Tag Archives: food addiction

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!!!

 

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.

 

Standing on my own two feet

It has taken me almost two weeks to sort my thoughts on this one. To articulate what I want to say in a manner that truthfully reflects the gravity of the situation, for me, and for so many who will read this.

When I work with a client one of the things that comes up within the first month is the change they begin to notice in their relationships, every time, no exceptions. It is a tough conversation for me to have with people because I have lived the monumental change their life is about to undertake. I know it will get much harder before it gets easier. The truth is, when you are unhealthy, sad, lonely, depressed, insecure, or simply just don’t feel “good enough”, you attract people into your life who share similar traits.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Simply put your vibe does indeed attract your tribe. What you put out into the universe is what you get back. So when you take your unhealthy habits, and your negative, defeatist attitude and begin to transform into a positive, happy and healthy person it is startling for people. Not everyone. Some people who maybe loved you from afar start to draw closer…they come towards the light, they like what they see. Others, who maybe shared some of your less positive traits want to jump on the train, they want to have what you’re having!

Sadly though, when you take steps to better your life, your body, your mind, your soul…you will lose friends. I know for me this hurdle kept me from succeeding for many years. The thought of not having “my tribe”, the security of the people I called friends, scared the shit out of me. Why would I walk away from relationships I had nurtured for so long? Why would I want to be alone? When I would start to feel the “shift”, the cold shoulder, the undermining comments, the phone not ringing, I would take my energy off all the good I was doing for myself and I would focus it back on the people who were pulling away.

Did I do something wrong? Are you mad at me? It seems like you are upset with me? Can we talk? How can I make this better?

I let others dictate how I felt about myself. If I didn’t feel their love, their support, then I must not be worthy of love and support, these were after all, my friends.

Often I would be told how I hadn’t been there for someone. I hadn’t realized they were going through a bad time. I had been selfish, I had been all about me. Like a child I would be scolded back into my role of sidekick, or more accurately doormat. I would ask for forgiveness, apologize profusely. Buy cards, a small gift, and be readily available at a beckon call.

If this sounds pathetic to you, it was. 100%. But please understand it was the only kind of love and support I had ever known. For me, all of this ridiculousness was love.

What I now know is when you love yourself, and put yourself first you draw the right kind of people into your life. Yes, I lost friends, but those are no longer the relationships I care to have. They were never going to fill me up. I place no blame on anyone other than myself. My choices were reflected back to me on a daily basis, and I accepted them. I allowed people to treat me the way they did.

As you heal, and learn to stand on your own, you have to drop the negative influences. There is no room for toxic relationships in the world you want to live in. I am here, and I can tell you it is “Heaven on Earth” to like who you are, to love who you are, and the amazing people you now have room to know, and spend time with…it is mind-blowing really. The only hard part is not lamenting on all the years you missed out on living your authentic life…so I try to focus on how lucky I am I got here when I did.

It is ok to say goodbye to your old self. It is ok to kindly and gently step out of relationships you know are not healthy for you. Give yourself permission to take the best care of you you can, because I promise you no one else is going to do it. When we do not care for ourselves emotionally, we cannot care for ourselves physically. This will leave you at the hands of the Health Care System in America, and that is really a “Sick Care” system, a place that is very hard to get out of, once you walk in.

Just last week one of these relationships, that I had gently stepped out of, appeared back in my life…no warning, just a “I am going to stop by to make you feel like shit and shove you around a bit.”I got the email on our 15th wedding anniversary while we were driving to get away for the night. My Husband said, “Do you think she is on drugs?” Because that is how CRAZY her email was. We haven’t seen one another in 3 years, havent spoken in a year, maybe more. I guess she unfriended me on FB last year, and I hadn’t noticed. What can I say? I just don’t have the time and energy for this, and neither should any of you.

What the interaction did do was make me feel really sad for the old me. It is a shame that I allowed this type of interaction on a regular basis. When people needed to feel better about themselves I was an easy target, and I called them friends. Again, I want to be clear, I am not blaming anyone other than myself. I am not a victim. I was just a passive participant in my life and I didn’t care enough to set boundaries and to stand up for myself.

