Six Core Components to Feed Your Soul

Six Core Components to Feed Your Soul

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This is a transcript of from Episode #1 from my Podcast: Feed Your Soul with Kim.

In my work as a Psychotherapist and in my Coaching business, I find people are using food for comfort, for recreation, and for ways to connect. The vicious cycle of over-”dieting” and constant “dieting” has really made them feel horrible about themselves. I know, I used to be there myself.  When I began to look at the root-cause of my own overeating, I started to notice a number of things and I came up with a different take on health and wellness. I truly believe the guiding principle in understanding health and wellness centers around living a life where each person feels wonderful, fulfilled, and energized in all areas of their life: Physical, Emotional, Thoughts, Lifestyle, Mindfulness and Self-Love.  By focusing people on creating more balance and peace in their lives as a whole, the food overeating and binge eating are replaced with healthier alternatives in a more natural, stress-free way.  These principles have become my Six Core Components to Feed Your Soul and ultimately they lead to making peace with food.

Balance

It all starts with “balance”. When I think about what’s going on in somebody’s life, I think about the Six Core Components as guideposts to determine whether they’re balanced. So part of this process is asking ourselves, “Am I balanced in my life? Are things balancing out?” in each of the six areas. As I go over these six core principles you can see when you’re out of balance, you’ll be able to see which areas aren’t working for you to feel wonderful, fulfilled, and energized.

What I find fascinating is with everybody I’ve spoken with and worked with on these principles, is that they are never out of balance in just one of the core concepts. They’re never out of balance in just one area, it’s often two, three, four, five, and many times it’s all six areas. People talk to me a lot about wanting to feel “in control” over food or feel like they got it handled, and I think that food issues show up as a way to tell us when we’re out of balance in our lives. That’s the “gift” in food telling us when we’re out of balance.

The Six Core Components & Getting Started

As you read through the Six Core Components below, start imagining how they are fitting into your life or how they’re out of balance in your life and that will give you an idea about what might mean need some work.

Core Component # 1 Physical

Most people with food issues believe when I say “physical” we are only talking about the food we’re putting into our bodies, and I’m not.

In terms of the physical our hormones can affect the balance. When our hormones are out of balance, we feel out of balance in the physical and I think we don’t often consider that, especially for women. In every stage of women’s lives there are hormones that come into play. As young girls, hormones change as they’re entering into menstruation. Then they enter that whole young adult time when they’re getting that balance around having a monthly menstrual cycle. What does that feel like? How does food affect that? Does your body physically feel?  All of that goes on and then some women enter the time of pregnancy and being pregnant,  either having full-term pregnancy or having something happen that ends the pregnancy, either way, being pregnant affects our hormones. Post-pregnancy affects your hormones as well as the time when we enter perimenopause, which nutritionists and medical people say happens around 35. So, around 35 you start then having another change, the perimenopause period, which brings its own challenges. Finally, we go through menopause and post-menopause. Do you see there is this flow throughout women’s lives that is really affected by hormones? What I want you to notice is that physical has to do with food; it has to do with hormones; it has to do with how you metabolize food; it has to do with how your body is physically working. All of that plays into the physical. We will talk A LOT more about the Physical Component in other podcasts- keep listening.

Core Component #2: Emotions

The second component is Emotions. How do emotions affect how we come to the table? How we interact with food sometimes is dictated by our emotions. Emotions make us want to have food, or we THINK it makes us want to have food. Then, food makes us FEEL a certain way. Think of it like this: you have emotions and that makes you want to have a certain food, but sometimes when we eat a certain food, it leads to other emotions that lead us to eat and to overeat. The types of emotions that affect eating the most tend to be anger, sadness, happiness, boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. Those are some of the major emotions that people talk with me about.

When we overeat because of emotions, we’re not coming from a place of really noticing our body. Am I hungry? Am I full? Those questions are from the physical, noticing am I hungry, am I full what is my body really need. When we’re in the emotions how our body feels doesn’t play a part in our decision about what we eat. I find that the more we become connected with our body connected with what’s going on inside physically the more we can have a feeling of empowerment when we have the feelings coming on when the feelings come on it can often feel overwhelming and feel as if we have no control so when we’re having feelings we think we have no control. We will overeat and won’t pay any attention to what’s going on inside. When we eat for emotional reasons it leads to more emotions because then we can tend to feel angry, feel upset, feel overwhelmed, feel sad, because we’ve eaten. When we know that our body didn’t really need what we’re eating and that leads to a big struggle. Can you see when you eat because of emotions and then once you eat you have emotions, because you’re not happy with what you’ve. Emotions play a big part in eating we will talk about that in depth in these podcasts, I promise you.

Core Component #3 Mental

The third component is the mental or the cognitive. The thoughts we have that lead us to overeat. I think about that food I think that I can’t stand myself if I don’t eat. So we eat, because our thoughts are out of balance I used to do that a lot where I would think about the certain food that was in my house and it finally got to the point where I just said to heck with it, I have to eat it because I wanted the thoughts to go away. I wanted the thoughts of that food to leave and at that point of time the only idea I could come up with that would help would be to eat it. I thought if I eat the food the thoughts would go away. Well they did go away immediately the thoughts went away, but then what came on is the feelings of anger at myself that I did that and the condemning of myself and making myself wrong and bad and feeling horrible about myself really leading to lots of feelings of self-hatred because I ate this food only because of the thoughts. We will work a lot on the thoughts. The thoughts play its part in food, but the thoughts play a part in all of our lives. Everybody I talked to no matter if they have food issues or not their thoughts can be out of control. They think their thoughts are real and that they should just act upon them because they have no power over them. I promise you in these podcasts we will talk about thoughts and we will talk about what to do about them specifically. I will give you clues, tools, and techniques doable that you can do immediately to really affect a change on your thoughts.

Core Component #4 Lifestyle

The lifestyle concept encompasses your family, your friends your work, exercise, education, vacations, and holidays. Lifestyle is a huge component we’ll be talking about those a lot most especially when we come near to different holidays. I am a strong proponent of having ideas and plans and really talking through how the holidays and being aware of how they show up in overeating. I have lots of things you can do in regards to the holidays, so I promise you as we come into holidays, as we come into vacation time, I will have specific podcasts focused on those areas.

Core Component #5 Mindfulness

The fifth area is mindfulness, which is so important to assist you to be centered and connected inside of yourself. Some people will really hear when I talked about it will hear more of a spiritual idea about it. It doesn’t have to be about religion it doesn’t have to be about God. If that fits for you good, but it doesn’t have to. It’s about how you feel connected with your inner self and with their higher sense of purpose. I know that people can get out of balance in their connection with their inner self and it shows up in food and overeating, but it can also show up in feeling dissatisfied in your life and feeling unhappy. Being more connected mindfully is one a strategy and a goal that I want to help you with. I want to see you more mindful more connected to yourself and to that guidance that will help you all along the way. It’s one of the most important things you can do is have that inner connection to that greater purpose but also your inner knowing.

Core Component #6 Self-Love

The sixth area is really the most important area and it’s self-love. This area embodies self-love, self-worth, and self-esteem; it’s all of those components together. What I find is that consistently people don’t feel a sense of self love. What I find is more often than not, there’s a sense of self-loathing and self-hatred. The antidote to that is self-love, but we don’t know how to find it we’ve lost our way a lot of times about how do we feel that we’re okay. What people tell me is that they think that if they focus on self-love or self-esteem or self-worth that they’re being selfish. I say yeah bring it on because it’s not selfish in a negative way it’s self-full. It’s being full of yourself. The more you are full of yourself and who you are and who you bring to the table and who you’re meant to be, the more positive you feel the more peaceful you feel.

I promise you the more food will be in balance for you, the more you practice self-love. Sometimes we’ve been so far away from that feeling of self-love that we don’t know any more how to get to that spot. We don’t know how to get to that feeling of self-love. If you are up for more self-love, I’m your girl. I’ve got clues. I’ve got tips. I can help you get there and that’s another piece, big piece of what this podcast is about. We are going to focus on how are we all going to feel the sense of fullness within ourselves, that’s where self-love is critical. You can see I have a lot on my plate in regards to what I want to talk about in these podcasts. I want to give you all of this goodness.

I wanted to set you today in this first podcast to let you know what’s coming. What’s coming is a look at all of these core components. I have big plans for this podcast. If you want to feel empowered with food and your life, this is the place for you, because we will go over self-care tools and self-care techniques to get you moving forward. In order to get more support, I really recommend you go to the free Feed Your Soul Community Facebook page and ask to be added.

