Mindset and body coaching to overcome emotional eating

Lesson 2

Hi everyone. Lucia Veracruz here, and welcome to our second training lesson where we cover It’s time to commit to change and then I will tell you a little bit about my story and how I got where I am today.

In our first lesson, we focused on putting down some solid foundations that will help you move in the right direction and today we will be gradually shifting the way you think.

I want your mind to be open to change, get curious and start questioning every thought, action, and decision you make so you can move forward without a huge amount of resistance.

What we cover today summary:

  1. It’s time to commit to change
  2. My story

It’s time to commit to change

Before I talk about commitment, I want to make sure you understand completely what you are committing to and what will the end result look like, so you know what to aim for.

Ultimately what I wanted more than anything was balance and the ability to control my urges and food intake.

To my pleasant surprise, after I have stopped binging, my urges to “mindlessly pig out” have completely disappeared (so there was nothing to control anymore) and my weight has started to shift even without trying.

I felt confident that I will never binge again and instead, I learned to listen to what my body needed to thrive.

What is important to note here that I did not achieve perfection! Meaning that I don’t just eat 1 portion of everything all the time and I don’t eat 100% healthy food all the time.

Perfection only leads to more resistance, pain and struggle.

I have achieved balance, which means that on some days I eat more and on some days I eat less depending on how I feel.

Balance means that I am in tune with my body in the present moment and I give it whatever it needs to feel energized, satisfied and content.

So I don’t want you to aim to be perfectly, 100% in control, because that would be a recipe for disaster.

I think in the past, when I wanted to have full control, and I couldn’t, I felt like I failed every time… That made me feel worse and as a result made me want to binge more because I didn’t leave any room for balance.

So maybe sometimes it is ok to have another piece of chocolate or a cake if it’s really delicious and you really feel like having more.

What is not ok, to then just think, that because you lost some control and “failed”, you might as well eat the whole cake (that would be enough for 10 people)!

So don’t look at failure as failure.

Each time we fail, that takes us closer to success.

We must get up, brush ourselves off and keep moving forward without looking back.

There is no straight line to success, same as there is no straight line on a heartbeat.

There might be days when you are filled with doubt and a bit of guilt because you missed a workout or you have eaten a bit more than you would have liked.

And then there might be days when “everything” goes right and you are able to say no to dessert or chips because you were satisfied with a healthy meal and simply didn’t feel like having them.

You just have to make a decision to commit to BALANCE not PERFECTION and never give up!

The funny thing I have noticed every time I committed to something, life would throw these obstacles and challenges on me, just to see if I really mean it. 😊

I’ll tell you an example:

As I was listening to a motivational podcast about how to succeed in life, I learned that if you want good things to happen, you have to deserve them and do your best to do the right thing in every situation.

I have been practicing this for a few years now but it was a nice reminder, and that day I felt extra motivated to be more mindful and follow through.

So funnily enough just a little while later as we were getting into the car coming back from the park, my 5-year-old son opened the door and made a tiny little dent into a white car parked next to us.

Thank goodness it wasn’t a Mercedes!

I could barely see the dent on the car, I had to look really closely with my nose inches away from the spot.

So as much as part of me wanted to just drive away because I could hardly see any damage, the kids were screaming because they were hungry and I had no paper to leave a note on, I stayed and looked for something to write on so I could leave my phone number.

Thank goodness, in the end, no one rang me (probably they couldn’t find the dent) but it felt really good to do the right thing anyway!

So on your journey of change, just at the time when you make that decision to commit, there might be new challenges to overcome, just to see if you really mean it…

You might get unexpected visitors who like to eat and drink a lot, you might be invited to parties, your children might keep you awake all night, you might have to work more than usual, you might get a box of chocolates, etc…

…but you must be willing to do whatever it takes!

Instead of feeling bad about what happened that day, just be more organized for the next day.

If we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail. 

If you are going to blame your circumstances instead of sticking to what you have committed to, then you are not going to move forward.

Embrace and accept being uncomfortable, because that means that you are one step closer to winning!

If you show your commitment despite the trials, I guarantee you, that you will succeed!

My Story:

And now I would like to share my story with you to show you that I have been where you are right now and I understand your pain and struggles because I had them too for years!

And here I am today feeling the best I ever have, loving life without any addictions, extremes and obsessions!

A living proof that life doesn’t have to be hard and I am going to show you how…

Here is my story:

It all started when I was 6 years old and my parents were in a car accident.

A bus driver didn’t give away, and my mum died and my dad was in intensive care for almost a year.

