Using Presence to Achieve Radiant Health

As a health coach, I’ve been trained in the science behind the nutrition that supports a healthy body. It’s quite simple:

  • enjoy an abundance of nutrient dense, real foods (vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, fish, wild game and non-factory farmed meats, fowl and their eggs)

  • minimize toxins (highly refined vegetable oils, trans fats, refined sugars, alcohol)

So why can it be so hard to follow these simple recommendations?

I’ve realized that many women trapped in the weight release struggle have an emotional relationship with food.

How do you know if your relationship with food is an obstacle preventing you from achieving health goals?

You become present and aware.

I believe that the most powerful tool in achieving radiant health, which the diet industry rarely acknowledges, is presence.

  • The presence to eat when you are hungry and to stop before you are full.

  • True presence while eating (no TV, phone, reading, driving).

  • The presence of awareness when obstacles to health appear.

Over the past month I’ve been coaching you to increase presence as method for cultivating awareness of conditioned beliefs and automatic behaviors.

You may have discovered that conditioned beliefs lead you to an automatic response of emotional eating.

Emotional eating can be defined as eating in the absence of hunger. Common triggers are stress, anxiety, guilt, boredom, apathy, fear, shame, loneliness, sadness.

Have you observed any of these patterns?

If so, it might feel scary, overwhelming, or out of your control.

But the truth is, it’s time to get excited! You are on the cusp of transformation.

Before you can alter a behavior you must develop presence and the space to choose differently.

I will share an example from my personal experience.

Over the years, as I cultivated my awareness practice, I realized that I tended to feel anxious about future events that felt out of my control. I worried about failing and being judged.

I didn’t like feeling anxious, so my brain would search for ways to feel better.

Sugar! But no, I couldn’t have sugar because I would lose control! My anxiety would increase until all I could think about was sugar and then my will power would crumble, and I would indulge until my stomach hurt and I felt even more miserable.

When I first began to become conscious of this pattern I tried methods to distract myself from emotional eating with a healthier alternative. Often a walk in nature, a podcast, a book, or time on the yoga mat would help.

But sometimes it didn’t. The feelings would ramp up in intensity until they felt unbearable.

In those instances I learned to be brave, to tune into the present and observe my thoughts and conditioned responses.

If I gave into emotional eating I didn’t judge or try to change the behavior; I just watched. It was scary! But I learned so much about my triggers in this process.

And then I heard something truly strange from a succession of spiritual teachers: when the uncomfortable feelings showed up I could pause, and then WELCOME the feelings, like Siddhartha offering Mara tea.

Say that again?

All my life I’d wanted to get rid of those feelings! This was the opposite of what I’d always done!

But numbing the feelings in the past hadn’t worked, so why not try a different approach?

This feels a little silly to state publicly, but I would actually say, “Well hello anxiety, welcome! There is space enough here for you to hang out. Make yourself comfortable.”

Seriously, with enough practice, I began to instantly feel a sense of relief. I learned that I could live through the uncomfortable feelings. I didn’t need sugar to numb the feelings because I was OKAY with them.

Many of us are conditioned to believe that we are supposed to be happy and joyful all the time.

But we are humans , having a human experience. It is normal to feel all the feels. When we try to avoid the ones that feel uncomfortable, we become even more miserable.

I’ve been practicing awareness for long enough that I now know with certainty that huge shifts come from the moments that feel like despair.

I’ve collected enough personal evidence to understand that:

  • All feelings are temporary and all feelings pass.

  • Uncomfortable feelings pass more quickly when they are acknowledged, and even welcomed!

  • When I am present and non-resistant in the times that I feel self-critical, anxious, jealous, uninspired, I KNOW that I will come out on the other side with a deeper understanding and expansive growth.

Build your presence, practice being okay with discomfort, and watch your obstacles to radiant health dissolve.

And remember, this is a process. If you find yourself emotional eating, don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up after the fact. If it happens again, become present and observe. When you are ready you can practice welcoming the emotions as a guest, and then see what happens!

Remember, I am here for you! Please contact me with any questions or comments you have: