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Before and After

  • Develop the mindset you need to walk through changes.
  • Learn my best tips  that create a peaceful weight loss environment.
  • Uncover how you really can feed yourself daily with what fills you up – and I’m not talking about food
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Take time for you.  Turn the dial down on mental chatter. 

Biggest Photo

Coming Back from Checking out

Artwork by Patty Fleckenstein
Artwork by Patty Fleckenstein

Crunch.  Crunch.  Crunch.

Crunch.  Crunch. Crunch.

I turn my head and see the room.  I sit in a video game store. My son plays a game demo.  I hold a bag of caramel popcorn.  I can’t remember what happened.  How long have I been crunching?  What game is he playing?  Who just walked in the store?

I literally checked out.  I took the caramel popcorn, sat down, and said, “I’m outta here.”

I have done this countless times, but never have I caught it so abruptly.  It was the first time my awareness of what happened was crystal clear.  I gently asked myself to stay awake to the present moment.  In doing so, I realized I didn’t want to stay in the video store.  “It’s time to go after the game, I told my son.

It was my voice.   My voice desired to be heard, to leave the video store, but instead I returned to a former state of people pleasing and therefore – overeating.  Overeating sustains the people pleasing.  Eating to numb out is the premium fuel for not rocking the boat.  Loud crunches of popcorn mimic the my frustration.

Emotional eating is a language of its own, like hieroglyphics or braille. Instead of trying to understand it, we’re more likely to try to ignore it or shut it up. But we can’t rid ourselves of emotional eating until we listen to what it has to say. Our relationship with food is expressing a true need, so unless we learn what it’s trying to tell us, permanent weight loss will be impossible. Once we “get it” and understand the needs that food fulfills, emotional eating, having served its purpose, will stop.

Geneen Roth, https://geneenroth.com/2014/03/24/sit-stay/

 

The next time you have left the room and come back.  Take a breath.  You made it back.  You made it to the next moment.  The next time you catch yourself; high five for the awareness.   Overeating is the white, wooden gate to my soul.   It is the red flag that turns to blue when I surrender to my voice.

 

You’ve got this.

 

 

Master These 3 Key Points to Stay the Course

If eating well and exercising are so good for us, why isn’t everyone doing it?  I wasn’t.  Even today in the busyness of life it can take all I have to exercise and make the best choice.  Do you wonder why you aren’t as committed as you wish?  Would you like to learn another way?  Wouldn’t you want to know the secrets that successful people know?

I was over 300 lbs. and exercising to a Leslie Sansone DVD in my kitchen.  I felt like a big tub of lard moving around but Leslie’s encouragement kept me going.  Making the choice to exercise the day didn’t replace my feelings of fear, they walked along side it.

In this video, I talk about three components that kept me on track to lose over 100 lbs.  I do not worry about regaining the weight.  My mind relaxes more around food as I worked diligently to master these three areas.

If you want to dig deeper, you will glean much out of my eBook.

If someone you know has weight loss on their mind, please share this video to encourage them.

 

 

I’m from South Louisiana and had the pleasure of meeting Grammy winning artist Chubby Chennier.  Here is one of my favorite songs.  Man, I love living in South Louisiana, home of the Rajin Cajuns!  Enjoy our culture in this song.

 

 

 

 

Eating Medicinally/Book Review “The Complete Macrobiotic Diet”

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When I began my weight loss journey my motivation was a smaller size.    After losing 80 lbs. and several sizes –  I developed dizzy spells, mild depression, high blood pressure, backaches and foggy thinking.

Say what?  I felt defeated.  Why didn’t the weight loss keep these things from happening?

On the advice of a mentor, I tried a session with a macrobiotic counselor.  I noticed immediately that his advice was not typical of a medical doctor or naturopath.  Suggested protocols were to eat fewer tomatoes, eat more greens, or cut out bananas. There was a reason for each suggestion based on what I told him was bothering me.

It sounded easy to cut out those foods and discover if better health was possible through this path.   I confess.  It wasn’t easy.  It was far from easy.  The truth is – most of the time I had a big, loud, stamping my feet fit!  Not only was I watching what I ate to lose weight but now I had to eat or not eat specific foods. Little did I realize just how addicted to food I was and that included having my own way.

Could I love myself through tampering with my food in this way?  Could I release the compulsion to eat the very foods he asked me to avoid when the stressful days came?  In any given moment I could ignore his suggestions, drive to the doctor’s office, and receive a prescription.  I pictured my life revolving around doctor visits and prescriptions because of my unwillingness to try these suggestions.  After about a week I was ready to try the ideas of the counselor.

Despite my work with emotional eating, there was another layer of this onion to be peeled. Eating medicinally, as opposed to following my every craving, demanded a freedom I had never known. I craved peace without the foods I believed were treats. Could I nourish my body in a way that honors and supports my life purpose? I desired more in my life, and I refused to be limited by food.  I changed the lens of how I viewed food.  I looked at my hair and thought of all had eaten to create my hair.  I looked around and realized the food I had consumed created and sustained my vision.  As I walked and stretched, I realized my back wasn’t aching and moved with more freedom.

Eating medicinally means following the body’s needs – not the body’s cravings. Eating medicinally represents living a whole, big life as opposed to a short-term rush of sugar and stress cravings.  Which calls you?

There is a wonderful primer available about eating in a way that supports the body. Most of the tips you can implement the day you read the book. When the resistance rears its head set the book aside.  This approach is counter to the way most people think of food.

It’s okay to cry when the onion peels.  You have a big life ahead of you.

No matter what you eat or don’t eat – you are loved.

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What My Child Teaches Me About Weight Loss

Click the photo for a free audio on moving through weight loss with the challenge of motherhood and homeschooling.

 

 

One thing I love about son, and at the same time has been one of my biggest triggers, is how he wears his feelings. He hasn’t learned to hide them or deny them, and therefore they spill everywhere. Lately, I have noticed a parallel between the evolution of releasing my feelings while my son learns to understand his.

As I love my son through the challenge of completing a math assignment, I see myself. The page of problems he easily completes on most days feels like climbing Mount Everest today.  How many times would I eat well three or four days and then on the fifth day wreck it?  Suddenly he wants out of the commitment he made to do the work.  Suddenly, I would disregard everything my head knew to do about eating well. Things are getting uncomfortable, and he wants to exit stage right post haste.  I can relate.

Moving forward with peace during weight loss is not somewhere we arrive. It is something you cultivate with every lesson. Moments beckon us to run away. Life morphs from the familiar to the uncomfortable in the blink of an eye. Binging on ice cream seems a viable alternative. Drinking coffee with disregard of the impending tummy ache seems rational. The body craves to be anywhere but here.

As I hold space for my son to build his perseverance during this simple math lesson, I see him develop a tolerance for discomfort while he I allow his frustration.  Sticking to a commitment and feeling the feeling of not wanting to do it at the same time is nothing short of amazing and miraculous.   I recall how others held this same space for me, and I slowly learned allow the space in myself.

My son has everything he needs to succeed – an understanding of the directions, a clean workspace with cool math props, a sharp pencil with a cute eraser, and a calm environment completely with essential oils diffusing. On the outside what more could he need? On the outside, what more do we think we need when we subscribe to the next cleans, meal plan, or fast?  We have our calorie counter, food scale, bookmarks set up to the support forum, and we are set, right?

What we need is a live human being to step into the trenches with us. When we feel understood – a hard shell melts. As I rub my son’s back and remind him that I believe in him, we bond in a way that could not have happened without math. When someone holds this loving place for us, we melt and rise up higher in the end. The heat of emotions transform to a simmer and suddenly we find ourselves back on track and the support doesn’t need to be there for now. We have found strength in our weakness through the gift of another’s loving presence.

Again and again life presents the unexpected lessons. Will we continue to run from our shadows or embrace them only to find they weren’t so bad after all?

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When You Appreciate Where You Are

 

 

Am I thin enough yet?  What’s the magic number when I can help others?  What’s the magic formula when you know enough to help others?  I share my struggle in going back and forth over my ebook cover.  Should I lose more weight?  Be ware, awake and proud of going through the process of losing weight.

At what point are your worthy of your own recognition?

The truth is – we are all always upleveling.  The size of the body may change, but I hope that along the way, your soul gains wisdom and clarity, otherwise, it’s like changing the icing on the cake.  Let’s make changes that make us stronger than we ever thought we could be.  This looks like owning all of your accomplishments!

 

 

 

Is Your Life Sweet Enough?

Thumbnail PWL LifestyleWhen everyone around you is overeating or eating in a way that you know doesn’t work for your body it takes COURAGE to go against the tribe.    If it were easy, everyone would lose weight and keep it off.  There wouldn’t be piles of money laying around that had been spent on plans where you gained and lost and gained and lost the same pounds.  This is not a fun way to live and sends nasty messages to yourself.

I hope this video encourages you to take back your power, starting not with food – but starting with the simple question – is your life sweet enough?

 

 

 

 

 

Peace,

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

Homeschooling and Peaceful Weight Loss

Motherhood and homeschooling proved to be fertile ground for overeating.  I yearned to leave the house, but it would be nap time.  When driving in town, I traded my frustrations for fast food or coffee drinks.  I worried my son would think driving in a car, leaving an office, or a trip home from the grocery store equaled drive thru purchases of fast food or snacks eaten in the car.  Sometimes I waited until my husband was home then rushed to the McDonald’s parking lot to eat two small burgers, a small fry, and a drink.  My son was my mirror for my behaviour.  His requests to stop and eat somewhere versus when it would not cross his mind were a reflection on my habits.  If he could make those mental shifts based on my habits, surely I could too.  But, what did I need to make that shift?  Where was my parent controlling what I ate? Where was the mother for the mother?  No one.  because I was too old for a mother to monitor my food and to stubborn to listen.  It was up to me.  How could I muster up the will to change?  What needed to happen for me, not my friends and not other moms, that would make my life sweeter so sugary drinks would lose their grip?

I needed reconnection with the part of me that loved learning.  Whether taking time learning music, trying a recipe or sitting at a cafe reading and writing –  I needed learning and creating in my life.  Motherhood didn’t take away the woman I am and my love for these things.  I neglected a part of myself, and the consequences of doing so were unavoidable.

I honored how much time I needed to replenish this empty cup.  I released guilt and expectations of what it “should” look like, and that includes homeschooling.  Homeschooling for me isn’t about entertaining my son from 8-2pm, like a school day.  I thought about the kind of child care I wanted for him and after some time, it appeared.   I happily enjoy my work while he learns about Minecraft with a group of mixed aged children.  He loves this time as evidenced by his various aged friends, constant reading and researching on how to create things in Minecraft.  It is not unlike what I have done for myself.  Academic and lesiure learning happens around our family schedule, not to copy anyone else and not around one person.  I looked at our family as a whole with each person needing space for their individual needs.

When I honored time I needed to plug into my dreams, I turned around to see that my husband and son were flourishing.  Any perceived gaps I thought I created became filled with bonding beyond my expectations.  My son found a sibling family and my husband joined a gym because he missed his former weight routine.  All I needed to create the life I desired was a willingness to try – to step forward – and ignore any naysayers or judgmental voices of how homeschooling and weight loss should appear.

Homeschooling and Peaceful Weight Loss coexist.  Do you feel stuck in your motherhood?  Are you overeating that stress?  Ask yourself the right questions and listen to the guidance you receive – even if in a small way.  You are the change.

 

Motherhood Homeschooling Weight Loss Banner
Click the photo for a FREE audio on how I lost weight while homeschooling.

 

 

 

 

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Honor Your Spending – Honor Yourself

As a coach, I hear women call themselves lazy and undisciplined.  They lament the lack of time they exercise and cook healthy meals.  Where money travels indicates your values so don’t apologize for how your spend your money.

When living in an area of high value, life feels right and the purchases we make feel right.  When we spend money on something we don’t hold in high esteem, it hurts to write that check.  We create buyer’s remorse.

Admitting that weight loss isn’t important to you doesn’t make you lazy.  It means weight loss efforts trump another area of life.  When my father battled lung cancer weight loss was not important to me.  I treaded water, investing no money on weight loss or learning new recipes.  Instead, I spent money traveling to see my father, sending him food items, books, and spending time with on the phone while he received chemotherapy.  I look back with gratitude for every dollar, and  I spent on that value.   I do not see myself as lazy because I didn’t lose weight at that time.

If you love fashion, set aside that money and enjoy it!  It took me some time to embrace my love of wearing beautiful clothing.   If you love providing your children with the best books, then make a plan to create that in your budget.  When weight loss education seems nice but you would rather purchase a nice dress for work – honor that.  If you want to learn how to raise weight loss to a higher value so you can honor it more, I can help with that.  The areas of life where you spend money indicate your bigger mission and purpose.  How can weight loss improve, enhance, or accelerate the areas of life you already value?

Be kind to yourself.  There are magnificent reasons why we overeat.  When you are ready to learn, the teacher will appear.  And the song for today’s post is Steal My Girl by One Direction.   Cheesy?  Maybe.  My take away is appreciating your own beauty today!