Synchroncities and Awareness

748169D2-C59C-4AFC-8D66-6B9E7CEEB9ABIt has been awhile since my last blog post, but I keep feeling this pull to blog lately. So here I go again.

Since I have shared in the past about my journey with Intuitive Eating I want to share a recent experience. When we are connected to something that is a higher power than us, we feel like we are in the flow of life. We experience synchronicities that I view as confirmation we are on the right path. Recently, I kept getting these messages, almost daily. For example, I had a conversation about how I believe comparison is the thief of joy. Then I came home to listen to a podcast and the first podcast I opened was titled comparison. Uh, coincidence? I believe it’s the Universe, God, Spirit, whatever you want to call it telling me there is a message I need to hear. I kept having experiences like this all week. I felt great –high energy, enjoying life, present etc. Then Sunday afternoon hit and it was like I could not get full. I wanted to snack, which I don’t typically do and I wanted comfort foods. I woke up on Monday and felt the same way. I just felt off and couldn’t figure out why. What had changed? So I decided to take it to my meditation practice and journal.

I had a big AH-HA moment during my meditation. I was feeling sadness. My husband had a business trip planned that week and was going to be gone for two nights. Not a big deal, right? It wasn’t like he was leaving for a week or months. I know I can physically handle him being gone. I am not scared to be alone anymore and I enjoy the special time with my daughter. However, I really, like really, enjoy our day to day life. It is play time when he walks in that door every night from work. My daughter gets excited, hides, screams and runs around. As you can see from the above picture, mundane things like grocery shopping are just more fun with my husband and daughter. Our home is filled with joy, laughter and love and I just really enjoy our time as a family. We play, have dinner as a family, and play some more until it is time to start my daughter’s lengthy bedtime routine, which I also adore. Then usually we have about an hour to ourselves to talk and catch up on our day. It is much quieter when he is gone and it feels like something is missing. It feels lonely, even though I am not alone.

I realized I was eating more because I subconsciously did not want to feel that emotion. Eating is my way to numb out, to not think or be present.  It’s part of what kept my disordered relationship with food going for so many years. The difference now is that I have tools to get back in alignment. After I realized I was no longer in alignment with my higher power or to myself, I first gave myself permission to really feel the emotion without any judgement.  I accepted it and noticed where I felt it in my body, which is a skill that took me years to learn. Then I made the decision to do all things to help me get realigned and feel better. I made delicious food that makes my body feel great and keeps me full for several hours. I went to a hot yoga class, meditated and journaled. I felt refreshed and able to be more present. I felt more like the version of me that I love.

I know it is completely acceptable to use food as comfort sometimes, but for me it eventually leads to feeling worse. I prefer to do other activities, like yoga or take a walk, if that is available to me, but sometimes I still fall into old habits. Awareness is and always will be critical for me. Bringing awareness to the situation, acknowledging something was wrong, and then addressing the real issue (the loneliness) is ultimately what allowed me to shift back into alignment. I share all of this with you in the hopes that you might be able to bring awareness to something in your life that isn’t serving you or that you would like to change. I encourage you to give yourself the self-compassion you need and view the circumstances from a non-judgmental view point. I believe you deserve it. The last thing I want to say is to remember to find joy and beauty in day to day life because that is what allows happiness to flow in more frequently. I love big events and vacations too, but really it is about the day to day.

Who Knew I Liked to Bake

blueberry

I have a few really funny cooking stories that have happened over the years. One that I am those most harassed about by loving friends and family members occurred when I was in college. I decided that I wanted to make a key lime pie because my best friend and I always loved it. So I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine (because of course, I was trying to make a “healthy” version), wrote down all the ingredients and went to the store. Cream of tartar was on the list, but I had no idea what it was and was too embarrassed to ask someone working. I looked all over the store, but could not find it. I decided I must have written it down incorrectly and it must be tartar sauce (I laugh even as I type this out). I bought the tartar sauce and went home to make the pie. All of my roomates were gone while I was cooking so they had no idea of my “secret ingredient.” The key lime pie came out of the oven and looked a bit odd, but I decided to let it cool and see what happened. That night several of my roomates and their boyfriends and I all ate dinner together and then I served the famous key lime pie. The guys went first and they were like, “Hmm, it’s good, but it’s different. It doesn’t really taste like key lime pie. What is in it?” I told them everything that was in it, including the tartar sauce and how I thought that was a bizarre ingredient. No one could stop laughing, including myself. It has been over ten years since this happened and just thinking about it brings me to tears from laughing.

