Posts filed under Emotional Eating

How I Overcame Binge Eating + My Top 3 Tips to Beat Binge Eating for Good

It’s official! Coaching with Keia is live on YouTube! Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, I’ll be posting a new video sharing some tips on how to beat binge eating, emotional eating, and live a happy and fulfilling life.

In this week’s video, I share about my honest experiences struggling and overcoming binge eating as well as my top 3 tips to begin healing your relationship with food.

Also I’d love to hear your thoughts, would you please like & comment on the video so I can know what stood out most to you?

How I Overcame Binge Eating + My Top 3 Tips to Beat Binge Eating for Good

>>Watch the video here<<

What a Marble Jar can Teach us About Self-Trust and Trusting Our Bodies

I’m currently reading “Daring Leadership” by Dr. Brene Brown, whose work about courage and vulnerability is something that I truly admire.  Having helped many hard working women heal their relationship with food over the past 4 years, I find resonance with many concepts Brene shares.

One of these concepts Brene discusses trust.  From personal experience I can recall times times when I opened my heart up to someone only to get hurt.  Or if there was something I truly desired and things didn’t go my way, I would feel disappointed. For me and many people, the original “trauma” then perhaps led us to close our hearts to letting others see us as we are and to stop going for our dreams.   After all, if you don’t ever want to get hurt in a relationship, then just stop connecting with others or loving, right? Or if you don’t ever want to be disappointed, then just stop trying to build your business/lose weight/write a book, right? It sounds silly writing in this way but in reality, so many of us go through a similar experience where we close our hearts in the face of hurt.

In one of my favorite parts of the book, Brene teaches her daughter about trust in relationships.  After a hurtful experience with a peer in class, Brene did not want her daughter to turn to shame, fear, and close off her heart to future relationships.  Brene then shared a marble analogy that could help her daughter understand how trust is built. In her daughter’s class, the teacher kept a clear glass jar on her desk.  Whenever the class did something positive she put marbles in the jar and whenever they did something negative or were unruly, she would take marbles out. Brene then told her daughter to think of her friends she can trust (“marble people”) in the same way.

“Whenever someone supports you, or is kind to you, or sticks up for you, or honors what you share with them as private, you put marbles in the jar. When people are mean, or disrespectful, or share your secrets, marbles come out.”


marble+jar.jpg


 I really loved this analogy because it applies not only to friendships but to all relationships, including the one we have with ourselves and our bodies.

So how do you build trust with yourself and your body?  The marble analogy also applies. Every decision in support and love for our bodies and selves can be seen as a marble in the jar.  Every decision in disrespect or hate for ourselves and our bodies can be seen as a marble taken out.

When we listen to how our body speaks through what is causing it pain vs. pleasure, in that moment we are putting a marble in the jar. If we hear our body is hungry and nourish it with food, that’s a marble in the jar.  If we hear our body is cramped and needs to movement and stretching, that’s a marble in the jar.

On the flip side, there can be many times that we ignore our body’s signs and take a marble out of the jar.  If we’re starving ourselves because our “diet said so,” we may be taking a marble out of the jar. Anytime we demonize our appetite, hunger, or the way we look, we remove a marble out of the jar.  Anytime we drown our negative emotions with food or we push harder past our current exhaustion, we’re removing marbles from the jar.

Looking back, the version of me that struggled with binge eating was in complete distrust of herself and her body.  She was driven to achieve out of fear. She found herself overworking, overcommitting, and ignoring her needs for rest and rejuvenation.  Food therefore became a way to cope with the stress and feelings of exhaustion and loneliness. Her emotions told her something had to change but because she did not know what to do with those intense feelings, food became the way to drown the feelings out even for a few minutes.

By paying attention to my body, she learned how to eat in a way that supported it.  My emotions and energy also pointed her towards what lifestyle & career would work suit her best.  (It’s the reason why I’ve become a coach today.)

Trust takes time and is built in the micro-decisions we make each day.  If you’re wondering how to begin to this process, here are some suggestions:

  1. Pay attention to how your body speaks to you - Your body sends you very clear messages of what it needs, if only we would pay attention!  For example, when you have you pee, it’s very clear and it’s almost a pain sensation in your pelvis that signals it’s time to get up for the bathroom.  Hunger is also a very clear signal of a stomach sensation or a grumbling.

    What is your body saying right now? Perhaps it’s telling you that you need to stretch and walk around after sitting all day.  If so, get up and do that!

  2. Start tuning into your feelings & emotions - Emotions and feelings are the language of the body. Some people fear that if they tune into their feelings and emotions, they’ll get soft and fall apart. While the key here isn’t that your feelings and emotions run your life, if you’re not paying attention to them, you’re missing out on a valuable information system.  Sometimes before the clear thought or explanation comes, our emotions can signal what is truly right for us or wrong for us. At the end of the day, we all want to be happy - so why not tune into what lights you up?

  3. Examine your internal and external dialogue towards your body as well as your beliefs about your body - Do you find yourself berating your  body? Or are you celebrating all that it does for you to keep you alive and well?

    One belief that helped me to rebuild trust in my body is reclaiming the belief that my body is infinitely wise and intelligent. Wellness is my body’s natural state. I began to look for evidence of this belief. If I got a cut or scrape, my body is already designed to work towards healing. Or if I tune into hunger, my body is already designed to tell me what it needs.. If I “get out of the way” by listening and supporting my body, it works towards wellness effortlessly.

Trust takes time to build in all relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself.  What choice can you make today to put a marble in your own jar of self-trust? Please comment and share below so we can all benefit from your insights!

Stay well, eat well, and savor all that life has to give you to because life is simply too short not to!

Keia



“The Way You Do One Thing is How You Do Everything” - Why Healing your Relationship with Food will Affect Other Aspects of your Life

Have you ever heard the quote that “The way a person does one thing is the way they do everything?”  In other words, how one approaches any facet of life can be a good indication of how they approach other facets of life.  

I find resonance with this quote myself. I find that if I’m being a procrastinator, sleeping in late, and missing on my calendar commitments to myself, I’m usually putting of bigger important things that are keeping me stuck.  If my apartment is a cluttered mess, I usually find that my schedule is overcommitted where I’ve spent the week running around feeling chaotic. Or if I’m not following through on my commitment to exercise in the mornings, then this pattern of not keeping my commitments and finishing projects is manifesting in other parts of life like at work, my personal goals, and more.

I love this quote because it reminds me that everything in life is connected.  It also reminds me that even if external results (weight loss, new job, a new partner, etc.) are not directly under our control, the internal choice of WHO we are choosing to be and HOW we are choosing to express that in any moment is within our control.  After all, regardless of the place or situation, you are the common denominator in these experiences. Wherever you go, there you are, right?

the way you do one thing is how you do everything.png

In this same mind, I find that as we prioritize our self-care and healing our relationships with food, this soon spills over to other parts of our life.  One of my recent clients had a relationship food which reflected her overall sense of feeling stagnant in life. This sentiment reflected in her career where she felt bored and unfulfilled and also in her relationship with food where on weekends at home she’d often use food to fill the void.  But after really tuning into what was important to her, she began to develop a habit of follow through and focus as she began to prioritize her healthy eating and exercise. By the end of our work together, not only did she start eating more mindfully, she also asked for and received a raise in a job she was passionate about.

Another of my clients was binging multiple times a week and reported feeling so lonely and ashamed after the occurrences.  In our work together, she began to develop more kindness and forgiveness with herself after her binges. In doing so, naturally the binges began to lessen and she found herself showing up as more open and kind in other areas of life.  In her relationships, she also began inviting people to see more of who she was and get closer in relationship.

So I’m curious what this article sparks in you.  Do you believe that the “way you do one thing is how you do everything?”  If so, where are these patterns in life is this serving you? Where are these patterns holding you back?  Now that you know, what will you choose to do about it? :)

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback below!  Know you are so worth it.



Why I Threw Out My Scale (Plus 3 More Gentle Ways to Measure Progress as You Heal Your Relationship with Food)

Earlier this year, I was reenergized to clean up my apartment by watching the Netflix series “Tidying Up” with Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo.  If you’ve ever spent time decluttering, you’d know that the hardest thing can be getting rid of the things to which we have emotional attachment.

To counteract this phenomena, Marie has her clients do one two things:

1) Pick up the item and hold it in their hands

2) Ask themselves: “Does this bring me joy?”

I love this question because a simple “Yes” or “No” answer helps you bypass the emotional attachment to make a clear decision on whether or not to keep something.

As I picked up the scale that had been sitting in my bathroom for years.  Immediately, I was taken back to the memories I had with this item. For years, when I was dieting and struggling with food, I remember feeling anxious and excited each morning when my my internal dialogue would go something like:

“I’ve been so good this week…. I’m soooo gonna see the numbers go down…. Oh wait, let me pee first so that doesn’t mess up the number”  (If that’s TMI for you, sorry I’m not sorry :P)

From here, one of two things would happen

SCENARIO 1

If the scale went down, I would rejoice!!!  “YES, my efforts are paying off!!”  Then, I’d go through my day feeling proud, confident, and excited.  

SCENARIO 2

  If the scale went up, (which inevitably it would at times due to hormonal fluctuations, water weight, etc.)  I would feel devastated and proclaim to myself: “Why bother?  I’m going to be fat forever!”  The saddest part of this is that this type of thinking would often lead me to eat emotionally.   I was victim to the dieting mentality. Studies do show that dieters can often be triggered to overeat emotionally by having a bad scale day.  What a crazy, insidious cycle!!!

Returning back to the present day, with the scale still in my hand, the clear answer was, “No, this doesn’t bring me joy.”  Since making peace with food and quitting dieting, I also realized that the scale had been collecting dust since I hadn’t even used the scale in a few years…  So into the Goodwill donation box it went...

While the scale can be useful for certain things (weighing your luggage or for people who can be completely objective about the numbers), for me and my clients, it would set off a cycle of self-loathing and sometimes binging.  So if you you are all like me or my clients, I invite you to let go of what’s not working for you and what is not bringing you joy. There plenty of options to measure your progress in a way that is more gentle and useful for the long-term.  

Why I threw out my scale.png

So if you’re ready to ditch the scale, here are 3 More Gentle Ways to Measure Your Progress

  1. By your choices - Perhaps you decided this week you’d cut your sugar intake in half and did that consistently for the week.  Excellent! That’s amazing progress and will lead to the external results you are looking for. Or perhaps like a client of mine, you practice different mindfulness tools and measure your progress by how often you practice...then soon realize that your binges are getting smaller or have disappeared!

  2. How your clothes feels - Perhaps you have a particular skirt or pair of jeans that is a bit more snug.  You can use this as a more gentle way to check in with how you’re doing in your efforts.

  3. Tune into how your body feels - Weight loss isn’t everything.  After all, have you met people who have lost weight but feel miserable?  After your efforts, do you feel more energetic? More calm minded and centered?  Celebrate those internal wins because they are what will keep you going.  

I’d love to know your thoughts! What tip resonated most with you? Please comment below!

Mindfulness and Brain Science - Why Mindfulness helps people overcome binge eating, emotional eating, and more

For a long time, I told myself I wasn’t a meditator.  I had countless attempts at meditating only to find quieting my mind to be so difficult. Sure, I had heard why it was useful for you but it wasn’t until I worked with my first meditation teachers that it became a habit for me.  I realized it was a mix of technique & accountability that helped me to finally make it a habit.

One of the interesting “side effects” of meditating more for me was improving my eating habits, actually.  I found that meditation helped me to feel more calm and centered, making wiser more centered choices rather than to be compulsive and emotional with choices (hello emotional eating).  It took some time and practice to become a habit but each time I practiced it became easier and easier.

I often use mindfulness as a tool these days to help my clients overcome binge eating, overeating, emotional eating, and more.  As shared in my last post, mindfulness has a vast array of benefits including but not limited to: a greater sense of peace and calm, the ability to weather strong emotions, and the ability to make wiser, more rational choices.

When I first started, I could feel a visceral difference when I got centered and meditated in simply how I felt.  Later on, I learned more about the neuroscience which helped me to buy even more into the habit of meditation.

As discussed in a previous blog post, we can think of two separate brains when it comes to retraining binge eating and compulsive overeating. First, we have our animal brains (i.e. limbic system) which is our emotional brain, the seat of our habits loops. Second, we have our sane brains (i.e. prefrontal cortex) where we make wiser choices, plan for the future, and so on.  When we meditate and focus our attention, we actually are strengthening the pre-frontal cortex, associated with these wiser decisions.  Like a muscle, what we use, we strength and what we don’t use, we lose.  Over time, we can strengthen our ability to stay centered and calm even in stressful events and times where we normally would act compulsively and emotionally from the animal brain, which might look like stuffing our face with fries.

One of the main tools I use with my clients is mindfulness because it actually strengthens our ability to make wiser choices. Research has shown that mindfulness has been proven to dramatically decrease instances of binge eating and compulsive eating.


So how do you start developing a practice of mindfulness? In my work, I usually start my clients with developing a basic meditation practice. There are plenty of free resources out there or you can consider looking for a meditation teacher or group. In my work, combining mindfulness with coaching, nutrition, etc. have been the keys to help my clients stop binge eating for good.