Are You Focusing on the Wrong Thing?

Back when I was twenty-four, I imagined my Dream Guy—what he looked like, how he dressed, his haircut, and even his tortoiseshell-rimmed glasses. Well, the Universe is powerful, y’all, because less than a week later, this very guy walked into the flower shop where I was working. We hit it off instantly, and I fell hard. Really hard.

He was everything I asked for—except I forgot to ask for “Available.”

Big mistake. HUGE.

He was dating other girls, and I was a hot mess in the prison of jealousy I had made for myself. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. In my dream scenario, I had only focused on what he looked like, not on how I wanted to feel when I was with him.

It’s the very same thing with weight loss.

How many times do we only think about how we want to look, but forget about how we want to feel?

How many times have we starved ourselves into a thinner body, but created a tumultuous relationship with food, or ramped up the self-hate to shame ourselves into losing weight and keeping it off?

What’s the point of being thin if you hate yourself or feel crazy around food?

Personally, I’d rather like myself and have a healthy relationship with food, even if that means that I carry a few extra pounds. The peace I have in my life now feels way better than the craziness that accompanied my lowest scale weight.

If you’ve been focusing only on how you look and that’s not working for you, I invite you to change your focus to how you want to feel.

What’s your Dream Scenario?

“I feel nourished and energized by the food I choose to eat.”

“I feel beautiful in the pretty clothes I choose to wear.”

“I feel strong and flexible as I move my body on a regular basis.”

“I feel confident in my abilities and in who I am as a person.”

“I feel loving to myself and others.”

It’s important that you give yourself at least three to six months to build this new Dream Scenario. You might feel tempted by the voice that still wants to focus on how you look, but I invite you to lovingly remind that voice that focusing solely on your looks wasn’t working and that you are trying something new. Then gently refocus your attention back to how you want to feel.

Cultivate the feelings you want to experience like you were tending to a garden.

Water them with focused attention.

Feed them with supportive thoughts.

Pull the weeds (negative thoughts) and discard them.

Hmmm… I kind of like that imagery… tending to my “Feelings Garden.”

What will you grow in your Feelings Garden?

I hope this post has helped you plant some new seeds.

 

It’s Okay to Say “No, thank you”

You’ve been there. We all have.

You’ve set out on a plan to get healthy and you’re doing great. You’re making wise choices that feel good to you, and those choices are creating the results you deeply want for yourself.

Then someone offers you a drink or food that’s not on your plan, and you are faced with a choice: Take care of yourself by saying “No, thank you,” or abandon your plan and accept the food or drink being offered.

A high percentage of people faced with this choice will default to the latter.

Why do we abandon ourselves so easily?

It’s a weird form of self-preservation, really.

Here’s how the inner dialogue goes:

Dialogue #1

“If I refuse, I will hurt their feelings, and then they will think ill of me. I want to be liked, so I will sacrifice my health goals and eat or drink what’s offered.”

Dialogue #2

“If I refuse, they will think I’m on a diet. I don’t want people to think that, because then it means that there is something wrong with me that I’m trying to change. I want to fit in, so I must join in with the eating and drinking to appear “normal.”

Supplemental Dialogue:

“Well, now I’ve blown it. I may as well eat everything, because tomorrow I’ll go back to being strict again.”

What I invite you to see here is that these are just stories in your mind.

You can’t hurt other people’s feelings—especially by taking care of yourself.

If someone decides to feel hurt because you choose to stay true to your health goals—that would definitely be a friendship worth evaluating.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, and great health is created by small choices made in the moment.

Too many women are worried that the thoughts other people will think about them when they say “No, thank you” are going to be negative—BUT—what if by saying “No, thank you,” you are actually offering inspiration to others because you are providing an example that it’s okay to be totally yourself, which includes taking care of yourself in the moment.

We need more women like this in the world.

