How I Changed My Thoughts to Get a Body I Love

I’ve created a lifestyle that I love, am maintaining a lean and healthy weight that is right for me, and have more than enough energy to go after the life of my dreams.

But for most of my life, that wasn’t the case. 

My weight and negative self-perception was an issue for almost my entire life. I became self-conscious of my body when I was 5 years old after my father told me I needed to learn how to suck in my stomach.

Me at my 5th birthday party

Now at age 5, I wasn’t fat. And I don’t think my father meant anything more than he wanted to teach me good posture. But how I interpreted his comment was that he was telling me I was fat. Like many women today, I began to believe that there was something wrong with my body. 

I was a tomboy who always had scabs on my knees from falls and crashes on my bike. Shortly after that conversation with my father I remember for the first time being embarrassed at how my banged up knees looked and trying to pull my knee socks up as high as they would go to cover them up.

I began hating my body. I focused almost exclusively on its flaws, and what was wrong with me.

My negative self-perception—and my resulting struggle with my weight—raged for more than 35 years. Those negative thoughts bled over into all areas of my life. I was often depressed. I shied away from taking leadership roles at work. I had a hard time making close friends. I didn’t feel sexy or attractive with my husband.

And my struggle with my weight wasn’t because I didn’t know what to do. I taught myself about nutrition and exercise, and several times I got into incredible shape. I ran—finishing one half-marathon and doing all the training for another. I lifted weights. Several times I got down to a size 6. I knew what to do.

Even though I would lose weight, emotionally I didn’t feel any differently. All those problems that I thought would magically be solved by being thinner were still there.

This was because I wasn’t making the changes on the inside. I wasn’t aligning with what I wanted and why I wanted it. I didn’t feel confident in being accepted as the true me, which goes a lot deeper than just how I look. What it boils down to is I didn’t feel lovable because I didn’t love myself.

Because I was making these changes through sheer willpower, it didn’t take much for me to rebound, regaining not only the weight I had just lost, but then some.

In 2008, I got down to a size 8 when some life changes triggered the rebound-weight pattern and I put on 40 pounds and for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all.

Me at my top weight.

Here I was busting out of my size 14 pants, and starting over with exercise and losing weight—again.

Something had to change.

What ultimately had to change was what was going on the inside. What had to change were my thoughts, emotions and beliefs about myself, what I was capable of, what I deserved.

2009 was a significant turning point for me.

I knew that there had to be another way, and I set out to find it.

So in addition to consistently moving my body and eating healthy foods, I began looking for tools and processes. I tried them all and found what worked to release inaccurate thinking and create new thoughts of appreciation, praise, and support for my body—and myself.

And I began tying this process to my spiritual journey. Accepting the love of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) laid the foundation of the path that lead to loving myself.
Successfully making these internal changes helped me not only get down to where I am today—between a size 4 and 6—but to keep the weight off now for more than two years.

Not only do I feel vibrant and alive, and have more fulfilling relationships in all areas of my life, but more importantly, those same internal changes have given me the confidence and self-empowerment to go after the life of my dreams.

After discovering what works, I began reaching out to help other women feel slim and sexy on the inside so they can be slim and sexy on the outside. I didn’t want another woman to struggle through this process like I had.

The process of releasing your weight is so worth it because it is a journey of self-discovery. It is reconnecting with your true self. It is embracing your power to create the life of your dreams.

It is being empowered and supported as you become the best possible version of you.

Today I am grateful for all the struggles and challenges—and yes, even pain—that I experienced over all those years. Every moment of it helped me be who I am today, and makes me uniquely able to relate to other women who are using the path of releasing their weight for self-discovery.

If you are in the midst of pain, you may not be able to feel, hear, or believe this right now, but I promise you, the end result is so worth the weight.

This will be true for you, too.

Together we can do it!

Creating the Path to the Body You Want


There’s a scene in the 1984 film Romancing the Stone where the main characters are hacking through a jungle with a machete to flee pursuers.

This is the image that came to me as I was thinking about how to expound on yesterday’s blog on having to be happy first, and the psychological research that backs that premise up.

The reason this is so important goes beyond psychology. It actually gets to the core of how life works.

I’m going to get a little deep here so hang with me. But I promise it relates to your weight—and will give you an advantage for getting the body you want.

As Einstein said, everything is energy. This includes our thoughts and feelings.

