Thursday, May 5, 2016

Crack The Code To Emotional Eating

How do you crack the code of emotional eating?  By changing the way you respond to your emotions!

Last weekend I had the honor of speaking at an uplifting, fabulous event in Santa Monica, celebrating self-acceptance and honoring Mental Health Awareness Month.  For those of you who couldn't be there, I wanted to bring the event to you!

Click my photo or click HERE to watch the video!  

For those of you who'd rather read the speech, here's what I said:

"I want to tell you this thing that happened...  I’m in the park and there are these two toddlers – a little girl and a little boy – and they’re playing in the sand, digging, sifting, eating sand, having a great time. 

All of a sudden the boy gets up and runs off.  He just takes off - with the shovel.  

The little girl bursts into tears.  She’s upset – her friend took off and she’s sad.  And here comes mom, running up, “Don’t cry!  Don’t cry!  It’s okay!”

Of course she keeps crying, because... well, we've all been there, right?  You're hanging out with someone, thinking everything is going great, you're getting along, and then suddenly they're gone.  So she's upset.

And mom’s digging in her diaper bag, saying, “Stop crying, it’s okay,” and then she says, “Here, have a cookie.”


What did that little girl learn?  She learned that feelings cause other people to be anxious and upset and she should not cry.  But if she absolutely can’t stop herself, a cookie will do the trick. 

Hello, disordered eating in the future. 

So what does this have to do with self-acceptance and mental health?  Well, when we talk about mental health, we’re often talking about emotional health.  Only we’ve got a problem in this country, because we make emotions into a bad, scary thing.

You’re considered weak if you feel your emotions and strong if you don’t.  How does that even make sense?  Doesn’t it take a lot of strength to deal with painful, difficult emotions?

Here’s the thing:  cookies don’t take away feelings.   You can’t stuff feelings down, you can’t starve them away, purge them, drink them away, gamble them away, work them away, let them go, or use positive thinking to get rid of them.  

There’s only ONE WAY to get rid of feelings.  

That little girl in the sandbox?   If her mother had just said, “Yeah, honey, that hurts.  It’s hard when people leave you and take your stuff.”  If she’d said that, then the girl would have had a good cry and felt better.

That’s how you get rid of feelings.  As counterintuitive as it may seem, the only way to get rid of feelings is to actually FEEL them.

We need to accept that feelings are reactions to situations and not character flaws.   If you get mad, you’re not an angry person; you’re a person who’s angry.

We need to accept our emotions and give them our attention, not our condemnation.

We must accept tears.

Accept our fears.

Accept everything we feel, today and every day, because ultimately emotions are NOT a sign that you are weak. They are a sign that you are human. 

By accepting your feeling, you accept your humanity.  And that’s a healthy outlook!"

What are you going to do today to accept yourself?   Share by replying to this post!

Once again, here's the link to the speech:

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Want even more support on your journey?  I can help!  Imagine feeling FREE of food cravings and being at peace, all without dieting (yes, it is possible)!

Sign up for my FREE 3 Day Challenge to crack the code of emotional eating.  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ever feel like something's gotta give?

Ever feel like there's just not enough time in the day (or week, month, year) to do everything you have to do?

Often we wear too many "hats" in the day.  Maybe you can relate to some of mine:
  • Author
  • Chauffeur (got kids? then you know what I mean)
  • Commuter
  • Dog walker
  • Event planner (kids birthday parties need serious planning!)
  • Mentor
  • Parent
  • Partner/Wife
  • Psychoanalyst
  • Referee (see above of you've got more than one kid)
  • Speaker

And that's just the short list!  Add on more and something's gotta give, right?

You may have noticed that I haven't written blog posts or sent emails as frequently as before.  Nor have I produced new podcasts or videos.  

What's up with that?  

I've been busy finishing the manuscript for my upcoming book, speaking at three online summits, remodeling my house, and making updates to the Kick The Diet Program (details coming soon!).

I realized I couldn't do everything on my very long list unless I cloned myself - and that's not an option.

At first I was worried about not sending those weekly emails with "food for thought."  What would people think?  What if I let people down?  I don't want to disappoint you!

Then I realized the best thing I can do is set the example of being human.  We can only do so much, and if we push ourselves too hard, there are consequences to our health and wellbeing.  

Self-care is knowing your limits and honoring yourself.

I had to give up my idea of being superwoman.  Which is fine, as lycra capes are not my thing.

Seriously, I want to pass on what I learned the last few months...

If you ever stress about not doing enough, take some time to breathe.  You won't have this time again, so don't rush your life working towards future goals.  

Make each day count!!


Dr. Nina

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Want even more support on your journey?  I can help!  

Imagine feeling FREE of food cravings and being at peace, all without dieting (yes, it is possible)!

Sign up for my FREE 3 Day Challenge to crack the code of emotional eating:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Body Apology

I'm so excited to introduce today's guest blogger, Andrea Wachter, a psychotherapist, author and motivational speaker who will inspire you with her thoughtful and humorous views on body image, disordered eating and recovery.  

Take it away, Andrea!

