Three reasons nutrition coaches perpetuate our food issues

This post may ruffle a few feathers. But as a Precision Nutrition L1 coach, I felt compelled to share some of the reasons my clients come to me, still struggling, after working with other personal trainers and online coaches.

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Most nutrition coaches ignore mindset

Here’s the thing. Good nutrition is so much more than how we’re fueling our bodies. It is about so much more than the food we eat, the macro counts, and how often we eat.

And honestly, as a nutrition coach, for the first year in business, I kind of neglected this fact too. I thought that by teaching women all the things about protein, veggies, and nutrient timing, I would help them make lasting changes.

But even I was forgetting the importance of MINDSET and how we feel around food.

When we ignore mindset:
-We keep struggling with the same food situations, even though we “know” the right thing to do.
-Guilt around specific food situations continues.
-We struggle every time that we cannot easily apply our nutrition rules (because the underlying feelings haven’t been addressed).

There’s SO much information out there but information is never enough. If it were, wouldn’t we all be perfectly consistent? ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ

Most nutrition coaches don’t dig deeper than food

When working with clients, nutrition coaches are focused on food. Duh…Katherine….isn’t that what they should be doing?

Yes and no.

Yes…

  • Good nutrition is important
  • Clients come to coaches looking for nutrition advice
  • Sometimes we need explicit guidance on what to eat/when

BUT

No…

  • There is a shit ton of information out there.
  • We often KNOW what to do but have a hard time DOING it.
  • Underlying beliefs about food play a HUGE part in how we show up and engage with food.

When we only focus on food, we ignore the underlying beliefs that really, truly change the way we eat and drink. By doing so, we perpetuate our struggles, because we are not dealing with the baggage that’s underneath the surface.

Nutrition coaches want to keep their jobs

Unfortunately, the exact things that we, as clients, say we want (meal plans, macronutrient guides, food lists) keep us struggling and relying on nutrition coaches to tell us what to do. Many coaches and companies build their business off of people being unsure around food – because that keeps clients coming back, doesn’t it?

My point in writing this post is not to trash the nutrition industry‚ÄĒbut to shed light on some of the issues so that we can be the solution.

As a restriction recovery coach, I pride myself on tackling mindset, digging deeper, and teaching clients how to move forward on their own. One way I do this is teach them specific strategies to help where they’re struggling.

Take #MyConsciousIndulgence Guide as an example.

My clients struggle with depriving all week, binging on the weekends, feeling guilty, then starting the cycle all over again.

So, I put together this step-by-step guide to stop the binging and the guilt, while also addressing the underlying issues leading us to binge.

Check it out and download your free copy here.

Why do you work out?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve chatted with clients about their motivation for working out. We’ve dug a little deeper into WHY they feel called to head to the gym or lace up their shoes to go for a run. And of course Рit goes way deeper than trying to get stronger or leaner.

Everyday, women are told that they have to head to the gym or switch on the latest HIIT workout on YouTube to make our bodies ‚Äúgood enough‚ÄĚ. We‚Äôve been long conditioned to believe that if we aren‚Äôt working out intensely to be the leanest possible, we won‚Äôt be accepted.

But the truth is, if we‚Äôre working out solely to be lean, we likely won‚Äôt continue. Workout motivation will wax and wane depending on the results we see. There‚Äôs a difference between forcing yourself to go to the gym and choosing to plan a hike¬†with girlfriends. One of those you are doing because you feel you should, the other, you‚Äôre doing for fun…and which do you think you‚Äôll continue doing?

Of course, exercise is important. As a personal trainer, I understand all of the benefits of working out. But the truth is, until we connect with those benefits, we‚Äôll continue to struggle with consistency. ¬†So, instead of dragging yourself to the gym to lift weight because you feel like you ‚Äúshould‚ÄĚ try focusing on some of the other benefits of working out:

Improved Memory. When you work out ‚Äď whether rock climbing, hiking, or lifting weights , your brain is getting more oxygen. There are plenty of studies indicating a definitive link between the increased amount of oxygen to the brain and improved memory.