Now imagine that you are a pioneer and have come to the unexplored edge of time and space. Each moment will require that you create a path forward, much like hacking through a jungle.

Wielding a machete—using action to create the path forward—is hard work. It’s slow and exhausting. Over time, it wears you down.

This is what the majority of people are doing. They are only focused on the action of dieting and exercise, and it’s hard.

What if you could make it easier? What if there was another, more effective way to clear the path forward?

What if thinking about Why you want to be slimmer and how that will feel is energetically clearing the path before you? It’s like sending scouts with machetes out in front of you.

Wouldn’t the path forward be easier? Wouldn’t you have more energy and stamina to wield that machete, because there is less you have to physically cut through to move forward?

This is the power of being happy first. This is the power of visualization that Olympic athletes have harnessed.

And you can tap into the power by thinking about Why you want to be slimmer and how it will feel before you decide what food to eat or begin your workout.

It’s fairly easy to use the energy of your thoughts and feelings to clear the path for dieting and exercise, but it does take some practice.

To get started, think about and write down Why you want to be slim and how having the body you want will feel. Then read it every day and do your best to feel that way as you read.

The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

The more you practice this, you’ll begin to notice that your workouts are starting to be fun, and you look forward to them. You’ll surprise yourself because you naturally want an apple instead of a cookie. You thrill at the evidence of how hard your body is working on your behalf.

The more you practice creating the path forward with your thoughts and emotions first, the easier the action of dieting and exercise will be.

Together we can do it!

Dress for (Weight Loss) Success

Since I work at home, it would be easy to spend the day in my pajamas.

And I won’t lie. There have certainly been days that being at my desk was a higher priority than putting on my street clothes.

But that is the exception rather than the rule.

Here’s why.

It impacts how I feel about myself.

Every time I walk by the bathroom mirror, my energy level takes a negative hit.

It’s not accurately projecting Who I am and Who I want to be.

And that matters.

This makes sense when you think about the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction.

As Albert Einstein so eloquently said with E=MC2, EVERYTHING is energy—including your thoughts and feelings.

This means you get what you project. If you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself, you will get more opportunities to think negative thoughts. If you are feeling bad about yourself, you will get more opportunities to feel bad.

Even what you are wearing sends out an energetic vibration. Do holey pajamas project success, abundance, a joyful and fulfilling life? Or does it project lack and lethargy?

If I feel like I need to hide out when the UPS guy rings the bell, that’s not a good sign.

A lot of women that I work with unknowingly perpetuate the cycle of losing and regaining the same 30 pounds by wearing sloppy clothes, or clothes that don’t fit well because they don’t want to “give in” to their weight gain. But this actually perpetuates the weight rebound cycle because it impacts how they feel and think about themselves.

Now this doesn’t mean I put on a business suit every day. I dress appropriately for working at home. But my clothes are clean, in good repair, and fit well.

When I walk by the bathroom mirror, I feel good about what I see—and each time that gives me a small energy boost. Then having the UPS guy bring me a box feels more like Christmas and I’m happy to see a fellow human.

Feeling good about myself in turn boosts my energy and desire to make consistent decisions that move me towards my wellness goals. For instance, I want to do my workout and to stick to my meal plan for the day.

And the more energy I put towards what I want, the more of that energy I attract. So the snowball effect begins to work in my favor.

What do you want more of? Who do you want to be?

Does what you are thinking, feeling, doing, and even wearing project that? Or are you getting more of the old you?

This doesn’t mean you have to transform your thoughts and feelings—or wardrobe—overnight. All you have to do is slowly and steadily focus more on Who you want to be—and begin making the decisions and choices that person would make.

An easy place to start is with what you are wearing. Does it fit well? Is it in good repair? How do you feel when you are wearing it?

Consciously decide to get more of Who and what you are projecting.

Together we can do it!

Empower Yourself to Take Control

I caught myself mid-bite.

We had been out to dinner with fabulous friends and had gone back to their house to play Sequence, laugh, and have fun together.

And they had put out a lot of snacks. Cookies, candy bars, and bowls full of pretzels, dry roasted peanuts, and peanut M&M’s.

We’d already eaten a full meal and had shared a dessert at the restaurant.

As they put out the snacks, I joked with them that they were evil for providing such temptation. And then I continued to think that as I snacked away, along with thoughts like:

“I just can’t help myself.”

“If it’s in front of me, I will eat it.”

