Weight Loss




I’m taking a break from my detox posts to talk to you about something that has been on my mind a lot — a whole lot — of late. That is the issue of weight. Specifically fat. That picture above all these words, the one on the left, was taken when I was about 55 pounds more than the one that shows me right now. And at that time I was not happy with my body, but it wasn’t my first rodeo. You see, throughout my life, I have weighed a lot and I have weighed a little. But I have never been happy with my weight until I changed my view of things. I had to realize that the fat on my body was not the problem and it wasn’t a reflection of me as a person.

Most of us see fat on ourselves and others, and, honestly, we see failure. Failure in ourselves to lose the weight and failure in others to control themselves enough to keep from putting on the weight. But all of that is crap.  I have been fat and worked out way more than I do now and counted calories like a full-time job. I wasn’t being lazy, and I suspect that most people who are overweight and obese can recount the various things they have tried to get the fat off.

 So let me be clear, extra weight on our body is not a failing, it is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Unfortunately, while the body is sophisticated, it isn’t super hip to societal expectations. Because instead of seeing the fat and thinking that we need to address the underlying issue, we see fat and either berate ourselves and/or attack our body by reducing our calories significantly in an attempt to beat it into submission. This very rarely works, and it isn’t sustainable when it does. Ever been told to go on a 1200 calorie diet? How did that workout for your metabolism?

The 55 pounds that fell off my body did so only after I decided to address what was going on inside my body. This is what I do for my clients too. Together we look at what the body is telling us about what’s going on inside so that they can have a true transformation inside and out.  So if you are overweight and feeling hopeless because nothing seems to work, contact me today for a free consultation to see if I can offer what has been missing this whole time.

healing journey, Health, self-care

Self-care, dang it!


I’m taking a break from my gut health series to write about something that has been on my mind: self-care.  Self-care is vital to our health and, in many ways, is the linchpin of creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. And while it’s one of those things that is talked about ad nauseam in health blogs and in health-focused magazines, it’s really hard to get people to actually do it.

In fact, self-care might be the most challenging aspect of health for my clients.  I preach it because I know how important it is, but even I can have a hard time incorporating it into my life. In fact, over the last month I’ve not tended to myself at all. And I have excuses. There’s my business and volunteer commitments, unexpected travel, illness, and now a toddler that can scale just about anything.  In the face of all that, I just let self-care fall off the list. And you know what? It did not serve me. Here I was trying to serve everyone else, but I had nothing to give.  I did it; I took care of those diverse needs, but I wasn’t eating as well as I should or exercising enough. I felt overwhelmed; I had very little patience for those around me and  started to seriously feel resentful. I don’t know about you, but this is not how I want to live my life.

Part of the challenge of incorporating self-care into our lives is that we don’t really know how to do it.  When pushed to say what we think it is, we tend to think about eating right and exercising. While there is truth in that, it goes a little deeper.  It’s really about the why and how. Self-care requires a shift in our thinking. We prepare good food or exercise not because we are beating ourselves into submission but because we know that when we eat well and move our bodies we feel better and we can handle our lives with more grace. It’s about turning off the T.V. and the phone at the end of a long day and curling up with a good book so that we can get deeper, more restful sleep. It’s meditating, spending time with friends that lift us up, and paying attention to and managing our stress.  It’s about making those things that build us up and nourish our body and mind a priority.

Here are a few tips for incorporating self-care into your life.

  1. Pick your self-care. Decide on one or two self-care practices you want to work into your life. Maybe it’s just using all that fancy face washing things you got for Christmas or maybe it’s practicing yoga daily. Pick something that will nourish you.
  2. Schedule it. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, put it on your calendar each day and treat it like you would a meeting with your boss.
  3. DO IT! Seriously, you will always have too many things on your list and not enough time. What does it hurt to take half and hour or less to focus on your health? Nothing. It hurts nothing.

If you need help figuring out how to get self-care into your life or are ready to transform your health, contact me for a free consultation. 


