weight loss

How to deal with emotional eating during weight loss? 150 150 admin

How to deal with emotional eating during weight loss?

When you’re trying to eat healthier to lose weight, different emotions can surface that you’ve been pushing down. When they’re brought up to the surface you can choose to deal with those emotions by going THROUGH them and not resisting rather than avoiding them because they’re unpleasant.

When I was eating in a way that my body responded well too (plant-based) I could definitely tell the difference emotionally. Normally, my emotions would be all over the place but as I became more aligned with healthy eating, I noticed my emotions becoming more stable and even-keel overall, but there would be times different emotions hit me hard. It might have been extreme sadness, or depression or loneliness, or even rage. Those times, I was instructed to call someone and talk it through, or write it down and get it “up and out” so I don’t get stuck in the same cycle of repetitive thinking and feeling.

Identify Your Triggers

I was fortunate enough to join a 12-step program for food addiction, so I worked through a lot of my triggers with my sponsor. Every day I talk to her and tell her what came up and we worked through the triggers one by one. In return, I would be a listening ear to help others through their emotions.

We actually had a phrase called HALTS that helped us identify the common emotional triggers. HALTS stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Stressed. Granted hungry is not strictly an emotion, it’s a condition, but it was by far my strongest trigger. Eating at regular intervals was important because the worst time to decide what to eat is when you’re hungry.

Be like an observer throughout your day and take inventory. When do you go to junk foods? When do you eat unconsciously? What do you do when emotions that are deemed as “negative” surface (like anger, sadness, loneliness, apathy, etc)?

Find Help/Support

If you’re having problems with this, consider seeking help. It’s one of the big three (health, wealth, and relationships) that play a big part in determining the quality of your life. Get whatever help you need to suffice whether it be a therapist, registered dietitian, joining a 12-step program, one-on-one coach. Reach out for help and take charge of your well-being.

My Top 10 Books 150 150 admin

My Top 10 Books

My intention with this article is to share the top books I’ve read. At the time of this writing I’ve read somewhere between 100 – 200 books. Some things to note before I give this list.

  1. These books helped shape ME. They are important books in MY story. It’s really hard for me to agree or disagree when someone lays out a book list and says “These are the best books on X” because it is shaped by their unique experience.
  2. Much of what was really impactful to me and stood out as being the best for me weren’t books. Maybe a “My top 10 resources that aren’t books” article next?
  3. I listed these in the order I read them, so it’s kinda like a story.
  4. Most of these books I’ve either read as a physical book or an audiobook. I don’t think I’ve ever read a whole book on the Kindle app or tablet.

I look at books like a tool set. There are so many ideas, invitations, suggestions and mentoring out there to fix the problems that will inevitably come up in life – especially with the rise of the internet and online resources like YouTube and Google to go along with books. Let’s get into it.

Alfred’s Basic Piano Library

I know. It’s cheating because there’s more than one book here (a whole ass library yo) but….that’s ok. Sometimes I be cheating.

These were the first books I remember being into studying piano. I spent SO much time slogging through these books (slogging because I didn’t understand the payoffs of consistent practice AND felt that I couldn’t just practice when I wanted to). Both of my great teachers used these books to teach me, and I still use so much of what was in these books today playing piano.

I remember we focused on the books on theory, ear training, song/hymn books and finger exercises.

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

This is the best book I’ve ever read…still. It talks a lot about surrendering to the moment, and I think I had to surrender for this book to even show up in my world.

I remember it helping me specifically with emotions. I’ve probably saved SOOO much stress just by reading this book pretty early. When I started reading this book I was feeling so frustrated. The go-to-school get-a-degree and have-a-safe-stable-job-for-life path just seemed so ‘not me’, but I was headed right down that road, and it made me afraid for my future. Meanwhile, I was registered for college classes I wasn’t paying for AND I was skipping them. So mix in some guilt in there too with the frustration.

One of the resolutions was just to have some space from thinking period, which made me feel lighter and more peaceful. It was like erasing a chalk board full of stuff on it. Then, I could deliberately choose what I wanted to add on to it.