Coming from a small town in Slovakia I got a lot of attention being the “poor orphan” who almost lost both parents at such a young age…

When I was a child, I didn’t quite understand what happened…but now when my son is 5 and a half, I feel so sad for that little girl who’s whole world turned upside down in just one day.

I didn’t get the emotional support that I needed to help me deal with it (other than compassion and pity) because back then it was not appropriate to talk about death with children.

Most of my extended family didn’t say much because they thought I wouldn’t understand anyway. I don’t blame them though, they didn’t know any better…

So I had to grow up very quickly and deal with things that I was not ready for.

Finally, after months of living with relatives and my 7-year-old brother, our dad returned from the hospital.

And even though he has suffered a lot of damage from the accident and was in constant pain, he was determined to return to work and take care of us.

It wasn’t easy, a single parent who nearly died, lost his wife, being in constant pain psychically and emotionally, in financial debt, my dad turned to alcohol to help him cope.

After a few years he eventually got better, he remarried and started a new family but my relationship with my stepmother was not good.

We didn’t get along and as much as I longed for a mother, we were not a good fit.

She had her own issues to deal with and I was so broken and immature to understand her then…

Not having a very good start in life, feeling insecure, lost and misunderstood, I left home when I was 17 and I turned to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

After nearly dying from overdose (it was truly a miracle that I have survived) I finally quit all of my addictions and I started to put weight on.

This is when my battle with food started.

And in an attempt to lose weight and having social pressure to look slim to avoid judgment and criticism from my friends, I developed anorexia.

Out of all my addictions, the food was the hardest and it took me the longest to overcome…

I got down to 53 kilos (now I am 65kgs @ 173 cm) by just eating steamed vegetables and watermelon and exercising for hours every day.

The only thing that saved me from this self-destructive behavior was moving to New Zealand when I was 20 years old.

Once I moved I didn’t care how I looked because people didn’t know me or judge me and I could finally relax and eat and not have to worry about my weight.

I put on 20 kilos by overindulging on all the foods that I have deprived myself over the years when I didn’t eat.

So to lose the extra weight, I joined a gym. I was able to lose half of the gained weight but I had definitely a long way to go.

So in an attempt to speed things up, I went on a diet seeing a dietician specializing in weight loss.

They put me on a low-calorie diet, using fat burning pills, appetite suppressors and shakes.

I stuck to the diet and lost the remaining 10 kilos until I couldn’t control myself any longer.

I worked at a coffee shop at that time and every day we had the option to take home the leftover muffins or chuck them away.

I would normally never touch them as I was always on a diet but one day I decided I’ll take a few for my flatmates.

The muffins never made it home, I ate all 6 of them and they were huge!

And after the muffins, I just kept going with cakes, slices, cookies, whatever I could get my hands on…

It felt so good eating them, I haven’t had any tasty food or treats for so long!

I have been living on boring tasteless 100g of chicken breast or fish with dry lettuce or broccoli without any dressing what felt like forever!

…but as soon as I couldn’t eat anymore, the guilt and shame started to creep in…

How could I eat so much? That was insane! I have never eaten so much in one sitting in my life!

How could I completely ruin my diet and waste all of the hard work and the results I have achieved?

And that was the day I made myself purge for the first time…

I just had to get those muffins and cakes out as they were not part of my diet and I was feeling sick just thinking about all that food sitting in my stomach.

Then this never-ending cycle continued more and more often to the point that I was binging and vomiting every day, gaining weight by the minute.

And all the weight I lost came back and more…

I was so depressed, hopeless and out of control so I decided to see a therapist to help me get better, a nutritionist to help me eat right and also to become a personal trainer so I could learn more about exercise and nutrition to help me conquer this problem.

My therapist was fantastic and she helped me grow as a person, deal with my issues from childhood, forgive myself for my past and love myself, however, she wasn’t able to help me with my food addiction.

I started doing more and more research on how to win this battle with food.

I did everything that was recommended to me, like Thai Chi, personal growth courses, NLP (neurolinguistic programming), energy healing, kinesiology, reading books and I made new friends in the gym who were very supportive.

Briefly, I got better, I lost all the access weight again and I was balanced and happy but I couldn’t keep it for long.

One trip back home to Slovakia after 3.5 years of self-discovery and hearing my friends telling me how much weight I gained (comparing me to 53kgs I used to weigh) triggered my emotional eating again.

I completely changed from the person I used to be before and my old friends thought I was dishonest and fake…but all I was trying to do is be healthy and have balance in my life to stop the suffering.

When people who don’t want to change see you grow, they will discourage you to change so they don’t feel bad about themselves.

That is why it is important to surround yourself with people who are like minded and want to learn, improve and grow rather than just stay the same.

Little did I know that the change was necessary for me in order to get well for good.

You often hear people say: Stay true to yourself or Be yourself…

I was confused about who I was. It was like I had two personalities, one in each country.

So as soon as I came back to NZ, the urges, the binging, the purging and weight gain returned.

As this vicious cycle continued, I was becoming more miserable and desperate every day and I knew something had to change.

So when I turned 26, I decided to move to the Gold Coast and have a fresh start.

Once I have settled in, I started regularly attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings which are like Alcoholic anonymous but for people who suffer from binge eating.

In OA they teach that to overcome binge eating you must avoid the “trigger foods” (sugar and white flour) just like they teach the alcoholics to avoid alcohol.

Restricting anything from my diet (even though I knew that sugar and white flour are not good for me) led me to more binging in the past, so I didn’t like that idea but I was desperate and I willing to try anything.

They also teach to let go of the control, have faith and give it to a “higher power”.

I was so exhausted from constantly trying to control and fix myself, allowing myself to let go and pass on this burden felt like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I started to feel hopeful knowing that this can be cured. It felt great talking to people who were able to overcome it.

And it felt so nice to be finally understood and to know that, I was not the only one with this problem!

As my faith grew stronger, I was able to slowly let go of control and stop purging but I still couldn’t restrict the “trigger foods” from my diet and because of that, I kept binging and over exercising 7-10 hours a week…

So the search for a solution continued…

At that time I discovered a fantastic course on exercise and nutrition that spoke about speeding up the metabolism without calorie restrictions, having more energy by eating the right nutrients at the right time and doing less exercise.

This was exactly what I needed: No calorie restrictions and less exercise!

So I decided to take a different approach and focus on repairing my “broken” metabolism and exercising less.

After years of dieting and eating disorders, I accepted the fact that having optimal metabolism may take a while and that this wasn’t a quick fix…

Thinking long term I was able to develop strategies to help me cope with my urges and have a clearer mind when making decisions and thinking about my food choices.

With that, my mindset has shifted and I started to accept myself as I was regardless of being 5-10 kilos heavier and I knew that once my metabolism was restored and the urges were gone I would be able to lose that weight steadily.

I never understood what it meant “What you resist, will persist” until I started accepting myself.

Without accepting myself and letting go, I was not able to move forward for years. It seemed that I always went one step forward and then two steps back.

This new approach has worked really well for me as I felt content, satisfied and energized and then I started to see my body change.

Putting all of the knowledge I gathered over the years together and developing strategies to help me overcome emotional eating, finally after 17 years of struggle with food I was able to experience a sense of balance and peace.

No more urges and no more binging!

And I had my fair share of challenges living on the other side of the world, running my own business with staff and hundreds of clients, having two boys 16 months apart with no family around and a husband working away 50% of the time.

So by being challenged and tested on every level possible, to help me manage, I did more research on mindset and psychology and I finally understood exactly how I did it.

By doing this, I was also able to succeed in other areas of my life, become a better mum, a better wife, a better friend and a better coach.

Combining my spiritual experience with scientific proof has confirmed my belief that I was cured forever and now it was time to share my experience and help others achieve the same.

So based on this evidence, you shouldn’t doubt yourself or the program…

And I have big expectations for you!

There is a reason why you are here today and it is because this is your time to shine!

In our next lesson, we will talk about the key components of change, the recipe for success and how to create a balanced person.

Thank you for completing this lesson, here is today’s homework and keep up the good work putting things into practice!

Today’s homework:

Welcome to your Day 3 Questionnaire & feedback

1. Your full name

2. Did you complete today's coaching lesson? If not, why not?

3. Did you exercise today? If not, why not?

4. Did all of your food choices make you feel satisfied today? If they didn't, how can you do better next time?

5. Did you binge today? If you did, were you mindful, what did you binge on and how much did you eat? If you didn't, go to questions 10. 

6. If you binged, do you know why? What foods are you trying to restrict or control? What was the conversation in your head? What emotions did you feel before the binge? And how did they affect your binge?
7. How can you change that conversation in your head next time? What habits can you change to help you move forward? And how can you manage your emotions better next time instead of eating?
8. How did you feel after the binge?
9. What strategies did you use to help you move on? And how long did it take you to move on?
10. What improvements can you celebrate today?

11. Do you have any questions regarding today’s lesson?

12. How do you feel after completing it?