This picture really resonated with me. It popped up on a friends FB feed right as I had been reflecting about who I used to be. The universe truly does speak to you when you live in it with an open heart.

Relationships should lift you up. They shouldn’t carry you, you have to carry yourself, head held high. But they should rise with you, just as strong, just as steadfast. They should surround you with color, warmth and joy, and on the darkest days they shine even brighter. Those are the days they lift you up and remind you who you are and why they love you.

My wish for everyone reading this is unconditional love for yourself. Only then can unconditional love from the right people follow.

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

 

 

 

 

6 years ago I changed how I ate and I blogged about the new foods I was discovering & recipes I was trying. I documented my journey out of a world on inner-grocery aisles, boxed foods, fast-food, and drive-thrus, into the world of whole foods. The kind of foods my Grandmother grew up eating. As the food I ate became more routine and predictable I wrote less and moved to Instagram where I could just post pictures of the food I was eating each day. Less about how to make what I was eating, and why I was eating it…more just the food. The simple food I was eating. I chose the name @HappyBodyFood because that is how the food I eat makes my body feel, happy.

A lot of people who graciously followed that blog asked me over the last few years why I stopped contributing to it? I wasn’t sure at the time, I only knew it didn’t feel right and wasn’t coming naturally.

What I can tell you now is I started to filter my thoughts. I started to care what people thought, would think…were thinking. I didn’t realize this for a long time, but I was slipping slowly back into a darker place, one I had spent most of my life in, hiding a lot of pain behind food. I started binging again, but I was binging on healthy foods. Still, too much of a good thing is still too much. I was losing weight, pretty easily eating real food, but I wasn’t any happier. So the passion for sharing my clean-eating journey started to feign.

The last few years on IG have been awesome. I have a support group, a community if you will, of people rooting for me and joining me in the fitness/weight loss/healthy-eating journey.  I really don’t think I could be as focused, and as excited about healthy eating if I was going it alone. The people I have met on IG have truly become friends, having helped me in countless ways. Here I had the space to test the waters of exposing my vulnerabilities. I found the further I went, the better I felt. It turns out owning faults is very empowering.

6 years ago I weighed around 220 pounds. I can’t be sure because I buried my scale deep in the closet under coats, a bathrobe, and a box of clothes, some still with tags on them, marked “someday”. My skinny clothes were buried under a bunch of baggage just like my skinny self was. (I was even heavier prior to that. After my Son and before my Daughter. I know one doctors appointment the scale said 244lbs.  More on this number later.)

What I can tell you about eating less, and eating real, whole foods is that you will lose weight and you will feel better. My hair is thicker, my skin glows, and my energy levels are pretty even and consistent…as is my mood. I can also tell you that I have not gained any of the weight back.

But eating healthy, looking better, and losing weight did not make me any happier. At least not in the way I had always imagined it would. Mind you I have been heavy my entire life, all of it, from age 7 on. So there were a lot of years to fantasize about how being thin would equate to being happy. If only I weren’t fat, my life would be perfect.

What was missing from my life were Primary Foods. The foods that fill your soul up. Physical activity, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, spirituality and the most important Primary Food, in my opinion, self-love. I actually didn’t even like myself.

I will write more about how I found my own Primary Foods, and a passion for life, in posts to come. But initially I just want to be clear that the food we eat, Secondary Foods, will never alone heal our hearts, minds & souls…though they are very powerful healing tools, but it is only when Primary and Secondary Foods combine your life will be changed forever.

When you eat real food, and you don’t eat too much of it, you will lose weight and you will feel better. It is THAT simple. But it is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. This end goal so many of us chase fat-to-skinny, unhealthy-to-healthy,out-of -shape to fit, cannot be achieved without tackling the piece of the puzzle that has no measurable quantity. No modern day science, invention, medication, surgery, or potion, can help any of us with the one piece of the fitness puzzle that often prevents us from finding and maintaining success; the “emotional” piece.

So in starting this blog, the next chapter, or maybe the first chapter, I have to start at the beginning.

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