship with food. One of the participants said he’d frequently go to the bakery, buy a large box of donuts, and not take a single bite. Instead, he would hand them out to children playing in the street—and watch, enraptured, as the kids devoured them. Initially, participants were allowed to chew gum, but Keys soon banned it when he realized some of the men were chewing up to forty packs a day. They began hoarding food. Sneaking food. Some even brought food into their beds at night.

These previously healthy men were suddenly completely obsessed with food.

Finding #2: Severe Emotional Distress

As the weeks passed, the psychological impact grew more serious. The men became tired and irritable. They lost their ambition. They began to feel inadequate. Which makes me incredibly sad, thinking of all the women who diet hoping that they’ll finally see themselves as “good enough”—when in reality, the tool they’re using actually intensifies their painful sense of inadequacy. They lost interest in their studies and their friends. They even lost their sense of humor. They became anxious, apathetic, and withdrawn. (Any of this sound familiar?) Their psych evaluations began to include findings of depression, hysteria, hypochondria, difficulty concentrating, and dramatic decreases in sex drive. The emotional distress these men experienced was so severe that two of them had stints in mental institutions, and one man even began to harm himself physically.

Finding #3: Bingeing and Self Reproach

Several of the men were unable to stick with the dietary restrictions. They weren’t on lockdown, so they had access throughout the day to food that wasn’t included in the study’s rations. Soon, these men reported they were bingeing on vast quantities of food—followed by severe episodes of self-reproach. (Painfully familiar!) One man reported eating multiple ice cream sundaes and chocolate malts. Then he stole some candy. Then he ate several raw rutabagas. Rutabagas. Really? (Okay, that one’s not so familiar.) He immediately confessed to the experimenters that he had broken the dietary rules, and then began to verbally beat up and defame himself in front of them.

Other men admitted sneaking scraps of food from garbage cans. One man “experienced serious difficulties when confronted with unlimited access to food. He repeatedly went through the cycle of eating tremendous quantities of food, becoming sick, and then starting all over again.” (Yes, I’m still talking about a study. Of men. Normal men. In the 1940s.) Some of the men actually quit the study, because the bingeing became so frequent they were unable to continue their restricted diets and remain within the confines of the study.

They grew profoundly self-critical. And, the next part blows my mind. These previously well-balanced men began to experience distorted body images, and reported feeling overweight, moody, emotional—and depressed.

Please tell me you’re at least starting to believe the problem isn’t you!

Going Back To Normal

When the experiment ended—just a few months later—the men were allowed to go back to eating normally. But these poor men’s eating was anything but normal. Their metabolism rate was decreased on average by 40% (common side effect of dieting). Many of the men had lost control of their appetites, and “ate more or less continuously.” One man reported eating enormous, five-or-six-thousand calorie meals—only to start snacking again an hour later. Another man ate so much the first day after the study ended that he had to be taken to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. And another consumed so much he threw up. On a public bus. They reported not being able to satisfy their psychological hunger no matter how much they ate.

One of the men expressed having an inability to satisfy his craving for food simply by filling his stomach—it was never enough. Oh, don’t you know that feeling? He went on what he called a year-long binge. He put on substantial weight. This man was perfectly healthy and had a normal relationship with food just months earlier. No longer were these the well-adjusted, good humored, motivated men that began this endeavor. Dieting had changed them—rendering them almost unrecognizable.

And this was a one-time experience—not an entire lifetime of dieting. How many of us started dieting in high school? Middle school? Today, girls are beginning to diet in elementary school. Here’s the kicker, this study could not be repeated today because the American Psychological Association would forbid it for the “unethical, inhumane treatment of subjects.” Keys himself admitted, when he was interviewed years later, that no other human experiment quite like it will ever be conducted again because, given what we know now, it would be seen as too cruel and life threatening. Does any of this sound familiar? Depression. Irritability. Food-obsession. An appetite that can’t be satisfied. All topped off by savagely beating yourself up when you break the rules. If there is one thing that we can learn from what these poor men went through, it is this: These are the natural results of dieting and food restriction.”

Excerpts from the book “Have your Cake & Skinny Jeans Too by Josie Spinardi. iBooks. 

My mission is to get all women to fall in LOVE with their bodies, mind & soul and never ever feel stressed around food again. I hope these studies can encourage you towards a more intuitive way of eating. Contact me for more details, I have 3 spots left in my upcoming January 15th Body, Mind & Soul Program.

Lot’s of love,

Tara Brunet
http://www.trainingbytarabrunet.com 

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FOOD & THE HOLIDAYS

When you think of the holidays and all the treats, chocolate, booze, and parties- how do you feel in regards to your body image and mental health?