Boosted Confidence.  When you spend time doing something you enjoy, you are happier and more satisfied with your life. Exercise can give you that boost of confidence you’ve been looking for. More than that, as you build specific skills, get stronger, and achieve goals not related to your body composition, your confidence will sky rocket.

Lower Stress. Stress is a big rush of cortisol which can trigger adrenaline ricocheting around your system. Working out can decrease these stress hormones, which will help you feel a thousand times better and more calm.

Better Sleep. With our high stress lives, our sleep often suffers, which impacts our hormones and mood. Exercise makes you feel worn out in a good way, which leads to better sleep, better skin and a generally better mood.

Girl, it’s soo important that you exercise because of the thousands of benefits Рnot because you want to shrink. When we are simply trying to get smaller, our motivation is fleeting. Instead, focus on the lasting benefits of fitness, so that you can stay consistent for the rest of your life.

If you want a little more support on working out consistently, my #Goldilocks Fitness program could be a great fit. Check out the details here, and download your free copy.

How to eat healthy every single day without stressing

When it comes down to it, it can be really tough to eat healthy consistently. Through working with women online with nutrition and fitness over the last two years, I’ve found that women struggle for one simple reason: they’re obsessed with food and making the *right* nutrition choices.

This makes it soooo hard to eat healthy, because:

(1) We constantly second guess ourselves. There’s so much information out there that it becomes easy to question if we are doing the right thing for our bodies and minds.

She’s doing keto, should I try keto?

Everyone’s counting macros, maybe I should do that.

Low carb is best, so I have to eat low carb.

We’ve all done this, haven’t we? In our attempts to eat healthy, we question ourselves and make decisions based on what other people online are doing.

(2) We focus on the wrong things and stop tuning into our bodies/minds, perpetuating obsession around food. Obsession makes us restrict. Restricting makes us binge. Binging and restricting make us miserable.

So why do we continue down this same path? It’s pretty simple: because we are not taking our headspace into account.

I propose an alternate solution.

how to eat healthy

How to eat healthy every single day

I’ve found that so many other nutrition coaches and programs forget the importance of how you’re thinking about food. And frankly, I’ve been guilty of this as a coach, as well.

Take Metabolic Effect’s HEC model for example.

This model focuses on your hunger, energy, and cravings, which is a great place to start. By tuning into these three areas, we improve our chances of hormonal fat loss, which is great.

But it completely ignores how where our heads are at, which can lead to restriction, obsession, and even binging.

That’s why, I felt compelled to create a new framework to help you automate your eating once and for all so that you can master your eating (heh, get it?).

MASTER your Eating Framework

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In the MASTER framework, the goal is to get all of these six elements to a stable, comfortable level.

M – Mindset

Before¬†we¬†dive¬†into¬†nutrition¬†from¬†a¬†physical¬†health¬†perspective.¬†We’ve¬†GOTTA¬†tackle¬†how¬†it’s¬†impacting¬†your¬†emotional¬†health. For me, mindset is all about your attitude around food. This is different than the thoughts you have but more, how you’re feeling and experiencing food.

How does food make you feel? What emotions surround eating/food?

A – Appetite

Sooo, how hungry are you?

This question tells so much, so we’ve gotta dive into your hunger levels, when they occur, and how intense they are. If your appetite is out of hand, we’ve gotta fix something.

S – Satisfaction

If your meals aren’t satisfying and you’re constantly craving other food – even (and especially) after meals – something is off in your diet. And frankly, if¬†we’re gonna eat ‘well’ forever, we’ve got to actually like how we eat. When we don’t like the way we eat, when we’re bored, or stressed out, we end up experiencing serious cravings > binging > guilt. This is not where we wanna be. Instead, start considering your satisfaction level throughout the week to keep tabs on it.

T – Thoughts

This is similar to mindset but more specifically, it’s time to tune in and understand which thoughts keep coming up.

If you’re living in a world where your thoughts are constantly about food, we can’t sustain it forever. It’s really important, if long-term, automated eating is the goal, to not obsess over thoughts of food.

E – Energy

Sustainable¬†nutrition¬†fuels¬†your¬†body¬†with¬†energy¬†throughout¬†the¬†day.¬†If¬†your¬†energy¬†is¬†all¬†over¬†the¬†place¬†or¬†just¬†plain¬†low,¬†we might¬†need¬†to¬†do¬†a¬†deeper¬†dive¬†into¬†what’s¬†going¬†on.¬†It¬†could¬†be¬†nutrition,¬†exercise,¬†or¬†stress¬†related.

R – Restriction

In some ways, we are back where we started: restriction. When it comes to nutrition, we do not want to ever feel like we are restricting. BUT – often, restriction can be a great warning sign that something else is off in your relationships with food, exercise, and yourself. So don’t beat yourself up for noticing restriction – look at it as a tool!

By implementing framework, you’ll be able to eat healthy every day, stop thinking about it so much, and finally see results.

If you need a little more guidance, take my free quiz below to determine if you’re in control of your eating and exercise. Once you complete the quiz, I can send you personalized suggestions of what to do next.

Is your healthy eating making you unhealthy?

We’re all trying to ‘eat healthy,’ But for some of us, that desire for healthy eating causes us to go overboard.

As a nutrition and restriction recovery coach, I talk to women about nutrition every day. More and more, I’m finding that even if we’re trying for healthy eating, we’re constantly thinking about it.

Maybe you eat plenty of protein and veggies but stress when you want a cookie or a glass of wine (this definitely used to be my main trigger food).

Or every time you go out to eat with friends, you skim the menu and immediately choose the lowest calorie option, because you’re¬†unable to stop counting calories.

Lovely, these situations aren’t healthy, regardless of what foods you’re eating. Healthy eating is SO much more than the foods you eat, so I’ve come up with three questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re on the right track.

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Is healthy eating causing you to restrict?

If your choices are focused on making you restrict/try to eat the smallest amount possible, I don’t care if you’re eating grilled chicken and veggies. It’s not healthy for you.

Is healthy eating making you obsessive?

Are you constantly worrying about making the ‘right’ choices? Do you panic every time that you eat something that’s not ideal? This level of obsession is not what we’re going for.

Instead, we want automated, simple, healthy eating. Here’s one way to think about it.¬†

What are your reasons behind your healthy eating choices?

Really, it all comes down to your why.

Let me give you an example.

A couple years back, when I still navigating through my restriction recovery journey, I vividly remember having to choose my nighttime snack. I had just discovered Lenny & Larry’s cookies (yes, I’m obsessed) and was loving having them before bed. But on this particular day, I hadn’t worked out and I was going back and forth in my head.

Should I eat the cookie or choose a lower calorie option?
Maybe I should just have greek yogurt..
Or maybe I should skip my nighttime snack all together.
Does the cookie have too many calories?

Ugh…..even just writing out all those thoughts is exhausting. But on that evening, I looked myself in the mirror, said #effrestriction, and ate the damn cookie in a show of protesting my restrictive habits. In that moment, I made the healthiest decision possible.

See, when it comes to our food choices, we have to understand WHY we’re making them and be comfortable choosing what’s right for us, even if it’s different than what would be healthy for someone else.

So if you’re standing in line at Chipotle, trying to choose what to eat and you decide to have a salad because you didn’t workout and you’re stressing about the number of calories in the white rice, that might not be the best option.

The next time you’re making a “healthy” choice, I want you to dive a little deeper and make sure you’re not doing it from a place of restriction, okay? If you need a little more guidance, take my free quiz below to determine if you’re in control of your eating and exercise. Once you complete the quiz, I can send you personalized suggestions of what to do next.

How to stop binge eating and heal your relationship with food

Alcohol is one of the most common trigger foods holding my clients back. They have such a tumultuous relationship with booze that they have a hard time incorporating it into their lives, wherever they are on their restriction recovery journey.

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It wasn’t until I started embracing my restriction that I learned to use my trigger foods to stop binge eating

For years, I tried so hard to stop restricting. I battled day and night to eradicate restrictive behaviors from my life. But lovely, that kept me struggling.

In this week’s episode of #RestrictionRevised, I’m talking about MY journey to embrace alcohol as one of my biggest trigger foods (I talk more about trigger foods here).

Now, alcohol helps me get a pulse check of how much restriction is affecting my life. I know that if I’m stressing about having a second glass of wine, it’s time to tune inward.

Instead of beating myself up for restricting, I thank my restrictive tendencies for helping me be more aware of how I’m interacting with food and exercise.

I talk to women every single day who tell me they’re constantly thinking about food and exercise. They’re trying so hard to be perfect with their nutrition and every time they fall short, they’re beating themselves up. This means that they’re continually trying to eat well without getting obsessive.

Enter my FREE Rate Your Restriction quiz.

This is the ultimate solution, because by filling outthis super short, 8 question quiz, I can give you personalized coaching advice on what to do to get in control of your eating – and stop letting it control you.

Having a goal of achieving a life without restriction is great but if you don’t have specific guidance on how to get there, you’re just gonna keep struggling. I look around the fitness and nutrition industry and see SO many coaches preaching food freedom and rejecting the perfectionist tendencies but nobody is telling you HOW to actually get there. And let’s be real. That’s sooooo not helpful. So, I felt obligated to create a solution, an actual how-to guide to stop letting nutrition perfectionism control you.

I’m super excited to share this quiz with you! It’s totally free and probably the easiest way to get customized advice on this topic.

Take the quiz below and let me know how it goes!

What’s the problem with food rules?

Food rules. We’ve all got them. We all use them in our daily lives but are they actually making your restriction worse?

It all comes down to what’s behind the rules.

See, our food rules aren’t inherently bad; they’re simply a method to ease decision making around food. We have so many choices to make on what to eat and drink that, without guidelines, we become overwhelmed and make choices that leave us feeling guilty (here’s how I suggest dealing with food guilt) later.

My food rules experience

I’d like to say I’m totally over my obsessive food rules but they definitely still come up. Just a couple weeks ago, I flew six hours to ride 40 miles across NYC and spend four days with my boyfriend’s family (yikes!). Honestly, it was a lot, and I’m confident I would have fallen apart in this situation just a few years ago, when I didn’t recognize and appreciate my restrictive tendencies.

The weekend was filled with lots of Italian food, eaten at a round table, with a bottle of wine to share. This wasn’t really a “problem” until Sunday night – the night of the ride. We finished riding 40 miles (and another 2 to return our bikes – trust me, I felt those 2 miles) and headed to a nice dinner. It was our last meal in the city, in a crowded family style restaurant in Little Italy, and a bottle of wine showed up.

Can you believe that the first thing that popped into my mind was “I can’t drink. It’s Sunday. I don’t drink on Sundays?”

I was diagnosed with my eating disorder 13 years ago, I’ve been ‘recovered’ (off and on) for 10 years, and those thoughts still come up. And I hate to break it to you, lovely, they’re never gonna go away. We’ve just gotta change how we interact with them.

Over the last few years, I’ve made a huge mindset shift away from fighting my restriction, instead using it as my strength and strategy. This has allowed me to completely change my life (no exaggeration).

So as these ‘should’ thoughts crowd my head, I don’t fight them; I use them to help me move forward. This radical shift is so so important if you’re ready to ditch the food obsession trap and finally live your best life.

Are your food rules helping you eat healthy or making you obsessive? #foodrules #healthyfoodrules #cleaneating

So…do I need to fix my food rules?

It depends.¬†Lorie at lemons + zest describes our food rules as ‚Äėour safety net‚Äô and so we almost don‚Äôt know how to live without them.

Further, when we’re thinking about our food rules, we’ve got to understand the ‘why’ behind them.

Are they helping you better understand your body?

Are they grounded in a desire to feel physically better – not to shrink or restrict?

Do they make you feel stressed out or obsessive?

Understanding that ‘why’ behind the rules is key to figuring out how to move forward.

If you’re unsure about how to move forward, take my rate my restriction quiz to figure out how ‘in control’ you are of your eating. Once you take this quiz, I can assess your situation and send you personalized suggestions on how to take the next step.

30 minute EMOM workout for your entire body

Sometimes, the standard 12 reps and 3 round style of workout just gets boring. And that’s totally okay – as long as we know what to do in those situations. Consistency with working out is all about enjoyment (more on that here). During these moments, when I couldn’t force myself to go to the gym or do another HIIT sprint workout, I love a good EMOM workout. Today, I’m sharing one I did recently that left my legs sore for days (woot).

What’s an EMOM workout?

EMOM just means “every minute on the minute.” I like to think of it as a new round starting every minute, so we’re getting in lots of rounds in a short period of time.

Basically, you’ll do each set of prescribed exercises, then rest for the remainder of the minute, starting over again once the next minute begins.

I’ve shared EMOM workouts before,¬†like this five minute burpee finisher, but never a full body workout like this one!

Let’s get started.

30 minute EMOM workout 

For today’s EMOM workout, you’ll need a heavy KB or a couple sets of DBs.¬†In terms of equipment, I recommend these DBs. They’re adjustable and perfect for home workouts.

You’ll go through each EMOM for 10 minutes, making for a thirty minute workout. Ideally, you’d rest for 1-2 minutes between each EMOM but if you need to take more rest do it. These circuits are tough!

Bored of standard lifting workouts? Try this 30 min EMOM workout. #athomeworkout #weightlifting #emom #emomworkout #womensfitness

Follow along with me!

Enjoy this workout?

I hope so! If you’re looking for more effective, quick workouts, my #GoldilocksFitness program could be a great fit for you.¬†¬†If you want a weekly workout plan that will help you STOP overexercising, get CONSISTENT, and see RESULTS, my #GoldilocksFitness Program is for you. I’ve designed a week of workouts for you so that you can rest assured you’ve done just enough. Because the answer isn’t always “more,” and it’s not always “less.” It’s juuuuust right.¬†Check out the details and grab your copy.

5 reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise

When I first start working with my female clients, one of their top concerns is how many calories they should burn in a workout. They’re a little obsessed with their FitBit (I do love the FitBit Surge….) or Apple Watch calorie burn estimates. They’re hyperaware of how many calories running a mile burns. And while awareness can be helpful, estimating the number of calories burned during exercise keeps us from seeing long term results.

Yes, fat loss is a result of proper energy balance (read: expending more energy than you take in). But, if we focus TOO much on the number of calories burned during exercise, we’re going to struggle. And that, my friends, is why I encourage my clients to completely ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. Instead, we focus on the things that actually matter to changing our bodies.

When they ask me why, I’ve got plenty of reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. Here are my top 5 reasons to ignore that pesky calorie burn estimate on your Apple Watch.

5 reasons to ignore the number of calories burned during exercise

We all love calorie burn estimates but I'm sharing 5 reasons to completely ignore the number of calories burned during exercise. If you've ever worked out for longer to burn more calories, read this! #fatburningworkout #womensfitness #athomeworkouts #weightloss #fatlossforwomen

It’s inaccurate.

Whether you’re using the treadmill calorie estimate or your Fitbit output, the number may not actually be very accurate. Most of these devices simply use your weight + duration to determine an estimated calorie burn. Obviously, this is not super accurate, because it ignores many factors:

  • How much muscle you have
  • How hard you’re actually working

Even if you’re using an implement that tracks your heart rate, you can’t rely on that to be 100% accurate either. Traditional heart rate monitors and wrist based trackers are not designed for circuit training or lifting, making them less accurate at reading your heart rate during these activities. I know this from personal experience. So many times, I’m doing super heavy barbell squats and my Garmin reads my heart rate in the 90s (yaaaa…no).

It encourages the “burn it off” mentality.

When we start counting, tracking every calorie we burn, we’re on a slippery slope. Once we count our workout calories, it’s a natural progression to start counting the calories we eat. This can be SO hard to stop (I wrote about how to stop it without stressing here), and it perpetuates the idea that we need to burn off every calorie we eat.

With most of my clients, we find better success losing weight without counting calories (here’s how) and skipping the idea that exercise is a punishment, a way to burn off our nutrition mistakes.

It ignores EPOC (aka – afterburn).

If we only think about the calories burned during exercise, we ignore the fact that certain types of training (think metabolic conditioning and heavy weight training) raise your metabolic rate for HOURS after you finish your workout. 

It encourages steady state, long duration cardio.

