Find What Works AND STICK WITH IT

A few weeks ago I received a frustrated message from a woman wildly uncomfortable in her own body. In her message she said,

“The only thing that has ever worked for me is calorie counting but you say that’s disordered eating. It’s so frustrating to hear ‘do what works for you’ when what’s working is considered wrong…”

I think most of us can relate to the woman on the other end of this message. I know I can.

  • Feeling unhappy with her weight, size and body image

  • Trying hard to eat well and exercise with consistency

  • Attempting to embrace slow progress in a quick fix world

  • Navigating conflicting nutrition education and advice

  • All while trying to be the best mom and wife she can be

And she was doing it! Trusting the process and feeling pretty good…until she saw a candid photo of herself. Then it all came flooding back - the uncertainty, the frustration, the insecurity, the unhappiness, the urge to ditch the consistency train and jump on the nearest fad diet.

Through our conversation we were able to arrive at the fact that calorie counting had been really helpful for her historically.

It sounds like that works for you. That’s great! Stick with it.

“But you said counting calories is unhealthy and considered disordered eating”, she said.

I think you might have misunderstood me. Calorie counting can be unhealthy for some of us, promoting feelings of restriction, deprivation and scarcity, sure. But calorie counting can also be a really helpful tool in managing overall caloric consumption and weight loss. The question you need to ask yourself is, ‘does this work for me and my body?’ and forget what everybody else says.

Hear me when I say this ——>

It doesn’t matter one iota what anyone else says - even if they have 500K Instagram followers - it doesn’t matter AT ALL what anyone else says if it doesn’t work for you. No one knows your body as well as you do. Coaches/mentors/physicians/therapists/etc. can advise, educate and help hold you accountable, but they can’t know what works for you and your body without your say so.

When it comes to seeing wildly powerful results, here’s the only equation you need to succeed:

  1. Experiment. Try. Fail. Try again. Fail. Try something else.

  2. Listen to your body. What feels good? What doesn’t?

  3. Collect empirical evidence. Consider all variables and barriers and ask, “does this work for me, consistently?”

  4. Find what works. FOR YOU. Draw a conclusion.

  5. Stick with it. Keep doing it. For as long as it works.

Counting calories, measuring macros and living in the underfeed (diet)-overeat (binge)-underfeed(diet again) cycle didn’t work for me. But you know what did? Learning how to listen to my body, honor my health and eat intuitively.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in learning more about, I’d love to have you join my All About Intuitive Eating webinar! THIS Saturday, November 17th at 10:00am.

You can register by clicking the button below.

INTUITIVE EATING WEBINAR!

Nothing beats, “find what works for you and stick with it”.

Forever and ever, amen.

If anyone tells you otherwise, put your earbuds in and run in the opposite direction. Quite literally.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

How To Fail At Dieting (is this you?)

Chances are you’re doing one (or more) of these already. So let’s talk about how you can stop sabotaging yourself and start winning.

If you’re asking any of theses questions…

  • How long will this take?

  • What will I have to give up?

  • How much weight will I lose?

  • Will this work for me?

…you’re undoubtedly setting yourself up for failure.

These questions all assume that a diet - the way you eat - is a finite thing - a pre-constructed program that either works for you, or not. But here’s the thing - you don’t find a diet, you create one.

^^ Read that again. ^^

That’s right - you’ve been going about this all wrong. Do you know why Atkins, Whole30, Slim Fast, South Beach, Paleo, Beach Body, Keto, My Fitness Pal, Intermittent Fasting, Isagenix and Shakeology didn’t/don’t work for you? Because you are a unique individual with unique individual needs. Your nutrition needs, palate preferences and savory sensitivities don’t fit into a pre-constructed program like those listed above (and so many more…who remembers the Zone Diet?)

But instead of learning from our past failures, we keep trying - seeking out the perfect diet like gold at the end of a rainbow.

It has to be out there, right? The diet, the plan, the program that works for me? I’m not a complete anomaly, right!? I just haven’t found the right one. The one perfect diet/plan/program that will be my Prince (or Princess) Charming and change my life forever!

I’m exaggerating of course, but you get the idea. I know you can relate - because I’ve been there too. And I’m here to tell you that there IS a diet out there designed for you and your body. A diet that accounts for your unique individual needs, your preferences, your crazy lifestyle and your sensitivities.

But don’t get too excited just yet - because you won’t find this diet touted on the internet or boasted about by friends and family.

You have to create it. Because it makes complete sense that the perfect diet FOR you is designed BY you, right?

I know what you’re thinking…

Create my own diet!? Nicole, I can barely understand my metabolism or get my kids from point A to point B. How will I ever be able to design a diet that works for me and my body? What about meal timing, macronutrient ratios and cravings? I can’t even remember to take a multivitamin, how on earth can I design my own diet!? HELP!

I’m here for you, friend. You don’t have to do this alone.

If you’re looking to understand why previous dieting efforts have failed and how to set yourself up for wildly powerful success moving forward, I’ve got you.

If you’re ready to start winning at dieting, I’d love to chat about how we can make that happen. Simply leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation to see if we’re a good fit.

That one time I was prediabetic...

…just a few weeks ago. It’s true. My annual lab results were in and amidst a lot to be grateful for, there was one number that threw me into a frenzy. Fasting glucose - 104.

I didn’t need to Google what that meant. Thanks to knowing a great deal about how the body works, and how it’s influenced by food, I knew that a fasting glucose between 100-125 is considered pre-diabetic.

I blinked a few more times, willing the number to change. It didn’t. And then it happened. My over anxious disordered eating brain kicked in…

What can I cut out? I don’t really eat sugar. Not much, anyway. And I stay away from processed carbohydrates and empty calories.

Could it be the ice cream I ate last weekend? Or the champagne I drank at the wedding before last?

Will I need to go on a low carb diet? Keto!? Oh please, no. That would be the end of everything good. My body likes carbs…or, does it!?

Is this when genetics start to take over? How unfair! I do such a great job of taking care of myself. Why is this happening?

What did I eat the night before my blood draw? Did I fast for the full 12 hours?

Who will trust me as a prediabetic nutritionist!?

Ohmygod. My life, as I know it, is over.

Like I said, things quickly spiraled out of control and into a full-blown anxiety episode, alligator tears and all. To be fair, I was totally PMSing, but I think I probably would have cried either way. Because my worst nightmare was coming true.

I never had high blood sugar when I was underweight, I thought. Maybe I just need to go back to cutting everything out.

As I continued to digress, I told my husband that I was cutting out all alcohol and treats (like the handful of dairy-free chocolate chips I enjoy a few nights each week). All of it.

