Being Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard

I just returned from an amazing, inspiring alumni conference from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I feel incredibly blessed every time I have the opportunity to be around my Health Coaching community.


Before I went to IIN I suffered from years of restrictive dieting, emotional eating and terribly poor body image. I didn’t trust myself around food and despite years of working out, dieting and trying to “be perfect”, I was ashamed that I could not get past my terrible attitude towards my body.


On the outside, I had finally reached a “good” body weight, but on the inside my body was crying out for help and I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to control my body. I wanted my body to listen to me.


I often wondered, Why did it have to be sooo hard? Would I ever be able to give up the fight? How could I sustain this level of intense exercise, restrictive eating and sleep deprivation as I moved into my 40s and beyond? I wanted to be free of this pain and yet I was terrified of losing control.


One of the greatest lessons I learned at IIN was that being healthy doesn’t have to be so hard. There are simple, basic practices that I could do to feel better immediately.


Today I want to share a few of my favorite lessons. If you have heard them before, please read them again. As the founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition often reminds us, “just because something is taught, doesn’t mean it is learned”.


My favorite “Being Healthy Doesn’t have to be so Hard” lessons:


LISTEN to Your Body. Your amazing, smart body already knows what eat to be healthy. Eat real food and pay attention to how your body responds. Do you notice that you have more energy when you eat more greens? Do you feel better when you eat animal protein or does your body prefer plant based protein? Everyone is different. Only by paying attention to your body will you learn what works best for you.

Sleep is a Vital Nutrient. Most Americans are walking around sleep deprived. Not only does this make us grouchy and stressed out but sleep deprivation increases our cravings for sugar and other low quality food products. Give yourself the precious gift of some extra zzz’s. That might mean shutting off the TV or computer early. Try it. I promise your body will thank you.


Your body craves play and movement, not punishment. While exercise can sound like a chore, play evokes a sense of joy. The more you play through movement you love such as dance, hiking, biking, or whatever you find fun, the easier it is to feel better fast. If you currently use exercise as a punishment or means to control your calories, this can be a bit of a challenge at first. Ask yourself, “if all exercise burned the same number of calories, what would I want to do?” There is no “right” answer. Some people love the feeling of an intense P90X style workout while others prefer walking. I love to mix it up. Some days I feel like a hardcore workout, while others I simply want to walk in the woods. Every movement matters so have fun moving your beautiful body.


Slow down. We are often moving around so fast feeling stressed out, busy and overwhelmed. This constant state of stress wreaks havoc on our health, causes weight gain, and sucks the joy out of our lives. By slowing down we boost our metabolic power as well as our ability to appreciate the present moment. A super easy way to start is to simply take three breaths before you eat. This lesson changed my life.


Reach out for support. I had a transformational weekend participating at IIN’s Live Alumni weekend and I am so inspired to support as many people as possible on their path to health and wellness. I have a few spaces available to offer a Complimentary “Befriend Your Body Breakthrough” session. If you are sick and tired of dieting and ready to step into a healthier version of yourself, please respond to this email and I will be happy to set up a time to discuss your personal goals and vision for your health.


Having a coach who is committed to your success will dramatically increase your confidence and ability to reach your goals. It can feel really, really hard to make changes alone. We are living in an environment where we are surrounded by fake food products. We are stressed out and we turn to food for comfort. We are tired and moving our bodies feels like the last thing we want to do.


If you are ready to say YES to you, I am here for you. With my support, you will discover that being healthy does not have to be so hard.

One Response to Being Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard

  • Helen says:

    Love the saying, Just because something is taught, doesn’t mean it is learned. Hadn’t heard that one before but it is so true. Thanks for the reminder to get more sleep and slow down as ways to support our metabolism.

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The way you stressed making small measurable changes, made the goal appear a lot more attainable. The way you stressed making small measurable changes, made the goal appear a lot more attainable.

Michele Potter
Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture City of Gaithersburg