11 Ways To Stop Obsessing

11 ways to stop obsessing
It’s 2am and you’re up thinking…
ruminating and thinking and obsessing like a record that’s stuck and keeps repeating the same lyrics over and over again…”I’m a loser. What if it doesn’t work out? I f’d up. I f’d up.”
Obsessing, also called “ruminating,” is over-thinking, repeating unanswerable questions, retracing past mistakes, and it’s dangerous…
11 ways to stop obsessing
I was on the phone with my client Amy, and she shared with me that she had been up all night obsessively worrying about a financial issue. Other times, she admitted, she got stuck in thought loops about weight loss and how her body “should just be different.”
In the past, Amy had used food and “midnight snacking” to help calm these obsessive thoughts. But this time, she did her best to get back to bed, and felt really good about herself for not engaging in the binge eating she used to.
Binge eating is often just a tool some of us use to drown out the obsessive thoughts, an action we can take that distracts us.

But we don’t really need the food. Our bodies may crave food because “she” knows the anxiety from the obsessions will go away if we eat…and overeat…

What we really need, and what I shared with Amy, is ways to stop obsessing.
Rather than thinking of happy, positive events over and over again, which lead us to well-being, self love, and confidence, we humans tend to conjure up more and more negative thoughts in a cycle of self-loathing and anxiety.
Research shows that obsessive thoughts and rumination are associated with binge-eating, binge-drinking, anxiety, depression, and more.
Obsessing and ruminating are the path to feeling helpless and worthless.
It paralyzes your problem solving skills so you only focus on the bad, and never have the confidence, clarity or creativity to think up new solutions.

Here are 11 ways to stop obsessing, and get out of ruminating: 

  1. See it. Just the fact that you’ve realized you’re ruminating (and that it isn’t helping) is the first step. As my G.I. Joe cartoon used to say every Saturday morning, “knowing is half the battle!”
  2. Laugh about it! Find something funny about the situation. Humor can help you see an issue from a new perspective so you can move on. Imagine you’re in a screwball comedy and this situation is happening to Maya Rudolph or Mae
  3. Be your friend. What would you say to a dear friend facing the same situation? This can help you treat yourself more compassionately. If you have done something wrong, or made a mistake, forgive yourself as you would with a friend, with the same heart and love.
  4. Reality check. Focus only on things you have control over. Life is so big and complex, there will always be things we have uncertainty around. Try to take a “pronoia” stance – the idea that the world is on your side and the Universe has your back – the opposite of “paranoia.”
  5. Accept your sadness or fear. We all have sadness, fear, or anger. If you can accept that this is a part of living, and that it won’t last forever (neither life nor the current emotion), and stop trying to make things different, can you just settle into the emotion and feel it fully? Feelings often dissolve if we allow ourselves to fully feel them.
  6. Stop it! Ever just say that out loud to yourself? Parent yourself as if you were a kid about to do something really harmful. Stop it, kid! Sometimes we just need a wake up call to jolt us out of a daze.
  7. Get here now. As the Dali Llama said, “There are only two times you can’t do anything: the past and the future.” Center yourself in the hear and how, and focus on one action you can take for your well-being, rather than trying to answer unanswerable questions like “why did that happen?”
  8. Get distracted. I know, it’s totally different from #7, but getting distracted can get you off a train of thought at this station, right now! When you engage in activities that fill your mind with other thoughts, preferably positive ones, the obsessive thoughts will fade. What’s something fun, relaxing, pleasurable, or useful you could do right now? What’s an awesome funny movie you could watch to start laughing? Do you have a creative outlet? Have you given yourself pleasure via movement, masturbation, or play lately?
  9. See your thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. And you are not your thoughts! Thank goddess – I can’t tell you how many times my brain has conjured up terrible images of what could happen to my kid on the way home from school. Examine your thoughts with curiosity and without judgment – what can you learn from this and what is just an emotion?
  10. One last time, with feeling. Tell yourself “ok, self: I’ll let you think about this one more time but this time we are coming up with a plan about what to do next!” Hear the plan, then take action. None of this is helpful if you don’t act.
  11. Worry time. Make a plan to obsess for 15 minutes at a specific time in the next 24-hours. You’ve set aside some time for it, and you don’t have to be stuck in these thoughts right now if you booked a spot to dive back into the pit.
As you look towards the possibilities this new way of thinking has for you, including all the personal desires and cravings that call to you, I want to extend my hand and offer myself as a part of your circle of support.

 When I’m looking at making a big change, or taking on a new way of being, or when I want something that just feels beyond my ability to create, I will raise my hand, phone a friend, shout out loud “HELP!”

If you are in this space, with visions and hope for a future that glows with self-love, joy, freedom, peace and energy, then I welcome you to go. for. it.

Feel into the image that you see and feel, and seek the support you need to make the transformation real.


If you have been wanting me on hand to support you in a one-on-one, personal way, here’s your opportunity:


As part of my mission to help women (and the men who love us) to live into our desires and natural state of health, I’m doing something different and offering a COMPLIMENTARY 30-minute 1-on-1 personalized Vitality Discovery Session with me.

Yes!
That’s 30 minutes of personalized, uninterrupted time with me without costing you a cent.

I will help you discover what difference you want to see in your life from dropping the extra pounds and feeling free with food.
AND what’s holding you back from getting what you want.

We’ll intentionally approach these topics with love, kindness, and compassion – those good thoughts that helped my garden flourish! Let’s skip the extra shame and frustration, shall we? :)

Then, we’ll make a plan to get you what you want, in a new, honorable, unique way. Joy, play, fun, pleasure, and a soulful plan of action.

I know you could spend 30 minutes doing something else – email, laundry, chores, drinking wine and eating chocolate…anything.
Yet, I believe that when you and I spend time in this conversation, we can weave magic and a new way of living in and loving your body.

