No matter how much I learned or how hard I tried, I just could not make peace with food or with my body.
I had even spent many years in 12-step recovery for disordered eating only to learn finally that food was not the problem. Nor was compulsive eating, emotional eating, or binge eating.
Deprivation dieting was the culprit. So I called it out for the addiction it was, and was excluded from speaking at 12-step events. Exit stage right.
Diet culture had been so insidiously woven into the inner workings of my mind and body that it was hard to even recognize at first, much less dislodge. I had learned so many 'touch not, taste not, want not' rules around food that I had to take a proactive approach to breaking the cycle.
I began looking for alternatives online and found several coaches who claimed a non-diet solution to my problem. What I discovered, however, were they were using intuitive eating terminology to lure last-chance dieters into a very expensive hybrid model of a hunger-and-fullness diet sometimes called mindful eating. Couched in non-diet terminology, it promised a new approach but ended up tapping into women's shame and pocketbook just like all the others had.
So i did what I always do, I went to the source and became a certified Intuitive Eating counselor through the original dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch who wrote the book. I did not do that so I could sell it to you. I did it so I could get the fast track for myself.
What I hoped would be a 3 month process turned into more like 3 years. I learned important things about the biochemical response to deprivation dieting that results in binge eating and obesity. I learned the essential steps to release myself from a lifetime of dieting and deprivation, and I am a purist about the message I carry.
I chose to co-create at EveryBODYdiet.com because I see an overzealous reaction forming in the non-diet community just as I do in diet culture. I don't have the energy for schoolyard fights. I'm here to carry a message of hope and healing to those who are weary and wounded from the battle.
It is my purpose on this earth to hold safe space for people who want to be well. I encourage you to lean into this healing community, monitor your media and being to notice and remove anything that smacks of before-and-after deprivation dieting no matter what new label they slap on it.
You can't hate your way into a body you love. But you can at least accept the skin you're in and spend your energy creating a life you love in your natural body size.
Every new person or circumstance represents uncharted waters to your psyche. Your body scans the environment for threats and your mind gets to work analyzing the data flooding in from all your senses.
Whether you’re changing doctors, partners, jobs or cities - the process is the same. I approach new relationships as an ocean of infinite possibilities. We present ourselves to each other in bulletpoints. Best foot forward. Approach with caution in all cases, both personally and professionally.
On approach, scan the surface for presence, personality and pitfalls. Does this look like a fit? How does it feel? First impressions are truly lasting impressions and seconds matter. Are the waters calm or is there a storm on the horizon? Is it worth exploring?
TEST THE WATERS
We put our toes in first to see how the water feels. It’s usually a brief encounter with clear boundaries. That could mean a screening call for employment, a text conversation through a dating app, or a free consultation with an attorney.
You show up and your body leads the way in this temperature check. Is the water too hot? Too cold? Polluted from past experiences? Cluttered with debris? Brackish with sarcasm?
This check can happen in seconds to hours but it’s definitely a one and done opportunity. You will know instinctively if this is a go or no-go situation for you. Trust your gut.
SPLASHING IN THE SHALLOWS
With feet firmly planted and ready to run at the first sign of danger, you share space and practice the art of conversation. Consider this the play date. No commitments, no expectations, no harm, no foul.
Where are you from? What brought you here? Where do you hope to be in five years? Generic get acquainted Q and A session.
The water is appealing in the sunlight. This stage is represented by the first interview, first date, or first visit with a new provider.
Both parties decide to trust the natural buoyancy of nature coupled with our swimming skills to look more closely at what’s just beneath the surface. Our protective minds know we can navigate the waters safely enough to stand up and walk out if we don’t like what we see.
BEWARE OF RIP-OFF TIDES
Fun fact: we can’t think and feel at the same time. Now that you’ve had your fun and a chance to catch your breath, your entire being gets involved in analyzing the data and creating the story you will tell yourself about why you choose to stay or go.
You examine the evidence of your senses and automatically search your memory banks for the last time you saw, heard, smelled or felt something similar. Then you feel emotions associated with those past people or actions.
This is where you can get ripped off by your own thought process. If fear rises, it will keep you small and hidden in order to keep you safe from what could possibly be unhealed grief.
