I love this life. #operationselfcarelikewhoa

#operationselfcarelikewhoa came from knowing that I needed to heal this deep core lonliness I felt inside. It came from living so many years trying to fill myself with food, with stuff, with babies, with people, with wine, with work.

It came from knowing that for the first time in years I could fly and feel free. Asking for freedom was the hardest thing I've ever done. To ask myself for deep permission to be inside of free no matter what anyone else said or thought.

I got on a plane. That was the beginning of the journey. A plane to a place where I knew I would be wrapped inside of love and cared for but not given permission to remain stuck. (Yep, my friends are spirtual guides and healers!) A place where I would teach at a studio that years ago I had tucked into my visions.

One of the paralyzing parts of my anxiety over the years was that I was scared to do new things. Terrified. Once I started to crack and step inside the truth of my life I noticed the anxiety start to lesson. I was having a panic attack almost daily and suddenly they started to lift. It was sudden and intense. I was hesitant to trust it. I kept breathing and waiting for my heart to go into spasm.


No panic on the plane. I arrived in CA and sat to break bread (corn tortillas) with 9 of my colleagues and friends, some of whom I had never once pulled close and hugged. It was delicious. The women, the words, the food, the nourishment. It was not needy or forced. It was the soulfilling sauce that I crave each day.

And the tomato soup. Seriously, I closed my eyes with some of the bites and made noises of pleasure because it was like heaven, like whoa.

My spirit guides for the trip were magic, Tiffany and Rachel. There was visioning, sparkle lights, red lipstick, Prosecco, oysters, giggles, deep long talks into the night, cozy morning coffees, co-working bliss, beach walks with sand dollars and sunsets, secrets whispered and cried, aha moments, gorgeous food and California bliss.

#operationselfcarelikewhoa was in full swing and my belly felt joyful. I found I could eat almost anything and my belly didn't hurt. I was feasting on pure love for allowing myself to fill up without guilt. Without guilt. Without worry. Without regret.

I have been saying for years that people think I teach self care and that never rang true for me. And maybe in some ways I was, but my work has been formed around finding your truth. That deep truth of how you want to feel, how you want to move through the world. To know joy.

To thrive in heart-centered biz bliss. And this was is my journey. It doesn't happen in 5 days, it is a long, thoughtful process that weaves itself through your life.

The clear next step in my work as in my life is to practice the self care of freedom. Of knowing the peace. The peace.

The next step in the operation for myself was to find space. I want to find space gently. In a way that I can discover I am OK alone, with myself. I made a hotel reservation and packed a bag full of visioning supplies for the night in my own city. The kids went on an amazing adventure with their daddy (his work right now is about connecting, mine space) and filled up in their own way.

To look down on my city and see it with eyes that were all about self care was a beautiful moment. I celebrated dinner with myself and had the most delicious drink with gin and Prosecco and a stuffed salmon that I can't stop thinking about. Lick your lips, oh my god, grab-the-waitress-and-tell-her-whoa kind of salmon.

I did have text support from time to time with sweet friends checking in on me and making sure I was filling up on the joy of being with me. I won't lie, that helped!

The part that felt so real to me was learning that I could make space anywhere I was in the world. I can decide who to spend my energy with, who to share my words with, who to make space with.

I spent time with sadness. The last few months have been intense and led to so many unearthed desires. I spent time feeling it. I watched Castle reruns. Then I pulled out my vision book supplies and spent time with the prompt how do you want to feel inside of your 5 beautiful dreams.

Light, lush, WHOLE, earthy bliss, space and style, fresh stories. Each of those words finding me and becoming a feeling story.


I stepped from the sadness into these feelings that are my gentle force. The 5 beautiful dream's cushions.

I wrote. I started my book. Oh honey, my book. I already see it. The colors, the textures, the words, the soulwork, the prompts. I see it, feel it and then release it. I will let the Universe play with tet feelings. It may be a bit lush and of earthy bliss! My job now is to fill in the words.

About two hours before it was time to go I released. I felt the exhale of the moment. I didn't want to pack up and go. Room service ordered I knew I would be stepping onto the rug and walking out the door. I wanted space to be my company, my partner. My joy.