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From the messages I’ve been receiving lately I’ve been hearing that you’ve been feeling stressed, anxious, lazy, out of control with food, and generally just can’t wait for the holidays to be over to get back to your regular routine.

To this I want to scream NOOOOO!!!

I want you to feel STOKED on the holidays, empowered around food, working out to stay sane and balanced and overall excited about all the yummy & delicious food and holiday parties!

SO- How can we get you to that happy place? First is checking your THOUGHTS before you completely spiral into a pit of doom & gloom. If you are already thinking before hitting up that Christmas party that you are worried about over-eating, you want to avoid sugar, you feel icky in your cute little dress- well that is a recipe for disaster!

Before you go anywhere- check in with yourself. Are you feeding your mind negative thoughts about your appearance (for example: my hair is NOT working for me, this dress accentuates my stomach, and so on). You should be feeding your mind TONS of body positive, happy thoughts- so let’s flip that around to “Damn my make-up looks AWESOME, I love how my shoes go with this dress, I am going to rock the hell out of it and I can’t wait to visit with all my friends & family”. Stay in the positive! 

In regards to food- STAY NEUTRAL. All food is just that, FOOD. It doesn’t have the power you make you rapidly gain or lose 5lbs. By eating “junk” food you aren’t going to “un-do” any work in the gym. Food is food. Enjoy it or leave it. Stop over-thinking every single little calorie, fat gram, or carb! I think we need to take all the emotions and overthinking out- just simply recognize “Am I Hungry?” 

If the answer is yes: Well then eat up till you feel satisfied! If the answer is No, you don’t need to deprive yourself of that food, but perhaps check in with why you want it. Is it because it’s delicious and you only get it once a year? Is it because you are sad, angry, bored, emotional? Still give yourself all the freedom in the world to eat whatever you want- but know that food tastes so much better when you are hungry and not eating to just stuff away anxiety or feelings. (And that doesn’t work anyway!). 

I just wanted to share this because I do remember feeling stressed over the holidays and my body, photo’s, and all the jazz. I would sit at the table and thinking “Just fill up on salad, skip the stuffing, too many carbs! No you shouldn’t have another glass of wine, and you should skip dessert”. Then I would feel anxious about skipping dessert and everything looking at me and wondering why, while I also REALLY wanted dessert so sat there miserably watching everyone else enjoy it. Never once did I actually check in with what I wanted to eat, or how my body felt.

Now, it’s “Let’s eat that because it looks delicious! Oohh, that salad is amazing. I don’t want a huge slice of dessert because I want to have energy after this meal to socialize, not end up in a food coma! I love this wine, let’s have another glass.” And so on. It’s paying attention to my bodies wants and needs– not what I’m trying to force myself to do from a ridiculous dieting standpoint.

Basically, I want you all to say FUCK THIS when the negative voices get in your head about food. Respect and LOVE your body. Keep your thoughts positive around your body image. BE CONFIDENT. You have all the power in the world to choose the foods that make you feel happy, confident, and joyful! Get rid of all the STUPID food rules (forever) and please please just enjoy the holidays and your life.

LOVE,

TARA

 

The Journey to Food Freedom

It’s funny how the minute I have some time to think (ie: being sick in bed all day) is when I want to pour all these words out of my soul and onto paper. I just wrote about 5 pages in my journal and realized I needed to blog about this message and get a little vulnerable with you guys.

Recently I’ve been struggling a little bit. I reached this huge goal of getting my own studio, and it didn’t feel as fulfilling as I though it would. I’ve been feeling lost, what is next? What can I reach for? What am I working towards? What is the point?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my mission & vision in life is. After all, what is the point if you don’t know where you are heading? I find I really need that overall goal or idea to keep pushing myself forward.

During a meditation a month or so ago, a sentence actually brought me to tears with happiness for what I realized. I want to be a light for all women to discover peace and happiness with food and their bodies. I want to guide people out of the darkness.

HOW can I achieve this? Body Mind & Soul has helped immensely, but I’ve found it a lot harder than I thought. I can’t just give people the information and they will magically cure themselves. I think I forgot about my journey to this point. I’ve kind of glossed over recovery in blog posts and how dark it really was.

I want to help women find this happiness, but I’m stuck as to how. How can I inspire people to get really vulnerable and ready to get out of the dieting cycle? I can give them all the tools and information in the world but if they aren’t ready to use them, what good am I doing?

Thinking about myself being the inspiration, I think it would be apt to connect with you guys on a deeper level. I’m terrible at doing this in person because typically I’ll start to cry, or get shy when I try to get vulnerable in person. I get embarrassed by my emotions.  But I truly feel called to get this out there into the world and hopefully I can help one women’s perception of themselves and get them started on their intuitive eating journey on a new foot.

So, where it all began. I think I actually forgot about how bad it was. I forgot how completely lost and helpless I felt around food and my body. I HATED my body and myself, and wished I could literally just cut the fat off my stomach. Food consumed my every thought. I would spend days binge eating and purging and avoiding all reality. It’s here where I really felt like there was no hope. I would watch other people’s stories on how they “beat” binge eating but I didn’t relate to them at all. They were talking about sightly over-eating and they were thin & lead seemingly perfect lives. They didn’t understand what I was going through and the compulsions I had to eat every single thing in sight. I would avoid everyone and everything (shut off my phone) and eat, and eat and eat. Entire 2L’s of ice-cream with an entire bag of chocolate chips, entire jar of nutella, and syrup was truly just a warm-up. I could spend an entire day having massive binges, and then purging, and then starting the whole cycle over again. I would go to several different grocery stores to buy all my binge food in order to avoid seeing anyone I know or receiving any judgement from the cashier. I would need to buy a few chocolate bars just to tide me over till I got home. It would always be a game to see if I could make it home without starting the binge, but I never could. I was so ashamed bringing all this food into my house, and my worst fear was running into my landlords and having to talk to them or have them see what I just bought. I was secretive, and never thought I would get out of this cycle.

After a really bad binge day, I would SWEAR I would start fresh the next day. I would pack all my healthy foods, do whatever it took to avoid binging- and sometimes I would make it but I knew it was short lived. I knew deep down I loved the feeling of losing all abandon and shutting off everything and everyone. I wanted to escape reality and food was my drug. It calmed me, it distracted me, it stuffed down uncomfortable feelings. It did everything I needed it to. It seemed I always came back to it now matter how much therapy I did, drugs I took, journalling I did.

How the hell did I get out of that cycle? It seemed so dark and hopeless at the time. I remember crying to my boyfriend on the phone just wanting someone to understand this crazy compulsion I had to eat and eat and eat. Nobody GOT IT. Well, I’m here to tell you that I do get it. and if you feel even a little bit like I did; there IS a way out. I truly believe that if I can beat this thing, you can too.

It really is crazy to me now, because now even when I have off days, or think I could binge, it just doesn’t happen anymore. I don’t have the same urges these days (which I am so thankful for). I don’t know if I just grew out of it, or something finally clicked for me. I like to think that all the work I’ve done on creating this life of mine had something to do with it. I want to help MORE people get this feeling. I want you to feel happy, calm, and great about the food you eat and the body you live in. I want you to be able to eat whatever you want without guilt, or chastising yourself. I want you to exercise for the mental health benefits and enjoy getting stronger.

I want people to know that if you are stuck in the darkness you can find your way out. It takes time, and it’s certainly not easy- but it’s POSSIBLE. And it’s so so worth it. I promise that you can be that carefree, happy healthy person that doesn’t think about or worry about food- and live at your goal weight.

So how can you get there? That is a lengthy question, but it truly does start with you and your thoughts. Figuring out WHY you are using food is the biggest thing. Starting to allow yourself to feel negative feelings, or feel anxious, or get uncomfortable is huge. The more you can do this, the more you realize that nothing bad is going to happen to you. It’s all a big wave of life that just keeps going. Sometimes we are up, and sometimes we are down- and we need to get through the down phases with feeling the emotions– instead of using food. This was the biggest step in my recovery. Of course- I still don’t love to feel emotions and have also found alternative coping mechanisms that are more productive for me. It’s not fun to feel uncomfortable, but it’s also not fun to feel like you have no control over food.

I’m here to tell you that you do. You have all the control in the world and the more you can start recognizing those thoughts that are leading you to binge, the more you can stop those urges in their tracks. It’s totally possible to STOP a binge- which is something I never though I could do. You need to be willing to get uncomfortable, get scared, do something different.

I’m going to leave you with this question- what are you hiding from? Why are you avoiding your emotions with food? (and it doesn’t need to be binge eating. It could be dieting, being healthy, vegan, paleo, weight loss, restriction). What are these emotions that you are unable to really dig into? Figuring out the answer to these questions may lead you down a whole new path of your life. Let yourself feel the fear, and then go do what you are being called to do!

With love,

Tara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should emotionally eat

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It has consistently been known as a bad thing to be a emotional eater. People identify themselves as an “emotional eater” as if it’s a secret shameful society where only us weak willed dieters cave into food as an emotional crutch.

It’s collectively viewed as a “good” habit to exercise when going through emotional times, or to practice meditation and yoga.

Here’s what I believe: Emotional eating is not a bad thing. EVERY SINGLE PERSON EATS EMOTIONALLY SOMETIMES. People celebrate with food, commiserate with food, and console with food. It’s fucking normal.
Emotional eating (or any kind of eating) only becomes a problem when we associate it with guilt and shame. It would just be “eating” if you didn’t attach some sort of meaning or shame behind it. So WHAT if you eat ice-cream when you’re sad. You aren’t mainlining heroin people!

We live in an extremely fat-phobic society. Recently the HAES (Health At Every Size) movement has been gaining momentum, which is amazing. It’s showing up that your size does certainly not determine your health- in any way (google the studies).
The ONLY reasonwe feel shame around emotional eating is because we live in a fear of fatness. We are scared of gaining weight. This is SOCIETAL problem, not a “you” problem.

If fat was viewed as a good thing- emotional eating wouldn’t exist. It would just be.. eating. It would be applauded just as weight loss is celebrated today- imagine THAT!

So stop viewing any form of eating as “bad” or “good”. We need to collectively end the stigma around weight and food- where weight is just weight. No size is better. No size is healthier. No coping mechanisms are better. We are all humans just trying to figure this life thing out, and get through it as pain free as possible. So if a little ice-cream can soothe you; please stop feeling guilty and move ON with your life!

I’m writing this post because I think the more we can smash through these stupid dieting “rules” of good and bad, the less people will struggle with food. If you just ate when you wanted and stopped CARING so much, you could just live your life as the best version of you possible. I know for me personally, the only time I “binge” is when I attach emotional or shame around what I’ve eaten that day, or attempt to restrict. I start feeling guilty that I coped with ice-cream and that leads to even more coping with ice-cream. If I had just viewed everything I ate as neutral–I wouldn’t ever binge.

What are your thoughts? Would love to hear your opinions. I hope this can help someone today realize that food isn’t bad, you are not bad for eating food, and the more we can take away these stigma’s- the better off we all will be.

 

Tara

 

 

Why do all diets fail?

Did you know that at least 95% of dieters gain all their weight back? And in most cases, you gain it back with INTEREST… ie: worse off than you were before you started the diet!

I’m not even talking about your typical fad diets. I’m talking about meal plans,  reasonable diets, clean eating, etc. Anything that tells you when to eat, or what to do and imposes certain rules can be considered a diet. (Yes… even my nutrition packages– although I try hard to keep ALL rules out of them and keep it about creating new habits around meal prep). If you lose 5-10% of your weight on it; you have an EXTREMELY SLIM chance of keeping it off long term. By long term, I mean for life. Not just 6 months, or a year, or 5 years. And isn’t that the point? When you aim to reach a certain goal, don’t you want to stay there?

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough willpower, or motivation, or discipline to follow through with a healthy eating plan or a diet? Do you feel like there is something wrong with you? That you can’t stay consistent long term?

I’m here to tell you definitively that that is NOT the case. There is absolutely nothing wrong you, and EVERYTHING wrong with the “health” and fitness industry. This industry is worth billions of dollars because it’s designed to keep you coming back for more. Can you say that you have gone on ONE diet, met your goal, and then stayed there forever.. period? Do you know anything that has? Or have you lost and gained the weight over and over again trying new diets, exercise gadgets, fitness regimes.. etc?

I’ve been noticing more and more how prevalent failure is in the dieting industry, and I really want to change that. I know why we aren’t succeeding, because it’s where I still struggle too. 

We don’t address our actual issues such as dependency on food for comfort, coping or emotional reasons.

If you experience any of the following issues with food, there is more going on than just “not being able to stick to a diet”:

-feel out of control around food
-feel guilt or shame around eating certain things
-have periods of binging or restricting
-have an obsession with clean or healthy eating 
-have intense cravings for certain foods
-eat to numb out
-eat when you aren’t hungry
-eat past fullness the majority of the time
restrict yourself when you are hun
gry
-eat when you are sad, bored, happy
-feel the need to “work off” food
-label foods “good” or “bad” 
-count calories, macro’s or feel the need to control your intake of food 
-constantly on a new diet or exercise regime
never feel satisfied or happy with your current body

and many more.

Guess what. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FOOD, OR THE DIET, OR YOUR EXERCISE. You aren’t failing because of lack of willpower, or because you aren’t on the right plan for you.

You are failing because you aren’t addressing the emotional reasons behind your eating.

I know the dieting industry will have you believe that if you just go vegan, or cut out dairy, or try whole30, or go paleo… You will lose all the sugar cravings! Never need to diet again! Lose weight effortlessly! Every new diet will fill you with hope and promise.

It’s simply. NOT. TRUE. 

