Intuitive Eating – The Key to Never Dieting Again!

by Eleni Kapetanios

You’ve probably been on tons of diets before. Most women have. You followed a plan, were really good at first, then an event or a dinner out happened, and you cheated on your diet, fell off the wagon, and quit. Or you were successful at your diet, lost weight, then gained it back. Or you feel like you have to constantly diet and deny yourself the foods you love to stay at your desired weight. When you think about it, these are diets made up by someone who doesn’t know you or your body and has no idea how you respond to foods. Crazy, right?

But what if you never had to diet again? What if you could completely trust that your unconscious mind knew what you needed to eat, how much and when? What if you never had to worry about dieting again? With Intuitive Eating, you won’t have to.

Intuitive eating helps you to create a healthy relationship with food, and it is exactly what it sounds like: using your intuition and unconscious mind to know what your body needs. Your unconscious mind’s job is to preserve your body, and to make your body as healthy as possible. Sometimes, things like your conscious mind and limiting beliefs about food and other emotional baggage get in the way. When you eat intuitively, you are able to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, make peace with food, and get the joy and nutrition that your body craves. How can we do this?

  1. Reject the diet mentality. Stop reading about the latest diet craze, thinking “oh – THIS will be the one that works”, and setting yourself up for failure. When you are eating intuitively, you absolutely cannot fail.
  2. Honour your body’s cues. Eat slowly and realize when you are full. Stop eating then. Eat when you feel hungry and at no other time.
  3. Realize that food is just food. You are not “bad” because you ate pizza, nor are you “good” because you just ate lettuce all day. Take away its power. If you choose to eat a treat, enjoy it and move on. Give yourself permission to have treats occasionally.
  4. You are in control. Learn to control your emotional state. You decide what to eat, when and how much. Think before you eat.
  5. Eat often. If you eat every few hours, you will never feel starving and start shoving food in your mouth. Keep your blood sugar level and you will feel more in control.
  6. Find pleasure in healthy eating. Your body craves healthy food – lots of variety, greens, protein, fruit and fats. Healthy food can be delicious. Experiment with recipes. Every time you give your body healthy fuel, it makes it happy. Notice how good and energetic you feel when you eat well. Eating good food is showing your body the upmost respect.
  7. Exercise. Move your body and notice how different you feel. You want to fuel your body with healthy, life-affirming foods when you exercise.
  8. Honour your feelings without food. It’s ok to feel sad, lonely or angry. Find what works for you to help you handle these emotions without turning to food. Feel the emotion. You don’t need to numb them. Feel the emotion, know it will pass, and move on.

It is so empowering to realize that YOU are in control of your body – not some dude who wrote a crazy diet plan – and know exactly what it needs to maintain its desired state. Eat slowly, love food, nourish yourself. Ask your unconscious mind what it needs to be satisfied. Breathe. And most of all, forgive yourself. It’s just food, after all.

 

caa0dbf6-8fa2-46c4-bc0e-3d7ff602b602Eleni Kapetanios has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years. She approaches fitness holistically, knowing that mind and body are fully connected and, once you change your mindset, weight loss can be easy and effortless.
Eleni specializes in working with women with body image issues, chronic or yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, inability to lose weight, slow metabolism issues and women who want to lose weight or get healthy but don’t know where to start.
She uses a combination of exercise, Intuitive Eating, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to help women manage their weight, feel beautiful and realize they can accomplish anything.


6 Ways to Beat the Mid-Winter Blahs That Don’t Require a Tropical Vacation

The weather outside is still frightful!

Going from bitter cold and snow storms, to rain with dampness that chills us to our bones – and it’s the middle of February! Sunshine has not been our friend this winter; usually I prefer the cold days with snow, as long as the sun is shining. Just the other day we had gorgeous, sunny weather and I could feel everyone’s energy lifting and becoming happier.

According to the groundhog, we still have 6 weeks left of winter! So, if you aren’t hitting Caribbean beaches this year for that extra boost of warmth and sun, here are some of my favourite, sure-fire ways to take those mid-winter blahs and kick them to the curb:

1. Add a pop of colour!

Our eyes (and spirits) have already seen enough black, grey, brown, maroon and navy this year. We are craving COLOUR in our lives.

Shake it up by adding colour in your ensemble. I have broken all the rules and pulled out my summer turquoise purse. As I frequently wear black, this works as a statement piece and I get a ton of compliments.

P.S. My toenails are a hot pink (just for me)!

2. Freshen up your ‘do.’

This is the time of year when I get the most requests from clients for “something different.”

The power of a fresh new cut, colour, or a few hilites, is often all you need to feel perky and put that extra bounce in your step.

Swapping out lipsticks from the rich darks or neutral tones to brighter shades will both enhance your new do and add that pop of colour you’re craving.

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3. Buy yourself fresh flowers.

Adding a spring bouquet or even a single daisy to your desk, work area, or bedside table will bring a smile to your face whenever you look at it.