I have space for 10 Vitality Discovery Sessions, and if you feel called, I hope you’ll take me up on this very special invitation.

Click here to answer a few simple questions. If it feels like a good fit, someone on my team will be in touch in 48 hours after the submission deadline to set up your free session. The deadline is Monday, July 20th.

Are you ready to ACTUALLY change your life? 3 Key Psychological Insights

Are you ready to
The topic of “change” has been coming up in a lot of conversations
lately – with clients, with my 8.5 year old son, with my fiancé…
(OMG – did I tell you all yet?! He asked! I said Yes! More on that later…)
Are you ready to
We want change, yet we crave security.
We want newness, and we want certainty.
We want juicy fun in our relationships, yet we’re afraid to step out and truly be seen.
We want to look and feel better in our bodies, yet we don’t have the required motivation.
We want to love ourselves, yet we beat ourselves up for every tiny misstep…
Confidence…
Healthy body image…
Motivation…
Authenticity…
Getting off sugar and healing your gut…
…we want these, yet they feel far out of reach.
To get any of these requires us to change in some way…
And change is, at it’s core, terrifying.
 
Change scares us, because we are terrified of failing, 
and being judged or exiled by the people around us.
 
When you begin living and acting in a new way, you face the rejection
or alienation from the friends, family, and colleagues who shared your old ideas.
Yet we struggle, because we know we need to change what we’re doing,
how we are eating, living, and talking to ourselves in our thoughts…
You know you need/want to change in order to finally feel really good and free in your body.
But choosing WHAT to change, and how to go about it, feels overwhelming
in the face of failure and public shaming.
 
I believe we can learn new things and new behaviors,
no matter our age,
no matter our circumstances,
no matter our history,
new ways of eating and thinking and feeling about
ourselves and food…but why don’t we?
 

1. To learn a new behavior or skill requires a bit of struggle + willingness to fail. 

I didn’t speak Spanish growing up, and I had to be willing to make mistakes by speaking badly in front of my college classmates in order to learn. I didn’t know how to dice an onion, and had to risk losing a finger and presenting misshaped food to my culinary school teachers, but I had to be willing to try and fail until I did it enough times to master the skill.
 
If you don’t know how to cook, yet you know you need to start taking control over
what you put in your body three times a day, it’s helpful to know that you’ll make some
mistakes.
 
If you don’t know how to change your mindset from “fixed” and negative to more “growth” oriented and positive, it’s helpful to know that you’ll still get stuck in negative thought loops until you’re more practiced at seeing your habits.
Joyfully knowing a new skill or way of thinking takes a “beginner’s mind” – just as a toddler learning to walk doesn’t cuss itself out for tumbling over, we need to have a safe, supportive, more experienced friend who can guide us to keep trying as we learn.
You’ll know that you’re learning something really new and challenging when it takes a long time and you’re constantly making mistakes and struggling…
And creating a new mindset in this current culture of food and body shame requires a lion’s heart and a lot of angels! 
 
But I believe you can do it, because I’ve seen hundreds of people do it before.
Which brings me too…

2. Find your guide and your tribe.

Learning all these new skills can be really discouraging on your own.
I know left to my own devices, I would have given up on Spanish or cooking, and I wouldn’t have advanced as far as I did with my teachers and friends.
When your enthusiasm and motivation falters,
you need someone you trust who will be there to help pull you up.
When you change your life, it often means you need to change your community,
which is a lot harder than not eating sugar for a couple of weeks.
The best guides, angels, and communities do a lot more than just demonstrate a new skill or technique:
They inspire hope by sharing their belief in you.
They point out the small successes and improvements you’ve made, which you forget about.
They support you no matter what you discover about yourself, and encourage your growth + change.
They sell you on your own competence and your own potential.
They teach you the positive psychology of growth and realistic optimism.
But it’s important to find your guides and angels.
They need to feel like a good fit, and you need to feel a real sense of connection.
To find your tribe of guides and angels, look for people who respect your growth, understand you, and believe in you…
those are the people who will inspire you to stick out the struggles.

3. Be willing to believe.

 
In order to actually, really, finally change anything (body, mind, spirit, life) you must be willing
to put down the old idea that you can’t change.
That’s why community and support from outside yourself is so all-fired important!
I needed coaching and  new relationships with the right people to:
– change my relationship with money + start saving money wisely
– change my relationship with my body + start loving myself, quirks and all
– change my relationship with things + let the clutter and retail therapy go
I actively sought out the coaches, mentors, classes, and guides that helped me
heal, grow, and change.
You can either wait for change to happen to you, or
you can actively seek the change you truly desire.
Real, lasting change depends on relationships.
Finding your “change agent” is like finding your perfect mate.
It’s hit-or-miss, and takes some time, hope, grit, and dedication.
And when you find that community, coach, or relationship, a world of change is possible.
We all need different first steps, different coaches, and different plans.
Yet even with our differences, we are all in the same boat:
Because we all desire to be our most authentic, healthiest, happiest possible selves.
That’s what I want for you, and that’s why I do what I do.
Because the future is shaped by those of us who believe we are capable of
change, growth, and discovering new ways of living.
In a few days I’ll be sharing a special offer with you to help you make lasting changes this summer.
So keep an eye on your inbox on Wednesday…

Now, I want to hear about what you’re inspired to change or transform this summer:

In the comments below, share with us your relationship with “change.”

What are you inspired to shift in your life?
What are your biggest heart’s desires that scare you?
Then we can all honor, witness, and support you as you step into that change this summer.
xo,
Alex

Cauliflower Rice Recipe: Inspiration In The Kitchen

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I haven’t posted a new recipe in a while…

And I’ve felt a bit guilty about it.

I have been sharing a lot of new mindset tools from positive psychology that have made a big difference in my own healing journey, as well as my clients.

