Category Archives: Blog

Happy Body Food

She Is A Healthy Person

Written by my AMAZING, brave, strong and inspiring client, Chrissy! I have shared her photos, but these are her words. So powerful!!! We truly can be, and do, anything we want once we are no longer defined by our story. Chrissy, you make me proud and you are a fantastic Healthy Person!

“Before I even knew the Universe had my back I stumbled upon Jennifer and the Happy Body Project at just the right time. I was living a lie, projecting happiness but feeling miserable. I thankfully started reading Holly’s blog just when my tolerance for my own BS was at an all time low. I just needed to be free from decades of self-abuse and self loathing. I wanted out but I had no idea how to get there. Then I read Holly’s blog What A Girl Wants. I read Holly’s words like they were my own. Her honesty and bravery inspired me to be honest and brave. I tracked down Jennifer’s website and wrote her an email. After I sent it I cried, because maybe this would finally be my way out. I wanted Jennifer to fix me.

I very quickly learned that wasn’t going to happen. Jennifer could not fix me, I must fix myself. Jennifer provided the framework for me to “get real” and tackle life long issues, while promoting self-love and empowerment. I got myself into this mess and I would get myself out. Once that really sunk in, I was free! I am strong; I am loved; I am a healthy person!!!

Every week we build ourselves anew. Even when I had setbacks; hard days; days I felt so sorry for myself I could only cry, Jennifer would remind me that only I have the power to turn things around, make myself stronger, prove I have resilience and drive and unabashed amazingness! Which I do!

I started the Happy Body Project weighing 271.8 pounds on my 5’3” frame my BMI was over 46 and I was racing towards a life of disease and an early death. It has been just over 6 months now and I am 198 pounds, over 70 pounds lost and I am now racing towards a new future. I have started a new business and I have ZERO doubt I will lose over 100 pounds because of Jennifer’s guidance. The one thing I want to tell everyone who reads this, and sees themselves in this is…YOU are strong. You are loved. You can do this! Don’t waste another day in your beautiful precious life. Be a healthy person!” 💚~Chrissy McIntyre

My Client, Holly.

Follow this amazing woman as she fights for her health, joy and happiness on the Happy Body Food Program!

 

https://whatagirlwants.blog/author/hollyvdf/

 

Confessionals and Hail Mary Poppins

Forgive me followers, for I have sinned. It has been two months of summer fun since my last confession. In that time, I have…

  1. Abused alcohol while travelling through Ireland with my husband, such that the contents of my sweat and tears is STILL roughly 37% Guinness.
  2. Used sex within marriage, but with absolutely, positively, holy-shit, OMG NO intent of procreating life.
  3. Deliberately ingested impure foods such as pasta, cake, s’mores, and soda bread.
  4. Permitted a couple of impure thoughts about Chris Pratt, but only after they announced their separation – so at the very least, it wasn’t completely adulterous…right?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Now that school is back in session, vacation time is over, and summer will soon start to fade into fall, I am happily returning to the comfort and structure of routine. While I remained committed to my health goals throughout the summer, and even managed to drop a couple of pounds, I was more prone to gluttony and indulgence than usual. I consumed more alcohol, swapped spin class for floating around my best friends pool, let go of any pressure I felt to publish any blog entries, and generally stuck to spending quality time with family and friends. It was a fun and memorable summer, and now it is time to get back to work.

Even though I am looking good and feeling even better, I need to keep reminding myself that I still have a long journey ahead of me. I have to pause and work up the courage to type this, but I still have almost 100lbs to lose before I can afford to kick back and thoroughly enjoy my success. As the milestones of success pile up, and I start to feel better and better about myself and how I look, it only gets more challenging to buckle down. Not that I have been going off the rails. I am absolutely confident that my old lifestyle will remain just that…my old lifestyle. It isn’t difficult for me to maintain my weight now, but it IS difficult to keep dropping. I really have to work for each and every pound – which is a big change from the initial 40lbs that came off so easily. The last 10lbs have been much slower, and much harder fought for.

Fighting for those pounds is easier when I’m back in my regular routine. I’m highly susceptible, it turns out, to the lure of a warm summer evening cocktail on the patio, or three, or eight. And most of my exercise comes in the form of floating around weightless in a pool…with more cocktails. In hindsight, I’m not entirely sure how I managed to maintain my weight this summer, let alone drop a couple of pounds. Miracle pounds is what they were – and all the more reason to get slightly uncomfortable again, push harder, and work for the gift of better health.

Although the summer was definitely more relaxed, it wasn’t without some significant wins. For example, I flew overseas in economy, and it didn’t even occur to me to be nervous about the seat-belt because those days are solidly behind me. I also buckled down and pushed myself to a record 130,000 steps Monday through Friday for one week in July (although I was proud of myself, I would not recommend this goal to other working moms with challenging commutes – while doable, there is precious little time for anything BUT walking). I had a few other small but significant wins while shopping in my own closet. Like my favorite white linen pants, I have always kept my absolute favorite items. I have packed them and unpacked them from place to place, which always made me a little sad – but it also must mean that I was holding onto hope that they would one day fit again. I am so glad that I did.  Here are some highlights…

Babe-n'suits

 

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In addition to the highlights above, I also lost another couple of pounds and a few more inches, which was great but difficult to put into context. Or, difficult until my health coach helped put it into perspective for me.  Jennifer sent me txt that read, “23.5 inches total, from when you started tracking.” The “from when you started tracking part” was because, unfortunately, I didn’t measure myself at the beginning – even though Jennifer explicitly told me to. I must not have truly believed this lifestyle would work, or that I would be able to find success  Anyway, while it’s too bad that I didn’t believe in myself enough to grab the exact metrics, it absolutely guarantees that since January 2017, I have lost over two feet of inches from my body. I did that. Me and my roadmap from Jennifer did THAT! I just high-fived myself!  It’s 7am on Saturday morning, and I am alone in my living-room, and I looked a little unstable doing it, but I high-fived the S out of myself.

But far and away the very best part of the summer was my trip to Ireland. And I don’t mean the actual trip, which was absolutely wonderful; I mean the prep and packing of outfits! While I love a good wedding, or gala, or 3 Michelin star dinner, these types of events are also a great source of anxiety for me. I really care about what I look like. I love clothing and fashion and design – but I have never felt comfortable in my own body and have had serious limitations on where I can shop for clothing, so have never truly felt beautiful at an event, or at work, or on a date night. Ugh…that makes me so sad to think about how much time I have spent over the years worrying about how I am going to look, or what I am going to wear to a friends wedding, or my own wedding, or the holiday party, or a birthday party, or to target, or the bank, or the kitchen for a glass of water. When I was single, it was arguably worse.  At least now I’ve snared a man, I would think. When an event, like a wedding, was months away, I would start planning on how much weight I would lose beforehand, and how great I would look and feel if I could buckle down and just DO IT! Inevitably, though, the stress and pressure of trying to drop dress sizes before an event would only lead to gaining wait instead of losing it – followed by feelings of shame and self-loathing – and then finally ending up sweating over some outfit that wasn’t up to my expectations, shoes that I would have to take off 1/2 way through the event, and generally feeling uncomfortable in my own skin until I was sauced enough to leave it all on the dance floor and have a great time. What a waste! How I wish that I could have seen myself as the world sees me, and loved myself enough to take better care of the one vessel and one life that I’ve been gifted. At the same time, I am so grateful for Jennifer and the path that she has helped put me on.  A path that ensures that I will never ever go back to my old life again.

This time, it was different. While I was still a little anxious about what I would wear to my cousins wedding in Ireland, I was grounded in the fact that I had finally achieved what I could never manage before. I wasn’t just a couple of pounds down before this event, I was 24+ inches and 50 pounds down.  And more importantly, my insides were matching my outsides. It makes me tear up just typing that. Out of all of the wins that I have enjoyed this year, this was by far the best. My insides matched my outsides, and both were beautiful.

The wins started with the typically painful process of finding a dress to wear to the wedding. I have never been able to wear my best friends clothing. Like, not even once. So when we were at her pool one afternoon and she suggested that I go surfing through her closet to find something, I was immediately resigned to the fact that nothing would fit. We selected three dresses to try – none of which were particularly A-line, which is the only shape that has ever worked for me. Even as I was slipping each dress over my body, I was sure they wouldn’t zip up in the back. But not only did they zip up, they each looked great! So great that I couldn’t decide and took them all home to play fashion show for Craig. I ended up settling on a black wool (summer in Ireland is still Ireland) Calvin Klein dress in a fit and flare shape. You read that correctly – fit and FLARE!  The last thing I usually want my ass to do is flare! Fit and camouflage is more my speed. Anyway, the dress looked great, and I was happy.  And because I borrowed a dress, I figured that gave me license to procure a new pair of shoes – so off to Nordstrom I went.

Historically, shoes are the next hurdle, after the dress is found. I used to wear heels and wedges all the time. Then something happened post children where I gave up on them all together. Probably because I felt frumpy, and probably because wobbling around on anything but flats when you’re 300 pounds kinda frigging hurts! The last wedges I purchased were some kind of ‘high-comfort’ line, which….dear god….can someone make those cuter? They are the Nissan Leaf of the womens shoe industry. Sure, they’re practical – but they look like a nightmare! So when I walked into Nordstrom, and worked up the courage to tip toe into the designer shoe section, it was a big deal. I was fresh off of my dress win, but still fairly certain that the back patent Gucci loafers would be a bust. Even though the look I told Craig I was going for was naughty Irish nanny / Mischievous Mary Poppins, I was scared the loafers would make my feet look wide and my legs look to fat. Plus, I still wasn’t sure how to break it to Craig that I was hoping to spend THAT much on a pair of shoes. People…it was just like final scene in Cinderella – only my prince charming was a salesman, and my glass slipper was Gucci, yo! Like a glove, I tell ya! I brought them home and prepared a powerpoint presentation for Craig proving why these shoes were more important than the girls chances at a post secondary education. I put the entire outfit on and walked past my husband, who immediately agreed I should keep them. Not only did he agree that they were the naughty nanniest, when I asked for his opinion on black patent vs red patent, he told me that he couldn’t decide and that I should go back and get both. Lordy, did I burst into tears. I have longed for that feeling for tens of years, and it was even better than I thought it would be.

Of course, I did take Craig up on his offer and went back to Nordstrom the very next day. I didn’t end up buying the red ones, though. The red was too dark for me, and I didn’t want to completely overdo it and end up with buyers remorse – or worse, homeless. Instead, I decided to head upstairs to find the perfect super opaque black tights to go with my nanny costume. Now, it has been about 8 years since I last shopped for clothing in the normal section of Nordstrom.  I am usually a third floor shame section only kind of girl. You may or may not be familiar. If you are, then you know that flitty dance that you do, like you’re just there to look at kids shoes…and then you ghost yourself across the walkway into the “Encore” section – where the last thing the women shopping there are hoping for is an encore performance in the encore section. Believe me, we would much rather the Encore section be a one hit wonder section. But before I made it to the escalator, a top in the normal womens section caught my eye. Maybe it was because I was on such a roll that I decided to detour and sift through the pretty merch.  And I am SO glad that I did. Not only did I walk out with that pretty top, but three tank tops, one sweater, one suit jacket, a pair of boyfriend jeans, two adorable baby-doll tops, a pair of skinny jeans, and a FREE PEOPLE top! Their slogan should be “for free people; not fat people.”

I was over the moon. I have never been more excited for a trip! I folded and unfolded my new clothing. I paired things with stack-able bracelets, statement necklaces, and cocktail rings. I practiced rolling the sleeves of my suit jacket, and pairing it with a crisp white tank top, rolled up boyfriend jeans, and about a bajillion jewels (and, of course, my multi-purpose Gucci loafers). I didn’t dare take the tag off and wear anything before our trip. I wanted to unpack a fresh and fabulous outfit for every day I was travelling. And that’s exactly what I did. Starting with the big event. The wedding.

For me, the final woeful moments of any event has got to be the primping stage. I usually spend the day hoping, wishing, and praying that whatever mumu I brought will fit. I try in earnest to at least make my hair look great, in hopes that it will distract from what lies beneath my neck. I blow dry, and then I sweat from the heat, which frizzes up my hair.  And then I pull and wiggle and jump up and down to get my dress on, which makes me sweat again, and further frizzes up my hair. Then I tell whomever is within whining distance that I don’t even want to go to the ____ anyway. And then someone hands me a “dresser” martini, which is enough liquid courage to get me out the door and on my way to dancing queen-level intoxication.

I have never been so calm, so dry, and so blissful before an event. Not even 20mins under a blow-drier could shake my zen. My makeup was flawless. My hair conservative AF! My dress floated over my body. And my shoes. My god, my shoes. I pranced across cobble stones, gave a damned fine reading, glided across the dance floor, and generally stood in absolute merriment from 1:00pm-11:00pm.  An Irish wedding that ended at 11pm, you croon??? We are nothing, if not professional boozers. Gurl, pleaze, we ditched the car and the parents back at our vacation rental and hit the pubs until 4am. ireland

The rest of the trip was a repeat of new locations, new outfits, and completely doing my hair and makeup every single day. I felt proud to be on Craig’s arm everywhere we went. And I felt like Craig was proud, too. I felt so good that I even ditched the Lululemon for the 10 hour flight home, and instead opted for skinny jeans and my free people top. It didn’t stop there, either. Since being back, I have quaffed, rolled, jujed, painted, and bedazzled my way into each day (except for today, when we had two soccer games in a 100 degree field). And not in a fake-it till you make-it kind of way. I am making it, and it feels fabulous!

 

How do you learn to love yourself?

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Photo by Noah Silliman

 

I grew up watching Oprah on television and she often returned to themes of self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth. Everyone has heard of “self-love”.  I always thought I loved myself, after all isn’t that an innate human trait? How can you not love yourself? I remember often I would roll my eyes listening to talk shows and reading self-help books and think, “Get to the good stuff, what’s going to make me skinny?” I said affirmations. I wrote letters to myself. I journaled my feelings. I told myself that I was capable of being anything I wanted. Nothing changed.

It wasn’t until a few years ago when I looked up the definition of “self-love” that I so clearly saw the problem.

Self-Love: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.

I remember actually smiling when I saw this because at that moment I knew the final piece in the puzzle was not only identified, but ready to be played.

The problem all along had been lack of action. My walk did not match my talk. You can say affirmations all day long, but if your physical actions deplete you, then the message you are sending to YOU is, “I am not worth my own time and effort.”

Having REGARD for your own well-being and happiness is self-love. Unfortunately most of us do not practice this, instead we put our own oxygen masks on last.

You can’t feel love when you wear ARMOR. So many people walk through life wearing protective shields of armor made up of busyness, martyrdom, housekeeping, over working, errand running, people pleasing, partnering, parenting, caring for pets, perfectionism, taxi driving and more. We don’t need protecting, we need to be able to FEEL and release emotion and stress. We’re not capable of receiving love, warmth and nurturing, if we are wearing armor.

Somewhere along the way we have been conditioned to believe we need to put on a happy face, get it all done (and more) PERFECTLY, stoically, and just keep swimming. This is not possible though as we are humans designed to feel, process and show emotion. As a result of shutting down our feelings and emotions, we become toxic. We have no ebb and flow with our environment, nor within our own spirits. We simply intake. Day after day we take on more, take in more and often feel more isolated and unappreciated.

Instead of thinking about self-love, think self-care. We all understand what that is, and most of us do a really poor job of making time for it. Self-care is the way out, the way to better health and the way to self-love: regard for your own wellbeing and happiness. If YOU cannot make your own wellbeing and happiness a priority who will? No one. I promise, because we teach people how to treat us.

Many of my clients come to me practicing no self-care. They take exactly ZERO time for themselves. Even the obligatory manicure/pedicure is now filled with frantic texting, scheduling, and task elimination thanks to our smart phones. Remember the days when you just read a magazine, talked with a girlfriend, maybe made a new friend, or gasp…even closed your eyes? Those days are gone. There is always one more thing that can be done, and we should get that done now….right now.

