Reject The Diet Mentality

This month we will take a slightly different approach to our continuing discussion on how to become an intuitive eater. First, I want to share a brief overview on the next two principles—Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food—and then I would like to share with you just a bit of my own personal journey from disordered eating to wholeness.So, without further ado…let’s jump right in!

Principles Six and Seven: Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

Most chronic dieters have lost, or never have discovered, the simple pleasure of eating. In the quest to be thin, we equate the pleasure of eating with outof- control weight gain. And it simply isn’t so. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. If you fail at finding satisfaction in your food choices, the chances are much greater that you will overeat.

The authors of the original Intuitive Eating—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch— share a story about one client who craved a piece of cornbread with lunch.
However, she denied herself this pleasure, not only at lunch but at dinner also, for she was convinced that it was an unhealthy choice. That night, she ate six Weight Watchers® desserts in hopes of satisfying her cornbread craving. And with an overly full belly of excessive calories, she learned the principle of satisfaction: no amount of diet desserts would satisfy her cornbread craving.

Regaining pleasure in eating will require some intentional steps, such as determining what you really want to eat, and then giving yourself permission to eat it; learning to be present to the here and now rather than focusing on rules, regulations, and calorie counters; and beginning to taste and savor the food you are eating. Understanding what you like and believing that you have the right to enjoy food will be crucial to living a satisfied life of weight control without dieting.

The essence of our next principle is summed up by Tribole and Resch in the following way: “Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emoTional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run”.

Learning to cope with emotional eating without using food begins with asking yourself four basic questions: Am I biologically hungry? What am I feeling?What do I need? How can I get this need met other than through food? If the answer to the first question is yes, then review the previous six principles and eat intuitively. If the answer is no, then proceed with the remaining three questions, especially focusing on the last. Getting rest, expressing your feelings through talking or journaling, and receiving comfort and warmth from a trusted friend are some ways that you can get your emotional needs met apart from food. However, I would like to share with you just a glimpse of my path out of the pit of emotional and disordered eating.

A Little About My Journey

For about 15 years or so, I fought a monster within me named Bulimia. While the behaviors of the disorder manifested during my senior year in high school, food and weight were becoming my focus as young as age 8. I can remember times of feeling so anxious I thought I would come out of my skin…lonely, afraid, and insecure. Because I was unaware of how to handle these emotions— or even what the emotions were—I began focusing on weight, what I looked like, how I could avoid eating, and how I could rid my body of the food I did eat.

I was caught in a vicious and ugly cycle that would include two inpatient treatments, several trips to the hospital, and a whole lot of shame, secrecy, and isolation. The satisfaction I was looking for in life was elusive. My emotions were too uncomfortable to face. I was a lost soul, empty and afraid of who I was and…of who I wasn’t.

Many people have asked about my recovery. And while there were various points of healing along the way, the one thing that nailed the lid on the coffin in which my monster was finally buried was a renewed relationship with God.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was trying desperately to be in control of my life (and failing miserably) and chose to surrender my control to a very loving and gracious God that I finally began to walk in freedom from the pain. The road was not easy, and I certainly stumbled along the way. But as I began to Learn who God really is (through the Bible) and as I began to know Him, my feeble legs grew stronger as I walked the path to healing. Then the words of Psalm 145 became alive for me, as they can for you too.

“The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.

The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to You (LORD), and You give them their food at the proper time.

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

Your Fitness

Still thinking about getting started on a fitness program?Consider joining a group class for major results and major fun!Here are some benefits of working out with a group versus working out by yourself.

Qualified Instruction

Attending a class that is lead by a trained and qualified professional is a surefire way to learn the correct form of each exercise and can help you improve how you move your body to prevent injury or prevent making an existing condition worse. They also can show you how to modify exercises if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.


Just like women, group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. There are already a large variety of classes available at most gyms and studios and more formats are being introduced all the time. You just need to try all formats to decide which best suits you. Some popular classes today are latin dancing, indoor cycling and mind/body classes.


One advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability.If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially. At RAM Fitness, we ask clients to sign-up in advance for classes to help schedule-in their workout. This adds another level of accountability to ensure your success.


Group exercise classes are a great way to have fun! If you are having fun, you will be more likely to go more often. Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that others know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more. And what could be more fun than a brand new fit and healthy body?

Come try out a group class at RAM Fitness! RAM Fitness offers a variety of small group classes to women of all shapes and sizes.

Heart-Healthy Future

Painting in her studio in Artmongerz Gallery in Greensboro, Jacalyn Romano, did not have a specific direction in mind. Rich yellow and red acrylics over plaster lines and swirls turned into a sun’s light reaching into deeper blue and burnt sienna hues.