But at home, for myself and my family, I’ve been making simple foods, using high-quality ingredients, and keeping things pretty easy.

I just haven’t been focused on new recipes for a while…

It wasn’t that I’d lost my love for cooking, I just didn’t feel like a new greens recipe was as important as sharing these new tools I found so inspirational.

And it felt strange for a while, and I was plagued with doubts:

  • I’m a professionally trained healthy cook – why am I not excited about new recipes?
  • I know people want new recipes to inspire healthier eating – why can’t I just keep creating them?
  • Aren’t there already thousands of recipes online to choose from? Can I really add anything new?
  • Am I going to confuse my readers if I post mindset tools and then put up a recipe every once in a while?

So I didn’t create anything new for months. Until now, as I got really excited by this delicious new way of making cauliflower, quickly, with a few ingredients.

My programs and clients all still get recipe and menu planning help, when that’s what they need.

But I see more and more that having new recipes isn’t enough to help you make the lasting changes you want in your body and life.

I want to help you think about food and your body in a new way, using proven strategies that help you feel peaceful, strong, joyful, and whole. That’s the power of positive psychology and my mindset makeover tools, like those I teach in the Vitality Mentorship.

But I also love to eat, and I know you do too. I still cook every day, even if it’s whipping up a green + protein smoothie, tea, and a salad.

Well, I’ll be sharing new recipes when the inspiration strikes, rather than forcing myself to be a recipe hub.

Because as you probably know, forcing yourself to do things that you don’t feel totally juicy and excited about is a recipe for self-sabotage, frustration, and a loss of passion.

And I’ll continue to share nutrition + food tips because I know that our cravings and food habits stem from 4 roots causes: bacterial, nutritional, emotional, and physical.

So today, I’ve got a brand new way to whip up a family-pleasing cauliflower dish, filled with nutrition, that cooks up quicker than quinoa:

Cauliflower Rice Recipe:

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This recipe provides a delicate sweetness of cooked cauliflower, onion, and red bell pepper, which is my strategy to help with nighttime sugar cravings. Adding sweet foods at dinner satisfies my sweet tooth. I also like the high fiber content, which your body uses to get rid of excess estrogen.

1. Start with 1 head of organic cauliflower, washed and patted dry. Cut out the core and chop into large chunks.

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2. Place the chunks into a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and pulse 20-25 times, until cut into tiny pieces, but not mushy. You can also shred on a box grater.

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3. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Dice 1/2 a yellow onion and red bell pepper, and saute with 1 teaspoon of salt until the onions begin to brown.

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4. Scoop the shredded cauliflower into the pan, and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, adding another 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well, and cover, turning heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes more.

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5. Turn off the heat and allow to steam for 2 minutes before serving hot.

Share with your loved ones, and save the rest for leftovers – reheating is a snap! Just add to a pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water, stir, cover, and heat over medium for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Enjoy!

xo,

Alex

 

P.S. Want a few cooking ideas like this, and help plotting your life’s transformation? Applications for the Vitality Mentorship program are open until June 10th:  

9 ways to get out of your comfort food zone

9 ways to

We all have ideas of what we wish to become.

9 ways to

I was with my son, on our way to the park so he could try out his new skateboard. “Are you ready to go down the ramp?” I asked.
Wonder Boy looked up at me and said, “I don’t want to…I’m scared.”

I didn’t miss a beat, looked into his eyes, and replied,
“It’s ok to be scared, but it’s important to try it anyway.”

It’s a powerful message.
“Trying it anyway” is at the heart of a fully lived life.

It’s what I tell my clients when they know they need to ditch sugar and gluten.

It’s what I tell my clients when they need to have a big talk with their partner or boss…
or finally start dating.

It’s what I tell myself before taking on a new big idea for my work.
(podcast? a book about cravings? interviewing experts on masturbation??)

Without anyone else encouraging us to try new things,
we tend to dig ourselves deeper into our comfort zones.

Busy schedules, long-held habits, and old mindsets can lead us to shut off our hearts and minds and just coast on autopilot.

We keep using the same old comfort foods to help us handle stress, which keeps the extra weight on, and keeps our energy depressed.

A part of us knows that those old comfort foods will keep us in the stuck spot where we are, so that we won’t have to step into that uncertain next step.

We let the fear keep us from moving forward and just let life take us where it wants.

Our comfort food zone, hiding in the foods that exhaust us and make us feel heavy, keeps us from even trying to make the changes we dream about: dating, asking for the raise, changing careers, and more. Much more.

Is it too late to change?
That’s the great news; It’s never, ever too late to “try it anyway.”

But we get stuck in “fixed mindset.”

Positive Psychology shows us that we can have choose one of two mindsets: Fixed or Growth.

“Fixed” mindset is when you think you can’t change, you can’t learn anything new, you avoid challenges, when you see other people succeed it brings up jealousy, and you want to be told you’re smart.

I believe you can develop a growth mindset, and all it takes is knowing there is a new way to think, and to start watching your thoughts more closely!

Growth mindset says you can learn new things and change:

Growth mindset is open to asking for help, says “I don’t know how to do this…YET,” believes that you can learn something new, enjoys watching other people succeed, and wants to be acknowledged for working hard.

I try to show my kid when I’m trying something new, share any doubts, and share when I don’t reach the goal. I show him the process of what it means to try.
The wins and the losses.

Our culture is too danged focused on WINNING – that being 100% perfect, #1, and the BEST, is the only acceptable option.

B.S!

Moving out of your comfort zone requires us to break free from the past and old ways of perfection thinking, and push ourselves to do something we wouldn’t normally try.

But here’s the secret magic lurking just behind the fear:
often, the simple act of just trying something new can help you move out of your comfort zone.

Here are 9 simple ways to move out of your comfort zone:

9 ways
• take a cooking class
• take an art class
• volunteer for a local organization for 1 day
• take a new route to work
• say ‘Hi’ to someone new in your neighborhood or at work
• plan a trip to a new part of your city, or a place where people speak a difference language
• visit a new place of worship
• take a hike to a new park
• take the first step towards making one of your dreams a reality

Does it still feel too overwhelming? Here are some additional pointers:
• do some research on the first 2 steps needed to make one new thing happen – then act
• ask someone who has done the new thing you’re interested in about why they like it
• take a friend with you when you try a new activity or go some place new
• stop thinking of yourself as “fragile” – you are beautiful, but not a delicate flower
• call to mind a time when you did something new that was fun
• depend on yourself for your happiness, instead of others

And even if your attempt doesn’t work out the way you thought it might, it can still lead to growth and positive results. The most successful people on earth went through major failures before they became successful.

The more new things you try, the more you step out of your comfort zone, the less you’ll need  food to make you happy. The less depressed you’ll feel. The more energy you’ll have.
The more LIFE you’ll have!

What I am asking you to do is simple: do just one thing differently this week.

Your life is waiting for you, just outside your comfort food zone.

Ready to work with an experienced coach to help you

get out of your comfort zone and utterly transform your body + life?

CLICK HERE TO APPLY by June 6th for the Vitality Mentorship with Alex: 

3 Confidence Boosters That Will Make You Blush

3 confidence boosters

I still feel like that 12-year old girl in the back brace.

3 confidence boosters

Diagnosed with pretty major scoliosis, a curved spine,
I was given a hard plastic brace that added 1-inch to my girth, and
went around my body from below my hips up to my armpits.

For 23 hours a day, for 2 years, I wore the uncomfortable,
sweaty, bulky brace. It bit into my ribs, and rubbed red marks
into my hips.

Worse than the physical pain, I couldn’t wear any form-fitting clothes,
and had to wear bulky t-shirts and pants with elastic waist bands that
would fit over the brace.

That brace helped straighten my spine, but it made me extremely self-conscious
and chipped away at my self-confidence between the ages of 12 and 14.

It has taken years to recognize the impact of those years on my confidence,
and years of inner work to heal my relationship with my body.

From deformity to healed, from wrong and embarrassing to lovable.

Confidence. No matter what your story, we women have an especially shaky relationship with it,
and that has a huge impact on our lives and health…

our ability to ask for what we need…
our ability to speak our minds…
our power to change as we grow…
our mastery of life and skills…
our ability to reclaim our bodies as perfect, strong, and worthy of love.

How can we grow our confidence in ways that are truly empowering?
How can we have fun with something that feels so serious?

Why do I care about women’s confidence?

I started to read the applications for my Vitality Mentorship program,
and almost every woman wrote about her painful relationship with her body, food, and confidence.

And I saw that it effects everything we do, everything about our lives, what we are willing to sacrifice for…

…how we take care of ourselves,
…how we show up and share our gifts with the world,
…how long we are willing to put up with people and circumstances
that hurt us or keep us returning to comfort foods to try to manage the stress.

Confidence is like a secret nutrient of our well-being.

I’ve been consciously healing my own confidence since my early 20’s,
when I began to sense the impact of that back brace on my ability to reclaim my body as my own.

In my own way, I’ve discovered 3 easy, fun ways to begin to grow my own confidence, and I want to share them with you.

And they might make you blush!

Because in order to boost our confidence from within, have to admit our greatness, be willing to try and fail in full view of others, and claim our right to pleasure and fun!

These 3 methods have helped me see my impact on the world,
my ability to feel good no matter what weight or state my body is in,
and to have fun in my body again, which is my foundation of emotional confidence:

3 Confidence

1. PLAY:

Hula hoop, roller skates, kite flying, biking, anything that involves moving my body
in a non-competitive, skillful way, brings me confidence.

When you playfully move in your body, your state changes, your hormones reach a peak of metabolic perfection, and the benefits of moving with joy bring your body into alignment so that you can drop weight (and inflammation) with less effort…

and begin to love moving in your body more.

From dancing along with Beyonce’s backup dancers in a concert video (badly) to
strapping on my hot pink roller skates and trying to finally learn how to turn right, over and over again…
when you play to learn some new physical skill, you build a new pathway of communication and love
with your body.

This weekend I finally figured out how to roller skate and turn right – and it was glorious!

Now, it took 3 or 4 trips to the local basketball courts, countless stumbles, and hearing my
own kid giggle when I flailed wildly while trying to learn…

But finally learning something new in my body, mastering a new physical skill, reminded
me of all the things that I’ve already learned in this life.

My invitation to you:

Pick your play! What sounds fun to you?
Finally learning to throw a frisbee with bullseye accuracy?
Hula hooping in your back yard?
Trying that new dance move you saw on YouTube?
1 minute a day to practice handstands against a wall? Summer salts?

Get out and play and have fun in your body – and dance like nobody’s watching.

2. PLEASURE TIME:

If you’ve been listening to my Crave Cast podcast this month, you’ve heard my interviews
with the groundbreaking sexual health experts to bring attention to the healing powers
of “self-pleasure” or masturbation.

“Solo play,” another name for masturbation, is a highly effective way for women to balance our hormones,
release pent up stress, increase fertility, and as important…
a way for us to find out how much good we are capable of.

Sex is a part of life, but for many of us, it’s an emotional, tense, uncomfortable part of life.
I believe as we get in touch with our body’s ability to feel pleasure through solo-play, we:

– are more confident in asking for what we want, in the bedroom and out in the world
– feel more capable of getting back into the dating scene or reconnecting with our partner
– draw better boundaries for our bodies and our energy

My invitation to you:

Schedule space in your life for solo play at least once a week.
Choose a new toy or simply use your hand and some organic coconut oil.
Light a candle, take a bath, and enjoy your own playground, your body.

