Let me introduce you to my 4-letter-word-enemy…..

**A lot has happened since my last post back in December of 2015.  There is a reason I had been taking a break from my blog. To get an update on me, please keep reading….

So…. I lost weight.Not just a couple of pounds but at least 10 pounds have been shed  from my body in the past 1 to 2  months. As a result, I am freaking out….and not in a good way. Why in the heck am I feeling negative about weight loss, of all things?  Because it was unintentional and completely unexpected. I was already small and now I weigh under 100 pounds. Not good. Not good at all.

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My son and I at an immigration re-enactment at his school.

I first noticed the weight loss when I went to visit a Rheumatologist as a new patient. You see, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in 2010 but when I went gluten free in March of 2011, my pain miraculously disappeared (I did have occasional aches from stress or if I unknowingly ingested a small amount of gluten).

However, back in March of this year (2016), my pain came back and with a vengeance.( In fact, I am in a major flare today, as I type this.)  I was still  faithful to my 100% gluten-free diet so I felt like my body had betrayed me. I was utterly confused and frustrated. When I realized the pain and fatigue was not going away I decided it was time to see a doctor again. That is when they weighed me and I realized I had lost 7 pounds, but I did not think to mention anything at the time about the weight loss. The truth is, I was happy about it at first.

Then, I noticed how baggy my pants were getting on me. I mean, they were practically falling off and I did not want people to give me strange looks.On top of that, I couldn’t really afford to buy all new clothes!  A flashback came to me of when I had anorexia in college and I got a twisted pleasure out of knowing my clothes were so loose. This was in part because I thought I was fat even though when I started college I weighed only 110 pounds.  I had body dismorphic disorder and felt compelled to starve myself.

The fact that I have come to now realize that I don’t want to lose weight is a testimony to how far I have come in the past 20 years. (wow, has it been that long?)  However, good old ED (the name for eating disorder) is very sneaky and has found his way out of his cage. With an evil laugh, he tries to tell me, “look at that thigh gap you have now, you should keep that and not eat so much.” Or, “you should be happy that you have lost inches in your big belly”.  Ugh.  “Go away, Ed!!”  I yell in my mind.


Sigh…I wish that ED wasn’t the only villain trying to rent a room in my brain.  My main intent is to talk about another enemy; one who has a greater hold on me. 

This is the only time I wish I could build a wall to keep someone out. That “someone” has been torturing me a whole lot more than ED lately.  This “person”, who does not deserve to be my “tenant” is my four-letter- word- enemy. Her name is Eris. Why Eris? Well,  according to Mythology, Eris is the Greek goddess of chaos and discord.  

So the battle is  between Myself, the “goddess” Kellie,  and the evil goddess “Eris”….. or in other words…. OCD. Yes, I was diagnosed with the contamination form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) back in January. It has helped to give my OCD a name. I am not my illness.  My thoughts are not me…..they are sneaky, conniving Eris, trying to ruin my life. 

It is probably fitting that the spelling of  Kellie, means “warrior woman”. I have been in a battle with Eris and will not surrender. At times I wish to wave my white flag and just give up on life. Thankfully, I have fellow warriors in my life who have my back and who love me despite of my setbacks, but who at the same time, encourage me to fight for a better life.

It is hard coming out of the mental health closet. Many people know that I have battled eating disorders. However, hardly anyone knows about my secret struggle. I have an intense fear of germs which has been gradually getting worse over the years. My compulsion is constant hand washing and sanitizing. Imagine the whole world has Ebola and you are in a bubble and cannot touch anything unless you want to get sick too. That is how I feel.  I don’t worry about Ebola necessarily, but I feel like I cannot touch anything; especially not in public, for fear of contamination. I know this sounds crazy, but at least I am not alone.  Many people struggle with it, including Howie Mandel who is famous for his “fist bump” and who openly talks about how OCD affects his life.

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My hand was really red, dry, and cracked for awhile. A result of constant hand washing and using hand sanitizer.

I think the reason it has seemed taboo to talk about OCD is because it is not very well understood. Many of us sufferers feel irritated when we see posts about people making light of the illness, calling it a quirk or laughing saying, “I’m so ocd” when they are really just perfectionists and like to have a clean house or an organized closet. That is nowhere near close to the mental anguish we feel. (and don’t get me started on those Facebook quizzes)

Okay so, now that I got that news out-of-the-way, on to solving the mystery of both my Fibromyalgia coming out of remission, and my very strange, unexplained weight loss.

One theory is that my medication, Sertraline (generic for Zoloft) could be causing it. I read that extreme weight loss is very rare with Zoloft but I guess I could be that one rare case. Lucky me. (Don’t worry, I have told my doctors about all of this and they are monitoring me so we can figure this out.)

 I am not sure about the pain and fatigue. Perhaps the meds triggered the Fibromyalgia to come back??  I personally believe that it’s a result of a culmination of stress; especially the stress of the OCD as it has been pretty severe in the last few months.

 I am seeing a counselor but Exposure Response PreventionTherapy (where for me, I have to touch things and delay hand washing) has been literal hell. It’s worse than stepping on a ton of Legos barefoot in the dark.  Maybe even worse than going without my coffee for a whole day!! It DOES help though….. if I put the work in. In fact, I have made quite a bit of progress! (as much as I hate it, if you yourself have OCD, I highly encourage you to do research on ERP. It is known as the gold standard for OCD treatment.)

The Zoloft seems to help my anxiety however. I have only had one panic attack since I started it.  I used to have them on a regular basis, especially when I worked as a health assistant to the school nurse.  What was I thinking???  I must have been taken over by aliens when I decided to work with sick kids, knowing full well I have a fear of germs. There were days that I was panicking in the car and thought I was going to die. (otherwise, it was a good job)

Here comes the part that is the hardest to share: I quit my job at the end of Feb. after battling suicidal thoughts and depression. One very late night, I was very close to choosing to harm myself.  It was shortly after that, when I knew how badly I needed help and I started on the medication. I used to hate the thought of taking medication but now I feel no shame in it. (and I am so thankful I told my husband and chose not to end my life that night!)


So, what is the point of me telling you all this? Because first of all, I greatly value authenticity.  It’s a huge goal of mine. I want to be honest and transparent. A good coach (or anyone!) is someone who talks about his/her struggles so people know they are not alone. Also,  I want to break the stigma of mental illness.(In fact, May is Mental Health Awareness Month!)  I want people to know there is no shame in talking about it.  It’s just like talking about cancer or diabetes.  It should be natural to discuss openly but society makes it awkward and shameful.  I encourage you to at least talk about it with a friend or family member. We don’t all have to blog about it, but it’s essential to our well-being to let  people know how we are doing (those whom we trust and who love us) so they can support us  the best that they know how, and also, in talking about it,  others know that they, too, can be brave and ask for help.

I used to think I had to have my act together at all times. I worried about what people thought of me. Now I say, “f**k that.” None of us are perfect and we all have a desire to feel accepted and understood. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Support and accountability is important.  Feel free to keep me accountable. (eek!!) And… feel free to reach out to me as well.  I am happy to provide a listening ear if you want to talk about any issues you may have that you feel are keeping you from fully enjoying your life.

 I sometimes think about all I have been through and realize just how much I have survived.  I am a warrior and I will continue to fight for survival.  Will you commit to being more transparent and join forces with other warrior “gods and goddesses” in this battle toward letting go of the stigma and discovering greater Self-Compassion, Love, and Acceptance?  See you on the battlefield. 🙂 

~Kellie M., Body Acceptance Life Coach, Author, and HAES advocate

What is YOUR mental health story?  I’d love to hear from you!  If you feel guided, please comment below.

By the way, here are some important links to check out:

OCD Infohttps://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

Treatment for Eating Disordershttp://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/treatment

Crisis Hotline/suicide prevention: http://www.crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.html

Awesome website about mental health (also talks about chronic illness):  http://themighty.com/category/mental-illness/

“Why I said bye bye to the scales” (Melissa’s story)

 

What is your relationship like with your bathroom scale?  I stopped weighing myself years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have made.  Today I am sharing a story about someone who also said “bye bye” to scales and how she learned to accept her body.  This is Story #2 in my Blog Series where I share inspirational stories of women around the world who have discovered self-love and body acceptance.  Did you miss Story #1 with Lee-Ann?  Read that Here .

Thank you Melissa for sharing your story!! 🙂  (Watch the video or read the story below and be sure to check out her page!)

 

 

 

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Body Acceptance Story #2

Guess what? It’s my anniversary. Not your typical anniversary though. It’s been ONE year since I got on my scales and felt my stomach hit the floor. A feeling I was ready to wave bye-bye to, for good. For me it does not create a positive body image.  It highlighted things I didn’t accept about myself. We all have our body types, our DNA, our genetics –  the things that make us unique. We are what we are.   I am blessed with this body, the three children it’s carried, the breath is gives me to go on about life and build cherished memories. And I’ll never weigh 130 pounds, unless I ate air for my three meals a day!
The final straw for me was when I had gone on a trip to Australia for 5 weeks last summer. I simply adore Australian food, and any overseas expat will tell you that they totally gorge on all the scrumptious things they miss being overseas –  the bakeries, the cheeses, the Cadbury’s chocolate made in Australia. Not to mention the consumption of wine at the constant catch up’s with loved ones.  I also didn’t have access to my usual exercise routine, so working off that gorgeous food went to the wayside. I got home, and right back on my lifestyle program, as I have done for 7 years now and have embedded into my life. I even joined a boot camp on Groupon. Moving along, I worked my butt off for about 2 weeks and got on those scales. It took me days to sike myself up.  I had put on 4 pounds. My heart sunk, tears streamed out of my eyes and I sounded so utterly pathetic to myself. I called my husband in tears. He thought something severely catastrophic must of happened to call him in such a panic. “I put on 4 pounds”. It sounded like such a first world problem. And that’s when I realized it was out of control.
There are times in life where we have an unhealthy relationship with something or someone, and you need to detach yourself from that thing or person. That was the scales for me. It’s not healthy for me, it brings me down, it detracts from the awesomeness in my life.
A year later, and it’s been the best darn year in respect to my body image. It’s a part of how YummoMummo got started. I really wanted to celebrate myself, have fun with myself, highlight what I loved about my body. Celebrate my delicious pear shape.  I started to accept the things I could not change. I’m not a lover of my legs but instead of shaming that, I celebrate ways I can elongate them,  wear what’s right for my body type.

This summer I put a photo of myself on Instagram in my swimsuit. Gasp. I never would of done that in a million years before.

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Here I am sunning myself in Hawaii, on my 39th birthday. I found myself a great bikini for the summer that let me have some fun with a  season  trend (high-waisted bikinis) and suited my body type. I’m loving life!

So here we are, a year later.

On my anniversary.

And a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, pardon the pun!

I appreciate everyone is unique and the scales won’t bring about panic for others that it did me. And I also appreciate that others have a weight loss journey that totally requires scales. My opinion is unique to me and not a reflection on what I think others should do.

It is important for me to maintain my weight. Diabetes is a big factor in my family so I am still very conscious to take care of myself in the present, to avoid future problems. I live by some general routines that are enough for me. I drink mainly water (the rare diet soda), a large portion of my diet are fruit and vegetables, I make sure I get my 8 hours sleep in at night, I go the gym 4 times a week as well as daily habits of walking and biking with the kids. And I go by my clothes. If my skinny jeans are feeling a little tight, I ramp things up a bit and it all evens out again.  As well, for women, there are so many factors that can play with the scales such as your period, hormones, water retention etc.

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So there you have it folks. I hope you can appreciate I have dug a little deeper for you in this post and I hope it inspires you in your own life to change the things you can, and to accept the things you cannot.If you follow me on social media, you would have heard me announce that I am now a Global Ambassador for the Body Image Movement (BIM). I was doing cartwheels in my head when I found out. You will be hearing more about it in a future blog post so stay tuned for that. But the movement is teaching women a lesson we are slowly forgetting – to love ourselves from the inside out, and celebrate our awesomeness. That you are enough!–

Melissa Menzies (YummoMummo)

Fashion Blogger/Wardrobe Stylist
Instagram – @yummomummo
 

the HAES files: is the body mass index a good measure of health?

Hey everyone,

Recently, my husband and children started playing WiiFit on our new, WiiU.  It’s a great exercise program, but what makes me uncomfortable is the focus on BMI.  Now, my husband is overweight, but he is very healthy.  Moreover, the game assumed my husband had a weight loss goal.  He doesn’t.  Yes, he wouldn’t mind losing some weight but his main goal is increasing strength and health.  

So I was going to blog about the fallacies of the BMI (body mass index) but in doing my research, I came across this article (below) and I feel like it shares all the information we need to know! I love the research that is put into this. Bottom line: BMI is bogus and we need to stop using it as a measure of health. Please click on the link to read the full post. Then, please let me know YOUR thoughts in the comments below! 

Health At Every Size® Blog

by Jon Robison, PhD, MS

The BMI is a measure of height and weight – specifically weight divided by height squared. It is the predominate measure by which health professionals and governments determine what is and is not a “healthy weight” for a particular individual, thereby informing them if they are “at risk” for morbidity and premature mortality. In reality, however, BMI is not only not a good measure of health, it is actually not a measure of health at all.

The formula itself was created around 1850 by the brilliant Belgian mathematician, astronomer and statistician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet – and appropriately named The Quetelet Index. Dr. Quetelet was not a health professional and he was not interested in fat or health risk. He was fascinated by the idea of using statistics to draw conclusions about societies – and the “average man.” Some of us will remember…

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Forget Resolutions: 5 tips on loving ourselves instead

So, it’s 2015 and I have mixed feelings about that. I’m sure you have noticed that this is the time of  year when everyone shares their wishes, goals, hopes and dreams; most notably on social media sites.  January is perceived as a new beginning.  A time to wipe the slate clean from the past and start fresh.  A time to forget about all of the crap that may have happened…the missed goals, the weight that wasn’t lost… or that was gained. The relationships that were severed, the new job to get used to, the missed opportunities, the rejections and losses.

We may not have experienced everything that I just listed.  Maybe we had a great year.

Never -the -less, there is always…ALWAYS something that we failed at that we would love to forget.  So we long for a second chance.

However, sometimes life gets in the way and we find ourselves trudging through mud… not really going anywhere. Just stuck. And we blame ourselves. We ask ourselves, “Why can’t I be motivated like everyone else?” My Dad died August 8, 2014.  So of course, I did not have a “great year”.  It was an extremely challenging year for my family.

Now, it’s a new year, but I cannot just wipe the slate clean. I can’t just forget about the loss of my Dad. And that is normal.

What I CAN do is work on myself.  I declare this year to be my year to work on  SELF-LOVE. No, it’s not a resolution.  I don’t care about resolutions. In my mind, they do not work. However, if I were to work on ONE thing, it would be to relax into my being, and show myself, grace, compassion and LOVE.

 

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Let me digress a bit: the reason why I say resolutions don’t work is because they usually go like this:

  • I will lose 20 pounds.
  • I will go to the gym 6 days a week, even when I am tired and/or sick.
  • I will work full time, plus make 7 gourmet meals a week, sew all of my kids clothes AND….volunteer 50 hours a week for the P.T.A.  (okay…. maaaybe that was an exaggeration, :))

And then what happens when we DON’T lose the 20 pounds at the end of the year?  What if we ONLY lose 5 pounds but gain muscle? (read between the lines: gaining strength is a GOOD thing)

Or we “ONLY” cook one delicious meal a week versus 5?  (isn’t that better than nothing?)

Can you see my point?  We beat ourselves up and feel like a failure, all the while forgetting to celebrate what we did accomplish because we wrap our identity up in meeting very specific resolutions.

Now, what about goals instead of resolutions, you may ask? Well, it depends.  Are you being duped by certain experts who say, “Don’t call them resolutions, call them goals!”?  Some are repackaging the wording so as not to scare us off. If we are scared into thinking we have to lose a certain amount of weight by a specific time or eat a certain amount of calories a day to be successful, that to me sounds like just another resolution (and most diets don’t work anyway but that is another blog post).  Healthy goals are realistic, flexible and enjoyable. They can be accomplished in small (weekly is good) baby steps. Ideally, weather or not we meet our goal is not going to make or break us.

Let me clarify:  I do have maybe one or two main goals (not resolutions).  I know what I need to work on, health-wise.  I can  get to bed earlier.  I can add more greens to my diet. I can practice more relaxation techniques.  I can actually use my dehydrator to eat kale chips instead of potato chips,  make interesting chia seed concoctions, religiously drink my greens and twist myself into insane yoga poses.

But my goals are not going to define my year. My goals also do not define how I feel about myself. I am not my goals. We are not the sum of our goals.

We are not ONLY a success if we meet our goals.  

We are not a failure if we DON’T meet our goals.

So… back  to SELF-LOVE.    What if make it to December 2015 and we think, “oh crap, I only exercised twice a week  but my goal was 5?”  So???

Are you happier?   More peaceful?  Do you LOVE yourself more?

We cannot fully be content with our accomplishments until we love ourselves in the HERE AND NOW.

Likewise, we cannot fully be content with our FAILURES until we love ourselves in the HERE AND NOW.

SELF-LOVE is like the foundation of a house.   We can build it up by eliminating junk food and increasing our exercise.  But if we become so consumed with meeting resolutions… or even goals… the “house” will crumble because the foundation wasn’t strong.

You know what?  Last year I didn’t eat as many greens as I “should” have.  I didn’t get enough sleep. I STILL haven’t lost the baby weight in my stomach.  But that is a-okay with me.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my health or about what I look like.

 I am happy with who I am.  I am at peace with the fact that I am doing my best.  And the stomach thing…. well, I am at peace with the fact that I could do all sorts of exercises and it may never be flat.

As long as I desire to FEEL my best… emotionally, physically and spiritually….I will work on taking care of my health and body out of a foundation of self-love.  Meaning, I will not beat myself up if I don’t always meet my goals.

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So what are some tips on increasing our self-love this year?

1.  Find an exercise that you truly love and ENJOY… not because it may help you lose weight, but because it helps you to FEEL good.  As I have alluded to, I love, love, love yoga.  It’s okay if you don’t care for a lot of the popular trends such as Zumba or Cross-Fit…. bottom line is try out different things and then stick with the one that you like the best.  Don’t care to exercise at all?  Walking up and down stairs counts! Or dancing around the house with your kids!  All that matters is that we feel more confident in our body and that when we move , we feel loved instead of punished.

2.  Avoid triggers.  By triggers, I mean know what causes you to start to compare your body or beat yourself up. Does a certain person on Facebook really bug you?   Does he/she post a lot about crazy diets?   Maybe it’s time to “hide” or unfriend. Maybe it’s time to “unlike” certain Facebook pages that tend to fat-shame or body-shame in general.  Do certain commercials make you hate your body? Avert your eyes or fast forward, if possible.  The same goes with magazines (Do we REALLY need that fashion magazine that features women in skimpy outfits? Even some yoga magazines can be triggering with half naked ,skinny ladies doing downward dog at the beach).  Take some time to reflect on what your triggers are.

3.  Discover your “happy place”… or your “Zen Den”.   I wish I was at the beach right now.  That to me, is true bliss.  But it doesn’t have to be our ideal location.  How can we find time to be by ourselves and find that inner bliss?  Maybe it’s meditating in our bedroom. Maybe it’s taking a hike in the Phoenix desert mountains, or taking a walk in the woods, or wherever it is that you live, and reflecting on the nature surrounding you.  Maybe Starbucks is your place of peace.  Right now, I am sitting alone in Starbucks as I write this.  Since I started homeschooling this year, this NEVER happens.  And honestly, it is probably the only reason I am  writing this blog post. (one true goal is to get back into writing more) When we find that place of peace and stillness, we feel more content in our body, can take deep, centering breaths, and we can think about what we are grateful for without distraction. This helps us to feel more love in general… love for others and love for ourselves.

4.  Learn to say “no.”  I know this phrase is soooo over used, but it’s true: “No is a complete sentence.”  It really is okay to say “no”!  Nobody has ever keeled over from letting others down.  And the fact is, we may disappoint people. But that is their problem, not ours.  Stay true to yourself and you will find that you can only truly take care of you.  Eventually, when you put yourself first priority, you will feel greater self-love.

5.  “Know thyself”.  Ultimately, we cannot love what we do not know.  Are you afraid to know who you truly are?  Maybe you were  taught to be someone different. Maybe you were conditioned to behave a certain way so you feel like a robot. Society certainly expects women to act, think and look like clones of each other.  But we are all unique.  Maybe you need to embrace your introverted side.  Or your sensitivity.  I discovered I am a “Hyper-Sensitive Person” and I am sooo relieved to know that I am not alone in how I feel.  I also enjoy taking personality tests.  Myers-Briggs is a good one (I am INFJ) as well as the Enneagram (Type 4’s unite!).   Once you do dig deeper into your personality traits… what bugs you, what lights you up… what motivates you and what discourages you… you can work from there on showing yourself love and compassion for your perceived “weaknesses”.   You will find out that many times what we see as a weakness can actually teach us a lot and help us to live a more authentic and vulnerable life.

Bonus Tip: Along with knowing ourselves… become comfortable with your imperfections.

 Brene Brown wrote an excellent book on this subject called “The Gifts Of Imperfection”.  It’s about really embracing your whole, authentic self. I admit that I am a perfectionist.  I beat myself up for stupid mistakes. I have a fear of what others think so I tend to hold back on truly sharing myself.  My grief has caused me to hold back even more than usual and that I why it has been awhile since I have published a blog post. But trying to be perfect tends to get boring after awhile. Since I know myself and am comfortable with my perceived weaknesses, I can’t keep hiding my passion.  Once we begin to accept the mistakes in life, we learn to love ourselves more.

 So, what do you think?  Which one of these tips can you begin to work on? (remember, baby steps!)

Life truly is a dance.  Two steps forward, three steps back. I have taken about 20 steps back, emotionally.  I am grieving, so I am not beating myself up for that.  Maybe you also have had a stressful year and you feel stuck and discouraged.  Maybe the thought of making a ton of healthy lifestyle changes truly overwhelms or even frightens you.  Maybe when it all boils down to it, you just aren’t ready to eat more greens or exercise.

That is okay.  Repeat after me:

“I am not my goals.  I am love.  I am a unique human being.  And I love myself. ”

This year, even if  I accomplish ONE thing… it will be to show myself greater SELF-LOVE.

 

What about you?  Do you also desire to love yourself more this year?  If so, sound off in the comments!

 

Kellie McGarry

Body Image Coach

(new website! www.mcgarrywellness.org)

Check out my book on Amazon! Beautiful Freedom: a 4 week journey toward radical body-love and passionate living

What Is Mindful Eating? Part One (VIDEO)

Hi everyone!

Recently, I am getting more into doing videos! Disclaimer:  they are not professional videos by any means, but I have to admit, I am having a hard time figuring out some of the technological stuff.  I kept putting videos off until I realized, I should just do the video and not worry about it!

As a Health Coach, I support women to love and respect their body.  From that, many of them want to know how to eat without having to go on a restrictive fad diet.  I love to talk about Mindful Eating because to me, it is one of the most compassionate forms of self-care we can do.  It’s not a diet- it’s a lifestyle.  Some people tout it as a natural way to lose weight, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a weight loss plan, because it’s simply the way that we approach food.  Some people may lose weight practicing this and some may not.  However, it can greatly improve your relationship to food so you can eat the foods that nourish you and not feel guilty!

 

Here is Part One:

 

P.S.- Check out my new work book! It’s for women who are tired of trying to meet society’s unreal expectation and who desire to have the tools to learn to love and accept their body, at any size.  see a sample and learn more about it on Amazon HERE!

Thoughts on Size, Health and Weight Loss

Let’s play a little game.  I’m going to share the stories of two (completely made up) women and you tell me which one you would guess is the healthiest.

 

Sarah Sue is the typical over achiever.  She loves her business but knows that she works too much.  She comes home exhausted, quickly makes dinner with whatever she can find and sometimes brings home fast food because she doesn’t feel like cooking. In fact, she sometimes skips meals because she is so stressed out.  She hasn’t exercised since before her children were born and  at her last doctor’s visit she was shown to have elevated Triglycerides and high blood pressure.  She is obsessed with her body and wishes her thighs didn’t touch.

