- A “failed bulimic,” that’s what I called myself. I wanted to be a bulimic so badly, but I couldn’t do it.
I was an expert at the binge part but could never quite figure out the purge part.
And no one knew because by day I was this health fanatic who ate the “perfect diet” and by night I spent way to many hours with Ben and Jerry. (No joke my parents owned 2 franchises and we had tons in our freezer).
- As a result I became a yo-yo dieter , and I would use diets to drop 20 pounds in 2 weeks or exercise like crazy. Morning after morning I would wake up and the first thought that would go through my head was is this going to be a fat day or skinny day. And you know how I found out the answer. I ran to the scale- this external source -IT told me the answer.Yet the irony was that when I did achieve my weight goal I was still not happy.
- The battle with food went on for nearly 2 decades.
I was developing health concerns like irregular menses, constipation, aches, pains and intense mood swings. Intellectually I knew I was eating over emotions but I didn't know how to stop it.
- Around the time when my struggle with food was at its peak I was living in NYC working as a musical theatre actress. To stay in shape for my theatre jobs and because I was obsessed with my weight I was at the gym constantly. One day I stumbled upon a group class that I liked...little did I know that this class was about to change my life. I had started practicing yoga and meditation.
- When not at the gym or on a gig I waited tables between acting jobs. When I was working in the restaurant the other waitresses and I would sneak food into the bathroom between orders.
- One night one of the waitresses mentioned that she had taken the chocolate fudge layer cake into the third bathroom stall. “You can have some,” she said.That was it. I was gone. From that moment on my mind was on one thing—chocolate cake! When my manager told me I had a break, I dashed to the bathroom.
- There I was in the 3rd bathroom stall on a 5-minute break tearing through a piece of cake. I was about half finished with the cake when I stopped mid bite. I opened the bathroom stall and looked at myself in the mirror & something happened.
"Who is this person?", I asked myself.
This morning during my yoga I felt self-empowered, calm and connected--especially to my body— which historically had been the culprit of my suffering. I was learning and experiencing presence, consciousness and the real art of loving myself from the inside out. I was beginning to shift my need for approval from external sources (the scale) to inner confidence. (liking my body and myself from the inside)
Yet here I was demolishing a cake, relating only to my very loud critic and acting only from my impulsive actions. I walked home from the restaurant that night in a daze. I sat for hours at my kitchen table.
- Then I had an insight...
Take yoga off the mat and into the kitchen.
Translated to—practice awareness with food.
It suddenly seemed so obvious. Eating, or rather over-eating, was the one consistent place I went unconscious. In contrast, during yoga I felt vibrant and alive...... present.
- What if I could apply that level of awareness to my relationship to food?
- In that exact moment I set a new goal: To bring the skills of mindfulness and compassion to my relationship to food and my body.
- On some level I was on my way, I had already begun to practice eating an organic whole foods diet but I needed something else...
the missing ingredients...presence, consciousness, awareness, mindfulness and inquiry.
- There were of course many ups and downs over the next 17 years but I was now on a path. A path others had walked before. To awaken.
I now saw my struggles with food as the gifts of my life. As crazy as it sounds I thanked the universe for giving me this hardship.
- Everyone comes into the world with something to overcome. Difficulty with food and my body were the cards I was dealt. And stumbling upon the yoga class at my gym was the first step to put me on a journey beyond my wildest dreams.
With the tools of meditation, yoga and mindfulness I now had a daily practice to keep me in alignment with who I wanted to be in the world. A liberated lady. This freedom took me by surprise as did my decision to change careers from actress to spiritual counselor. I was learning skills that helped me feed my soul and nourish my body and I wanted that for other women.
- The battle with food might not be your struggle. It might be another addiction, depression, relationships, work...
And although you might perceive it as the thorn in your side I invite you to investigate something else. Perhaps this is YOUR gift.
- If exploring what will help you free yourself from suffering and you are interested in learning to feed your soul and nourish your body contact me. We can set up a time to speak about ways I can support you to find your own path towards your liberation.