As I’m writing this, I’m about to embark on a 400-mile road trip with my daughter. I spent most of last night and this morning packing clothes, diapers, shampoo, the favorite flowered shorts, the sound machine… a LOT of stuff for us two. When provisioning for a big trip, like this one, I typically feel anxious as I walk around the house with my packing list which I add to as I remember even more items to include (my very favorite pillow, her very favorite spoon with a handle shaped like a rabbit). My nervous momentum originates from a belief: I’m responsible for remembering every tiny item that we might possibly need.
But this time while packing, I felt peaceful. Why? Read More
It’s been a while since I have posted due to a very busy spring and early summer, full of work commitments (more than I expected), travel (much more than I’d planned for), and lots of family time (more than typical, for me). These are all great things. All of the changes in my life these days bring me great joy and also bring with them the sadness of letting go of old routines in my home life and work life. It’s the end of a season, and the beginning of a new era.
And since last we spoke, I’ve been contemplating one concept, in particular, through all of these new epochs:
A little over one year ago, my husband came to me with an idea.
“I might do a cleanse. Want to do it together?”
“Sure.” I said.
As much as I geek out about juices and smoothies and super foods, I’d never done a cleanse. I truly bristle against food rules in any form be they under the guise of Whole30 or Paleo or whatever. Like, I don’t Read More
I got into the coaching business to help people. And when I first started, I knew how to do one thing better than anyone else I had ever met or read about: I knew how to help people with their food issues.
My very first program, that I emailed to my friends and put on Facebook, was called Guerilla Weight Loss Class. I was terrified to put it out into the world for every soul to see. I felt naked, admitting to friends and family that I’d started this new career that mattered so very deeply to me. I worried that people would think what I was doing was dumb, silly, unimportant. I felt so afraid that there would be girls who would send the link of my class homepage to their friends and make fun of me behind my back. The fear almost paralyzed me. Almost.
This week at The New South, we’re exploring power. Specifically, the power of our bodies, and how to honor it, harness it and leverage it to heal our relationship with our bodies. And ourselves.
Because, right now, we have a chance to elevate. We can have a new beginning with our bodies, which includes a new beginning with our weight, with what we eat, and with how we feel about our bodies. It truly can all change.
And we’re learning to elevate all aspects of our body relationship to make this change happen.
Let’s start with the Four Types of Power. Read More
What’s the difference between feeling beautiful, and looking beautiful?
That moment when we feel connected to something bigger than we are. When inspiration finds us. When we feel hope and feel love.
That is the moment that we feel beautiful.
Does my hair look nice or is my outfit flattering? Not sure. Don’t get me wrong – I love when my hair looks nice. I love when my outfit flatters me.
But looking beautiful is nowhere near as powerful as feeling beautiful.
We have the right to feel beautiful.
There’s something about Mexico that’s important for us to know: In Mexico, people eat a lot of corn.
One statistic I read stated 40% of a typical Mexican’s diet is corn. In America, we eat more grains and bread than tortillas or corn kernels. And yet – Americans at a cellular level test to consume more than twice the amount of corn consumed than Mexicans at a cellular level.
The reason is simple (and disgusting): corn sneaks into so, so many foods that we eat. “Mystery ingredients” like xanthum gum in cereal (even in Whole Foods brand cereals) and breads are corn derivatives. Sugar is actually corn when it’s “corn syrup.” Beyond processed foods, even meats in America molecularly contain corn: cows and chickens and pigs are fed corn and when we eat them. Historically, these animals don’t graze off corn but grass, acorns, and seeds. What they eat changes what they are. Since we’re actually ingesting what they’ve consumed (at a cellular level, the corn is still discoverable) it’s upping our corn intake hugely.
The chicken fingers are triple-corned (corn filling, corn breaking, corn in the oil for frying). And corn in the ketchup we dip them in.
The big problem is that we have no idea that foods we think are healthy have hidden foods with real effects to our bodies and our health.
We have the right to eat the foods we think we’re eating.
I remember the day after I took my first baby home. His name is Roscoe, and he’s a Boston Terrier.
He pooped in the house. He peed in the house. And he kept barking at me, waiting for me to do… something. What? What IS it?? He would run around the living room, jumping and barking and running in circles. What is this madness?!
Well, it took a few google searches to find the answer.
But it’s obvious. He was trying to bait me into playing with him.
We lose the space in our lives to play at a pretty early age. But the thing about playing is that it is crucial for a fulfilled life. While we see it as “silly” or “embarrassing, or possibly at best “nice to do if you have time” it’s actually, as my dog demonstrated, fundamental to how we best learn, how we find happiness, and how we navigate a fulfilling life.
Roscoe was born knowing how to play, and so were you.
Our emotional state begs us to rediscover play.
The right to play is the right to feel alive while we’re still living.
We have the right to play.
Elevate to know your rights, own your rights, express your rights.
Because it’s the beginning of a new year, we’re all in the same boat.
You might be wondering: What boat is that?
We’re all in the boat where we’re visually assaulted by ads telling us one message. This message can be subtle, and it is very toxic for us. It looks like this: Join the gym for $1 this month! It looks like the ads on Instagram that told me four times today to set resolutions.
Do you know what the not-so-subtle message is?
There’s something wrong with you.
When you resolve to do better, you’ll fix what’s wrong with you (too fat? too poor? too alone?), and then, you’ll be happy.
You know that is all just marketing, right? The promise that happiness lies in the fulfillment of a New Year’s resolution has never delivered. Think of every year in the past – if one of those attempts had succeeded, you wouldn’t be here, right now. It’s a marketing strategy, and it works becuase it plays on our deep fears about our own inadequacy, of not being good enough.
It’s time to take our power back. Especially right now, at the beginning of a New Year.
Especially when it comes to our bodies.
Especially because there is nothing wrong with you.
To want to feel good in our own skin is valid. To feel tired of obsessing over food is very legitimate. But for someone else to tell us how we should look? That is very not cool.
Because we all know how to eat healthy foods and move more, so selling us something that helps us to try harder isn’t useful. Our willpower is not the problem. The problem is that the food is not the problem.
A food-based solution like a new diet, to a problem that looks like a food problem, but isn’t a food problem at all, gets us nowhere. Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Thinking differently or better about food is trying to solve our problems with the same food-focused thinking that created them.
Instead of going down this way, this year, it’s time to elevate.
To solve a problem, we have to know what it is, first. If the weight struggle and the eating-obsessions have nothing to do with food, then we have to find out what the problem causing our compulsion really is.
Because, there’s a cause, and there’s a solution. And we’re capable of finding both.
We’re either going up, or we’re going down.
I for one am going up. I’m going to elevate.
For about three months, I’ve been waist-deep in the concept of sovereignty.
Sovereignty is kind of like healthy boundaries, good communication, and the right-to-exist, all in one, glorious bundle.
When it comes to our bodies, sovereignty means that our bodies are our own kingdoms, and no one else’s. What I do, or don’t do, with my body is none of your concern.
Sovereignty is not, off with your head! power, like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
Sovereignty is: you don’t get to imply that I should want to look differently than I do – but it’s okay if I do want that. I’m responsible for the condition of my body, and how and what I feed myself is none of your business.
This body is my body.
This is my kingdom.
And I am sovereign.
To be sovereign, we get rid of opinions, projections, expectations and assumptions about our bodies that are not ours.
And then, we embrace (and find) the opinions, desires, wishes, hopes and dreams that are ours.
And from there (and only from there) do we set our intentions, our resolutions, for 2017, for ourselves.
To elevate, we learn to practice sovereignty.
We learn to reject the messages from the media about what we should look like.
We find a new beginning with our bodies for ourselves, where we learn how to listen, communicate, respond, and support. We elevate. And from that place we find true health. We find true love. We find freedom.
Sitting here on the eve of a new year, I can’t help but feel grateful that I’m sitting here, at all. Really, it is a miracle.
Today, I’ve been reading Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s biography. He starts at his birth and walks us through his life and right up to the gilded steps of his mega-success in the music world. To us, it seems a foregone conclusion that he should be the rock god that he is. But as I read the play-by-play of his life’s story, nothing seems certain. Nothing predicts the success that he will experience, other than his personal dedication to the music, and his fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that are the steps that carry him to the rock-and-roll hall of fame.
He’s just a person, like the rest of us. He walked steps like we’re all walking steps, each day. We’re all standing on one of our own steps, right now, leading up to wherever we’re headed, too, just like Bruce Springsteen.
Isn’t that amazing? That we’re here, that we don’t know where we’re going, but that we are in fact going somewhere? And that it could be somewhere amazing if we dedicate ourselves, and embrace the fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that find us, too.
As we step into 2017, a new year, let’s find gratitude that we ‘ve been given another year to be with the people and animals that we love, another year to dedicate ourselves to the fire in our bones, and another year to embrace the change that is going to come.
The change that is already here.
Sending love and gratitude,
Have you ever been to a Korean bathhouse?
Until recently, I’d never been to one, either. But a friend raved about this place, a Korean bathhouse, saying that she always spends at least five hours, every time she goes there. She said the experience was very unique and incredibly rejuvenating. Plus, they serve amazing ramen.
I like spas and I’m always up for a new adventure, and who doesn’t love an authentic ramen bowl during the cold weather, so I blocked off a couple hours one day, and took the plunge, (literally). Read More