Wedding Pics and How I Accidentally Lost 10 Pounds

I know I have been completely MIA for the last few weeks, but I have a good reason. I got married! My honey and I have been planning our dream celebration all summer and it finally came to fruition last week in beautiful Los Gatos, California.

There are a lot of things I wish I had known going into the whole wedding planning experience... 

One, Pinterest (and other platforms where people share their impossible to achieve fairy tale pictures) is like crack for to-be-brides. Stay away from that sh*t or you will seriously drive yourself crazy and even the most beautiful wedding will never live up to your expectations.

Second, you can't do this alone. Whether you hire a wedding planner or team (which we didn't) or rely on your family and friends to make everything come together (which we totally did), you are going to need some strong players in your corner.

Finally, in the end, all that really matters is that YOUR experience (and your partner's) is positive. Sure you want your guests to have a good time, but if everything you do is for other people and not your own enjoyment and satisfaction, you end up with a hollow, disappointed feeling when it's all over.

So why am I sharing all this sage wedding advice with you? Because as I was thinking about what makes for a good relationship with your wedding, I realized the very same principles could apply to your relationship with your body. Pretty cool right?

So the top three take aways?

1. Don't compare your body to others or try to make your reality match other people's fantasies. It's not healthy, fun, and usually not even possible.

2. Taking care of your body and loving yourself is not something you can do alone in a vacuum. We NEED supportive people who believe in us and want us to be healthy and happy (not body bashers) to keep us on the right track.

3. At the end of the day, your happiness is the number one goal. Not fitting into a size 2 or having a slightly flatter stomach, or getting accolades from other people about how great you look now that you finally lost those last 10 pounds.

Happiness is the inspiration, the process and the prize. {TWEET THIS!}

As for those 10 pounds I accidentally lost leading up to the wedding? I was determined not to diet before my wedding like so many brides do. I didn't want to cut out bread or sugar or eat only raw food or do a juice cleanse. I just wanted to be present to what was happening and trust that the size of my body would not make or break the wedding.

I focused on feeling good, moving my body in fun ways, eating food I love, spending time with friends, relaxing, connecting with my babe and when the wedding rolled around I was surprised to discover that I had actually lost weight. Whoops. 

Now let's hear what you think! If you're already married, what was the wedding planning process like for you? Do you have any regrets? For unmarried ladies, what are you most worried about when it comes to planning your wedding? 

I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

XO

Laina

P.S. Looking for some support with stress-free eating and loving your bod? I have 3 FREE Body Love Breakthrough Sessions available for the rest of September. Get yours here!

P.P.S. As promised, here are some of my favorite pics from our wedding. :)

What Makes Your Body Say Mmmmmm....?

As some of you may know, I moved to Las Vegas with my honey earlier this year. I knew it would be hot, but when summer rolled around, I pretty much turned into a reptile. Hiding under the shade of a rock all day to avoid overheating. Or, in other words, I basically didn't move my body for 3 months. 

Now that Fall is on it's way, and the weather is a balmy 93 instead of the 110 I've been avoiding all summer, I'm desperate to be outside and MOVE! 

A few days ago, I went for a short run followed by a quick bike ride at sunrise, and then later went to the community pool and swam a few laps. After literally weeks on end of no movement, it felt AMAZING to be flexing my muscles, despite realizing how out of shape I am and how incredibly sore I was the next day.

Today, after another bike jaunt, I headed into my first Zumba class in years. Now biking and jogging and swimming are all fine and well, but dancing is what makes my heart and my body sing.

With sweat dripping down my face, I felt strong, capable, sexy and totally in tune with my body. Totally embodied.

So my question for you is this? What makes your body sing? What kind of movement makes you smile, makes you feel strong, makes you happy? 

Because whatever it is, even if you haven't done it since you were a kid, your body is craving it. And if you don't know what it is yet, if you haven't yet found that thing that makes your body say "Mmmmmm...", I encourage you to seek it out!


Exercise doesn't have to be punishment. In fact, if the way you're moving your body feels like a grind, is something you dread rather than look forward to, I would argue you're probably doing more harm than good.

If you feel stumped on what your "yummy movement" might look like, I'd love to support you in experimenting, so you can find a way of moving that truly makes your body sing! Snag your free Body Love Breakthrough Session today!

Can You "Eat Healthy" Without Dieting?

For today's post I'm answering a question sent in by a longtime reader. (Side note: I love, love, LOVE answering reader questions in blog posts. If you have a food/body/health question that has been tripping you up, send it to me and your question might be answered in an upcoming post!)

Meredith* writes, "Now that I am recovered and moving away from my disorder, how do I eat for health without dieting?"

This is a great question and one that I definitely struggled with myself when I finally decided I was ready to let go of my eating disorder. Whether you consider yourself to be in recovery or are just sick and tired of dieting, figuring out a new way of eating that supports happy, healthy, balanced living can seem impossible. 

Here are my top 3 tips for eating healthy without dieting:

1. Pay Attention

Our bodies are incredibly wise, and as with other body functions like breathing or sleeping, our body knows when it needs to eat and when it doesn't. If you have a history of dieting, restricting, overeating, binging, etc, you have most likely had to teach yourself to ignore your body's intuitive wisdom. But that means you are also capable of re-teaching yourself how to hear, interpret and honor your body's signals.

2. Throw Out The Rule Book

A diet, by definition, is an eating plan with specific rules or guidelines. That means if you want to stop dieting, and the stressful craze that comes with it, you have to give up unreasonable rules. I say unreasonable rules, because some restrictions (like not eating ice cream if you are lactose intolerant) support your overall health. But barring food allergies or religious beliefs, there is no reason why any food should be forbidden. Eaten in moderation, yes. But demonized and put on the "bad food" list? Not helpful for truly healthy eating.

3. Be Forgiving

Just like you learned how to drive a car and bake a cake, you are learning how to listen to your body and treat it with kindness and respect. You are learning how to balance your desire for taste with the way you want your body to feel. You are learning how to determine if saying no (or yes) is a way of supporting and loving yourself, or a way of punishing or distracting yourself. You. Are. Learning. That means you're not going to get it right every time. But the fact that you are trying means you are headed in the right direction. Be patient and forgiving. You have a million future moments to look forward to!


I've helped hundreds of women navigate this tricky transition between dieting hell and intuitive eating freedom. If you're ready to take the next step in your journey toward health and happiness, I'd love to support you!

I have 3 coaching spots available at the moment - is one of them for you? Find out with a free Body Love Breakthrough Session.

 

What To Do When You're Having A "Fat Day"

After my meditation retreat in June I came away feeling light and clean in both body and spirit. 10 days of just 2 vegetarian meals a day, relaxed time in nature and many hours each day spent meditating had left me completely blissed out and feeling radiant.

Fast forward 2 months. I am disappointed to admit that I slowly let that blissed out buzz drift away. I did keep up my meditation practice for about a week (diligently sitting for 1 hour each morning and night), but then my honey returned home from a long trip and we spent 2 days in bed, cuddling and reconnecting and meditation just seemed like the last thing in the world I wanted to do.

Evan went back to work and I languidly fell right back into the routine I had been so desperate to escape. Days went by in which I hardly left the house (it was 110° after all), and I managed to watch all 4 seasons of Game of Thrones in a matter of weeks.

Slowly, imperceptibly, my body began to shift, innocently responding to the message I was sending her. And then, a few days ago, I woke up with this yucky realization that my body is NOT happy.

So what can a girl do when experiencing that dreaded feeling of not quite fitting into your own skin, of feeling a little bit off, a little less graceful, when everything fits a little bit tighter? What do you do when you're having a fat day? Or fat week? Or month? 

Past versions of myself would have immediately focused on the food. No sugar! No carbs! Only salad! Starve yourself back to the shape that feels right!

But experience has shown me time and again that not only does that strategy NOT work, it leads me to more suffering. More self-hatred and disappointment when I can't live up to my own expectations. More stress. And I certainly don't need any of that.

Instead my mantra over the past few days has become BALANCE. Green smoothie and a piece of homemade (butter-licious) banana bread for breakfast. Bike ride in the morning and cuddling up with a movie at night. Time with my girlfriends and an afternoon alone.

When we live in the extremes (either extreme indulgence or extreme discipline) we fall out of balance and alignment with our true selves. And I know that when my body feels "off" it isn't random. My body is the irrefutable messenger that reminds me, "Hey! Don't forget that you need to take care of yourself!"

When I'm taking care of my needs, needs for solitude and companionship, needs for movement and rest, needs for creativity, inspiration and joy, needs for expressing the sadness that still sometimes arises, when I'm in sync with all of THAT, my body can handle almost anything I throw at her.

So what should you do when you're having a "fat day"? THANK your body for waking you up to the fact that you may have some needs that aren't getting met. And make LOVING yourself, not punishing yourself, the absolute top priority.


Does loving yourself and your body sound like an impossible feat right now? I'd love to support you in finding your own balance and bliss!

Snag one of my free Body Love Breakthrough Sessions for August and let's blast through the blocks that are holding you back from being your brightest and most radiant self!

I'm Back And I've Got Goodies!

After a much needed 6-week sabbatical to focus on self loving, wedding planning and business visioning, I'm back and I've got LOTS to catch you up on! You can look forward to some juicy blog posts over the next few weeks plus some awesome summer recipes I've been noshing on.


But for now I've got a special treat that I'm super excited about! 

I know that summer can be an especially hard time with regards to food and body image. BBQs and beach play days can be more stress than fun if you're worried about what you should or shouldn't eat or how you'll look in your sundress or swimsuit.

To provide you with a little extra support, I'll be doing a free group coaching call at the end of July. In the past, my group calls have been open to anyone and everyone and I've planned in advance what I would talk about. This time, I'm changing things up a bit...

I know you have specific questions that you want answered. How do I deal with negative self-talk? What the best way eat for my metabolism? Why do I feel confident some days and find myself body-bashing the next?

Since I want to give you the information YOU want, I'm limiting this call to 10 people who will each get to ask their most pressing food/body/health questions!

To get one of those 10 spots, simply click here to contact me and put "Group Coaching Call" in the message box. Once you're in, I'll give you all the details about how to submit your questions ahead of time so we can make the most of our time together and bust through some of these tricky food and body issues!

If you've been thinking about coaching, this is a great way to dip your toe, get some practical tips you can start incorporating now, and get inspired by other women who are ready to end the food and body battle for good!

Thanks for being patient while I took some much needed time for myself. I'm so happy to be back and ready to rock it and make this the summer of body love!

XO
Laina

P.S. If you want to snag one of the 10 spots on the group coaching call, make sure you message me here!

P.P.S. Check out some Instagram pics from my 6-week sabbatical...

How To Find Balance With Food, Work & Self-Care

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I've been thinking a lot about balance lately. Balance between overeating and restricting. Balance between working hard and playing hard. Balance between expanding outward and retreating inward. It's so easy to find ourselves ricocheting from one extreme to another. So how do we find balance?

I'll start with the food issue since that one I have on lock down (some of those others are still a struggle for me too sometimes). But with food I can honestly say that I feel totally balanced - and after years of yo-yo dieting that is quite the victory!

One of the things that REALLY helped me find peace with food, and find the balance between extreme restriction and over the top binges, was giving myself permission.

I spent a lot of time making rules for myself about what I could and couldn't do (specifically with food, but in other areas of my life too). These limiting rules would inevitably lead to what I thought was a loss of willpower but which was really a combination of my body craving nutrition and my heart craving love.

When we make rules for ourselves we are essentially saying that we don't trust ourselves to make good decisions. When we give ourselves permission, we feel trusted and cared for, which is so much less likely to lead to "bad" behavior.

So whether it's with food, work, or play - give yourself permission to do what feels good and you will naturally find yourself coming into a healthy, happy balance, rather than bouncing between extremes.

What do you think about balance and permission? Join the conversation in the comments section below!

XOLaina