A decade ago I was broke, alone, and on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. I had spent years abusing my body with alcohol, cigarettes, and food, and even though I DESPERATELY wanted to change, nothing would stick. I felt like I was sinking in unhealthy quicksand. And I was scared.
Now it’s over 10 years later and not only is my life bigger and better than I ever thought possible, but I also help other women build happy and healthy lives they love. A-mazing!
Is my life perfect? Nope. Do I still struggle? Absolutely. But what I’ve learned has changed the way I live—and I can’t wait to share it with you in my Smaller Size Bigger Life online coaching program.
YOU deserve a healthy and happy life too… we all do.
Here are my top three life-changing tips. Once I started doing these three simple things on a consistent basis I was able to stop running around in self-destructive circles and to (FINALLY) start healing.
1. Do the inner work
My inner dialogue used to be seriously critical. I was habitually beating myself up for, well, everything! For my many mistakes (big and small), for my failed marriage, for not being a better daughter, for not taking better care of myself, for not accomplishing more—my list of perceived flaws and failures was endless.
But here’s what I learned: When you put your attention on what you hate about yourself and your life, you just create more feelings of fear and anxiety. And this keeps you stuck in patterns of self-sabotage.
Harmful Thoughts = Bad Feelings = Harmful Choices
Once I became aware of my inner-critic and I replaced my attack thoughts with healing and helpful thoughts instead (learn how here and here) it changed, well, everything! I stopped looking for outside approval and instead I looked inward for answers. I learned how to forgive myself, how to release my mountains of guilt and shame, and how to heal and deal in a much better way.
Bottomline: Transform your thoughts and you will transform your life.
2. Focus on the good
I think appreciation is one of the most powerful (and most overlooked) tools for living a happy life. During my darkest days (and per Oprah’s suggestion) I started a gratitude practice.
When I first woke up I would take five minutes to make a mental list of… 1) all the things I was thankful for (my supportive friends, my comfortable bed, my cozy apartment where I felt safe, my healthy eyes that let me read, my wonderful sisters, a new day to try to make positive changes, etc.) and… 2) all the things I appreciated about myself (I’m a loyal friend, a good listener, I make people feel comfortable, I like my loud laugh, etc.).
I’d list as many things as I could think of. It was pretty difficult at first—but once I got on a roll it was easy, peasy. This daily practice not only helped me get out of bed in the morning (it was struggle back then, most days I just wanted to stay in bed and hide), it actually made me feel optimistic about my life.
I’m not suggesting we deny or avoid the challenges in our life, not at all. But we also don’t have to incessantly complain and obsess about the bad stuff. When you focus your attention on what you DO want and on what is already good in your life, you create feelings of hope and possibility. And this moves you forward in positive ways.
Helpful Thoughts = Good Feelings = Helpful Choices
So starting today (yes, today) notice the many blessings you have in your life right now and all that you have to be grateful for. Look for the good, really search for it, and I promise you will find it.
Also start highlighting and appreciating all the things that make you so uniquely and wonderfully you. Recognize that you are SO much more than your body. Self-appreciation is really one of the easiest ways to begin healing your relationship with yourself.
My morning gratitude practice has lasted over a decade. Even on the really bad days (we all have them!), I consciously look for the good. Try it and see how you feel. (Today on Facebook I’m giving away 2 FREE See Countless Blessings Motto Gratitude Journals, wahoo! Click here to enter to win.)
3. Invest in yourself
Over the past ten years I’ve worked with life coaches, business coaches, intuitive coaches, and a wonderful therapist. A few months ago I even went to a shaman (no kidding!). I’ve taken dozens of online courses, read countless personal development books, and attended a ton of wellness events.
I purposely find mentors, coaches, and like-minded people to support me on my healing journey. And you should too. None of us should do it alone!
For example, if you think you might have food sensitivities or allergies, work with a dietitian who specializes in digestive wellness (Danielle Omar is an awesome choice, contact her here). If you want to learn how to prepare healthy meals, look for a cooking class in your area. If you’re ready to move your body for joy instead of punishment (ummm yes please!) check out Shrink Session by Erin Stutland (find out more here).
And if you struggle with emotional eating, compulsive overeating, or body image issues and you want to learn how to lose weight from a place of love instead of fear, please join my Smaller Size Bigger Life group coaching program (you can hop on the waitlist here) launching this fall.
No one is going to treat you better than you treat yourself. So please take back your power and invest in yourself and your happiness.
In the comments below I’d love to hear from you. Are you ready to take back your power and invest in your health and happiness? I’m here to support you and cheer you on!
When women come to me to lose weight they’re usually full of fear.
They fear that their bodies are broken. They fear that they’ll be stuck in a body they hate forever. They fear that they’ll have to give up all their favorite foods to lose weight. They fear that happiness is just not in the cards for them.
Some women fear failure, while others fear success.
All of them fear that they’re just not good enough. I have that fear too. We all do! And while the “not good enough” fear is actually quite normal, letting it stop you from reaching your goals is a tragedy.
Breaking free from the fears that are blocking your success is a critical part of my Smaller Size Bigger Life weight loss program.
But an easy and fast way to begin releasing your fears (and your weight!) is with simple daily acts of self-kindness.
Sure, diet and exercise is an important part of weight loss and healthy living, but learning to love yourself (not 20, 30, or 100 pounds from now, but right now) is just as important. Here’s why…
What you focus on expands. Self-care is showing up for yourself with love and kindness on a moment-to-moment basis. And the more you act like you’re worth it (and YOU are so worth it), the more you enhance your self esteem, the more your fears subside, and the more you feel driven to care for yourself.
More joy means less emotional eating. The more you fill your life with fun, self-care, and joy, the less you’ll need to fill up on food for emotional fulfillment.
Less stress equals less weight. Stress has a huge (and I mean HUGE) impact on your health and your weight. Among other things stress slows your metabolism, intensifies cravings, and increases abdominal fat storage. So as daily joy increases, stress decreases, your body relaxes… and you lose weight.
One of my lovely readers emailed me that this is her self-appointed “Summer of Self.” I LOVE that! And I think we should all join her.
Here are 20 easy, breezy ways to live like you love yourself this summer…
1. Buy yourself fresh flowers. This is a totally affordable and uplifting way to show up for yourself.
2. While you’re brushing your teeth think of two things you really like about yourself. Are you generous? Do you have beautiful hair? Maybe you’re an awesome listener. Try to come up with different ideas each day.
3. Use healing affirmations to focus your mind. Learn how here. Nothing will make you feel better faster, seriously.
4. Get outside and reconnect with nature. Even just ten minutes on a park bench or in a garden will sooth your spirit.
5. Drink lots and lots of water.
6. Listen to calming chant music while you cook, fold laundry, or do other house chores – check out my favorite chant CD here.
7. While taking your morning shower think about the kind of day you’d like to have. Try picking a positive word or an affirmation for each day.
8. Take two minutes and write down three things you’re thankful for today. I love this simple and modern gratitude journal.
9. Take a long, luxurious bath. Use candles, fluffy towels, relaxing music, and bath salts – the whole shebang. This is my favorite de-stresser ever.
10. Start your day with a delicious and nourishing green smoothie. You’ll find tons of recipes here.
11. Indulge in a “beach read.” Forget the heady and heavy stuff and just pick up something light and uplifting.
12. Have a cup tea while listening to rainy mood and reading said indulgent beach read. Heaven.
13. Tune-in to FREE Hay House Radio. My absolute favorite show is Coach On Call with Cheryl Richardson. (Pssst, I’m giving away Cheryl’s audio book The Art Extreme Self Care on Facebook – go here to enter to win!)
14. Notice and celebrate your small successes. Keep a daily success journal (here’s a good one) to help you stay focused on all the things you’re doing right.
16. Quiet your mind. Even just five minutes a day makes a big difference. Try the guided imagery techniques in this fantastic (and free!) MP3.
17. Say no if you’re just not in the mood to go out to lunch, grab a drink, or have people over. Take time for yourself when you need it.
18. Visit your local farmers market and load your fridge with seasonal fruits and veggies. If you keep good food in the kitchen, you’ll eat good food. Need some new recipe ideas? Search the massive Skinnytaste database here.
19. Take five deep breathes before you start eating. Life changing.
20. Pull up a happy memory and take five minute to relive it. Go through the feelings you experienced and the details of that moment.
Often we think we can’t be happy until we lose weight. But we have it all backwards – concentrate on being happy and kind to yourself right now, right here in this moment, and the pounds will naturally start to melt away. Try it and see what happens.
I’m curious, what are your biggest weight loss fears or negative thoughts? And how can you start showing up for yourself right now? I’d love to hear from you!
Tons of love,
P.S. Smaller Size Bigger Life is an online weight loss program for women that focuses on freedom and flow instead of diets (ugh) and deprivation (no thank you!). You can jump on the waitlist here.
Smaller Size Bigger Life is meant for women who are ready to make serious changes in their life. If you’re looking for a fast-fix or the latest fad diet, this is not the program for you.
But if you want lasting weight loss, a healthy lifestyle, and freedom from your food demons—if you’re ready to get real about your weight issues—I can help.
Women who are healthy and happy are better partners, mothers, and friends, and they influence and empower other women to lead healthier lives. Women are also natural communicators, and a woman who is free from her food and weight fears, is free to spread love in the world. She is able to become more of who she really is, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
And believe me, this BIGGER life in a smaller size is 100% possible for you.