If you’re looking for expert advice on how to embark on a solo play ritual, check out the last four episodes of my Crave Cast:

3. THE  NEW GRATITUDE RITUAL:

Gratitude journals are nothing new – you’ve probably written down 3 things you’re grateful for
and felt pretty good about it.

But new science from the world of Positive Psychology shows us that there is a more powerful,
more beneficial way to honor what you’re grateful for.

In fact, this new way is much more empowering, and will build your confidence in short order:

My invitation to you:

Today, as a new, more powerful ritual, write down 5 things in your life that you’re grateful for –
and the role you had in making those things happen.

It’s not just about receiving good things, and having a positive periscope on the world…
…it’s about taking ownership of your impact on the world.

You need to remind yourself that you HAVE taken action that yielded positive results – and when you do it again, again and again, you will naturally grow your confidence.

Now I want to hear from you in the comments below –

How does your confidence effect your body and health?

Which of these 3 ideas will you play with this week?

Sometimes we need to borrow confidence. Getting into a community of curious change-seekers, who can offer you support in those moments when your own confidence is low, is the best way I know how to make lasting improvements to your body and life.

Applications are now available for my 4-month Vitality Mentorship program:
go here to apply by June 6th!

xo,
Alex

How to finally get the motivation you want – for real

“I wish I wanted to go to the gym every day.”
“I WANT to want to have sex with my husband more.”

I’ve heard these two secret wishes a lot from my friends and clients lately.

We all have dreams, goals, desires, and life cravings.
93% of people, polled by the American Psychological Association, have some aspect of their behavior that they want to change.

And most of our goals involve improving our health, body, confidence, sleep, relationships, finances…

If so many of us want to change, in such basic, important ways, why do less than half of us maintain the changes we attempt?

Why is change so hard?

 

wwywtw
 

Most of us blame lack of willpower when we fall short of our goals.
Many of us blame a lack of time, or not enough money when we don’t go for it.

I believe it really comes down to the clarity of your wants, the strength of your desire, the reasons for your craving.

AKA: Motivation.

There are two kinds of motivation, and one is more powerful than the other.

External motivation is when we try something to earn a reward or avoid a punishment: dropping a size so we can fit into the skinny jeans, getting a raise so you can buy the new car, going to the gym every day so we don’t get heart disease…some day.

External motivation might be enough to get you started, but it’s not enough to keep you going.

Internal motivation is the secret sauce.

Internal motivation is when you fall in love with an activity because it is rewarding to your body, life, and soul. It lights you up and makes you come alive:

It’s when you go to yoga every week because it makes you glow and feel alive.
It’s when you play a game because it really excites you.
It’s when you love your work so much you would do it for free.
It’s when you put down your phone before dinner and don’t use it all night so you can be with your honey, which brings you the intimacy and juicy fun you crave.

Here’s an exercise you can use right now to get motivated from within, and have real, lasting change:

It’s called WANTING WHAT YOU WANT TO WANT (AKA: WWYWTW).

Getting specific about your desires, setting clear goals, stating your intentions –
these are all important strategies to follow. You need a map to know where you’re going, right?

But defining a goal or desire is really clarifying “what you want.”

What do you want to be MORE motivated to do?
Or: what do you want to want?

It might sound like this: (a few examples from my own and my clients lives)

I want to want to exercise so much that it’s naturally a part of every day.
I want to want to eat green vegetables!
I want to want to go to sleep at 10 every night so I’m well rested.

This can extend to dating, relating, career, and more:

I want to want to share my paintings online…

I want to want to date so that I get out there and finally meet some cool people…

I want to want to have sex with my partner more so that we feel more connected…

I want to want to start my own coaching practice so strongly that I finally sign up for that program that would really get me started…

Right now, pick one thing you WANT to want more.

Once you’ve got one good thing that you WANT to WANT, do this:
come up with a few things that would make you want that more.

If you want to want to go to yoga twice a week, you might say:

…if I went with a friend and we had a tea date after.
…if I knew the teacher was great and played good music.
…if I had a new yoga outfit that made me feel comfortable and cute.

If you want to want to have more juicy, sexy time with your partner, you might think:

if we both put our phones and gadgets away before dinner and keep them off…
if we sat together and shared our fantasies in a safe, loving way with no agenda…
if we spent an hour apart, focusing on our own self-pleasure first, to get ready…
if I got my favorite erotica book, and he watched something that turns him on first…

That would put you into the zone of actually wanting.
Your intrinsic motivation will blossom.
You will come act, make headway, and come alive.

This positive psychology technique can help you identify strategies that boost your intrinsic, personal, soul-driven motivation.

Once you have really good reasons for WHY you want to want a new activity, food, or habit, you’ll follow through for yourself.

Confidence blooms, action is sustained, mountains move.

So now I want to hear from you:

In the comments below, share the thing you want to want.

Get clear about your desires and life cravings and WHY you might want to want them as a lovely way to grow you motivation.

I’d love to read your thoughts and desires!

xo,
Alex

P.S. I’m now accepting applications for the Vitality Mentorship program. This 4-month experience combines private sessions with me and weekly support and coaching with a group of 20 women.

How to be YOU when it’s scary but your life depends on it

how to be you

I wanted men, and I wanted meatballs.
This wasn’t an easy realization when I had published three vegan cookbooks, become famous as the “vegan girlfriend” and co-creator of Super Size Me, and was also known for being married to a famous filmmaker.
Getting clear about what I really needed in my life, and on my dinner plate, was a messy, scary, and profoundly important task. It required me to listen to my soul and my body, and be authentically me, in public, even when it felt like I was stepping in front of a firing squad to do so.