I invite you to be one of them.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 12

It’s the last week of the Practice Project! Boy, that went by way faster than I had anticipated. What were the results of my experiment? My skin is clear and glowing, and I’m really impressed at how automatic my healthier choices have become. I know it’s because I kept practicing until my brain accepted my new choices as my new normal.

For example, I went to my friend’s Open House on Friday night where she was serving a lovely cheese platter with crackers and a huge plate of assorted cookies. Though it all looked amazing and inviting, I experienced no incessant mind-chatter, nor internal bargaining about the party food. I genuinely didn’t want any of it. It didn’t bother me that I was the only one in the kitchen not eating or drinking wine. I easily chatted away with the other guests as we all celebrated our friend’s awesome listing.

Another example is that I used to order a regular milk latte, and now I’ve trained my brain to automatically order an almond milk latte. There’s no thinking about it; I just do it. Before the Practice Project I would have had the conversation in my head that goes like this, “Go ahead and order the regular milk latte just this once. Once won’t hurt.”

In the grand scheme of things, one of any kind of treat doesn’t hurt.

But how many times do we say this to ourselves and then consume the thing we intended to avoid time after time? It goes from “just this once” to “virtually every time.” By doing this, you are training your brain to go back to the very habit you were trying to change.

Even stopping saying “just this once” is a practice in itself.

Yesterday I walked into Starbucks and ordered an almond milk latte. The barista said, “I’m sorry, we don’t have almond milk. We can do soy or coconut milk.” I didn’t want either of those options, so I said, “Okay. I’ll just skip it, thanks,” and left without a latte.

In the past, this is when I would have said “just this once” to regular milk, thus stepping foot on that slippery slope many of us are all too familiar with. Choosing to skip the latte yesterday was easy for me because I’ve decided that saying “just this once” is no longer an option.

Imagine if you adopted this practice.

Imagine the results you’d have if saying “just this once” was no longer an option and you followed though with your original intention – time after time.

You can apply this practice to anything, really: Spending money on items you don’t need; skipping workouts; even sleeping with someone you know is not good for you.

Consider removing “just this once” from your vocabulary if this thought takes you away from who you want to be and the life you want to be living.

Here’s one last practice I will leave you with at the end of this Practice Project:

You deserve to have what you want in life. Practice allowing yourself to have it.

Sending you lots of love and encouragement on your journey!

My best always,

Suyin

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 11

Last week I talked about how we’re so used to paying attention to ourselves in a negative way that we don’t even realize how much energy we spend on doing that.

Being kind to yourself takes the same amount of energy and feels way better.

However, to convert your brain, that is going to take some extra energy at first.

Criticizing yourself feels easy because that’s what you’ve trained your brain to do. The words come out naturally and don’t take a lot of thought.

Some of the most common “mean mantras” I hear women say to themselves are:

“I’m so fat.” 

“I have no willpower.”

“I’m such a loser.”

You will need to consciously spend some effort to catch your mean words and decide in the moment to switch them to a kinder soundtrack. Think of it like changing the station on the radio.

When you hear a mean mantra in your head or fly out of your mouth, immediately swap channels to station K-IND—“All Love, All Day.”

What’s the kindest, most loving thing you could say to yourself that still feels true?

Instead of “I’m so fat,” try switching to “The current shape of my body is only temporary.”

Instead of “I have no willpower,” try “My brain is currently set on this old set of habits, but I’m in the process of changing that.”

Instead of “I’m such a loser,” say “My habits are driven by my brain, not by my character. I’m a great person with a faulty set of programs in my brain, and I can install new programming that serves me better.”

Notice how I didn’t swap from “I’m so fat” to “I’m so thin.” Your brain is not going to buy that. In fact, it will say, “No you’re not!” which only reinforces the original thought of “I’m so fat.” This is why certain affirmations don’t work. If it’s not believable to you, then your brain will not accept it.

The thought “The current shape of my body is only temporary” is more neutral. Your brain can accept it as truth—plus it feels way better.

