True Confession: I Am a Recovering Emotional Eater.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered my true relationship with food.   I knew that I was struggling with a sugar addiction for the past few years, but I would sweep it under the rug and tell myself that I just loved food and it was solely because of stress.

Although stress is a trigger for me, it wasn’t until I recently started intermittent fasting a few days a week, when I discovered that I couldn’t run from this disordered way of eating.  If we are all honest with ourselves, each of us has somewhat of an unhealthy relationship with food. We all binge eat or deprive ourselves of food for our own reasons, the same way we may deprive ourselves or overcompensate with other external stimuli, such as relationships or finances.

While I was intermittently fasting (which is amazing, by the way) I was able to be one with my body in a way that even meditation couldn’t provide.  If something or someone triggered me in the middle of my fast, the first thought would be, “What can I eat?”  Honestly, that does not change much in my day to day life when I am not in the middle of a fast.

I started to notice a pattern.  If I was sad, I would eat sugar.  If I was anxious, I would eat sugar.  If I was happy, I would eat sugar.  If I celebrated something great in my life, I would eat sugar, and then I would feel bad so I would eat more sugar. Don’t get me wrong… I would fit in those vegetables and fruits, but it was as if my mind had tunnel vision and all I could think about was pasta, pizza, cheese and ice cream.  There were days I would cave and eat Burger King.  I was somewhat aware of this unhealthy eating pattern that I would shame myself.  I would hide food & sometimes eat on high alert as if I was committing some sort of crime.

That isn’t to say you should judge yourself if you have this challenge, but ignoring it doesn’t solve the problem.  I took up spin class, hiking, and meal prepping healthy foods,  thinking those were the ‘solutions.’ It doesn’t matter if you exercise every day or eat vegetables and fruits.  You must treat the underlying emotional triggers and issues.

It forced me to get real honest about why I emotionally eat most days of the week.  Some things that bubbled up had to do with feeling lonely and exhausted, not being in the career I want to be in full time, finances, fear of never being whole and nevering meeting another ‘whole’ woman, etc… Other reasons were in relation to who I would become as my best self.  After all, loving yourself includes taking care of your Spirit, your emotions & your physical body — your temple. During the times I would take care of my whole being, I felt empowered in a way I never knew was possible.  I felt sexy.  I felt like I could conquer the world.  For me, that was almost too much to bear.  To be seen and heard is so far out of my comfort zone that it would trigger my ego into old patterns of self-sabotage again and again and again.

I really wanted to share this part of my life because I kept it hidden for so long.  I was mad at myself that I couldn’t fix this, especially as a Massage Therapist, soon-to-be graduate of Intitute for Integrative Nutrition, and aspiring Life/Health Coach.  It made me believe I couldn’t help others because I didn’t conquer these obstacles already. Although I wholeheartedly believe in authenticity, the fact that I am bringing this struggle to the Light instead of keeping it in the darkness is a start.

If I had any piece of advice to give, it would be to be gentle with yourself throughout this process of unraveling.  Sit with your emotions. Honor them.  Work through them.  Find a healthy outlet for your emotional wounds that serves you.  If you slip back into old patterns, that is ok.  Stay conscious and aware enough to make a change that is for your Highest Good. You are not alone and sharing your story with others does make a difference.

Are you an emotional eater? Do you currently have an unhealthy relationship with food or did you have one in the past? I’d love to hear your stories!

How Massage Therapy Chose Me…

A lot of my clients ask me why I have decided to become a Massage Therapist.  I don’t really think much about it, but as I reflected, I had realized this sole decision kickstarted my life as a healer.  Growing up, my sister use to always ask me to massage her, and when I was in college at Pace University back in 2006, a friend of mine use to always ask me to massage him.  I never really knew what I was doing, but word got out that I was good at it.  I never thought much of it since my dream was to be a writer and filmmaker, but all of that changed once I graduated in 2010.

I remember being so miserable moving back home to Long Island after feeling free and independent in NYC for four years.  A part of me was torn between moving to California and starting a life as a filmmaker, but another part of me wasn’t sure if that was my true calling.  What happened? I settled for a job that I hated as a Legal Assistant. My relationship at the time was crumbling.  I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it.

After some thought and a nudge from my partner at the time, I decided to take a chance and go to school for Massage Therapy.  Needless to say, it stuck.  I was so dedicated to studying, understanding the human body, and stepping into a profession where I felt I was truly helping others.  Almost four years later, I am still a practicing Therapeutic Massage Therapist.  I have had some nightmare jobs, but I have also met some incredible clients.  As passionate as I am about my career, I know it chose me in order to open my heart to my true Mission.

Although I do not see myself leaving the Massage Therapy field anytime soon, I believe stepping into my power as a Therapist has allowed me to open up to something greater than me.  I began my journey of spiritual awakening not too long before I started practicing and that is not a coincidence.  Massage Therapy has taught me to be still in the silence and become aware of what the client is experiencing without any words being spoken.  It is a collaboration between the therapist and client — a conversation between your hands and the client’s body & energy.  Separation is an illusion because in that moment, we are both creating a healing space through positive intention.

Massage Therapy has not only helped me connect with clients and help them, but it has connected me to myself.  What is my intention in this moment? What energy am I carrying? Am I transferring positivity or negativity?  When I walk into a session feeling moody and not grounded, I know my client will feel that.  The same happens in return, as well.

I am so grateful for this career because I am not just helping others. I am not just helping myself. I am allowing my soul to expand by using this art as a way to do other types of energy work (Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy) and to allow the Divine to work through me for both of our highest good in order to connect the Mind, Body & Soul. I am able to serve others through other modalities as well, such as Life/Health Coaching, Angel Card Readings, etc… because everything is connected. All the pain we experience is just emotional debris manifested in the physical so you can’t just treat the body, although it is an incredible start.

I honestly believe my path unfolded the way it did so I could be a conduit of healing energy through Massage, and once that Purpose was fulfilled, expand through the connection of Source.  It took me quite a while to get there, but I am here, and savoring every second of it.