 

Mary Jane absolutely LOVES her zumba class.  In fact, she is there three times a week.  People always tell her that her smile and positivity is contagious.  She has a green smoothie every morning and usually includes some kind of leafy green veggie at every meal.  She still allows her self to have her favorite dark chocolate bar because she knows if she doesn’t, she may end up binging on sweets.   She enjoys pampering herself and feels great about her body. 

 

“Well, DUH” , you are saying to me.  EASY PEASY, RIGHT???    You are all smart and I know you would  answer “Mary Jane”.

What if I were to tell you that “Sarah Sue”  is  5 foot 2 and only weighs 105 pounds and that “Mary Jane” is 5 foot 4 and  over weight at 200 pounds? (again, this is completely made up) Do you have a different perspective of her now?

Let’s say that both of these women walk into a room.  Would you size them up (like is totally natural for us human beings to do) and observe that “Mary Jane” should lose weight?  Would you assume that Mary Jane is the unhealthy one?  (even if her blood work is awesome?)

This is where things get tricky and why I say that  size alone is not always factor when it comes to health.   I know a few women who eat healthy, exercise and cannot easily lose weight.  Yes, it could be hormone related, but in their case, it is not.   They are just at the weight that their body needs  to be at the time.

We cannot determine who is healthy and who is not merely by observation.

So, you may ask, “What about all those people who are over weight and eat junk food all the time? Surely they need to lose weight, right?”   That’s like saying A = C.     I would say that it would be good if they could eat healthier, which may result in weight loss.  But losing weight is not the factor here.  Taking care of our body by feeding it the foods it needs to be healthy and strong is the key.   Instead I suggest we  say, “I need to eat healthier” versus “I need to lose weight.”

Let me make this clear:  I am not totally against weight loss.  If someone sheds their weight as a result of healthy eating, and from that, has more energy, improves her health, feels great about her body, AND is able to KEEP it off for GOOD…. then it’s totally worth it.

My concern is regarding the women who have tried and tried to lose weight and it’s just not working for them, even though they are doing all the “right things”. This can result in a feeling of failure,  low self-esteem and hating their body even more which just results in more self-sabotage.

The fact of the matter is that most of the time, diets (as in a restrictive weight loss plan)  just don’t work. 

Let’s go back to my two examples.  Sarah Sue hated her body while Mary Jane loved hers.  Yes, it is possible to love your body, no matter WHAT your size.  I have seen it start to happen in many of my clients.  When we love our body, we are not as concerned about weight loss, but on taking care of it, which can include healthy eating, self-care (me time), enjoyable exercise, and sleep. Making peace with our body is an awesome goal.

 

Even if it means not losing a single pound. 

 

Photo on 4-17-14 at 11.34 AM #2

 

*(For more reading on this subject,  specifically why diets don’t work, I highly encourage you to get hold of the book, “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon. )*

 

and just for fun…. here is a “cat photo bomb” LOL

Photo on 4-17-14 at 11.34 AM

love and blessings,

Kellie McGarry, CHC

Nourished and New

www.nourishedandnew.com

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p.s.– I am  SO excited  to be named a Top 10 Finalist for Mom Entrepreneur of the Year! (through the Mom e- Club)  Very soon, I will need your VOTES so I can be named the Finalist! Results will be determined at the Mom e-Club Celebration in Phoenix, on Wed. May 7th.  Please visit THIS link to watch my short, 2 minute video and VOTE! THANKS!!

 

http://www.mom-eclub.com/2014_KellieMcGarry.asp

 

MomE_TopTen14_LOGO

 

 

No Joke: 6 ways the diet industry tries to fool us

Being that today is April 1st- April Fool’s Day- it seems fitting that I talk about ways in which women (and men) have been fooled.  Don’t worry- I am not the person pulling the pranks– it’s doctors, the media, photographers, etc. 

We are  tricked into thinking that diets actually help with weight loss.  We are tricked into thinking that it’s super easy to just “bounce back” from pregnancy.  We are tricked into thinking that models  have flawless skin and thigh gaps.

Thankfully, there has been an awareness recently.  More and more articles are popping up about what is being portrayed to women. Our eyes are being opened.

However, I want to zero in on the huge Diet Industry and they way they capitalize on women’s insecurities.  We may know in our head that diets don’t work.  We may have tried 50 different diets and have gained the weight back– yet we still go back to the familiarity of a 1200 calorie diet, gross shakes, and constant weighing.  Why??   We feel desperate and don’t think there is any other answer.

Did you know? 108 million people are on diets in a given year – with 4-5 attempts per year. (Source)

Studies show that only 3-5% of those who go on a diet actually keep the weight off.  My guess is they are still starving themselves.

Why is the percentage so small?  The answer may surprise you.  Please know: It’s NOT your fault.  We are NOT gaining the weight back due to lack of will power.  We are NOT gaining it back because of a “problem” with food.  We are gaining it back because our body was just not meant to lose large amounts of weight for a long period of time! We’ve been duped by the Diet Industry!

I am still learning about all of the science behind this as I read the book “Health At Every Size” by Linda Bacon.  I am already a full supporter of this philosophy.  Read more about it here.  It’s a philosophy that is weight neutral.  We can be larger and fit or skinny and unhealthy.

ID-10055409http://www.freedigitalphots.net/source Grant Cochrane

 

Here are some ways that the Diet Industry tries to trick us:

1. “Dieting is easy.” There is nothing “easy” about restricting our caloric intake, unless you are one of those rare, super disciplined people.  However, most gain their weight back because they start to feel too hungry (a normal response)  which then could trigger a binge.

2. “Dieting is sustainable.” If 97% of those who diet gain their weight back within a year, then clearly dieting does not last. I just don’t see how consuming 1200 calories a day is sustainable.  Our bodies are meant to hold onto fat if seems to be starving. This worked in the cave man days.  But we have not evolved past this point to be able to handle losing large amounts of weight without messing up our system.

3. “Dieting is pleasurable.” Sure, healthy food tastes great. We can certainly find delicious salads, or yummy ways to cook vegetables, but many times people will think that they have to eat food that they don’t care for, in order to lose weight or just because whoever expert they are following told them to eat it.   We should feel a sense of pleasure when we eat.  We also tend to feel guilty when dieting and happen to eat something on our “bad” list. This is no way to live.

4. “Dieting will help you to get to the root of your emotional problems with eating.”  Actually, diets don’t really claim this but many of us think this way.  We think that healthy eating will solve all of our problems.  This is another reason why there are so many yo-yo dieters. They never took the time to dig into  their own relationship with food; why they crave certain foods or what causes them to have those binge episodes.  Good health is not just about what we eat, but also learning to deal with our stress and emotions, as well as how we feel about ourselves and our body.

5. “Dieting is healthy.”  Sure, eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but ONLY eating them may not be if it means losing out on important nutrients from other foods, or if it means you are putting your body in starvation mode.  Also, many weight loss programs have food products to buy… they consist of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and a lot of times, soy (which in large doses could mess with our hormones).  Doesn’t sound too healthy to me, even if it does cause temporary weight loss.

6. “Dieting is safe.”  “One report shows most Americans — 64 percent — think the government requires warnings about side effects on weight loss products. It doesn’t. And most — 54 percent — think the products are approved for safety by the FDA. They’re not. ” (source) Diet pills are included in “weight loss products” They can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke, can cause you to become dehydrated and cause you to become addicted.

It’s time for a different approach which does not include weight loss, but healthy and intuitive eating.

When it all boils down to it– what is your focus?  Weight loss or Health?  Restriction or Pleasure?

I challenge you to challenge your SELF on how you REALLY feel about dieting. What is your motivation?  And most importantly, are you comfortable in your own skin?  If you were able to be super healthy and still not lose weight will you be okay with that?

I DO believe that weight loss is possible without going on a typical diet.  Using our intuition when it comes to food and trusting our body is the key.

To Body Love,

Health Coach Kellie

p.s.- NO JOKE!! : Today ONLY I am offering a FREE, initial Breakthrough Session– can be scheduled for any time in April, but MUST be booked today! The Breakthrough Session lasts one hour and can be done by phone or in person. It’s a way to get to know each other, and to explore the ways your thoughts may be holding  you back from living the life you have dreamed about.  Email me at healthcoachkellie@gmail.com to schedule or to learn more! 🙂

 

 

 *Health At Every Size is a registered trademark of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and is used with permission.

5 Tips for Busy Moms on Slowing Down and Savoring Your Food

Take a moment to think about your absolute favorite food.  Close your eyes and imagine you are eating it. Okay, open your eyes now so you can read this blog, lol.

I bet you can taste it in your mind, right?  Now think about the texture of the food.  Is it creamy? Crunchy? Now imagine feeling peaceful after eating it.  You are totally satisfied because you ate exactly what your body needed.

Was that difficult to do?  Imagine if we actually did that while eating our food.  If we slowed down and really savored the taste of our food.  If we paid attention to what our body is telling us and stopped when we feel satisfied.  If after we eat, we  felt grateful for the food instead of guilty for eating it.

What I just described is what experts call, Mindful Eating.

Mindful Eating is certainly not a new trend.  Before Fast Food restaurants and TV dinners, I’m sure it was much easier to sit down, slow down, and savor our food (hey, the “3 S’s!).

Now is the time where I may start to lose some people.  You may be thinking, “yeah right…this is the real world. I can’t always slow down with my food.”  Or, “I am not sure that I would even know when I am ready to stop eating.”

Those are both valid points.  To which I would say, it just takes PRACTICE.  Like with anything, if we condition our body and mind to think/behave a certain way, it’s not going to change over night.  Just like with exercising to increase strength, we need to “exercise” our mind by forming a new ritual, so to speak.

Before I go on, let me clarify what Mindful Eating Is and what it is NOT.

Mindful Eating Is:

1. A way of life

2. For every one- even kids!

3. Dependent on your own body wisdom (not the latest diet guru)

4. About providing a PLEASURABLE experience with food

Mindful Eating is NOT:

1. A typical “diet”

2. only for Buddhists

3. an excuse to eat whatever the heck you want all the time

4. a weight loss plan (though some have used it to aid in weight loss)

Mindful Eating is..