The process is about learning to feel free and whole and carrying that inside wherever my feet guide me. The process for you is about learning to feel free and whole and carrying that inside wherever your feet guide you.

Beautiful work, yes?

I so love this life.

I love these breaths, this passion, these tattoos, my loves, the way my gorgeous goldfish swim at me each morning when I go to open the curtains. I can hear their noiseless cries for attention in the form of food. I love this life.

Even when it sucks and is raw and the tears and indecisions roll around.

I love this life.


#operationselfcarelikewhoa will soon be hosting an event in Providence so stay close. It is a movement so that the women who have been in the gorgeous positions of nurturing learn how to nurture themselves.

Stepping into the ease.

Part of the post is from a letter from The Joy Up, A 30 Day Journey. Shared with love::

Learning to love myself, finally, after 37ish years came quite surprisingly at my highest non-pregnant weight. Spending years in yo=yo diets, and I mean since I was like 12, I finally stopped. Stopped all of the diets and rules and early gym mornings. I just let my body be.

I gained weight, my body had never, ever existed as an adult without some sort of diet or restrictions to keep my weight low. I had never found a way to love my body inside of all the deprivation. Not even after being a health coach for two years. I was still finding ways to convince myself that if only I could make one more plan...lose a few more pounds 'healthfully' I would find that love.

20 pounds over my post pregnancy weight at 150 pounds (on the scale at the Dr. office, not knowing my weight since obsessively weighing to stay 128 pounds for years), I stopped. Let it all go. Released. Started to enjoy food again. This last year of my life has been a turning point. I learned to love myself, to release all the old thoughts of having to control everything. I knew all of it intellectually but had never quite been able to live it. Until Joy and I started to dance and she took my hand and led me down a path that I continue to discover daily.

And this is only the beginning. It is still new and scary and feels deliciously fresh.

As I would eat foods, no restrictions, some things that were known to be healthy wouldn't feel good inside of my body. Other foods would feel delicious. It took me months to learn to trust that intuition, that deep body knowledge, what I always knew all along. This trust feels gorgeous. It is not deprivation, it is delicious knowing.

Eating to feel gorgeous felt gorgeous. It meant chocolate puddings with coconut milk, curries simmered with carrots and chicken, decaf coffee with coconut milk, eggs every morning, lots of salads in every shape and the occasional red wine in the evening.

It meant that I stopped trying to give up the morning cup of decaf I loved so much and never bothered me. But I gave up the gluten-free toast that was making me sick.

It also meant loving a wiggly, jiggly belly. A face that was fuller than I remembered it ever being.

It was me. Meeting my needs for feeling amazing in this body of mine. For easing the burden of brain fog and bloated belly. My needs for feeding myself with the same amount of love I finally felt for myself. It continues with that layering in movement, space, stillness, nurturing with time and energy.

That love will carry you to places you never imagined. Doesn't mean you won't have days where you kind of wished your belly was flatter or that your eyebrows could just go in one direction, but it means that deep down you are love. Loved.

I got to that love through joy. Through my allowing of joy to be present despite all of the past hurts, pains, regrets. Allowing joy to shine inside of my body, even when I felt down. In the very basic discovery that what I want, is made today. Love. Loved. Joy.

And now my body is starting to shift. It feels like love. It feels amazing to be losing weight that doesn't belong, but without any sort of 'rules.' Just following what feels really good to my body. 

I had a hard time letting go of wanting to eat the classic healthy foods. Brown rice, oats, green smoothies. I fought to keep those in my life because others felt good eating them. When I let all the rules go, let go of any restrictions other than I must feel good when I nourish myself, I felt like I was myself again. A self that feels gorgeous in her skin. Intuitive eating. Letting go of your need for any other outcome other than being totally in love with you.

It takes time. It takes the journey.

The only way it could have happened for me was to find that love in a weight that felt uncomfortable to the woman who had spent so many years dieting. In a body that had longed to be skinnier its whole life. (I recently saw a picture of myself in HS and couldn't believe  that this girl could feel so badly about herself, she was so cute and I just wanted to hug her. I was almost surprised by how small I was.)

To celebrate myself I went to a conference this past July and it was the first time before a very public event that I didn't spend time trying to lose just a few pounds so my stomach would be just a little bit skinnier. It was the first time I got dressed to be surrounded by my friends and colleagues and felt beautiful. Like glowing. Like me. Like the woman I have been trying to be my whole life.

Each morning at my hotel I had the most delicious eggs and sausage that I have ever eaten. I sipped decaf lattes. I ate gelato with my soul-sisters. (Ahem, Rachel, Tiffany, Michelle, Laura.) I felt like a woman. I should feel that way, shouldn't I? Honoring my curves.

When my husband says, "You look beautiful" I should feel that from the inside, shouldn't I? When we are together in that delicious way, I should want him touching all of me, not everywhere except my belly.

Spreading wings into joy. I want more of this. I want this for you.

Joy wants to take your hand, your joy sisters want to stand in a circle with you, celebrating this deep love.

The way I could be loved at 18 is so very different than the way I can be loved now. It is so much deeper, so much more intense and whole and can scare the shit out me.

Learning to accept that and truly be in that, this is the ease that is waiting. This is the softness and the healing mixing and feeling unexpected.

This is the journey into joy.

Why you need to know when your coach gains weight

By now you have realized that isn't me. I am bigger, shorter hair and haven't worn blue eye shadow for at least a decade. I am not one for Barbies but this little character dating back to my sister's childhood I like. Her strength, messy hair, exaggerated make-up and power suit are awesome. Power and beauty work well together. We don't need to obsess about her skinny little waist, that is just how she happens to be built. No need to compare.

I have to tell you something. You've already guessed from the title. My clothes aren't fitting so well and I indeed have gained weight. You need to know this. It is my duty to tell you. I want you to understand that it happens. Not to everyone, but to those of us who have battled with our weight most of our lives, it happens. Stepping off the dieting roller coaster meant knowing that these times would come. It meant having some strategies.

It meant being honest.

Looking at the why of where you are is vital. It isn't about the weight but it is about the weight. It isn't about the number on the scale and yet it so is about that number or Weight Watchers would not be what it was. The diet industry is rolling in the dough ($$$) because it is about the weight.

It is about the flipping weight!

Here is what my weight says to me when I start to no longer fit my stretchy pants:

  • You have a candida flare up
  • You are holding anger
  • You are not moving your body enough
  • Something is making you fearful
  • Looking for something to hide behind, you found me...mwah-ha-ha (evil laugh)
  • Change is coming
  • I wonder if everyone will still love you, respect you, admire you, see your beauty...
  • Well, it's your story isn't it?

It says more but I can't tell all my secrets.

Here is how the weight feels for me:

  • Vulnerable
  • Challenged
  • Uncomfortable
  • Curious
  • Pissed off
  • Really sad
  • Fearful

In the past my plan was of course to diet. I'm so good at dieting it sometimes makes me a little pissed off to no longer have it around. What happens to us when we gain weight? Sometimes we gain more, but usually we look for a way out of it. We get charged up, wanting to tackle it and show the scale or our zippers that we have power.

Let's use that motivation. I want you to channel it into something other than Weight Watchers or any other diet. Use that uncomfortable, fearful place that likes to hide behind food and weight and mess up your hair, put on your power suit and however much make-up you feel appropriate. Feel your beauty now. It is so hard, I know.

Close your eyes and imagine your body at the weight you feel most comfortable. Feel the lightness. Feel the joy. Notice what is surrounding that body that feels so good. It isn't a scale. It isn't fear. It isn't overwhelm.

It is beauty. It is joy. It is support. It is a coach. It is sweating. It is a fridge flowing with greens and eggplant and lemons and celery and hummus and... That's what I see and where I gain my strength.

It is a sense that you are in control. It is allowing. It is love for that amazing body you are blessed to be in.

Yes, it feels really rotten to have gained weight. But you need to know it because it is a signal for that next turn.

Look at your options. What is surrounding you when you close your eyes and feel your body in lightness and pleasure and joy? That's where we are headed.

Finding my new normal

Please help me welcome a guest blogger who is full of special for me. Gretchen came into my life a year ago, our connection continues today and I know you will love her as much as I do. Make sure to visit her at  www.wrinkledclothnapkins.blogspot.com, her words are the definition of inspiration. ~~~

Before connecting with Hannah, my relationship with food was unconscious and very emotional.  I had special foods I craved for every occasion, situation and time of day.  I knew I didn't feel right but I blamed it on all sorts of external stresses or thought something was intrinsically wrong with my body.  I decided to join the cleanse but with some hesitation.

You see, I used to get panicky if I thought there wasn't going to be enough food around.  I also hated being in the kitchen.  I avoided cooking at all costs or cooked with such bitterness that nothing tasted good.  I thought cooking and preparing food was just not my thing.  I thought a cleanse was a period of time where I could only eat soup or juice or barely eat.  I was SO WRONG!

One of Hannah's biggest gifts is that she is incredibly compassionate and gentle while giving you everything you need to be successful and grow in your awareness of your body.  Before the cleanse, she provided a shopping list with lots of familiar items and some new, exciting things to try.  This was a huge sense of relief for me.  Then she connected all these wonderful women together via email so we were able to start sharing our process with each other as well as more ideas.  It was so comforting throughout the day to check my email and find the real experiences of other women mirroring my own experience.  What we were concerned about, what we were excited about, how our bodies were feeling at the beginning and how we hoped the cleanse would help us.  I learned quickly to create a filter in my email because these messages I did not want to miss amongst the other business emails.

Throughout the cleanse, Hannah provided recipes for all that food in the refrigerator.  Yummy, simple, fantastic recipes.  I had to print mine out because I got tired of trying to find them.  They have become some of my "go to" recipes.  Hannah completely understands what it takes for a Mama to make herself a priority and make different food for 10 days that the other family members probably won't eat.  She supports the recipes with inspiration and tools to keep the momentum going.  After the first couple of days of my body adjusting, I felt so good, it was easy to stick with it.  I started realizing that I could feel nourished and empowered in a very visceral way.  My brain felt light and clear, my body slimmed and moved with ease and those weird little skin and body symptoms that I had almost forgot were happening, cleared up.  I had been looking for these results in so many other places while eating foods that completely countered this desire.

I am so grateful for this cleanse opportunity.  I now view it as a sort of re-boot.  I look forward to connecting with the other women and learning more from their discoveries and ideas.  Each time I make myself and my food a priority with these cleanses, my relationship with food becomes stronger and less intimidating.  I am a different woman from the one I was before.

*** *** ***

The discovery of a gluten intolerance and its link to her chronic depression acted as motivation for writer, educator, and urban farmer Gretchen O'Byrne to make Self a priority among the responsibilities of family.  She has found motherhood to be a constant inspiration for living more simply and sustainably.  Gretchen reflects on self discovery after motherhood, living with her family's food intolerances, and the family's transition to growing much of their own food at www.wrinkledclothnapkins.blogspot.com

Raw Kale and Lots of Water

We are on Day 3 of the cleanse, and even if you aren't cleansing, I hope you will be inspired to look at your diet in new way, perhaps starting with just a little bit of raw kale. A few things have come up and I want to share with you some of what I wrote today to inspire the group.

Last night in the trick or treat madness- which always leaves me wondering if there isn't a better way to celebrate this holiday with my kids- I started thinking about balance. I'm not a big believer anymore of balance being a round perfectly balanced circle, but am starting to think of balance as what is important to us in any given moment or in the phase of life we are in.

For instance, with a young baby, our sleep isn't going to be great. We will be out of balance in that area, and yet it is a great time to discover how organic foods and lots of water can bring us extra energy when we need it. It is a chance to see how to fuel the body without caffeine and instead go for a walk and take a power nap. We also learn that we survive sleep deprivation (I know because I'm going on year 8)!

Today I would like you to think about a few things.

One is feeling centered (we'll use this instead of balance), where do you need to find something to bring more of into your life, or, to lesson in your life so that you have more space?

