In this week’s post we are going to get real about self-care.
I am going to talk about what self-care really is and how you can elevate your routine without spending tons of time or money.
First, let’s talk about what is self-care, anyway?
Self-care is any thought or action that deeply nourishes you and results in increased energy.
This can mean many different things to different people.
For some, it might mean a night out with the girls.
For others, it might mean an intense spin class.
Or curling up with a good book in a bubble bath.
And yet for others it might mean getting into a state of flow on a project for work that you’re passionate about.
All of these, despite their seeming diversity, can nourish and energize and thereby feel like self-care.
But none of it is actually self-care if it isn’t attached to kindness.
Being kind to yourself is the truest form of self-care in existence.
Without self-kindness your self-care will fall flat, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and frustrated.
But when you learn to be kind to yourself, your self-care routines take on a whole other level.
If you’re familiar with my work you know that your thoughts create your feelings which create your actions which create your results.
When we invest in self-care actions without first caring for our thoughts, we miss the opportunity to completely elevate our experience.
Once your thoughts about yourself become kind, you can’t help but engage in self-care all the time.
When you have kind thoughts about yourself you will take better care of your self-- you will take yourself on walks, feed yourself healthy and nourishing food, engage in inspiring and nurturing relationships, and love yourself and others endlessly.
You can elevate your self-care right the minute.
When you find yourself falling into old habits of self-criticism, be gentle with yourself and guide your mind back to kindness by asking:
What’s the matter, love?
And give yourself the respect of listening to the answer that comes from within.
So go take good care of yourself.
You deserve it.
We all know the importance of sleep.
It is the foundation for feeling good.
We all know what it feels like to not get enough sleep.
We get grouchy.
Snap at our spouses.
Yell at our kids.
Make stupid mistakes at work.
Crave sugar and caffeine.
Eat more than usual.
It doesn’t feel good.
And research shows that not sleeping enough can lead to weight gain.
And yet, even with the best of intentions to get to bed at a reasonable hour, sleep can be elusive.
Especially as we get older.
It is rare that I meet a MamaBoss who doesn’t experience bouts of insomnia from time-to-time… or worse, regularly.
I used to suffer from insomnia.
Middle-of-the-Night (MOTN) insomnia in particular, which is when you fall asleep without issue but wake up a few hours later and can’t get back to sleep for hours.
It would be particularly bad when I was excited about a new project I was working.
I would fall asleep no problem, but then wake up a few hours later thinking about my project.
So one night when I couldn’t sleep, I read the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. That book, coupled with some additional research, gave me a few tips that have solved my insomnia problem.
I no longer wake in the night.
And on the rare occasion that I do (usually after a night of celebration that included rich food and wine) I am able to fall back asleep within 30 minutes.
Here’s what I figured out.
I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me.
Sweet dreams, MamaBosses.
Despite what you’ve been told by your mother, the media, your friends, weight loss “experts”, your personal trainer from 2009, your PE teacher from middle school, magazines, Dr. Oz, and everybody else YOUR OVEREATING IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
It’s not your fault.
And there is nothing wrong with you.
The reason you overeat is because you have over-desire and over-hunger.
The reason you have over-desire is because no one taught you how to manage your mind.
The reason you have over-hunger is because of how your body processes sugar and flour.
In this article I will explain both and then I will tell you what to do about it so that you can stop overeating and gain some control over your relationship with food.
I keep talking about this “manage your mind” business and admittedly this is a very ambiguous, if not downright cryptic, term.
What does it even mean to manage your mind?
It is easier to just start doing it than to explain it, so start here.
3 Steps to Manage Your Mind for Beginners
These three steps are the beginner steps but are by no means the end.
They are just the beginning!
What follows are what you do with the emotions-- the actions you take.
The sequence always goes:
Circumstance ---> Thoughts ---> Feelings ---> Actions ---> Results
There is no other way.
The circumstance is always neutral.
So once you’ve begun to observe and work with your thoughts and feelings, the actions and results that you get are very, very different from before.
And this, my friends, is life changing.
Life changing because you can finally start to break old habits and patterns that have felt out of your control for years, like overeating, overdrinking, not exercising, or whatever the habit is that you don’t love.
The world we live in here in the west is one of food overabundance.
You can access food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And this food is hyper-palliative, meaning it tastes intensly good thanks to the sugar, fat, and salt food manufactures put in these foods.
When you pulverize plants like wheat or corn and turn them into flour, you end up consuming far more with each bite than you would have had you eaten the plant whole. The result is a huge spike in insulin levels which by design makes us hungry. This surge, especially when overfed, results in chronic over-hunger.
Couple that with experiencing a uncomfortable emotion like anxiety and the pull that those foods then have is the equivalent of being sucked into a hunger vortex-- why feel all this super uncomfortable anxiety when I could just snack on bread and cheese and wash it down with a couple of glasses of rose-- making me feel oh-so-much better in the moment but causing a lot of mental turmoil after the deed is done.
Eating isn’t the solution to over-hunger.
The solution is to eliminate flour and sugar completely.
And this freaks everybody out.
Especially us emotional overeaters.
The thoughts come rushing in…
And this is where the work begins.
Loop back to the section above and start to manage your mind.
Notice your thoughts.
Write them down.
Notice your emotions.
Flour and sugar have no nutritional value whatsoever so the argument that you want to eat them is from a purely emotional standpoint.
You like them.
They taste good.
And your decision to eat them is making you overly hungry, resulting in weight gain.
TAKING THE LEAP
I tell my clients to start this way.
You will be blown away with what comes up mentally and emotionally when you stop numbing out with flour and sugar.
And these thoughts are the goldmine, because they are the source of your emotional overeating.
After 4-6 weeks you will come out on the other end.
I’m not going to lie to you-- it'll be difficult because sugar in particular has addictive properties.
But after 4-6 weeks you will feel so much better.
Commit and you’ll be free from over-hunger and be on your way to managing your over-desire.
And for us mamas who have been ravenous and out of control our whole lives, this will take our lives to a whole new level.
Hey Mama Boss,
In this post I am going to give you a little peek into what weight loss coaching is all about as well as give you a few tips to get you started on your own.
You don’t have to sign up for weight loss coaching to see the benefits.
You can get started here and now.
Sometimes when I tell people I’m a weight loss coach they think it's all about weight loss.
Imagine that. ;)
But here's the thing.
Not. At. All.
Sure, when I first start out with a client she wants me to tell her exactly what to eat and when to eat it.
She wants a plan.
A food guide.
A shopping list.
An exercise routine.
She wants restrictions and guardrails.
She wants a prescription that will contain her.
Hold her in.
Because she feels out of control.
Her appetite is a *thing* that is bigger than she is.
Is beyond her control.
And she needs someone to tell her how to regain control.
And then she will be thin.
And then she will be happy.
I get that.
She is looking for a light at the end of the tunnel.
An exit off the Highway of Dieting and Self-loathing.
She is simply looking for solutions to her problem.
Because she thinks her problem is her weight.
And what she learns as she proceeds down the off-ramp from the Highway of Dieting and Self-loathing is that it isn't really about her weight.
Her weight isn't the *problem*.
Her weight is just a byproduct.
A symptom of the real problem.
The problem is her relationship with food.
She is eating her feelings.
She eats when she is tired.
When she's bored.
Any negative feeling, really.
She looks to food to solve for those problems.
What she learns, however, through weight loss coaching is that it’s a choice to look to food to solve her problems.
She is making the choice every time.
Even if it doesn't feel like a choice.
And the good news there is, since it's a choice, it is completely within her control.
Even if it doesn't feel like it-- yet.
What is the alternative if she didn't choose food to solve her problem of feeling negative emotions?
The alternative is to simply feel the feeling.
She can choose to feel tired, bored, anxious, overwhelmed, disappointed.
And to not eat.
That sounds pretty terrible, right?
This is where the coaching begins.
I teach her how to feel her feelings, without eating.
I show her that it is totally and completely in her control.
She is choosing it.
And she has the power to un-choose it.
And the process is mind-blowing.
Life-changing on so many levels.
Once a woman learns to feel her negative emotions instead of eat them she can choose to channel that energy into what really matters in her life.
Her life's work.
Her creative passion.
Her larger purpose.
how to get started
The first rule of weight loss: Be Kind
Be kind to yourself.
Once you become aware that you are eating in order to avoid a negative feeling there is a tendency for women like us, women who have high expectations, to beat ourselves up for it.
So the next time you catch yourself eating to avoid or resist a negative feeling, ask yourself these two questions:
Take the time to explore your brain a bit.
Write it down, pen to paper.
Get it out.
What you learn about yourself in the process will not only blow your mind, but will also open you up to ending the battle with your body and your weight once and for all.
These skills take practice, but the journey is soooo incredibly worth it.
Once you stop obsessing about your weight and food, you will be freed up to pursue your true purpose on this planet.
You will be more available for your family and community.
You will be a better role model to the young, impressionable girls in your life.
You will have freed up so much mental space that you were previously using to count calories or carbs, plan meals, or read dieting blogs.
What will you do with all of that newfound time?
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.