He gently told me I was being ridiculous to which I responded with a monologue about how he couldn’t possibly understand. I take impeccable care of myself. I’m healthy. I have risen from the depths of disordered eating. And I finally feel at peace, having aligned my behaviors with my needs in a way that serves me. And THIS is what I get for it!

Eventually I paused to take a breath. I allowed my emotions to settle down over the days that followed and I talked it over with my primary care provider (who wasn’t at all concerned BTW). And with a clear mind, I was finally able to answer the question my loving (and very patient) husband had asked me in the middle of my aforementioned emotion explosion.

What would you do differently?, he said.

Sure, initially I thought about cutting out my few extra sips and sweets, but I knew - all along I knew - that would only serve to push me back into place of restriction, obsession and control. And that’s not healthy, not for me.

I work hard to make consistent habits of moving my body, eating veggies, prioritizing protein, choosing smart carbs, limiting simple carbs and maintaining a healthy weight. Short of pushing myself to an unhealthy extreme, what would I do differently?

Nothing. Short of continuing to listen to my body and do the best I can with what I have, there is nothing I would currently do differently.

And my doctor agreed, with a prescription for, “keep doing what you’re doing”. Numbers never paint the full picture. I shouldn’t still be surprised by this, but seeing my body fail (even if it turns out to be a false alarm) even after I’ve learned how to treat it well is somewhat of a raw spot for me. Forever a work in progress over here!

So I challenged myself to step back and look at the situation as objectively as possible. And I came up with the best plan for me based on the empirical evidence; the big picture - MY picture, not a number.

Have you ever struggled with being defined by a number? If you feel comfortable sharing with me, I’d love to hear about it.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well

8 Things NOT To Say to Someone Struggling With An Eating Disorder

1.      You look so healthy!

Even if you mean well this comment can be extremely damaging to someone recovering from an eating disorder. Logical or not, weight is the enemy. And if I “look healthy” you’re telling me I’ve gained weight, which might not be something I’m OK with or know how to accept (yet).  

2.      You’re so skinny. Eat a hamburger.

This is about as helpful as telling someone with depression to “just get over it”. Meaning, it’s not AT ALL helpful. You don’t know what someone is dealing with or why food obsession/control is their coping mechanism of choice. So just don’t.

3.      You’re so skinny. What’s your secret?

When you comment on my weight/body/size you are feeding the disorder, the addiction. My eating disorder isn’t about you. Before commenting on my body/food choices, think about the unhealthy behaviors you might be enabling or encouraging.

4.      Ugh. I’m so fat. I need to lose X pounds.

Someone struggling with an eating disorder obsesses about their body and thinks about how to get thinner/skinnier/lighter 24/7, manipulating their body with food to ease whatever emotional trauma they are experiencing. Your body shaming only serves to perpetuate diet culture and the idea that I shouldn’t be happy in my current body.

5.      You’re skin and bones.

Again, this serves as emotional high. You’ve just doused the fire with gasoline. As illogical as it might sound to you – a healthy person with a healthy relationship with food – I WANT to be skin and bones. This is the objective. Your comment serves to support my mission. If you mean well, ask me how I’m doing (without saying anything about my body).

6.      I’m so glad you ate that.

You’re glad I ate this thing…it made you proud. Which means I ate something I shouldn’t have, something high in calories. Calories lead to weight gain. I’m going to gain weight. And so the anxious spiral ensues. I’m working on my relationship with food. But it’s sensitive. It’s delicate. So please don’t associate your approval with what I do/don’t eat. You have no idea what your seemingly innocent comment may trigger for me.

7.      You never would have eaten that before.

See above. Would you say, “Oh. You’re not drinking. You would have thrown back a handful of shots by now before…” to a recovering alcoholic? Gosh, I hope not.

8.      If you think you’re fat, what do you think of me.

My eating disorder has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Don’t make it about you.

Above all, remember that someone’s body is their business and theirs alone. To clarify - someone else’s body is NOT YOUR BUSINESS. Concern can quickly turn into body shaming whether or not that’s your intention. If your comment is appearance-based, keep it to yourself. If you’re not quite sure what to say (or if you should say anything at all) check out my previous post: 10 Things I Wish I Would Have Heard In The Height of My Eating Disorder.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

10 Things I Wish I Had Heard In The Height of My Eating Disorder

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1.     “Hey, how are you?” 

Don’t forget that people struggling with disordered eating – or in recovery – have feelings that have nothing to do with food, many of which may be driving them to these coping mechanisms. Talk about something other than eating/food (because we already think about that 24/7 and we need your support, not your judgement). 

2.     You are so much more than what you see in the mirror. 

No matter how thin I became, I never liked what I saw staring back at me. No matter how many ribs were showing, I thought I still needed to lose weight. It’s hard to see beyond the disorder to realize that body dysmorphia and dissatisfaction need to be challenged, not accepted as truth.

3.     Your feelings are not bad. 

Don’t be afraid of the feelings/emotions driving your eating behaviors. Try to understand them, examine them, name them, and talk to someone about them. And know that wherever you are in that process, it’s okay. 

4.     You are not your eating disorder. 

Hearing someone say, “hey, you’re worth more than whatever hell you’re going through” might give someone the gentle encouragement they need to get through a hard time. We resort to disordered eating as a solution to a problem, but it doesn’t define who we are as a person. 

5.     You can’t fix an emotional problem with a physical solution. 

Not permanently anyway. For many years, I tried to burry my emotional trauma with mileage. Stressed? Go for a run. Anxious? Go for a run. Sad? Go for a run. I can’t help but wonder how much sooner I could have started recovering if I traded some of that mileage for therapy. 

6.     Are your behaviors supporting the person you want to be 5 years from now?

Consumed by food and the feelings I was suppressing I never really stopped to consider the permanent damage I was doing to my body every day I chose to undereat and overtrain – pushing my body beyond its limits. 5 years later, struggling with the stress fracture consequences, I so wish I had. 

7.     It’s okay to have bad days. 

Recovery is not linear and perfection isn’t possible. The only way forward is to accept the setbacks, the barriers and the failures and learn from them. 

8.     Your eating disorder is not your fault. 

You didn’t choose to have an eating disorder. Eating disorders occur because of a combination of genetic, biochemical, psychological, cultural and environmental factors. Above all, eating disorders are a solution; a coping mechanism, to a much deeper problem. 

9.     Your eating disorder is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to engage in recovery.

Recovery will not just happen. It takes initiative, a mindset overhaul, a willingness to fail and get back up again and a drive to be your own advocate. Your eating disorder is a prison cell and you’re the only one with the key. 

10.  I can’t understand what you’re going through, but I’m here for you. 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

If your diet comes with popularity, find a new one.