Authenticity: An honest action, made faithfully, resembling the facts, reliable, emotionally appropriate and true.
We all want it, but it’s hard to be you – the authentic you.

how to be you
Few parents teach us how to be ourselves, few teachers share how to follow our gut, and the feminine quality of “intuitive and sensitive” doesn’t hold much sway in our culture.
After 10 years of happy vegan-hood, birthing a baby boy into the world, writing three books and running my own health coaching practice, my life took a dramatic turn for the fucked.
My marriage was in shambles and my hormones were shot, and my business was on hold as my husband traveled the world and I took care of our son. My body and soul began to break down.
I had been known as a vegan expert, but I started craving meat as my hormones swung wildly out of control. I did my best to ignore it, which started a tortuous, abusive relationship with my body.
My husband hadn’t made love to me in over a year, and my coaching business was flailing as I couldn’t authentically promote my services when my own body and soul felt so depleted.
Nothing felt good, except my love for my son, the support of a few amazing friends, and a dim hope and resilience that refused to die.
As I moved myself and my boy into a smaller apartment, and trudged through the long divorce process, I finally got out for dinner with some friends.
I remember seeing their steak and salmon appear on our table, and my mouth secretly salivated as I grimly bit into my tofu salad. I wanted their food, but I couldn’t listen to my body’s cravings because my thoughts were too twisted up in a pretzel about what I “should” eat.
Yet, my body knew. She told me, over and over again, that I needed to change how I was eating in order to save myself. So I secretly bought some eggs, moved to fish, and then finally took the plunge to grass fed beef.
My body sang a Hallelujah! And my mind reeled with fear.
I suffered in silence for over a year about what was happening with my body and my meat cravings. I was afraid I would be ostracized and lose my entire business if I came out and admitted the vegan diet wasn’t working for me.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to the butcher. As I ate the meat my body wanted, my hormones came back to balance, and my libido and physical confidence, long lost, came back like a freight train.
I wanted feel alive again, and began dating like it was my job. Through over 100 first dates in eighteen months, I began to make friends with my body and trust her again. We talked a lot, and I listened to her as she gave me insights about who I should not date again, who I should enjoy a fulfilling one-night-stand with, and who I should ask out again and get to know better.
As I gave my body what helped her thrive, both meat and men, my grit and confidence grew. And the trust I had in myself was being built, meal by meal, date by date.
Building trusted relationships with an intimate group of real people, who don’t just retweet your ideas, was an essential step in staying strong on this path of discovery and clarity.
There will always be people who don’t agree with you, or think you’re weird, or call you downright nasty things. Shaming is the new public theater of the internet age. Build your community of actual, in-real-life friends who support you as you are, and who you are becoming. Joining a community of heart-centered entrepreneurs and best-self seekers was one way I committed to my truth – the women I met there have continued to be a great source of strength in my life.
In positive psychology, the idea that “you are the five people you spend the most time with” has been tested and proven. Cultivate friends and family who are fierce and loyal supporters of your evolution. They may not always agree with your strategy, but they will always agree with your possibility.

When I finally “came out” to my online tribe and Facebook, I was so glad that I had the physical resilience and trusted community around me. The internet blew up, and my story went viral.
I lost friends. Actual friends, not just people “unfriending” me.
But I stuck with my truth, trusted my body, and kept listening to her, throughout the thousands of hate mails, death threats, and angry phone calls from people who now hated me because I changed how I ate, and what I believed.
My journey resulted in my new best selling book, Women, Food, And Desire and a juicy, joyful 3-year romance with my partner Bob. And my passion for helping women find what makes their bodies and lives come alive has doubled my business and my impact on the world.

We need to stay strong and true to the vision for our life and our work, even in the face of negative feedback.
To be our true selves, it’s necessary to act on our body’s instructions and do the things, and eat the foods, and spend time with the people, who help us come alive.
Building a life and a business that feels authentic and honors your truth requires self-knowledge, trust, faith, and a deep, powerful connection to your body. Listen to her, and trust her.

Want to join me and a growing group of women who want the same thing?

Their lives and their bodies back. Their aliveness.

The 4-month Vitality Mentorship is open for applications – go here to apply!  

xo,
Alex

3 myths about how to change your body that must die

3 myths

3 myths

I was one of those people who struggled and failed to change my life

and eating habits for many years.

 

Even thought I had written three books on vegan cooking, was helping

people heal their own bodies and change their lives, I was in a yo-yo

cycle with sugar. And totally. stressed. out. 

 

Even though I was expected to know a lot about it, I still felt addicted to

sugar and couldn’t break free of the daily cravings. It was ruining my

health (repeated candida attacks) and my life (no focus, no energy)…

sound familiar?

 

When I finally discovered the answer to transforming my life-long addiction,

I was so surprised to see that I had been following three rules that were actually keeping

me stuck.

 

And these three rules are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. They are so ingrained in our collective

culture that we don’t see them. Like fish who swim in water, we just live in it, not

questioning the reality of what is all around us.

 

What if we could see the false ideas around us and use new tools to help us create lasting change in our habits, eating, and thoughts?

 

That’s what I want to share with you today.

 

Because once you get that these three myths are really harming you, keeping

you stuck in your body and life goals, and totally not necessary, you can finally break free of your food and thought habits for good.

 

And get the body, energy, and life that you really desire.

 

After I share these three myths, and what you can do to dissolve them,

you’re going to have the chance to apply these new rules for change in

a powerful way, with my personal guidance.

 

 

The 3 Myths About How To Change Your Body That Must Die:

 

  1. Once you know what you should do, you’ll do it. AKA: Facts Don’t = Change.

 

It’s not enough to know you should change, or even what the next few steps are that you could take. If knowing was enough, we would all be eating, living, and creating in much different ways, right?

 

I’ll bet you know at least 3 things you “should” be doing differently right now that would have a big impact on your health and life. You’re not alone:

 

90% of people who have coronary-artery bypass surgery have not changed their eating habits or lifestyle 2 years after, even though they know their life depends on it. These folks are told by doctors that they must change their diet and lifestyle if they want to live a healthy, happy life. But they don’t do it. And they know the facts.

