Love Your Body

In a time when, “thin is in” it can be easy to justify going to extreme measures to make your body match an ideal that society has created. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly felt bombarded with images of women who are far thinner than I am – thinner than I’ll ever be. I don’t wish I looked like them, but there was a time when I’d stare at those images; I’d dissect every part of a woman’s body and wonder why mine didn’t look the same. I wondered why my thighs weren’t as thin; why my cheekbones weren’t as prominent; why my stomach wasn’t as flat. It didn’t take very long before I started to cut back on the amount of food I was eating.

It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I slowly began accepting myself. When I went to college, the acceptance and love for my body grew. I became a Healthy Eating and Living Intern at the Student Center. For “Love Your Body Day” my fellow interns and I ordered shirts that said, “I <3 My Body.” We wore them around campus and observed people’s reactions (most were positive :)). I was happy to be wearing one, because it was true. I wanted to inspire others to love their bodies, too. If you’d given me a shirt like that to wear when I was younger, I don’t know that I would have, because I wouldn’t want people to look at me and think that I actually loved my body. How could I? I was no model. But in college, I did love my body. I truly learned to care for myself. I didn’t diet. I shopped for healthy food. I walked for miles every day. I ran by the lagoon. I danced. I filled myself with love, laughter, and happiness. I was fulfilled.

I cringe when I hear how much women torture themselves to look a certain way. I feel saddened by the amount of pressure many people feel to be thinner, prettier, taller, etc. I wish that we could appreciate our bodies for everything that they do for us – that’s part of how I healed. I thanked my body for taking care of me. Instead of wanting to look a certain way, I just wanted to be healthy. I still feel this way.

I wish that we could spread more love; instead of calling ourselves or others fat, my hope is that we will look at ourselves and others for who we really are; the numbers on the scale, the size of our skirts, the fact that we don’t look like a small percentage of women who are incredibly tall and thin doesn’t define us. There was a time when being thin was everything to me. Now, I think it shocks people that being skinny isn’t my ultimate goal. It’s not even on my list of things that I want. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I love and accept my body, but I genuinely don’t want to stretch myself out to be a few inches taller and a few pounds lighter. I love my curves. I am passionate about helping women be healthy and learn to truly love their bodies, too.

Instead of focusing on being a certain weight, I would rather we all strive to be our healthiest, happiest, most radiant selves. When we learn to love ourselves and enjoy life, if we have weight to lose, it will come off because we are feeding ourselves healthy food, and are taking time to be active, as well as to relax, and connect with nature, ourselves, and people who lift us up. To me, that’s what life is about. If you’re on your wellness journey and are struggling to love yourself, accept your body, and heal, I’d love to help. If you have an eating disorder, I can refer you to a specialist who can help. Wherever you are on your health journey, know that there are people who can help. The fact that you’re beautiful won’t change as your weight changes. And, you can learn the tools to take care of yourself, too. You’re worth it. <3

Fall in Love with Yourself First

LoveYourself

I think that if we all spent more time falling in love with ourselves, just as we are, life would be so much sweeter. One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to say positive affirmations, such as: “I am beautiful”; “I am healthy”; “I am radiant and I attract abundance in my life”; “I am loved.” And then we have to trust that these things are true.

I do believe that there is healing, calming, soothing, energizing, power in falling in love with ourselves. I want to wish you the ability to focus your time and energy on all of the fabulous attributes that make you amazing: compassion; generosity; the ability to make people laugh (including yourself!);  optimism; charisma; charm; wit; lightheardedness – all of the things that make you so wonderful and loveable. When you treat yourself with the utmost kindness possible, it will be so much easier to stay madly, deeply, in love with yourself.  You deserve to be loved by you. You are glorious. <3

Start Exercising Now!

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When we’re stressed out, anxious, or depressed, I know it’s tempting to curl up into a ball, watch movies, and stay in bed. While these actions may seem like a good idea, the answer to feeling better is actually to get up and move. Exercise plays an important role in our health. When we exercise, we release endorphins, which are the chemicals that create a positive feeling in our bodies. We all have an exercise routine we love, whether it’s running, hiking, biking, walking, swimming, doing housework, practicing yoga, dancing, doing pilates, or something else, we have to stay active. By doing so, we will not only be physically fit, but we will also increase the “feel good” hormones in our body, which can assist in dealing with depression, reducing stress, alleviating anxiety, increasing self-esteem, and more.

What I love about exercise is that it really has so many positive benefits for us. In addition to making us feel happier and more relaxed, exercise is also important for keeping our hearts healthy and strong; staying active also strengthens our muscles and bones, lowers blood pressure, and exercises such as yoga help keep us flexible.

I know that the weather is colder, the days are shorter, and it probably seems like a good idea to just stay put, but trust me, you’ll feel so much better if you dedicate part of your day to getting up and moving. Even if you only have 10 minutes to go for a walk or a quick run, do it! Promise yourself that you will create a plan to stay active. If you’re exercising in the morning, it’s important to warm up first; don’t overexert yourself, especially not first thing in the morning, as this can be a shock to your system. Instead, wake up, have some water, tea, breakfast, and after you digest you can stretch and go for a walk – how great does that sound? Add your exercise routine to your calendar. Join a group exercise program and make new friends who support your healthy lifestyle and encourage you to do great things for yourself. Share your new workout plan with others so that at least one person will hold you accountable. See if you have a friend or family member who will work out with you. Whatever your next plan of action will be, I want you to not only look great, but to feel amazing as well. If you have a medical condition or an injury and cannot exercise at this moment, please try other stress reduction methods such as meditation, massage therapy, and/or hypnotherapy. If you can exercise, then get up and move! If you’re not sure whether or not you can exercise, or what the best exercise is for you, make sure you see a physician who can help you make a safe, healthy decision.

A Health Coach is a great resource to have when you’re starting a new exercise plan, want to heal yourself, and need someone who will listen to you and support you consistently. Join me for a free one hour consultation where we’ll create a health program that is perfect for you. Explore my programs and get a sense of which one of these you’d like to try first. Here’s to your health!

Nigella Lawson Embraces Her Beautiful Body

Nigella Lawson Book

I know I always tell people to love their bodies, so I am always excited when someone knows how beautiful he/she is and is ready to share it with the world. Recently, Nigella Lawson, one of the chefs on ABC’s The Taste, told ABC that they were not allowed to airbrush her tummy in new promotional posters for her show. I am so proud of her for embracing her gorgeous curves and for reminding men and women that we do not need to be retouched to match an unrealistic expectation of beauty that society has drilled into our heads. Being curvy is just as beautiful as being thin; the important part is that we are healthy and that we take care of ourselves. There is no sense in beating ourselves up for our natural bodies, rather, we should follow in Nigella’s lead and be proud of what we have!

If you are having trouble loving your body, think of everything that it does for you. Stand in front of the mirror and say this affirmation daily, “I am beautiful.” Thank every part of your body for the role it plays in keeping you healthy and for allowing you to do all the things you love. If there is a part of your body that you are trying to change, be kind; love yourself  – all of yourself. Touch the parts of your body that you try to hide and say, “I love you.” Practice being your biggest supporter. In time you will see that you are beautiful.

Are you feeling down about yourself? Do you wish you had more confidence? Work with me and I will help you discover how radiant and gorgeous you already are!

What is Light Touch Release?

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When I moved back to Los Angeles a few years ago, I was looking forward to deepening my yoga practice. I tried several studios and worked with different instructors, but it wasn’t until I took Nikita Gupta’s class that I was convinced I’d found the perfect teacher for me. Nikita understands the connection between mind, body, and soul; yoga with her is not just about movement, it’s about a true understanding of your body – it’s about connecting with yourself and learning how to love and take care of your body. Nikita often reminds us that yoga is a great way to manage stress, curb cravings, increase flexibility, and more. So when Nikita told me that she was offering light touch release, I knew I’d give it a try.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know much about light touch release, but my trust in Nikita is so great, that I didn’t do too much research. According to Nikita’s website, “Light touch neuro-muscular release is a remarkable modality that directly accesses the nervous system, to elicit healing through body, breath and energy responses.” I tried this for the first time a few weeks ago and I was astounded with the results that I experienced.

Nikita took time to sit with me and go over a few things before our session; she asked me if I had any tension or soreness in my body. She explained to me that during our session she would lightly touch a few areas on my body – just for a split second each time – and then she would release. This practice “addresses acute situations as well as chronic patterns of tension” so that “clients can have a range of experiences post-session, including healing of physical pain, relaxation, more breath, emotional release, clarity, expansion, and greater aliveness.” Indeed, as I lay face down on her table, she lightly touched a few places on my back and neck; she pulled on my feet a couple of times and asked me to turn to the left and to the right. When we were done, she gently reminded me to take my time getting off of the table. Since she had barely touched me, I didn’t think I really needed to be careful. I turned around to get up and realized that I felt entirely different; my body was lighter and I felt as though I’d just received a 2 hour long massage – I was completely relaxed and I understood why she said to take my time getting off of the table – if I moved too quickly I’m sure I would have fallen! I was amazed. I actually burst into laughter and I didn’t open my eyes for at least a couple of minutes. The amount of release that I felt was beautiful. I did not know that a few light touches would create such a response, but I already can’t wait to try it again.

If you are in Los Angeles and are experiencing any soreness, tension, or pain or are in need of some self-care, I highly encourage you to work with Nikita and try light touch release. She is an amazing healer and I am so thankful to her that she offered her incredible service to me. If you are not in Los Angeles, check to see if there is a wellness provider in your area who can provide this service to you.

Are you tired of being stressed out? Is your day-to-day routine wearing you out? Join me for a free initial consultation so we can talk about how to destress and bring joy back into your life – you deserve it!

LightTouch

Are You Listening to Your Body?

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One of my favorite parts of nutrition school was listening to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s founder, Joshua Rosenthal speak. He has an amazing ability to capture everyone’s attention, because he is constantly giving out good advice. He is a strong believer that our body talks to us, so we have to listen to what it’s saying. Below is a quote I had to share as it’s a wonderful reminder for us to love and listen to our bodies.

We can, and must, develop dialogue and relatedness with our body because it’s talking to us all the time. And please remember, your body loves you. It does everything it can to keep you alive and functioning. You can feed it garbage, and it will take it and digest it for you. You can deprive it of sleep, but still it gets you up and running next morning. You can drink too much alcohol, and it will eliminate it from your system. It loves you unconditionally and does its best to allow you to live the life you came here for. The real issue in this relationship is not whether your body loves you, but whether you love your body. In any relationship, if one partner is loving, faithful and supportive, it’s easy for the other to take that person for granted. That’s what most of us do with our bodies. It is time for you to shift this, and working to understand your cravings is one of the best places to begin. Then you can build a mutually loving relationship with your own body.”

Joshua Rosenthal, Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness

Are you addicted to sugar? Do you have trouble staying awake without coffee? Are you driven by your cravings? Join me for a free initial consultation and let’s get started on helping you deconstruct your cravings so  you can get your life back on track.