This book alone helped me be a match for more upbeat, positive people. This book was my introduction to meditation. It just showed me how much my own mind was beating me down. I hadn’t ever considered that I could actually just turn my thinking off. It was soooo freeing to be able to have some space from my negative thoughts that had gone on for decades.

Meditation and spiritual teachers have been a well for me to go back to when I feel like I’m getting bogged down by life. I can take care of things a lot better when I’m taking care of my own peace of mind.

The Pick-Up Artist – Erik von Markovik

I really wasn’t motivated by pick-up until I moved in with a friend who was naturally great with women. When I lived with him, there were just so many women in our world largely due to him, so it made me curious as to what he was doing to bring them into our world. He invited nudged me to share my love of music more with everyone, which pushed things to a whole nother level. We went out to clubs and bars and events all the time.

I still remember the 5 things from this book. Leader of men, protector of loved ones, preselection, willingness to emote and successful risk taker. If you watch enough nature documentaries you’ll even see these in the animals. It’s like a biological, evolutionary thing.

People were really turned off by the formulaic, forced aspect of pick-up overall and the inauthentic, canned routines – as they should be. But to me, the underlying principle to the formulas and routines that I can align with is this – be a better man (embody masculinity) and the feminine will be drawn like a moth to a flame. And so, the next books you’ll see stem from my desire to learn what it meant to be a better man.

No More Mr. Nice Guy – Robert Glover

I remember this book being about honesty and maintaining integrity – and sometimes that isn’t nice.

Reading these types of books and moving in with three other masculine men helped me see, and more importantly feel what I missed out on growing up. Up until that point, I really didn’t understand why not having a father around mattered. I could write a book on this. It would be titled The Absence of the Masculine.

Growing up around all women led to me HAVING to please women and be nice all the time, and this did a lot to offset my polarity while watering down an already muffled voice.

Luckily there was music to offset this. I felt the total opposite as it relates to music. I was learning music and performing and in the choir so my voice was heard a lot. I could be free and was encouraged to make mistakes.

Outside of music though, my voice was drowned out by a chaotic household. There was no masculine to balance that chaos out and calm it and ground it effectively. I think that’s why The Power of Now was so powerful for me. I read this in college, and that was the first time I felt like I got some peace.

This book (along with living with very blunt and honest roommates) gave me permission to be honest – and there is nothing more freeing than being honest. It also showed me that people respond well to genuine truth whereas my family seemed to drown it out.

Living Abstinently

Remember the chaotic household? Yeah one of the most chaotic things was our eating habits. We pretty much ate fast food every day, little to no cooking and were all fat!

Foodaddicts.org was a program that FINALLY introduced some structure by way of food that made complete sense, and this book was an overview of that program. There was also other books we used a lot though too.

It was so simple and not profit-motivated. There was no buy-this-food-from-my-company in it – just normal foods you buy on the outside perimeter of the grocery store. It was FINALLY an answer to the question I had for decades on how to TRULY lose weight – specifically fat with JUST nutrition and what I was eating. I lost about 110 lbs through this program. It was like my body was saying “thank you for finally putting some stuff we can really use in here”. I gained the weight back plus more when I left the program, but I can’t erase what they taught me over there. It checked so many boxes, and I will be forever grateful.

The Illusion of Money – Kyle Cease

This is for the money chasers or if you feel like you’re chasing anything period. Chasing can get exhausting if you feel like the chase never ends.

There was soooo much talk of money in my family ALL the time. All that talk heavily influenced me to get into accounting in college (seeing as I have a whole family of accountants). The rap music I was listening to was always talking about money. It made me exhausted of thinking about money. Like damn…we’re not gonna focus on anything else here?

HOW I was making money became a lot more important around this time. Life started to be REALLY good, and for the first time it was starting to feel unbearable to keep doing the flat, boring, repetitive, meaningless slave work that had served me in the past to just stay afloat financially.

I read book this after attending Kyle Cease’s conference Love Rising. And I started working on Social Expansion (now Welcome Home) right there. It felt good to finally work on something NOT for the money.

The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

So…things were going amazing. It made me feel like, “damn…this was more along the lines of the experience of life I was supposed to have”. Then everything crashed, and it seemed like I made it crash. I remember sitting and tryin’ to figure out WTF happened.

The Big Leap is one of the only books I know that addressed this as what is phrased as an “Upper Limit” problem. Things get too good, and you aren’t used to things being this good for this long, so you get scared and sabotage yourself and bring yourself back down to the comfortable problems you’re used to experiencing. At the time of this writing, it’s the book I want to revisit the most.

Atomic Habits – James Clear

This is one of those books where I just read it off recommendations. It gets recommended everywhere in the personal development space, so I read it and understood why it was recommended. Just reinforced the idea that big things come from the small. There are a lot of ways that idea can be applied, and I hadn’t thought of the ways presented in this book.

Will – Willard Carroll Smith II aka The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith

Let’s go Willard! I loved this book because of the dynamics of the audiobook. There was actually music in this book along with all the twists and turns his life took. It really kept my attention for over 16 hours! That’s damn hard to do. It wove in all the different parts of his story – including the bad and ugly. I appreciated his transparency, and as a creator I learned a lot about creating an engaging EXPERIENCE for the person on the other side of the creation (the reader/listener/viewer).

Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

This is up there with me as far as the best books ever – top two next to The Power of Now.

It really inspired me to examine and be curious about the limits of what my mind is telling me is possible on a day-to -day basis, and it’s written by a VERY credible source. David Goggins has really pushed himself and CONTINUES to push himself incredibly hard to find his true potential, and it’s so inspiring to me.

This dude is SO badass that there is ANOTHER BOOK made of someone living with him called Living with a Seal (I haven’t read that one, but I could just imagine what’s in it). If you ever feel defeated, pick this up. Like…now yo.

Give me some time to internalize his work and the messages, and I won’t be so fanboyishly in awe of it.

Honorable Mentions

50th Law – Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and Robert Greene

I loved only the parts where 50 cent was speaking (at the beginning of the chapters). He would say something short in the beginning of the chapter and then Robert Greene would expound on it. I thought they could have cut Robert Greene’s part off though. It seemed like it was fluff to me.

The MagicRhonda Byrne

This book is all about appreciation and really explores creative ways to appreciate. I’ve loved Rhonda Byrne’s style since her documentary The Secret. She’s so resolute about positivity. Of the author’s on this list that have authored more than one book, she’s the only author on this list where I can say I’ve read ALL of her books (except her latest Masterclasses…I just found out about them yesterday).

The Courage to Be Disliked

This might go along with No More Mr. Nice Guy. I just happened to read this one later. I think I was also diving into exploring freedom and what that meant, and this showed up. There’s a lot written about systemic freedoms, but this and other books I’ve read deal with freedom internally. It’s about facing a hidden fear of being disliked (if you have that fear).

Well…that’s all folks for now. These were the books that stood out to me as the best.

Counterintuitive Solutions 150 150 admin

Counterintuitive Solutions

Over the years I’ve come across many counterintuitive solutions.  These solutions when I seek help from other people who have overcome the same problem and get out of my own thinking or I let go of finding the answer completely and move on to something else and then the answer just shows up.  When I find these answers they hit me like a ton of bricks and leave me stunned…like this ?

Here are the solutions I’ve found.

Weight Loss

I remember wanting to learn how to lose weight and just failing by focusing on weight loss.  Eventually, I just let go of the whole idea of trying to lose weight and I started focusing on health.  That’s when I found out about my food group and cut out sugar and flour and they actually taught me how to eat in a way where I could eat normal foods, was way happier, and kept losing weight in a way that felt effortless.

Intuitively I was overweight, so it made sense to focus on weight loss…that led me astray.  Focusing on health was way more effective and ironically resulted in me losing the most weight I’ve ever lost.

Money and Work

I remember wanting to learn how to earn a lot of money.  I wanted it sooo bad I was willing to take shitty jobs sacrifice everything else, work long hours of overtime.  It didn’t help.  My expenses rose to the level of my earnings and I was living paycheck to paycheck.  Eventually, I decided I would stop chasing money and accept the freedom I had.  It brought me face to face with the question – what would I do if I had all the money in the world.  I would write and work on music, so I really put tons of hours into writing and working on music, and my bank account is as big as it’s ever been.

When I was broke, it made sense to focus on getting a job and earning money.  Writing and sharing with people was my way of volunteering.  It brought about more flow socially and connected me with more people and it was pretty damn rewarding.  More rewarding than any check I ever got from a shitty job, and I think it was all because I didn’t chase money.

Social Circle

In the back of my mind, I would always see people who had big social circle and wonder how it happened for them.  AND…how were people so interested in them.

Eventually, I realized that one great way to attract others is not need others – to be content with yourself.  Do the things you want to do and find interesting.  Follow your own curiosities.  Accomplish the things you want to accomplish.  Have fun.  Stop beating yourself up over the past and learn to be happy with yourself.  Forgive yourself for bad time and money investments.  Practice self care and treat yourself well.  Respect and enforce your boundaries and strive to meet your needs.  That way you relate to others without neediness.  You won’t need anything from others.  People can feel that, and it’s attractive.

Intuitively, when I wanted a bigger social circle I thought that there was something I needed to do “out there”.  I needed to meet more people.  I needed to get out of the house more.  Those things are great, but if you do those things you will have far greater rewards and results if you can learn to be content and happy with yourself first.

The Big Three

It’s been said that these are the big three in personal development.  If you can get health, wealth, and relationships all working in-sync, then you’ll feel that flow of life and things will lean towards spiraling upwards.

Accomplishing Big Things

When I read Atomic Habits, it made me appreciate the small things.  Small habits over time can lead to big accomplishments or big bombs that you have to deal with later.

I think it’s human nature to want to go to big accomplishments quickly.  We want to be able to play and sing the beautiful song we hear right after we hear it.  We want to have the great bodies we see others have instantly.  We want to have success in our careers overnight.

Intuitively I want to jump right into having and accomplishing big things, but ironically they come from the small recurring habits over time.

Are there any counterintuitive solutions that have blown your mind?

The Benefits of a Clean Diet 150 150 admin

The Benefits of a Clean Diet

I have come to accept the fact that some people will never know the benefits of cleaning up their diet ( ie. eating way more vegetables / eating a plant-based diet and cutting out the sugar and flour).  When I decided to clean up my diet, my weight went down all on its own with very little exercise which led to me breathing better and not snoring, my skin cleared up, I had hella more energy, the dark thoughts disappeared that I didn’t even realize I was having, my joint pain disappeared, I wanted to connect with people and nature more.  I also seemed to get more powerful recommendations for dates.

Of course, these benefits listed above had secondary benefits, so it was like a domino effect.  SInce my weight went down it was easier to shop for clothes, to get better sleep and to exercise the few times I did.  I suddenly understood why people liked running.  I hated running while I was fat because of all the pain from putting the weight on the joints, but had a pretty good time when I was a smaller size.

Since I had more energy I started working on an Amazon-based business on the side.  Usually I would have spent that time eating or addicted in some distraction.

Since I was breathing better, my singing and speaking was better.

Since I was connecting with people more, life just started to get easier and more flowing.

This whole process was like a blossoming.  I want everyone who is willing to experience as many of the wonderful results of eating a clean, plant-based diet.


Regaining Weight Back 150 150 admin

Regaining Weight Back

If I’m going to say anything about weight loss, I have to address this.

If you’re in this place, I feel for you.  No really…as I’m writing this on February 23, 2020 I literally know how you feel because I’ve gained the weight I lost back plus more.

Know that the most important thing is acceptance.  Full acceptance of your body as it is.  Keep pushing.  Keep adjusting.  It’s very easy to get down on yourself and spiral down even more if you don’t grab this by the horns.  This is not over until you’re gone!

Also, don’t go into “poor me”.  Think about the other people who will benefit from your struggles and successes.  Think about the other people that will hear your story and the ripples it will create.  Someone told me…after seeing me gain all my weight back that “your mess will become your message”. She just might be right :).

I care about you and I want the best quality of life for you, and I can’t help but to double down on the fact that a normal-sized body or one that is physically strong and fit will be better.  Keep working!

Fat Does Not Equal Lazy 150 150 admin

Fat Does Not Equal Lazy

Boy boy boy will society put this on you.  I’ve heard people say “When people see you as fat, they automatically assume you’re lazy or undisciplined.  That’s just how it is”.  That’s not true.  If society thinks this, society is wrong.

While I was in the middle of losing 120 pounds, i thought to myself…”all those years of beating myself up thinking I was undisciplined and lazy is NOT true.”  It just isn’t.  All I did was eat 3 meals in different time zones of the day…eat more vegetables…eliminate sugar and flour products and connect with other like-minded individuals regularly.  I just took different actions.  As I was in the midst of shedding all this weight, I would ask myself…”am I less lazy now than I was?”  no!  but I do have hella more energy!  So there was less “down” time trying to recover from meals.  It was more ignorance on what to do and what exactly to eat and when to eat it than laziness or lack of discipline.  I maybe worked out 5 times during that 120 pound weight loss – which shattered another myth I had been sold- exercise does not equal weight loss!

I can’t control what society thinks as a whole, but I can raise awareness – especially to those who are currently beating themselves up for no reason.  For most people, you don’t have to go crazy in the gym, or even set foot in a gym to be a weight that is considered normal for your body.

Telling yourself you’re lazy isn’t going to help you anyway.  It’s a form of beating yourself up.  If you FEEL lazy it’s better to determine what you’d rather feel instead.  Motivated?  Excited?  Happy?  Peaceful?  Energized?  Light?

A Better Lens

A better lens that was way more effective for me and directly resulted in me losing 120 lbs was looking at the problem through the lens of addiction – to look at the foods I was eating and find what emotions I was trying to eat over.  I had to work on feeling those emotions.  Have you ever heard “You have to feel it to heal it!”?  Yeah…it’s corny to me, but true.

There are also other addictions.  Instead of eating excess junk food the addiction could be excessively playing video games, or addictively smoking…or drinking…or *insert addictive behavior here*.  What much of the world sees as lazy could be looked at as feeding addictions that allow us to avoid feeling feelings and moving through them to our own detriment.

How to lose weight if I can’t stop eating 150 150 admin

How to lose weight if I can’t stop eating

A big insight I realized was…WHAT I was eating was waaaay more important than how much I was eating.

If I continued to eat foods with sugar and flour products, it made me want to eat more and more sugar and flour products. It just never ended until I couldn’t fit anymore in my stomach. It felt like I couldn’t control it and I was never satisfied.

However, during the year and a half I went without sugar and flour products, I lost 100+ pounds where I was eating big meals, feeling full, actually feeling satisfied, eating foods I could buy out of pretty much any grocery store that me feel good and were better for my body.

The difference was eliminating sugar and flour and doing all I could to maintain that lifestyle change. The only downside seemed to be social. People, at least here in Texas, can’t seem to wrap their head around eliminating sugar and flour or seeing it as a literal addictive product.

I wondered why I was even introduced to sugar and flour products if they really serve no nutritional value and I could live just fine without them (actually WAAAAY better).

If you feel like you can’t stop eating, I’ve been there. I kept eating because my body was still starving for nutrition instead of the empty calories I was feeding it.

As I would consume all the fast food, bread, grains and sugar products, I bet if my actual body could talk it would say something like “wtf are we supposed to do with this? here he goes again…ok so we’ll just store this as fat because we don’t know when we’re actually going to get a real meal with the amount of vegetables we need up in there.”