You don’t have to look far to find a diet that’s associated with status, popularity and a shiny name tag. We LOVE labels. Single or taken? Gay or straight? Organic or GMO? Faith-based or Atheist? Ironman or Netflick’s marathoner? Vegan or Paleo? But doesn’t life go beyond the binary THIS or THAT construct of labeling?

Labels can be great, especially when it comes to food! They let us know what we’re investing in and what we’re putting into our bodies. But could labeling your dietary strategy and/or nutrition preference be…damaging? In my opinion the answer is definitely, yes.

Your body is a unique piece of human. You have individual needs, preferences, like, dislikes, strengths and sensitivities. With that in mind, why on earth would you conform - shrink yourself - to fit into a pre-packaged nutrition label?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

You don’t owe the world a label. You can be whatever you want to be, eat whatever you want to eat, do whatever you want to do. Regardless of what anyone else is doing or what hot topic is being shamelessly shared on social media (hello Keto clan).

Be a vegan, who eats meat sometimes.

Be a gluten-free gal, who occasionally eats grains.

Be a dairy free dude, who really likes to eat ice cream.

Be a human who eats and feeds his/her body according to your unique needs, preferences, likes, dislikes, strengths and sensitivities.

Be whatever the hell you want, who eats whatever the hell you want.

It’s your body. It’s your plate. It’s your (and only your) business.

Need some help figuring out what’s best for your body? Need some help defining your unique diet strategy? I’m here for you.

I’m currently opening up a few 1:1 Nutrition Coaching slots and if you’re serious about finding a sustainable nutrition strategy and redefining your relationship with food (like, ready-to-make-shit-happen serious), let’s hop on a quick call and talk about how we can get you to your goals.

I’m serious. Drop a comment below or shoot me a message and let’s start the conversation!

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

My diagnosis: Spondylolisthesis

Nope. That’s not a typo.

Spondylolisthesis is the diagnosis for my chronic back pain. The word spondylolisthesis derives from two parts: spondylo which means spine, and listhesis which means slippage. So, basically, spondylolisthesis is a forward slip of one vertebra relative to another. 

And let me tell you, it feels about as fun as it sounds.

If you follow my social media accounts, you know that for the past two and a half years I’ve been dealing with intermittent bouts of life-altering back pain. As a regularly active individual, this diagnosis has been depressing, to say the least. No running, no jumping, no lifting, no bending, no extending, no sitting for extended periods of time, no standing for extended periods of time, no…you get the idea.

And the hard part? I didn’t DO anything to cause it. Spondylolisthesis just happens - sometimes it’s genetic, other times it’s related to overuse and physical activity involving excessive extension (but no, I am not and was never a gymnast).

The really hard part? The solution - short of surgery which (due to it’s fairly low long-term success rate) is the absolute LAST resort, is to simply manage the pain and discomfort with the understanding that until my spine becomes arthritic and stiffens due to age, I’ll likely never be completely pain free.

As you can imagine, it’s not a very comforting prognosis.

I’m currently on week 5 of 8 weeks of prescribed REST including three 10 minute walks a day, followed by sitting/standing intervals every 20-30 minutes. And the results have been…less than impressive.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m not giving up.

In fact, I called my specialist last week to say, “I have followed your directions with 100% compliance and after 4 weeks, have observed little to no improvement. What’s next?”

Do you want to know what he said?

“Nicole, I don’t need you to follow my directions with complete compliance. What I need is for you to listen to your body. Observe the movements that flare your pain - do less of those. Observe the positions that provide relief - do more of those. Listen to what your body is telling you and be vigilant. No one can know your body better than you can.”

I ended the phone call, in tears, because, more than anything, I so desperately wanted a plan, guided instruction. I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do in order to find relief and reach my goal of being pain-free.

As soon as the thought left my brain I quickly made the parallel between wanting an easy “do this, not that” solution and the requests of my Nutrition Coaching clients asking me to tell them what to eat/what not to eat in order that they might reach their health, body composition and fat loss goals.

And it got me thinking…why are we so hesitant to listen to our own bodies and apply what they teach us? Why do we hastily look elsewhere before searching inside ourselves for the answers we seek?

IT’S TIME we stop looking for answers from everyone else and begin to reclaim our own bodies. IT’S TIME we learn how to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. IT’S TIME to align our actions with what we need - not as a result of the suggestion or expectation of anyone else.

IT’S TIME! Now, more than ever.

Are you ready to learn how to listen - really, truly listen to what your body is asking (perhaps, begging) of you?

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Befriend Your Body

  • You’re constantly comparing yourself to others - other people and/or other (younger) versions of yourself.  

  • You look for confidence in external sources rather than searching for it internally.

  • You’re stuck confusing perception with reality – e.g. I feel fat/lazy/ugly, therefore it must be true.

  • You don’t know how to love (or even like) yourself despite the fact that you’re not exactly where you want to be.

If you can relate to any (or all) of the above, you don’t want to miss my Befriend Your Body FREE 5-day Mini Course.

Let’s be real. You don’t have to think you’re Beyonce all day every day, but if you want the people around you to respect you, love you, believe in you and have confidence in you, you have to be all of those things for yourself first.

Are you ready to learn how to listen – really, truly listen – to what your body is asking (perhaps, begging) of you? Are you ready to learn how to appreciate your body for what it does, instead of obsessing over how it looks?

Hating your body into change never works.

Loving your body feels so far out of reach.

Let’s try something different.

Are you ready?

Once you sign up for the FREE 5-day Befriend your Body Mini Course you’ll be added to the Facebook group where a community of like-minded women will be there to embrace you. But don’t wait! The 1st Befriend Your Body lesson launches on Monday, October 22nd!

You'll Never Feel Fully Ready

You’re never going to feel fully ready for the next big step.

Whether that big step involves levelling up in your family, your career or your self-care, it will require a levelled up approach - something new that will probably feel uncertain and scary AF to start.

I remember making the jump from employee to entrepreneur and immediately freaking out. Like, what did I just do with my life? I worked steady hours to get a steady pay check and now…now I don’t know what to do because my boss hasn’t told me what to do because I am MY OWN BOSS. Gah!

Yep. Freaked out. It was more accountability then I was accustomed to. Provided more freedom. Required more action. Involved more fear. Created more possibility.

And with that possibility came the possibility of failing - of falling flat on my face. And so, I found myself asking, “what’s the alternative?”

If I didn’t do this big, scary thing, where would I be? And is the potential risk worth the potential reward?

Any investment we make to reach never-before-had success requires a never-before-had skill set. And you know what that means? Until you practice the thing (repeatedly) to build the skills, you’re probably not going to be so great at it.

Read that again. You might suck, at first. And that’s OK. With practice, with repetition, you will build the skills you need to accomplish this big, scary thing that allows you to live a better, more full, vibrant life. But first, it might suck.