After that experience, I dabbled a couple more times with baking, but never was very good at it and had a few more mishaps along the way. Part of my problem was that I was always trying to make “healthier” versions of desserts, which didn’t always work. I finally just gave baking up. I have been with my husband for 20 years and have never once made him a birthday cake. I always told him if he wanted a bake good to go ask his mom because she is a great baker. That doesn’t work out as well now that we live across the country. Oops!

The point of me telling this story is that I had a few mishaps with baking so told myself I could not bake. I just stopped trying because I thought I wasn’t good at it and never would be. The ironic thing is that I have had several mishaps with cooking in general too, but I still cook almost every night. I think I am a pretty good cook now too. So I find it amusing that I only gave up baking and not cooking all together.

I realize now that my thought “I am not good at baking” created my reality of not being a good baker. I believe I let that be my reality because maybe I subconsciously did not want to be good at baking. Baking means making delicious, decadent, high calorie and high fat foods. My disordered eating brain did not want these foods in my house because I might eat them and get fat. Sounds crazy even as I type it, but it was what was going on in my head.

Last week I did something crazy, I baked something, not once, but twice. You know what? They were both delicious (husband and toddler approved) and I enjoyed doing it. I made blueberry muffins from scratch (gluten/dairy free so I could eat them and still feel great) and chocolate covered almond butter cups. I sat down, looked at them, smelled them and chewed slowly so I could enjoy every single bite. I discovered the chocolate almond butter cups were so rich that I only wanted a few bites and saved it for the next day when I could thoroughly enjoy it again. That would never have happened when I was counting calories or macros. Also, I didn’t beat myself up for eating either of them. I just enjoyed them, guilt free.  

Two things to remember from my ramblings today. 1) Our thoughts create our reality, but we have the power to change our thoughts and therefore our reality. 2) Food freedom is possible and there is hope if you are struggling with food issues. Seek help and remember you are worth it. For information on eating disorders, www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and Intuitive Eating, www.intutiveeating.com.

The Fourth Trimester

KristiSonoma

I focused on my self-care the moment my husband and I started discussing the possibility of ever having a baby. I scheduled an appointment with my naturopath a year in advance (I am a planner) to make sure my hormones were in check, vitamins and minerals were optimal and that I was the healthiest version of me possible. The entire pregnancy I continued to focus on self-care. I took lots of naps, walks, practiced pre-natal yoga, took supplements suggested by my doctor and had monthly facials along with a few massages. I did whatever I could to stay healthy and have a healthy baby. I was very healthy my entire pregnancy (not even a cold) and delivered a very healthy baby girl.

I gave birth to my little girl, Sonoma, and my focus completely changed. This is the time frame I call the “fourth trimester.” I went from always focusing on my health and wellness to hyper-focusing on everything about Sonoma. I was concerned with how much (or little) she ate, slept, and pooped. I felt exhausted, yet unable to sleep as much as I needed. Hungry, but didn’t want to cook or grocery shop. Walking more than a few blocks was not recommended yet and yoga, well, I would get back to it about six months down the road. My hormones were all over the place, but thankfully the increased oxytocin levels gave me the energy to keep going. I was simply in survival mode those first few weeks. All you Mamas out there know what I am talking about.

I took a little over three months off from work after my daughter was born. I am very thankful for the every minute I got to spend with her and all the precious Mommy daughter time. I cannot remember a time ever feeling happier, yet sad too. Post-partum depression is real and can be scary. I did not have severe post-partum depression, but I did have sad moments and feelings of isolation. My husband was working long hours and all my family and close friends were thousands of miles away. Thankfully, we had lots of visitors, but I longed for home many days. I missed my sense of community and interaction with people who would talk back at me instead of just cooing or crying. I can remember actually being jealous of my husband that he got to go to work and be “normal” for a few hours. Then I would have days where I cried when I thought about returning to work and leaving my daughter at a daycare all day. It is funny how all over the place my feelings and emotions were during this time. I knew I needed some time for me and yet I felt guilty for wanting that time alone.

