For our entire lives...

women have had their looks, weight, and image on a platform for judgement and approval. This is a systemic issue in our culture and it has led to women continually having negative body image, self- deprecating humor around their body, feelings of inadequacy, being slaves to gyms, and suckers for crash diets that promise the world that are depleting us of the joy of life and create a detrimental relationship with our bodies and the foods we consume.

Im tired of it and I know you are too.

There is a momentum in our culture that is starting to shift our perspective from negative self talk, comparison, and judgement of others based on external factors to body acceptance and non judgement. This is movement is beautiful. And it embraces acceptance and love our imperfect selves. This is what NourishMBML is all about.

I believe that the change we’re seeking in our bodies is misguided and it has nothing to do with calories, gym memberships, or the perfect yoga butt.

It begins and ends with self love and acceptance.

I believe that the change we’re actually looking for is wrapped up in mindset.  When we shift our mindset away from deprivation and comparison, we’re actually able to start listening to our body’s unique needs and desires and feeding it accordingly.

My perspective lies gently in the idea that how we nourish ourselves and how we treat our bodies is the ultimate reflection of self love.

Choosing to make decisions that either feel like punishment and deprivation have a lasting negative impact on our relationships with the foods that we eat and our bodies.

Let’s define what I’m talking about here.  When I say punishment, what I mean is: I indulge in a cookie, then I go to the gym and run an extra mile with the hope of “running off the cookie”. You’re punishing yourself for an indulgence. The view is that you ate the cookie and now you should be punished because you did something “bad”.  Do you see the cycle that can happen here?

No bueno. Not good. Not healthy. Not self loving.

We deserve to indulge. We deserve to enjoy the sweetness of life.

And that includes eating the damn cookie every now and again. It’s not going to kill you. That one cookie isn’t going to make you gain 15 pounds. It’s the cycle of this that does. It’s the negative relationship with food and your body that makes you gain. It’s not the cookie. So, let’s enjoy the cookie, shall we?

Deprivation. This is a big one.  Deprivation leads to binge eating and a serious negative relationship with food. Plain and Simple. Let’s talk about this for a second.  Weekly we all make bold declarations in the name of health. Declarations like “I’m going to go to the gym every day from now on”, “I’m going to count all of my calories and macronutrients starting Monday”, “I’m never eating a cookie again”, “I’m going to cut out XYZ {insert thing here!} from now on”.

Monday comes and we’re going strong – we’ve done it. This is the answer to all of our prayers and then slowly… Thursday comes and we’ve earned a cookie. I’m going to eat one. I earned this. And it’s not just one cookie. It’s an entire package of cookies.  Oh man, we’ve done it now. Enter self wallowing and hatred towards the cookies. You’ve become sad, mad at yourself, and start talking negatively about your “self control”, “discipline issues”, and how you’re “failing”.

You’re not failing. You don’t have self control or discipline issues. It’s the cycle that’s failing. It’s simply not healthy.

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I believe that this isn’t the way we were meant to live and I’ve made it my own personal mission to end it for every woman out there.  I was that woman. I’ve had those conversations with myself so many times. I’ve cried in my closet before when nothing looked good and I was fat and ugly.  I’ll say this right now – I was never fat and ugly. And neither have you.

So what’s the journey from deprivation, negative body image, low self confidence, and a negative relationship with food to confidence, positive body image, feeling alive, healthy, enjoying your life and the foods that you genuinely enjoy eating?

The journey starts with breaking the diet cycle.

Step One is changing our mindset. Shifting our perspective of what we’re actually looking to accomplish with a lifestyle change. This all starts with defining what our current feelings are around our body and health and then looking to the future and what we actually want it to be. Often, I find this to be the most challenging step shifting from external thoughts of what healthy should look like for you and having it defined by a number on the scale is a difficult change to make since it’s been ingrained into our mind from a young age. But defining what it is and what it can be is a huge step in breaking the cycle.

Step Two is understanding where you are in the process. Learning about your current food habits is eye opening to understanding the simple shifts that we need to make in our relationship with food. Looking for patterns and associating our emotions with those patterns is paramount for shifting from emotional eating to making choices that are aligned with our core selves and goals.

Step Three is learning about what you should be eating. No, this is not a diet.  This is not about removing foods for the sake of removing foods. This is about learning what feels good for your body. Not anyone else’s. Yours and Yours alone.  Because it’s your body and we want to be putting foods in it that not only taste good, but that give you your ultimate energy and feel goods {i.e. no lingering stomach upsets, bloating, gas, etc}.  It’s a shift to eating real, whole foods and not food like substitutes. This is usually the step that is the most fun and takes some trial and error. But it’s all apart of the process of Breaking the Diet Cycle.

Step Four is learning how much is the right amount of food for you to eat. Let’s be clear, this isn’t about dividing your food into little containers for the day and limiting yourself. This is about turning on your internal queues and learning when you’re actually hungry versus when you’re eating for the sake of eating or out of boredom.  Sure we can talk about what your meals will want to include so you’re eating a balanced meal, but this step is ultimately about learning how to eat mindfully and listening to your body because it will tell you.

The final, but the most critical step is all about self appreciation.  Learning to love your body as it is right now and not waiting to love your figure when it meets XYZ goal is the way to really shifting and getting rid of the cycle. This is a heavy one and takes a lot of practice. But simple shifts and practices each day and have a huge impact and lasting effects.

Now, this is my personal point of view. This is my approach and outlook on how to shift from negative relationships with food and health and ending the dreaded diet cycle and the steps that I had to take to overcome my own personal negative body image issues and lifestyle.  Each person is different and the time to get through the steps are wrapped up in your own personal commitment to being open and digging deep into yourself to learn how you can shift your mindset and create a better relationship between food and your body.  I’ve designed my services to be over a 6 month period because that’s the time that I’ve found that works when dedicated to the transformation and process. Sometimes it takes longer, but note that when you’re more committed to making the shifts and doing the internal dialogue shifts, your results could be even faster. And for some, it takes longer and that’s ok. The point is that you’re making moves in the direction of breaking the cycle.

I believe that we all deserve to feel incredible in our skin and enjoy the foods that we eat. Life is way too short to spend another minute hating your body, feeling bad about the food choices you’re making. You deserve better.

Good luck on your journey and remember wrap yourself up in love and shifts are bound to happen.