When all we’re thinking about is how many calories we can burn in a workout, we seek out exercise that’s going to give us the biggest number.

And what exercise shows the largest calorie burn, as estimated by a machine or heart rate monitor?

Steady state cardio for long periods of time…

And while this style of training has its benefits, it does NOT raise your metabolic rate after you finish your workout and can negatively impact your hunger and cravings (think RUNger aka intense hunger after you finish a run).

Of course, if you’re training for an endurance event or just love cycling, go for it. Do long duration cardio. Just know, that it is not the most effective way to train for body change.

It diminishes the importance of muscle building.

Look. Workouts are about MORE than burning calories; for many of us, they’re about building strength and muscle mass.

When we’re thinking too much about our calorie burn, we forget that building muscle is KEY to fat loss and achieving that ‘toned’ look. When we have more muscle on our bodies, we burn more calories at rest, something completely ignored in these calorie tracking models.

Lovely, I get it. You’re tracking those calories because you wanna see results so damn bad. And let’s be real. Don‚Äôt we all wanna see results from our workouts?

If you want a weekly workout plan that will help you STOP overexercising, get CONSISTENT, and see RESULTS, my #GoldilocksFitness Program is for you. I’ve designed a week of workouts for you so that you can rest assured you’ve done just enough. Because the answer isn’t always “more,” and it’s not always “less.” It’s juuuuust right.

Check out the details and grab your copy here.

End Food Guilt: Your Ultimate Guide

At least once a week, I hear from women who are struggling with food guilt. Whether they’re eating a macro that used to be completely off limits, over-indulging on weekends, or simply having one too many snacks throughout the day, they’re overwhelmed by feelings of guilt. They’re constantly questioning if they’ve eaten the *right* foods and obsess over what to eat next, thinking that every decision is going to make or break their fat loss progress.¬†

It does not have to be that way. Food guilt doesn’t have to derail our lives (or progress towards our fitness goals). In fact, it can be a great source of data in automating our nutrition (here’s how I do it). Because at the end of the day, if we can’t find ease with nutrition, we won’t see results.

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So how do we stop feeling guilty when we eat certain foods?

Well..it’s pretty simple. We have to STOP classifying food as moral: good or bad, clean or unclean. None of these categorizations help us reach our goals and actually make food guilt WORSE (this is why I HATE the concept of clean eating).

Now, if you’re struggling with specific foods, check out my post on how to overcome your trigger foods.¬†But if weekends are your problem…keep reading.

Often, many women will say, “My weekends are the problem. I eat well all week but by the time the weekend rolls around I overdo it and feel guilty.” Whether or not weekend eating is actually keeping you from reaching your goals (find out here), I suggest the following approach to guilt-free weekends.

But how do I get out of a food guilt spiral?

Below, I break down, step-by-step what to do if you’re in the middle of a food guilt spiral. In order for us to use food guilt to help our relationship with food, we’ve first gotta stop stressing in the moment.

Once you’re out of that food guilt spiral, it’s time to USE that food guilt as data to improve your relationship with food. You can do this by using my 321 System to End Food Guilt. I wrote all about it here but you can also download a workbook¬†on the topic.

Food guilt doesn’t have to be part of your life. Following these steps will allow you to be free of food guilt and find a bit more ease with your nutrition.

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Eating Disorder Recovery: 5 impossible things I now do daily

It’s national Eating Disorder Awareness week! This year, I’m partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association to pull back the curtain on ED and share our stories. So, I thought it would be only fitting to share mine.

As you may know, I grew up with ED. For thirteen years, it was my constant companion. I had a brutal battle with anorexia for over ten years. It made my high school and college years miserable at times. My ED made me, at 5’7″, beat myself up when I could no longer fit into size 2 jeans (thank GOD I found Stitch Fix). It made traveling a stressful nightmare, lost me a job I loved, and taxed relationships with my family and friends. 

ED made me a shadow of the person I wanted to be, obsessed with whether or not I was eating a small or medium apple (cuz ya know – that’s a 20 calorie difference).

During this period of my life, I couldn’t imagine a world where I wasn’t constantly counting calories (stop without stressing about it using these steps). Now, years later, I live my life without letting my ED run my life and handle the thoughts as they come up (here’s how I handle them when they come up).¬†This is a life I never thought was possible.

So, in honor of #NEDAwareness Week, I’m sharing 5 things I do almost every day in 2018 that I would have thought impossible a few years ago. My friends, recovery IS possible. Get free help here, too.

Five Things Made Possible After Eating Disorder Recovery

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I have no concept of how many grams of carbs I’ve eaten today.

My ED began when I started counting calories after reading a Seventeen magazine article. For years, I could recall the number of calories in a Lemon Balance Bar, 1/3 cup of carrots, and just about any other food I’d eaten on the regular. I didn’t think it was possible to maintain (or lose) weight without tracking calories (here are 7 ways…).

Flash forward to 2018, and I’ve retired MyFitnessPal for good.

I follow the nutrient timing guidelines I give my #ConsistentlyLean ladies, eat plenty of protein and veggies, and drink alcohol a few times a week – all without tracking, counting or measuring.

The best part? I’m even more consistent (grab some of my best nutrition consistency tools here).

I take off my tank top during hot yoga

My entire life has been a battle against my belly. I’ve always been self conscious about my stomach – and written about this extensively. Even though I’m (mostly) over wanting a six pack, I’ve never been one to take off my shirt, run in just a sports bra, or be comfortable in a bikini.

Soooo, you can imagine how crazy it is to me that when I go to Corepower hot yoga, I’m ditching my tank top.

While I’m still not donning a bikini at the beach, I am clear that my stomach doesn’t define me and chasing the perfect, chiseled six pack goes against EVERYTHING I want for my clients. That truth is what keeps my eyes on my own mat and stops me from stressing about what I *should* look like.

I’ve put my scale in the garage.

Hold the phone.¬†I’m no longer stressing about being up three pounds on any given day? That’s frankly an eating disorder recovery miracle.

For so many of us, the scale holds immense power. I remember climbing on the scale on Sunday mornings, absolutely disgusted at the higher number that resulted from my eating sooo inconsistently on weekends (here’s how to stop falling off the wagon).

And in fact, it’s only been in the last month or so that I’ve officially ditched my scale. With regaining the weight I lost during my breakup last fall, it’s become way too stressful to weigh myself. But instead of letting the fear of weight gain rule my life, I’m not using the scale anymore, instead focusing on other measure, like how my clothes fit (still fine btw).

I no longer see myself as a runner.

Running used to be my whole life. I ran cross country all through high school and put at least 30 miles in every week during college. It was impossible for me to comprehend a world where I wasn’t running 3+ miles daily. My psychiatrist once told me that my love of running might be fueled by my ED – I told her to eff off.

But I worked through my eating disorder recovery, I found that my heart wasn’t able to handle running long distances anymore.¬†This was incredibly hard to bear.

I remember sitting in my doctor’s office, the crinkly hygienic paper under my butt, tears streaming down my face as my doctor told me I had to stop running – my heart wasn’t capable of handling the stress.

Looking back now, I’m grateful; this is when I discovered lifting weights and began my journey to transform my body without endless cardio.

Today, I view myself as an athletic woman, a lifter, and a coach. Sure, I may still go out and run races but those times don’t define me anymore.

I eat dark chocolate every single day.

Restriction was my jam. It made me feel powerful and strong during my eating disorder years. Even years into my eating disorder recovery, I had a really hard time letting myself indulge in anything that wasn’t nutritious. This is a huge part of why I didn’t drink alcohol before I turned 21 – I couldn’t let myself drink anything that had calories.

With lots of work, I found ways to structure indulgence in my life so that it became more normal. And now, I teach other women to do the same using my #consciousindulgence framework (taught in my #ConsistentNutrition cheatsheet).

I’ll have dark chocolate – in some form – every single day, without guilt (learn to ditch food guilt here) or stress. This has made going out to eat¬†so much easier because now I can have a few bites of any dessert, without hating myself!

My friends, eating disorder recovery IS possible. It’s hard. It takes a long ass time. The thoughts are always there. But living outside of ED is worth every extra bite, tear, and breakdown. You got this. If you want more support and accountability from me, join my tribe!¬†