Does Eating Healthy Feel Like a Hopeless Never-Ending Battle?

August 17th, 2011 by Tarika Lovegarden

Do you keep falling back into unhealthy eating habits, no matter how hard you try to lose weight? Do you want to give up trying after every binge? Does it seem like you’ll never change?

Don’t give up! Let me help you!

Sometimes our destructive habits peak, before we’re ready to change. You may find yourself eating for days on end, feeling sick to your stomach, before you connect with the compassion and strength to create the body and life you truly desire.

My success came in spurts at first. I spent many nights overeating, realizing I wasn’t even enjoying it, before I learned to enjoy foods that were right for my body (in reasonable amounts!) and find fulfilling ways to satisfy my needs.

I’d eat well for a few days, or a couple of weeks, and then binge, eating up to 3,000 calories in one siting. I’d wake up the next morning wanting to crawl out of my skin, I felt so ashamed, bloated, and disgusted with myself. I’d promise myself never to do it again, but then each night I’d come home depleted, lonely, and craving.

Thankfully overeating began to lose its allure. Stuffing myself and gaining weight became so painful, it was destroying my work and social life. I grew tired of it. Shopping, cooking, eating, chewing, swallowing, doing dishes, feeling sick to my stomach, and hating myself for it, and then forcing myself to exercise off my nightly binges, was more work than pleasure.

I remember the last week of binging as if it was yesterday. I learned to be caring and compassionate with myself. I’d caress my hips and thighs, realizing they were part of me. I started to embrace the insatiable monster, the part that can’t stop eating, that I had feared my entire life. I found practical ways to get back on track.

No matter how many times I binged, I focused on my healthy eating goals, forgave myself, went for a walk, listened to a meditation, or took a hot shower- whatever I needed to feel cared for, and loved.

It’s natural to fall back into old habits when you’re cultivating a new relationship with your body and food. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to change a lifetime of unhealthy habits in a few weeks. If it happens quickly GREAT! But if after doing well, you find yourself binging on potato chips and ice cream, find creative ways to pick yourself up and choose wisely at your next meal! I’m here to guide you, so that you too, can find what works for you, and have the body and life you want.

With compassion,

Tarika Lovegarden.


Does Eating Sugar Make You Feel Out of Control?

February 28th, 2011 by Tarika Lovegarden

Does eating sugar satisfy you, or do you crave more once you start eating it? Is one cookie ever enough?

I admit sugar is stimulating while it’s in your mouth. Chocolate can arouse and satisfy your taste buds momentarily, but what happens afterwards? Do you get taken over by merciless cravings, and run back for “just one more bite”, and then another, and another?

I never feel satisfied after one bite! I instantly get caught between my craving for more, and my fear of getting fat; ashamed of myself, and of what others might think, if I helped myself to more ice cream, or another piece of cake.

Last night I was in my usual premenstrual funk, thinking about chocolate chips cookies, debating whether to pick some up on my way home. I wanted a peaceful night alone in bed with cookies and a good movie.

Instead of fighting my craving, and criticizing myself for wanting cookies, I calmly explored my desire. I embraced the part that loves to eat. I call her Miss Piggy. I let myself want it.

To make sure I really wanted cookies I playfully imagined myself eating them. I felt the initial high of chocolate. I saw myself lustfully reaching for another, and another, and yet another, until I ravenously gobbled the entire package. Feeling nauseous and unsatisfied, I remembered this happens every time I eat sugar.

I took a deep breath and continued to embrace Piggy. I pulled her closer to my heart. By letting her want cookies instead of fighting and resisting her, my desire for cookies subsided. I connected to what she really wanted, which was to feel cared for and loved. I didn’t buy cookies. I chose to take care of myself by not eating. When I got home I snuggled up in bed and smothered Miss Piggy with LOVE.

Next time you crave sugar, take a deep breath and hold your inner Piggy close to your heart. Ask yourself, “What would satisfy me other than eating?” Or “Which healthy alternative would satisfy me, so that I don’t spiral into addictive eating?” Receive Piggy’s gentle whispers deep inside your heart. Find out what you’re really longing for. Make a choice that makes you feel good (long term).

Please share your experience. I love to hear.

Is Your Obsession With Weight Loss Making You Fat?

February 25th, 2011 by Tarika Lovegarden

Have you tried to lose weight, only to find yourself sneaking into the kitchen snacking on foods that aren’t healthy for you? Or have you ignored your hunger in an attempt to lose weight, but started to obsessively fantasize, and perhaps even salivate, at the thought of food?

I came to a point in healing my relationship with food, when I realized that that my obsession with weight was exponentially driving my compulsive eating habits. As I desperately tried to lose that last 10 lbs to become a “perfect model of health and beauty” I became fixated on food. I would spend hours planning and preparing healthy meals to have on hand in case I got hungry. I was trying to avoid making poor choices, but sometimes I’d end up eating two days worth of those “healthy weight loss meals” in one sitting!

There were times when I’d eat a healthy afternoon snack, which truthfully turned into more of a meal, before a dinner party because I was worried there wouldn’t be any healthy choices available. But then I’d end up eating my second dinner two hours later in order to fit in.

Then I remembered something I learned from Tony Robbins, “whatever you focus on grows.” I realized that the more I focused on weight loss, trying as hard as I could not to eat, the more I wanted to eat. Similarly I was reminded of an old saying, “Whatever you think about, don’t think about pink elephants. Are you thinking about elephants? Sometimes the best thing you can do to lose weight is FORGET about weight loss!

I realized that no matter what I did, or how hard I tried to lose weight, I couldn’t stop eating. So, I stopped trying. At first it was challenging to appreciate my curvaceous figure, especially when I couldn’t fit into my jeans. But I knew I had nothing to lose. My old strategies of  control and deprivation weren’t working any longer. I was ready to love myself, even the parts I despised.

As I relaxed around food and focused on my beauty, instead of my imperfections, I began to feel beautiful. I learned to make the best choice possible. If there weren’t foods to my liking, I simply ate less. I’ve learned to wait until dinner! I’m thrilled with the results. Food tastes so much better when you don’t ruin your appetite.

Forget about weight loss and learn to love your body! Make healthy choices based on what feels right to you each moment, instead of eating foods you think you “should” eat because they have the least amount of calories. If you eat what you really want, you’ll feel satisfied and most likely eat less overall. Focus on feeling good and let me know what happens☺

And above all, please be patient and kind with yourself as you change your eating habits. I’m here to help you.