I appreciate all of you showing up today for the flagship first podcast and I want to leave you with an idea of looking at all of these six areas that we’ve gone over. Where do you feel in balance? Where do you feel out of balance in the six core components? If you are feeling out of balance than this is the place. Each week we will have a new topic to listen to. Thanks for join us.

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor, Speaker, and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the newly released book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food and the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration.

She has recently launched her podcast Feed Your Soul with Kim. You can find it on all podcast platforms.

Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of theTop 50 Blogs about Emotional Eatingby the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Emotional Eatinghereor visit her website atwww.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.

The Benefits of Mindful Living

The Benefits of Mindful Living

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Mindful living is about living in the present moment without judging yourself or others. When we are not in the present moment, we are then tied up fretting about the past or worrying about the future. For many of us, mindful living does not come naturally, because we tend to live on autopilot. The problem with living on autopilot mode is it often amps you up and literally takes you out of the moment.

For example, you’re driving to your favorite coffee shop to get a latte. You’re excited about treating yourself. As you’re driving, you start thinking about the argument you had with your partner earlier in the day. Before you know it, you’re all stressed again. Instead of living in the current moment and enjoying your latte, you found yourself re-living the past. When we are focused on the past, it is hard to move on and can lead to you to carrying around anger and other unpleasant emotions.

Mindful Living = Cultivating A Distraction Free Zone

Instead of reacting emotionally to situations like people do on autopilot, you can choose to focus on the current moment without letting your emotions take over.

You might see a distressing story on the news leading you to feel angry and sad. Instead of reaching for your phone to distract yourself, you can choose to stay in the moment. You acknowledge your emotions without judgement. This frees you from losing an hour or even a day of productivity because you were fixated on this one moment.

Mindful Living Makes You More Appreciative

During less enjoyable moments, like while you’re cleaning your home or doing an unpleasant task at work, it can be tempting to let your mind wander. But part of mindful living is staying in the moment, even if that moment might be viewed as unpleasant or uncomfortable.

However, just because you’re staying aware during an unpleasant moment, you don’t have to give into feelings of negativity, like sadness, boredom, or loneliness. Instead, focus on giving thanks. For example, you might say something like, “I’m grateful that I have a job to pay my bills” or “I’m blessed to have a home to clean”. Now, you’ve managed to stay in the moment without letting yourself focus on the negative.

Mindful Living Improves Your Mood

Few things can improve your mood quite like mindful living. Often, anxious thoughts are the result of worrying about the future, while sad thoughts are related to regretting the past. Mindful living helps because it forces you to stop overthinking. Unless there’s something you can do to change your past, you have to accept what’s happened in your life. If you do find that you’re frequently haunted by regrets or always worrying about tomorrow, it might be smart to speak to a trained counselor who can help you move on.

Mindful living is one simple way to improve your life. Try to spend a week focused on mindful living and see how your thoughts change. 

Journal Your Thoughts:

  1. What are some regrets from your past that you carry around?
  2. What are some worries about the future that you find yourself fixated on? Do you really believe that worrying changes the future? Why or why not?
  3. Mindful living sometimes involves acknowledging unpleasant feelings. What do you normally do when you feel strong emotions? Do you get overly angry, overeat, and feel anxious?

Kim McLaughlin M.A. is a counselor and a motivational coach working with people who engage in emotional eating or binge eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. If you are in need of services contact Kim McLaughlin here.

Kim is the author of the best-selling book Feed Your Soul; Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food. Learn more about her book here.

Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating here or visit her website at www.FeedYourSoulTherapy.com.

Holiday Trifecta

Holiday Trifecta

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailAs far as I am concerned the holiday season starts October 1. I call this time of year the Holiday Trifecta: Three major holidays in quick succession. In October there is Halloween, in November there is Thanksgiving, and in December there is Christmas; it is the 3 months of over indulgence, letting loose and overeating. It is, also, the time of feeling bad about our bodies, disconnecting from the true meaning of the holidays, as well as it is the time of extreme eating. During this time of year, we can tend to eat (overeat) all the foods we avoid the other times of the year. It is the sanctioned 3 months of allowable overeating.

People, in general, ask me all the time why they overeat.

When they talk about the overeating, they talk about the frustration, anxiety and feeling terrible about themselves. I tell them there is the buildup of not Holiday overeatingallowing themselves to eat (dieting/restricting), then they overeat, and in the end feeling bad about overeating (guilt). It is a vicious cycle. I speak with people daily who go through this cycle on a regular basis. The holiday time is different because the foods we restrict throughout the year become fair game. As we eat those “special” holiday foods, we can allow ourselves to overeat.

The holidays, individually, are not bad in and of themselves. Halloween Day you can have some candy. Thanksgiving Day you can have some turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. Christmas Day you can have some cookies and sweets. Those individual holiday days are not the problem. One meal of overeating is not a big deal; the problem is all the other days and meals in between the actual holiday day (the Holiday Trifecta).

Often the answer to all of this overeating is, come January 1 – “I will go on a diet” or “I’ll think about it on January 1 at the New Year.” During the 3 month Holiday Trifecta, There are many days of overeating that you end up feeling bad about yourself and bad about your body (hence leading you to think you need to diet/restrict come January 1).

Let’s be honest with ourselves. What happens when we allow ourselves to overeat at the holiday time?

We tend to:

  • Become more and more disconnected from our bodies and ourselves. Mindless about how we are really feeling.
  • Feel bad in our bodies feel bad. Physically we have an upset stomach, bloating and weight gain.
  • Start disliking ourselves and feel bad about ourselves. People often tell me that after they overeat they hate themselves.
  • Suffer emotionally, feeling angry, frustrated and overwhelmed.
  • Think about food more often than not and that bothers us.

The problems and suffering with overeating is REAL. I am here to tell you there is a better way. A way to peace with food.

Here are some simple suggestions.

  • Take a deep breath. Cam and anxiety cannot exist together. Breathe as you think about eating and as you are eating. It gets you to reconnect with your body.
  • Notice your bodily signals about hunger and fullness. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” before you eat is a great first step.
  • Allow more self-care. This is the season of letting our needs go to the wayside, don’t let that happen!
  • Get support. I am not talking about going on whatever the current diet fad being promoted on Yahoo or Facebook. Find someone who helps you find peace with food and can put you in touch with strategies to put food in its proper place as nourishment.

It is important to know that during the Holiday Trifecta it can be so enjoyable with all of the gatherings, festivities and decorations, but it is also loaded with difficulties.

The difficulties can make the good times less enjoyable, because you are worried and feeling bad.  Start by noticing how you are feeling and what you are saying to yourself. If there is negativity or worry, it could be time to get that support to help you feel more peaceful.

During this Holiday Trifecta time period, I there are options to travel down the road towards peace with food. You do not have to feel overwhelmed with food anymore this holiday season! You’ve got this!

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor and Inspirational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discovery Your Inspiration and soon to be released book Feed Your Soul Nourish Your Life! A Six Step System to Peace with Food.

 

Check out Kim’s answer to the Holiday Trifecta- Peace with Food- Holiday Challenge. Around each of the three holidays, Kim is offering a specialized online program to help you make peace with food. Check it out here: https://feedyoursoulunlimited.com/peace-with-food-thanksgiving/

 

Leaning Into Your YES!

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Did you know that “Yes” is a complete sentence?  We can get stuck wondering what the best avenue is and we enter into the realm of maybe. Should I look for a new job, because I am unhappy where I am? Maybe. Do you want to move to a house that better fits my needs? Maybe. This can be a huge sticking point and we can remain stuck for years.

Kari was an elementary school teacher. She loved her students, but she didn’t find her job fulfilling any longer. As a teenager, she’d always dreamed of traveling around the world and writing novels on her laptop.

She wanted more freedom in her personal and professional life, but she worried. She was afraid of what would happen if she really did start chasing her dreams. She doubted she had the ability to make her dream a reality. She wondered what everyone around her would think if she quit her job and wrote instead.

Kari was stuck in a rut, afraid to say “yes” to her best life. She lived in the “maybe someday” mindset. Possibly you can relate. You spend years daydreaming about what you want your life to look like. Instead of acting, you tuck your dream away quietly and get back to your ordinary world. But before you do that, here are three simple reasons you should lean into your yes…

Reason #1: New Discoveries Are Waiting

Everything you love right now was once an unknown. Your favorite ice cream flavor, your favorite movie, your favorite makeup—all of these things were once unknown to you. But you didn’t let that stop you and tried them anyway.