After a few weeks, I finally realized that in order for me to be the best mom I can be, that I needed to start focusing on me again too. I took a couple of hours and went shopping by myself the first Saturday my husband had off work. I bought some clothes that made me feel better about my new post baby body. A body I did not recognize or feel like mine (especially the big boobs), but the clothes made me feel more like myself. I started working out again slowly. I started with short walks and gradually increased the distance as I felt better and had more strength. Then I did an at-home workout program that consisted of 30-45 minute videos that I could do with the baby in the room or while she slept. Sometimes I think I may have rushed into working out again as I was longing for a body that felt more like me. However, working out feels like me and it made me feel better so I think it was the right decision for me at that time.

The day I finally felt like I could handle a hot yoga class again came about four months later. I will never forget how I felt that day. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I was in child’s pose. I felt guilty for taking time again for myself. I felt selfish and like a horrible Mom for leaving my daughter at daycare an extra hour so I could practice yoga. Then I took a moment to gather myself and thoughts. I realized I am not a horrible mother for taking time for me so I can be present with her later. I am teaching her that it is always important to take care of you first. No one else will do it for you. I am showing her how to respect her body and enjoy life. Everything I do is for her, but that includes keeping a healthy mind, body and soul.

These days I get up an hour earlier (and go to bed an hour earlier) so I can do my workouts over my lunch break. It allows me to workout and yet not feel like I am missing out on any family time. Also, I usually attend a yoga class or two on the weekends when my husband can be with Sonoma. This releases any guilt because they are spending quality time together. Then when I am done my husband usually takes time for himself to go surfing or for a run and Sonoma and I have our quality time. It works for us and I believe it’s all about finding what works for you.

Love you. Take care of you. You are worth it.

Diet Bottom

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It is true, it finally happened. I hit diet bottom a few months ago. I decided I was tired of always being on a diet, counting macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein), talking about food, reading about the latest diet, and obsessing about that stupid number on the scale that dictated how I would feel for the day. I finally got fed up and said, “Screw it! No more!”

I desire to live a life that is fully with happiness, peace and fun. Chronic dieting took all of that away from me. I couldn’t fully be happy and truly enjoy the moment because I was always thinking about food. I was constantly worrying if I was within my carbohydrate allowance for the day or if I was eating enough protein with every meal. I definitely was not at peace with my body. In fact, I hated it most days. I covered up at every opportunity and hated to be in a swimsuit, which is a problem when you live in Southern California. I am sure I was not a lot of fun to be around all the time because I was always stressing about food or preoccupied with it in some form.

One day I was journaling and decided to look back in my journal. I realized a lot of my entries were around diets and body image. I felt so sad for that person who wrote those entries. Oh wait, that person is me! Then I had an ah-ha moment. I was the definition of insanity (my husband tells me this all the time, but shit—I think he is right!). According to Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. This is exactly what I had been doing for years. I continued to diet, yet it continued not to work. So I decided it was time to do something radical and stop dieting.

I listened to the book (several times) on Intuitive Eating by dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole and fell in love with it. I was so scared in the beginning, but my intuition told me it was the right thing for me. I thought “How am I going to know what or when to eat? If I don’t weigh myself, then how will I know if I have been “good” or “bad? Won’t I gain a ton of weight if I am not on a diet and jumping on that scale multiple times a day?” I made the decision to give it a try for a week. If it didn’t work and I gained 10 pounds that week then I could go back to my old crappy habits.

Intuitive Eating is not something that just happens overnight. It is a constant work in progress. The first step is rejecting the diet mentality. Throw out everything you have learned about dieting. Throw out all diet books and magazines that might offer that last false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. Delete all apps from your phone that have to do with tracking weight, calories, carbs, exercise etc. Trust your body knows how to be a body and that diets don’t work. I did it, but I was freaking out (like a lot!).

