Have you seen my scale??

Have you seen my scale??

I have a confession: I have a bit of an obsession with my scale.  I weigh myself daily, often multiple times a day, whether I’m working to lose weight or not.  I like to observe how my weight fluctuates throughout the day depending on the time of day, dietary intake and quantity, digestion and elimination, and fluid retention due to dehydration, sodium intake, and menstruation.  I know that any one weigh-in does not give an accurate view of my overall weight, so I weigh myself often, and gage the average.  At least, that’s my rationalization.

I started seeing a dietician over a month ago, and she turned my world up-side-down!  She asked me to stop weighing myself, explaining that fluctuations on the scale could lead to disappointment and frustration.  After retorting with my explanations above, I conceded that it probably was not healthy for me to weigh myself as frequently, and reluctantly agreed to lay off.  So I put my scale at home out of sight, and resisted for all of 3 days.  It was painful!  I started to think that I might have a serious problem.

I returned to the dietician a few weeks later, and happily reported all my progress with eating more intuitively, getting more consistent with physical activity, building emotional support to avoid overeating and binging, and my overall weight loss.  Then, I shamefully reported on my unsuccessful attempt at not weighing myself (as if that was all that mattered).  I was concerned she would see this as a failure, as I did.  Instead, she simply suggested another approach.  “What if your husband put away the scale?”  Seemed like a good idea, so I ran with it.

That night, after I had gone to bed, my husband put away the scale in a super secret location.  We agreed that he would set it out for me every Tuesday so that I could weigh myself weekly — fair enough.  The next few days were annoying as I was curious of the damage I’d done from the previous weekend after eating out a bunch.  I knew I was bloated, but wanted to see that reflected on the scale.  He refused to get the scale, so I let it go – no biggie.  As the days went by, I started to really think about why I was so obsessed with my weight, and what I could be focusing on instead.  And then, it all made sense!

I don’t need to focus on my weight — EVER!

I realized that my weight is nothing but an external measurement of my body.  It removes ME from the equation altogether.  Instead, I realized that I can trust myself to judge how healthy I FEEL.  I had already been working on body awareness, and could now rely on a wide range of internal cues to measure my progress.  I would no longer have to be a slave to the scale!

Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to measure my progress over time:

  1. Slimmer face, neck, shoulder, arms, and stomach.
  2. Less cravings for sugary or processed foods.
  3. More explosive energy (to run up stairs, to hula hoop faster, or to jump — at all).
  4. Improved balance (when standing on one leg to put on socks, let’s say).
  5. No sign of cold/flu symptoms in well over a year. (Knock on wood!!)
  6. Shortened menstrual cycle. (Very unexpected!)
  7. Less acne, and fewer breakouts.
  8. More regularity, and less stomach issues.
  9. Stronger urges to get outdoors and get moving.
  10. Improved general outlook, less desire for isolation, and more stable mood.

I also realized that not only could I use my body’s cues to track progress, but I could also use it to keep me balanced and centered around overall health.  My body knows when I’m not eating cleanly, when I’m not moving enough, or when I need some soul searching.  I could use the cues from my mind, body and soul as a system of checks and balances to continuously return my focus back to my health.

Here are some of the cues in my body that raise a red flag (and how I might react):

  1. Bloating, cramping, or nausea after eating a specific food.  (Avoid eating it, duh!)
  2. Overeating or binging. (What emotion or activity am I avoiding? Confront it ASAP.)
  3. Headache, dry mouth, or salt cravings. (Drink water. Wait, did I take my vitamins?)
  4. Cravings for sweets. (Am I stressed? Hungry? Or do I really just want a cookie?)
  5. Mental fatigue. (Am I stressed, hungry, thirsty, tired, depressed? Monitor closely.)
  6. Physical fatigue. (Did I sleep well? Overexert my body? Am I bored? Did I eat?)
  7. Depressed mood or need for isolation. (Cry. Mope. Just be. This too shall pass.)
  8. Crankiness/grumpiness. (Am I tired? Stressed? When was the last time I ate??)
  9. Skin problems and yeast infection. (My hormones are wacky! Check all above.)
  10. Hyperactivity, silliness, or excessive talking. (Either get moving, or nap hard.)