 

What does work, if knowing the facts don’t? Community.

 

Too often, like my client Susan, we try to make big diet and lifestyle changes alone. But we don’t live in a bubble – we are all part of a family, community,  or tribe that can either support us or sabotage us. Most of us try to make changes alone, or are surrounded by people who don’t know how to show up for us in a meaningful way.

 

What does work is getting into a community that supports and inspires you to keep making powerful changes, every day.

 

This means forming a strong, emotional relationship with a person and a group of peers that inspires a sense of hope and belief that things can be different.

 

If you wanted to learn to paint, or take up archery, or learn to speak Spanish, you would want a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and a team to help you through it. When you have a coach or mentor and an accountability group who believes in you, you start taking consistent action that gets you where you want to go.

 

  1. Fear + Comparison Are Killers: Ritual Is Key

 

I see too much ‘fear based marketing’ out there, especially when it comes to the health and weight loss world. Some diet coaches, programs and books just try to really SCARE people in the hope that it will motivate us to change.

 

Fear has the opposite effect, especially for most women who are already over-stressed: we turn to food to calm us down, leading to a bigger problem than before.

 

Fear can also show up as comparison, which is rampant in our culture.

We are “creatures of comparison” and naturally weigh ourselves on the scales of “am I as good as her?”

 

This is our fear-based ego showing up, trying to save us from making a mistake. But it really has the effect of keeping us stuck from playing full out, going for what we want, and stepping into any stage where we might be recognized for our true value.

 

The cure for fear and comparison? The consistent action of daily rituals.

 

Change in our lives happens as a result of dozens and dozens of small things that we need to actually learn by doing and doing it again and again. Ritualizing self-care, self-love, bold action, loving thoughts, and eating for your aliveness – these are how we overcome fear.

 

I’d rather focus on “what’s RIGHT with you” and your strengths, than digging deep into your past traumas and hurts. Consistent, loving commitment to strengths, and rituals that make you come alive, are the powerful instigators that help my clients like Ellie create lasting, transformative change.

 

Ritual is infused throughout spiritual traditions as a way to help us manage hard times, connect in a healing way, and remember our true desires in life.

 

Profound change can happen even in the toughest situations. But it requires consistency in building new skills and rituals of the heart.

 

  1. “Just Work Harder!” Willpower Ain’t Enough, Time To Think Different

 

Working harder on the wrong things is crazy-making! We’ve all tried the low-calorie, low-fat, low-flavor foods that didn’t satisfy us long enough to finally heal our bodies.

 

You can’t just use up your limited amount of willpower every day to try and get through the stresses of life.

 

It’s time to think differently about food, get clear on what your big motivating desires truly are, and share your stories about how you got where you are.

 

All this helps to vision and create a new reality that can only come from new thinking.

 

My most successful clients like Ivana are willing to share their deepest true selves so that I can help them see the impact those old beliefs have on their life now.

 

Trying to muscle through calorie counting and a week-long juice cleanse does not heal the fact that your mother obsessed about your weight or that you have a serious food intolerance.

 

You can change your own life, and using new neuroscience, positive psychology, and functional nutrition, you can grow your resilience and skills for change in a truly powerful way. 

 

The 3 keys to true and lasting change are: community, consistency, and thinking different. New hope, new skills, and new thinking.

 

These tools are available to you now, and I invite you to dive deeper into this work today.

 

Today I am opening registration for my brand new Vitality Program, which offers personal coaching from me for four months, group support from women just like you, Susan, Ellie, and Ivana, and much, much more.

 

Click here to discover more about this opportunity and to apply: 

xo,

Alex

 

P.S. If you have any trouble with the application, please connect with my Community Manager Jan – we’d rather you reach out to us than fight technology alone! jan@alexandrajamieson.com

 

3 easy ways to stay true to YOU while you take care of others

Why am I so danged sensitive to other people’s emotions?
Why do we ladies seem to put everyone else’s needs before our own?
And how can we be caring contributors and still make our own needs a priority?
3  Easy ways to stay true to
We women are afraid of hurting other people by taking care for ourselves first.
We think other people’s happiness depends on us.
And if we don’t take care of them perfectly, we will feel terrible, so it’s better to just keep focusing on them…
And this way of thinking totally backfires on us.
…we don’t want to rock the boat at the family dinner by asking for different food or bringing our own, and end up eating the gluten/corn/soy/sugar/dairy that makes us bloated, cranky, and foggy for the next three days.
…we sense a bit of disapproval so we don’t ask for time off or stay too late to finish a project that really won’t cure cancer.
…we don’t ask for help, like ever. And we end up stressed, exhausted, and eating our way through a bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream at least once a week.
There’s some pretty good science to back up a very controversial idea: women’s brains are different. Our anterior cingulate cortex, the worrywart/emotional sensitivity/observer part of the brain, is actually larger, which helps us in some ways:
– we are more intuitive with our nonverbal babies to know what they need
– we sense what our friends and partners are feeling, sometimes before they do
– we can see a magical, rich quality to life with unique ways of looking at the world
So how can we balance our cravings for self-care + self-fulfillment with our innate sensitivity + desire to help others?
Here are 3 ways to start:

1. Ask yourself: Can someone else do this for me, even better than I can?

I was helping my son with his math this morning. In between washing up from breakfast and making his lunch, I’d dash back to the kitchen table to help him stay focused on the complicated word problems.
My partner Bob walked in, noticed I was stressed, and asked “Can I help with something?”
I almost said “Nope! I got this!”
And I realized, YES – he could TOTALLY help out!
I was stuck in a mindset that I had to do it all to be a good mom.
I asked him to help my son with his math, and got back to the cutting board. As I finished putting blueberries in the container, I heard the gentle, skilled voice of my partner lead our frustrated 8-year old through his task.
It was beautiful! They worked so well together, by the end they were both smiling.
Bob got up, told me that he had prayed to see his strengths during his morning meditation, and said he’d be happy to take over math help from now on.
When we allow others to help out and use their strengths, it helps them feel good and capable, while taking the pressure of us to do it all.

