LPTrendsBody Women, Food & Yoga Part 5. A series by resident site editor Lori Anderson – her extreme journey documented in body and soul transformation.
A fresh installment in our ongoing series in which our editor Lori Anderson works to create a healthier relationship with food and her body under the guidance of coach and psychotherapist Dr. Melissa Grabau. We’ll be sharing perspectives of both the coach and the coached, hopeful that we’ll inspire you to make positive changes, too. Read on for insights that might resonate and illuminating food for thought along the path to your own personal exploration.
Melissa’s Reflections & Tips – I sensed a new determination in Lori today during our coaching session. Although she continues to express a great deal of discouragement with her lack of external changes, a great deal is happening for her internally. Lori is learning to trust herself and is developing more confidence in her ability to decide what works for her and what doesn’t. I can almost visualize her taking things in, chewing on them a bit and then saying, “No thanks, I don’t really like that.” Or, conversely, “I like this. It’s good. I think I’ll have some more.”
When I followed up on her thoughts about joining Weight Watchers, which we had discussed during our last session, Lori stated that she decided it would only increase what she already experiences as a hyper-focus on food. I heard the clarity in her voice, bespeaking her developing confidence in her ability to assess her needs. Instead, she has decided to go on the 400 plan, which basically allows you three 400 calorie meals a day with some snacks. This appeals to Lori because it allows for some spontaneity and freedom.
After our last session she was also going to try taking several short walks a day rather than one long walk. This was at my suggestion as a way to increase her energy levels and counteract a creeping inertia. Lori also decided that this did not work for her and that she preferred doing her exercise in the morning, showering and being done. Again, this shows that Lori is trying on suggestions, seeing how they feel, and then making decision that works for her.
At the beginning of our current session, Lori expressed the wish/fantasy that someone would just come over to her home, open her cupboards, clean out the junk and then take her shopping for good, healthy food. A fresh start approved by a supposed “expert.” At the end of the session I asked her why she couldn’t do this herself. “I knew that you were going to say that,” she said with her characteristic impish grin. “And, yes, I can and will do that.” That is what I mean regarding a new found determination in her. Lori is beginning to feel into her own power and her own wisdom regarding what behaviors are giving her pain and what behaviors would be healing. She is beginning to outgrow the helplessness that she characteristically feels regarding her ability to take care of her health.
“You know,” Lori said to me, as we were discussing her bafflement about what to do with vegetables, “all of this is about habit.” Exactly! Habits regarding what you buy, how you cook it, what you eat and when and how you eat it. And, perhaps most importantly, habits around how you think about yourself and your body and your ability and right to treat your body in a gentle, respectful way. So, although Lori may be struggling with her habitual self criticism and judgment regarding her supposed lack of “progress,” she is progressing just fine on this journey of learning how to trust her intuition as she moves along a path of slow, progressive change.
Lori’s Turn – State of Mind(fulness)
Melissa hit the nail on the head this week when she suggested that maybe I’ve finally smacked up against this food issue enough to feel empowered to make change happen. I’ve come to a place that’s new, and really nice I might add, where I’ve stopped beating myself up for “not knowing how” and I’ve stopped making excuses. I’m going to live the Nike mantra – “Just Do It!”
When change happens slowly, I get discouraged, especially since I so badly want to shed a few of these extra pounds that are so annoying. Melissa reminded me that I can choose to focus on how I feel inside rather than on the outside, and that really resonates for me. By removing the pressure to make physical progress, I’ve lightened up the black cloud that’s been shadowing my every thought.
Equally important to these insights is the tactical goo – the stuff that I can put to practice in my kitchen. I’ve already shared that I’m not terribly talented with cooking, so I enjoy any tips Melissa can share. One suggestion she made was that whatever I toss together, do it with love – love for myself, love for those I’m cooking for – I love the way that sounds, so I’ll definitely try it. We talked about experimenting with kale and other super foods that give so much more nutritional bang for my food dollars and time.
As I stand here, more than halfway through my work with Melissa, I’m feeling pretty darned good – stronger, food savvy, more confident. I know that I have tons more to learn but I’m excited to push through to a place where it all flows more freely without quite so much time and effort. And even more importantly, I’m looking forward to no longer needing to remind myself that my own health and well being is the best investment of my time and energy. As I inch my way toward these goals, I’m so very grateful to Melissa for sharing her wisdom with me so generously.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT! What steps are you taking toward awareness around food this week? How do you stay mindful? How do you make healthy changes in your behavior? Read the first four here: Installment 1
: The Intro, Installment 2:
First Week, Installment 3
: Challenge Week 2, Installment 4: Challenge Week 3 (ADD LINK WHEN LIVE).
Melissa Grabeau became licensed as a psychologist in California in 2001 and has been in private practice since 2003. She works with adults and couples presenting with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, eating disturbance, relationship issues and addiction.
Recently, she has broadened her existential/humanistic background in Psychology to incorporate her long standing interest in yoga and Eastern Psychology. She became a Certified Yoga Teacher in 2009 and is currently integrating mind-body techniques in her work with clients. For more about Melissa, visit her website.
Never let it be said that a working mom who counts kids and family before everything else can’t be a social media maven or entrepreneur who makes good and knows her way around the Internet.
Lori we think has serious chops for this sort of thing and knows a good bite of extraordinary when she sees one. Anderson has been marketing businesses in the high-tech, medical device, media, and non-profit sectors for fifteen years when we found her. She pens and editorially manages for LP as well as Blogher.com.