That doesn’t mean you won’t get there. It just means you need practice. Repetition. Failure. Resiliency.

So what thing don't YOU feel fully ready for?

And if you’re being really honest with yourself, is the risk worth the reward?

Maybe it’s letting go of your disordered eating. Maybe it’s getting that coach or that gym membership. Maybe it’s finally investing in yourself so you can learn to appreciate your body more. Or maybe it’s…

You fill in the blank.

New growth requires new skill.

New skill requires new courage.

And courage, by definition, is the ability to do something that frightens you. Doing something DESPITE the fact that you don't feel fully ready. DESPITE the fact that you might suck, at first.

I’d love to hear about what scary AF thing you’re going to do next. Is it a fitness endeavor? Is it starting (or growing) a family? Is it building a business? Is it investing in your self-care? Whatever it is, when faced with the fear of change, try asking, “what is my alternative?” <3

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Don't Be An A**hole

…is a great general rule of thumb, but today I’m talking about why you shouldn't be an asshole, to yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly endless cycle of stress, work, sleep and more stress. But neglect yourself for long enough and your body will start to protest. First quietly, maybe with fatigue, headache or acute injury. And because we’re so good at ignoring these warning signs (or medicating them, serving to only mask the symptoms), our bodies are forced to scream for our attention.

Perhaps with chronic disease, debilitating injury, metabolic distress, GI upset, depression, anxiety, malaise and/or overwhelming exhaustion. And still, with our body screaming and pleading for our attention every way it knows how, we ignore it.

I think we all have our reasons. Perhaps,

  • We feel guilty for saying no

  • We were taught to always put others first

  • We feel ruled by obligation and expectation

  • We don’t know how to take care of ourselves

    The list goes on…


I know I can certainly relate to these and I imagine, even if only in some small way, you can too. But here’s the thing - if we want our bodies to serve us and to treat us well for a lifetime, we have to be kind to them, nourish them, give them rest, movement and self-compassion.

We need to stop being an assholes to ourselves.

Think about treating a friend the way you treat yourself.


If a friend was in need of nourishment and asked you for a meal, would you neglect her? Tell her that she doesn’t need the extra calories and feed her a latte or a diet Coke instead?

I hope not.

If a friend was exhausted, worn out and overextended, would you suggest she “suck it up”, get through her to-do list, and just keep pushing through?

I hope not.

If a friend was sick, hurt or injured would you encourage her to ignore that feedback and push through the pain because she doesn’t have time to fall short of expectation or gain a few pounds?

I hope not.

If a friend asked you to get together to listen, just listen, would you talk over her - not stopping to ask how she’s doing - and criticize every imperfection and short coming you find fault with?

I surely hope not.


And yet, despite what or how much I hope, you do this. Every single day. To your closest friend. The friend who will stick with you for a lifetime (which you often take for granted). Instead of caring, nourishing and listening, you treat her like garbage.

But what if you didn’t? What if you traded your guilt, shame and unrealistic expectations for care, nourishment and appreciation? What then?

If you’re ready to find out, I’m ready to help you.

Later this month I’ll be launching my Befriend Your Body Mini-Course - 5 days of FREE content, inspiration and action steps to move toward body acceptance.

Will I see you there?

“and I said to my body, softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” - Nayyirah Waheed

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

I'm the least fit I've ever been.

And that’s the problem with progress.

It only accounts for the things we can see and touch.

When I say progress what do you think of?

  • Before and after bikini photos?

  • Progress on the scale?

  • Setting a new PR in the gym?

  • Getting closer to fitting back into those size 8 jeans hiding in the back of your closet?

You’re not wrong. All of those examples are signs of physical progress many of us would lust after.

But what about other, less visible, forms of progress?

Like, learning how to listen to your body more and “diet” less. If you do that and weigh more…is that still progress?

Like, taking a break from the gym to allow an injury to heal. If you do that and lose your fitness…is that still progress?

Like, moving away from counting calories, measuring macros and obsessing over food choices. If you do that and have to buy a larger size…is that still progress?

If you’re asking me, my answer is HELL freaking, YES!

But the world doesn’t yet have the insight to agree. The world looks at that person (whether it’s you or it’s me) and only sees someone who has gained weight, lost fitness and takes up more space.

Not someone who has harnessed her power of intuition, body confidence and self acceptance; someone who has broken free of the shackles and the shame perpetuated by diet culture; someone who has learned to listen and honor her body so that it might serve her better for years to come.

I am the least fit I’ve ever been. In my current season of injury recovery I’m moving less than ever before. But you know what? I’m also listening to my body more than ever before. And to be completely honest with you, I’m not hating it.

Sure, at first I thought about all the strength, muscle tone, endurance and aesthetics I might lose. And yes, I thought about the weight, size and body fat I might gain.

But then I realized what a limited lens I was looking through. Progress isn’t limited to the things we can see or the things we can feel. Progress - arguably the most important kind - happens beneath the skin, unseen and untouched by anyone but you and me.

Because if there’s one thing this new - slower - season has taught me, it’s this:

It’s not the external body that produces inspiring progress. It’s the embodied human inside the body that does.

If you know a friend who could use this message; maybe a new mom, someone recovering from an injury, or someone going through their own slow season…I ask that you please forward this on and let them know that you see their progress. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

“Progress is when we forgive ourselves for taking so long to treat our bodies like a home.”

- Yung Pueblo

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

"I'm not attractive to my husband,"

she said. To which I asked, “did he tell you this?”

“Well, no. But I can tell. I’m heavier than when we met, I’ve had a baby…I hate the way my body looks now.”

After a few minutes of honest conversation we revealed that she was no longer attractive to herself. Her own eyes didn’t like what they saw - not those of her husband. In fact, her beloved had even affirmed her new, softer body. But none of that matters when you’re your own meal girl.


Body shame. Body insecurity. Body disapproval. Body hate.

These things extend far beyond the time we spend in front of the mirror. They extend to our confidence, to our self value, to our sex lives and to how (we think) other people see us.

And so often, our perceptions of how other people see us is nothing more than a projection of how we feel about ourselves.

So, how do you see yourself? Are you the hottest thing since sliced bread? Or are you doing your best to remain unseen, hiding behind an over-sized tunic?

Let’s be real. You don’t have to think you’re Beyonce, but if you want the people around you to respect you, love you, believe in you and have confidence in you, you have to be all of those things for yourself first.


And we SUCK AT THIS. Because:

  1. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others - other people and/or other (younger) versions of ourselves.

  2. We look for confidence in external sources rather than searching for it internally.

  3. We confuse perception with reality. Just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s true.

  4. We don’t know how to love (or even like) ourselves despite the fact that we’re not exactly where we want to be, failing to keep ourselves open to self-improvement opportunities.

