The Food and Workout tracking experiment – what an AHA-Moment!

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I haven’t tracked any food or workouts for 16 months!

SO WHAT? What’s the big deal?

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It is a huge deal once I tell you that I was bulimic and anorexic, had an obsessive approach to workouts and was tracking every pinch of salt or cinnamon!

That 16 months ago, I hit a wall. I was extremely tired and sick physically, ready to be hospitalized due to extreme bulimia. I seriously couldn’t hold a single meal. All due to the obsessive and distorted vision of my own body and of how I “should” look like to be loved, admired, appreciated and perceived as an amazing trainer or coach!

I tracked every single pinch of spices, salt and measured EVERYTHING obsessively for over 4 years (and when I couldn’t measure, I either didn’t eat or I purged to not track it). I tracked all activities, including workouts, calories burned, including cleaning, sex and who knows what, so I could subtract that from eaten food.

Pretty sick, isn’t it?

How did I manage to break that pattern? In this case, already a mental disorder?

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Imagine the situation when you hit the wall not the first time, but maybe 10th or 50th time and you are simply too tired, too sick and too depressive to keep going. Yet there is that “tiny, little, silent, almost not possible to hear” voice keeping you at the level of “let’s try, one more time, pleaseeeeeee”.
I hit that exact moment!

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In my book “The True Identity” [publishing Summer 2019] I wrote:

“November 2017, a day that started just like any of the others. (…) After yet another purging incident I went to a room where there was a huge mirror. For the last couple of months, I had avoided mirrors, hating what I saw. I didn’t know what made me look on this particular day but the image I saw this time wasn’t the extra small ‘fat’ girl but a person who was full of hatred, more hatred than anyone on this planet should be carrying.

The hate in my eyes was unbelievably huge. Words couldn’t fully express the view I saw.

(…) I have never seen my eyes in such deep darkness. They gazed straight at me and didn’t want to give up until I felt the hurt, they were showing me. They didn’t blink, holding me to the deep darkness of hate they expressed. The lightning coming from them was blinding me. They reminded me of how hateful I was. How ugly of a person I was. How worthless, miserable and pitiful I was.

I wanted to turn my head away from the image I saw. However, I simply couldn’t as someone was holding my head and telling me ‘look at yourself, look at who you have become, think about who you will be if you keep going along this path’.

My body tensed, my hands and fingers squeezing so hard that my knuckles went white. My fingers became impatient, wanting to start scratching my skin. I wanted to hurt myself, feel the pain on the physical side of it. I wanted to rip my skin away and keep scratching until I bled.

On that day the most magical phrase came out of my mouth.

‘I need help. I can’t do this by myself. Please help me’.

I cried as I realized that my stomach hurt. I was still hungry and I kept thinking that I shouldn’t eat anything anymore. I cried because deep inside of me I knew this is not the way it should be. I knew, in my heart, that this was not the true me. Deep inside of me, I knew, I had a mental eating disorder and that I could be cured.

I knew that there was no pill for it. The need for external validation, approval or feeling loved was not being helpful either.

The first thing I needed to do was to decide that enough is enough. Then I needed to ask for help.”

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So, fast forward, 16 months later, after not tracking a single spoon or sip of any food, I pulled up the app and … started again.
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But wait. This time I did it fully conscious, after thinking about it for a few days. I wanted to do it NOT for the sake of restricting my nutrition or putting myself back again in that mental, deprivation, restriction and obsessive mindset!

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I wanted to do that to test – myself, my ability to listen to my body, to see how my inner wisdom is guiding me and how that entire ‘tracking’ thing will make me feel.

**** Don’ take me wrong. I ask and encourage and even start the nutritional coaching with my clients from tracking. For the sake of building the awareness around what kind of food goes into their bodies, what type of foods are in their programs, what to eat and buy, and what foods make them feel bad or energized. It is also a way to create the habit of being aware of healthier food choices. However, I always make sure it is not getting into the obsessive addiction when my clients feel that they ‘need to’ or ‘should’ track because otherwise their worth is diminished. That is not the case and I monitor that closely! ****

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And AHA-MOMENT came with that experiment!

  • I felt pissed off at first – how come the app and the device tell me what MY body needs and how MY body should eat?
  • Then I felt scattered and little confused as for how the algorithms in these apps are made to create the ‘perfect’ calories in-and-out plan so people can follow it and feel better or.. worthy – that was not what I wanted the app to tell me! That is now what the app’s role is anyways!
  • Additionally, I ignored the app. According to it in the middle of the day, when I was hungry and wanted to give my body healthy foods, the app told me to stop because I was having too much of that and too little of that. Oh well, I turned it off and followed the wiser wizard I have ever known – MY BODY!

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At the end of the day, I know that tracking taught me something and that it’s not anymore my thing.

It taught me:

  • Discipline
  • Awareness around foods and nutrition
  • Consistency
  • Perseverance
  • Commitment
  • Creating a daily habit to journal.

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It is not anymore my thing because:

  • I listen to my body more
  • I feel what my body needs
  • I am aware of my healthy choices
  • I am very tuned in to my body
  • I am aligned and confident with who I am
  • I am confident with my food choices
  • I am into health, not restrictions
  • I know my worth
  • I don’t need an app to tell me all of the above!!!!

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And after you read this blog, all I want YOU to get out of it is that YOU too can live that way.

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Because I believe that restrictions, deprivation, obsessions, dieting, over-training and seeking external validation of self-worth never worked and will never work.

Until one taps within their own bodies and create the lifestyle where the authentic wellbeing, with physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health, is the priority.

No app, no diet, no magic pill, no wrap, no quick fix are the solutions. At least not sustainable.

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Your job is your choice!
My job is to bring awareness to the world and to YOU!

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I talked about that on my beYOUtiful Show episode #22. So worth to listen!
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P.S. I am so grateful for that experiment and that realization!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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The road to the unknown

 

One year ago, I was on the road from New Mexico to Wyoming. I was in a moving truck with all my life squeezed in there. Many things got sold or left behind, though. Material things didn’t have much meaning to me at this point in my life.

I didn’t know yet that soon my life was going to change totally!

And all I could do was to trust that all would be well.

I trusted so much that during the 12-hour drive I didn’t hesitate for a second about my decision. There was no single thought of turning back. I knew I was driving to a new me, to a new life, and to new experiences.

I trusted fully!

 

You may ask me, what has changed?

And this is my answer.

 

Depression is my history.

I recall being depressed and suicidal over the last 15 years, with some extreme ups and down. I never knew that in order for me to overcome this disorder I needed at first to feel safe – safe to be, safe to cry, safe to be down, safe to express what I feel!!! Once I felt the safety in every single cell of my body, the awakening came. I realized that I was loved for who I was because it felt safe. It felt loving, too.

The dark thoughts, self-doubts, and fearfulness may still be present – but the way I react to them today is a totally new game. I observe when they come, how they show up, how dark they are and how cloudy my brain gets – I see them and I refuse to let these experiences control my life.

Emotions are OK.

Pain is my superpower.

I accept it, I love it and I don’t push it away. I know they are all here to teach me how to be a better person every day.

I learned to rest and recharge instead of allowing darkness to overtake me.

I learned to take a nap, instead of going into a self-hateful thinking pattern.

I learned to journal or meditate when I am sad or in pain, so I can cry and cry and feel amazing about expressing all of it!

I learned to pause or even step back when it feels heavy.

I learned that it is only me who has a choice of either being happy or miserable.

So, I remind myself every day that I am loved, safe to express and be, beautiful and whole, worthy and freaking unstoppable. I trusted then and keep trusting today!

 

My personal growth journey went through so many huge shifts that one year ago none of it was even in my dreams.

I was battling severe bulimia, extreme panic attacks, and the biggest obsession over the weight, food and exercising and that saddened me. It felt like it would never end and that there is no hope. Yet, every single time I was experiencing any of it, I managed to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself that there is a way out of it.

It was the hardest part of my entire journey – to believe and trust in something that logically didn’t seem like it was ever coming. I had no clue how that would look like or show up. But I knew I could be free of all of these things. I knew that many other women got there, so I could too!

I trusted, and that trust brought me to the freedom and the most beautiful life so far! Freedom from obsession over food or body-image, freedom from panic attacks, freedom from bulimia and freedom from the fear! I trusted then and keep trusting today!

 

The interpersonal communication and the way it’s done was a huge turn over in my life.

I was told by a few of my ex-partners that I don’t know how to love and how to communicate in the relationship. That’s why I believed that all my relationships didn’t work because I was a problem.

How mistaken I was. I allowed other’s insecurities and inabilities to be projected on me and I took it as my own stories and beliefs.

All I needed was to feel safe. Again, safety was my thing. Once I discovered that being safe is the happy place for me and my Inner Child, then the magic started pouring down from the sky.

Without a person who supported me on this journey by meeting me half-way, that wouldn’t be possible. Creating the safe, non-judgmental and open space for both of us allowed me to blossom. Once that started, I could show how loving and caring of a person I was.

After all, I never thought I could have a relationship like this – trustworthy, respectful, safe, loving, supportive, open and honest!

 

Acceptance of my emotionality, sensitivity, vulnerability, sensuality, and desires was a great step forward.

Oh well, let me tell you – those qualities never aligned with me – they felt weak, whiny, and not allowed in the big world of success. That girl was all about being powerful, never weak and never crying, strong and doing it all by herself!

Well, that is not true today and I am so glad to take that mask off and reveal the true person.