When in doubt, think about how you would talk to a friend. You would never talk to her the way you talk to yourself, right? You’d be kind and supportive. I invite you to use that same voice when talking to yourself. It may feel awkward at first, but that’s only because your brain is not used to it.

Just like anything else, adopting a kinder soundtrack is going to be a practice.

Once your brain converts to kind self-talk as the norm, any random mean thoughts that pop up will feel out of place. It’s pretty cool when that happens!

I invite you to do an exercise here to come up with your own K-IND Thoughts. Get a pen and a piece of paper and jot down the top three mean things you say to yourself on a regular basis. Don’t judge yourself for thinking this way; just allow yourself to become aware of your current inner dialogue.

Now, next to each mean mantra, come up with the kinder thought you want to think instead as you choose to switch the radio station channel in your mind. Once you have your new set of kinder thoughts, write them on a note card, a Post-it, or set it as the screen saver on your phone so that you can be reminded to choose the kinder thoughts whenever you hear the mean ones pop up.

As you’ve learned on the Practice Project, repetition is key. The more you repeat your desired thoughts and actions, the more your brain learns to set them as the new autopilot setting. This change can take weeks, so keep up with your practice—even if you fumble. No big deal, just pick up right where you are and keep moving forward.

You can do this. I believe in you.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 10

As you read in my post last week, I found that it took me nine weeks of constant practice to rewire my brain into automatically skipping wheat, dairy, and sugar. I thought that this was really important information to share, as many people with a history of quick-fix dieting tend to give up on a new practice after about two weeks if they don’t start seeing results. Understanding up front that this process can take several weeks may help you stick with your commitment all the way through.

But instead of focusing on the result you’re after, I invite you to focus on the process.

I invite you to focus only on the day in front of you. In some cases, you may need to focus only on the meal or snack in front of you. Even if you need to break it down hour by hour in the beginning, no big deal. Your process is your process. And it’s the right process—whatever it is—because it works for you.

String enough of those focused days together and you will change your brain.

How do I know?

Because I had to talk myself into eating a piece of bread this past Friday at a fundraising event where I was volunteering.

I neglected to pack some snacks with me and I found my blood sugar dipping right before the big auction where I was asked to be a spotter (waiving a pom-pom stick over the people who were bidding to alert the auctioneer). I knew I needed energy to run around the room, and I also knew that if let myself get too hungry, I would end up with a headache for the rest of the day. I chose to eat the bread, but it took a little convincing.

Crazy, right? Less than three months ago, I was eating bread almost daily. I thought it was an interesting test, too, because since I chose to eat it, I paid close attention to how it made me feel. Though I was able to avoid getting a headache, I noticed how tired I felt. I wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day. I also got feedback that my digestive system didn’t like it either, but I will spare you the TMI on that. This is all good information for me to know, as it reinforces my choice to avoid eating products made from wheat. Not because I “shouldn’t,” but because I genuinely don’t want to.

As I was writing the above paragraph, it dawned on me how much attention I have paid to myself during this practice project. It also made me think of the countless women I meet who believe that paying attention to one’s self is selfish. I used to be one of those women, but over the years I have learned to discard that belief. I would never have been able to win the weight war within had I not paid attention to myself, to my body, and to my mind.

If you want to heal your weight struggle, paying attention to yourself is imperative.

WAIT!

You know what’s funny? This just came to me. When you are steeped in the weight struggle, you are paying attention to yourself ALL OF THE TIME.

You are on yourself for what you’re eating.

You are on yourself for how your body looks.

You are on yourself for how your clothes fit.

You are paying attention to yourself all day long. Except your self-talk is mean, and critical, and shaming.

Why is this kind of attention okay in our society, but paying loving, caring attention to yourself is thought of as odd and almost frowned upon?

When you really look at it, don’t you find harping on yourself as odd behavior?

No one thrives when steeped in shame.

Treating yourself with love and care is how you will heal—and how you will bloom.

Maybe believing this is the first practice you must take on. Because believing that it’s okay to pay loving attention to yourself sets the foundation for other practices that will help you heal your relationship with food and your body.

It’s okay to be nice to yourself.

It’s okay to give yourself supportive pep talks.

It’s okay to like who you are.

Try this practice on for several weeks and see if that changes the game for you.

It certainly did for me.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 9

It’s been just over two months since I began this Practice Project, and here’s what struck me as I walked through the aisles at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday: Wow, the art of practice really works!

I say that because I was able to walk by my once-favorite stalls and had absolutely no attachment to them. There was no internal fight of wanting something and not wanting it at the same time. The best part is that I had no mind-chatter going on in my head. That felt like total freedom!

I could still appreciate the sight and smell of the baked goods, and I’m sure the samples of artisanal cheeses I was offered were delicious, but I genuinely didn’t want any of it. I happily spent the last of my cash at the organic stone fruit stand purchasing peaches, nectarines, and plums to enjoy over the holiday weekend.

Looking back, it took me about two months of daily practice to teach my brain this new way of eating. I think this is really good information to know, especially because the diet industry has conditioned us to expect immediate results, and when we don’t get them right away, we give up too soon.

So, I guess what I’m saying here is that to change a habit, you must commit to the practice for as long as it takes—even if it feels hard or awkward at first. Go into it knowing that it could take a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months or more. Understanding this will help you stick with your practice and not give up.

Really think about it though: Say it takes you three months to teach yourself stop overeating at each meal; or to stop snacking when you aren’t hungry; or to build a consistent exercise routine. Three months is a small tick on the time clock of your life. Wouldn’t the results from mastering such a practice be worth three months of your focus and energy?

Now, to be clear, I’m not saying it’s “one and done.” As I mentioned in last week’s post, I still have thoughts that pop up seemingly automatic sometimes. You will have thoughts pop up, too. The trick is remembering that thoughts are just sentences in your mind and you do not have to act on them.

A thought can pop up like, “I want that,” and instead of automatically reaching for the bag/scooping another serving/cutting another slice, that’s the moment when you can choose to check in with yourself.

Are you really physically hungry? Or are you acting out of habit or trying to shut down your feelings? If it’s the latter, you have the opportunity to make another choice—the choice to honor yourself and your body by passing on eating food your body doesn’t need. Not because you should, but because you genuinely want to.

Remember: Thoughts are just sentences in your mind.

You do not have to act on your thoughts just because you think them. You get to choose how you want to treat your body, and you can’t go wrong when your foundation is love.

In any situation, ask yourself: What’s the most loving choice I can make right now?

Then follow through with the action that serves you best. Just this practice alone can change your entire life.

Note: If you are new to my blog, you can click here to read about my Practice Project journey and learn all the concepts and tools I used to successfully change my habits. Perhaps you will find the exact tool you’re looking for that will help you succeed in making the changes you want to make in your own life. I also provide private coaching to clients who want more support in the process of change. If you’d like to work with me, you can contact me here.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 8

This is really important for you to know: Even though I’ve been doing great on this 90 Day Practice Project, it’s not without its daily need for thought work. You might think this must be really easy for me because I am a coach. Well, it’s not. I think thoughts just like you. And just like you, some thoughts serve me and some thoughts don’t.

These are the thoughts I heard myself saying in my head this week:

I miss toast and butter. (wheat & dairy)

I miss Parmesan cheese. (dairy)

I miss my favorite chocolate bar. (wheat, dairy, and sugar)

Here’s the truth: I miss the taste, but I don’t miss the consequences.

When you think thoughts like the ones that popped into my mind this week, I invite you to really break them down.

If you choose to go ahead and eat that, what are the consequences of taking that action?

Digestive problems?

Skin breakouts?

Weight gain (or the prevention of weight loss)?

If you say you want something, what you’re really saying is that you want the end result, but most people don’t think that way. They only think about the thing they want in the moment and not the result that comes after.

I invite you to start looking at the bigger picture and telling yourself the truth.

When you start hearing your mind trying to talk you into eating or drinking something your body doesn’t like or need, I invite you to immediately think of the consequence you’re going to experience afterwards. Once you have that in your mind, I invite you to replace the initial “want” with the consequence of that want. And then say it out loud to yourself.

Why out loud? Because hearing yourself say the truth can be enough to stop you from following through with that action without any drama. For example:

“I want an ice cream cone” becomes “I want gas and bloating.”

“I want a second (or third) cupcake,” becomes “I want to stay at my current weight or go higher.”

Does your perception change when you look at it this way?

Do yourself a huge favor and stop telling yourself you want something you ultimately don’t want.

The thoughts “I miss it” or “I want it” will drive you to eat it.

The thoughts “I don’t miss the results I get from eating that” or “I don’t want that result” will drive you to skip it.

What do you want more? Immediate gratification? Or long-term results?

If it’s long-term results you want, tell yourself the truth about the choice you’re about to make, and then follow through with the action that serves your highest good.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 7

I’m a little late with this week’s update because I was out of town for a coaching conference. I really wanted to take my time writing a quality blog post rather than churning one out quickly just to post it on time. I learned a lot while I was away, and I want to share those lessons with you so that when you find yourself in similar situations, you can have a plan.

The first lesson is: You don’t have to eat when other people are eating.

The day before the conference started, I was spending some time with two of my colleagues taking in the beauty of San Diego. It was lunchtime and one of my colleagues wanted to order food at this fish fry place at the end of the pier. I was not feeling it at all and chose not to order anything. The three of us sat together under an umbrella and enjoyed each other’s company while she ate her mahi-mahi plate and my other colleague sipped on a green juice she brought with her.

There were no thoughts of, “I should order something so she won’t be eating alone.” Why should I make myself uncomfortable trying to manage my worry of her being uncomfortable? For the record, I wasn’t worried about her feelings of eating alone, and she wasn’t uncomfortable—she was enjoying her lunch in the company of good friends. But even if she were feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable, it is not my job to change my actions to manage her feelings. She is in charge of her feelings and I am in charge of mine.

Later, as we walked around the little town of Imperial Beach, I came across a delightful taco place and now I was ready to order my lunch. I got my food to go and met my friends over at a coffee & cupcake place where they were ordering some lattes. I sat and ate my yummy tacos while they sipped on their coffee drinks. I felt no weirdness that I was eating and they were not. I was taking care of myself and enjoyed every bite.

The take-away here is that if your body is not hungry, or you’re not feeling the food options at the moment, you do not have to eat just because other people are eating. It’s also okay to eat when you are hungry, even if others aren’t eating. There is no shame in taking care of yourself and meeting your own needs.

The second lesson I learned on my travels is: If you’re going to choose fun food, savor the whole experience!

With a few exceptions, for the most part I stuck with my practice of no wheat, dairy, or sugar while on my trip… except when it came to a bacon-peanut butter-chocolate chip cookie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that another colleague and I saw on the menu the first night at the hotel. Our eyes kind of popped out of our heads as we read the description. We didn’t order it that night, but we decided to split one on the last day of the conference. We planned for this treat well in advance so it was not an instant gratification choice to be regretted later. We got to enjoy the anticipation leading up to the day we got to enjoy it for real. Honestly, that was part of the fun!

Once it arrived and was placed on the table between us, I took in the smell of the freshly baked cookie before I even took a bite. It was heavenly! Once I actually tasted it though, I found it to be cloyingly sweet. Remember, I’ve been off processed sugar for 6 weeks, so my taste buds had adjusted. I continued to have a few more bites, but I abandoned it part way through and didn’t finish my half of the dessert. I had gotten all the joy out of it that I could, and I was done. Finishing it could not have given me more joy in this experience. In fact, it probably would have negated my joy because I would have felt physically awful afterwards.

