Working in an office can be one big food minefield from various celebrations, leftover business meals, to the “obligatory” candy bowl on your co-worker’s desk. You start off the day strong with a good breakfast and eat what you brought for lunch. But when you see the free food you just can’t seem to resist it. Cue mindless eating!read more
When you think of emotional eating, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? In the traditional sense, many people think it occurs when they’re bored, sad, happy, lonely etc. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an emotional eater, I encourage you to keep reading as it can apply not only to how you show up around food but can also come up with shopping, drinking, exercising, etc.read more
When I start working with my clients most of them talk about how they’re stuck in black and white thinking. This typically leads to only being able to see two options in a situation. For example, they can either eat in alignment with their goals, or they don’t. They either meal plan or they don’t. Does that sound familiar?read more
“Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.”read more
When I saw this sign at a women’s co-working space it really lit me up. Given the entrepreneurial setting I’m sure the intent behind these words has to do with running a business that is also your passion and putting power behind it. While I love this sentiment, it also resonated with me because of the work I do with my clients.read more
One day I was talking to a friend about self-sabotage because it’s a topic that often comes up with my clients. As I was explaining that I wanted to write a blog post about the topic she said, “I’ll start it for you!” because she could relate. Here’s her story and then I’ll get into more about self-sabotage and what it really is and what it means if you’re feeling like you’re getting in the way of your health and weight goals.read more
The start of the year is typically synonymous with restrictive New Year’s resolutions and crash diets that work for a while but don’t last long-term. When we fall off track is typically when shame sets in or we resolve it just wasn’t meant to be. But there is a better way! Check out the video below to learn more.read more
The holidays are supposed to be festive and a time for celebration but sometimes they can be anything but. Between all of the social gatherings, festive foods and extra time with our families, the holidays can be fun, indulgent, exhausting, emotional and stressful all at the same time. But what if you could approach the holidays with ease and a sense of calm?read more
When I started my journey to become a Health Coach I decided to start working with my own Health Coach, Ali Shapiro. Even though I had lost 60-pounds and was maintaining my weight, my thoughts were consumed by food and constantly thinking about when I was going to eat next. It scared me to think that I could possibly get hungry and be ill prepared without any food on hand. I thought there had to be a better way other than the exhausting mental gymnastics. I had done one of the leading weight loss programs for years with success in getting down to my goal weight. However I was missing one piece of the puzzle.read more
The holidays are supposed to be festive and a time for celebration, but sometimes they can be stressful and overwhelming. Around this time of year we give ourselves permission to indulge because a fresh New Year is right around the corner. Some people enter into the holidays with the mindset that they’re going to take a break from their healthy lifestyle and they expect to gain weight because they feel like they don’t have control over it. But what if we can stop this cycle and set ourselves up so we don’t feel like we have to play catch up come January 2nd?
There are times that we have idealistic expectations of how we want the holidays, or a holiday related event to go. When those expectations aren’t met, it can lead us to turn to food for comfort or as an escape. In general, many of the cravings we have aren’t really about the food. Instead they are often the coping mechanism we have identified as safe to help us get through different situations from the past.
Between approaching the holidays with idealistic expectations, a number of gatherings, family time, traveling and gift shopping, the holidays can be exhausting. When we arrive at holiday parties exhausted it increases stress and ultimately causes our blood sugar to be off balance, which then leads to our inhibitions going down. And when our inhibitions are down, we have more of a tendency to say, “Screw it!” because we feel we deserve a treat.
There are steps we can take to set ourselves up for success during the holidays to help avoid binging and ultimately gaining weight:
- Set your goal(s) for the holidays: The goal should be measurable, attainable and realistic to ensure you’ll stick to it. The more specific it is, the better. The goal can be related to food, exercise, some of your triggers, or even how you want to engage with, or interact with people, as a few examples.
- Envision what could go wrong: Research shows that actionable and intelligent goal setting includes planning for failures. In the planning you’ll learn how to navigate it rather than falling back on the old standbys of self-judgment, shame and blame.
- Plan ahead: During the holiday season we are often out of our routine, which can make it hard to stick to what we know works like planning, preparation and implementing self-care. Even though we may not have time to plan during the holidays, thinking ahead and planning for those times is helpful so we have some strategies in place. For example a couple questions you can ask yourself include, what are some triggers you know will come up during the holidays? How have you handled them in the past? What could you do differently so the trigger doesn’t lead to binging?
- Enjoy! If you know one of your favorite holiday foods is a trigger, it’s OK to enjoy and savor the foods you love that have meaning. It’s important that we allow ourselves to have these foods and not beat ourselves up afterwards. Planning ahead can help since we are making a conscious choice to eat the foods we rarely get to enjoy through out the year.
These are just four steps to help you feel confident that you can tackle the holidays with ease so you don’t feel like you need to start again after the New Year. Feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like to discuss any additional strategies to help you during the holiday season.
Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.read more