How I Found Food Freedom

I was  three years old the first time I can remember eating for self-soothing>  I sat in the pantry with a spoon and the brown sugar bag, using the sweet substance to numb the discomfort I felt. It gave me just a little bit of pleasure with each mouthful I took in.

By the time I was a teenager, I was dieting and binge eating daily.  I had this hole inside me that I kept trying to fill, and eating seemed to fill it for a moment.

At the end of high school, I had a full-blown case of bulimia.  I knew what I was doing harmed my body, but I didn’t know how to stop it.  It was confusing because I felt such shame and guilt over it, but I also felt like I needed it. I felt I would be stuck with it forever.  

I lost relationships because I was emotionally disconnected.  I lost out on educational and career opportunities due to my lack of self-confidence and follow through.  I needed out of this cycle.  

I started asking for help.  Over the course of five years, I sought out so many multiple professionals.  I tried just about everything from nutritionists to therapy, restrictive diets, personal trainers, to just plain trying harder.  

I found that while some things helped, the treatment options for disordered eating were seriously lacking.  There simply wasn’t holistic support from someone who really got it.  

Not until I found an Intuitive Eating and mindfulness coach who’d gone through what I was going through.  She believed deeply in my ability to change. This gave me the hope I needed to actually make the changes.   I learned so many things, but the core items are these: 

  • diets don’t work and are actually proven to lead people into disordered eating 

  • Intuitive Eating is a proven framework to help people get off the pendulum swing between dieting and binging

  • it is possible to change behaviors with the right tools and support

After my recovery, I had an epiphany that I wanted to help other people find the same freedom I had found.  

I compiled everything that I wanted in a healing program from tactical hands-on tips, to tools steeped in Intuitive Eating and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  I saw how important community was, and learned how to build in vibrant support and accountability from other people on the journey.

My life’s work became dedicated to lifting the deep-seated shame around disordered eating, and helping women+ to step into bigger, bolder lives.  

After learning with me and participating in our community, our alumnae have found Food Freedom.  They have gone on to live the lives they had actually been so hungry for all along

We all broke the cycle. You can, too. 

Take the next step and join us on WEDNESDAY for “How to Find Freedom from Out-of-Control Eating.”  Learn if Intuitive Eating and behavior change is what you need to find freedom. 

My life changed when I realized mental restriction was leading me to binge eating.  Intuitive Eating and behavior change has helped me and so many others. It would be my honor to see if I might be your guide on the journey.

How to Break Out of the Binge-Shame-Starve Cycle

I used to  wake up in bed with chip bags and candy wrappers. Evidence of my binge from the night before. I would feel so guilty and disgusting. 

I would blearily blink open my eyes and the rush of shame would envelop me. I had done it again. I’d be so bloated and my body seemed like it had  weights pressing down on me. 

I’d think to myself: “I’ll skip breakfast to make up for all the calories I ate last night, maybe lunch, too.”  The thought of those future hunger pains would make me wince, but I deserved the bloating and the future hunger after being so bad the night before. 

By the end of the day, I would be so ravenous that I’d binge all over again.  And on and on the cycle would go. Binge at night, feel so ashamed, starve all day and then binge again.

I am so grateful that I am not stuck in that cycle any longer. Over the years of my own recovery, I learned so much that helped me change my behaviors and to meet my needs without binging.  

I used to think it was impossible to be free from this suffering, but now that I am nearly a decade on the other side I know it’s possible. Not only for me, but for you, too.  At this point I have taught the tools to break the cycle to thousands of students and watching them find food freedom is the BEST EVER. 

So, if you can relate to the starve-all-day-binge-all-night cycle, then listen up.  I’m going to lay down some knowledge about one essential reason why you are stuck. 

We humans are basically big fancy animals.  We need to eat to survive. When we go long stretches without eating, our bodies think that we are experiencing food scarcity and get freaked out that we might be going into a famine period.  Think about our ancestors- starvation was a real threat to our species.  

The body is set up to protect itself from starving. So, when we go a long time without eating and we push past our hunger signals, our bodies will eat as much as possible the next time food is available. 

Physiologically induced binge eating is a thing. It’s probably not the only reason you eat in an out of control way. Though, it must be addressed as part of a holistic recovery.

The bottom line: when you put off eating for a long time you are physiologically set up to binge. This isn’t your fault, or you being bad.  This is your body protecting you.

Research shows a lower weekly binge frequency for people who eat consistently.  One study in this body of research, published in Eating Behaviors journal in 2014, states, “Results demonstrated that higher regular eating adherence (3 meals and 2-3 planned snacks daily) was associated with lower weekly binge frequency.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24854811).

Many of my students will tell me that they are trying to make up for all the calories they binged on the night before. But that logic doesn’t check out.  

It will likely feel weird and potentially counter-intuitive at first to break the habit of skipping meals, and sometimes it’s physically uncomfortable, too.  I have found that it is an essential step for so many people who stop the binge eating cycle and find food freedom. 

My suggestion to you is to start small.  Experiment with bringing in a bit more food a bit earlier.  And if you hear that nagging shaming voice, talk back to it. Tell it, “My body needs nourishment.  I can break this cycle!”  

When you put off eating because of last night’s binge, you are actually setting yourself up to do it again.  It is time to break the cycle and you can absolutely do this!

How Last Supper Mentality Leads to Binge Eating

How often do you find yourself sliding down this slippery slope:  “I want that chocolate. I’ll just get it now, and I can eat it on the way home and no one will ever know! I know it isn’t on my diet, but I’ll just start again tomorrow.

Let’s say you got the candy bar and you scarfed it down so fast you barely tasted it. Ugh! 

Next thing you know, you stopped by McDonald’s for a small shake that somehow ended up large and drank that before you got home, too. 

Now, it’s ten to eleven at night and you’re prowling the kitchen, searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth while munching on chips of all things!

This, my dear,  is classic all-or-nothing black-and-white thinking, also known as The Last Supper: if I’m not perfect with my eating today, then I will be healthy again starting tomorrow. Until then I have no other choice but to go crazy with last supper eating! 

You are so not alone with this. AND busting out of Last Supper Mentality is an essential part of finding Food Freedom. 

How about you replace that thought with a different one: it's one moment at a time, it isn’t one day, or one week at a time.  (“I’ll start on Monday” people, I’m talking to you…..)

Each new moment is a moment when you can be aware of the pattern you are in, examine, and instead make a different empowered choice.  You can choose at any minute to shift your trajectory by changing your next thought. 

Maybe you don’t feel like you could ever possibly do this, but the truth is that I help people every day to rewire their brains and begin to think new thoughts, and make new choices.  

Think of it this way: each thought, each action, each choice, is moving us one direction on the Spiral of Life or another.  

‘‘Our thoughts move us into or out of ever greater alignment with what we value and how we want to feel. 

When you recognize yourself having Last Supper thoughts what can you do? 

Pause. Breathe. And have no judgment about which direction you are heading.

You heard me - no judgement! And why? Because each experience - good and bad - can help you in each moment to see what your next thought or action might be.

The important thing to remember is that you can choose how you want to feel. You have the power of choice! So you bought something you craved and scarfed it down? It happens. And that’s okay. 

It’s in that moment when you think “I’ll start again tomorrow” and you find yourself looking for something else to eat that I encourage you to take that pause. 

Think about what you really want; what you really need. Are you moving into or out of greater alignment with what you value and how you want to feel? Ask yourself without judgment: is this food going to help me to feel the way I want to feel?

How to Say NO to Grandma Pushing You to Keep Eating

If you struggle with peer pressure around food and can’t figure out how to say no when someone pressures you to eat seconds, then this note is for you!

Picture your last big gathering. Maybe it was a big holiday like Thanksgiving where everyone brought their favorite dishes to share. Each dish looked so delicious that you tried to eat a little bit of everything.  You got so full you simply couldn’t manage another bite!

But then Grandma asked if you wanted dessert. “I’m not ready for dessert yet,” you said, and maybe she gives you thirty minutes or even an hour before she asks you again. 

“Ready for dessert?” Still full, you shake your head. “The kitchen is being cleaned up and everything put away,” she presses. 

“But if you don’t eat it now, it’ll be gone!” she protests. 

You cave, because she’s THE family baker and she just wants to see you enjoying one of her treats. Fifteen minutes later, you’re regretting giving in and wondering how you can ask if anyone has any Tums without them giving you one of those annoying knowing smirks.

People may have the best of intentions.  Sharing a meal or treats is so often a way that people like to share or show their love.  That said, it isn't a loving gesture to you if you do not want it.  

With that in mind, learning to say “No” to offers of food is an important part of the journey to Food Freedom.  Allowing anyone to cross your boundaries is a form people-pleasing.

People pleasing is an easy way to end up in the midst of out-of-control eating. If you feel a “No” in your heart (and stomach) but you don’t say it, then I bet you end up eating about it later. People so often eat as a way to cope with their boundaries being crossed.  

Boundaries are so essential in this journey to Food Freedom! Even a small exertion of boundaries allows us to practice, so that we can set the bigger boundaries that we need to protect ourselves. 

We have to get good at noticing our boundaries and then naming and claiming them. 

So how would you go about getting your “No” across to Grandma? 

“Everything was so delicious and I just can’t eat another bite!” is a great response to her first push. 

The second may require a less enthusiastic, “No, really, I’m not hungry.” 

The third push is the key. Keep in mind the saying, “the third time’s the charm!” Most people will ask three times because they know that the third time is when most people cave. 

A firm response without a smile is usually best in this case. “I am done eating. Please stop suggesting that I eat more.” You can always add “thank you” to take the sting out of your words. You can also ask for a plate to-go, as a way to stop Grandma’s insistence on your continued eating. 

Stand firm with your boundaries and release yourself from the peer-pressure to eat past a comfortable level of fullness.

Want to keep learning with me? Make sure you get every blog I write delivered to your mailbox by subscribing here. 

Do you have a Mean Girl in your head that makes you feel terrible about yourself?

“Who’s that person in the picture? It CANNOT be me! Oh, my God, it is…”

Ouch. What a painful thought that is! I hear that pain all too often from my students on the Path to Food Freedom. Consumer culture has brainwashed us into believing we must have a certain body type or We’re. Just. Not. Good. Enough.

That’s BS!! You thought it, too, right? But how do you actually take that thought into action.

It’s a lot easier to think “that’s BS” than to actually show up and love ourselves just as we are, huh?

How do you change the narrative and break away from consumer culture’s lies? 

First, you accept that your body is as it is. We can't love what we don't first accept. 

So in order to move into self-love we first have to move into acceptance.  

Acceptance doesn't equal approval. You don't have to like something in order to accept that it is reality. 

When you resist what is reality, you create suffering in your mind and in your actions. Accept that your body is the size it is. You don’t have to like it, to accept that it is as it is.

Again, easier said than done! It takes practice to rewire our brains away from the negative, resistant, self-hating voice. 

My favorite tool for learning self-love is the :”Mean Girl voice vs. the Auntie voice” that I teach in the Path to Food Freedom Curriculum. 

That first line of this blog? That’s the Mean Girl, that is most likely running the show in your thoughts. 

In order to change those thoughts, you need to create an Auntie voice. The Auntie voice is this loving, kind, compassionate voice that takes no BS!  You have to cultivate this voice, who responds to the Mean Girl voice from a place of compassion and kindness. 

It’s time to start talking to yourself with more kindness; time to start responding to the self-judging voice in your mind from a place of compassion. Accepting ourselves as we are in this moment is key to releasing negative body image, and your Auntie voice can help you do just that. 

The Connection Between Busyness and Binge Eating

Do you find yourself eating more when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or in an high-emotion situation? If you are stuck in cycles of eating so that you numb out and don’t have to feel all the pain of everything for a little while, then this note is for you.  

Recently one of my students came to me and said, “Natalie, I’m overeating because I’m feeling overwhelmed. I'm aware of what I'm doing yet can't or don't want to stop. I am using my tools, but it doesn’t seem to be working. What else can I do to help with this issue? I'm so frustrated with myself!”

Self-soothing is a completely natural, even necessary, part of life. It’s the truth! 

Life is really hard sometimes, and we need to do something to self-soothe.   It’s totally understandable that you go to food.  

Understandable, but ultimately not the most effective form of self soothing.  Just the automatic one.  

When we are in one of the particularly stressful moments of life, we need to up our self-soothing game.  If we don’t, automatic eating behaviors will force the numb out self-soothing time.

How can we self-soothe without turning to mindless eating? 

Rest. 

Do you give yourself time to just chill out or are you caught up in the mindset of needing to feel productive and busy ALL THE TIME so that you feel worthy?

What if I told you that not only are you worthy, but that you’re worthy of rest? 

Common culture doesn’t value rest. Culture constantly tells us that we *must* be productive in order to be worthy. With the go-go-go all the time mindset, most people don’t give themselves permission to just kick back and rest, unless they are engaging in some other kind of numbing behavior, like eating. 

The problem is that this isn’t actually effective rest, and is more harmful than helpful ultimately.

If you give yourself full permission to rest, your need to eat to cope will decrease. It’s really incredible to find the connection between the lack of rest and the numb-out eating behaviors.

I’m not talking about sleep. I’m talking about lighting a candle, closing the bathroom door, and taking your shower as hot as you can stand while you inhale the sweet scent of lavender and lemon. 

Or, rest could also look like lying in your dark room alone with your eyes closed, listening to your favorite relaxing song as you melt into your soft, warm mattress, while you purposefully breathe to release tension.

Ask yourself right now: What is the most effective and available form of rest that you can do as a Tiny Action each day? When life gets super crazy, you gotta turn up the dial on self-soothing.  What can you do to purposefully rest more in your day?

How Ignoring Your Hunger Leads to Binge Eating

One of my students recently came to me and said: “Natalie, I‘m so busy all day that I rarely eat in the daytime Between my job, the kids, my partner, I just don’t have time to think about food. 

By the time I get home, I’m so ravenous that I eat a snack or two, dinner with a second helping, another snack or two after the kids are in bed, and next thing I know, my stomach’s killing me! 

What do I do to stop this out of control eating every night?”

The answer is to practice the hunger/satisfaction/fullness tool from the Intuitive Eating toolbox THROUGHOUT the day. 

The goal of this tool is to use your body sensations as a support for knowing when, what and how much to eat.  Relearning how to honor these sensations is an important aspect of creating Food Freedom.  

Your hunger is your body telling you that you need more energy.  Diets taught us to ignore this sensation and to push through without eating.  Research shows that when people push away hunger and end up ravenous they are biologically more likely to binge eat.  

It’s ok to be hungry. It’s ok to honor your hunger with food. This isn’t you being weak.  It is you honoring your body. 

Aren’t satisfaction and fullness the same?

Not exactly. Satisfaction is how much you are enjoying the food, from the first bite to the last.  Focus on slowing down and concentrating only on your food. Really allow yourself to taste the spiciness or sweetness, to feel the crunch or the smoothness of your meal. Allow yourself to really enjoy the experience! If you aren’t satisfied by what you are eating now, you will seek it out in a treat later. 

Fullness, on the other hand, is a sensation that grows over the course of eating.  The general guideline of honoring your fullness is that you choose to stop eating when you are comfortably full.  For sure, it is TOTALLY FINE if you eat past fullness. No judgment here. AND Fullness is your body telling you it has received enough energy for now. 

If you have been on dieting yo-yo for a long time, you may not feel these sensations.  When we restrict ourselves or binge a lot, our bodies’ sensations change. But it is possible to get these sensations back. 

When we honor our Hunger, Satisfaction and Fullness, we are using our bodies to inform us about when, what and how much to eat.  This is a profound transformation away from meal plans, calorie counts, and eating schedules.

Why Meeting Core Needs is Essential to Stop Mindless Stress Eating

If you regularly find yourself mindlessly eating to get through the stressful days, then you are going to want to read on.  

Does this feel familiar? It’s been a hectic day. Work was super stressful and the kids are upset because you thought it was soccer day when it was piano lessons day. So you didn’t bring the soccer bag. Everyone is frustrated and whining. 

Then you spent the hour of piano lessons shopping because your spouse had to work late again on their night to cook. Once you cooked that meal for your starving pianists, during which you took a call from your best friend who’s on their third terrible date this week, your spouse finally gets home and eats quickly and silently before declaring exhaustion and citing the need to get up early to finish the project. 

Once the little ones are in bed, you look around, seeing what a mess the house is. Then it happens. While you’re methodically and perhaps a little grudgingly cleaning up, you find yourself dipping into tonight’s leftovers and finishing what was left in the pot.  

You start taking handfuls of chocolate chips as you clean up from the day. The clean-up goes quicker when you’re snacking, after all, and by the time the kitchen’s spotless, the stash is, too.

At this point I’m sure there’s some frustration and some shame too. “Did I really eat all my dinner and then all of those chocolate chips? How did I let myself do that again? I’m such a failure.” 

When we mindlessly eat like that, it’s a way to meet our needs; needs that we may not even realize we have. All that care and attention we lavish on our families and friends we oftentimes feel like we don’t get in return. So we get the chocolate chips to give us a little love. 

Undoubtedly you’ve heard of self-care and maybe even had some success in implementing an occasional long hot soak, spa day, nail painting or whatever it is that self-care looks like for you. But how often does it happen? 

Take a moment. How many times did you carve out time just for yourself this week to make sure you are really meeting your core needs? What about the last month? Now take a moment to reflect on the number of times this kind of mindless comfort eating happened, and when. Did you feel the urge to eat more when your needs weren’t being met?

The key to stopping the mindless eating comes through slow and steady behavior change. It absolutely works and the how is simple. It’s the same way the children in your life are learning how to play an instrument or a team sport: practice.

I can hear you say: “Okay, but practice takes focus and I’m so busy that I can’t even focus on myself for two seconds!”

I get it. Life is so full! Change takes effort and you don’t want to let anyone down. But let me ask you this: how can you meet the needs of others without putting on your own oxygen mask first? You might be able to for a while, but eventually exhaustion will set in, and so will the mindless eating.  

By focusing on yourself and taking care of your own needs, you will find that you are more readily able to help others. 

It’s time to start meeting your core needs now. Taking time to make sure you are taken care of the way you take care of everyone else is essential if you want to build the foundation to stop the unwanted eating.  

Want to keep learning with me and take these teachings even deeper? Make sure you get the invitation for each week’s Food Freedom Mini Class by signing up here. 

Restriction Lead Me to Binge Eat

You want to know what the biggest a-ha moment was during my recovery from binge eating nearly a decade ago?

My out-of-control eating wasn't actually the problem.  It was actually only the symptom. Want to know what the problem was? 

Restriction. 

Restricting my food was leading me to binge.  (There is a lot of research to back this up. Here is one particular study.)

So, what is restriction? It can be a lot of different things. 

Diets are the most obvious form of restriction. But there are many other sneaky forms of restriction:

  • Judging foods as good or bad, and beating myself up when I ate "bad" foods.  That was restriction. 

  • Tracking macros in MyFitnessPal. That was restriction.

  • Doing a "cleanse" for "health." That was restriction. 

  • Embracing the next shiny "healthy lifestyle change."

 All of these restrictions lead to out-of-control eating.

Take a moment and check yourself.  How are you restricting your eating? Hit reply and tell me the different ways that you currently restrict your eating. 

Now, I can hear you saying, "But if I don't restrict myself, I will just go crazy and eat everything in the world.  I hear you.  But here is the truth.

Restricting and out-of-control eating are just different sides of the same coin. So many people before you have learned how to stop restricting and have seen their urge to binge just drop away. 

Just imagine what it would feel like if you were able to stop the out-of-control eating and not have to restrict yourself.

Where you are able to enjoy food, but not obsess about it.  Where you eat food that feels good in your body, and then you just move on with your day.  Where you focus all that mental energy that used to be on food onto whatever bad*ss creations that were once only in your wildest dreams.  

I want to see what you are going to create when you have healed your struggles with food. 

You've got this. Keep learning. Stay in touch. And put on your crown. 

TinyActionTV Episode #37: The Link Between Bingeing and Perfectionism

Hi, my name is Natalie. I'm a recovering perfectionist.

Are you a member of Perfectionist Anonymous?

I know that when I was struggling with binge eating every single day for over a decade that all I wanted to do was to do it right, to be perfect and to not keep messing up all the time.

I would try really hard to seek that perfection, to be good. And ultimately, what would happen is it would swing the other way and I'd end up stuck in these behaviors that left me feeling out of control and crazy.

What I've learned through my journey of recovery is that it's absolutely essential to let go of the perfectionism and instead, to seek presence.

When we're actually present with what's happening in the present moment, then we can notice the thought patterns that lead us towards those actions of out of control eating.

But when we're stuck in that perfectionistic mindset, then we are always seeking something forward in the future. We're not here now.

When we're in that seeking mindset, we aren't aware enough to notice those classic old thoughts that lead to those classic old actions.

If you want to let go of your out of control eating habits once and for all, then I want to support you to seek presence, not perfection.

Today for your Tiny Action, when you notice yourself going off into that perfectionistic "someday I'm going to get it right. I'm going to be perfect. I'm going to do all these things to get there."

I want you to instead take a deep breath, feel your body pressing down against the ground, be here in this present moment through the sensation in your body, and seek presence, not perfection.

If that sounds good but you don't really know what I'm talking or how to get to that place of presence, then the Goodbye Binge Eating Foundation's course is the place for you to start.

You're lucky because it's about to start but it hasn't yet and you can still join us as  Founding Member.  Founding Members are going to get to participate with me LIVE and get an awesome one-time-only introductory price. 

If you're interested in finding out more about the five essential first steps you must take to build that foundation to say goodbye to binge eating once and for all, head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass right now so that you can secure your spot. 

TinyActionTV Episode #36: The Solution to Mindless Eating

People who are struggling with out of control eating usually end up eating really quickly, standing in the pantry when no one's watching. 

Or classically, in front of the TV, mindlessly eating that whole family size bag of chips and not even realizing you're done until you're done.

Sound familiar?

Instead of getting stuck in those mindless cycles of eating, what I want to do is give you permission to savor sensation.

It's okay to enjoy eating.

It's okay to feel good.

It's okay to feel good feelings through the sensations in your body.

In fact, when you choose to focus your mind on pleasurable sensation, you're able to have a richer experience of life.

When you are eating, I am suggesting that you pay close attention to what it looks like and smells like, the textures, the taste—  to savor those sensations.

There is actually a part of our digestive process that gets stimulated through sight and smell, and if we neglect those sensations—  if we're mindlessly eating— then that digestion aspect never gets stimulated and we don't feel full.

So we end up eating a lot more, and don’t even notice it. 

Another really important reason to savor sensation is that when you actually focus on savoring the sensation of your eating, then you actually get that deep satisfaction that you want from the food.

It's okay for you to feel pleasure. And I want to support you to experience it in your eating, as well as in the other aspects of your life.

Feel the pleasure of putting lotion on your skin. Feel the pleasure of the sun soaking into you. Feel the pleasure of being able to look at beautiful things. It's okay to feel good.

When you savor sensation, the world gets a lot brighter.

If you want to learn more tools to help you say goodbye to binge eating, then I want to welcome you into an exciting new class.

It's the Goodbye Binge Eating Foundations course.

You will learn the five essential steps to build the foundation, to say goodbye to binge eating and emotional eating once and for all.

I'm opening this class up to the very first cohort of founding members super soon.

When I do that, the people who sign up as Founding Members are going to get a couple of really cool things.

They're going to get to experience the class with me LIVE, which in the future it's going to be a recorded home study course.

AND you're going to get an awesome introductory price.

If you want to get in on that, head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass and save your seat on that wait list.

That way you will be the first to hear about it, and you can be one of those lucky Founding Members of Goodbye Binge Eating.

TinyActionTV Episode #35: Powerful Tool to Stop Obsessive Thoughts About the Past

A quote that has been so important on my own journey of having recovered from being stuck in the cycles of bulimia for over a decade, was this one: "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

The intense moments of pain are going to happen. The people we love are going to get sick, we will get laid off, these things are part of what it is to be human.

What we have choice around is how we then react to that initial moment of pain.

Today I want to talk about a very specific part of how we react, and teach you what I think is one of the most powerful tools on the path to food freedom, and that is acceptance.

We need to accept what is.

If we're in resistance to what actually has happened, then we are creating more suffering for ourselves.

 

If we are arguing with ourselves in our mind over something that has already happened by imagining how we could do a past scenario differently, we're creating more suffering for ourselves with those thought patterns.

Instead, I offer you this very powerful phrase that you can say to yourself when you notice yourself stuck in those mental head trips of "if only I had," "if only it hadn't happened."

That magical phrase: it is as it is.

It is as it is.

I accept that it is as it is. This is what is happening, so instead of creating more suffering for myself through my resistance to what is true, I am instead going to just accept that it is as it is.

In finding that acceptance, you eliminate that suffering for yourself. 

The less suffering we're experiencing, the more able we are to actually show up in choice about how we're eating, and to not numb out our emotions and painful though patterns with food.

Over and over again, each time you notice those suffering thought patterns, say to yourself, "it is as it is."

Acceptance is freedom.

PS From Food Freedom Land!

If you want to learn more amazing essential mindset shifts, and actionable tools then you want to know about the Goodbye Binge Eating Foundations Course.

It is going to be the five essential first steps that you must take to build the foundation for yourself to finally get over binge eating and emotional eating, once and for all.

I have an exciting opportunity for Founding Members to join this class.  Founding Members will be able to actually participate in these classes with me, live. In the future they'll be recorded. AND Founding Members are going to get an awesome introductory price.

So if you want to make sure that you get on that wait list to be a Founding Member, head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass

TinyActionTV Episode #34: Surprising Secret to Busting through Resistance

If you're sick and tired of the food crazies, then my guess is that you want to figure out how to control your eating so that you don’t go crazy yourself.

You're ready to be done with the bingeing, done with the emotional eating, and ready to feel like you actually don't obsess about food all the time.

Usually when people are feeling that way, they start to think, "what's the next diet I can go on?”

They think: "I'm going to control my eating so that I can push through this resistance that I have to changing myself, the resistance to being the best version of myself."

And what I find is that when people try to push through that resistance, it doesn't work.

They're using willpower, they're using this artificial energy that ends up busting and you don't end up where you want.

What happens when willpower busts out on a diet?

You end up swinging way the other direction and eating everything in the house.

It happens like clockwork, guaranteed.

So instead of pushing through the resistance to change, I want to offer an essential mindset shift: rest through the resistance.

Give yourself the permission to chill out.

The reality is is that we are all super overwhelmed and stressed out these days. The phone is always blinging, the boss is always calling, the kids are always yelling. There's always a lot going on.

When we are stuck in so much stress from the intensity of life all the time, the last thing that we need is try to push through the resistance of our food behaviors to try to control them.

If we want to actually create sustainable change, the answer is to instead of pushing through that resistance, to rest through the resistance.

What I mean by that: go take a bath. Go take a walk. Go do something nice for yourself. Put on some music and just lie down.

Rest through it. By giving yourself the ability to rest you can then, from a nurtured and nourished place, show up and start to make different choices about the way you're eating.

I am dedicated to continuing to teach you more tiny actions to help you live the life that you've actually been so hungry for all along.

I want to tell you about something really cool that's happening in the Food Freedom world: the Goodbye Binge Eating Foundations course.

It's going to teach the five essential steps to build the foundation to say goodbye to binge eating once and for all. I am taking the most powerful tools from my highly successful (people stop bingeing left and right) 6 month long Path to Food Freedom program and giving them to you in just 6 weeks!

I'm opening this class up to Founding Members who are going to get a couple really cool things. For one, they're going to get to participate in the class with me live, and the second thing is that they are going to get a  great introductory price that will only be around for this very first time through.

So if you want to be able to be one of those Founding Members, head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass and you'll be able to get on the wait list so that you can sign up first thing and be a founding member of Goodbye Binge Eating.

TinyActionTV Episode #33: How to Change Habits Without Willpower

Do you desperately want to change your out of control eating patterns?

Are you so ready to finally figure this food struggle out? 

I bet that you feel like you can't trust yourself because you failed at so many of the other things that you've tried in the past.

That at this point, there is little will in you to do something new and to try something else.

You aren't alone. 

Showing up and making a big change in your own life requires conjuring up the tenacity to change from somewhere deep inside.

It’s time to find the source of your tenacity.  

 

It takes getting in touch with the deep desire to change (from a loving and caring place) to get in touch with that tenacity that helps you to push through that first couple layers of resistance so that you can actually start to behave in new ways that are supportive.

Now, I'm not talking about using willpower to stay on a diet. I'm not talking about using willpower to do that exercise routine that's actually killing you.

I'm talking about conjuring up a deep tenacity from inside of yourself to take care of yourself, to make one tiny action after another, to move more and more into self acceptance and into empowered choice so that you can create the life that you've actually been so hungry for.

Where does that tenacity come from?

We have to focus on our hearts’ deepest desires to find that tenacity. 

Find it and gnash it. Gnash your tenacity!

Sometime we have to call on something outside of ourselves: call on that wolf howling at the moon, or you think about someone who's been through something so much more intense than what you're going through— maybe someone experiencing war time or working with a disability. Persevere! 

Think about those people. Feel into it, and gnash your tenacity. Let that tenacity build up inside yourself and take that next step.

It's not always going to be easy, but once we start taking steps, once we start the motivation, we can be the snowball rolling down the hill.

But the essential thing therein is that you're not doing it from a place of restriction and push, but from a place of tenacity, from a place of, "I am going to do this for my life. I am going to take a stand. I am going to do what I need to do, so that I can figure out how to live this life that I have actually been so hungry for all along." 

Exciting Food Freedom News:

I have a new class coming out super soon called Goodbye Binge Eating, and it is the six essential foundational steps that you must take to say goodbye to binge eating forever, and say hello to Food Freedom.

If you want to be one of the Founding Members, then I want you to head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass

Signing up on this list is going to put you on a wait list so you get the opportunity to get one of the first spots available.

The Founding Members are going to get a couple really cool things: They are going to get to participate in this three month program with me LIVE, and ask me lots of questions and get a lot more interaction with me, and two, you're going to get a special Founding Member price that's only going to be available to the folks who join first thing.

TinyActionTV #32: The Downfall of Body-Checking Everyone, and What to Do Instead

When I was still really struggling with my disordered eating and my body self-hatred, I would walk into a room and I would body-check myself against everyone else that was there.

"Am I the biggest? Who has the smallest thighs? What are they eating? What am I eating?"

I would try to make sense of my self worth through that kind of comparative thinking.

But do you know the only thing that the comparisons actually did?

It would get me stuck on the guilt and shame spiral of doom.

Once I got onto that spiral of doom, guaranteed, I was headed straight for binge land.

That kind of comparative thinking puts us into that polarized perspective of good and bad- the black-and-white thinking that got us in this mess in the first place.

If you've been watching TinyActionTV for long enough, then you know it's precisely that good and bad, black-and-white thinking that is what is keeping us stuck on the cycle between restriction and out-of-control eating.

If you want to get off that downward spiral to binge land, I want to give you the tiny action of how to stop that comparison thinking. Comparison kills.

Every time that you notice a comparing thought going through your mind- comparing you to anyone or anything else- that you choose to unhook your mind from it.

Take your fingers in the shape of a hook, you drag it across your forehead, imagine pulling that thought out of your mind and body, and flicking it away. (Helpful to watch the video to see it in action.)

It's powerful to do it with your body, because it gets it out of just your mind, into your body, and right on out of your system.

The more often you do it, the more often you're aware that you're comparing and choose to unhook, the less times that you're going to actually have those comparing thoughts.

When you have fewer comparing thoughts, it's much easier to listen deeply to your own body, to understand what it is you want and need at any given moment.

Then you will be more able to make the empowered choices about your food and body so that you can actually live the life that you've been so hungry for all along.

And here is a little public service announcement: I have some exciting news!

My new class, Goodbye Binge Eating, which is the six essential first steps you must make to find freedom from the food crazies, is going to be coming out for the first time in just a few weeks.

The Founding Members of this class are going to get a few really cool things. First, they're going to actually get to get the teachings from me live, so they get their questions answered along the way.

Second, they're going to get an awesome founding members price, which is going to be the lowest this class is ever offered at going into the future.

If you want to make sure that you know about that class when it opens up, head on over to natalieforsythe.com/newclass, and you can get your name on that waiting list.

There will only be spots for a limited number of folks, so make sure you get your name down there first. 

TinyActionTV Episode #31: One Essential Secret to Get Over Yo-Yo Dieting

So many folks who are struggling with out of control eating patterns end up pushing themselves to be perfect in everything that they do.

It goes something like this: "I’m going to home-cook all my own meals and freeze 'em in little freezer baggies, and I'm going to work out for two hours a day every day! And I'm going to make sure that I also do all my work perfectly, and I'm going to take care of my kids just right."

And then guess what happens at some point?! 

Something bad happens. Life happens, and you end up not being able to fulfill on those big goals and promises you made to yourself! 

And then you end up swinging in the other direction, feeling like a failure, and heading over in what I like to call Bingeland.

If that feels familiar, then this is a concept I really want you to hear.  It is time to stop the push.

It's time to stop pushing so hard.

When you find yourself in that place where you are really pushing to try to get things done, and you're using your willpower, to try to accomplish everything perfectly, you remember this: When you try to accomplish what you want for your life through pushing, you will exhaust yourself, and you will fail.

Instead, I want to offer another perspective, which is that you come to it with a different set of values: ones of kindness, and compassion, and being realistic.

Ask yourself what would be the kind way for me to move my body today? What would be the compassionate way for me to work through everything on my to-do list?

It doesn't mean you just sit back, and are lazy and apathetic.

You just come at it, instead of from that pushing place, from a more open and receptive, kind and loving place.

For your tiny action today, what I want to support you to do is to really think about the times that you push and see how you can replace it with some kindness.

Stop the push!

TinyActionTV Episode #30: Simple Tool to Stop Emotional Eating

Emotions. Emotions. Emotions. How overwhelming emotions can be.

My guess, if you are reading this blog, is that when you feel intense emotions, you stuff it down with food.

You use food to make yourself feel better. You use food to feel just a little bit more comfortable, and you use food to numb out from those intense emotions. Am I right?

I want to offer another tool to help you in one of those moments where you experience a lot of intense emotional duress. Give it to the earth. What does that mean?

Give it to the earth. Here’s how it goes: you experience a moment of intense emotion, go outside, if you can be barefoot.