“I have no self-control.”

That’s when I realized I was in Victim Mode.

I was “at the effect of” the food. I was giving away my power and indulging in behavior that was not moving me towards my goals. And I was blaming it on my friends, the food, my weakness, etc., etc.

In reality, no one else was in my head. No one was lifting my hand and forcing me to put the food into my mouth. The food was certainly not having its way with me and forcing itself into my mouth.

The truth is no one and no-thing is making you—or me—eat anything.

Even when it feels like that cookie is moving towards your mouth against your will, it is still you doing it to you. Even if you are stressed out and are comforting yourself with food, it is still you putting the food in your mouth. Even when someone cooks a special treat and puts it in front of you, it is still you making the decision to eat it or not—based on putting someone else’s wellbeing ahead of your own.

You have the power to take back control.

Being aware of what you are doing is the first step. Recognizing that you have a choice is the second step. And making a conscious decision is the final step.

It doesn’t even matter what the decision is. The important thing is to Decide what you want and the best way to meet your needs and goals, and follow through by aligning your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

I had already eaten enough last night that it had become my free meal of the weekend. (I give myself a free meal—or sometimes a free day or weekend—so that I never feel deprived. That if I ever have a craving, I know that I will be able to enjoy it later.)

What I decided last night was to continue to nibble so I felt like a part of the fun, but to watch how much I ate and what I ate. After that, I ate a few pieces of pretzels, a couple of peanuts, and three peanut M&Ms. I declined the offered wine and stuck to sparkling water. I ignored the cookie that was dropped in the bowl in front of me. And fortunately we all ignored the candy bars.

By taking back control over my thoughts and empowering myself to make a decision and follow through with action, I felt good at the end of the night. And this morning I made a new decision to give my workout my all, and to plan a healthy choice from the menu tonight as we head out with other friends.

When you take full responsibility for the foods you eat, the exercise you do, and the thoughts you think, you truly begin creating the body—and life–you want.

Together we can do it!

Accept Life Unconditionally

“I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped.

Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.”

-Audrey Hepburn

I accept life unconditionally.

That phrase has been going through my mind for the past week since I read this quote on Gossip Gone Good.

I accept life unconditionally.

What does that mean to you?

For me, it’s letting go of judgment—that anything is either good or bad—and valuing every experience of life. It’s accepting where you are and not comparing yourself with anyone else. It’s letting go of resistance. It’s going with the flow. It’s allowing life to unfold instead of trying to control it. It’s appreciating All of life.

I accept life unconditionally.

What would be different about your life if that was your decision?

Often, people feel that by accepting a situation, you are just allowing the bad thing to persist; that without constant vigilance, the problem will just get worse and worse.

But the opposite is actually true.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

-Albert Einstein

You must actually lift your eyes from the problem and turn and look for the solutions. When you are focused on the problem, all you see is more of the problem.

Think of it this way. Have you ever decided to buy a car, and all of a sudden every other car on the road was that car? Where did they all come from?

When you are focused on something, your subconscious mind brings more of that thing into your awareness.

So if you want to see more solutions, you have to be focused on solutions.

But the problem is often like the car wreck on the Interstate where it’s people looking at the wreck that causes the traffic jam, not the wreck itself. The problem creates intense emotion that’s hard to look away from.

Accepting life unconditionally is a way to begin to ease your attention from the problem so that you can then begin to see the solutions.

Accepting life unconditionally is allowing yourself to be where you are on your life journey, and recognizing that where you are isn’t static. Life is ever changing and each experience has value. And each experience is changing your perspective and Who you are. This gives you a new vantage point and opportunity to make new decisions.

If you have read through this blog, you now have new thoughts and reactions to add to your life experience.

This has forever changed you.

When you stop fighting against life and accept life unconditionally, you can more easily identify what’s working for you and what isn’t. You allow the forces and laws of the Universe to work on your behalf. You give God permission to answer your prayers and support you in getting where you want to go.

The end result is that you accomplish far more than you ever hoped. And most of the time, it just happens without your ever seeking it.

How valuable might it be for you to practice accepting life unconditionally? How does that change your ability to meet your goals?

Together we can do it!

What Did You Need?

I had an intense session with my coach, Kendra Thornbury, yesterday where we broke through some blocks that were showing up in the form of limiting beliefs and fear.

Whew that felt good!

The resulting clarity will help me move forward in achieving my goals.