The take-away here is that there’s more joy to be had than just the action of eating a treat. The delight in reading the menu description; the making a plan with my colleague to have it on the last day; the anticipation and excitement of sharing it with her; the delicious aroma right out of the oven. Now that I look back, actually eating the dessert was my least favorite part of the experience! Wow. That is profound. It’s making me think of fun foods in a whole new way. I love it when that happens!

Hopefully these take-aways will help you look at food and eating differently than you do now. Know that it’s okay to not eat when others are eating if you are not hungry, and it’s also okay to take care of yourself even if others aren’t eating. Know that there’s more to joy to be had when planning out a treat, and that there is not more joy to be had in finishing a treat than in stopping midway through when you are no longer enjoying the experience.

One last thing: It’s okay to leave food on your plate.

Many people eat all the food on their plates because they paid for it. As if eating it all somehow has more value.

Yes, I agree you paid for the food on the plate, but if your body is full, where is the value in stuffing your fat stores with food your body doesn’t need?

Sometimes the best value is letting the waiter take your unfinished plate away.

This is YOU valuing yourself and your body, which is something money can’t buy.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 6

So, I’m walking through Trader Joe’s and suddenly I feel a strong urge to buy ALL THE THINGS!

Seriously, everything on the shelves and in the freezer cases was looking good to me—even the stuff I don’t like.

And of course, everything I wanted contained dairy, wheat, or sugar—or some combination of the very ingredients I decided not to eat for my 90 day experiment.

What the heck is going on here?

I pulled over next to an end-cap out of the flow of aisle traffic, and I checked in with myself by asking this question:

“What is it that I am really wanting here?”

The answer was so quick and so clear.

Variety. I wanted variety.

My very next question I asked was this:

“How can I have variety and keep my commitment at the same time?”

That answer was also very quick and very clear: Mexican food.

I left Trader Joe’s empty-handed and drove a few blocks down to a local taqueria. I ordered a plate lunch, asking them to hold the cheese and sour cream.

The next day I went to a Mediterranean place and picked up a gyros plate with a side salad for lunch, hold the pita bread.

The day after that, I bought some BBQ and coleslaw for dinner from a food truck, hold the roll.

And yesterday, I enjoyed an authentic Italian meal of fresh seafood, arugula salad, artichokes, olives, and beans. I chose to skip the breadbasket on the table and a cappuccino when it was offered at the end of the meal.

Adding in some different types of foods this week really did the trick! I was able to satisfy my desire for variety while staying true to my commitment to myself.

I think the reason why the desire for variety was so strong is because I had gotten into kind of a food rut. I was making most of my food at home and got used to buying the same items every time I went to the store. This is proof that with enough practice, your brain eventually goes on autopilot.

Before I started this project, my brain was used to buying cheese and bread every week. This new change in food choices has served me health-wise, but I learned from my crazed moment in Trader Joe’s of wanting to buy ALL THE THINGS that this new autopilot setting was a bit too monotonous.  This was good information for me to know. It only took a minute to check in with myself right there in the store, and it stopped me from following through with a momentary urge that I would have regretted later.

How can you apply this week’s lesson to your own life?

If you’ve made a commitment to yourself and you notice yourself wanting to break it, stop for a minute and check in with yourself to find out why. Ask yourself those same questions:

What is it that I am really wanting here?

Take your time and wait for the answer. It may surface quickly, or it might take a little longer. Once you have your answer, ask yourself:

How can I have ____ and keep my commitment at the same time?

The solution might be quite easy, and sometimes you may need to get creative, but sometimes the solution is completely unrelated to the initial desire.

Say you are wanting chocolate, but really what you want is a hug, go ask someone for a hug.

If you think you’re craving potato chips, but what you’re really craving is conversation, call up a friend or go meet her for a walk.

I invite you to make it a practice to check in with yourself whenever you are contemplating taking an action that history has proven you’ll regret afterwards. Imagine what your life would be like, or how your body would look and feel if you checked in on a regular basis and shifted your action based on the information you receive from your own inner guidance.

You are more wise and powerful than you know. Your internal wisdom is always available to you; you only need to ask questions and then listen for the answer.

What you then do with the answer is up to you, but choosing the action that serves you best is one of the greatest forms of self-love there is.

 

The 90 Day Practice Project: Week 5

I was dying for a hamburger last Friday and decided to try a local hamburger place called The Habit. They didn’t have wheat-free buns, but they did have an option to swap the wheat buns for wedges of lettuce. This was actually really good! I also had a side of sweet potato fries. Yum! It was really nice to be able to get a wheat & dairy-free option virtually on the go after hours of running errands.

I also ate some chips and salsa over the weekend, but this was the first processed food I had eaten in a weeks, and I didn’t feel great afterwards. I used to like this certain brand of organic chips and would have them on occasion, but my body is now saying a very clear NO. I will be putting that on my “Do Not Buy” list and skipping that purchase from now on.

The Do Not Buy List is something I made up a long time ago to remind myself of the foods my body doesn’t like, or new items I tried but didn’t like the taste of. Months could go by and I won’t always remember what those items were, or I’ll forget how I felt the last time I ate them. The Do Not Buy List makes it easy to skip those purchases when I’m in the store.

I keep a written list on a page in my journal, and I consult it when I make my shopping list. Another option is to keep a running list on your phone and consult it while you are in the store.

To be clear, this is not a list of foods that are “forbidden.” This is not a good foods/bad foods thing. In the Love Yourself Lighter method there are no foods that are off-limits. This takes the charge off of food in a really effective way, especially when your mind has been conditioned to judge certain foods as “bad,” and then you judge yourself as “bad” for eating it.

Instead, this is a tool to remind yourself of the feedback your body gave you the last time you ate it. If you felt crappy, why put it in your body again?

If your child had food allergy symptoms, got a stomachache, or a skin reaction after eating certain foods, would you keep feeding it to her? No, right? I invite you to apply that same level of care and concern to your own body. Like a child, your body relies on you for its care. When you care for your body the way you would care for a child’s body, making food decisions is easy.

To apply this week’s lesson, I invite you to get out your journal or a piece of paper and make your own “Do Not Buy” list by asking yourself these questions:

What are the foods I already know my body doesn’t like?  Examples: I burp up bell peppers hours after eating them; Ice cream gives me the runs (sorry for being graphic, but your body is very specific in its feedback, so I’m just going to keep it real here).

What are the foods I think are suspect? Examples: I notice I always feel like taking a nap after I eat bread; When I eat dairy foods, I notice I have to clear my throat a lot; My skin always itches after I eat chicken.

What are some new items I tried, but didn’t like? (Trust me, this list will save you money down the road when you’re standing in the store and forgot that you already bought that item or brand and hated it).

Keep your list handy and add to it as you begin to listen to your body’s feedback. Notice how much better you start to feel as you consciously decide to skip the foods your body reacts to. Feeling great is definitely a welcome side effect of honoring your body in this way.

To wrap up, I want to check in and see how your Practice Project is going. Are you still going strong? Awesome! If you feel inspired to, please connect with me on my Facebook page (here) and let me know what helps you to stay committed. Sharing what works for you may help another person.

If your commitment has lapsed a bit, no worries! Just pick up right where you are and start practicing again. As with learning a new language, a musical instrument, or any new skill, it takes practice to get good at it.

Use can use these thoughts to motivate you:

Each time I practice, I am training my brain to do this automatically. 

I strengthen the new pattern in my brain every time I follow through.

I am becoming a person who has a peaceful relationship with food/exercises regularly/sees her own value and celebrates it.

Have a beautiful week!