Category Archives: Eating With Intention

Intentions Aren’t Linear

1.31.19 intentions 1
Towards the end of last year I was intrigued to read and see many blogs, posts, and images reminding folks how many days we had left in 2018 and suggesting we end the year in a positive place. I took that to heart and went back to my own intentions for 2018 to try to make sure I was walking the walk to close out last year.

My intentions were to be less stressed about our family meals (and everyone’s needs around these meals!) and to get over my breakup with running by biking. I feel like I did well in 2018 with both of my intentions and receiving my new Peloton bike for turning 46 didn’t hurt! This made me think about the end of 2019 – not the beginning – in deciding on my intentions for this year. What could I carry through to December 2019?

For 2019, one of my intentions is that I want to keep my meditation practice going strong. Usually I meditate in the evening using the app Simple Habit for about 15-20 minutes. In all honesty I fit in five nights of meditation per week. Now that meditating is a part of my daily life, I miss it when I don’t get the time to meditate and I feel more stressed if I skip a day. At the end of 2019 I want to be able to look back and see my growth in this practice and how it’s helped me stay present in gratitude.

For me, adopting a practice of meditation is more of a marathon, not a sprint. Given it takes 30 days to implement a new habit, I gave myself all of January to really stick to this plan. It worked! I’d encourage you to look back over the month of January and if you feel like you weren’t able to stick to your intentions, ask yourself how long you practiced your new behavior. This is why I prefer not adding “resolutions” to the beginning of the first day of a new year. I look at intentions as new habits to strive for over the whole month of January. And beyond.

Have you tried a diet? Whole30? Keto? A cleanse? Have you had food delivered to you by any meal service in smaller portions so you did not have to ‘think’ about it? Diets are always an option – always – but if you’re reading this now and have an appointment with me or will in the future let’s give other options a try first. After a few sessions with me or even within our Greater Boston Wellness Collaborative, you may find that diets are not of interest to you anymore.

Maybe it’s easier for your mind to postpone the idea of a diet instead of giving up the idea of dieting entirely. This can also be true for a goal weight that is unachievable and unhealthy as well. Try giving up that number for a month to get used to a different way of thinking. Learning to tolerate some of the anxiety of giving up what is really a far-fetched and self deprecating ‘goal’ or ‘resolution’ may make you feel anxious in the short run. However, the experiment within is essentially helping you learn to live your life more consistently within your values over the long term.

Remember, the healing process from a difficult relationship with your body, food, and mental health is often full of steps forward and backwards. Thus the image shared today in this issue, noting that our intention setting is not always linear. That’s ok. We’re human. And, in my book we are all winners!

The Noise of Summer

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Remember the Don Henley song, ‘ The Boys of Summer’? In appointments with clients around Memorial Day each year, nearly everyone talks about their worries of wearing less clothing and bathing suits in particular. Also at this time, nearly every media outlet – social media, emails, commercials on tv and radio – is programed for weight loss and your ‘best beachbody’ for weeks up until the official start of summer on June 21st. This got me thinking on what I refer to as ‘The Noise of Summer’.

Last year I wrote about this topic as well (albeit with a nutrition science twist) and you can find that edition of my e-NL here.

The focus was mainly on how sugar affects us (or doesn’t) and it’s still a highly contested nutrition topic in the media. (Gluten must be very thankful for sugars takeover! 😉

So, how do we feel comfortable in our bodies in less clothing and bathing suits if we’re not comfortable with them in the first place? I have 3 ideas to try to help

3 Ideas To Help You Feel More Comfortable a Bathing Suit

  1. Let Go of Comparison.
    Comparing your body to anyone else leads to anxiety and low self esteem. You don’t know what someone else is eating, or not eating, or how much they use Photoshop.

  2. Bodies Change.
    My body at 46 years old is certainly not the same as it was when I was 26 or 36. I’m not wearing the same clothes or bathing suits as I did at those ages. Keeping clothes or bathing suits from a young age to try to fit into them again is a Really. Bad. Idea. This is a form of ‘body checking’ and again leads to comparison, which leads to low self esteem (see #1!).

  3. Use Gratitude.
    Where gratitude is, comparison and negativity cannot exist. For me, I think of my body as strong – most of the time. Some days I feel less energy, therefore less strength, and this could be from a myriad of reasons – lots of stuff with our kids, in addition to work, the cats woke me up 3 nights in a row, or I’m more stressed out than usual – whatever the reason… But when I visualize my strong body and focus on this in the form of gratitude, guess what? I don’t hear any ‘summer noise’.

I asked a few other clinicians for their posts on this topic:

Julie Duffy Dillon of the Love Food Podcast talks about the fears of binge eating on vacation on episode 35 here.

Summer Innanen recorded this video on getting your ‘body ready for the summer’.

Beth Rosen wrote a blog on How To Have A Beach Body (Hint: You Already Have One!)

Natalie Joffe composed a post on GirlsGoneStrong.com called 5 Strategies to Cultivate Body Respect in a Thin-Privileged World.

Alexis Conason posted as well calling her piece Getting Beach Body Ready.

Lindy Shanti’s blog includes advice for dealing with your closet and warm weather clothing.

Also, if you have not picked up this month’s issue of Self Magazine. Go get it, now. You can find Kevin Klatt’s post from this month’s issue on why diets fail here.

I have interviewed Kevin and included some of his work in my e-newsletters in the past. Here are both of the links:

June, 2017

March, 2018

Keep the entire issue for reference!

Cheers to YOU this summer, not the ‘noise of summer’.