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Month: August 2020

anti-diet culture

How to Quiet the Noise of Diet Culture and Tune In to Your Body

As a nutritionist, I get a lot of questions about diet culture – what the perfect diet is and what I think about the latest fad diet. My answer is always the same and you can scroll to the end of this post to read it (psst it’s probably not what you think).

Now, first of all, I just want to say that I get it. It’s tempting to seek out that quick fix or meal plan that will get you to your goals ASAP. And to think that the secret to being healthy is about eating perfectly and achieving your ideal pant size. I know this because I too used to have these thoughts.

I used to believe that if I knew all of the secrets to healthy eating – the best diet, the right portions, which oils to use – I’d reach my ideal weight, balance my hormones, glow from the inside out and be the best version of myself.

Through a variety of diets, obsessing about weight and learning more about nutrition I only seemed to be moving further away from the calm, glowing image that I was trying to achieve. Basically, I was stuck in diet culture!

Diet Culture Defined

If you haven’t heard about diet culture yet, I recommend checking out this blog post by Christy Harrison. Christy is a Registered Dietitian devoted to dismantling diet culture, which she defines as a system of beliefs that worships thinness and equates it to health and moral value. Diet culture isn’t necessarily about being on a specific diet, but rather caught up in the culture of dieting and putting massive amounts of energy into shrinking your body.

Freeing yourself from diet culture and eating more intuitively doesn’t mean that you’re “giving up on yourself”. Instead it’s about fostering a healthy relationship to food. And creating space for both the salads and the brownies. It’s about not letting a number on the scale determine your mood for the day, but instead choosing an outfit that your current body feels good in. And most importantly, it’s about creating a nourishing life for yourself that you actually enjoy.

Shifting away from diet culture takes a lot of time and effort because its messages are everywhere! I want to share five strategies that I use on a daily basis to quiet the noise of diet culture and actually tune into my own body.

1. Bring awareness to the grasp that diet culture has on you and your goals.

Recognizing and acknowledging diet culture is the first step to dismantling it in your own life. I recommend doing some exploration by reading and listening to a few experts on the topic. Here are some resources to help you get started:

2. Quit the numbers game

Diet culture tells us that we must shrink our bodies in order to be worthy and beautiful. However, fixating on weight will only lead you further away from tuning into your body’s needs. If you’re in the habit of weighing yourself daily or even weekly, I recommend taking a break — or better yet, throw out the scale altogether.

There are countless factors that come into play with weight from water retention to where you’re at in your cycle to the time of day you weighed in. So why let the number on the scale dictate your perceived success? Instead, create a habit of noticing how you feel in the morning and making a mental note of how you’d like to feel.

For example, if you wake up feeling bloated and sluggish, make a choice to start your day with a large glass of water, a walk and a healthy breakfast. My guess is that you’ll continue into your day feeling a whole lot better than if you would have just hopped on the scale.

3. Less judgment more curiosity

When it comes to changing your habits around food and leaning into a healthier and more intuitive way of eating, it’s all about putting your detective hat on and getting curious! Diets tell us to follow a strict plan and ignore our hunger cues and cravings. Then when we eventually feel deprived and binge, we feel guilt and shame. And the cycle goes on and on!

But what if instead we got curious about these cues and cravings and observed them without judgment? Take notice of your stress levels, your eating environment and what’s going on in your week. And then take action to nurture yourself. To get started, choose a mantra to go back to whenever you’re feeling guilt and shame about food:

I listen to my body and respond to its needs.
I choose to eat foods that will nourish my mind, body and spirit.
I allow myself to indulge without guilt.
I am in charge of what I put in my body

4. Determine your true food joys

Another reminder for you that dismantling diet culture is NOT about giving up on your health and wellness goals. It doesn’t mean that you should only eat pizza and candy bars. Or that salads are off the table forever. Establishing a healthy relationship to food is all about finding balance and discovering the foods that truly bring you joy and pleasure. And creating space for them!

So grab a pen and paper and brainstorm the foods that you consider to be your favorite indulgences. For me, fresh homemade bread, chocolate chip cookies, and dark chocolate will always have a place in my diet. But everyone is different! Truly think about what YOU love and make room for those things. This way you won’t feel deprived and tempted to grab the donut just because it’s there.

5. Create a habit of showing up for yourself

Ok, lean in because this is the KEY to it all. Making room for non-negotiable healthy habits on a daily basis is so important for creating lasting changes in your health and well-being. It all starts with recognizing diet culture and becoming more curious about your eating habits. However, without the daily practices of feeding yourself well, tuning in to your body and speaking to yourself with compassion and care, nothing will change. I recommend starting with one small shift at a time and slowing build up.

Here are a few ideas to try out:

  • Take 3 deep breaths before each meal
  • Cook 1 new recipe each week
  • Practice enjoying your favorite indulgence without guilt
  • Start each day with a 20-minute walk

Circling back to my promise to share my thoughts on *the perfect diet.*

Eating well is all about finding what truly works for you and your body. Eating foods that bring you joy and energize you. Being present at meals. I also believe that a healthy diet should flow into all aspects of life – how you connect with others, how you talk to yourself, how you feel in your body, and most importantly, how you show up in your life. I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this and invite you to comment below with one way that you’d like to quiet the noise of diet culture in your own life.

If you’re excited to start moving away from diet culture and are looking for some inspiration in creating colorful, nourishing meals that you are actually excited to eat, you can follow me over on Instagram @the.wildflower.kitchen or sign up for my newsletter here.

Need help tuning in to your body? Download these journal prompts to rediscover your definition of nourishment!


Chelsea Fechtner is a Certified Nutritionist with a Master of Science in Nutrition who is on a mission to help the nurturers of the world learn to prioritize their own nourishment, one cozy home-cooked meal at a time!

energetic hygiene tools

What Is Energetic Hygiene?

The Basics

Energetic Hygiene is becoming aware of your energy field and developing a practice to tend to your energy. All living things have an energy field, and how we interact with this energy determines the quality of that vital life force that flows internally and externally. Most of us can’t see our own or other’s surrounding energy fields, but we can feel them.

There are several energetic layers in an energy field, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual layers, which can also be referred to as energy centers. Each of these layers holds information, experiences, and energetic imprints. These energy centers transmit energetic communication internally and outwardly. An energy field extends several feet around the physical body, which means that you can pick up energy from other people, places, or things just by coming in contact with different energies and being human. Before you even open your mouth to greet another person, your energy field greets them first.

How Energy Shows Up

What I often see in my energy healing practice are clients experiencing feelings or sensations that aren’t actually their own. If your energy field does not have proper boundaries and isn’t fortified with your awareness and intention, any type of energy can come in and take up space in your energetic atmosphere. A common example would be an argument that may have just happened and you walk into that space, and you can still feel that energy even though the argument is over. That argument energy can permeate your energy field even if the argument is over. This energy is so powerful that although the argument didn’t involve you, you might unknowingly take on those negative feelings and feel like arguing but don’t know why.

One key point I see missing in individuals who are new to energy clearing practices is accidentally clearing out the energy you like and want to keep. We do not want to clear out all of the energy in your field. We want to keep the energy we like and transform and clear the energy that is not serving us to our highest good. Your energy clearing practice and frequency is determined by how you feel and what resonates with you most. Also, keep in mind that energy clearing isn’t going to remove your feelings – those will need to be dealt with by you, but it will clear up space for you to process your feelings, and not get confused and derailed by other energies and feelings that are not your own.

How to Practice Energetic Hygiene

There are several ways to caretake and clear your energy field, including, but not limited to, herbal smoke clearing, sound clearing, crystal clearing, elemental clearing, and salt clearing. One of my favorite ways to clear my energy field is to lie down on the earth and invite the earth’s energy to absorb and transform any energy that is not for my highest good. Give it a try! Begin with letting the earth know you are opening energetic communication by offering gratitude, a blessing or prayer. Imagine and visualize all energy that is not the highest good melting off your body and into the earth. Thank the earth for supporting you and say a blessing, prayer, or affirmation or offering to close out the practice. Developing an awareness of your energy field and developing an energetic hygiene practice will support a healthy and vital energy field.

Want to learn more about Energetic Hygiene? Sign up to receive a mini-workshop with three tips to get you started on improving your energetic health and well-being – including how to create and work with a crystalline energy clearing spray!

 


Sharlean Windus is a Reiki Master Teacher, Sound Healing Practitioner & Intuitive Development Coach based in Seattle, WA. She offers a variety of events, Reiki trainings, and educational offerings to help people develop their intuition. Find out more about her offerings here.

Listening to the Pings

How to Listen to the Pings: Your Personal Internal Signals

Many years ago, I heard about listening to the pings (your personal internal signal) that tell us when it’s time to move on. You hear about this more in the space of relationships: “listen to the whispers to know when it’s time to move on.” 

Following the pings, you never know where they will take you. I was in my twenties the first time I can recall listening to and embracing the pings. After a very tragic life situation, I had gotten a call from my cousin in Atlanta, who suggested I come to visit. In that instant, the ping was not to visit, but rather to move. Three months later, I moved across the country without knowing anyone other than my cousin. Listening to that ping was monumental. I cultivated new friendships and lived on my own for the very first time ever.   At that time in my life, I was sure that I would never live alone — I would have roommates forever. 

Years later, I experienced another life-changing ping. It happened during a time in my life when I was actually ready for a change. I knew I was not happy in Atlanta, but I was also not ready to return to the West Coast. During this time, I went on an unplanned trip to Chicago. The ping hit hard. I found my new home. That move led to my new career in human resources and to eventually meeting my husband. Yes, there was a ping involved in meeting him too, and I’m going to say that, while it took some time (okay, a long time), it was a good thing to follow…. 

My husband and I eventually ended up back on the West Coast. As years passed, and I settled into life, I didn’t realize that I had stopped listening to the pings. Work and life became stressful.  I was overwhelmed; I lost my way. I didn’t hear the whispers anymore, and quite honestly, all aspects of my life were drowning/ falling — I was no longer present for my own life. I was unhappy and disconnected at work, with my family and friends, and with myself. 

Your higher self is always trying to communicate with you.

By this time, the pings were so drowned out/so muted. I wasn’t listening to the whispers of what I was feeling, and I felt lost and disconnected. Personal and professional setbacks finally shook me to the core. I realized I wasn’t who or where I wanted to be. Slowly and subtly, the pings started to enter my life again. The pings for me were small, little things that were affecting me – spiritually affecting me, prodding me toward a new direction of my life.

I began to notice blog posts and articles that were about the shadow and the benefits of shadow work. (The shadow is based on Carl Jung, referring to the part of ourselves that we choose to repress, typically from childhood.) I thought this practice might be helpful in my attempt to address and manage the deep stress of my corporate and personal life. While the concept of shadow work piqued my interest, I did not do anything about it. 

That was until, on a weekend getaway with my mom, I met a florist — yup, that’s right. I was drawn into the most beautiful floral shop that I had seen in years. Here’s where the subtle pings really kicked in. I loved the florist’s work so much that I started following her on social media. One day, when scrolling through social media, I noticed that the florist had posted about a wedding that she was missing. This led to an uncontrollable urge (ping) to discover the person she mentioned. She happened to be a shadow worker. Simultaneously, I had gotten the ping to look into coaching and ultimately started down the path to become an iPEC certified coach.

How listening to the pings shifted my mindset.

As I started to listen to the pings again, I started to see shifts in my mindset, and I began to see possibilities. The truth is that it wasn’t a big jump — it literally was one baby step at a time. (I know it doesn’t seem like it was one baby step because I started doing shadow work and my coach training at the same time, but it truly was one step.) 

It happens by noticing the shifts. The stagnant and weighted-down feelings slowly begin to feel lighter. It’s beginning to see possibility, or that there is even a hope for possibility — beginning to feel excited about options and opportunities. 

For me, I started exploring and getting curious, doing research and uncovering the next step I wanted to take along the journey. That led to more momentum, which then contributed to clearing blocks and shifting my feelings of lack and self-doubt. 

Forward motion began. Coach training enhanced my understanding of limiting beliefs and deepened my knowledge of how to do the work to uncover my internal blocks. I knew that, before I could successfully coach others, it was vital for me to internalize the message of limitless growth and of self-actualization. So I worked to acknowledge my abilities and fully accept myself. I worked to manifest the person that could effectively be the coach that my clients needed, to step into who I am today.

The journey still continues, and I embrace the truth that it will always continue, as I learn and continue to integrate and grow. 

Listen to the pings – you may be surprised where they take you.

In my younger years, the pings literally moved me, pushing me to move cross-country twice, taking huge leaps of faith when it came to even having a place to live. But, as I have grown older, the pings have changed direction, so to speak. They have nudged me toward a more fulfilling career as a coach and simultaneously pushed me to do the deep work of becoming a more enlightened, integrated, and joyful person. While my journey used to be a physical one, taking me across the country, it’s now an internal one, but the momentum continues to build. Life has become an adventure again!

How do you start to listen to the pings when you are feeling lost and out of touch? Download this workbook to start listening to your unique pings and begin to understand how they show up for you. 

 


Mari Roberts is a psychic coach, life mentor, and healer with over 15 years of experience in the corporate and nonprofit world. Her intention as your conscious consultant and empowerment coach is to bring her gifts to help you in your transformation to live in a more joyful, purposeful, and expansive way. 

My Inner Critic & Me

My Inner Critic and Me 

Years ago, when I did my coaching training, our group of aspiring coaches would repeatedly discuss the relevance of the Inner Critic to us and most of our future clients. My response was pretty much, pfft. Plus some eye-rolling. Unobtrusive, but dismissive nevertheless and full-on judgmental in nature. So it’s a bit of an irony that I should be teaching Inner Critic workshops these days. But I’ve always found that the Universe has a pretty wicked sense of humor. 

Why was I so dismissive? Did I not have an Inner Critic? Oh, I did—just like everybody else, and when I say everybody, I literally mean every single person. Mine was a sneaky bastard: It made me believe that it was super-helpful and a great motivator and, given that, there was no reason to object to its efforts. Ever. 

The voice in my head usually asks me to do better and work harder, and not in a nice way. What’s your lazy butt doing on the couch? Do you think your work is doing itself? is pretty typical for my Inner Critic’s conversation style. But there’s nothing wrong with that, is it? Shouldn’t someone remind me that I could be perfect if I just put in a little more effort, say 120 percent or so? Never mind that it’s Sunday afternoon. 

There are as many Inner Critics as there are people, but certain types are common. Mine, as you may be able to guess at this point, is predominantly a mix of Perfectionist and Foreman or, as I tend to think of it, a mix of Martha Stewart (sorry, Martha!) and a prison guard: Ms. Martha Martinet

Do you see where I got tricked? I spent years and years—decades really, who am I kidding—working my butt off, burning the midnight oil, going above and beyond in everything I did. All in hopes of reaching the promised land of Perfectistan where I would lean back and breathe freely because there would finally be no reason to work harder or do better. 

Guess how that worked for me! Perfect, it turns out, is not only unachievable—but undesirable as well. Because perfection does not allow for personal growth. But go ahead and share this intel with an active perfectionist. I can tell you from experience, the voice of reason won’t be heard. So my body and mind, fed up with my stubborn insistence to cooperate with Ms. Martha Martinet, pulled the emergency break and pushed me into a major depression. 

You can take it on trust or you can find out the hard way. I was in for the hard way. But this very dark cloud truly came with a silver lining. Depression may not have felt like a gift while I was going through it, but it helped me experience and accept the truth about the Inner Critic: That b**** is not helpful at all, no matter how convincing its voice may sound. 

During this time, Ms. Martha Martinet turned into the worst drag in my everyday life, criticizing everything I did or did not do in the meanest way possible. Eventually, I got myself help in the form of a therapist. But I had a strong feeling—don’t ask me why— that I had to do more than that. And while I was depressed and low on energy, I was still a coach. So I decided that I had to do my best to coach myself out of the funk. 

And guess what turned out to be the best starting point to initiate serious change? Yep, my frenemy Martha. I set out to face my Inner Critic, understand that this voice comes from a place of fear within me, and accept that it’s neither rational nor right. From there, I went back to the tools and strategies I had learned—and ignored—all these years back. 

Today, I still have an Inner Critic. Ms. Martha Martinet continues to tell me I need to work harder and do better, and that’s okay. Because today I can see the voice for what it is: one voice of many that I have, but that’s not me—not even half of me. A voice that might at times be a valuable warning system, but that I will no longer allow to push me toward citizenship in Perfectistan. I hear the application lines are still long, but I’m telling you it’s not worth it. You can take it on trust or find out the hard way. I hope you’ll have it in you to trust me on this one. 

Would you like to turn down the volume on your inner critic? Download the free Affirmation Workbook with over 30+ affirmations to change your mindset in any situation!

 


Micha Goebig is a life coach and author. With Go Big Coaching, the focus of her work is on empowering women to master the personal aspects of transitions and form habits that have the potential to take our quality of life to the next level. She teaches her workshop on the Inner Critic, “I AM ENOUGH”, frequently at different locations throughout the Seattle area. Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Micha received her master’s degree from the University of Munich and trained as a coach with one of Germany’s leading executive coaches, Monika Scheddin. She is currently based in Seattle, WA.