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3 Things Every Kid Should Hear Growing Up

 

My experience around young children is almost invariably the same: a precious blend of candour, light-heartedness, playfulness, curiosity and humour. Childhood is a beautiful thing, so much so that embracing our “inner child’ has become a buzz phrase in the wellbeing community. But that’s not the phrase I had in mind when writing this article.

As innate as these qualities are to children, they are also influenced by the type of interactions we, caring adults, create. Now let’s be crystal clear and get this one out of the way: I know every single person reading this article cares immensely for the happiness of their child and would NEVER consciously do anything that could jeopardise their wellbeing.

And yet, a big chunk of my childhood does not exactly match my previous description. My parents showered me with love and attention; I was curious and playful but the one thing I wasn’t was carefree. I became self-conscious about my weight at the age of 5 as well intentioned grown ups in my circles started to take an interest in my weight. It would usually go like this, “she has such a pretty face, shame she is so chubby” or “she would be so beautiful if she lost weight”. In fact, I even found a baby video of me where you can clearly hear someone in the background commenting on how I was “drinking milk like a glutton” with everyone chuckling in response. They were just joking, no big deal, right? Maybe not on its own, but there was more where that came from…

I was put on my first diet when I was 8. That diet was followed by many more which eventually led to almost two decades of rock-bottom self-worth and various eating disorders. Both my teens and early twenties were marked by my desperate attempts to feel validated, especially by those closest to me. I would have done anything to feel beautiful in their eyes.

I wish I could tell my younger self what I know today and here is what I would say:

  1. You are enough

Because their enoughness is non-negotiable. Because they are worthy beyond measure, regardless of how they look, how they do in school or what people think of them. Because they are beautiful and beauty is so much more than a face or a body. No “but”.

  1. I believe in you

Life inevitably gets confusing, complicated, and sometimes a little scary. Cheering for children from a young age, praising both effort and achievement, is paramount to helping them build a healthy sense of self. You may think it’s obvious but with so much criticism out there, it’s not always that simple. So say it, tell them you believe in them, you can never say it too much.

  1. I love you

Of course, you do. Of course, it’s unconditional. But again, they need to feel it, see it and hear it. Let them know that they are loveable, remind them as often as necessary, especially when things get rocky in their life.

Our words have an impact and while nobody is perfect, let us try our best, one day at a time, to empower the children around us by what we choose to say to them and to ourselves in their presence.

How to Stop Binge Eating on Weekends

Binge Eating

What is binge eating?

Binge eating is the act of consuming excessive food that is not driven by hunger. It usually involves:

– Overeating
– Feeling uncomfortably full
– Guilt
– Helplessness
– Disappointment
– Frustration

The food chosen for a binge usually involves foods that are banned from our Monday to Friday diets.

Why do we binge?

If you have a history of dieting or struggling with food, you have probably developed some “all-or-nothing” ways of thinking about food (and your body).
The problem with extremes is that:

  • you’re on a diet or you’re overindulging
  • you’re doing really well or going off track
  • you’re obsessing over the food you can’t have or feeling guilty about the food you did have

What’s the deal with weekends?

It’s the weekend you’ve been sooo good this week, you deserve a treat! Right?
Except that somehow something snaps in your head and your “cheat meal” turns into a “cheat weekend”.

You feel full and order dessert because you might as well go all out. But guilt, just like revenge, is a dish best served cold!

WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?

You vow to get back on track on Monday, you will be the poster child of HEALTHY! You’ll be so good…Until it happens again.

BUT you can stop this cycle in 3 simple steps

Step 1: Keep it real

So you worry about your weight and have a history of dieting.
You don’t quite understand why you can’t seem to shift the excess weight, you eat healthy! Well, that is Monday to Friday.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but a week of healthy eating can be wrecked before Sunday evening.
Oh, and remember what your mood is like after bingeing episodes? Yeah…So much for enjoying the weekend.

Step 2: Change your self-talk

What you tell yourself matters: Stop telling yourself that you are being “bad”, “naughty”, etc when you’re eating something indulgent. The guilt will make you eat even more!

Ditch the “I might as well” mentality: Those four words can wreck havoc on all your hard work. It’s the equivalent of eating because you ate. It’s what will send you on a bingeing spiral that can last for DAYS!

Step 3: Eat like a normal person

Start the weekend with exercise
Research shows that we are less likely to crave junk food when high on happiness hormones

Eat what you actually fancy
Whatever it is but STOP the moment you’re full. Food is not going anywhere and nor are you!

Be party smart
Party like a rockstar but eat beforehand, match every drink with water and…if your booze self-discipline needs a little boost, plan a workout with a friend for the next day.

Interview with Mark Leruste: How to Overcome Emotional Eating

How do you overcome Emotional Eating?

As many of you know, I believe with all my heart that when we feel good, we do good. Emotional eating, comfort eating, stress eating are more common than you think and the effects can be devastating on our overall sense of wellbeing.

This is something I have personally experienced for over a decade. Heck, I wrote an entire book on the topic so when fellow coach Mark Leruste invited me on his podcast, The Unconventionalists, I was beyond excited!

Mark also knows what it feels like to grab comfort food when feeling like crap. And then feel even worse off for it… It’s a vicious circle, right?

So how do you get out of the habit of reaching out for food instead of dealing with your emotions? Especially when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re under a lot of stress?

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why there’s so much shame around emotional eating
  • How to deal with information overload on what you should and shouldn’t eat
  • Why we get hangry
  • How to get out of the vicious circle of emotional eating
  • Tips to deal with living with a partner who eats differently

Don’t have time to listen? Here are some key markers to jump to specific sections

On emotional eating and finding balance

  • I used food both as a punishment and as a comfort throughout the years. It wasn’t ever just one or the other. The lines are very blurred. It’s the same logic as do you exercise to feel good, to feel strong because you love the endorphins, because you love the community or do you exercise to punish yourself because you ate something. [11.59]
  • We’re all hungry for realness. [14:08]
  • This isn’t about eradicating any sort of food that’s not deemed super healthy, but I fine tune. [10:00]
  • I think we’ve forgotten how to connect with our bodies… It’s very clear when you eat something that doesn’t sit well with you… Start there, notice how you feel after each meal. [14:51]

Stop comparing. What works for me will not work for you. [15:39]

On how entrepreneurs can manage their eating habits

  • It’s about anticipating the challenges you’re going to have… The key is to plan ahead of time – if you have ten minutes, maybe you just want to go for a walk. Maybe you want to have a check in with another friend in the similar situation. [20:42]
  • I’m strict about my self-care but I’m flexible about how I achieve it. [22:24]
  • The first thing to realise is this dynamic you’re in didn’t happen overnight… Just start with very small tweaks – make a deal with yourself, this isn’t going to happen overnight. Introduce very small tweaks – pledge to yourself that every day at lunchtime, you’re going to make an effort to move your body. [27:09]

On intuitive eating

  • You can trust your body to know what it needs and you don’t need to be controlling what you’re eating all the time otherwise you’d go crazy. [33:10]
  • Eat what you want to eat. I often don’t eat the same things as my husband… whatever  it is it doesn’t matter. I look at it like: you like vanilla, I like strawberry – it’s not a big deal. [36:11]