I needed some tools to help me learn my true physical hunger because dieting for so many years only taught me how to ignore it. I decided that if I ate some form of carbohydrates, fat and protein with every meal at first that I would likely feel satisfied and it would keep my blood sugar stable. I knew a meal like this should typically keep me feeling full for 3-5 hours. This was beneficial because then I was able to really tune into my body in 3 to 5 hours after my meal and recognize if I needed a snack or meal. I also want to mention that I would ask myself what protein, fat and carb sounded appealing and good to me before each meal. I was not viewing it a a diet. I could eat whatever I wanted, but it had to contain protein, fat and carbs. I was able to really start learning my true hunger. I didn’t portion out my food, weigh or measure it, just made sure it was balanced. Now, I don’t have to follow this because I am more in-tune with my internal hunger.

I started practicing eating everything mindfully. I sat down to eat. I looked at it first. Smelled it and chewed slowly until it was liquid (~25 x each bite). In my opinion, this is the key to learning how to eat intuitively. Slow down, chew your food, put your fork down between bites, eat without distractions, take a break in the middle to check in and truly honor your hunger. If you are still hungry after the break, then eat. Only stop if you are truly full.

I decided to start I would not weigh myself for an entire week, which was liberating and scary all at the same time. I admit there were several days that I thought about pulling out that scale and had to talk myself off the ledge. I had to constantly ask myself, “What will change if I know that number? What will I do differently? How will it benefit me?” I stayed true to myself and didn’t weigh all week. I was very proud of myself. I focused on non-scale victories instead, like getting in 10k steps a day. I focused on things that were within my control and made me feel well.

So what happened? Guess what, I didn’t gain 10 pounds! I enjoyed my food and even had fun experimenting with some foods I had never allowed myself to eat previously because I was on a diet. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine over the week. I felt more at peace with my body than I have felt in years. The scale didn’t dictate my mood. I was and continue to be hooked.

I realized during this week long experiment that as long as I continued to move my body daily in ways that feel good to me, eat mindfully, get enough rest, and honor my true hunger that I don’t have to worry about that number on the scale. My body weight will normalize on it’s own. This experiment proved to me that I could truly trust my body. Also, I realized how much fuller and fun my life can be when I am not preoccupied with food. I continue to practice the principles of Intuitive Eating and continue to learn to love my body instead of trying to change it. See ya later diets and scales! You are no longer welcome in my house!

P.S. I will be writing more about Intuitive Eating in upcoming blog posts so be sure to check back. Also, if this resonates with us, leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Finding Balance

IMG_6232I started my last pre-requisite course, biochemistry, this week for starting my Masters in Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport. I am a bit of a geek and have always loved Chemistry so I was excited to start my class. However, a few days prior to starting, my husband and I were casually talking our marriage. He told me that during my last years of nursing school he felt our marriage struggled because I was beyond stressed out. I was working 40+ hours, taking nine credit hours and driving an hour away to Long Beach most weekends for 12 hour clinical shifts at the VA Hospital. Also, during this time I studied to become a 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor and ran the Carlsbad marathon. I mean I do not understand why I would have been stressed out (insert sarcasm smiley face here). It wasn’t that this was news to me. I knew that it wasn’t our best year of marriage, but it also kind of made my heart hurt to hear those words.

My husband is the kindest person I know and very supportive of me and all my crazy ideas, like thinking I can do it all. During those long days, he would do all the cleaning, take care of our finances, grocery shop, make my lunches and have dinner on the table (usually with a glass of wine) when I came home from a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Also, he would hug me and tell me everything would be okay during my almost daily meltdowns. At the time, I didn’t think I was taking him for granted because I told him all the time how thankful I was and how much I appreciated him. I always told him he was the best husband ever. I was so thankful that the weekend after my last class I called it “Eric Appreciation Day.” I surprised him by taking him to his favorite place for brunch, kayaking in the La Jolla Cove, shopping, a couples massage, a nice new watch he had been wanting (this guy loves his watches and sunnies) and dinner.

I was truly thankful so when I heard him say he felt our marriage struggled it was heart breaking because I realized I had taken him for granted during those years. He had always been so supportive and caring, that I have come to always expect that from him. I never really thought about how much of me being stressed out affected him during those years. I suppose because I never really had a second to even stop to think about it. I love him very much and always take pride in our relationship. After more than 20 years together, I still look forward to seeing him every night as much as I did when we first started dating. I hope he knows that, but maybe I need to remind him more often.

All of this was an “ah-ha” moment for me as I start a new adventure at University Bridgeport. I vow not to allow it to make me stressed out or consume me. If I start to feel that way, I will reduce my coursework or re-evaluate my goals. My priorities are the happiness of my husband, my child, and me. This also includes me focusing on my health and stress levels too. I will do workouts that energize me, like yoga or barre classes or just taking family walks or hikes. I will eat nutrient dense foods that are appropriate for my body, that will increase my energy, keep my brain sharp and my hormones balanced. I will focus on my sleep aiming for 7-8 hours most nights. I will take my supplements that help with hormone balance, digestion and keeping my body functioning optimally.

I believe I can still follow my passion and goals and believe it is possible while nourshing my body and soul at the same time. I am already starting to cultivate what I desire simply by bringing my awareness to it. Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder from someone we love of what is truly important in life. It isn’t always about accomplishments, but it is about our connection with family and friends. Thank you Eric, I appreciate all your love and support and allowing me to follow my dreams.

Girls Weekend 2016

IMG_5376FullSizeRender(1)I lived with three other girls for two years in college that have become my lifelong friends. On the day we graduated from Indiana University in 2002, we made a pact to each other that no matter what, we would always stay involved in each other lives. We promised each other we would take an annual girls trip. It has been 14 years now and we have only missed two years due to reasons beyond our control. I cherish each of their friendships and look forward to this weekend every year. It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we are together. All we basically do is sit around and catch up on each other’s lives and reminiscence a little about the “good old days.” I feel very lucky to have this strong connection with these three amazing women.

Last week I was preparing for this year’s trip and I noticed I was starting to experience some anxiety. I meditated on it and really tuned in to my body to listen to what was going on. I realized that being around my friends, even though they are very supportive women, can be a trigger for my disordered eating and thoughts. I am guilty of comparing myself and my life to each of them, which causes feelings of not being good enough. I compare my body to theirs, which is non-comparable. We are all different, one is tall, another petite. One is strong and athletic and another one naturally thin. You get the idea. I think many women are guilty of comparing themselves to other women. The difference for me today than in years past is that I don’t let those thoughts lead me down the wrong path back to disordered eating.

I realize these are all irrational and ridiculous thoughts. My friends love me no matter how much money I make, how many degrees I earn or how much I weigh. Just as I love them regardless of all these things too. The four of us are as different as night and day, but we respect our differences. I am happy for all that they have accomplished and think they are each beautiful inside and out. I am not jealous of any of them because I am really happy with the choices I have made in life and the life I live.

I put some coping mechanisms in place to ensure I stayed on the right path. I wore my mala beads so I could practice my daily affirmations. I used the affirmations “I am good enough. I love and accept me.” I stayed active by taking a walk and going to the gym. This in return just made me feel better about myself. I took several pauses and deep breaths when I would feel insecure thoughts creeping into my mind. Also, I stayed present as much as possible and listened to what was going on in their lives. These simple tools allowed me to decrease my anxiety and enjoy my friends. It ended up being a great weekend that left me feeling happy with life.

I share this experience with you because I don’t think I am the only one that has feelings of not being good enough at different times in my life. Also, I believe by changing our thoughts, we can change our perspective which can change our feelings. The first step is acknowledging we are having the thought so we can use tools, like affirmations, to change our perspective. It is amazing the difference it can make in the experiences we have in our daily lives.

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week. If you or someone you know struggle with disordered eating, please know there is help available. Check out www.nedawareness.org for more information.

~Love,
Kristi

Self Love

 

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February is heart month to bring awareness to how to keep a healthy heart. I fully support this campaign and encourage you to get your blood pressure checked, but there is something else I want to draw awareness to this month as well. I want to draw attention to cultivating a positive body image and truly loving ourselves enough to move, eat, drink and think in a way that supports our own body.

It is not a secret that I spent many years hating my body. I will be speaking about my years of struggle with poor body image that led to disordered eating on an upcoming episode of the Real Foodie Friends Podcast airing on Monday, February 15th. I encourage you to listen, as I share my story, as well as some of my favorite tips that I use daily now. It is a very vulnerable episode for me, as it is not a topic I talk about often, not even with my closest friends. That is why I want to talk about it on the podcast and here because I think it is time to break the silence, talk about it openly and support one another.