So, what’s the solution?

I know I’m messed up, Nicole. What can I do about it!? For starters:

  1. For everything you want to change about your body, find one thing you’re grateful for. Not necessarily how something LOOKS but how it WORKS.

  2. Aim for body neutrality. Forget “loving yourself” right now. We are under enough pressure, the last thing we need is the pressure to learn how to love something we don’t even like looking at. It’s normal not to be feeling yourself all the time - lose that expectation. Aim for neutral.

  3. Realize that vanity is a luxury. There are more important things about you than how your skin hangs on your curves.

  4. Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly OK to want to change your body but you will never succeed by hating it.


Is this something you can relate to? Something you’d like to learn more about? Something that flutters your heartstrings?

If so, I’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment below, shoot me an email, and simply say, “Yes!” I’m dreaming up a FREE body neutrality mini-course but before I fully invest in the process I want to make sure that this is something that feels worth your time and energy.

Does body neutrality sound like a step up from how you feel about yourself right now? If so, hit me up.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Dieting: A Life Story

If I asked you to recount the events of your life, what would the themes be? What would pop as your priorities? Where have you spent your time? Your money? Your energy?

Does your life tell a story of a positive relationship with food, exercise, your body & yourself or would it look more like a bank statement recounting a chronic diet history?

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I get it. Letting go of disordered eating, unrealistic body composition ideals, calorie counting, macro tracking and the constant pursuit of thinness is HARD. Like, suuuuper hard.

Because, for most of us, our unhealthy relationships; with food, with exercise, with our bodies, with enabling family and friends, and with ourselves are ingrained. The beliefs we hold about whether or not we’re enough…worthy enough - good enough - sexy enough - thin enough - beautiful enough…and the behaviors that occur as a result of these thoughts, are patterned.

  • Driving home after a long day without knowing how you got there

  • Brushing your teeth before you go to bed

  • Reaching for the bag of crisps when you sit down on the couch to watch your favorite show

  • Kissing your partner goodbye before you leave the house for work

  • Saying “bless you” to someone after they sneeze

  • Pressing SNOOZE one too many times

All of these are examples of patterned behavior. Recurring things we do without ever really thinking about it. They seemingly just happen. Because we’ve practiced and rehearsed them so many times, they’ve become habit. And as humans, we like habit. Because habit brings us comfort. We get to keep doing the status quo without the discomfort of change.

And why on earth would we ever choose discomfort over that which is warm, cozy and unchanging? I’ll tell you why.

  • Because you’re fed up with your food obsession, refusing to let it control you anymore than it already has.

  • Because you’re past the point of thinking that your weight - your size - or the roundness of your belly is the most important thing about you.

  • Because you want to prioritize health over rules and prioritize balance over restriction.

  • Because you’re ready to give space in your life to things that truly matter, things you want to leave as a part of your legacy - in lieu of the chronic diet history.

If that’s you - I get it and I’m with you!

Maybe your relationship with food has left you heavier and/or unhappier than ever before.

Maybe your relationship with your body has left the idea of sitting on a beach in a bathing suit or having sex with the lights on feel unsurmountable…at least not until you “lose XX pounds”.

Maybe your relationship with yourself is full of toxic self-talk and insults that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy.

Maybe you finally feel like it’s time to create some powerful mthrfkn change.

Sound like you? Are you ready to break the negative cycle, embrace the temporary discomfort and create powerful change so you can finally build a healthy relationship with yourself?

(Hand raised). I know I sure am.


Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

What About Her?

She looks sooo good & eats whatever she wants. 

It’s not uncommon for someone to step into my office and state that their goal is to get ripped/toned/look like a supermodel by a big event they have in…two point five weeks.

I gently start asking questions and using words like “sustainable” and “expectations”. And in return?

I often get a blank stare followed by, “But what about so-and-so? She looks sooo good and eats whatever she wants.”

This isn’t the client’s fault. It’s media’s fault. It’s culture’s fault. The incessant photo shopped images of people who get paid to diet and exercise for months, then intentionally and strategically dehydrate themselves, all to get ready for a single photo shoot. A photo shoot that will produce a handful of “quality” images that are then edited, buffed and filtered for hours before they show up on your favorite magazine with a sexy tagline slapped across the front that reads something ludicrous and has absolutely nothing to do with what it actually took to get in that kind of shape.

In my experience, it’s the expectation that things will be easy or will happen fast that gets us in trouble.

Sure. There are people who are naturally very lean and muscular (and tan…that helps too) who seemingly, eat whatever they want. We all know plenty of people who look fab in a bathing suit and consistently eat like a 5 year old. Maybe they are genetically gifted with a Hulk-like metabolism, maybe their hormone profile is awesome, or maybe they have an eating disorder you know nothing about.

STOP COMARING yourself to these people.

Most of us are not those people. Most of us are people who need to work at our goals – likely for longer than two point five weeks. Could you get faster results by using extreme caloric restriction and insane amounts of exercise? Sure. Is it healthy? No. Is it maintainable long-term? No.

If that’s what you’re looking for – deprivation and restriction – I won’t be the one to advocate for it. But there are plenty of other people in the “health”/fitness community who will.

I will advocate for finding the right amount of food for you, the right kinds of food for you, and the right amount and type of exercise to get you to your goals and then whatever comes next. It will likely take longer than two point five weeks but if the path that gets you there is sustainable, isn’t adjusting your expected timetable worth lifetime satisfaction?

It’s time to start questioning the ludicrous body composition goals, unattainable time tables and unrealistic expectations.

It’s time to start believing that you can earn your results.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

The Fat Loss LAB

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Do you ever find yourself so insanely frustrated by fat loss? Maybe it's illusive, maybe it never sticks around, or maybe you just really dislike the person you are on a diet. More and more I find myself SO incredibly disenchanted with diet culture. 

You should eat this, not that. Didn't you hear? This new thing is all the rage. Everybody's doing it. 

Diet culture is the new mean girl. And it's bullshit - more toxic than anything you could ever eat. Diet culture thrives on the belief that we will continue to distrust and dislike our bodies; forever playing the victim, relying on external forces to tell us exactly what, when and how much to eat in order to have a successful body.  

What the AF guys!? It's time to stand up and demand something different! It's time to fight back and to learn how to trust our bodies - giving ourselves permission to be whoever and wherever we are. 

Picture this: You trust your body. You know your body. You even like your body. And you have both the confidence and the skills to make your life; your nutrition, your movement and your recovery strategies work for you - no matter what stage of life you're in. Diets, trends and fads are irrelevant because nothing knows you or your body like YOU do. And because of this you are able to reach any health, fitness and fat loss goal you set for yourself without an ounce of deprivation, restriction or drama. 

It might be hard to imagine. Because everything about the image I created above rebels against diet culture. It requires you to harness your own power, and not that of a billion dollar industry that could care less whether or not you're happy (or healthy).

I care - about you and about me and I REFUSE to continue playing the victim. So I harnessed all my power (and all the science-y stuff that helps too) and created The Fat Loss LAB. 

The Fat Loss LAB is an 8-week masterclass that will take your fat loss from lackluster to LAUNCH! You will learn HOW to eat, WHAT to eat and HOW MUCH to eat (along with alllll the dieting gimmicks that are simply standing in your way) in order to reach - and exceed - your health and fat loss goals.

Step-by-step, at your own pace, you will acquire the nutrition skills you need to build a sustainable nutrition plan for the rest of your life. Read that again. For the REST OF YOUR LIFE. No dieting gimmick or deprivation here!

I hope you're interested, because you're worth it. If you agree, check out the FAQ below for additional details. 


Fat Loss LAB FAQ: 

Q: Is this program in-person or remote? 

A: The Fat Loss LAB is 100% remote. All coaching correspondence, video lessons, recipes, workouts (optional), etc. will come directly to you no matter where you are.

Q: What is the time commitment? 

A: The Fat Loss LAB masterclass is completely self-paced. That being said, if you want results at the end I encourage you to put the time and commitment in at the beginning. You'll be most successful if you can budget at least 10 minutes each day to watch the videos and read the lessons. The rest is up to you! 

Q: How much do I get to work directly with you? 

A: When you register for the Fat Loss LAB I will be your personal nutrition coach. We have daily correspondence via your lesson responses and the group Facebook page, in addition to 30 minute bi-weekly coaching check-ins that are conducted over the phone. These check-ins allow us to chat 1-on-1 in greater detail about your successes, struggles and sticky spots. 

Q: I've tried every diet. None of them work. What makes this any different? 

A: For starters, the Fat Loss LAB is not a diet. The Fat Loss LAB is a evidence-based nutrition masterclass that guides you through learning to listen to your body and exploring what that means when it comes to mealtimes. Together we'll explore what works and what doesn't, because your body is unique and the Fat Loss LAB accounts for that - unlike conventional diets!  

Q: What can I expect at the end of this? 

A: That depends! What's your goal? If your goal is to lose weight, inches or clothing sizes, the Fat Loss LAB will help you do exactly that. If your goal is to learn more about your body and uncover the best nutrition strategy to help you improve your health and feel your best, the Fat Loss LAB will help you do that. If your goal is to throw diet culture the middle finger and to harness your own intuitive power, the Fat Loss LAB has you covered there too.

Q: When does it start?

A: The Fat Loss LAB launches on Monday, September 10th and runs through November 4th (just in time for the holidays!) 

Q: How much is the Fat Loss LAB? 

A: The entire 8-week masterclass is a $200 investment, which can be broken up into a 2 x $100 payment plan, if you prefer. I know you're worth it!

Q: How can I register? 

A: Click on this link to go to the Fat Loss LAB application! But don't wait! There are only a limited number of spots available. 


Have another question? Don't hesitate to post below! 

Isn't it time you made peace with your body and ditched the diet culture? 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Words from Nutrition Coaching graduate, Maria:

People’s ‘food issues’ are rarely just about food.
— Abby Langer, R.D.
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I started my Nutrition Coaching journey as someone who had tried everything - or, at least, it sure felt that way. Low carb? Tried it. Crazy amounts of time spent in the gym doing cardio? Guilty as charged. Juice cleanses? Kale, yeah!

But, I didn’t journey into the world of weight loss completely on my own. Rather, I sought out what I thought would have been helpful at the time. In 2010, after seeing a bunch of ads on TV and Oprah’s glowing endorsements, I started a well-known weight loss management program. This program required tracking of every bite that I took, and at first, I felt so in control! Sure, I’ll measure everything out! I need to purchase a food scale? Okay! Let me figure out the points! Sounds like a blast, eh? Yeah, I didn’t think so, either. Full disclosure: I was able to find temporary success, but I knew very clearly that the constantly-tracking way of life simply isn’t sustainable (or enjoyable for that matter!). I tried that program three times - and yet, over time, and each time, I gained the weight back.

At the heart of my struggles with weight loss, there was a plethora of larger issues - emotional baggage stemming from a childhood of living with an alcoholic father, untreated depression, and a general lack of self-worth, just to name a few. And let me tell you, some of these struggles were really deeply rooted. For example, growing up, food was my escape from the reality of my surroundings. I have vivid memories of my father drinking, and me taking a bag of pretzels up to my room, closing the door, and eating to distract myself from the chaos that was going on within my own home. While far from an ideal way to handle the situation, it was effective. Plus, when you’re nine, there’s not much you can do to control your environment. Of course, though I didn’t realize it at the time, it was the beginning of my very misguided and unhealthy relationship with food.

When I started Nutrition Coaching, I’ll be completely honest: My main goal was not weight loss. Rather, I wanted to figure out what a healthy and well life looked like, and I wanted to pursue that. I knew how resilient I was inside, and I wanted to show that strength externally, too. As a teacher, I knew that if I had tried so many methods to lose weight, but none of them stuck, clearly I really wasn’t learning anything. It was almost like I was studying material (in this case, calculating points, following a cleanse, etc.), passing the test (losing the initial weight), and then forgetting everything on the test as soon as I took it. When the final exam of sustainability came around, I failed each and every time, because I had not actually learned new material. The biggest problem was that these approaches didn’t change my habits, thoughts, or my perspective.

So, not knowing exactly how to proceed, or what to do next, I did what many tech-savvy people do- I reached out to my Facebook network. I asked, instead of weight loss recommendations, if anyone had suggestions regarding a local nutritionist. One of my former high school students recommended Coach Nicole, and 1 short email and private message later, even if I didn’t realize it, I had taken a big step to changing my life once and for all.

It’s important to note that I came to Nutrition Coaching on the heels of one of the most tumultuous points of my life: In addition to not enjoying my job any longer, my husband and I had been battling the emotions of infertility (The issue was on my end- cue the unbelievable guilt!) and the financial stress that accompanies the alternative pathways to pursuing parenthood. In order to cope, and in what I later realized was a form of self-sabotage regarding the guilt that I felt, I turned to eating. Eating my feelings led me to be about 30 pounds heavier physically, which seemed minor compared to how much heavier I felt emotionally. In typical Maria-fashion, I put on a brave face, though, so no one really knew the interior turmoil that I was feeling on a daily basis. Getting out of bed every day was a true struggle, and it was an unbelievably lonely time.