Two is raw food, how much of your food is raw? In this cold weather we want about 51% or more to be raw. Think of marinated raw kale (I'll blog a recipe for this in just a bit), think raw pickled foods, think raw apples and pears with some almond butter and sesame seeds for a snack.

Three is what does your body need? Do you feel it is missing something? Are you exhausted? More water, more vitamin C, more vitamin D, more hugs, more kisses, more talks with friends, more raw food, more back rubs (yes oh yes), more of what?

Someone mentioned eating as a reward. What else might substitute for this reward? What are ways we can say thank you to ourselves without over spending and over eating? If you feel like you are in one of my group programs right about now, well, you kind of are. This cleanse is a chance to really look deeper into yourself because you are stretching in new ways.

I believe in the power of food just as I believe in the power of love, moving through fear and positive thoughts. For me they go together, each moves us towards the next. So here's to raw kale and love!

Kale and Celery Salad

1 bunch of kale, run your hand along the stem and the leaves will come right off the stem. Chop the leaves into bite sized pieces.

Chop 3-4 stalks of celery. I used the hearts and yes, you can eat the leaves! Add them in too.

Make a simple dressing of 1/4 cup good olive oil (nice thick and cloudy olive oil) and the juice of 1 lemon. Add a pinch of sea salt. (The pear was Lucas' snack as I was chopping.)

Put it all together and gently rub the salad for a few minutes. Yes, put your hand in the salad bowl and rub it. It is fun and if the kids can get a clean hand, let them help. Allow the salad to sit for 2 hours and serve with raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and if you aren't cleansing- add a handful of grated romano cheese.


Drink lots of water today and for added inspiration be sure to listen to part 1 of the Andrea Beaman Interview.

Women Food and God-The Discussion and Winner

The winner is.....

6512 and growing

I just tried to interlibrary loan this book from my library but was told it’s too new. So, I would love a chance to read it through your generosity. Thanks for sharing your very real, common, normal journey. May our daughters never face struggles with body image.

Last night I met with a beautiful group of women to discuss Women Food and God, by Geneen Roth. This book has caused quite a stir since Oprah caught on to the fact that we must stop dieting to start fully living and loving. I'll take you through some parts of the discussion.

"Of this I am certain: something happens every time I stop fighting with the way things are. Something happens to every one of my students when they stop running their familiar programs about fear and deficiency and emptiness. I don't know what to call this turn of events or the freshness that follows it, but I know what it feels like: it feels like relief."

This is where we entered the discussion and kept finding ourselves coming back to "it feels like relief" and "something happens every time I stop fighting with the way things are." We talked about the relief in not fighting our bodies and in showing them kindness. One participant talked about how in her entire life, not just with food, when she stops fighting and accepting where she is, there is a relief. The question I asked them and now you is, "Where could you be kinder to yourself? What thoughts or actions could receive more kindness?"

One woman said she was confused because she had used food as a way to be kind to herself, getting through some really tough struggles that life had presented over the last few years. Through the toughness she showed herself "kindness" with food. And yet, that kindness is a numbing, a protection so we do not have to feel the tough stuff. So we can move through with less of the feelings that seem just too hard to bear.

A mother of three young children expressed the desire to be more kind to the feelings that the choices she is making now, are somehow damaging my children. "I keep coming back to the relief" another woman said. Relief that we don't have to feel bad about ourselves and knowing that there is a path through those thoughts that continue to push us down.

My husband and I have taken to openly emotionally eating. When we stand in the closet with the bag of corn chips or eat directly from the open fridge we announce or announce for the other, we are emotionally eating and state why. For me it is usually the whine of my little guy or the fighting of my children and I go right to the fridge to find the escape from having to address what comes up for me. The tough stuff is feeling inadequate as a parent, or feeling as though I don't have enough support or space to be the parent I thought I could be. When you start becoming connected, you notice that maybe the half bag of corn chips becomes one handful, then opening the pantry and closing it before retrieving the salty crunchy conspirators. Finally, reaching out for support, calling a friend, putting the baby in the stroller and going for a walk. It becomes sitting the fighting children down (instead of yelling) and asking them to make of list of 5 things they would like to do today and 1 thing they would like to do for someone else. The fridge stays closed. A breath. Feel it, move through it, come safely to the other side.

