An Unexpected Answer for Food OCD

Juliette Morris, founder, iFastersI’m pleased to share a guest post from Juliette  Morris, founder of ifasters.com.  After my doctor recommended I try fasting to re-teach my body how to burn stored fat, I went right to my computer to learn more.  I was dismayed to find very little information on fasting for women.  Enter Juliette Morris.  She’s been there, done that.  Plus, she recognizes how fasting can be less of an “extreme sport” of eating and more of a healing tool for gals who’ve always fought with food.  This is critical to me, as our bodies are one-of-a-kind, and we each need a tailored approach to food which fits with our lifestyle and temperament.  Intermittent Fasting is one option. Enjoy!

With the pressures of today’s society, even the smartest, most sensible and health conscious women can mistreat their own body in favour of being slim. I don’t think any of us would recommend half of the things we do to our own body’s to anyone else, yet it seems to be ok for us. Why is that?

As a health professional I can tell you first hand that, even though us women might know what’s good and healthy for us, it can all easily go out the window if we think we might get fat.

60% of women in the western world have some form of disordered eating habits. That doesn’t mean they have an ‘eating disorder;’ it can be cutting out entire food groups (like carbs, wheat, dairy, sugar) or eating a strict diet every day or calorie counting at every meal. But it still means that we’re not eating ‘normally’.

So if you think about it, that’s MOST of women that you know who either openly or secretly restrict themselves in some way and are probably having a secret love-hate relationship with food.

But with so many diets and gimmicky weight loss tricks out there these days how do we know what to listen to?

After a a decade of trying every fad diet possible from my early twenties onwards I became a chronic yo-yo dieter and fluctuated in weight constantly. I learned the hard way that I wasn’t being clever by eating a low calorie diet or eating boring diet foods all the time because I started to create food anxiety and ‘food OCD’. I was constantly thinking about the foods I’d banned from my diet, when my next meal would be, what it should be, how many calories to eat and….well you get the idea. I started to not really enjoy food anymore. It was a horrible way to live.

Little did I know, we don’t only have to satisfy our ‘physical hunger’ we also have ‘emotional’ or ‘physiological hunger’ which can only really be tamed by eating a variety of satisfying and soul nourishing foods and being able to eat without any feelings of anxiety or guilt.

After yo-yo dieting for some time it became harder and harder to lose the weight and eventually I was heavier than when I first started and it just wasn’t going to budge. Studies now show that dieters will almost always put the weight back on (and then some) because diets are just not sustainable. If only I had known that back then! It was too late; I had already created food OCD that would take a long long time to undo.

My food anxiety meant that as soon as I even thought of losing weight it just made me think of depriving myself so I thought about food even more! So losing weight felt like an impossible feat. I was in quite the conundrum.

After trying a plethora of fad diets, I stumbled upon intermittent fasting in 2010. It sounded pretty straight forward, you fast (only drink non-caloric drinks or a set number of calories) for a period of time and for 2 days of the week then the rest of the week you can just eat normally. It sounded too good to be true!

The science behind it was sound and made sense. If we eat sporadically, the way our ancestors did, our body has a break from digesting and can switch from using blood sugar for energy to using our fat stores. Also by having sporadic periods of very low calories (like our ancestors did) our body won’t slow down our metabolism like it would if we were eating low calories every day (like if we were on a diet) so we stay at our fat burning peak all of the time.

Not only did I lose the weight and keep it off but the best thing I could have ever hope for happened. My food OCD and anxiety disappeared completely. To me this was the biggest relief of all and I was finally free to enjoy food again.

I have to admit that because of my history with dieting and sticking to low calorie diet plans, I found the prospect of fasting terrifying. So with the knowledge from my role as a rehabilitation consultant I created a weekly plan over 4 weeks to ease into it gradually.

Eventually I was not only going for 24 hours without food I was also feeling completely comfortable about going without food because I knew that during the rest of the week there were no food restrictions. In a strange way, the non-restrictive nature of intermittent fasting meant that I didn’t actually crave any bad food or have the urge to binge afterwards.

I set up a website at ifasters.com and wrote a book for Kindle ‘Intermittent Fasting for Women’ with a plan for each ‘Eating Personality Type’ because I knew there would be women out there just like me with a history of dieting who would need to ease into it very slowly.

Now I can honestly say that I can enjoy eating food without feeling anxious about what I eat and feel comfortable in the knowledge that as long as I stick to my easy fasting routine I’ll be keeping the weight off and getting some of the health benefits at the same time.

Intermittent fasting has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and that’s why I spread the word as much as I can in the hope that other women will find it just as life changing and liberating.

Take Home Tip

In a strange way, the non-restrictive nature of intermittent fasting meant that I didn’t actually crave any bad food or have the urge to binge afterwards.

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Buy Juliette Morri's book, "Fasting for Women"Buy Juliette’s eBook

 

 

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The Silver Bullet Workout

Here’s a sneak-peek at a chapter in the 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide, Just Show Up:  Why Movement Matters

The Silver Bullet Workout

Meet Betty.  She’s doing everything right.  She follows the Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio for five days a week.  She watches what she eats.  She nurtures herself with plenty of social activities.  Yet, she’s still uncomfortable in her skin and fighting to shed some extra pounds.  If she’s doing everything right, then why is it so hard for her to lose weight?  Health experts like to simplify Betty’s dilemma with the axiom “calories in/calories out.”  If Betty eats fewer calories than the amount she burns, then she should lose weight.  Who knew math could continue to plague us in our adult years?

So far on my journey, I’ve been able to see results with the help of one, effective principle I learned in college:  The Silver Bullet Workout.  I call it The Silver Bullet Workout because — like graduating from algebra to statistics — it multiples the calories-out effect.

While studying Exercise Prescription in college, I learned that a longer, moderately-paced workout once a week can boost calorie burn.  A general guideline of The Silver Bullet Workout principle follows.  (Of course, you’re reading this after getting your doctor’s permission to exercise, right?)

Silver Bullet Guidelines

  • Frequency:  once per week
  • Intensity:  on a scale from one to ten, settle in between a five and six
  • Time:  duration equal to three times the length of your normal workout

How does The Silver Bullet Workout actually work?  Well, there are others more educated than me who can go into the scientific details.  I do know that the longer duration and moderate pace give enough time and intensity for my body to burn through my quickest energy stores, which are glucose flowing in the blood and glycogen stored in the liver.  Once those reserves are spent, my metabolism goes into overdrive to convert stored fat into burn-ready glucose.  Hence, the weight loss.  However, its wise to remember that time can be too much of a good thing.  Its best to ramp up total workout time slowly to avoid causing inflammation which can cause injury and make you retain water.

My exercise routine includes going on a long hike every Sunday with my hubby.  When we first started, I couldn’t last long enough to equal three times the duration of my normal workout.  When I hiked, my lower back clenched up, my thighs burned, my hips ached, and I was breathing like someone sucked all of the oxygen out of the woods.  So, I had to start with what I could do while still enjoying it.  That way, I’d want to get out again the next week.  I’m going to keep ramping up my time until I can go an hour and a half, which opens up even more possibilities for hitting adventurous trails where surprise springs gurgle in hidden forests and refreshing waterfalls sound like wind gliding through the trees.  Who knows, maybe one of these Sundays, I will even meet Betty on the trail.