I wasn’t healthy - inside, or out. I had my body fat percentage calculated as part of my gym package, and I was surprised to see that I was significantly into the overweight category for my body type and frame. Then, Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition entered my world. I started Nutrition Coaching weighing 165 pounds (For reference, at my heaviest, I was around 173), unaware that in the year that followed I’d lose so much more than the additional pounds.

What did I learn in my year with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition? Um - I don’t know how else to say this: I learned everything. Now, I don’t literally mean I learned everything there is to know. Not at all. But, everything I know in the world of nutrition and habit formation I attribute to the education I gained through Nutrition Coaching, and that’s a big deal. What were some of my biggest takeaways? I learned that our relationship with food is based on habits, and that our habits are made up of the choices - large and small - that we make each and every day. I learned that trying to do too much too soon is not sustainable, and while it may work very short-term, it isn’t going to ultimately help you reach your goals permanently. I learned that there are far better ways to “treat myself” than with food. I learned that everything has a cost, so even if a food is cheaper monetarily, I pay more for it with my health. I learned that so often, I inhaled my food, not slowing down to pay attention to the details - its texture, the taste, the smell, etc. I learned that it’s important to focus on one thing at a time and master that thing before we move on to the next. I learned that real results come from trying to be just a little bit better- even 1% better- than we were yesterday. I learned to prepare and anticipate any roadblocks during the week and plan my meals, because if I have a plan, I’m less likely to make decisions that do not align with my goals. I learned that there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Most of all, I learned that we overcomplicate things in the world of nutrition and wellness. We think there’s some magic plan or formula that we have to follow, but in reality, if we just slow down and pay attention, it becomes clear that it isn’t rocket science.

My Nutrition Coaching experience wasn’t without some pretty big surprises, too. The biggest surprise? That’s easy - I could not believe how much I learned beyond nutrition and wellness. So much of what Nutrition Coaching taught was applicable to life in general - from mindfulness, to focusing on being 1% better, to focusing on one thing at a time. Additionally, I learned so much about myself, which helped me to be able to apply the lessons to my own life. In terms of successes that I experienced, I’m so happy to report that one year later, I slowly and sustainably lost 20.31 inches and 19.4 pounds. I’m at 145 pounds, which is a weight I have not seen on the scale since college. In fact, for the first time since high school, I weigh less than my mother! I’m really proud of the losses that I’ve seen measurement wise, but the main reason those losses make me so happy is because they are a representation of the things I’ve gained through working with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition.

In the last year, I’ve gained the ability to separate my emotions from my food choices, I’ve gained the ability to enjoy the foods that I choose to eat, I’ve gained the confidence to step into new exercise classes that I’ve never tried without anxiety (Hello, barre!), I’ve gained the ability to be a great role model for my daughter that we recently adopted, and, as it was one of my goals and ways of measuring progress that I picked at the start of my Nutrition Coaching journey, I’ve gained the ability to completely finish the lunge track in Body Pump (and can now even add weights to the track!). Hysterically, I said to Coach Nicole (on more than one occasion) that while checking my form in the mirror at the gym during Body Pump, I didn’t recognize myself. Simply put, due to a health condition, I’m unable to lift more than 20 pounds, but I was shocked to see that I actually had muscle definition!

Through Nutrition Coaching, I also gained the knowledge that I have a big dairy sensitivity by paying attention to how my body reacts after eating different foods. Who knew?! Beyond all else, throughout the process of losing the weight and inches physically, I also lost the guilt that I carried for far too long about not being able to make my husband a father, and I was able to release the frustration and anger I held on to regarding the toxic environment that was my childhood home. Through the process of letting go, and wiping the slate clean each day, I gained the ability to forgive - and not only to forgive others, but also myself. Nutrition Coaching where you gain more than you lose? That, my friends, is what I gained through my experience with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition. I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life - mentally, physically, and emotionally - and you can be, too. 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Here's to being messy, awkward and less-than-perfect!

Perfectionism is a shield that we carry with a thought process that says this, ‘If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize feeling shame, blame, and judgement.
— Brene Brown

Have you heard this before? I LIVE in this passage. Perfectionism has been my jam - my comfort zone - for many many years. Not that I'm always perfect, certainly not, but my every action has been externally driven by the question, "what will people think?" - striving to avoid any inkling of shame, blame or judgement. 

Living my life behind the shield that is perfectionism has kept me, what I mistakenly thought as, safe. But in actuality, my shield of perfectionism has only kept me from being seen. Despite my many years of following orders, exceeding expectations and doing the "right" thing, I had never learned how to be known or how to be seen for who I am, performance aside. 

It's taken a lot of good therapy to open my eyes to this, and for that I'm eternally grateful. So here's what I want to share with all of you - because, while sometimes we need to fall down and skin our own knees to learn the lesson, sometimes the best lessons are learned by those around us, if we just learn to listen. 

So here it is bb's - Failure isn't optional. Rest isn't earned. Imperfection isn't negotiable. 

You're going to fail. It's required. You're going to need rest. It's required. You're going to be imperfect. It's required. Failure, rest and imperfection need to occur regularly and without justification if we ever expect to grow. Did you hear that? Regularly. And without justification. 

Too often we treat being known and seen by those around us as something we earn. If we do everything right, THEN we'll earn love. If we excel at our job, THEN we'll be worthy. If we do more, THEN we'll reach our goal. But it's not always about doing MORE and it's certainly not about living in FEAR, because if we're honest, those of us living behind the shield are really just afraid of being seen for who we really are.

Will I measure up?

What will everyone think of me?

Will I be good enough? 

Being truly seen and known isn't contingent on anything else other than our willingness to be seen and known. I am worthy of love, acceptance, belongingness and compassion regardless of how much I do or don't do. You are worthy of the same. 

And you know what makes all the difference and defeats that heavy ass shield? Authenticity. Being bold and uniquely YOU. And in the words of Brene Brown, "being unarmored, messy, awkward, compassionate and less-than-perfect". 

So here's to being messy, awkward and less-than-perfect together! 

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Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

What Sucks about Body Image

Yesterday at the gym, I was finishing my workout with bear crawls when my trainer politely said, "focus on keeping your hips parallel". After finishing the movement (with a renewed focus on parallel hips) I popped up and asked, "what was I doing wrong?" 
"Nothing", he replied. "Just focus on keeping your hips parallel to the ground." 
"But that means I must have been doing it incorrectly, right? Just tell me - what sucked?" 
To which he responded, "Don't focus on the negatives. Keep your sights set on what's good."
Sometimes it's a damn shame my trainer is my husband...especially when he's right. 

But this got me thinking - how often do we choose to intentionally focus on the negatives? Even when there are positives right in front of us, we look for what's wrong/bad in order to blame, criticise and shame. ESPECIALLY when it comes to our body image. 