A Body Apology

Imagine you had a friend, and 24 hours a day, this friend was working for you, doing all kinds of really important things. Imagine your friend was holding you up, helping you walk, breathe, laugh, sleep, read, see, dream, hear sounds, touch things, feel love, pump blood into your veins, digest food, and countless other miracles.

Imagine after all that help and non-stop work, your response was to criticize this friend, call them names, and tell them you don’t like them or even that you hate them. 

Can you imagine that?

Well this is what many people do to their bodies. 

Our bodies work constantly for us, 24/7; and thanks to the media injecting unhealthy, unrealistic messages into our minds, every single day, most of us are not only forgetting to thank and appreciate our bodies for all that they do, but walking around hating the amazing bodies we live in. Some kind of thanks that is!

I began hating my body when I was a teenager. This led me to a decades- long, unpaid career of dieting, overeating and obsessing on my poor, unappreciated body. 

Thankfully, after many years and tears, I found the help I needed. I learned over time, how to treat myself with kindness and compassion, and I learned how to eat real food in moderate amounts. And now I have the honor of helping others do the same.

I realized recently that while my body must be infinitely more content with the treatment it receives from me now, I felt like I owed it an apology for all the decades that was not the case. So, I wrote a Body Apology. I thought I would share it with you in the hopes that you might join me in one of your own.

Dear Body,

v I am sorry for ignoring your hunger signals for so many years.

v I am sorry for making you drink disgusting diet shakes and eat tasteless diet foods.

v I am sorry for stuffing you with excess food and then shaming you when you were only responding to the starvation and self-hate that I was inflicting on you.

v I am sorry for comparing you to other women I knew nothing about and thinking you were supposed to look like them.

v I am sorry I thought of you as an object to gain approval and attention, rather than the amazing miracle that you are. 

v I am sorry for hating every freckle, lump and bump on your skin.

v I am sorry for stuffing you into clothes that felt too tight and hating you when things no longer fit.

v I am sorry for making you wear high-heeled shoes that felt way too cramped and uncomfortable.

v I am sorry for criticizing you every time I saw your reflection in a mirror or a window.

v I am sorry for thinking you could not leave the house without wearing make-up.

v I am sorry for depriving you of rest when you were tired.

v I am sorry for pumping you with caffeine instead of listening to your natural rhythms.

v I am sorry you had to ingest dangerous substances because I wanted to fit in and look cool.

v I am sorry I made you exercise in ways you didn't even like.

v I am sorry I put you in situations you did not really want to be in.

v I am sorry I ignored your wise intuition and said “yes” when you clearly felt “no.”

v I am sorry I avoided your natural emotions and instead, turned to unhealthy behaviors and unkind thoughts.

v I am sorry I stayed silent when you nudged me to speak up, because I feared the disapproval and rejection of others.

v I am sorry I put countless cigarettes into your lungs because I didn't yet know how to handle stress or pauses in the day.

v I am sorry I spent so much time criticizing you that I forgot to say thank you and acknowledge your amazing senses, systems, limbs and organs.

v I am sorry I thought my value as a human being was entirely dependent on you.

v Oh, and I am sorry about those leg warmers and shoulder pads in the 80’s!

Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell as well as The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook. She is also author ofthe upcoming book, Getting Over Overeating for Teens. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others. For more information on her books, blogs and other services, please visit

Click here to check out Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell by Andrea Wachter and Marsea Marcus.

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Thanks, Andrea Wachter, for such a thought-provoking post.
What is YOUR body apology?  Share now!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It feels like hunger, but...

What are you hungry for right now?  

Food?  Or a deeper hunger, for something emotionally, intellectually, creatively, spiritually and/or physically fulfilling?
  • A sense of trust and safety – even when you’re not your best self
  • Feeling appreciated for your quirks instead of apologizing for them
  • A really strong physical connection with a partner
  • Deep and meaningful conversations 
As you know, I do NOT view bingeing or problem eating as an addiction (although it sure may "feel" like an addiction).   It's a coping strategy that helps you deal with painful, upsetting emotions and conflicts.  

It helps but it also hurts.

Why food?

A woman once asked me, “Why can’t I turn to meth when I’m upset?  At least I’d be skinny.”

Shocking, huh?  Here’s what I told her:

Our first experience of   bonding is of being held, gazing into the eyes of another, and being fed. Turning to comfort food expresses a wish to be comforted by another.

Understood in this way, our psyches equate food with relationship and people.

You're less likely to turn to food when you're in fulfilling relationships.  Not just romantically, but close and meaningful friendships. 

How do you create change?

If you do nothing, nothing will change.  You'll have to step outside your comfort zone (you can do it!!!).  Try one of these strategies:

      Invite a neighbor, coworker or friend out to coffee
Find a class or lecture in your area and say hello to the person sitting next to you
Go to the library or bookstore and ask for book recommendations
Join a book club
Take a yoga class
Join a support group

When you experience the sweetness of love, affection and genuine acceptance, you won't use chocolate as a substitute (whether you turn to it or from it).

That leads to a natural and lasting relationship to food.  And that's how you make peace with food!!

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Want even more support on your journey?  I can help!  Imagine feeling FREE of food cravings and being at peace, all without dieting (yes, it is possible)!

Sign up for my FREE 3 Day Challenge to crack the code of emotional eating: