I've always considered myself to be a healthy eater. I rarely crave sugar or sweets, and I've always been that person making appropriate adjustments to my orders at restaurants to find a dish that will support my body's needs. With that said, I've also dealt with major portion-control issues. As a health and fitness writer, I'm always seeking a new piece of advice to help me make a shift in my daily diet, and I recently had a conversation that turned things around for me in a big way.
Founder of the popular boutique studio in Michigan, Cycle & Row, Sam Kelman can relate to my overeating struggles. She was working out five to seven times a week and teaching class at her studio, but could not seem to achieve the leaner shape she was after. A self-described "good eater," Sam dealt with quantity and portion-control issues and found herself feeling stuffed after meal time. She linked up with health coach and creator of Break the Weight Ricki Friedman to determine what was holding her back, and the two determined the piece that Sam was missing: she needed to learn how to approach food with a new perspective. It needed to serve as fuel instead of comfort. There were so many moments of strength, grace, and clarity in my talk with Sam and Ricki, but Sam's parting words are what have stuck with me nearly a month after our first talk: "I'm literally not depriving myself of anything other than feeling sick."
I've never been the girl who can easily leave leftovers on her plate; I've always had a difficult time recognizing when I'm full, emotionally and physically. Call it an Oprah cliché, but I had a true aha moment from those 10 little words. I can not begin to count the number of times I've inhaled a meal out with friends only to stand up and feel sick, bloated, and uncomfortable for the rest of the night. Finally something clicked: eating too much and feeling sick doesn't mean you treated yourself — it means you didn't treat yourself with kindness and respect. I've taken Sam's words to heart, and over the last few weeks I've been able to check in, take a break, and finally wrap up those leftovers with a little more ease. And I've got to tell you, it's been nothing but empowering.