I think  many of us often look into the mirror and do not like what we see back. We don’t like our flabby arms or the extra fat we have around our abdomen. We focus on all the negatives we see and often overlook our positive attributes, like our beautiful eyes, muscular legs, strong shoulders etc. It is easy to do and I have fallen into this trap too often. I have vowed to myself that I will no longer waste my time hating my body. I will only appreciate all it does for me and love it going forward.

One big change for me in taking steps towards loving my body is the shift in my perspective about it. When I look in the mirror now, I see strong legs that carry me through life. I see hips that helped me carry the most important person in my life, my daughter. I see an abdomen that might not be exactly the way I would like for it to look, but love it because it was the house for my baby to grow and be nourished for almost a year. I see my arms that are strong and allow me to do many things everyday. I am thankful for all that I can do with them, like carry my daughter, or type this blog post. So you see, when we shift our perspective, then we can look at our body with a whole new set of eyes and realize we do not hate it after all. In fact, we might just find a new appreciation for it and love it. This is what I am learning to do right now and it feels so much better then wasting all my energy on negative self body talk. Try finding the beauty and appreciation in every part of your body as you put on lotion after getting out of the shower. Start with your feet and move all the way up to your beautiful face. Once you get to your face, look in the mirror and say this affirmation: I love and approve of my body. Notice how you feel and see if anything changes for you as you go about your day. You might be pleasantly surprised.

As we start to develop this positive relationship with our bodies, more things will start to fall in place. Our bodies have been there for us all our lives. They are a temple for our soul and deserve to be treated well. Marriane Williamson says it best, “Your body wants to move; movement helps your muscles, your heart, your lungs, your brain.” If we want our bodies to continue supporting us everyday, then we must move it, feed it with healthy food, and talk kindly to it. It is all an act of self love to eat, move and think in a way that supports your body.

As we are near Valentine’s Day weekend, take some time to love yourself and treat yourself well. Go get a massage, pedicure and/or a facial. Take a walk with a friend. Meditate. Read a book that inspires you. Instead of going out to dinner, try a new healthy meal at home. Do something that makes you feel great. Whatever you decide to do, remember to be kind to yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kristi

 

 

Acceptance Into Graduate School

getPartI found out a few weeks ago I was accepted into the University of Bridgeport, Masters in Human Nutrition (online) program. I will start classes at the end of April 2016 and nothing (professionally speaking) has ever felt more right. I know some might think I am crazy to return to school and they might be right, but I know in my heart this is the right path for me.

Why do I want to go back to school?
In the past couple of years, I have had a strong desire to pursue a masters degree, but I just could not decide on the specific degree that felt right. I considered a Masters in Nursing so I could become a Nurse Practitioner. I meditated on it a lot and realized nursing does not bring me pleasure, nor am I not passionate about it. That does not mean I think it is a bad career,bad, it just simply means it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life. It is also why I work in research now and not in a hospital. The message that kept coming up for me was to follow your passion in nutrition. Do what you love and love what you do.

How will I balance work, school, a baby and life?
I expect this to be a little challenging at times, but when you really want something in life, then you will make sacrifices and do whatever it takes. This may mean I will not watch television for the next three years. Or that I will get up early everyday to study and every hour of my day will probably be scheduled leaving very little free time. However, when we are on the right path and following our passions, then we do not mind giving up the small things so we can chase our dreams. I am okay with all these sacrifices because it is all worth it to me.

Why did I choose to Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport?
I chose the Human Nutrition Program because it has an integrative and holistic perspective interwoven into learning how to assess and counsel a client. The program’s courses are built on the foundation in human physiology, biochemistry, biochemical individuality, human development, functional assessment and nutritional therapeutics. This aligns with my health beliefs and the way I want to practice in the future.

What do I plan to do after graduation?
My dream is to work as a Clinical Nutritionist (CN) and open a private nutritional counseling practice using functional medicine concepts to help others achieve their optimal health and prevent chronic diseases. The counseling will help clients uncover the root cause of their symptoms and develop a health plan to help balance their body. My specialties will be in food allergies and intolerances, autoimmunity, gastrointestinal disorders (like irritable bowel) and disordered eating. My dream is to work with clients remotely, as well as hopefully have a facility where I can see patients, facilitate cooking and nutrition classes and teach yoga. A girl can dream, right?

I see this as something I will love doing and want to do forever. I often hear people talk about how they cannot wait to retire so they can finally start living the life they have always wanted to live. I do not ever want to be that person. I want to do work that I love and am passionate about so I never want to retire.

How does this fit into my 2016 goals and desired feelings?

This new journey completely aligns with my core desired feelings of love, joy, centered and femininity. I am following my passion (love), which makes me just want to scream for joy. I meditated on this decision a lot and everytime my message was to follow my passion. I believe when we are on the right path and doing what we love, then we naturally will be centered. Lastly, femininity, this makes me feel good and when we feel good, then we look good.

Now, go follow your passions and dreams!

 

The Pivotal Moment

IMG_0424I recently wrote about my core desired feelings in relation to my 2016 goals. I keep feeling the need to write about a pivotal moment that I failed to mention in my last post. I somewhat mentioned it, but I didn’t expand on it and I am not really sure why. Maybe I didn’t because it makes me feel vulnerable and somewhat exposed. But, I have thought about it and think it is important to share because it might help someone out there. And, if I can help one person, then it’s worth being a little vulnerable on my blog.

I mentioned in my last post that my husband told me he wanted me to work on seeing myself the way he sees me, but there is more to this story. After visiting our families for Christmas, we came back to Carlsbad, CA and went for a long walk the next day. We talked about our goals and I told him how the core desired feelings were changing how I set my goals. He listened and was very supportive like he always is with me. Even though I am sure he was thinking, “she is crazy.” And, he is kind of right. Then he told me about his personal and professional goals along with some things he wanted to do in 2016. He said he would even do a vision board with me this year. I was shocked, but so excited to work on them together. I started creating a vision board a couple years ago and have been amazed at how so many of the things really happen. I am a huge fan of them and hang mine in the back of my closet so I can see it every morning.

He asked me if there was anything I wanted him to work on this year. I wasn’t expecting this question, but I thought what an interesting twist to goal setting. I thought about it for a bit, but didn’t really have anything specific. Luckily, there isn’t anything that he does or doesn’t do that really bothers me or I think he needs to change. We have the type of relationship that if there is something bothering us that we talk about it. So I won’t share the details of my response because he might not like that, but it was basically something along the lines of I want him to realize how talented he is in design. Designers often have a very critical viewpoint of their work, which makes them good at their jobs, but it is also hard on them. I think he is amazingly talented and just want him to see it too because sometimes I see that it can hold him back. I just want him to go for whatever he wants in his career. I support him and his professional goals 100 percent.

Then it was my turn. What does he want me to work on in 2016? It was silent for a moment and pretty sure my heart was doing flip flops in my stomach during that time. Then he said, “I want you to be confident. I want you to feel comfortable in your body. I wish you could see what I see when I look at your body. You look great, but you always cover yourself up. You don’t put out that confidence that other girls do, even if maybe those girls are too confident.” Thank goodness I had sunglasses on that day because tears instantly filled my eyes and started streaming down my face. My heart really felt like it dropped, not because I was hurt by his words, but because I knew he was right. It is one thing to personally have these thoughts, but for someone who is so close to you to say them out loud is gut wrenching, at least it was for me. It was definitely a pivotal moment in my life and for the way I will go about my goals this year.

I needed to hear exactly what my husband said to me that day. It made it real for me, like I cannot hide from those feelings anymore. It’s time to start focusing on it and changing it. I am not saying it is something that will change for me over night, but self love and body acceptance is something I can work on. Just being aware of it is the first step to creating change. So since that day on our walk I have already started to incorporate a few things towards creating the desired changes. I have been doing guided meditations on self love and acceptance and use affirmations. When I look in the mirror and have negative body talk, I have been rephrasing those thoughts in my mind. I set my intentions for my yoga practice to create self love. If I look in the mirror during practice and think “you look fat,” then I change it to “look how strong you are right now.” And, everytime I bring my hands to heart center, I say to myself “I love you and accept you.” These things may seem silly to some, but it’s surprising the affect they can have on you. Try some of them out and see what it does for you.