As much as you don’t want to hear it, you will gain the weight back if you don’t address what’s going on in the inside. That little voice inside your head is going to rebel at some point. When you go through a stressful time, when you go through a life transition, when you just can’t stand eating chicken and broccoli any more. Some people can last longer than others before their “Inner Rebel” starts getting louder and louder. Have you ever reached a certain breaking point on a diet/meal plan/etc where you just want to say FUCK THIS I’m tired of the arbitrary rules!? Then you finally go eat whatever you like and find yourself right back where you started?

This is so so normal. You are normal. You are human. We are not meant to tell our bodies when to eat, what not to eat, and let an app tell us how many calories we should be eating.

We are meant to enjoy and love food and our bodies.. and eat when we are hungry for food. It sound so simple, yet it’s the most difficult thing in the world. With hyper-palatable foods (ie: manufactured foods full of sugar, fat, anything addictive) increasing cravings and fake food everywhere we turn, it’s no wonder we are confused. We are bombarded with messaging EVERY SINGLE DAY, about how to change our bodies, what to cut out, the new “evil” food to avoid and what new exercise fad to try.

If we put all that time, attention and effort into figuring out WHY we are drawn to the food in the first place, and healing our relationship with food and body we would NEVER gain the weight back. We would finally have a healthy relationship with food. If we exercised for enjoyment instead of fat burn, we would all move way more often.

Have you experienced the yo-yo dieting cycle? Are you sick and tired of it? I am as well, which is why I’m working on an intuitive eating program to help heal your relationship with food- so please stay tuned! It will hopefully be launched for June!

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic, I am interested to hear!

 

5,4,3,2,1… GO

Ok, so I can’t take credit for this idea because it is from Mel Robbins, check out her TedTalk here and the podcast that I learned this from here. Seriously guys, LIFE. CHANGING.

I’m discovering that I can apply this rule to absolutely anything in my life and it’s supremely helpful. Getting stuff done, working on binge eating, making plans, stopping pressing snooze.. You name it!

Here is the essence of the rule broken down:
When you know you need to do something (ie: make a phone call, go workout, get out of bed, reply to that e-mail, write a blog post..) you simply count down in your head or aloud 5,4,3,2,1– AND GO DO IT. No second guessing, no debating with yourself. You just fucking do IT! (excuse my language).

In her book she describes the science behind it including interrupting those thought patterns that typically send you into procrastination, or a binging, or anxiety. You are able to essentially re-wire your brain and start training yourself to develop new habits- namely being a badass go getter.

I know this sounds incredibly simple. It is. But that doesn’t make it easy. It’s all about ignoring how you “feel” about the said thing you need to do and just doing it. Once I learned that it really changed the game. I realized I was really holding myself back from only doing things when I “felt” like doing them. Of course I don’t feel like working out most days, or making doctors appointments, or hopping out of bed when my alarm goes off. But put aside your feelings, count down from 5- and GO!

I recognize that feelings are important and we should always notice them, but that doesn’t mean that even though you “feel” like staying in bed all day that you should. And just because you don’t “feel” like working out, means that you just let yourself off the hook and sit on the couch all night. When you have goals, and things you want to achieve- you are going to have to do things when you don’t feel like doing them! 

This can also work in reverse for when you find yourself doing something you “shouldn’t” be doing. (I tend to avoid using statements like should, and shouldn’t.. but you know what I mean). Let’s say you are about to drive to the store for all out out binge-fest. Buy everything you’ve been craving. Deep down, you know that this isn’t really going to help anything. What’s been working for me has been counting 5,4,3,2,1- BREATHE. And just try to relax my body, because when I get wound up and ready to go into “binge mode” I’m usually not deep breathing or relaxing at all. So I breathe, listen to my thoughts and go do something else instead.

So, take a listen to the podcast, and read the book because she is amazing! It is the simplest tip in the world, which is why I think it works so well. Try out it out today on that thing you’ve been avoiding. Deep breathe– 5,4,3,2,1— GO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growth & Comfort Zones

I had a bit of an eye-opening week this past week, with moving out of my home (essentially homeless right now) and into the new gym, my life has been anything but routine.

I am such a creature of habit. I love having my meals prepped, my food ready to go, my “stuff” organized and in one spot. Currently I have a selection of clothes at Jordans, a pile of laundry at my Mom’s, the rest of my closet in my car, 20 boxes at the gym, and all my pantry items at Jordan’s. AH!! I thought my head was going to explode this week trying to eat healthy. I did my best, but eating out everyday definitely takes a toll, and not having my regular snacks available at work (and being there 14 hours a day) I found myself getting starving and binging on junk (specifically a bag of chocolate chips I kept in my car.. whoops). This totally reminded my about the importance of meal prep!  Get food READY so you don’t need to stress- you’ll save time, money, and energy by eating better foods. 