If that doesn’t derail you, then your brain engages again to compare and contrast those past experiences to your real-time encounter and ultimately assign it a meaning.
Our divine nature knows the truth of creation. We are the authors and co-creators of the story that becomes our life. It is our human nature that limits us to the drama roles of hero, persecutor, or victim in an often misguided attempt to keep us safe and in control.
The ripoff to worry about isn’t the one out there. Be careful of the rip tide within that threatens to sweep you out to an unforgiving sea of regrets.
Nobody goes deep sea diving without proper instruction and equipment, unless they have a death wish. The same holds true in personal and business relations. It’s called doing due diligence before investing your one precious life into a new venture. We all
know barracudas swim deep in the shadows.
What you want is certainty. Spoiler alert: you can’t find that out there. It’s an inside job. You are either confident enough to believe you can navigate the deep or you are not. Mutual respect and success in any endeavor comes from a place of abundance, not lack. What are you bringing to the table?
The sequencing of events is critical to a successful outcome. When your heart and mind are in alignment then get naked and be free to enjoy the moment, every moment, as long as it lasts.
Life is too short for regrets.
“It’s hard to leave a crappy situation. Sometimes it’s even harder to leave a mediocre one” - Kyle Cease
What if burnout in a career isn’t the wildfire of exhaustion, depression, and apathy it is known for? What if it is actually a controlled burn designed for healing and growth?
Many careers are characterized by burnout, particularly in the helping professions. We expect to see it in law enforcement, healthcare, and teaching. Those professions appeal to people with high ideals and compassionate souls.
but what about the ones calling their own shots? The self-employed entrepreneurs? What causes them to crumble and fold under pressure?
The same issues apply. Too many hours, too much stress, too little appreciation. Lofty goals meet daily grind. They imagine it will get better as soon as they turn some imaginary corner. But the markers of success remain just out of reach and enthusiasm turns first to doubt and then cynicism.
Entrepreneurs may have more illusions of control because they hold all the matches. But in the end, a burn is a burn no matter who starts the fire. Accepting responsibility for our pain and our healing means knowing that we each have the power to manage the heat by shifting our perspective or our presence.
Raging fire or controlled burn? You decide.
“What I've learned to do when I sit down to work on a is to quiet the voices in my head.” - Anne Lamott
This book has been a lifetime coming.
These topics were downloaded to me one night in 2018 in the beginning of what would be the greatest transition of my life - from achieving all the earmarks of societal expectations to the winding road back to my true self.
I carved my identity as a good wife, great mom, and even greater grandmother. I was a late in life student who only sought higher education for myself after launching two husbands and three children on pursuits of their own. Family first.
Armed with a Master’s Degree in organizational leadership, I went on to become an accomplished author, respected mentor, international speaker, and successful career woman. I checked all the boxes of self-sufficiency.
And then I turned 60 and had what many would consider a mid-life crisis. Ditch the man, ditch the job, make a major cross-country move to Nowhere, New Hampshire and begin again. As what? That was the big question.
I met myself in the wonder of the woods, the secrets of solitude, and the magic of meditation.
Consider this Volume I of a life well lived.
I AM LUCID
Fun fact: 81% of people want to write a book. Only 1% will ever do it. As a published author (25 Ways to Win, the pocket guide to addiction recovery) I’m already top tier. So why the hell cant I just stop there?
Because I’m an overachiever? No.
Glutton for punishment? Hardly!
Because there is a message keeping me up at night. Every night. And it appears I will find no rest until I purge these words from my heart and psyche. I am pregnant with possibility, nauseous with labor, and moderately terrified of what’s to come. There are even moments I feel paralyzingly panic stricken.
Perhaps it’s the genre. I suddenly wish I wrote trashy romance novels instead of communicating soul-shaking transformational truths.
If I die before this book is born, people will find in the remains a tortured soul. I hate writing. It hurts in places I didn’t know I had.
So back to the original question: why the hell do I do it?
To stop the pain. Not just mine, but yours too. And for the generations to come.
We are family. And if we’re not, we ought to be.
I am an entrepreneur living in the leap from the life I was programmed to live into the life of my dreams.