When is the last time you took a walk, not to sweat but just to breathe? Had a massage? Read a book without your phone in the other hand? Sat in your own backyard alone? Took a yoga class? A cooking class? Signed up for something for no other reason than it would bring you JOY?

We have finite time here. For some of us it may be down to months, days or hours…we just don’t know and that’s ok. What is not ok is wasting the time you do have NOT being happy and staying trapped in the armor where you just exist, stifling your authentic self.

If you wear one of these suits of armor and you want to dismantle it allowing yourself to become more present, aware, and yes healthier, then you must start with self-care.

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Photo by David Marcu

FIRST, protect your time. Almost every person I work with at some point says, “Well if I don’t do it, who will?” I get it because when I was a toxic, unhappy, angry, martyr this was my slogan! I often used it more than once a day, I was “Queen Martyr in charge.” Here is the thing: change is hard. Dialing back your commitments, your kid’s activities, your work schedule, the frantic pace at which you live your life will take some work. You will have to become a firm advocate and fan of the word NO. It will be your protective weapon as you start to pry off the pieces of your armor and let your authentic self step out into the world. But like anything it gets easier. Soon your overuse of the word NO makes room for more YES, but now when you say YES it is to things you actually want to do. This is self-care; this is self-love.

SECOND, rethink your legacy. Your current traits will have to change and this is also hard and uncomfortable. Perfectionism is the trait I had to release. I remember when I would walk by a pile of laundry and fight the urge to drop my keys and purse, cancel my “me time” and just get it done. Now I am a reformed over-laundry-doer and I simply shut the door. Laundry, dishes, and all the rest really can wait. But can you? If you drop dead tomorrow no one will speak at your funeral about how good you were at laundry and dishes. They will talk about who you were as a person and what you loved doing, what made you happy and most importantly how you made them FEEL. The catch is they have to know these things; they can’t stay stuffed down in your suit of armor. You simply cannot stay the same and change. You cannot expect your current attributes will deliver you to a new way of existing. If you want a different life, one where you are more present, one where you practice self-love, then you will have to dig deep and resolve to let go of some of your long standing attributes.

THIRD, think “we” instead of “me”. Harder than yielding your NO sword and dropping long-standing traits like perfectionism, is asking for help. The only way others in your home, your life, can be of assistance is if you ASK them. Kids actually thrive on being given responsibility. Your kids can make their lunches, make their beds, do their own laundry and pack their own bags for games (their coaches actually encourage this). Your partner needs to know you need support and help, you can’t resent them if you haven’t used your words to express your needs. (If you have expressed yourself and they don’t help then you have my permission to 100% resent them!) Your co-workers will keep piling on the work if you keep saying yes. People won’t offer to help you if they think you have it all handled. Think community, lending support, and receiving support. There is no gold star for going it alone. What you gain is stress, toxicity and a depleted soul.

I will never go back to being angry, toxic, unhappy, nor a martyr (even though I excelled at all of those things) because I will never give back my self-care. I will never stop loving me. When I was able to begin caring for me, filling my own cup first, my armor fell to the floor and I actually felt free for the first time in my life. My weight also fell off because I was practicing self-care. Sleeping more, listening more, being more present, fueling my body with better foods, and moving more. For the first time in my life I understood self-love as I had regard and care for my OWN wellbeing, and I felt this love envelop me like a warm blanket. I knew I was going to be ok.

I have gone from “Queen Martyr in charge” to a happy, imperfect mother, sister, friend, daughter, wife, business owner, and student who is healthy and loves herself, unconditionally. I wear many hats, and I have many roles in my community, but only one trumps the rest and that is being a human who practices self-love. This practice allows me to do everything else with energy, vitality and authenticity.

Don’t tell yourself you love yourself, show yourself. Parent yourself. Be kind to yourself. Make time for yourself. When your soul is content the rest falls into place and your authentic self can step out and shine.

I am Jennifer. I am @HappyBodyFood. This is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.

 

 

 

 

The Numbers Tell the Story

A few days ago my client emailed me her lab results. In 5 short months she has turned her life around. She has lost 23 pounds and 24 inches off her body (2 WHOLE FEET GONE)!!! The weight loss is great as she is no longer obese, but what her blood work shows is she has actually changed the trajectory of her life by lowering her odds of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and overall disease! I never cease to be amazed by the power of real food.