4. Bring your sexy back!

That frumpy feeling from being bundled up in several layers of winter clothing needs to go!

Embracing your feminine, sexy side is fun and builds confidence. Try wearing a lacy bra and panties, just for you. Join a pole dancing class; it’s a great way to get in touch with yourself, plus you get an incredible workout.

Or oil up your partner and take turns massaging each other. This is the month of love, after all! #loveyourself

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5. Get outdoors.

Don’t roll your eyes at this one – I know you dread the thought of doing anything more than getting into and out of your car in weather like this! 😉

Trust me, spending time properly dressed for the elements and getting some fresh air will do wonders. A 15-minute walk or shovelling your driveway will increase your energy and improve your attitude.

6. Be sun-kissed without the sun.

Grab a self-tanner, bronzer, or an illuminating cream, spray or foam, and give your skin that golden glow without exposing yourself to harmful rays.

Read the directions to be sure to get the right shade and to avoid streaking.

Do you have any other tricks for beating the mid-winter blahs? Tell me in the comments!


How The Word “No” Taught Me When to Say “Yes”

dreamstime_s_30035137I have a hard time saying no. I admire those who can say “no” straight up, with zero hesitation and zero guilt.

Saying “no” has been on my list of goals for the past two years, and I have improved. People pleasing and doing things out of obligation instead of desire are two areas where I am practicing this art of “no”.  Years of patterned events, behaviour and customs for us “people-pleasers” can take its toll, and the joy of serving others is replaced with resentment. Now I carefully choose with whom I spend my time, and I am thrilled to have such a diverse group of family and friends.

Who wants to spend their life feeling and doing things strictly out of obligation? I thrive on joy, love, fun and excitement. For those of you who’ve received an email from me, you may recognize this quote from Rumi, which appears in my email signature and is my personal motto:

“Set your life on fire; seek those who fan your flame.”

The real magic begins with saying “yes.”  Are you confused yet? :) First I tell you I am practicing saying “no” and now I tell you saying “yes” is magical!

Here is the difference:

Say ‘no’ when you are suppressing an eye roll to an invitation to spend time with people who are simply not in line with who you are, where you do not want to spend the evening with a fake smile and head nods.

Say ‘yes’ when your heart skips a beat, when you think “I can’t do that” because it is far fetched – be crazy enough to give it a shot!

Being open to new experiences, adventures and people is saying “yes” to what makes my heart sing. Yes is magical. Yes is scary. And yes opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

So what do you have to lose? Try saying yes to something new this week and see what difference it makes in your life and in the lives of those around you! Here are some suggestions:

Say “YES!” to…

  •  Trying new foods!

Life is far too short to spend it eating meat and potatoes every night! Be brave: order something new the next time you are at your favourite restaurant, or try a new recipe!

  •  Volunteering in your community or at a fundraising event!

Meeting new people with a common interest/goal and giving back is a win/win. I have made amazing personal and business relationships through volunteering.

  •  Signing up for a physical challenge!

Whether it is a 5 km fun run, mud run, marathon, bike ride, yoga or tai chi in the park, the energy and excitement is amazing.  Registering will keep you on top of fitness goals and the accomplishment will make you proud!

  •  Doing business in a new way!

I never expected my business to expand virtually through Skype the way it has, but I said ‘yes’ to trying. Likewise, with new partnerships, public speaking – which I had no experience doing, but said ‘yes’ anyway.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained – and I have gained a lot thanks to being open to trying something new.

  •  Something that scares you a little (or a lot)!

Like zip lining, tree topping or midnight skinny dip, doing anything out of your comfort zone heightens all the senses. It is invigorating and freeing!

Practice saying yes to opportunities TODAY by grabbing one of my complimentary Style Success Sessions. I’m opening up just 6 spots on my calendar for these 20-minute sessions, and they’re first come, first served for the first 6 people who book one. When the last session is booked, I’ll be closing my calendar. Click HERE to schedule yours now!


Perfectly Imperfect

perfectly imperfectThe t-shirt arrived on my doorstep as a gift from my good friend… and I find it “perfect”. I wear it with great pride, and it is what I am wearing in the cover photo on my personal Facebook page.  Our joke regarding the phrase began while she and I decorated my home on two separate occasions: once for a baby shower and another for a Mardi Gras party. We both like the house to look perfectly imperfect when staged for an event!!

As a type A personality, Virgo and self proclaimed perfectionist, I began to think and have a silent chuckle at how many times over the years I have spent endless hours decorating our home so it looks magazine worthy, yet not so perfect to be on display in a showroom all matchy-matchy. Or countless formal styles or updo’s I did as a hairstylist, making my clients look gorgeous with an effortless elegance, yet spending an hour and cursing silently with a bobby-pin in my mouth to achieve this. Or how I balance a client’s outfit to look elegant, sophisticated and yet approachable and fun.