2. Tend + Befriend = A Secret Stress Squasher

If work and family stress are too high, and driving you to the drive-thru too often, take time out for someone else: a complete stranger.
A series of studies from Stanford Medical School show that we can relieve our own biological stress when we volunteer in a way that really lights up our passions: think animal shelter, nature conservancy, serving meals at a food pantry, etc.
Adults who contribute to charity are more resilient in the face of major life traumas, and people who feel time-starved (too much to do! so little time!) can actually relax that stress response by spending time on others.
Helping others, especially as a volunteer, creates the oxytocin and biochemistry of hope and courage, as well as physical resilience, that quiets our fears and despair.
This time “off” from normal duties can be a kind of mini-vacation: spending time doing something you love (I love weeding and gardening, so volunteering at the local park was a favorite volunteer gig for me), always reconnects you to your true passions.

3. Keep A Rock Star Diary

I have a rock star diary. I have to remind myself of my accomplishments so that when the “bitch brain” gremlins come out I have proof that I’m not a loser-imposter-fraud.
Positive Psychology shows that when we have pride in our accomplishments we feel more anchored to our self-worth.
A few ways to keep a Rock Star Diary:
– take pictures of your creations or positive reviews with your phone
– one night a week, write down 5 great things that happened this week and your part in helping those things happen. You know, take some credit! It’s more empowering.
– send an email to 5 favorite friends and ask them to write their 3 favorite things about you (take a picture of all of these with your phone, print them out and post them to your office wall, tattoo them to your arm, whatever it takes)
– keep a note in your phone of inspiring quotes or set a daily alarm at 3pm that flashes a quote as your appointment. Try these on for size:
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball
 
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the face.”
– Helen Keller
 
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay
You want to feel like you can rely on yourself, make good choices, like you’re going to stick with your healthy intentions, and that you’re going to be supported and loved for your desires, not judged.
It’s ALL possible. Use just one of these easy ways to stay true to you and you’ll feel more aligned with your true self, while more capable of helping others, which is what we really love.
Now I want to hear from you – how do you stay true to your desires, cravings, and needs while still helping other people and being a rock star in the world?
Please share your comments and ideas below and let us know.
xo,
Alex
P.S. Next week I’ll be opening my exclusive Vitality Program for 20 women. This highly supportive, deep dive into your desires, challenges, and next steps will be open for applications on Monday. I’m SO excited to share it with you – keep an eye out! xo

Is self-love the missing ingredient in your weight loss plan? 5 Reasons To Masturbate

If you’ve tried every diet, cleanse, detox, and fast, and you’re still having trouble feeling good in your body, it’s time to really get serious:

It’s time to add self-pleasure (AKA masturbation) to your gym + juicing schedule.

Well, not JUST masturbation, but anything that brings you sincere physical pleasure that also balances your hormones. And arousal and orgasm are most easily achieved through masturbation, especially if you’re single, or in a sexless relationship.
5 reasons masturbation is a MUST for balancing hormones (and dropping a few pounds):

1. According to the 2009 University of Michigan study[i], orgasm help the body release oxytocin, the “love + bonding” hormone, which in turn lowers cortisol,
the main stress hormone chronically elevated in many women (like me!) and lead to stress eating, and weight loss resistance.

2. Higher levels of oxytocin makes us happy, which keeps those emotionally-triggered food cravings for sugars, cheese, and other “happy foods” at bay. This surge also raises levels of a substance called CCK, which helps control your appetite. Just start! Even if you’re not an expert, your own digits are ready to help you begin at home. Oxytocin levels are usually increased simply through the physical stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, cervix, and breasts. So even if you don’t reach climax, you’ll still be releasing these powerful neurotransmitters. Women who enjoy more sexual stimulation have more balanced estrogen and testosterone. These hormones add fire to sexual desire,  improve mood and memory and can even help prevent abdominal fat.

3. In my book, Women, Food, And Desire, I tell the story of a client who wasn’t dating, and wasn’t masturbating. She had also been suffering tummy trouble for years, and worked a very stressful job. Bloating, gas, and the dreaded “muffin top” that wouldn’t budge. I took her to Babeland, a clean, well-lit place for sex toys, and we talked with a knowledgeable staff member who helped her pick out her first non-toxic vibrator. After a couple of weeks of self-exploration, she noticed a major difference in her digestion! And she certainly had a nice spring in her step!

4. Daydream, girl! Another study[ii] reveals that sexy daydreams release testosterone in women – which means, when you read erotic fiction, or watch any kind of porn that excites you, your body will begin anticipating encounter, which naturally raises your libido. Babeland.com has some great options for the desire seeker.

5. Orgasms help us sleep, which may be the best reason of all to masturbate. Oxytocin, that wonderful love drug, creates an overall feeling of relaxation and even sleepiness. Vasopressin and melatonin, two other neurotransmitters associated with sleep, are also released during orgasm.

Masturbation happens in most relationships, so if you’re not talking about it with your partner, bring it up. Share this information with them!

If you’re single, and not masturbating regularly, start including self-pleasure in  your life, consistently.

The psychological and emotional benefits are so helpful for what ails us:

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel relaxed, satisfied, and good without needing a cupcake?

For more great insights on the benefits, myths, and latest science around masturbation, check out the latest Crave Cast podcast episodes!

I’ll be interviewing some of the top experts on female desire, sexual health and more!

Go here to subscribe to the Crave Cast: 

Happy May!

xo,

Alex

 

[i] J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6(3):739-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01123.x. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

[ii] Horm Behav. 2011 May;59(5):754-64. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.12.005. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

 

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