You might be standing, you could even be down on your hands and knees, you can be however you really want to be, but the idea is that you're in contact with the ground.

 

Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, you do a big releasing breath that is audible. Then as you release with that vocal exhale, you also envision sending that emotion into the earth. You just send it out of your body and into the earth.

Now, this might sound a little funny, and in some ways it is, but what if it helps? What if you could to that instead of binge?

Worth doing. Right?

I know, anecdotally from my experience and the experience of so many students of mine, that doing this kind of exercise can take you from being in a place where you feel right on that edge of out of control eating, to a place where you actually are feeling more calm, and grounded, and able to move through your day without going to food. 

Just remember: get in contact with the ground, envision sending out the emotion into the earth and exhale vocally as you do it.  May you experience this powerful release when you give it to the earth. 

TinyActionTV Episode #29: What do you need to say “NO!” to?

Do you feel like you end up saying yes all the time when instead you're thinking to yourself, "No, I don't want to do it?"

Are you way overcommitted and you don't have enough time for yourself and you're so stressed out by everything you're supposed to be doing?

I know that people who are struggling with out of control eating issues often say yes to everyone all the time.

They take on everything even though it's too much. And it ends up being a huge stressor.

What do people struggling with out of control eating do when they're stressed? They eat.

If you wanna stop your emotional eating, your binge eating, then I want you to think about, "Where can I say ’no' more often?"

It is always socially acceptable to tell someone, "No, that doesn't fit into my schedule."

There's so many ways to say no without hurting someone else or yourself.

I find all the time that my students don't want hurt other people's feelings, so instead they do thing they don't want to do which in turn ends up hurting themselves.

I want to support you to value yourself first, as they like to say on the airplane, to put on your own oxygen mask first and then help other people with their masks.

Today for your tiny action, I want you to really think about what is one area of your life where you need to say no more often, and then do it.

It is okay to create boundaries.  In fact, if you want to find freedom from out-of-control you will need to create boundaries. 

I support you to say “no" more. 

Say NO more!

TinyActionTV Episode #28: The Problem With Willpower

Do you feel like you just don't have enough willpower to control your emotional eating and your binge eating? That's what everyone say it's, "Just don't do it! Use your willpower! Make it through!"

But the reality is that when we behave in that kind of willful way, where we're really exerting so much energy to control our actions, inevitably that willpower will break, and we're gonna swing the other direction to out-of-control eating behaviors that make us feel crazy.

So instead, I want to offer a perspective shift on willpower.

Willpower isn't the solution, it's actually the problem with your eating behaviors. That process of trying to control will inevitably always backfire.

Instead of being willful, may you be willing.

May you be willing to learn new tools.

May you be willing to make different choices.

May you be willing to get the support that you need to actually figure this food thing out once and for all.

Today for your tiny action, I want to offer you this simple phrase that you can say to yourself in your mind, when you notice yourself going into that willpower place.

And that is: "I'm willing to to make a different choice right now."

I am willing to make a different choice right now.

And then see what happens.

May you find your willingness and let go of that willfullness.

TinyActionTV Episode #27: The Secret to Going from Self-hate to Self-love

Self love. Self love. Self love.

How many times have you heard people talk about self love? And you think: "uh, yeah, looking in the mirror and saying 'I love you' is not gonna do it for me."

I know that people struggling with out-of-control eating issues look at that concept of self love, and think "how could I possibly love myself? I'm doing all these behaviors that show how much I don't care about myself, that show how awful I am."

I don't think you're awful. I just think you're stuck in behavioral patterning, but I know the thinking, because I have been there myself.

Going from a place of self hatred to self love is not easy.

There are some stops to make along the way before you can get to self love. 

One of the most powerful ones that I know is acceptance.

Acceptance. What does that really mean?

It is super understandable to think: "how can I possibly accept these crazy behaviors? How can I accept that it's okay to be binging in this way?"

I want to give you a mental shift on the concept of acceptance: acceptance does not equal approval.

You can accept something without approving of it.

If you aren't in acceptance of something that has already happened, then it is something that you can't change. 

So if you aren’t accepting the truth of it, then you're creating more suffering for yourself by being in resistance to it.  You create more suffering by beating yourself up about it, and being in the guilt and shame cycle about it.

Instead, what I wanna support you to do, is to shift your focus from being in resistance to what already has happened, to being in acceptance of it.

Accept the fact that you binged.

Accept the fact that your body is how it is right now.

It doesn't mean it won't ever change, it just means that you're accepting what is, in this moment.

If you're not accepting what is in this moment, then you're just creating more suffering for yourself.

For your tiny action for today: the next time you notice yourself in the mental cycle of, "oh my God, I can't believe that my thighs look like this," or, "oh my God, I'm just so awful that I ate all that food." That instead, you take a moment, and you say, "well, it is as it is."

It doesn't mean you're approving of the fact that you look the way you do, or that you behaved the way you behaved, but it is at least accepting that it is.

That is an important step on the journey to self love, and the journey to letting go of these behaviors that are driving you so crazy.

Just remember: Acceptance does not equal approval.