Stop making fun of me! A solution to handle being made fun of for being overweight as a kid 150 150 admin

Stop making fun of me! A solution to handle being made fun of for being overweight as a kid

The only thing that can make me cry is thinking of the experience of overweight kids today in school. I am curious as to how it is in schools today. Are there more overweight kids now? If there are more overweight kids, then they might fit in more. Since there is a lot of information available as to better ways to eat, are there less overweight kids because the parents are more aware? Or is this going in a worse direction? I don’t know because I haven’t visited elementary schools in a long time.

If their experience is anything like my experience, it can really effect them long term. During my elementary years in school, all the teasing just made me just want to isolate myself from everyone. I couldn’t stand going to school.  I was angry at being forced to have to keep going. I gravitated towards eating because it was at least some pleasure I could experience without thinking about being made fun of. I could at least let my guard down around food.  I played a lot of basketball in my own driveway with my basketball goal, because playing basketball at school I was made fun of more. I didn’t ever find a satisfactory solution in school either…as in…one that seemed aligned with what felt right to me.

I also felt pretty powerless to change my weight. I just wanted to be a normal-sized kid and have a great time, but that was definitely not my experience. There were some horrifically bad experiences, and many of the bad experiences of overweight kids that are used for entertainment in TV shows and movies are true. Being in PE and just not being able to do any exercise that most other kids were doing easily. Going to doctors offices and having them embarrass me and not give me any real solutions when they were paid to do this. Not being able to fit in clothes and not knowing what weight I was going to be.

I dreaded school because I was always getting made fun of.  I used to try to hide from all the ridicule and be on the lookout for it. Looking back that actually made it worse, and it was exhausting. I’m glad I didn’t try to go and learn all these insults to go back and forth. It would have never ended and been futile. There are so many fat jokes it’s ridiculous. I might have had to be a Kevin Hart kind of person and build up this library of insults. Think about the amount of people I’d have to bring down to make myself good at the art of “being funny”.


Since I wasn’t as good with words, I did end up fighting a lot. These results weren’t good either! If someone was hurling insults at me, and I wanted them to stop and they wouldn’t, I would punch them. A fight usually followed that got everyone else hyped up, and if I won the fight it might make them stop with the insults, but it just ignited more fights elsewhere. Other people would see and say “I bet you can’t beat me!” and bam! another instant fight I was scheduled for. It also led to resentment from the loser and this bad feeling that I carried around until it died down. It’s like my ego was gratified, but there was always this inner voice saying that wasn’t the right thing to do. And that’s just if I won the fight. I lost fights too, and it really started to hit home that this way of dealing with ridicule and teasing was not the best way to go. I started losing a lot more fights as people started actually training in middle school for sports, so that meant I would have to train to become stronger and faster as well. I felt like this would be a never-ending cycle if I wanted to solve this problem this way. I couldn’t fight the whole world unless I wanted to take my life in that direction and become a professional fighter or something. That decision would have been purely reactive though – not a conscious one I sat down and made a decision about, but one that was just reacting to being insulted.

What would I say to the “young me” now? (or any kid going through this)

If I were to have a conversation with the young me, I’d say to not resist it. Don’t hide from it. Accept it and keep moving. Give it the least attention as possible. Maybe even call it out from that person…say something like “I don’t want to make fun of you and bring you down to build myself up like you’re doing to me” and stand on that. Don’t lower your consciousness. Don’t contract – expand! Make that person and others aware of their actions, and expose it as much as possible. Refuse to play the game of going back and forth with insults. Invest in other people and volunteer to help them. Instead of contracting and trying to hide from the ridicule, take responsibility for it and lift other people up. Maybe even lift that person up that ridiculed you. If he’s bringing you down with hurtful insults and teasing for no reason, chances are things aren’t going so well for him. Swing the pendulum towards investing in others. I might even say do volunteer work outside and/or inside of school.

That’s a lot to ask of a kid, and it’s very counterintuitive, but I think that approach would have garnered a lot less ridicule and much more respect and support and would have built some great habits that would have served me throughout the rest of my life.

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