I have thought about all of this in relation to raising my daughter. During one of my guided meditations, it said to think about how you feel when you look at someone you have unconditional love for, like a spouse, child or pet. I instantly thought of the moment I see my daughter when picking her up from daycare and how excited she is to see me. She crawls over to me as fast as she can and gives me the biggest smile and hug. It truly is the best feeling in the world and my heart is completely full at that moment. In the meditation, it says to think of that feeling, now feel that same love for yourself. What? Are you kidding me? I don’t feel that much love towards myself. That is when I realized how important it is for me to continue working on this right now. All I could hear was “put the oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” I have to take care of me and love me before I can truly love others. I want her to be confident and feel loved so I must change now.

I share this with you because I think a lot of people can probably relate. Please do not think I hate myself because that is not true. I just don’t see myself or have as much compassion for myself as I would like and want to change those thoughts because they are just that, thoughts. I think we are all critical of ourselves to some degree, but we don’t always talk about it because we are ashamed or embarassed. I believe talking about it brings awareness to it and helps us heal. I share with you my story as part of my healing journey towards love and acceptance.

~With Love

Kristi

2016 Resolutions and Goals

I typically love January 1st because it is the time of the year for setting resolutions and goals. January feels like a clean slate to me and like anything is possible, as long as I set a goal and make a plan to tackle it head on. However, this year I am approaching things a little differently then I have in years past.

I recently read the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and fell in love with the concept of setting goals around your core desired feelings. It suggests that whenever we are setting a goal, we are really just trying to create a feeling. For example, if we set a goal to lose ten pounds this year, ultimately we are saying we want to feel better, have more energy, feel good in our clothes etc. This concept really resonates with me because it allows me to feel more in control and admittedly, I am a control freak.

I completed the workbook in the back of the Desire Map and determined my four core desired feelings for 2016, which I can change at anytime, are 1) love 2) joyful, 3) femininity, and 4) centered/grounded. I chose the word love because to me I want to feel in love, you know how you feel when you first start dating someone. I have been married for over 10 years now and had a baby eight months ago. It is easy to get caught up with the demands of daily life and not keep the romance alive. I don’t want that to ever happen to us. Just to clarify, I have a wonderful relationship with my husband, but there is always room to make it better. Also, I want to give love and by that I mean I want others to feel loved when they are around me. It might be something as simple as giving someone a hug or supporting a friend. Lastly, I want to work on loving myself. I, like many women, have a hard time seeing my own beauty and often struggle with body acceptance. My husband told me he wanted me to work on seeing myself the way he sees me. He loves me for me and the way I look. He even notices the small things, like if I wear a different color eye liner. So this year I commit to learning self acceptance. This is so important to me because I want to raise a daughter who has self-confidence and not afraid of the world. I want her to do great things and follow whatever her passions may be. I have to be her role model though because I believe in leading by example. It will be challenging, but my love for her is so strong that I am willing to put in the work.

Joyful is really my underlying desired feeling. I want to feel more joy in all aspects of my life and be present for those moments. So instead of just having a goal to run another half marathon. My goal is to enjoy my runs and not worry about my pace. Let them be meditative and time for me to think.  This goes along with my other desired feeling of centered. When I am present and not distracted by my phone, Facebook etc, then I feel centered. Yoga really helps me to be grounded so this year I will focus on my yoga practice. I plan to take a workshop every month, as well as take as many classes as I can a week.

My last desired feeling is femininity. I chose this one because often I feel frumpy or ugly or out of style and I don’t want to feel that way. I want to feel pretty, confident, and stylish. Focusing on my femininity will also help with increasing self confidence and body acceptance. Something so simple as painting my nails or putting on some lip gloss can help me feel attractive, which creates a snowball affect. When I look good, then I feel good, which makes me want to go out to do things, be more social, and be more confident in things, like public speaking, or work.

So this year I may not have specific goals, like lose 10 pounds, but by following my core desired feelings I will naturally do more yoga, enjoy exercise, go on more dates with my husband, be kind to myself, but most importantly be happy with where I am with life.  I think it will be a great year and one I am really looking forward to seeing what it brings.

Please feel free to share your core desired feelings for 2016. I would love to hear about them and how they changed your goals for the year. Be sure to check the Real Foodie Friends podcast on Monday. Erin and I discuss our core desired feelings, goals and resolutions. We are biased, but it is definitely our best episode yet!

~Eat well, be well

Kristi