As someone who struggled with food and her body for 20 years, I know how difficult it is to eat healthy and feel good – especially during the holidays. My desire is for you to enter the holiday season feeling empowered that you can enjoy the holidays feeling healthy and vibrant!
I’ve put together some of the tips and mindset shifts that have helped me the most, and that have helped my clients with their own transformations. May they serve you, too.
My eating disorder began immediately after the abuse.
Feeling completely out of control, I focused on the one thing I knew I could control: what I ate.
I started eating like a bird and looking at my belly every day in the mirror, judging how I felt about myself by how small my waist was. It started out innocently enough, I just wasn’t eating much for a while. I was pretty thin to begin with, just 12 years old, so I didn’t have much weight to spare. The smaller I got, the better I felt.
But I remember looking in the mirror one day and saw that I was the thinnest I had been since this whole thing began. And instead of feeling excited as I usually did – I felt terrified. I was shocked at what I saw in the mirror.
“Wait a second – I just wanted to lose a few pounds… I didn’t want to be dangerously thin.”
I remember, quite vividly, heart racing, running out to the kitchen, throwing myself on the floor, and opening the cupboard.
“EAT,” I told myself.
I found a box of Triscuits and shoved a few in my mouth. But to my dismay, I couldn’t eat more than that. I had no appetite. I thought I would be starving for food, but it repulsed me.
And somewhere, hidden just underneath the fear and disappointment, was a glimmer of joy. A very twisted joy. The realization hit that I had full command of my body – and of my ability to punish and starve myself.
Something was born in me at that moment: I learned how to hate myself.
I felt powerful. In control.
I continued to starve myself until I broke, about a year later. What followed were 20 years of bulimia, dieting, and compulsive eating, trying desperately to not eat, binging when I couldn’t go on, and purging any way I could.
My journey to healing was a long one, with many twists and turns along the way. I did a lot of inner work with psychiatrist, psychologists, therapists, and holistic healers.
Over time, I began to love myself, slowly but surely. I stopped a lot of my destructive behaviors: binge drinking, smoking, drugs… I started caring for myself more, and being good to my body.
But the one thing I didn’t seem to be able to do was to eat well. I tried to eat healthier. I tried being vegan and vegetarian, I tried eating more salads, I ate low-fat/low-calorie foods, and I tried any diet I could get my hands on to get my food under control.
It wasn’t until I cleaned up my diet and discovered how to balance my blood sugar that everything started to fall into place. And once I learned about my body’s physiology, and how dieting was setting me up to fail, I was finally free from the destructive cycles of binging and hating myself.
Balancing your blood sugar is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. And as you enter the holidays, when cravings and binges can get out of control, it’s more important than ever.
Here’s how to bring your body into balance in 3 simple steps:
1. In every meal and snack, be sure to include:
Quality protein (meat, fish, chicken, turkey, Greek yogurt)
Healthy fats (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds)
Complex carbs (whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, fruits and veg)
2. Eat every 3-4 hours
3. Distribute your calories equally throughout the day
These 3 things are critical – and, this is a guideline. The specifics are different for each person depending on your tastes and preferences, needs, and what your body responds to. For some delicious recipes to get you started, download my free e-book, “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!”
When I work with my private clients, I give customized recipes to help you nourish your body, balance your blood sugar, and feel in control. We see how your body responds by having you really tune in and connect to your body and your intuition.
For one of my clients, this is one of the most transformational things we’ve done together. She came to me addicted to sugar, feeling trapped and burdened.
One of her biggest goals in working with me was for her body to start craving healthy food. She said that would be a miracle.
After working together for just a couple of months, eating healthy, balanced meals, and experiencing a remarkable shift in her relationship with food and her body, in one of our sessions, she said, “I feel like a grown up eating good and on purpose and I want to!”
Her sugar cravings are gone and she’s released about 25lbs so far.
But the freedom she now has to make healthy choices that are aligned with her goals and what she wants for herself and the healthy lifestyle she’s embraced, has given her an ease and lightness that she brings to her entire life.
To get your copy of “6 Simple Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Without Sugar!” go to www.kristenkancler.com and be sure to come back next week to learn more!
By getting to the root of what creates your sabotaging patterns, she works with you, personally, to help you put down the spoon… wave goodbye to “I’ll be better tomorrow”… and say, “YES!” to a delicious life – today.
Former Health and Wellness Editor for Glam Media, graduate of UC Santa Barbara and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health in Manhattan, and reformed pastry chef, Kristen is a role model for healthy eating and living a delicious lifestyle.
After struggling with diets, compulsive eating, and sugar addiction for 20 years, she finally found the answers she needed to find peace with food, feel healthy in her body, and fall deeply and sweetly in love with her life.