Blogs About 'Anti-Diet'

One Thing To Do Instead Of Diet

Bicycle parked along ocean shore. Anti-diet: One Thing To Do Instead Of Diet

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

We are half way through January and I am sure you have noticed all the adverts promoting weight loss, diet plans, detoxes and “lifestyle changes”. What if this January you chose a different approach? An approach that will help you focus on how you can feel better in your body, heart, mind and soul? Here is ONE thing to consider doing that doesn’t involve weight loss and will definitely improve how you feel. Focus On Wellbeing Versus Weight Loss Our culture equates weight loss with health....

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Food, Love and Memories

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

My daughter, had to give a speech for her final year mark. I was deeply moved when I heard it. Today, with her permission, I am sharing it with you because it shows so clearly that food isn’t just fuel. It is love. It’s connection. It’s memories. Sadly, it’s also fraught because of the guilt it brings up when connected to our body image. “I will let you in on a little secret – to make the perfect gazpacho, you must peel the tomatoes first. Then add your peppers, your cucumber...

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Retreat, Reflect and Revive

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

Every year I have the privilege of leading a retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in South Africa. Sadly, last year was not possible, which made this year’s retreat even more special. There is something  about stepping away from everyday life and withdrawing to a quiet place for a period of time among like-minded people. The retreatants were a group of amazing individuals who were willing to be vulnerable and talk about their relationship with food. People shared their challenges and...

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The Downfalls of Dieting

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

The 6th of May is International No Diet Day, this day was started by Mary Evans in 1992 after her struggle with anorexia. The purpose of the day was to help men and women around the world appreciate their own bodies, celebrate body acceptance, body and size diversity and the day is dedicated to promoting well-being over weight loss. It also aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of dieting. This got me to reflect on how years of dieting affected my life. I am so grateful that there is...

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The Path to Peace with Food

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

The path to peace with food is not always peaceful. In fact it’s full of obstacles to overcome. The first step is to make a decision to do things differently. To recognise that dieting and restriction have not worked and to take the road less travelled. Once you are on that road, what will serve you well on your journey to peace with food are three key elements: Patience, Persistence and Perseverance. More than half my life was spent in a constant battle with food. From the age of 13, I was on...

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Don't Let This Happen

Don't Let This Happen

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

We are already half way into January 2021. January is typically a time of resolutions and “new year - new me”. Diets don’t work. Resolutions rarely work. Perfectionism keeps us stuck. You can’t hate yourself into change. What works? Acceptance. Self-compassion. Commitment. Imperfect action. Don’t put your life on hold until….fill in the blank. Here’s a good reminder from one of my favourite authors, Anne Lamott. All my best, Xen

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20 Ways To Set Yourself Free From Dieting

20 Ways to Set Yourself Free from Dieting

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

 “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” — Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai — Now that the holidays are over you may be feeling bad about how much or what you ate. You may be thinking “I fell off the wagon” or “I need to get back on track”. You might be considering going on a diet or starting a 30-day elimination challenge. Hopefully you are not considering this, but just...

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The Dangers of Dieting

The Dangers of Dieting

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

My dieting days began at the age of 12, a typical age for young girls to go on their first diet. This was the beginning of about 30 years of dysfunctional eating, food obsession and negative body image. Weight Watchers now rebranded as WW have launched a new dieting app for young children. If you want to read more about this, fellow intuitive eating counsellor Christy Harrison writes about it in great detail for the New York Times. Whilst I am grateful for my struggle with food and dieting...

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Stop the Food Madness: How to Do It Bite by Bite

Stop the Food Madness: How to Do It Bite by Bite

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

Changing your relationship to food can be really difficult especially if you have had a turbulent history of dieting and restriction. Diets are a quick but not sustainable “fix”. In fact, diets are the culprit to creating a difficult relationship to food. The very thing we have been taught to turn to is what is keeping us stuck. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein — Focusing on weight loss and food restriction perpetuates...

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What Do You Say About Food?

What Do You Say About Food?

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

“Unless you stole the food or killed the chef, there is no place for morality or guilt in eating” — Evelyn Tribole — Words are powerful. How we speak matters. The words we choose to use to describe our food have an effect on our relationship with food and on our relationship with ourselves. How familiar are these statements? You’ve probably heard them hundreds of times without even thinking. “I should probably order the salad but I am really tempted by the pasta” “I had...

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What If You Weren't At War With Your Body?

What If You Weren't At War With Your Body?

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

My inner rebel is kicking and screaming. I am starting to despair at the messages we receive in women’s magazines. Many years ago, I would have bought these magazines in a flash with the vain hope of looking like one of those models, only to be disappointed and disheartened with my failure. Today I look at those covers and I sigh a deep sigh of despair. I have taken some photos of magazine covers on South African shelves over the last few months. “Look slimmer by Monday”? