When my kids were born, we had just moved back to France and everything was so delicious. I had put on 30 pounds having two kids at age 27 and 30. I would often say “I eat for 2”! A good excuse, I thought, to eat more of everything I love – Italian gelato, decadent chocolate pastries, almond croissants, and charcuterie (fresh deli meats). Without paying attention to it, I started to stretch my stomach. The more food I put in it on a regular basis the more it is stretched. The bigger the stomach gets the more you need to eat to have the “full” sensation. After trying some of the then trendy diets I would lose the weight only to gain it back once I started eating regularly again. I was not able to really lose the weight until I was able to re-learn to eat just for myself, not for two – portion control was key, and to shrink the size of my stomach (yes, they shrink back!). Naturally, I also increased my exercise to burn the fat that my body had stored from those years of overeating.
When I moved to the US in 2013, at age 38, I had managed to reclaim the body I loved. And then a few things happened that would be key in me gaining weight again, things I was not expecting:
- The quality of the food available
- Hormonal changes and Organ imbalances
- Anxiety and depression
1. The quality of the food available
It is a hard to compare the quality of fresh grown local produce to the poorer quality refrigerated produce found predominantly here in the United States. In France, we were used to fresh, non-GMO, non-refrigerated, picked ripe fruits and veggies. We had easy access to small producers that had cage free, hormones free and antibiotics free chicken, beef and pork. In France there are daily farmers markets with products from local farmers that are within a 10-15 mile radius. There is one place in San Juan Capistrano, I have found to have great local grown produce.
When it comes to sweets, French pastries have less sugar and so are less addictive and leave you satisfied after a just few bites.
Foods that have a lower nutrient content will trigger the body to eat more food to compensate. More calories for the same amount of nutrients. You see! Overeating created inflammation, dysbiosis and bloating and swelling.
The solution I found that works best for this issue is to grow my own vegetable garden. It’s important to pay attention when shopping to get real whole food nutrients and not just foods that have been only been enriched with vitamins added. Even if I can’t produce everything I eat, I know what I do produce plays a vital role in bringing essential nutrients to my body and my health. Even a small garden is worth it! Have you heard about Tower Garden?
2 1/2 years ago I decided to try a plant based diet, and it really helped me reset, detox, and balance my blood sugar, and gut function. I started to lose some weight and to feel better.
2. Hormonal changes and Organ imbalances
Different hormonal disruptions happened also:
A. Because of the high sugar content of my diet, my insulin level, the hormone that tells you to store sugar in the form of fat, was always high in my bloodstream. A health care professional told me once that if I continued like this diabetes was in my future. And I knew, she was right. Fighting sugar addiction is hard, because it means also fighting Candida which can have a powerful effect on our mood. We need to make sure we reinforce our immune system for that fight. Essential oils and discipline were key in helping me manage my sugar intake, my insulin, and candida level.
B. Overeating, bad digestion, and microbiome unbalances all started to affect my brain by ways of inflammation, and a lack of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals are produced in large part from our microbiome). I started to experience brain fog and depression, which are the first symptoms of bad digestion. With depression came the need to eat “comfort food”. I was in a vicious cycle that I had to break. Chiropractic care with some specific supplements for my brain and probiotics helped me regain control.
C. Stress affected my adrenal glands which started to affect my thyroid. My cortisol levels (adrenal hormones) were off after lunch and I was having a hard time functioning throughout the day. My sleep was affected too. Again, chiropractic care with some specific supplements to support my thyroid and adrenal were needed to help me regain control. Better stress management techniques were put in place, more regular chiropractic care (I love my hubby), exercises, quality time, gratitude … And then I found the “gel” that was key to balancing my hormones to burn more fat.
D. Chemicals. I feel like there was even less issues with plastic, BPA and other hormonal disruptors in France than here in the US. French law is stricter about acceptable chemicals in products and in food production than US law. Increased exposure was another factor to be added into the equation. Toxins were stored in the fat for protection. I had to detox. Food cleanse, Ionic foot detox bath and sauna were key in helping me remove those chemicals from my body.
3. Anxiety and depression
Emotions are so interesting. And of course, they affect weight gain and weight loss. It feels like a reflex behavior. The term “comfort food” was not made by mistake. My favorite comfort food are decadent French chocolate pastries. I am very curious about foods and flavors, and I love to have a bite of what everyone eats at the table. This curiosity can cause me to overeat.
During the first couple of years living in the US, the main emotions I felt were darker ones – annoyance, misunderstanding, frustration, depression, anxiety, grief…. Those emotions triggered me into eating. Then, I started using my mind tools to do deep emotional work in addition to receiving mind-body work. With the help of my guide, I was able to experience those emotions and understand where they came from, why they were showing up in my life, now and how I could use those emotions to really transform my life (emotion = energy in motion). When we allow ourselves to fully feel an emotion it gives the energy to make a necessary change.
Anger was a key for me to really “kick myself in the butt” and to get me to move toward my goal rather than stewing in those emotions. Anger is a powerful emotion very good for short term boost. But used on long period or in a chronic way, it drains. We have to choose happiness for the long term to connect and trust our inner strength and power, the divine within. Since that time, I have doubled the size of my practice, launched the San Clemente Vitality Center, hired 3 assistants, written a book, and helped hundreds of people. I am excited about life and what is to come. Life is amazing!
The real key for me to getting out of the anxiety/depression was to fully commit to what makes ME come Alive:
- To help people connect and create coherence between their physical and energetic self.
- To balance and repair the physical body while repairing mental trauma.
- To Love and express my uniqueness, my magic, to make this world a better place.
Losing weight is not easy, but we feel a lot better when we carry less weight. At my worst I was 185lbs. It was a lot of weight for me to carry around. It negatively affected my energy level, created pain in my joints, altered my moods, and how I felt about myself. I tried to lose weight by dieting, but I only put on more weight after it finished.
By following this simple personalized approach, I was able to reclaim my health without dieting or denying myself of the things I loved. I succeeded by understanding my needs, and expressing who I truly am. I am now 140lbs. Going through it myself, understanding what it takes to reset my body and lose weight easily eating the food I love, being active and being passionate about life.
San Clemente Vitality’s weight loss program, “Lose Weight for Life, Regain your Health”, is a personalized program to help you understand the key factors reclaim your life, health and weight. We will:
- help you put in place a healthy lifestyle with a wholefood diet
- support and repair organ function
- help you more effectively manage your stress
- balance your hormonal responses
- help you safely experience your emotions
- help you use the power of your mind to create your reality
Lose Weight for Life at San Clemente Vitality Center!
Join us for a Weight Loss Workshop on 2/11/20 at 6:30pm.