When you say yes to new discoveries, you learn more about what you like and love. You took a chance and made a bold decision. This doesn’t mean you’ll love the results of every yes you go after. Sometimes, you’ll simply discover what you don’t like. That’s an important discovery, too.

Reason #2: Personal Growth Doesn’t Happen in Your Safety Zone

For some people, saying ‘no’ is an automatic response. You say ‘no’ to that new project even though you know it could lead to a promotion. You say ‘no’ to healthy foods even though you know it could lead to more energy.

Saying maybe, someday, I don’t know is the same as saying no. 

Personal growth never happens inside your safety zone. If you really want to make a difference and change your life, then you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done before. You have to be willing to say yes even when the future feels scary and uncertain.

Reason #3: Say Yes to Learning New Things

Besides growing into your best self, saying yes helps you learn new things. You might say yes to the chance to host a party and discover you love being a hostess. You could say yes to a giving a presentation at work and find out you love public speaking.

What you learn won’t be just limited to your personality though. You’ll also learn more about your relationships, your finances, your health, and so many other areas of your life. Maybe a new dance class makes you realize how supportive your partner is. Maybe an unexpected road trip with an aging parent gives insight into how your mom grew up.

Saying yes can be the beginning of a beautiful new adventure. But don’t feel you have to start out by tackling something big like changing your job or moving to a different country. Instead, start with something small like taking a new class or reaching out to form new friendships. The more you say yes to little things the easier it will become to say yes to the big things.

 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed psychotherapist and a motivational coach who works with people who suffer from emotional eating, body image issues, self-esteem and binge eating. She is passionate about helping people feed their soul and put food in its proper place as nourishment. Kim has been a speaker for many groups and she enjoys sharing the message that you can look at food differently. You can find out more about Kim plus get access to her monthly free calls and her Free Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com

Loving Kindness: Have you lost that lovin’ feeling for you?

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February is the month we look to celebrate our love for another person. Often we focus so much on how we show love to someone else, it makes me wonder howKim McLaughlin counselor Roseville loving we are towards ourselves. One of the most popular blogs on my website is one where I ask the reader to consider whether they are too helpful towards others. I think people click on that blog article because they think they are giving too much and they do not have time or energy to take care of themselves.

Today, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, focus on showing loving kindness to yourself. Put some of the love you intend to give to another back to yourself. How long has it been a long time since you have done something for yourself? If you cannot remember the last time you took care of yourself, take a moment to contemplate it now. Consider this an invitation to nurture yourself. It really is a necessity to take care of you first and foremost.

My motto is, “I am no good for others if I am not good to myself.” Consider this motto a requirement, if not a necessity.

To start, you can ask yourself, “What would I do today if I was really acting in a loving manner towards myself?” What can you do, starting today, to take care of you? If you have no ideas- let me give you some:

  1. Get physical. Go for a hike, a walk at lunch time, bike ride, or go to a yoga class. Being active gets the endorphins going and just makes you feel good.
  2. Play hooky from your normal activity. I love to take the afternoon off to go to the movies. It is so nurturing to break away from our routine.
  3. Spend time alone: Go to a local coffee shop, listen to a podcast, read a book or a special magazine.
  4. Get creative: Go visit a local art gallery or museum to get inspired filled up with beauty.
  5. Be restful: Take a nap, sleep in a little later.

Imagine how it would feel to start caring for yourself now. If you feel overwhelmed even thinking about taking care of yourself, take it slow. If you have no idea what you can do to take care of yourself, I have a simple trick. Think back on a time in the past, when you were younger and you did take care of yourself.  What did you do then? Get that image in your head consider how good it felt. If the memory of it makes you feel good- Do That!

In honor of Valentine’s Day spend some time treating yourself with loving kindness. It will instill feelings of joy and happiness in you that you might have been missing for a while.

What is your answer to the question “What would I do today if I was really acting in a loving manner towards myself?”  I would love to hear your answer below in the comments.

 

Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with eating issues and eating disorders.  She is a counselor in Roseville and the greater Sacramento CA area. If you are concerned that about overeating, weight or your use of food in general please contact her here.

Be sure to sign up for her FREE Top Tips to End Emotional Eating here. Check out her website at www.FeedYourSoulTherapy.com.