I asked her if she would be willing to share a little about how the process has been for her. Today I received this wonderful testimonial and account of her journey thus far. The best part is we are not done!

“On December 19th, 2016, I read Jennifer Joffe’s blog post that Sheryl Sandberg shared on Facebook.  I sobbed, because I could have written it. And then, I sent her an email before I could chicken out, and it was the best thing that I could have done, because Jennifer changed my life. I was a binge eater and a sugar addict. I had been on every diet known to mankind.  I was 55 years old, 5/2″ tall, and weighed just under 170 pounds. I had gained and lost the same 20 pounds countless times over the past 30 years, but the older I got, the harder it was to take them off, and I had been stuck at this high weight for quite some time. I was sick of dieting, and I knew that it didn’t work. I knew that I needed a lifestyle change, not another diet. I had tried vegetarianism and even veganism, and I liked eating that way, but I was still bingeing and eating sugar, and the weight was still piling on.
One of the first things that Jennifer told me was that I had to give up Diet Coke (another addiction). I knew she was right, and I did so. She also said that I wasn’t eating enough.  That seemed counterintuitive at first, but, she was right! As part of the Happy Body Project, I learned that I needed to be eating fat and protein, which I had been severely restricting. Again, bingo! The Happy Body Project has taught me to eat like a healthy, normal person. I am no longer addicted to sugar – I don’t eat it and I don’t crave it. If I have a bite of something sweet once in a while, it doesn’t set me off to want more. I have not binged once since starting the Happy Body Project. This is truly monumental –  before that, I had been consistently binging since I was 10 or 12 years old. My whole attitude toward food and my body has changed:  I no longer worry about being skinny, about losing X amount of pounds before a certain date; I just want to be healthy. I have lost 23 pounds and that feels amazing. My BMI was in the obese range, and now it’s “overweight” and in another 10 pounds it will be normal. I feel great, I look great, my clothes feel great, I have a lot more energy, and I’m healthy.
Here’s the proof:
bloodworkcw
The best part about this is that the Happy Body Food “formula” for eating is super easy. There’s no weighing, there’s no measuring, there’s no counting calories, there’s nothing that you can’t eat, you’re never hungry. It’s all about eating good, healthy, clean food that you want to eat. You don’t want to eat the bad stuff. Once you’re eating the good stuff, you stop craving the bad stuff. That’s the beauty of it! People keep asking me how I’ve lost weight, what diet I’m on? I tell them that I’m not on a diet; I’m just eating clean and healthy and I love it!
Karen

I am so proud of this woman. From obese to healthy, she saved her own life…she chose HER! It is never too late to live your best, healthiest life. Karen, you ARE an inspirtation!!!

 

If You Want to be Healthy, Align your Goals and Values

My latest piece for Thrive Global!

If you want to be healthy you must find a goal that your values support, and that is authentically YOU! Look at what is driving you to change your current situation, because if you are honest…skinny isn’t it.

Enjoy!

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Photo by Alexandre Chambon

https://journal.thriveglobal.com/if-you-want-to-be-healthy-align-your-goals-and-values-b635ddbd24ee

 

 

Prevent Portion Distortion

 

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Do you know how much an ounce of something is?

No one wants to go through life measuring out everything they eat as that would not be sustainable, and certainly NOT enjoyable. However, it is really important to understand what a portion is. Often we are just bystanders in the foods we consume, we are served an amount and we simply eat that amount. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to let your health get away from you.

Here are some tips for keeping your portion sizes in check:

Read Labels

When you purchase snacks from a to-go counter, or convenience store, always do a quick check to see how many servings there are. Many beverages are actually two servings per bottle, not one. This is also true for snack foods. Do not assume a package of chips, beef jerky, or sunflower seeds are one individual serving, take time to look.

Use Your Fist

Our stomachs are roughly the same size as our fists. For some of us this is not going to be very big. That means each time you eat you need about that much food (chewed, not whole) to fill you up. Making a fist creates a good visual, especially when eating out where portions can be two to four times what we actually need.