"I believed there was an end goal, a place at which I would arrive and forevermore be at peace. And since I also believed that the way to get there was by judging and shaming and hating myself, I also believed in diet

Diets are based on the unspoken fear that you are a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic."

Many of us admitted to being a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic. We talked about those extra 5-20-50 pounds that we are holding onto and if we could just get rid of those we would be happy...for the 5 minutes until they came back. One of our participants was anticipating a 20 year high school re-union in just a week. She knew she could easily lose the 5ish pounds that were making her uncomfortable in her skin, but knowing inside that she would simply be continuing on the same path of the 5 minute weight loss.  She thought perhaps just this last time. I asked her how doing that no longer would serve her? She wasn't sure because being 5 pounds thinner seemed to serve her walking into a room full of old acquaintances. We laughed thinking of the men who have gone bald and there was no quick fix for them! Eventually understanding that she would simply be continuing the cycle of diet for a brief moment of happy-thinness brings her right back to where she started. We can put it off or we can face it directly, look at ourselves in the mirror, and promise to continue forth with kindness, love and support of our bodies and our minds.

"If love could speak to you about food, it would say, 'Eat when you are hungry, sweetheart, because if you don't, you won't enjoy the taste of food. And why should you do anything you don't enjoy?' If love could speak to you, it would say, 'Eat what your body wants, darling, otherwise you won't feel so well, and why should you walk around feeling tired or depressed from what you put into your mouth?' If love could speak to you, my little cream puff, it would say, 'Stop eating when you've had enough, otherwise you will be uncomfortable, and why spend one minute in discomfort?'"

I told the group, who were now clearly bonding through this open dialogue, that I make high protein cookies and I let the kids munch them for breakfast and usually in their lunch. (I will put my cookies up against a waffle with syrup any day!) When they ask after dinner what is for dessert I remind them of how they started the day. "Oh yeah" is usually the response and then they go about their business. We spend so much time avoiding the things we really want, yet thinking far too much about them. How many calories do we eat while avoiding the thing we really want? If we were to give ourselves permission for the thing that is on the "don't eat list" we could perhaps free up a part of ourselves that functions on the restricted, the bad, the off-limits.

To close the evening, we went around in a circle reading the Eating Guidelines. Hearing these beautiful, strong woman read clearly the simple truth that is inside each of them touched my heart. In my work I guide my clients to find the simple truths inside of themselves for themselves. The path to my healing may look different than that of another, but the simple truths are the same. It takes support and kindness and willingness to believe that if love could speak it would want us to do the things that we enjoy and that bring our body health and vibrance and joy.

Thank you to the woman of the book circle last night. I find my mind wandering back to all that was said and feeling so grateful for the steps to kindness you are all taking.

"In each moment of kindness you lavish upon your breaking heart or the size of your thighs, with each breath you take-God has been there. She is you."

Holistic Health Book Club meets the last Monday of each month at Books on The Square, Providence, RI.  I will be your guide.

Women Food and God In My Life (and a give-away)

When I was 16 I experienced my first heart break. I was not equipped with the tools to handle the loss and my parents were going through their own sadness coming to a divorce. In my sadness I couldn't eat. It may have been the first time I can remember not being hungry or drawn to food. I was a mayo, mustard, cheese, lettuce, pickle, white bread kind of girl. With a side of chips or fries. And a diet coke (right, because of course). In the non-hunger I started to loose weight. Since I can remember I have had a belly, the one below the belly button, though after 3 babies, above too. I was the only girl who wore a t-shirt over her leotard in ballet and tap class. The teacher told me I wouldn't be able to wear it for the recital. I can remember being a young girl and my best friend and I were having a sleep over. I was always aware of the fact that the darn belly was there. She told me it was probably baby fat and it would go away.

When I stopped eating at 16 it did go away for the first time. I "learned" then that I couldn't control many things in my life, but I could control what I ate and how I looked. As dieters know, with the restriction comes the binge. So after spending some time controlling my food, I would then turn to food to also get through the tough stuff. I managed to keep my weight fairly steady. Until the next heart break in college. This time limiting my food no longer seemed an option, I wanted to eat and stuff the pain down. I wanted to be one of those girls who didn't form life long attachments to every (all 2 at this point) guy that she fell for. But there I was. Wondering why I needed every plastic sugar coated doughnut from the vending machine in my dorm and why I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my skin.

I obsessed about many other things when I was younger, creating a high level of anxiety that I never realized. The gap between my teeth, my large lips, my knees, skinny legs, flat bum... I never practiced looking at the things I admired. Today some of my former obsessions are things I admire. Full circle.

I have tried most diets. My favorites were the South Beach Diet and the liquid protein diet for every meal. Those were effortless to me and worked to take off belly fast. I felt a sense of control with each diet and with all of the results. As dieters know, with the restriction comes the binge. When I enrolled in school to become a Health Counselor, Lucas was 4 months old. Usually around 6 months I would start dieting the weight off. Knowing that I needed to heal this part of me, I made a commitment to never diet again. Healing instead of controlling, a new plan for my life as it was taking on a new direction. SCARY.

I wasn't sure I believed I would lose the weight. I also knew that I would most likely have to learn to love a body that didn't fit into my idea of perfection, a hard thing to let go of. In my journey, I discovered how powerful thought is. How we can use thought to create the life we chose to live. I have chosen to live life in a body that I appreciate for it's health and ability to make and grow beautiful babies. To have a body that can be sexy and motherly all at the same time. Nursing in heals and sequins will bring that out in you!

I never gained a large amount of weight until I was pregnant with Chloe, putting on 64 pounds. South Beach took it off by the time Chloe was a year old. I am what is called a disordered eater, common among women. We have a small window of weight where we feel extremely happy with ourselves to depressed and not fitting our clothes. For most of us, that number can be small, an eight to ten pound range. For others it can be a larger number.

It is still challenging for me to put pictures of myself on my blog or newsletter, but time and practice are making it easier. I regularly take self portraits now to help calm my nerves in front of the camera. My daughter takes most other pictures of me and forces me to smile with my teeth showing because she says I look beautiful that way.

I work on emotional eating and healing the inside with my clients. It seems to have become the path that, dare I say, chose me. I've been experiencing a magical moment in my own life, having just hit the 1 1/2 year mark of not dieting, not restricting, of fully feeling and fully living in my body. I turn 36 in September and I will be able to say that my dieting lasted 18 years. When I turn 36 I will acknowledge that 16 year old, who felt her only choice to get through the pain was to find something to control. She seems so young and full of fight. Insecure and yet so sure that she was here for something great, something big. She is the one who brought me to where I am now. Working with women to heal themselves and live their greatest vision of themselves.

One of my clients, a beautiful and creative woman recently wrote and thanked me for following my bliss and doing this work. She said other nice things that I'm too shy to share at the moment, but that touched me so deeply. That inspires me because we all have the choice to live with energy, passion, abundance and joy. The more people who experience that, the more this world will heal.

This post danced in my head for the last few days. It was hard to write, yet I could not sleep until it was finally words visable. I offer up bits of my story as I feel ready. The first that I wrote which was deeply personal, did more to help and encourage than any other. The feedback which I am still receiving is touching and motivating. For me it is part of healing my past, and part of the forgiveness I have chosen to show myself and others. It is part of my journey to that deeper spiritual place. Of Women Food and God in my life.

I am leading a Holistic Health Book Club in Providence, RI. The first book will be Women Food and God, by Geneen Roth. I would like to encourage you to join the conversation in this space by sharing with us what you feel passion for. If you feel moved to share a bit of your relationship with food, your journey is sure to reach someone and inspire them. Each comment will be entered in a give-away for a copy of Geneen's book. Give-away will close on June 28th at 7:00pm eastern time and be announced on June 29th (the night of the book club) on this post.

Winner is.....

6512 and growing

I just tried to interlibrary loan this book from my library but was told it’s too new. So, I would love a chance to read it through your generosity. Thanks for sharing your very real, common, normal journey. May our daughters never face struggles with body image.