 Explore It More By Following the Links Below

Just Show Up eGuide, 100 Pounds in 1 YearThere’s more juicy details and insightful ideas in Just Show Up:  Why Movement Matters.  Read along with someone who started from zero on the couch and made her way to hiking mountain peaks.   Most exercise plans start out demanding too much effort or too much time.  I need a plan that fits me, a work out that actually works for me, not the other way around.  To my delight, I found the power in starting simple and getting creative as obstacles came up.  Learn why movement matters and how you can design your own yellow-brick road to fitness.  $2.99

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Dear Phat Girl: Losing My Cookies

Dear Phat GirlDear Phat Girl,

I’m stuck. I want to get back to exercise, after years of doing nothing. Every time I start working out though, I get this terrible feeling. It’s more than just sore muscles (I’ve got those, too.)  I get light-headed, almost nauseous. I try to just keep exercising through it, but it’s not going away. I want to lose weight, but how can I when I feel like I’m going to throw up whenever I exercise?

Sincerely, Losing My Cookies in Radersburgh, MT

Dear Losing My Cookies,

Phat girl feels your pain. When I started working out, I couldn’t even walk ten minutes before my lower back seized up, but I couldn’t even get my shoes tied before a headache began brewing in my brain. Like you, I tried sweating through it, but the pain only worsened. I tried all sorts of medicine; nothing worked. Nothing, that is, until I looked into my headache for the remedy. I say “into” because the cure came from within. In simple terms, my body needed to release a lot of pent up emotion. Before I could begin burning fat, I needed to burn up some embedded feelings. Years of carrying extra weight had spackled layers of nastiness like shame, anger, and humiliation deep within. The headaches eventually disappeared, but I had to release some toxic baggage first.

Emotional release is a natural part of exercise. It will always happen, and always to your benefit. Moving helps us metabolize the tiny hits we experience daily just by being alive in this world. That process requires release. Unfortunately, we cannot script the release. Feelings seem to arise in the order they want. Nor have I found any shortcuts.

I like that you haven’t let the nausea stop you, but — just in case — be sure to visit with your doctor about it.  In the meantime, let’s add one more facet to your workout routine. When you feel nauseous, stay with it. Be with whatever comes up. I remember, when I got back on a recumbent bike, how my stomach jiggled every time I pushed the peddles. I felt so angry as I thought, How could I let myself go like this?! That’s o.k. That’s honest. It’s what wanted to be felt. Staying with your feelings might seem scary at first, but – in reality — our fear of feeling these emotions is often ten times worse than the actual experience of them. Let’s be real, too. No one wants to throw up on the treadmill, so find a safe place to move while you allow some buffer time to ramp up your workouts. I know you’re jonesin’ to lose weight, but this time is not in vain. Think of it as working out your inner heart. To do this, you may want some privacy. (One of my best friends practiced hot yoga, so she could cry during workouts. No one could see that it wasn’t sweat!)

There’s no easy way around, over, or under the disappointments of life. Your body knows this and wants to clear the guck and get you free. This is the point of the pain. Also, you’ll hone a vital skill for maintaining lifelong fitness: forgiveness. If you plan on staying fit for life, this won’t be the only time you get stuck. Let’s face it, life happens. When you miss workouts, what’s going to get you moving again? Forgiveness. I still have to remember to practice forgiveness. It’s my #1, go-to tool. To be clear, forgiveness is more than wiping a slate clean. I like this version: Before + Give. Give yourself a chance to change before you actually change. Believe in yourself the way your body believes in you.

Exercise is a powerhouse of healing on the outside but especially on the inside. Moving reconnects us with our bodies in ways little else can. This connection is like a super-highway for any psychic trash that’s weighed us down, but it’s also the bridge we need to get to the other side.

Take Home Tip

Staying with your feelings might seem scary at first, but – in reality — our fear of feeling these emotions is often ten times worse than the actual experience of them.

 Explore It More By Following the Links Below

Check out the chapter, “What You Want and Why That Matters” in the 100 Pounds eGuide Eat to Thrive.  Discover how desire and compassion can health emotional eating.  Find it here.

Comments or questions for Phat Girl?  Remember: every comment you enter below automatically submits your name for the monthly drawing of a FREE eGuide.

Yo, Phat Girl, I Gots Ta Ask..

 

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How Did You Do It?

"Until you run out of pages there's still room to write an epic ending." -- Kevin NgoQuick – off the top of your head – think of one weight loss tip you’re practicing. Now, where did you hear about it? I’m 99% sure you learned of it from someone else. Maybe you read a tip in a magazine, swapped stories with a gal in the gym, or caught a sound bite on the radio while stuck in traffic. However you heard about your latest weight loss strategy, someone’s story was most likely part of passing it on. I’m fascinated with the power of story, especially among folks wanting to lose weight.

Whenever I share the fact that I’m trying to lose weight and writing a blog about it, people smile in that limp way which says, Sure…but is it really working? Then, I mention I’ve lost over 60 pounds. NOW they’re interested. Faces lift. Shoulders straighten. Then, they ask The Question:

“How did you do it?”

I always hear some version of that question. At first, this bugged me. I knew in my heart that copying someone else’s strategy rarely translated into my own success, so why would I want to feed that old, broken way of doing things? I didn’t want to perpetuate the idea that – if they just do what I did – they’d lose weight, too. Then, I realized, I do the same thing. I glom onto people’s stories. In fact, I’m practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) right now because my doctor recommended it. However, it wasn’t her prescription that got me started. It was her story. She’s one of the most energetic, sparkly people I know, so when she shared how IF had helped her, I made a mental note to check it out. I started the next day.

In truth, staying healthy is a lifelong practice. I will always have some food and movement routine to keep the body I’ve gotten back in the last two years. I get bored easily, and finding new ideas to keep me interested is one way to stay engaged. Sharing stories is another. To that end, I’m excited to announce Version 2.0 of 100 Pounds in 1 Year. This site is still about losing weight and gaining life, but with the added power of story behind it.

Who supplies the story? We all do! I know this will work only if it’s about more than just me. I need your input, too, dear reader. Stories are meant to be shared, and I want the 100 Pounds in 1 Year website to be a safe community for readers to glean their next best idea.

Here’s what you can expect from 100 Pounds in 1 Year, Version 2.0:

Two, exciting additions:

  1. Dear Phat Girl (“Phat” as in hip, cool, and indefatigably fabulous): a regular question/answer column where you can hear how other readers are facing their challenges.
  2. Chapter previews of upcoming eGuides, my 100-page idea-bombs of “true-dat-girlfriend!” goodness.

Plus More of Your Favorites:

  1. Short stories about people like you who overcome common weight loss glitches with grace and practical smarts (plus entertain you while trapped in traffic or waiting in a lobby).
  2. “Take Home Tips” in every story (ain’t ditching those, huh-uh, no way).
  3. Inspirational quotes to print, cut out, and tape to that jar of peanut butter that calls your name at 2 am.
  4. More Guest Posts from educated professionals about moving and eating to thrive.

I know your time is precious, so I’m going to sweeten the deal. Every time you comment on a post, you’ll be automatically entered in a monthly drawing to win a FREE 100 Pounds eGuide of your choice. Plus, if you leave a question, it could be answered in an upcoming column of Dear Phat Girl!

Every 100 Pounds in 1 Year EGuide Contains:

In writing this blog, I’ve always strived to stay true to wherever I was at any moment. I’m excited to see how 100 Pounds in 1 Year will morph with more input from readers. My best hope is that we all will keep sharing and keep finding new ideas to keep ourselves healthy and engaged in fulfilling lives. Ah, heck…let’s just say it…we’re going to change the world.

Take Home Tip

Finding new ideas to keep me interested is one way to stay engaged and keep healthy.

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7 Ways I Got My Body Back

Seven years ago, I had a dream which I’ve never really been able to shake. I always wondered what it meant. I think I’ve finally figured it out. At the time, I was working with a therapist. I shared the dream’s details with her. I described the dug-out pit I occupied and how it resembled a sunken site of an old, archeological dig. We surmised why the pit’s fence – which ran along the top of the ground above me, at shoulder height – seemed more like a military perimeter. With its bulky timbers reinforced by steel rebar, I wasn’t going anywhere. Why did it need to be so strong? More intriguing, however, were the holes underneath the fence. Someone had dug out gaps underneath the fence. Just enough space for a torso appeared along the edges every ten feet. Why had no one filled them in? Had hope carved out each escape route, and I hadn’t bothered to replace it? Maybe there was no point, since a pair of army boots stood patrol on the other side of every hollow. Why the necessary precaution? Who was out there, standing in those boots, and why did I stand inside, alone? I felt trapped. My solace was the open, blue sky above me. Puffy, white clouds paraded over me. This brings me to my biggest question…

Why didn’t I just fly out?

All notions of “flying dreams” aside, this seems a legit question. I acted as if the sky was a roof. There wasn’t anything holding me back, except me. In thinking of the top seven lessons I’ve learned throughout my weight loss journey, that’s the clincher. I see this self-limiting pattern over and over. Each of these seven ideas healed some element of whatever, or whyever, I was my biggest obstacle.

  1. Food can transform from currency into contentment. For most of my life, I’ve used food as currency. Food to feel my value. Food to reward my effort. Food to stand in for any desire I could not fill. The problem with this strategy is that I never experienced fullness. By using food as currency, I limited the amount of joy and contentment I could feel because food can only do so much. In addiction terms, I could only get as high as my next hit. I couldn’t stop this limiting cycle until I felt my intrinsic worth. I needed to connect with that unearned merit which abides at depths universal to us all. A Biblical poet put it best: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” (Isaiah 55) When I experienced my natural worth — which I cannot earn or have enough of anything to pay it back with — that’s when food transformed from currency to contentment.
  2. I do not have to lose 100 pounds before I feel better. When I first decided to lose 100 pounds in 1 year, I thought I wouldn’t be happy until I dropped all that weight. In reality, I felt better after shedding just 15 pounds. I can remember having more energy, feeling less pain, and sleeping better within weeks. The 100 pound goal gave me enough hope to launch my journey, but it didn’t have to power me all the way. In fact, the inherent restriction of my goal, as it was defined by a total number of pounds within a given time frame, became a burden. That expectation felt heavier than the extra pounds I was carrying. In order to continue, without the heavy restriction, I had to trade big expectations for tiny victories. It’s those everyday wins which took me the rest of the way, bringing the finish line to me.
  3. “Set Point Theory” isn’t as sexy, but it makes more sense. “100 Pounds in 1 Year” sure rolls off the tongue, but without the pressure of numbers, I made space to learn an amazing lesson, called “Set Point Theory.” Basically, it’s what keeps lost pounds from never coming back. Researchers have found that a slow burn — no more than 5% of total body weight every three months – keeps weight loss below our starvation radar. If I lose weight any faster, then I could be wasting my time and shooting my future self in the foot. According to Set Point Theory, in order to lose 100 pounds in 1 year, I would have had to start out weighing over 500 pounds. Indeed, that’s exactly where some folks start. For others, however, patient, compassionate weight loss and a return trip to the calculator and will avoid return trips to the diet isle.
  4. Weight loss is not a straight line but a meandering path through the woods. If I zoom out on my journey, taking a Google Maps view, I see lots of pitfalls and rabbit trails along the way. At first, I hated these obstacles because they slowed down my weight loss. But the hurdles just kept coming. They didn’t slow down until I slowed down. Turns out, I needed the hidden meaning in every detour. I learned to sink into the sand because there was probably something in there for me. If I tried to skip over it, I usually came back to it, anyway. I could only go as fast as my heart and mind could handle. Ironically, once I geared down to soul speed, I found oodles of freedom to play and experiment. Pit stops became hidden treasures and weight loss an adventure in living. My self-limiting insistence on a linear, start-to-finish highway to happiness seems silly and unrealistic to me now.
  5. Relationship brings results. So often, I’ve turned to tips and strategies for results, but copying other people’s fitness success works more like trying to push a button from behind by yanking on the circuitry. Tactics like counting calories, logging hours of exercise, or tracking total steps, these aren’t what cause fitness. They’re what comes after; after the choice to just show up, after frustrating days of missed workouts, and after the next day when I decide to pick up where I left off. All of these moments create a relationship, which is what really brings results. By sticking only to what worked for other people, I actually limited my options. When I drilled down to healing my relationship with myself, that’s when the power kicked in. I found out that I could trust my gut to lead me to my next, best step. Granted, it didn’t feel great all the time. I had walked around like a floating head for years; I was that disconnected to my body. It was scary to reconnect with my heart and mind through my body, even painful at times. But by staying authentic, no matter the circumstance, no effort was wasted.
  6. Get thinner but never stop getting thicker. I want to get thick, in my soul I mean. I want to slather on layers of life. I got into this journey by opening up to desire. I don’t want to stop now. I want to stay engaged with the juiciness of the Big Wow that infiltrates every part of every day. I think back to my days of eating drive-thru in my car on my lunch hour. I remember how utterly bored I felt with my life. To me, becoming thinner has happened more out of a sense of fullness, rather than depriving myself of joy (with food or otherwise.) By feeding awe and curiosity, I continue to uncover reasons to keep making healthy choices.
  7. I decided that I Already Have My Body Back. After losing 62 of my 100 pounds, I came to a crossroads. You may remember a recent blog when I slammed the proverbial table and declared, “I want my body back, dammit!” You know what came up after that release of pent-up angst? A quiet voice humbly whispered, Why not just decide to have it, then? This challenged me. What do you mean? I retorted. I can’t JUST DECIDE.   Turns out, I can. There’s this tune from The Antlers, called “Palace” (totally the sound track to my journey.) One phrase slays me: “…the day we wake inside the secret place that everyone can see.” That’s what this is. It’s inhabiting the beauty I’ve kept hidden from myself but which everyone around me has always seen. It’s the decision to fly out of the pit. This is possible because getting down to my real self wasn’t like peeling layers of rotten flesh from an onion. Not at all. It felt more like connecting with the orb inside. I kept nurturing myself. The onion grew bigger, got brighter, until its paper skin could no longer hold the glowing bulk and had to break off and fly away to make room for more. Granted, I couldn’t have gotten here before now. I needed more than a nice idea to try on. I needed to experience my body in healthy ways. I needed to trade out old clothes for new. I needed to climb mountains. I needed to see muscles flexing in the mirror. Now, though, I am ready to be who I’ve always been.

Take Home Tip

 

Why not just fly out?

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Listen to “Palace” by The Antlers

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How Yoga Helped Me Find Peace with my Body, Mind, and Spirit

I’m thrilled to introduce this guest post from Cami Cote, an inspiring yogini who doesn’t let size get in her way of feeling healthy.  Cami is owner of River City Yoga in Missoula and (drum roll here…) struck a gorgeous warrior pose in Origin Magazine.  I love Cami’s story because she has done what we all have — shed pounds through sheer discipline only to find out that lasting transformation stems from our hearts and minds.  Please join me in thanking Cami for sharing her story, first published in MindBodyGreen.

 

Cami Cote, River City YogaMy first yoga teacher had a license plate that read Ahimsa. Ahimsa is a sanskrit word that means, non-violence.  This is the story of my journey to learning the true meaning of Ahimsa and finding peace with my body, mind and spirit.

I had a less than ideal childhood: I felt unloved, unworthy, and abandoned.  I became an overweight child, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I was teased and bullied because of my size and I felt completely alone and powerless.  As I got older, I tried to find ways to control my life any way that I could. My primary outlets for this became diet and exercise. I’d successfully lose weight, but then I’d gain it all back, a cycle that only contributed to my feelings of self-hate.

I had always been interested in yoga, but didn’t think that I could actually do it, until a personal trainer at the gym recommended that give it a try. One day, I finally did. The teacher was kind and supportive and I felt challenged. I was hooked and knew I wanted to learn more.