On a daily basis I hear things like, "gross, my thighs are so jiggly", "I ate so badly this past weekend, I need you to punish me", and, "I hate sex because I hate my stomach". And when we share these scripts with those around us, many validate our statements by silently agreeing or by responding in a way that lends credibility to the shame, like, "oh, I hear you! me too!" or, "but at least you have a great butt!" 

Well, I'm not buying into it anymore! I refuse to play the role of shamer and refuse to tolerate body bashing (my own and anyone else's). Instead of participating in language that focuses on the negative and brings us down, let's be more aware of what tumbles from our lips and the message it conveys - both to ourselves and to those listening ears around us! And let's really explore - dive deep - into what's going on in our lives that drives us to speak about ourselves (and sometimes others) in that way. 

Nine out of 10 women say they will actually not eat and risk putting their health at stake when they feel bad about their body image.* 

SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE. We need to help empower each other! We need to increase body-confidence education, drive meaningful conversations around the pressures women and girls face, advocate for change in how females and their appearance are talked about and portrayed in the media, and most importantly, we need to teach - and KNOW - that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of love and belongingness. Every shape, shade and stature. 

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Want help becoming the healthiest, strongest, most body-confident version of you?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, stressful, media-driven lives.

That’s why I work closely with my Nutrition Coaching clients to help them reach their health, fat loss and body confidence goals...no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

For more information on Nutrition Coaching with Nicole, drop a comment below or shoot me a message at [email protected]

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

* Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2017

How I learned to love my body...

This weekend, I ate ice cream twice in one day. 

And I enjoyed every single bite. Zero guilt. Zero regret. 100% satisfaction. 

A few years ago even just one bite of ice cream would have sent me into a tailspin of restriction and remorse. From 2009-2012 I weighed myself every single day, tracking calories obsessively. Every. Single. Day. And based on the number staring back at me - whether I had gone over my 900 calorie limit (self-imposed, mind you) or was up a fraction of a pound - my attitude and activities for the day proceeded accordingly.

That number determined everything. Up on the scale? Run more and eat less. Ate too much according to my "lose 2 pounds a week" My Fitness Pal guideline? Run more and eat less. 

That number determined if I felt worthy. If I felt happy. If I felt like socialising. That number determined what clothes I wore. What I could eat. How long I would have to workout. Along with every other aspect of my day to day life. For three years I hated myself this way repeatedly, refusing to actually live my life and engage with other people because my need to be smaller, lighter and thinner meant more to me than any relationship or adventure ever could. 

Today. Today I don't track calories and I weigh in only occasionally. I know that I am 40 pounds heavier than I was at my thinnest and I know that I am the happiest, healthiest and most confident and powerful I have ever been in my entire life. 

People often ask me how I got here - this place of confidence and comfort around food, around fitness and most importantly - in my own skin. People ask because they too feel lost in their own skin, at war with their own bodies, ruled by the scale and consumed by the caloric culture we (as  a society) are so obsessed with. 

My answer is always this. There was no magic switch. No lightbulb moment. But rather, it was work. It still is, some days. It has taken me YEARS to unpack the reasons why I hated myself, neglected my body and starved my mind. It has taken me YEARS to separate what I believe to be true from societal narratives telling me how I should look or who I should be. It has taken me YEARS to heal from the hurtful things that were said and done, finally realising that I am the boss of my own body. 

And some days it still feels like I'm learning. Because loving yourself is not a linear journey. And there are no shortcuts. You will have bad days. You will backslide. And you will struggle with giving power back to the scale and your calorie counting apps, because that's what you know. 

But know this - life without the scale, without calorie counting, without external pressures and internal dialogues telling you that you need to look, feel or be a certain way is worth all the time healing takes. It takes work. But the work of investing in yourself is always worthwhile. 

If you're ready to do the work - unpack the untruths and the unrealistic expectations - and start harnessing your own power, being the boss of your own body, you don't have to do it alone. If you're ready to do the work - learning how to love your body; not hide it, not feel ashamed of it, not constantly work to change it because you hate what you see, you don't have to do it alone. I'm here for you. 

I've created a coaching program that will help you to feel sexy, confident and powerful, just as you are. If you're looking to love your body, learn to establish a healthy relationship with food, and banish those feelings of unworthiness, let me help you.  You deserve it. 

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WANT ME AS YOUR COACH?

**I have a few spots now open in my coaching program.**

If you're looking to finally take charge of your health, nutrition, and your sanity around food and eating, send me an email and we'll start the conversation.

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

So, birthday's suck.

Tomorrow's my birthday. And in lieu of the party and the gifts my two requests were: 

1. Can we please go away, anywhere but here? and,

2. Can you please shave so I can see your beautiful face?

(My always-bearded husband was on the reciprocating end of my wishes) Those might sound like a strange birthday wishes to most, but, when your brother dies on your birthday, shit gets real.  Even more so when it's a tragic, opioid-epidemic kind-of story ending. Sparkly things mean a lot less and time spent with the people you love most means a whole lot more. 

Birthday's are typically a time to celebrate. Everyone gathers together to sing and reminisce about the best years, dreaming and memory making for the years still to come...at least that's how my first 25 went. 

26. Twenty-six was the worst (birth)day of my life. Since then, birthdays have never, and will never, be the same. Because who wants to hear a chorus of "and many moreeeee" on the special day you share with your brother who doesn't have any more years, days or even moments to share? Not me. 

So, we don't celebrate anymore. Not really anyway. We tried, it sucked. So now we try less. Because it's too morbid to throw confetti and eat cake when every year older just means another year without him. How can you celebrate life on the anniversary of your brother's death? Maybe that's the very reason to celebrate life, but I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Maybe next year. But, maybe not.

No birthday - or any day really - is the same when everyone else is counting blessings and all I can see is the absence - empty space - where one of my biggest blessings used to be. 

There's a nagging voice inside my head - probably my mother's - that reminds me that I should count my blessings and be thankful for what I do have...

Fuhhhk that. 

I'm tired of pretending everything's okay. I'm tired of "good vibes only". I'm tired of moving on because the rest of the world has. And I'm tired of celebrating a day that should be sad. And I'm tired of everyone being "fine" when that's the last thing I'll ever be. 

So this year, as a gift to myself (and everyone else, really) I'm choosing to just feel. Feel sad. Feel heartbroken. Feel empty. Feel left behind. Feel resentful. Feel angry. And any other emotion that may surface as a part of my grief journey. 

So here's to another year - 

Darker, without you.

Empty, without you.  

Older, without you. 

I miss you, Kev. 

PS. If you're struggling with the loss of a loved one, or grieving in some other way, therapy helps.