The calorie counting problem


Calories have been the focus of our obsession with weight and, by proxy, health, leaving us all feeling like big fat failures for not being able to lose weight.  The message from our doctors and the society at large is that weight is a simple mathematical equation (calories in – calories out = the size of our rear). Based on that, anyone with a large rear is just not very good at math. This message does a great disservice because a) it replaces the markers of health — a body that feels good and is full of energy — with a superficial marker of having a thin frame and b) it oversimplifies the notion so much that it actually causes people to retain more weight.

In the US right now, well over half (68%) of people are overweight. If you don’t think that at least some of those people have tracked their calories and increased their exercise, you would be fooling yourself.  The problem is that the well-crafted message of calories in versus calories out doesn’t touch on the importance of nutrients or the type of calories you are putting in. This means that the message is ripe for exploitation. Take the low-cal, no-fat foods that were so in vogue in the nineties. “Foods” like Snackwell cookies, Slimfast shakes, and even low-fat yogurt managed to stay really low in calories but were all extremely high in sugar and simple carbohydrates and almost completely devoid of nutrients.

Calories from low-cal but high sugar or carbohydrate foods cause our body to retain more fat. Sugar (from sugary treats or simple carbohydrates) spikes our blood sugar causing insulin to be produced which store that energy in our fat cells. Sugar also harms our liver and causes inflammation throughout the body. On the other hand, a fatty, delicious avocado is pretty high in calories but it reduces inflammation, delivers lots of great nutrients, and lowers our blood fat levels.

While many of us have been on calorie restrictive diets and have found that we did, in fact, drop weight, that weight loss wasn’t sustainable and the process was pretty unpleasant. Hoping to lose weight, people will often choose a chemical-ladened diet soda  and a salad topped with sugar-ladened dressing. Just a few hours later, they discover they are starving and find themselves unable to stick to the 1200 calories the calorie app allotted them. Personally, after years of trying this approach, I found that the only change was that both my metabolism and self-esteem were in the toilet. Our focus should be on how we feel and our energy level. We don’t get healthy on a calorie-restrictive diet. In fact, the evidence is showing that we actually get fatter and more prone to disease on such a diet.  We get healthy when we start to focus on eating foods that nourish our bodies and our brains and tending to those non-food-related activities that keep us healthy.

For further information, I recommend Dr. David Ludwig’s new book Always Hungry.

healing journey

My healing journey

Thank youhttp://www.thewoodconnectionblog.com/ for such a beautiful message.

It’s November, which means we Americans are gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving. Mostly this means we are making travel arrangements and planning menus, but a few will take this month as an opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things in their lives. I love seeing peoples’ “30 Days of Gratitude” posts on Facebook because I believe in the power of giving thanks.

A few years ago, I went through one of the most trying times of my life. Something was wrong with me, but none of the many specialist could figure it out or agree on a course of treatment.  Additionally, the project manager I was assigned to at the time did not suffer fools, weakness, or absences, and, at that point, I was all those things to her. Getting tested for rare forms of cancer and feeling completely incompetent really starts to wear on a lady. During those months I went to the darkest place I have ever know. It still scares me to remember that time and the thoughts I was having about my worth.

At that point I had been on my road to healing for just under six months. Because of this process, I had something to lean in to. This healing journey became my priority because the alternative wasn’t an option. But just focusing on what I should and shouldn’t eat and how I should move wasn’t helping me tackle the crippling depression that kept me in bed when I wasn’t working or had me faking my way through mommyhood. I didn’t start to overcome that until one day while walking my dog I just took off my headphones and started to name the things I was grateful for. Let me be clear, this one walk did not sort out all my problems, but it gave me a tool that allowed me to switch my perspective. I didn’t lie to myself and say “everything is cool” because I knew it wasn’t and I wasn’t sure it ever would be. But I did know that at that moment I had things like food, a roof over my head, and sturdy walking shoes, and that was something to focus on.

I used my gratitude practice to drive off the demons of insecurity, fear, and doubt. When that voice popped up saying “you aren’t…” I would list all the wonderful things I was thankful for that I am, most importantly alive and loved. This was the beginning of my understanding that in order to achieve healing I can’t just muscle my way through a “diet,” I have to nourish my mind and spirit as well as my body.