Dear body, thank you for taking on these extra 5 pounds.

This winter, I gained a solid five pounds. Maybe a couple more, I’m not entirely sure to be honest.

Initially, I was kind of upset about this extra weight. But lately, I’ve gained a tremendous, deep appreciation for it.

I talk to women all the time about body image and I believe that our bodies tell a story. When we naturally lose weight, it is typically a result of us being relaxed, happy, and less stressed in our lives. Many women talk about losing weight on vacation when they are chilling out and at ease. When we gain weight, it is usually a sign of something else going on. Stress, boredom, lack of excitement in our lives, overwhelm.

I’m pretty in touch with my emotions and how to take care of myself on all levels, but I have to say that starting a business threw me for a big loop. As hard set I was on keeping some sort of peace, balance and sanity during this new venture, I’ve quickly learned that I have to get used to NOT necessarily having those things right now. I’ve become increasingly comfortable with this, but I struggled with it at first. And I see the reflection of that in my body.

However, when I look at my body, with the extra weight it’s holding onto, I look at it in such a loving way.

When I look in the mirror, I see a body that supported me starting a business from scratch.

I see a body that had my back as I faced a lot of fears and took a lot of risks.

I see a body that was with me through making some of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make with little idea as to how to make them.

I see a body that supported many sleepless nights when my brain wouldn’t stop churning about who knows what.

I see a body that helped me get up after those sleepless nights and devote my full attention to talking to my amazing clients all day.

I see a body that gave me energy to keep my relationships strong, exciting and healthy during times when I felt worn down.

I see a body that took me for runs when I needed to clear my head and let me sleep like a baby when I truly needed it.

I see a body that fueled me to go out dancing with my friends for hours on end when I needed to let it all go.

I see a body that let me eat cereal at 3am to get me through a project I needed to get through, and occasionally rely on ice cream to mentally check out when I just didn’t know what else to do.

When I look in the mirror and see that my cheeks are a little fuller, my thighs a little thicker and my stomach a little rounder, I see a girl who ventured into unknown territory and a new phase of her life and a body that supported that.

I’m not superwoman (dang, wish I was), and although I talk about emotional eating and self-care, I also tell people that sometimes you just have to do the best you can. Sometimes we get thrown curve balls, or we move into a new chapter of our lives and aren’t quite sure how to handle the new lifestyle and challenges that it brings. We need to relearn how to take care of ourselves, how to adjust, and how to grow.

Although I have taken care of myself in the best way that I know how, I’m still learning as I go through a new phase of my life, and I’ve learned that the best thing I can do for myself right now is be understanding, patient, and compassionate with myself. There have been days that I’ve overeaten to comfort or distract myself, weeks when I haven’t gotten enough sleep, times when I haven’t managed my stress as well as I could have, and many days I haven’t gotten outside and stretched my legs as much as I know my body has wanted to.

But I’m still here, and I’m still kickin’.

And I’m starting to get the hang of it. And I know that each day I’m learning more about what I need and how to make this all work. How to balance taking care of myself, taking care of my business, and taking care of everything else.

So for now, here is a little letter to my body…

Thanks for being patient with me and supporting me through so much unknown and uncertainty lately. I look at those extra 5 lbs and I see them as a reflection of everything we’ve pushed through in the last several months. I know I haven’t treated you perfectly, but thank you for being there for me anyway. We’ve accomplished a ton, and I couldn’t have done any of it without you. As I get used to this new life and keep figuring it all out, I know that I will be able to  focus more and more on taking care of you and giving you what you need. Thank you for hanging in there with me.

I want you to look at your body the next time you’re in front of the mirror and thank it for something. For something it has gotten you through. Are those extra pounds a reflection of something you’ve gone through and an example of where your body has taken one for the team? Did you eat to get through something, or stop working out because you were dealing with another area of your life that needed attention? Is that extra tummy roll there because you can’t stand your job but you’re doing it anyway and constantly hitting the M&M jar to get through the day? Are you going through changes in your life and still trying to figure out how to take care of yourself under those new circumstances? Where has your body supported your decisions and kept you afloat? Where has it taken on some physical weight because it was too hard for you to take on the emotional weight? Can you compassionately thank your body for that?

Weight fluctuations are normal. We go through things in our lives and constantly have to adjust. We go through break ups, we deal with extreme joy and pain, we change jobs, we move, we build families. And its normal that as we go through changes, our bodies do too.

So what’s next? How about these 5 pounds?

Well, I’m not too concerned about the weight. I know that it will go away eventually, and my number one job right now is to just keep working on creating a lifestyle where I am able to pay attention to my body in the way it deserves. In these past few weeks I’ve felt like I am kinda sorta getting better at this new entrepreneurial territory I am swimming in, and I am going to continue to just keep figuring out how to make it all work for me.

I plan on sharing a series of posts over the next several weeks explaining what lifestyle changes I’ve been/will be making in my own life in order to take care of myself even better. It will be a combination of what has worked for me in the past plus new strategies that I’ve been trying out lately. It’s going to be a lot of little things, no drastic changes, but I figure I might as well share how I’m learning to take care of myself with a very unstructured schedule and a lot of uncertainty, change and unknown going on in my life right now.

So if you’re interested, stay tuned!

I’d love to hear from you. Regarding the questions above– can you compassionately thank your body for something its helped you get through, even if it has taken on some weight? Do you have any ideas of something you can shift in your life right now in order to create more room for taking care of yourself and giving your body more of what it needs? 

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The Week I Talked To 35 Women About Their “Food Issues”

After running the February Intuitive Eating Challenge, I strongly felt that the next time I did the challenge, I should add an initial and final one-on-one coaching call for me to connect with each of the women, personally. I wanted to understand them better, and I wanted them to feel a connection to me as I guided them through a three week journey that was going to drastically challenge their “dieting” beliefs. Most importantly, I wanted to give them the opportunity to just talk.

So, as part of the March Intuitive Eating Challenge, I added in two 15 minute one-on-one coaching calls for each of the participants.

And last week, before the March challenge started, I held all of the initial calls. I sat in my little studio apartment and spent my time talking to 35 women about their relationship to food, their bodies, and themselves.

The week that I talked to 35 women about their food issues was one of the most meaningful, touching and eye opening weeks I have had in a long time.

Each of these women has her own story, her own history and her own struggle with her body and her weight.

These struggles run deep, and these talks were emotional. Some of these women even cried to me within minutes of our first words.

These women are from all over the United States, are of all ages and backgrounds, and have totally different lifestyles and jobs.

Some are college graduates, and some are moms of four kids. Some are marathon runners and some struggle to get off the couch. Some are trying to lose weight, some are trying to maintain, and some are trying to gain weight.

Some have been dieting for 3 years and some have been dieting for 30 years.

But despite their differences, I was so deeply moved by how much these women all have in common in regards to their “food issues”.

When it comes to the relationship that these women have to food and their bodies,  there are such obvious themes that connect all of them, and that I believe connect so many of us, as women. 

These women are exhausted. By the voices in their heads that beat them up for eating what they shouldn’t be eating. By all of the questioning. By the constant cycles of dieting and bingeing. By the weight gains and weight losses that they keep experiencing.

They are exhausted from trying to control everything.

Each of these women has a hard time with self trust, self love or self care in some form of another. I know that, as women, we can all relate to this. We question ourselves constantly. We judge ourselves and compare ourselves to other people. We aren’t sure if what we really want to eat, do, say, is “right” or if it’s enough.

They feel like they need permission to do what they actually want with their diet.

They all struggle with:

Lack of trust.

Need for Control.

Self- Doubt and Self Criticism.

Restriction, rules, judgement.

Emotional Eating.

So you know what happens when 35 women come together and try to give up all of the dieting mumbo jumbo, repair their relationship to food, and work together on getting back to themselves, their cravings, and what they actually want?

Watch. Out.

The support among them has seriously blown me away. We have this Facebook Group and it’s a non stop outpouring of support for one another.

One woman posts a success, or an “ah-ha” moment, and everyone celebrates.

One women posts a struggle, and she is clearly beating herself up. Others are there for her within minutes. Telling her that they just had a similar experience the night before.

It has become clear that there are so many other qualities that these women have in common:

These women are incredibly loving.

They support the hell out of each other.

They are open to something new.

They are aware.

They are willing.

They are strong.

They want to learn about themselves again and learn to trust themselves. They want permission to give up the “shoulds” and just be themselves. They want to see what this feels like. They want to feel free.

The week I talked to 35 women about their “food issues” was beautiful, meaningful and so profound.

I realized the strings of connection that tie us, as women, together. The themes, struggles, and desires that are prevalent in so many of our lives.

And most importantly, I realized the power that we have when we support each other. It blows my mind.

When You Just Need Some Wine

So many people have asked me something along the lines of… “so, now that you’re into this nutrition thing, do you still drink?” “can I still get you a beer?”.

Oh heck yea you can!

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I remember freshman year of college I used to not go out as often as I would have liked because I didn’t want to take in all of the calories of alcohol. Like I mentioned here, when I first went off to college I was super fit and was so worried about how I was going to maintain it.

But over the years I’ve learned that drinking, in somewhat of a moderate way, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can help you maintain or lose weight.

How is that, you ask?

Because it is fun. And fun is a HUGE ingredient for weight maintenance or weight loss. In my case, I think FUN is and was probably the MAIN ingredient that helped me effortlessly lose weight. Having more fun in my life.

Another health coach who I follow, Sarah Jenks, has an entire program devoted to this concept. It is called “Live More, Weigh Less” and the premise is about how getting a life helps the weight fall off. I couldn’t agree more with this philosophy.

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I believe that when you have more of a life, a fun-filled life, you feel more fulfilled in general. Feeling fulfilled makes you feel whole and happy. And when you feel whole and happy, you don’t really care about food. You don’t need the food to fill any voids.

So the moral of the story? Embrace your wine. Or your beer, or your jalapeño margarita. Or a mojito (my weakness in the summertime) I’m not saying to go binge drink every night. That would make you feel terrible. But, enjoy it, have fun with it, smell it, taste it, savor it. I know this girl agrees.

Let loose. It’s good for the soul.

Here are some tips that I have developed over the years for incorporating drinking as part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat dinner before you drink. In college, I would try to not eat before I drank to counterbalance the calories. This just ends up backfiring because you end up eating more late at night when your appetite is raging. Now, I always eat a decent dinner beforehand. Except for at Happy Hours. Those are always interesting… no time to eat dinner beforehand… Oops.
  • Stick to low sugar drinks…. but not all the time! Personally, I don’t like the sugary drinks that much, but I do love an occasional awesome cocktail and real beer. For the most part, I’ll stick to wine, beer, and vodka/soda, but if a good cocktail catches my eye, I go for it. Again, have fun with it.
  • Drink some water, at some point.
  • Peanut butter toast is a great go-to food at the end of the night. When you come back late, you’re kind of hungry, and need something before you go to sleep. Peanut butter toast is my go-to. It’s hearty, healthy, and beats 5-5-5- Domino Pizza (oh, college). Well, ok, maybe it doesn’t really beat Domino’s in taste, but your body will thank you the next day.
  • Start the next day off with a hearty breakfast.

That’s about all I’ve got for ya! Almost the weekend!!

What are your thoughts around drinking fitting into a healthy lifestyle? Any tips you have?

My Health Journey: The Ups, Downs and Where I Am At Now

Oh boy, get ready for a long winded post. Sit back, relax, grab some coffee. I knew I had this post coming for a long time and have definitely resisted it. But here goes nothing… layin’ it all out there.

I think that it’s interesting to know the background behind someone’s writing. Why does someone believe in the things that they do? Why do they have a passion for what they do? Where does that come from?

So since I write a blog about food and healthy living, I want to tell you a little bit about my story.

Although I can say that I have a really healthy mindset regarding weight, food, and my body now, it was certainly not always like this. Not even close.

I grew up really thin. Thankfully, I have good genes and am by nature a very active person. I was always really skinny and generally didn’t really worry or think too much about my body prior to senior year of high school. Right around this time, a couple of things happened. First of all, I became very very serious about school. AP classes started, the pressure of college was laid on us hard, and I grew up in a very strict household that focused a lot on getting the best possible grades. I was good at school, so I quickly fell into a very serious mindset, trying to achieve as much as I could and work as hard as I could. I could sense myself getting irritable, more serious, and overall stressed out, but I thought it was par for the course.

The other big thing that happened at this time was that my boyfriend at the time and I went through a really messy breakup. It was hurtful and the whole thing just knocked the wind out of me.

With the breakup and the stress from school, I think these two things led to my first experiences with emotional eating. It wasn’t anything major at the time, but I remember knowing I was eating because I was bored, upset, stressed, or just generally down. I did gain some weight from this, but I was still very thin. However, I knew that something was off, and it was then that I learned about dieting. My first diet was Body for Life. It spelled EVERYTHING out for me– workouts, eating, everything. During a time when I felt like I was adopting strange eating habits, and I was starting to feel a little lost, I needed some control. This did it for me for a short period of time.

Throughout senior year, I dabbled in various diets, and very strict exercise programs. I just tried to control everything. Control was the theme of this time in my life. I was about to head off to college and wanted to look and feel awesome. The summer before college was definitely a restrictive time. I ate super healthy and worked out a ton. I left for college looking and feeling great… except for one thing…

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(right before I went to college)

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(beginning of college)

Do you know that feeling where you are being SO restrictive and/or SO extreme with yourself that you know you can’t possibly keep it up and you are just waiting for the ball to drop? Well I definitely had this when I went to college. I knew deep down that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with such a clean diet and constant workouts. I was just waiting like a ticking clock until I lost it. What a horrible feeling.

College. Oh man. I won’t delve into all the details here, but it was really just constant up and down with my weight, tons and tons and tons of diets (really, I think I tried all of them), trying to make exercise “click”, trying to make a certain diet “click”, eating when I was stressed, eating when I was upset, eating when I was bored. I was a hot mess.

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(sophomore year, had gained some weight at this point)

On the outside? Everything looked peachy. Other than my weight fluctuations, I honestly still had a great college experience. I was generally happy, I excelled in school, I got great internships and had a lot of accomplishments, I had a lot of incredible friends, things were great. I’m not saying at all that I had a horrible time in college, but deep down, I was NOT a happy camper. The inner turmoil that I put myself through with all of the dieting, the disappointment, the bad body image, the helpless feelings, the ups, the downs, the inability to deal with my emotions… these things took an immense toll on me in so. many. ways. I left college feeling good about my life and its direction, but torn up on the inside with some pretty bad self esteem. Everyone always told me how confident I came across, and its true, I was confident about certain things, but so not confident about other things.

Post College:

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(sometime after college, this is probably at my heaviest)


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(right after college)

I knew that there had to be a better way. I have a really positive attitude on life and I just knew that there was a way around all of the struggling I had gone through and there had to be an easier answer out there.

This is when I reached out to a “nutritionist”. I wanted to lose weight before starting my first job. I had gained about 25 pounds in college, and just didn’t feel good. Well, the Universe works in interesting ways, because it led me to a “Health Coach” named Cora who changed my life, seriously, forever.

When I had my consultation with Cora, she said “I want to get you to a point where you can listen to yourself and your own body instead of dieting, restriction, deprivation, etc.” I probably cried when I heard these words. I was so tense and so stressed out about finding the right diet, and how good did it sound to just find my own answers, learn how to pay attention to my body instead of ignore it, and most importantly, learn why I was turning to food for emotional reasons. I knew I needed help, deeply, and I was so relieved to hear that Cora sensed that and was going to help me.

Well, she helped me more than anyone has ever helped me before. She opened up my eyes to a hell of a lot of self exploration and for the past four years, I have delved into a serious journey about understanding myself, peeling back my emotions, peeling back my habits, peeling back my thoughts about how things “should” be, and getting to the raw, pure sense of who I was. I learned to trust myself, to come up with my own rules, to live from the inside out. To live “intuitively”.

So where am I now?

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I am constantly learning, changing, and growing, but I can honestly say that I am finally at peace regarding food, exercise, my weight, and the image I have of myself and my body. 
I’ve lost most of the weight I gained in college, but beyond losing the weight, I’ve lost the need for control, the anxiety regarding food and my weight, or the thought that some “diet” or some rules out there are going to make it all right. I have total trust in myself, in my own intuition, in my own cravings, in my own body. I don’t ever have anxiety about food anymore. I eat what I want, when I want. I exercise when I want in a nurturing, fun way. I don’t put pressure on myself.

I feel free. Free from all of the stuff I tormented myself about for so many years.

Most importantly, learning to trust myself with food/dieting has also helped me trust myself in every other area of my life. So although my “struggle” had to do with food, the journey and the outcome had to do with my entire life.

It has been a hell of a ride and I am still on the ride. I will always be on the ride. I’ve worked really hard to get to the point where I am at. I’ve worked with people, I’ve read a crap load of books, I’ve experimented, and I’ve done a lot of trial and error. Turns out that my issues ran so much deeper than food. It was about understanding myself, living a life that I truly want, being confident in who I was – not who I thought I should be- , and living intuitively. This is tough stuff, and it opened my eyes up to a lot of not-so-pleasant realizations, but in the end, so many beautiful, incredible and life changing realizations.


I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about my journey. I am happy I gained weight in college. I am happy I did all of those diets. I am happy I went through it all. All of my “issues” were clues, they were a way for me to peer into myself and really understand who I was, what was truly bothering me, and what parts of me needed to be nurtured and taken care of. We all turn to different things or fall into different habits when we are struggling. I definitely developed unhealthy habits, and once I realized that I was using food and diets as a cover up for something that was wrong, I decided to jump in head first and figure it all out.

It’s because of this journey that I am now determined to help other people. For the past ten years, I have gone through a lot of ups and downs, and I can’t explain how life changing it feels to be at peace with all of this. I want to help other people find that, and it’s because of this story that I feel so deeply committed to doing whatever I can to make an impact.

If you got to the bottom of this post, thanks for listening. Now, go fill up your coffee 🙂