So what are some quick tips for busy moms (and anyone really!) to incorporate Mindful Eating into their lives?

1. Sit down and eat with your family as often as possible (I know, sports events make it hard.  Start off with even just 2 or 3 times during the week)

2. Take 3 deep breaths before eating.

3. Even if you are not the praying type, it helps to say a word of gratitude toward the food you will be eating.

4. Pause to take deep breaths BETWEEN bites.

5.  Half way through your meal, pause and ask yourself how full you are from a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being stuffed and 5 being ravenous.  The aim is to stop at a 1, 2, or 3, depending on what our body needs.  Will you always be using a rating system the rest of your life?  No, of course not, but this is a good tool to get you into the habit of paying attention to your body.

The bonus? This is a good example for your KIDS to follow as well!  In fact, I wrote an article about teaching mindful eating to kids (last year) click HERE to read that one.

Still feeling overwhelmed?  As a Holistic Health Coach,  I can personally guide you and give you the tools to be able to start paying better attention to your body, so you can find a peaceful relationship with food.  Click here to learn more and to sign up for a Breakthrough Session! ($37).

In Peace,

Kellie McGarry

www.nourishedandnew.com

Step OUT of the Beauty Box!

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Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” Deepak Chopra

I’m sure most, if not all of you have heard or read quotes on getting rid of our box.  Throwing away expectations from society, breaking the status quo, expanding our belief system, trusting our intuition and expanding our consciousness versus shrinking into a mold; these are all ways to get rid of our box.

We get rid of a box when we break free from perfectionism.  When we start our own business. When we challenge the institution.  I know I opened up a whole new world when my husband and I left the institutional church and the pastoral ministry all in one.  We let go of the religious box and expanded our spiritual awareness.

What about the BEAUTY box?  What does that mean?

Do you feel that the only answer is to keep dieting just because it’s all that you know?  Do you measure your worth by whether or not you feel sexy?

Studies show that 90% of women hate their body.  NOT a surprise.  We are constantly being bombarded with unrealistic images from the media and the standards just keep getting more and more ridiculous.   Not only that, but it seems almost the norm to get plastic surgery to “fix” perceived “flaws”.  But that does not get to the root of the issue- which is letting GO of impossible standards and learning to LOVE AND ACCEPT ourselves.  We need to get rid of the box that says that this is how it is and always was, therefore, I need to stay in my comfortable spot and follow the herd of shame-filled dieters and depressed disordered eaters.   Staying in the Beauty Box gets us absolutely NOWHERE.

I am living proof that there is a wonderful, passionate LIFE outside of this box.   I know letting go of our story, of our identity on why we need to do this or that to feel good about ourselves, can be SCARY AS HELL.   As a person who had an eating disorder, saying “good-bye” to “ED” is like cutting off a part of ourselves because for a while, it’s all that we know.  It’s who we are.  It’s comfortable in our box…. OR IS IT, REALLY?

It’s not fun to be constantly comparing ourselves, to eat food that is horrible in the name of healthy eating, to bombard our mind a hundred times a day with thoughts of “I’m too fat. I”m not good enough.  I am not sexy enough.”  It’s EXHAUSTING and not what life is meant to be like for us.

If we at least take that first step OUT of the box, we will begin to see that the Universe WANTS us to be joyful and confident and successful.  However,  those feelings do not come from staying in the box.

So to sum up, what are some ways that we stay in

our own BEAUTY BOX?

  • January comes and we feel obligated to start a new diet or cleanse in the name of weight loss (and because everyone else is doing it)
  • We think that plastic surgery is the answer to fixing our “flaws”.
  • We make our health goals based on what other people say we should do vs. our own intuition
  • We eat food that we don’t like (think fat-free) in the name of health.
  • We exercise, not to feel good, but to burn off what we ate.
  • We make a number on a scale part of our worth as an individual.
  • We base our wardrobe not on our own personality and style, but either on the latest celebrity fashion OR on what hides certain parts of our body that we don’t like.
  • We have fallen into the trap of assuming that fat people are ugly, lazy, dumb and unhealthy.
  • We think that sexy means a flat ab, nice round butt, huge boobs (or even a boob job) and stick pole legs.
  • We spend more time comparing than we do loving.
  • We feel that declaring that “I Am Beautiful” is self-centered.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  These are all LIES that we bought into and they are keeping us confined to our box.

So are you ready to step out of your box?  TAKE A DEEP BREATH.  And know it just takes that ONE step.. that ONE  positive thought to reframe  your mindset and that ONE encouraging word of support to get you started on a journey of SELF-LOVE!

If YOU struggle with letting go of the box and want to learn HOW to reframe your mind and LOVE YOURSELF MORE, please consider joining my *new* online group program called Beautiful Freedom! Please visit this link for more information!

To RADICAL , “box- free living”

Kellie

Certified Holistic Health Coach

“Body Love Specialist”