Then Jackie experienced the worst pain in her life. “A fire struck the center of my chest and I just couldn’t stop screaming,” she describes.She was taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, where she was told she was having a heart attack. Dr. Thomas Wall, now her friend for life, realized how dire her situation was and acted fast. On July 13, 2010, Jackie had a triple bypass and heart valve repair.

“I still had paint under my nails,” remembers Jackie. “My sister, Rebecca, helped me clean them at the hospital.” The painting she was working on took on a new meaning for her.When completed, she entitled it “Just a Heart Beat Away.” To her, the sun now represents a second chance. Since her heart attack, Jackie has stopped smoking and is managing her type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol with good nutrition and exercise. This experience inspired her to create a new series of artwork, entitled “Matters of the Heart.”

Jackie is proud to share her studio space with other artists in what she refers to as “The Gallery that Gives.” Jackie donated one of her works to the 2011 Guilford Heart Ball and other artists from the gallery are joining her.

“If I could send a message to women in Guilford County, it would be to take care of yourselves even through times of turmoil, listen to your body and don’t let your fear of hearing bad news keep you from seeing your doctor and possibly heading off heart disease,” shares Jackie.

February is American Heart Month and Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide initiative fighting heart disease in women, the #1 killer of women in North Carolina and the U.S.

For more information visit and

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

It’s time for our next principle of Intuitive Eating—Feel Your Fullness—and I have a confession to make.I failed at feeling my fullness tonight.First,I worked late, not finishing up with my last client until almost 8:00 pm.It had been too long since lunch, and I found myself in quite the ravenous state by the time I was leaving the office.Second,I failed to eat without distraction.Because I am always two steps behind on meeting a deadline, I chose to eat dinner while writing this very article.Both of these decisions—ones that inhibit an intuitive eater from truly respecting her fullness—left me further away from satisfied than I would have preferred and teetering on the edge of stuffed.

I share all this for one reason: To remind you, my friend, that this journey is about progress, not perfection!Tomorrow is a new day.But in the meantime, let’s get an overview of this month’s principle.

Principle Five: Feel Your Fullness

The original intuitive eating pros—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, define “feeling your fullness” as the ability to stop eating because you have had enough to eat biologically.Much like what happened to me, certain habits, such as becoming ravenous before you eat, staying distracted while eating, or feeling obligated to eat by well-meaning “food pushers”, can cause overeating. Additionally,the majority of chronic dieters don’t stop eating until the last morsel is gone, and this creates an inability to recognize a level of comfortable fullness.These “clean-your-plate” club members come by this honestly— either through a lifetime of meager portions offered in dieting plans or from well-meaning parents who taught that plates must be cleaned before you leave the table.

Therefore, many members of the clean-your-plate club turn on autopilot when they pick up the fork. That is, they eat until completion, or until the food is gone.To break this unhealthy pattern, it is often beneficial to move to the opposite end of the continuum, which means becoming more mindful, or even hyperconscious, of eating—not a place you want to live forever but long enough to break the cycle.

One of the first steps away from “autopilot eating” is conscious eating, which Tribole and Resch have broken into a series of stages.First, pause in the middle of a meal or snack and take a time-out for taste and satiety checks (something I obviously forgot to do!).Ask yourself if the food tastes good, or are you just continuing to eat because it is there? Check your fullness level, much like you Check your hunger level prior to eating.Do you still feel hungry? Or is your hunger going away and satisfaction setting in?

Once you finish eating, ask yourself where your fullness level is.(See the sample scale.)Did you reach comfortable satiety or did you exceed it? The more you become aware of your fullness level at satisfaction, the more you will know when a bite of food is your last—a most important step in respecting your fullness.Don’t get discouraged if this takes time.The important thing is you are on the road to recovery and not still signing-in at the clean-your-plate club for every meal.However, the flip side of this is there is no rule that says you must leave food on your plate.If you are hungry and not yet full, eat it all and enjoy! The key is to become conscious, learn how to respect fullness, and be free from the shackles of dieting.

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted counseling services for women.For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-508-8573 or visit us at

I Majored in Unafraid, Dedication and Determination

I majored in fields that are oh too real but, my physical majors are Studio Art, Economics, and Sociology with minors in Photography, Italian, International Business and Criminology. I was unafraid and dedicated to the determination it took to complete such a fete, its true that I have an online Bachelors as well but, its in Political Science and government, boring but, it does help in the search for jobs.

I made it through the rain of many storms that seem to hard to overcome but, the dedication it took prevailed and the determination pushed me through it each step at a time.