***************************************************************************************************************** WARNING: I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. I am merely observing my own body, and learning to react to it based on knowledge obtained through experience and many, many health articles and books.  If you notice any signs or symptoms outside of the norm for your body, please contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

Though this epiphany is only about a week old, I feel strongly that as I get more in tune with my mind, body, and soul, I can focus less on how much I weigh, and more on what my body can do, how I feel, and my ability to connect and interact with the world around me.  To me, this is true happiness.


I am Whole and Complete


“You are already integrated. Not on the periphery – on the periphery there is much turmoil. You are fragmented on the periphery. Move inward, and the deeper you go, the more you will find that you are integrated. There comes a point, at the very innermost shrine of your being, where you suddenly find you are a unity, an absolute unity.”


I’ve spent much of my life thinking I was “broken”, not really knowing how to deal with my full range of emotions, or how to cope when hardships come to pass.  It’s taken me quite a bit of mental work over the recent years to figure out how to constructively express anger or to just sit with disappointment, or even how to care for myself in a way that feels genuine.

As I align myself with my center, my intuition, my inner guide (my inner goddess even?), I realize how much easier life seems.  As I turn inward, and explore the depth and breadth of knowledge, experience and perspective I already posses, from my own life and from those who have touched my life, I feel a sense of security in knowing that I already have the tools I need to not only deal with life, but to thrive in it.

I now understand that I was never “broken”; I never needed fixing.  I just needed to get to know myself, the me inside, and to tap into this tremendous source of calm, love, and unity.  No matter how shaky life gets on the outside, I am as whole and complete on the inside as everyone else.

Details, Details, Details

A few of you have asked for more details on what I’ve been doing to improve my health. Well, get ready for a novel…

The most important thing for me has been a mental refocus toward my body.  I don’t know about you, but I often feel like a talking head that’s just lugging my body around.  I tend to pay attention to myself from the neck up because that’s the easiest part for me to deal with.  It takes a lot of mental effort for me to even want to pay attention to my body, and even more to actually want to show it some much-needed love.  So I’m working hard on cleaning up my “mental house” and shifting my energy toward self-love.  Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Diet, has been a huge motivator for me in this arena.

Another critical component has been acting from intuition.  I know when I’m tired, hungry, bored, or dehydrated, when I’m craving movement, connection, alone time, soulful nourishment, or sunshine, and when I’m not thinking or acting in alignment with my core values. Unfortunately, like many others, I tend to ignore that little voice inside that tells me what I should, or even want to do.  Listening to and trusting in those signals from my mind, body, and soul to tell me what I need, and how to provide it for myself boosts my confidence, and allows me to feel more grounded, centered, and happier all around.

Once I started focusing more on my body and intuition, I was able to pick up on my body’s messages.  After eating out for 6 months straight (probably more like 7 or 8 months even!), deciding what to eat was becoming more and more frustrating.  The food I was eating wasn’t as tasty as it was in the past, and I no longer had cravings for anything.  My body grew tired of all the highly-seasoned, highly-processed food.   I was eating because I felt like I should be hungry, or because it was “time to eat”.  On top of that, my body was was bloated, my stomach was not happy, and I was left tired and sluggish because of the food.  I knew it was time for some changes.

Enter in the Anti-Estrogen Diet by Ori Hefmelker.  It’s a liver cleansing detox that focuses on whole foods to help balance out the effects of a high estrogen in your body.  My husband and I have done this same detox several times before, usually after the holidays when we tend to gorge ourselves on all the yummy foods back home.  It seemed like the right time to start this up again.  So we followed the plan, and started going back to the farmers markets to recenter our diet around local, organic, sustainable foods.

