If you’re anything like the rest of the women I work with you want to feel amazing in your body, have radiant health, AND experience a life of freedom, ease, and full self expression. You know nourishing your body is an important part of all of that, and yet you don’t quite know how to find that middle way between rigid rules + deprivation and …. eating all the things.
If you’re not restricting, then you’re going all out. Pancakes for breakfast. Cheese, crackers, and wine at 4pm, dessert after every dinner. And all of a sudden, you’re bloated, you don’t feel good, and you can feel yourself gaining weight again. So you start counting calories, eliminating foods, or searching for that next reset or detox again.
The key to finally breaking out of the restriction/binge cycle and black and white thinking?
If you've been reading along for some time now, you know that my rock bottom came in the first year of college when I was stuck in a painful and persistent struggle with my health and hormones after the passing of my dad. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism, severe adrenal fatigue, depression, anxiety, acne, and insomnia. And to top it all off, I was waging an ugly war on my body with binge eating, diet pills, excessive exercise, and restrictive eating.
I felt completely broken and in a desperate attempt to understand how to heal myself, I read every book, scientific study, and listened to every lecture on the subject that I could get my hands on.
After a few years of treating the symptoms with medications, I decided to pursue a more natural approach. I wasn't interested in medical, dietary, or supplement regimens focused solely on treating the symptoms - I wanted an approach that would address the roots of dis-ease in my mind, body and spirit. I didn't want a 6-month, restrictive candida diet that kept me watching life from the sidelines while feeling deprived and obsessed with food and my body. I didn't want 20 expensive supplements to replace the medications I was letting go of. And I didn't want to create further symptoms with stressful healing strategies. I was committed to finding a different way. A way that was inspired by mother nature, uniquely feminine, simple, and pleasure-rich.
As intelligent, ambitious women, we often impose this perfectionistic ideal upon ourselves about how our relationship with food and our bodies should look. And one of the biggest misperceptions I see amongst world-changing women is that once we heal our relationship with food, we’ll have this always consistent, always harmonious, always in-control relationship with food. But if you’re a woman desiring to use food simply as fuel, day-in and day-out, then you may be disregarding and disowning the dynamic, emotional, and ever-changing nature of life.
Though we may want our relationship with food look like a placid lake, with little surprises or deviations from a serene and consistent state, it often looks more like a gently rolling ocean. Which makes sense when we acknowledge that food is just a mirror for life. Our life is marked by rhythms, ruled by seasons of the soul, and shaped by the cyclic and ever evolving natural world. And these seasons profoundly affect our relationship with food, our metabolism, and our wellbeing.
Once upon a time, I thought I’d never find the light at the end of the tunnel of my own struggle with health. I was spiraling downward with worsening symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, riddled with anxiety, and held back by depression. My weight was unresponsive to my heroic efforts and I felt so damn confused and overwhelmed by conflicting information. What I didn’t know at the time, was that my very best intentions and efforts were only making matters worse.
In this blog, I’m going to give you 6 tell-tale signs of unsustainable and ineffective healing protocols.
Because if you’re diligently following a poorly designed healing approach there is a very real risk that you’ll create even more imbalance and metabolic damage in the process.
Today, I began my day bright and early with a brisk walk to my neighborhood yoga studio to begin the day with a little heart and hip opening. We began the yoga class by setting an intention. The teacher spoke about the vibration that we are creating in our lives and how important it is to be mindful about what and who we surround ourselves with. I set my intention to focus my experience on the immense love, gratitude, abundance, and bliss that is available to me. In order to fill my life with these positive vibrations, I would need to kick fear to the curb, choosing higher vibration thoughts instead. I closed my eyes, brought my hands to hearts center and placed the seed of intention between my palms.
I gently opened my eyes gazing at my mat, and there between my two feet was a SPIDER. EEK! Truth be told, I’m not very zen in my relationship with spiders and at home might consider taking a shoe to it, but here, in this space that practices the yogic principle of Ahimsa, or nonviolence, I could do no such thing. So I watched it and laughed at the irony of the situation. The universe has a hilarious sense of humor when we pay attention. Here was the universe, “Saying, you think you’re ready to cast fear aside and choose love and peace instead? Show me.”
Sometimes, we go a month, or two or three where literally anything goes in the realms of self care because we are pouring all of our energy into a realm of our life that we deem more important at that given time: work, family, creativity, etc. We forget that self care actually is the fuel and foundation for literally every other area of our life.
It’s during these times where we get to experience the dis-ease that results when we abandon self care – the burnout, the depletion, the fatigue, the creative blocks. We come to truly cherish and crave self care for the way it nourishes our soul so that we can show up strong, creative, and loving. Things like meditation and yoga feel less like tedious to-do’s and more like a gift, a luxury. AND, then we get to course correct. To come into congruency and alignment with our integrity. Wipe the slate clean and recommit to a path that honors our Truth, values, and intentions.
The tireless and fruitless pursuit for perfection is a pattern that shows up in every area of life from business to relationships to health. And if I was to pinpoint the top factor that holds my clients back from truly leading in the world in the way that sets their heart on fire, it’s perfection.
The search for the perfect business, perfect relationship, perfect body, perfect diet, perfect marketing strategy, perfect morning routine, the perfect YOU NAME IT, is an illusory and dead-end pattern that always, always, always leads to a feeling of failure, unworthiness, and “not quite good enough”. Perfectionism is a major root of stuckness and stagnation. And, if we don’t pay attention, we’ll put perfection so high up on a pedestal that the quest will begin to rob us of our vitality and joy, leading only to apathy, depression, exhaustion, and burnout.
Several years ago I had the opportunity to take a year and travel around South America. While living there, I was deeply drawn to the summits and rough terrain of the Andes. I sought out mountaineering trips in Patagonia and then, upon traveling north, set out to summit Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits of the world. I had chosen a trip that traversed the Guanacos Valley route, a lesser-travelled route to the summit. Unlike the normal route, it was relatively untouched and much longer, taking about 19 days.
Reaching to 22,837 ft, this mountain was a sure to teach me a lesson or two on the art of perseverance, mental fortitude, and emotional endurance. What I didn’t realize was that it would also teach me the art of surrendering to the journey.
I had the most wonderful chat a couple of months ago with the beautiful Caroline Dooner from the Fuck it Diet Podcast. Listen below as we discuss the body, grounding, and the Divine Feminine. I've also included the Transcript below if you prefer that instead!