Soon into my yoga journey, I realized that for the 90 minutes I was in class, I could let go of control, negative thoughts, and feelings of self-hate. However, as I went deeper into yoga, there was a part of me that wanted to be like the other yogis: thin and able to do poses such as upward facing bow pose and handstand. I thought if I looked a certain way and could do advanced asanas that I would finally find confidence and happiness.  I became desperate to lose weight; I just knew that everything I had ever wanted would be mine if I could just achieve a smaller body. I drastically cut my calorie intake and started spending upwards of three hours at the gym every day doing cardio and yoga.

And I saw results! I dropped over 100 pounds in less than nine months.  However, I was still beating myself up, physically and mentally. My self-talk was negative, and on top of that, I was over-exercising, pushing my body beyond its limits.  And ironically, despite the increased activity level and the weight loss, I didn’t feel better about myself because I weighed less; I was still in pain physically and mentally.  I had developed persistent knee pain and after several weeks, it hadn’t gone away. I had a series of X-rays and an MRI, which showed I had a torn meniscus and osteoarthritis.

Arthritis at 38, that was difficult to accept!  I had to change everything; I could no longer sustain the activity level that I’d been doing.

All of these realizations led to a downward spiral into despair.  I gained a few pounds and knew I needed to do something about it, but I couldn’t exercise the way I had grown accustomed to.  I felt like I had my life torn away from me, I couldn’t even walk without being in pain, which meant that the aerobic exercise I had been doing was out of question. As a person who has dealt with compulsive eating, body image issues, and depression, it is a real challenge to pull out of that darkness.  I gained 20 pounds, 20 became 40, and then 60 pounds. The realization that I might not get back to where I began become a real possibility. I wanted to treat myself with love and compassion, but how could I?  I was unworthy at the very level of being able to take care of myself. I had failed.

My knee injury became a defining moment in my life.  Isn’t it interesting how injuries become our teachers?  I had to give up my strong practice in lieu of a gentle and restorative practice, had to do physical therapy.  I went to a counselor and started working on my issues with compulsive eating, self-hate, and body image.  I began to meditate seriously and found joy in kirtan (call and response singing).  With all of this intensive internal work, my life started to shift and I started listening, I learned to connect with compassion and make peace with my body and mind. I had to find out what worked for me and I had to learn that could not let others determine what I should or should do in my practice.

I decided that I wanted to live and not hide; I wanted to live an empowered life and not see myself as a victim. Between yoga, meditation, therapy, and, surprisingly a knee injury, I learned to make peace with my body, mind, and spirit.

To say that yoga changed my life is an understatement.  No one told me I couldn’t practice or teach yoga, and along the way I discovered the true meaning of Ahimsa.

Cami Cote, River City YogaCami Cote is a yogini, a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, and a kirtan wallah living in Missoula, Montana. She currently lives with hypothyroidism and arthritis, but doesn’t let those obstacles get in the way of her yoga practice or living life to the fullest. “I want to share my story to inspire people, to raise awareness of the fact that there are full figured yogis in the world despite what you see in the average yoga class, that we are strong, capable and able to practice.  Anyone that has the desire to practice yoga should get out there and try it. The yogic path takes dedication, hard work and above all self-love.” If you want to know more or connect with Cami, visit her www.rivercityyoga.net

 

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Only 1 Week Left to Win $50 in Fitness Video Rentals

Generosity is a profound way to release energy and promote weight loss.  When we lose the urge to hold onto things, we lose weight!  To that end, I invite you to enter the first 100 Pounds Giveaway.  Kineticflix.com has generously offered one, lucky reader $50 credit towards rental or merchandise.  The winner will be announced May 1st.

Win $50 in Credit from 100 Pounds in 1 Year and Kineticflix.com

How to Enter the 100 Pounds Giveaway

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  1. Sign up for more helpful tips from 100 Pounds in 1 Year using the “Follow Pound by Pound” link at right
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