After eating so poorly for months, and then quickly switching to a drastically different diet, my body was NOT happy!!  I went through very real sugar withdrawal symptoms.  I had experienced some signs of this when we did this diet in the past, but this time was different. The first week, I had a headache every day that drove me nuts.  I went through severe mood swings, and became angry and aggressive.  At one point, my husband told me, “I just want my wife back!”  I was extremely fatigued and napped for hours at a time, and I was constantly thirsty, drinking upwards of 15-20 glasses a day.  That’s when I realized how poorly I had been treating my body.  This food was making me sick – what a wake up call!

After I got over the sugar withdrawal symptoms, the rest of the detox was pretty easy.  Meals were more satisfying as my taste for real food started kicking in.  I was learning how to listen when my body had cravings, when it was sated, and when it was reacting poorly to a particular food.  In general though, my body was responding very well to the detox.  I was feeling less bloated, had more energy, and I had lost quite a few pounds.

However, knowing how adversely my body reacted to the decrease in sugary foods made me want to investigate more about limiting my carb/sugar/starch intake.  My husband and I have eaten Paleo in the past, but I like dairy!  So after a bit of research, I decided to go Primal, and follow it about 80% of the time.  For the most part, I have eliminated grains, beans, baked goods, pasta, starchy vegetables, and sweeteners (except for a bit of honey on occasion).  I thrive on things like kale caesar salad with organic free range chicken, local wild caught salmon with dill yogurt sauce, and organic steak and eggs with steamed broccoli.  When I have a sweet tooth, 85-90% dark chocolate or yogurt with a bit of honey satisfy my craving.  This way of eating makes my body happy.  

I do allow myself to eat grains and such about 20% of time.  So if a food seems particularly enticing, I’m OK with indulging in it.  And I’m learning how to do this in a way that makes sense for me.  If I’m not craving it, I won’t eat it.  If I eat it, and I don’t like it or it doesn’t satisfy my craving, I put it down.  If I want it, and I eat it, and I like it, then I savor it until I’m sated. (Last night I made a curry lamb burger with herb aioli on a pretzel bun with a fennel, orange, and kale salad.  It was DELICIOUS, and I ate until I was no longer hungry.  Simple as that.)

The funny thing is that for me, changing my diet is not that hard (aside from the sugar withdrawal!).  I like all foods, especially fresh, organic produce, so changing my diet this drastically was not as difficult for me as it may be for others.  I encourage you to explore what makes sense for you, and to take as much time as you need to incorporate healthy changes into your life.  You deserve it!

60 Days, 20 lbs



60 days ago, I began my health journey.  I had just come back from vacation with my in-laws.  My life was mellowing out after transitioning to a more demanding  role at work back in November, and after having moved 3 times in 8 months.  I was mentally ready to focus on my health, so I did.

With all the stress of the past year, I retreated inwardly into a depressive state.  Though my life was in turmoil, I chose to focus on gratitude.  Everyday I expressed how grateful I was for the things I did have: my general health, my loving husband, my supportive family and friends, flexible work hours, sunshine, a fun bike ride, a much-needed nap, running water – whatever!  Re-framing my thoughts helped me to hold onto the positive in my life.  

With my life in flux, I pretty much ate out for 6 months straight, which quickly took its toll on my body.  As we settled into our new home (apartment # 3), I made it a priority to shop weekly at the local farmers market.  I committed 4 weeks to detoxifying my body with lots of fresh produce, whole grains, beans, fish, nuts and seeds.  I eliminated caffeine and alcohol, and minimized dairy and sugar additives.  After reintroducing foods back into my diet, and seeing how my body reacted, I settled on a more Primal eating style.  My body is happy when I eat this way.

I was never very active before, but eating as I did left me with no desire to get off of the couch.  As I started nourishing my body, I felt the desire to get moving.  I focused on walking around my neighborhood, hoop dancing (a killer workout and an awesome creative outlet), and hiking.  I had forgotten how fun it was to be active.

With all these changes, I began noticing how much better I felt.  I was less bloated, had more physical energy and mental clarity, I had a more positive outlook, my acne was getting better, and the pounds were coming off.  However, until today, I did not notice the physical difference in my body until I created the side-by-side above.  I’m happy to add that to my progress list as well.

I know I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to incorporating better choices into my daily life, and seeing how my life improves all around.