Anyway, I wanted to talk about growth and why it’s so important to push yourself out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. When I think about pushing out of my comfort zone, I think about doing big scary things- but that’s not actually what’s helped me improve in life.
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Pushing out of your comfort zone is a series of baby tiny step
s that eventually lead to something GREAT. Looking back on now starting this studio, I realize all the tiny steps it took to get here.

First, I dared to dream. I knew what would be the ultimate goal and I didn’t let nay-sayers bring me down- I knew what I wanted to achieve, but did I even really think I could do it? Umm.. hell no!
Then, a whole lot of time passed but this studio was always on my mind. It started with just starting a Facebook page for my training business which took some guts for me. I still was slightly ashamed of my “fitnessy” posts and didn’t want to annoy my friends with it.
After I finally bit the bullet and made it one afternoon, I realized it wasn’t that hard.

Then, I started training people in my bedroom (yep) and outdoors in the park. (In fact, one of my clients that trained with me at a random park late at night in the dark is still with me, every single week.. 3 years later!)

It started growing with a small series of things.. I had an idea for the nutrition packages and even though I didn’t feel experienced enough, confident enough or ANYTHING enough to launch it- I did! And the response has been amazing ever since.

That led me into the 12 week challenge- a small idea that has helped a lot of people, and when I think about it I get a little teary eyed.

These series of small steps like starting an fitness instagram, going out on a limb and doing the “Fitmas” Challenge has slowly built my confidence up enough to realize- hey I can get a studio space!

It started so small, and the more I pushed myself out of my comfort zone the more you realize you can do.

The amazing part- is even once you reach that goal you thought was so unattainable at the time, there’s always more growth that can happen. I want to do so much more and that’s going to take more pushing out of the comfort zone.

Also, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment this week when it comes to motivation and “feeling like it”. YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO FEEL LIKE IT! I was always waiting for motivation to strike, or the “get up and go” feeling which is let’s face it.. rare. Once I realized I’m probably only going to “feel like it” about 5% of the time- I realized I need to PUSH MYSELF out of my comfort zone the other 95% of the time. To making those tough phones calls, to tackling anxiety, to replying to e-mails, to meeting new clients, to working out, to getting up early and not pressing snooze. As Nike would say- JUST DO IT.

The momentum you create from just doing it anyway- even if you don’t feel like – builds upon itself. It creates confidence, self efficacy, and most importantly growth. Then before you know it- your comfort “zone” just keeps getting bigger and keep doing more.

So, dare to dream about what you want.. and then start taking those tiny steps out of your comfort zone to get there. EVERYDAY try to do something that you don’t “feel like” doing. I certainly didn’t feel working out this afternoon or cooking dinner tonight, but I still did it and that feels pretty awesome.

Health at EVERY Size?

Have you heard of the health at every size movement? Health at Every Size (HAES) is a movement that claims to “support people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control).” Proponents aim to improve the standard of living for people who are overweight or obese by promoting healthy lifestyles and anti-discrimination efforts.

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This has recently been coming up a lot in my daily conversations and life, and especially today with a more recently disturbing conversation. A lovely friend and past client of mine is currently in training to become a personal trainer. After working out with me and learning to love the process she wanted to help people herself, which is AMAZING. What’s not amazing is the attitude she was subjected to in class. While taking the first course you need to become a trainer, fitness instructor, or ANYONE in the fitness industry (ie: all of us in the industry have been through it) she was immediately horrified that the instructor put a photo of an average size women up on the screen – and said that the “world is turning in mutants, and gross”. He didn’t blur out the women’s face or anything. Then the whole class (about 25-30 people) all said chimed in, “gross and ewww”. The instructor PUBLICLY FAT SHAMED a completely random women while knowing nothing about her health history.

This absolutely sickens me to my core. I thought that the world was turning a corner in the health and fitness movement, but when I hear something like this I feel like absolutely nothing has changed. This instructor is teaching all future fitness instructors, personal trainers and fitness professionals to ridicule and fat shame anyone that is struggling with their weight. How horrifying is that??

As fitness professionals we should be absolutely following and supporting the health at every size movement. Size has basically zero indication of a persons overall health. I for one was a whole lot UNHEALTHIER when I was thinner.  Did you know that on average “overweight” people live longer than “normal weight” people? And that no study has ever shown that weight loss prolongs life? And that biology dictates that most people  will gain back the weight even if they stick to their diet and exercise. Fat isn’t the problem- dieting is the problem. We need to kick diets to the curb and stop shaming different bodies. The fact that 67% of women are “plus sized” (another term that we should do away with.. how about normal sized?) and are shamed for it is mind boggling to me. No body should be shamed- fat, thin or otherwise.

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Why do we constantly put “thinness” on a pedestal and try constantly to change ourselves? Society has created this belief that thinness = happiness but it is simply UNTRUE. Happiness comes from doing what you love, making connections with people, loving your body (regardless of size). Imagine what a better place the world would be if we started to respect all different body types in the media?

I feel sad that my friend has now quit this course due to the attitude in it and has put her dream of helping other women on the side. We need more body positive role models, especially in the fitness industry! S0 lets start encouraging trainers to get their facts straight- your clients don’t need to lose weight, they don’t need to go on a diet and they don’t need to look like you. They need to find happiness and confidence within themselves. I hope that I help my clients feel more confident, strong, and happy in daily life by realizing how much you can do- not like they need to lose weight to “succeed”. I don’t even care if you never work out, and eat whatever the heck you want. Are you HAPPY? Energized? Living your best life? Sleeping well? Connected with those around you? Loving yourself? Free of injuries / aches and pains? That’s what I want everyone around me to find. Exercise because you love your body; not because you hate it!

 

 

Living with Intention

Are you one of those people that get excited about the prospect of a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate? Or are you of the variety that thinks it is a little ridiculous to treat the end of 2016 any different than the beginning of 2017?

I definitely fall into the former. I love setting weekly, monthly, yearly goals anyway- so the beginning of a new year for me bring so much gratitude and growth. Since I keep a journal almost daily- it’s very interesting for me to look back to last year and see where I was mentally. I definitely think we have the capacity to completely change our lives in one short year. If you think back to how quickly 2016 flew past, you can probably agree. Imagine if we lived every single day of 365 days with intention? Imagine what you can accomplish!

I’ve personally found that starting each day with “intention” to be an amazing way to begin my morning, and has created a lot of change within my life; taking it one day at a time. If you could create one new habit this year- I highly recommend this one. Basically, when you get up in the morning set aside 10-20 minutes to write out your intention for that day. Now- I definitely don’t mean a “to-do” list that causes you anxiety the minute you wake up. I mean think about how you want to feel today. An example of my morning intention would be “Throughout today I feel joy with each passing moment. I’m full of gratitude for my clients and ready to inspire change. I’m full of energy, and feel a calming peace throughout my mood and my day”.
And then I’ll take that intention and visualize my day for about 5-10 minutes. We all have a rough estimate of how our days are going to look- so I take myself from beginning to end of each hour of my day and how it’s going to feel to realize my intention from start to finish. (This is basically a form of mediation). By already living your day with your intention through your head- you really set yourself up for success.

This little trick has helped me really expand my business, fall in love, strengthen friendships, create mental change, and find a new zest for life and get past those fears that you can hold you back.

Do you live each day with intention towards your goals? Or are you letting your day run you? Take back your personal power with this exercise and watch your life start to unfold- just how you want it to.

Any thoughts? Do you guys meditate or visualize or journal?

Do you “guilt” eat?

This is part of my new series of helping you to overcome binge eating and find a happy balance with food. I’ve written a lot about this on my blog because it is definitely the biggest thing I’ve had to deal with and I remember how helpless I felt. I just wanted hope that there was a way out. Perhaps you aren’t as deep into it as I was and you just struggle with the occasional binge here and there; but I hope this helps anyone and everyone who has ever struggled with overeating and guilt around food.

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The very first thing that I have to mention, is that if you aren’t eating enough; your body is automatically going to be craving food and leading you towards EATING whatever you can get- so none of the stuff below is going to work until you are getting your nutrition in check. To start, aim for at least 2000 calories/ day and getting in 3 balanced meals and 2-3 snacks in. You should feel satisfied and energized and NOT starving! For some people who have past or current eating disorders; 2000 calories may seem like a lot. I challenge you to add up how many calories you eat in the course of a binge (for me it was usually at least 3,000) and then divide that up over every few days or how often you binge. When I realized that the calories I was taking in during a binge COMPLETELY negated any low calorie days in between I realized I need to up my calories majorly to keep me full and HAPPY. As soon as I upped my calories and ate more, I binged less and ending up losing weight. (Not that this is about weight loss, but I know for some of you this may be motivation and if it gets you to eat more, that makes me happy!) Secondly, I don’t want calories to be the focus here and have only used these numbers as a rough estimate.