I had to ask myself the question: Why? Why am I, and others, obsessed with this “perfectly imperfect” style?

I’ve come to the conclusion it’s because we are all perfectly imperfect; flawed in ways that make us unique and more attractive to our family, friends and clients.

All of us were born into this world as beautiful, perfectly unique humans. I encourage all of us to embrace those imperfect traits we possess, whether it’s those freckles, the gap in your teeth or your carrot top. Learn to love that which makes you different!

I have found that the quirky little traits we own and perhaps shun ourselves, are usually the same traits our friends admire about us most, or don’t even notice. I used to be terribly self conscious about my toes, they are spread wider apart than the average person (kinda creepy), so what? I am not average, so why should my toes be? My thighs rival most men’s for thickness, but they are strong! And I have this obnoxious loud cackle – yes I said cackle! – and the occasional snort slips out as well, it’s horrifying! Yet, more people have told me how much they love my laugh and how infectious it is!

Let the perfectly imperfect YOU shine on!

In a world where Photoshop and filters serve to enhance our pictures, let’s keep those enhancements subtle, real, pure and fresh.

To end I will leave you with a quote to ponder.

“There is nothing more rare and beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me that is the true essence of beauty.”

~Steve Maraboli

Victoria Baird works with women in life transitions to discover their personal style, develop their personal image and brand, and build their self-confidence around their own natural beauty. Ready to kick your image up a notch? Schedule a complimentary Style Success Session with Victoria here.


3 Easy Ways to Exercise That Will Make You Better at Your Job

Being great at your job requires stamina: mental, physical and emotional. Plain and simple, exercise is the #1 habit you want to incorporate now to have increased stamina for an improved work and home life.

Regardless if you are a bank teller, sales clerk, brick layer, real estate agent, talk show host, chef, account executive etc, etc, this one habit, in my opinion, can change your entire life! Don’t just take my word for it. Inc.com recently released an article, 30 CEOs Reveal the Daily Habits Responsible for Their Success.

Four of the CEOs directly spoke about how their exercise habits aided their success. And let’s not forget about Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Madonna, Darren Hardy and Doctor Oz, to name a few more people in the public eye that repeatedly attribute exercise as a key habit!

Why Exercise?

Exercise releases endorphins into your body, that’s why!

Endorphins are what create that euphoric feeling. They’re nature’s happy pills! All you need to do is get active in order to feel their effects.

Endorphins also regulate appetite, release sex hormones and increase immune function! Seriously ladies, who doesn’t want all these benefits?!

Exercising regularly, 3-5 days a week for 30-60 minutes, will automatically make you feel better. This is because a positive domino effect occurs: you start craving better healthier food, you start getting a better night’s sleep, your stress response lessens, and as a result – all your relationships are enhanced.

I Didn’t Always Love Exercise

I am a fitness junkie, no doubt about it! I love exercise as much as others despise it, but I wasn’t always this way. I hated those fitness tests we had to do in school as a child; they left me feeling inadequate.

In my late teens and early 20’s when I was in full-on lazy/party mode, exercising for any reason was out of the question (unless of course dancing at a night club counts!) I no longer rode my bike to hang out with my friends; we all had cars or access to a car. I gave up on team sports; my competitive nature was redirected to other activities such as over indulgence with food and alcohol!

It wasn’t until out of necessity that I came back to active living and I realized not only that I thrived on staying active, but that I was a better person all around.

I had moved from my small town to the city and I no longer had access to a car. Sure there was public transportation available, but after getting on the wrong bus a couple of times I decided I wanted to save myself the embarrassment of being late again and started walking to work, instead.

It didn’t take more than a week before I began to notice several changes!

Overall I felt good, I had more energy, my body felt stronger, I enjoyed the fresh air and the “me time” where I could process my thoughts during the 30 minutes to and from work. The benefits just kept coming!

Fast forward 20 plus years, and I can without a doubt in my mind, tell you exercise is #1 reason highly successful people thrive in business and in life. Here are 3 easy ways for you to incorporate exercise into your routine and your success!

1. Keep it Simple

If exercise is new to you, commit to 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes of walking or bicycling, or some other activity you enjoy and don’t need to purchase a membership for. Although memberships and monies spent can keep you accountable, I suggest setting up the consistency in activity first.

2. Use the Buddy System

If you have a hard time dragging yourself out of bed or off the couch to exercise, find a friend to work out with. The chance of cancelling on your friend in less-than-ideal weather is lessened; you may want to bail on yourself but you won’t let down a friend!

3. Keep it Fun

Ready for something more than walking? Find something you enjoy. There are clubs for just about every type of activity, and people of all shapes and sizes enjoy these sports! Don’t be shy. Ask around or get online to research. From rock climbing to mud races, get out there and find what you like, make some new friends and get in shape!

Does this still sound daunting to you? Part of my work as a Style & Image Coach includes helping my clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Schedule your complimentary Style Success Session with me here, and let’s make your goals a reality!