But any time you do intense emotional work, you have to be aware of the impact it has on your body.

Our bodies and minds are much more significantly linked than most people realize.

So I slept in this morning, skipped my workout, and am treating myself gently.

It wasn’t too long ago that I would have made myself get up and workout anyway.

There’s a fine line between knowing when to push past mild resistance and when to ease up and give your body a break.

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to listen to your body and honor its messages.

How often do you give in? Are you regularly training yourself to go for the bigger win of a slim and healthy body by skipping treats and working out most of the time? Or do you scarf down every treat thinking it will be your last one? It gets easier to tell when your body needs a little TLC when you are more consistent in your actions.

Practice shifting your thoughts and emotions. Your thoughts and emotions will determine how successful your actions will be. For instance, if you want to start working out, yet you’re constantly thinking about how much you hate exercise, hate to sweat, hate the gym, etc., etc., your chances of maintaining an exercise program are pretty much nil.

So the first step in starting your workout program isn’t joining the gym, but is figuring out all the reasons you want to exercise and making those reasons your predominate thoughts. Then when you join the gym, the action of going is easier. As you practice shifting your thoughts and emotions you are better able to hone in on what is actually going on in your mind and body.

Take out the judgment—yours or anyone else’s. Just observe what’s going on with you. Skipping an occasional workout because it feels like what you need in the moment doesn’t mean you’re a slacker—no matter what anybody says. When you take out the self-criticism, you can tell if there is a pattern of negative thought that needs to be shifted, or if this a positive step of self-care.

You are the only one who truly knows what is best for you. Learning to listen to yourself and trust your judgment takes practice, but is an important part of loving your way slim.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Lindsay Miller

Where Are You Headed?

 

One of the challenges with creating the body that you want is that you are always carrying the body that you have around with you. It’s a constant reminder that you are where you don’t want to be.

When you think about the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense.

Our thoughts are energy. If you are focused on the fat you don’t want, or your lack of fitness or beauty, you will not only attract more thoughts like that, but more circumstances that support those beliefs.

Getting the body you want requires continually tearing your attention away from where you are and focusing more on where you want to be.

Only, this backfires if you don’t believe you can get where you want to be.

So how do you mentally walk this fine line of being in the body you don’t want—and having to look at and experience it all day every day—but not quite believing you can achieve the body you really want? Particularly when you are so used to thinking negative thoughts about your body, you don’t even know you’re doing it?

This is why a coach is so helpful. But ultimately, whether you have a coach or not, you are the one who has to navigate this mental path forward.

So here are some tips:

Pay attention to your emotions. How many thoughts do you think a day? A lot! It will just make you crazy trying to monitor what you’re thinking. Instead, pay attention to how you are feeling. If you’re having negative, catabolic emotions, such as frustration, overwhelment, hopelessness, blame, etc., these should be like signal flares letting you know you are headed where you don’t want to go.

Then you can determine what you were thinking, or better yet, just begin to shift your thoughts in the direction you do want to go. Such as:

“Clearly I’m not where I want to be. But that’s OK. I am where I am. And the good news is I caught myself. That right there is progress. And I am doing a lot right. I’m paying more attention to the food that I’m eating and I’m moving my body more. And I’m noticing that my stamina and energy levels are improving. I feel really good after my workouts, and every day I’m seeing a little bit of progress. I didn’t get where I am overnight and I it will take a little time to get where I want to be, but really, I’ve come a long way. I’ve already lost a few pounds, my clothes are looser, and I’m feeling more confident. With just a little consistency and persistence on my part, I am going to see significant changes. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. I know I can get there.”

Now you should be feeling a sense of relief, which is all you need to feel to let you know you have shifted your energy.

Change the mental subject. When you catch yourself looking in the mirror and being self-critical, find something else to think about that you do feel good about. Maybe it’s another body part that you can praise. Or maybe it’s how much your dog or child makes you laugh. You can even make a list of things that you enjoy, and then read it when you catch yourself heading down the road towards body shame.

Go take a nap. Or meditate. Or even just take three deep breaths. If you catch your catabolic thoughts picking up speed, do what you can in the moment to just to ease your foot off the gas pedal. Slowing the negative momentum will make changing thoughts smoother and easier.

Your thoughts lead your life. Shift your thoughts consistently in the direction you want to go and your body—and life—will follow.

Together we can do it!