I felt like an outsider or from a different plant, as I called myself.

I could easily become distracted.

I could feel melancholy for no particular reason.

I could feel other people’s emotions intensely.

I could easily take on the mask of Wonder Woman or Femme Fatale to “fit in” in a society that hasn’t appreciated my intuitive ways.

I knew I was super emotional, with extreme waves even during a single day.

I am a nurturer, caregiver and I cry when I see bad things happening to any human being, including homeless or junkie.

I am sensitive as hell, and that is another superpower of mine.

And I freaking love that about me today. I don’t buy into the story of being too sensitive or PMS. I learned to be with all my emotions, the dark and light ones.

I learned to tap into my vulnerability and use it as the most creative and empowering tool I ever had. I decided to reconnect with my intuition and inner voice so I could be the truest version of myself.

 

The last, but not the least, is my rediscovery of the part of me which I managed to suppress for the longest – the femininity and woman in me.

I hated being a woman for most of my life. I wanted to have the testosterone to build muscles, I didn’t want to be a crybaby when someone hurt me, I wanted to be a buddy for most of my men friends, I wanted to be treated as a strong person. No vulnerability, sensitivity, tears or whining were allowed. I was happy for not having a period for most of my life while being on the pill. I used the PCOS diagnosis as a relief so I didn’t need to get pregnant. I wanted to hide my hips and breasts. OMG, I could list these things forever.

Today, that part of me seems to be the most mysterious, magical and hiding so much more to learn, express and live by.

Today I track my period which came back in January 2018. I am excited when I am bleeding because that means I am a woman, still or again, whichever way I look at it.

I am excited to be with the moon outside and soak in the energy of the beautiful Luna.

I am happy doing self-massage, dance to hot and sexual music or meditate naked to love every part of my body.

I would never imagine being at this point just a year ago!

 

Life is beautiful, with every single moment of it – either emotional and sad, or happy and joyful, either with heavy experiences or lightness and breakthroughs.

The number of gifts that life delivers to us within such a short time just like one year – it is truly beyond the imagination of the logical mind. Only the heart and soul can embrace that!

So, I do it, every single day. And I trust!

 

 

The wonderful power of “yes”

The movie I am about to share is called “Yes man” with Jim Carrey. Yes, it is a comedy.

How funny is that that I usually don’t watch comedies, especially American comedies, because as a foreigner many times I found myself frustrated not knowing what they are joking about or simply not understanding this type of humor. However, as part of the Valentine’s Day promise to myself that I want to spend it with a free spirit, totally joyful and playful, we decided to watch this comedy.

The movie was funny and powerful at the same time. I am not going to elaborate on the story or jokes. I would love to, however, bring attention to the lessons and conclusions I took from it and I found very magical. I want to deliver them to you so they can empower you as they did for me!

 

How does saying ‘no’ play a role in our life?

We say ‘no’ to the friend’s wedding invitations, we say ‘no’ to the stranger on the street needing help, we say ‘no’, I don’t have time, to the spouse or kids, we say ‘no’ to ourselves a million times a day. Am I wrong? If yes, please comment below and call me out on that! I’ll take it!

 

How does saying ‘yes’ to the opportunities in your life play a role for you?

I bet, there are many opportunities in your life such changing the job, quitting smoking, deciding on healthier food choices, breaking up with the toxic relationship, publishing a book, opening a business you dream about, saying ‘I love you”, or becoming a happier and funnier person. How many of those have you literally overlooked, or intentionally missed, or simply said ‘no’ to?

Again, I am 100% confident, that you did, and most likely to many of those. They showed up in your life, your intuition told you to go for it, and your fearful mindset just blew the chance out! How do you feel about it? Fulfilled? Happy? Empowered? Or maybe like a loser? Or hopeless?

 

That movie showed with simple life stories what is the life of constant ‘no’ to the living versus a life with ‘yes’ to the opportunities. And, at the same time as in the movie, there is a limit of saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to the situations or people. We are constantly reminded of the fact that we need to learn how to say ’no’ to so many things, events, and people in order to protect our time, energy and boundaries. However, we are never told that the word ‘yes’ is as powerful as it can be in its own meaning.

 

The moment you say ‘yes’ to the opportunity, it is like putting the key in the lock and twisting it. Suddenly the door squeak and release showing you just a little hole to peak through it. That little space to look through gives you the image of a totally different view, just like in The Secret Garden movie.

Don’t you want to go there and explore? Aren’t you curious what your life might bring once you give it a chance?

I can’t express more how exciting it is to say ‘yes’ to the opportunity, which may seem super scary at first, but how wonderfully inviting it is to the eyes of those who commit.

Don’t be a loser! Don’t give up on your dreams.

Don’t regret that you didn’t say ‘yes’ to the possibilities which your life presented you today!!!

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