Eat Half

Leftovers are a wonderful way to have your next snack, or meal, already done for you! Eat half of your order and take half to go! To make your next meal more interesting think about what you can add to your leftovers to spice things up! For example, if you have some chicken and roasted veggies for dinner you can add the leftovers to a big plate of greens, maybe add some additional fresh veggies and create a wonderful, healthy salad in no time at all.

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I always use the small containers at salad bars, saves $$$ too!

Leave It

Maybe you were taught to clean your plate as a child, or you feel you need to eat all of your food because you paid for it? Try to flip your thinking when it comes to finishing meals. When your body signals that you are full it is time to put the fork down and let your body get to work digesting the nutrients you just provided. Do not be afraid to part with unfinished portions. Enjoy the foods you chose to nourish yourself with, and part graciously with those you do not need.

Eat Mindfully

Study after study has shown when we multi-task we overeat. There may be rare occasions where you must eat your lunch at your desk, but try to make eating while doing other activities the exception, not the rule. It is hard to keep track of how much you have eaten if you are not mindfully engaged in your meal. We also have a tendency to forget what we ate, and when we last ate, if we eat while multi-tasking. Give your nourishment your full attention and odds are you will eat less.

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Salad plates fit plenty of food!

How Does Your Kitchen Measure Up?

Open your cupboard and take out a dinner plate, a salad plate, a cereal bowl, a juice/milk glass and a wine glass. How big are your dinner plates? Could you eat your meals on a salad plate and still be satisfied? Are your cereal bowls 2 cups in size, even though most cereal boxes consider 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup to be one full serving? When it comes to beverages, most products consider 8 ounces to be a full serving, yet most of us have glasses that are 12 to 24 ounces in size. If you are wine connoisseur you already know a serving of wine is around 130 calories and 5 ounces, but do you know what 5 ounces looks like? Often we are served 9 ounces of wine, which is perfectly fine, as long as you realize your glass nearly doubled in calories.

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Know When to Measure

There are times that it does benefit you to simply measure out your portions. There are foods we all buy and often overindulge in; dried fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate covered nuts and berries, trail mix. Bulk snack food items are the perfect foods to measure out. A serving size is small, often a 1/4 cup, and can easily be overeaten. These are the perfect foods to open and measure out into snack bags, or small mason jars. When you are on the run you can simply grab a pre-portioned snack and not worry about how much is too much!

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Here are some good visuals to keep in mind for controlling portions:

A Baseball = 1 cup/ A deck of cards = 3 ounces / 4 dice = 1 ounce

How do you keep your portions from getting away from you? Share your tips below.

 

This is the end; this is the beginning.

Another wonderful piece from Holly! In two weeks a group of amazing women will join me in fighting for their health and happiness for 365 days! For one full year we will be working on self-love and healthy choices. When I was asked to design a program to take these women to the next level I felt immense gratitude, and if I am honest-a bit overwhelmed. It would be easy to stick to what I know…12 weeks, 3 months…it works! My program indoctrinates my students into a healthy lifestyle and teaches them how to keep choosing their own health and happiness. I am pretty sure none of these women expected me to come back with this proposition: One year. What was amazing to me, and so inspiring, is how quickly they all responded with “YES”! If they are willing to fight for their own health, willing to keep working hard every damn day…then I can step out of my box, feel the fear, and take these women on a journey that I know will change all of our lives. For 365 days 8 women will choose health, happiness and most importantly… self-love. This is the end and it is the beginning, because “there is no there there”, there is only the journey.

What A Girl Wants

February 28th vs May 5th February 28th vs May 5th

One week ago today, I completed a three month commitment to weight-loss and improving my overall health and wellness. For me, the end of the Happy Body Project is met with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am radiating with pride over all that I have accomplished. I have lost 40 pounds, and countless inches (I say countless because stupidly I didn’t start measuring until 1/3 of the way through the program). I have also dropped two dress sizes. Most importantly though, I am armed with the tools and knowledge that will keep me on the road to success.

In other ways, the end is bitter sweet.  I have shared my inner most feelings of shame and struggle with the women in this group – and they have shared their inner most feelings of shame and struggle with me. In the short period of just…

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