when getting where you want to go seems too hard (how about those 50 pounds?)

It's really interesting to me how my various clients' needs seem to dovetail a lot of the time. Reminds me of that thing about women in college dorms all getting on the same menstrual cycle.

These days, just about all of my clients have expressed the desire to lose 50 pounds.  They're all saying the same number.  In some cases, weight has always been an issue.  In others, it's the stress of the separation and divorce process, with food becoming the only real source of comfort.

Along with the desire to shed a large number of pounds comes the feeling that it's just too hard to even contemplate getting started.  They're feeling exhausted, and not in the mood to get off the couch after a long work week and family responsibilities.  The ex isn't really helping with the kids, or the help comes at the high price of his acting like he's doing the family a big favor rather than wanting to fulfill his role as a dad.

Is it that my clients are lazy?  Definitely not.  I carefully assess potential clients before I agree to work with them, and in our initial conversations I have tried-and-true ways of finding out whether a woman will experience great success with me.  If there's a question in my mind about whether she'll follow through and get the big results that I promise, I'll never suggest working together.

When it comes to weight loss, though, I think many women just can't stand the thought of getting started, the possibility of failing or of it being too hard, and then being disappointed all over again.  My clients have been disappointed waaaaay too much, in too many ways, and they're very smart about picking their battles.

I love helping them on this because, if you can identify a really strong desire and find a way to make progress toward that goal, you can use those skills toward


goal.  It opens up a whole new world of being able to reach out and grab what you want.  This is the kind of future I want for my ladies, and I know it's possible.

First thing is to be sure that weight loss is a goal that is really important.  More important than enjoying food in the way that you've been enjoying it so far.  That's a subject unto itself, as is finding other ways to comfort yourself that will be as easy and as enjoyable as eating comfort foods.  So, sometimes, we look for new ways that clients can feel the sense of calm and relaxation that food can provide, and then it's easier to tackle the diet and fitness piece a little bit later.

A fun thing to do, though, is to create a


board where you can park all kinds of exercise and diet ideas that you might like to try.

Very important:  You're not committing to doing any of these ideas now.  

You're just collecting things that appeal to you.  Especially food ideas that are quick and easy (and

include lots of vegetables that you already like

).  Don't like vegetables?  It's time for a fun exploration of expanding your food choices, and finding vegetables that you can enjoy.  Sometimes, a big part of that can be how they're prepared.  On Pinterest, you'll find all kinds of interesting ideas (with beautiful, colorful pictures that make you happy just looking at them).

And, look for quick and easy video workouts that you think you might actually do.  Make a list of physical activities that you like (or that you used to enjoy).  Think about how you might be able to fit them into your life (maybe, at first, just once a week, and then twice a week . . . and watch it become something you look forward to and maybe even do some of these activities with friends).

Remember, this is just information-gathering.  After you do this for a while, you'll reach a tipping point where you feel motivated to pick something from your list and try it.

If you don't feel motivated after a few weeks of collecting things to try, then losing weight has not come to the top of your desire list yet.  Meditate on what you really want most right now.  Maybe it's related to making more friends.  Maybe there's a hobby, class, or activity that you really want to do. 

Making yourself happier is a through-the-back-door way to change your relationship to food.

This really is magic.

Whatever goal you may be dreaming about (even though it may seem too hard and too far away), think of some deceptively simple and tiny ways to start on it.  Things you can do that are so small and harmless that you won't be tempted to avoid doing them.  Then, be consistent about fitting that tiny, baby step into your life and watch the magic happen.

When you observe some small, but perceptible results from that one little thing you're doing, you'll get excited about adding one more tiny little step.

This really is magic.  Try it, see what happens, and please comment with your successes!

Of course, if you'd like some help from me, just get in touch to ask a question or two, or to schedule a get-acquainted call with me.

eat your way happy

 I've been enjoying some of the youtube videos from Fully Raw Kristina lately.  I don't necessarily endorse eating an extreme raw food diet (personally, if I try to get all my protein from vegetarian or vegan sources, I feel very weak).

But finding ways to include more and more vegetables and fruits in your daily diet will reduce your cravings for dead junk food, and you'll be amazed how quickly it will improve your mood.

Here's a great video from Fully Raw Kristina, with her top suggestions for stress relief and emotional health -- and her top 10 foods to get there.  Don't be scared by Kristina's ravenous expression and what looks like a decadent dessert on the screen shot.  It's a yummy smoothie!  (Healthy, though high in calories, as smoothies always tend to be.) One of the wonderful things about fruits and vegetables is their gorgeous colors and shapes, and how just looking at them can make you feel happy.  Check it out:

And, a few of my own tips:

  • Be brave, and try a 7-day challenge to avoid your personal top 3 junk foods that calm you only for the few seconds it takes to eat them, and then make you feel even more sluggish and lifeless.
  • Try replacing your major offenders with some of Kristina's picks from the video (lots more in the video above, but here are 5 of her top 10 foods for stress relief):
  1. Greens and salads.  (Yes, really.  Come on, have you actually tried this?)
  2. Bananas.  (Kristina says that they alleviate depression.  I say that even though bananas are a higher-calorie fruit, a banana has fewer calories than a soda or candy bar and is more filling.)
  3. Crunchy veggies.  (Kristina says these give you something to gnaw on in place of crunchy, overly salty snacks.  I say -- those salty snacks make you feel bloated and edgy!  Remember, they only feel good while you're scarfing them down, and then, you feel just yuck.)
  4. Watermelon or other hydrating juicy fruits.  (Kristina says that juicy fruits, and especially watermelon, help to restore your body when feeling exhausted.)
  5. Cucumber or zucchini slices spritzed with lemon juice.  (Cooling, hydrating, and relaxing.  Kristina links to a video to make a yummy-looking zucchini pasta.  I say:  Just the scent of cucumber is so relaxing.  Put a couple of slices -- without the lemon juice -- on your eyes, too, and say ahhhhhh.)

I have my own youtube channel with videos from some of my favorite luminaries and their techniques that I've used and are great for your divorce-recovery toolkit -- but beware, there's a lot of yoga and other concepts here that some of you may find pretty woo-woo.  Hey, it can't hurt to try! 

Find my channel here


UPDATE 5.7.15:  Yesterday Kristina posted this poem/motivational talk about getting through dark times by choosing to be happy.  It seems to be a response to haters, and I think it's especially appropriate for my divorcees.  Watch and feel uplifted (and remember, it's not about eating a raw diet, it's about making choices that support