Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Do you really need to eat that?" (cringe)

When was your last encounter with the food police?

Maybe you can relate to my friend Tilly, who was at a wedding reception last weekend, surrounded by waiters passing around trays of appetizers.

As she reached for a mini quiche, her husband leaned in.  Tilly thought he was about to give an affectionate kiss.

Instead, he whispered, "Do you really need that?"
Needless to say, Tilly was mortified.  Humiliated.  Upset.
She told me later, "He just doesn't get it.  He's just making it worse?" 

I bet you know how Tilly felt because you've been there.  When the food police strike, you want to throw your hands up and scream LEAVE ME ALONE!

Here are some strategies to deal with this situation:

Choice #1
Say, (with some sarcasm ) “Wow, I never thought of that.  I don’t actually need this.  Thank you for enlightening me.  I’ll alert the media.”

Choice #2

Say, “When you talk about what I’m eating, I feel embarrassed and angry, because it means... (here’s the tough part – what does it mean to you?):
  • You only care about how I look
  • You don’t get what I’m going through
  • You completely misunderstand me
  • You are treating me like a child

Choice #3

Say, “I know you’re trying to help, but mini quiches are not the problem.  The real problem is, I’m using food to cope.  Sometimes I don’t even know why but I'm doing my best to understand.  The best thing you can do is ask what’s going on with me.”
You can also mix-and-match all three of these responses. 

Your goal?  To get these well-meaning folks to BACK OFF and stop policing what you eat.

When friends and family are more supportive, you’re increasingly likely to turn to them for comfort, reassurance, understanding and/or escape, instead of to food!

*          *          *

Want even more support and help to make peace with food?  I can help!  
Check out my 30 Day SOLUTION to Kick The Diet Habit.  
Imagine feeling FREE of food cravings and being at peace, all without dieting.  Thirty days from now, that could be you!  Check out the program here or click http://bit.ly/kickthediethabit

There's a money-back guarantee, so if you complete the program and you're not completely satisfied, I'll refund your money, no questions asked.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How To Stop Feeling HUNGRY

Do you often feel hungry, no matter how much you eat? 

Ever wonder why? 

Consider this:
Recently, my eight-year-old complained of a really bad stomach ache.  I ruled out the common culprits:  food poisoning, the flu, or allergies.  

Turns out she was nervous about going back to school after the holiday break.

Her anxiety was expressed in a painful tummy.  How did I know?  Because talking about her worries made the pain stop.

That’s just one example of the emotional-to-physical connection.  Another is hunger.

There really is a mind-body connection.

Yearning, wanting or needing MORE of something or someone may be experienced as actual hunger.  Think about these expressions:

·      Hungry for love
·      Starving for attention

Being hungry for "more" of something like love, attention, friendship, understanding, money, security, and so forth, may be experienced as actual physical hunger.

What are you hungry for in your life (that isn't food)?  

When you translate "body language" into wishes, emotions and/or needs, you won't express or resolve those feelings or conflicts with food.

Your body is talking to you.   Listen closely!

If you want more examples and ideas about this mind-body connection, click the link below to watch the video. 

Remember that food/weight/body issues are symptoms of problems or conflicts. They are not "the" problem (even though it sure feels that way).  

Want even more support and help to make peace with food?  I can help!  
Get started with my online program, the Kick The Diet Habit Solution.  
Check it out here!

Monday, January 18, 2016

How To Be More Patient (with yourself)

Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  He said and did so much to inspire many generations.  A quote that really resonates with me is this one:

Easier said than done.  That staircase represents change. Often we wait until we're ready to climb, expecting to effortlessly bound up those stairs without losing a step or falling.  

That's not how change happens.  It's slow, often facilitated by blind faith, with many falls, stumbles and blocks along the way.  As author and Huffington Post blogger, Iris Ruth Pastor says, change is a result of "mouse steps, not kangaroo steps."

In her upcoming book, Iris writes a moving account of her recovery from an eating disorder.  I'm thrilled to share her wisdom about patience - in eating disorder recovery, and in life.

Take it away, Iris!

Lessons Learned Along the Way
by Iris Ruth Pastor

Within minutes of Nelson Mandela’s death in early December 2013, we are deluged with information about his life: a conqueror of apartheid, the first black president of South Africa, a master compromiser and a champion peace broker. 

One facet of his multi-layered life particularly fascinates me: how did he emerge from 27 years of wrongful imprisonment devoid of bitterness and rancor?

Myriad sources cite Mandela’s anger in his early years of confinement. As time passed, however, Mandela noted that he began to recognize that “hating clouds the mind and gets in the way of strategy.” (The New York Times, Dec. 6, 2013).

If he wanted to achieve lifelong dreams and ambitions, he realized he needed to control what was still left for him to control - his heart, his head, his thoughts and his attitude - or his captors would have indeed triumphed. Nelson Mandela entered prison as a revolutionary and emerged as a statesman.

I wonder how much time we all spend in a cage of our own making – raging about things we can’t control - rather than concentrating on strategies that will strengthen our wills and help achieve our desired results?

Clearly, quite often I find myself stuck in neutral – trying to keep from unraveling as I try to come to terms with my disordered eating. I witness normal eating among my peers, and yet remain unprepared for and incapable of fully and effectively embracing that paradign.

Perhaps I should think about shifting gears like Cheryl Strayed did. Reeling from the loss of her beloved mother, her life at age 22 was spiraling downward. Her family had fragmented and scattered. She was dabbling in heroin and free sex, estranged from her husband and employed in a series of dead-end jobs. 

In a desperate attempt to cure her of herself, Strayed decides that hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone - from the Mojave Dessert through California and Oregon to Washington - will be her path to salvation. That walking with no discernible reason but just to observe the wonders of nature would prove restorative. Years later, she documents her journey in Wild, a book gracing The New York Times Best Seller List for over 35 weeks.

Strayed suffers from her inexperience: not budgeting for enough money to adequately see her through from outpost to outpost. She ignores admonishments about weighty backpacks, neglects to talk to anyone who has actually hiked the trail before her, and does woefully little physical training to prepare her for the rigors the trek will present. 

She encounters dessert heat, frigid mountain air, rattlesnakes, eroded trails and a near rape from a lusty, lecherous mountain man. She endures massive foot blisters, bruising, hunger, thirst, exhaustion and loneliness.

Among her many notable trials and triumphs on the trail, I am most drawn to one part of it: the beginning. She wakes up the morning she is to start her journey in a seedy, cheap motel 12 miles from the trail. She has trouble even lifting her back pack to position it across her back. And when she finally maneuvers that feat, she is already exhausted. Nevertheless, she closes the motel room door and steps into a parking light drenched in daylight. 

She realizes quickly – with great trepidation – that she is going to have to hitch a ride with strangers unless she wants to walk the 12 miles to the trail’s entrance in the searing heat of a June day. Two men in a minivan with Colorado plates offer her a ride. She climbs in gingerly, hoping she won’t get murdered. Thirty uneventful minutes later, they drop her off on a silent highway. She begins walking toward a fence post supporting a palm sized sign reading “Pacific Crest Trail.” She staggers the first few steps down the trail. She finds the trail register in a metal box nearby and signs it. She resumes walking.

Her journey had begun. There were no crowds heaving fistfuls of graffiti. No cheering loved ones throwing kisses. No photographers eagerly snapping pictures documenting her first steps. No massive send-off parade. It was just an ordinary day in an ordinary town, as she took her first tentative steps off the highway and into the wilderness. And though the beginning was neither dramatic nor pain free, she emerged at the end of her trek an altered person.

Like Cheryl Strayed, I hope all of us in the New Year can push to take those first faltering baby steps - as subtle and unnoticed as they may be by others - so that we can begin to achieve what really matters to us.

Like Nelson Mandela, let us resolve to work diligently on strategies for achieving what we want in life. And let us give less credence to the wrongs heaped upon us. 

No matter where in our journey we may be, let’s celebrate the small incremental mouse steps we take so that when the kangaroo leaps occur, we are ready for our hard earned success.


I am 5’2” – the truth
I weigh 115 lbs. – a lie

I like to dress funky.
Do what’s not expected.
Push the envelope of what‘s customary.
Surprise. Delight. Entertain and Connect.

I am an aging baby boomer, wife, mother and grandma,
Who writes a column entitled “Incidentally, Iris,”

Blogs for the Huffington Post,
And speaks on all topics related to mid life and baby boomers,
Including tattoos,
Though I graciously decline,
The opportunity to get one.

I have entered the social media age
Kicking and bitching and screaming
In order to motivate, inform, entertain and educate,
Foster connection and offer tidbits of authenticity
For myself and for others.

While doing so,
I try not to be judgmental, cloying and hypocritical.
Whiney, clingy and snippy.
Sometimes I even manage to carry it off.

My philosophy of life used to be Coping -
Just getting through with dignity -
But I’m no longer content
To settle for less.

So I’m tearing down my carefully built facade.
I’m repairing, remodeling, improving and updating.
I’m soaring and I’m jumping.
I’m preserving my bloom.
And I’m inviting you to join me
In preserving your own bloom too.

Want more from Iris (I know I do!)?   Sign up for her weekly newsletter of inspiration at www.irisruthpastor.com.  And please read, like and leave a comment at www.huffingtonpost.com/iris-ruth-pastor.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New YOU?

Are you making New Years resolutions this year? Something along the lines of:

 - Exercising more 
 - Eating more veggies 
 - Eating less sugar and junk food 
-       Stop bingeing

Chances are, you’ve tried this before. You start off strong and disciplined, but your resolve fizzles. And then it's another hope-to-heartbreak year all over again. 

Here are some tips to make this year different: 

Stop Trying So Hard 

Resolutions are phrased in terms of “trying” to make changes. Do these sound familiar? 

 - I’m going to try to lose weight. 
 - I’m going to try to be healthier. 
-     I'll try to go to the gym every day. 

If you're a Star Wars fan, you know there is no trying; there is either doing or not doing (thank you, Yoda). 

If you’re trying (and failing) at your attempts to change, there is a reason, usually one of the following: 

Fear of Expectations: You hope that by changing your body, you’ll change your life. But what if everything in your life stays exactly the same? Maybe that’s too much to risk, so you unconsciously stop yourself from going all-in, because you're afraid of what WON'T happen when you lose weight. 

Fear of Impulsivity: Afraid you’ll act in an impulsive manner if you are happy with yourself – leave your husband, cheat on your wife, take risks at work, that kind of thing. If so, dealing with the wish to do those things – and most importantly, why - is a crucial step towards change. 

Fear of Objectification: What are your associations to intimacy? What do you fear will happen if you’re perceived as more attractive to others? 

Make A Different Kind of Resolution

New Years Resolutions are usually about behavior. What if they were about changing the way you relate to yourself? Resolve to be:

 - Kinder to yourself 
 - Listen to your needs 
 - Pay attention to your wants 
-       Be curious, not critical 

Make a list of the ways you wish other people would act towards you, such as responsive, open, supportive, and kind. Then, resolve to be that way towards yourself. 

Why? Because the way you treat yourself directly impacts what you eat. If you're critical and judgmental, you feel bad. If your main source of comfort is food, you're likely to eat just to get away from your own mean internal voice. 

Conversely, the nicer you are to yourself, the better you feel, and the less likely you are to eat for comfort or distraction! And that's how you make peace with food - for good!!

Dr. Nina

Want more support?  Be part of a community of people committed to stop dieting and start truly living!   Join now!   Kick The Diet Habit Program

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

All I want for Christmas...

Ever notice how wanting stuff for Christmas is considered acceptable?

Do you want clothes, shoes - even a car?  Fingers crossed!  Hope Santa will deliver a computer, iPhone, tablet, hover board or some other fab gadget?   Put it on the list! 
Wanting a cookie or an extra helping of mashed potatoes at dinner - that's another matter.

Eyebrows rise.  People react as if you've committed an unforgivable sin.  
"Do you really need that?" they often say.
Well, no.  But maybe you want it.  
And guess what?  Wanting more is not a bad thing.  
Oliver Twist endears himself to readers (and viewers) when he asks, "Please sir, I want some more."   
The kid was starving and deserved more food.  This holiday, ask yourself what you're starving for in your life.  
  • Hungry for love?
  • Yearning for acknowledgment?
  • Wishing you had more money?
  • More attention from people?
  • More friends?
  • Fun?
Don't you deserve love, recognition, financial stability, friends and more?  (Yes,  you do!).  Identify what you want and then take steps to get what you want.  
If not, you risk using food to fill up the void.
On the other hand...
Sometimes you just want an extra cookie or more potatoes.  Not because of an inner void, but because... well, you just like the darned cookies!
Deprivation only makes you want something more.  So, enjoy another cookie - minus the guilt!
Remember, you're not alone.  Together, we will make peace with food!  
Want even more support and help making peace with food?  Join my 30 Day program to Kick The Diet Habit.   Check it out here.

Happy Holidays!