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Once you start eating enough and getting in all your nutrients- you need to start focussing on your BRAIN. In my opinion, the main cause of binge eating has NOTHING to do with self control, willpower or being a “sugar addict”. It has to do with the thoughts swirling around in your head that control everything! Once you start changing your thoughts about food and your body- you truly change your life.
Step 1: Get in tune with those thoughts. You can’t start changing them until you know they are there! Ever find yourself midway through a massive binge and you had no idea how you even got there? That used to happen to me all the time. Once I started practicing more mindfulness I could start to see the triggers. Whenever I was feeling tired or overwhelmed I noticed I tended towards all or nothing thinking. It was either “sit here and focus and do all your work” or “fuck it I’m going to buy chocolate and sit in bed and hide”. Once I had the option to say “fuck it!” you can guess what I did 90% of the time. Now I’m learning to recognize those thoughts and find a better balance. I now shift towards more grey thinking as in “Ok, I’m not really feeling motivated right now, so why don’t I give myself an hour to read my book and relax guilt free, perhaps have some chocolate mindfully and then come back to it?” Listening to your thoughts can allow you to create more options that you didn’t see before. This also comes in handy if you are one of those people that as soon as they “slip up” on a diet- you just figure that day is ruined and eat everything in sight so it’s gone. When you think about this logically it’s actually so NUTS that we do this! A good analogy is if you get one flat tire- instead of changing it and moving on down the road- you slash the other four and end up stuck on the side of the road all day! So if you find yourself labelling foods “good” or “bad” and when you eat “bad” foods you just want to eat them all- challenge your thinking. Is that what you really truly want? To sit on the side of the road all day with 4 flat tires? Or do you want to ENJOY that delicious dessert and move on with your day without obsessing over food? I think all or nothing thinking is extremely common in people that struggle with addiction or eating disorders. Here is the thing- perhaps with other addictions such as drugs/etc you can be “all or nothing” when recovering. With food- you are never going to have that option- so you might as well learn to live in harmony with it, rather than constantly fighting with your brain and cravings. You are going to spend the rest of your life eating, so lets make it joyful and satisfying shall we?

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This brings me to my next suggestion… Erasing GUILT around food. I have gotten so much better at this, but I definitely still find myself berating myself for wanting dairy queen or feeling bad if I want 2 servings of dessert. We need to take the GUILT AND SHAME out of eating. Here is the cycle when guilt & shame are included:

Wake up and have a “healthy” breakfast (again- labelling good and bad foods.. which we want to avoid). You feel pride, a sense of control. 
Getting hungry an hour later- you’re feeling annoyed and like you already had enough food so why are you hungry again? (judging yourself, and your hunger signals is never good)
You force yourself to wait till lunch because you think you don’t need more food (deprivation)
You forgot your healthy lunch at home and go out- you are starving by now so pizza looks amazing. You know you “shouldn’t” but it just looks so good…
Wolf down two slices of pizza while barely tasting them- and continue to feel guilt around your lunch “that wasn’t the most nutritious option, I should have had a salad, ugh why did I do that, I feel sick..”
Feeling hungry mid-afternoon but since you ate pizza you don’t think you should be snacking on anything.
You get to the end of the day after feeling like garbage all afternoon and decide “Screw this! What’s the point in going home and making myself a nice dinner? I don’t deserve it. I already ruined things by eating that pizza. I’ll just pick up something on the way home and start again tomorrow. “

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Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Now imagine if we took the guilt and judgement and shame OUT of this equation:

Wake up and have what you are craving for breakfast. Two slices of toast, 2 eggs, avocado, yum! You eat till satisfied and go on with your day. No judgement over how big or little the breakfast was. 
Getting hungry an hour later- oh! Well guess I’ll have an apple right now, that sounds good. I’ll enjoy this nice juicy apple. 
Lunch time rolls around- You forgot your healthy lunch at home and go out- you are starving by now so pizza looks amazing. You eat pizza. That’s all. 
Afternoon- feeling pretty hungry again and need a pick me up- I think I’ll have a handful of nuts, and ooh a latte sounds delicious! (No judgement, just enjoyment) 
Dinnertime: I am craving that healthy lunch I left at home, perhaps I’ll have that and a nice glass of wine to go with it! Feel satisfied and enjoyed every bite.

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Can you imagine being person #2? Where you just eat what you like? Enjoy it? Don’t obsess over food all day? Well, the first step in becoming person #2 is to start actually recognizing your thoughts. Trust me- no matter how crazy you feel around food right now- it is possible for you to be able to simplify eating and enjoy every bite.

I’ll leave you with this, start listening to your thoughts and identifying triggers. This does take time and I’m not saying you are magically going to become someone who barely thinks about food all day and “forgets to eat”. (Who are you people??) but, you will start noticing patterns, thoughts, and perhaps this will help you with the next step of enjoying all foods guilt-free. Try not to place restrictions on yourself. The more you give yourself UNLIMITED FREEDOM the less pull any food has on you. It’s pretty crazy but the best feeling in the world when you realize the food doesn’t control you!

Comment below any questions, or thoughts you have with this- I would love to hear it!

Tara