I learned to listen to my body and, I learned to not let people tell me what is best for me because I know my body so, I would best know how it works.   Don’t let anyone tell you that what goes with you and your body because your body knows what it likes and what it doesn’t like.

There is so much I have to offer for the year of 2014 and, there is so much time in the year but, very little hours in the day for me to share it with the people around me.

I promise this is going to be one of the longest year for this blog because I plan to make a lot of post each day a minimum of five but, that is not guarantee because I might do more because I am more active than ever before.

Your Fitness


Keeping your resolution to get fit and lose weight doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these S-M-A-R-T tips to realize your goals in 2014.


Ensure the goal you set is very specific, clear and easy to understand.Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, be more specific and aim to lose inches off your waist or to run a 5k race.


Choose a goal with measurable progress so you can see the change occur.By measuring your changes, like measuring your waist or tracking how far you can run, you can see how you are progressing and notice how it is helping you reach your goal (or not).


Set goals that are attainable and relevant to you.If you set goals too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing what it takes to get there. Setting a goal to run an ultra-marathon is probably not a prudent goal if You have never run before.Choosing a 5k or 10k would be much more attainable and will give you the sense of achievement when you accomplish it.


Make sure your goal is realistic. Resolving to workout 7 days a week and to stop eating all your favorite junk food is not realistic.Consider taking smaller steps at first to reach your goal, such as exercising 3 days a week and reducing your junk food intake to 1 time a week.


Set a timeframe for the goal.Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague and it’s easy to put it off until tomorrow.Following the SMART method for setting goals is a great way to achieve your New Year’s Resolution.Other tips are to plan ahead, get support from friends and family, reward yourself, and remember you are human and that nobody is perfect.

There is something that needs to be said once again…..

Once again…….there are uglies coming up from out of nowhere and keeping them away is a much harder task more than ever, why?  Their beliefs on some strange social aspect.

Now weighing in on a scale between 130.2 lbs and 143 lbs which varies from season to season because in the warmer month I weight less because I have more opportunities to get out but, when I am in the colder months I tend to gain weight because there is not much to do.   Losing the weight was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done and, the process was rewarding but, there are the downs of losing such weight.

Dancing with Richard Simmons for an hour then doing a 30 minute workout is great and, all but there are those days that the ones whom treated you like garbage want to talk to you about everything anything.   No matter how I tell them I am not interested, I am not in the mood for dealing with garbage or the fact that I do not see any reason to befriend them; they continue to try after leaving me alone for a couple of weeks to see if they can butter me up again.   As usual it does not work how I wish for the day to make a difference in my life that they would not be around but, for so long.

Weightloss has came with the pros and cons that vary from person to person.   Mine seem worse than others but, there are some that have it worse off than me.

Ask The Fitness Expert

Q. Lately I can’t seem to stay awake towards the middle of the afternoon. I drink coffee but still feel sluggish even though all I’ve done is sit at my desk all day. What’s worse is I can’t stay asleep through the night, despite how tired I am when I lay down. My productivity is suffering, and anything “fun” is out of the question due to lack of energy. Is there anything I can do to boost my energy?

A. There are a couple of things to consider: activity and nutrition. Exercise is a proven energy-booster, especially in the morning. When you exercise, your body responds by releasing endorphins and adrenaline— these work together to boost mood and energy. Revving your metabolism through exercise will keep you going all day. Secondly, if your “fuel” comes processed, sugared, or frosted, then you’re on a dangerous roller coaster. High sugar intake results in energy slumps. Your pancreas has to secrete a lot of insulin to take in all of the sugar and blood sugar levels plummet due to the high insulin. You’re left feeling dead tired—along with having another sugar craving! Beat the slump by exercising and having protein-rich snacks throughout the day.

Interesting times

last month my mother and I went to the apartment of our old neighbor whom was an older man with adult children from Zimbabwe and; five month prior he lost his second wife whom I understood he was married too since 1968.

My mother and his wife use to go walking together but, the fact of the matter is this gentleman told me and my mother that he had feeling for my mother for a long time.   That brought many questions to our minds did he have feelings for me mother before his wife died or after his wife died?

I felt that five months was not a long enough time to grieve but, I felt that if he did have strong feelings for my mother for a long time it was before his wife passed away and I did not like that at all.

Now that she is free of him, I think she has more time to work on herself which is more important than bringing in a man that she does not want in her life.

I was not surprise that when he invited my mother for a drink last month he was going to tell her what he felt about her; if I had not tagged along she would not have went to his apartment.

I do know that my mom is good at keeping men at bay so, I wonder what next chap is going to have strong feelings for her.  I seeing that this one will have to look in other places.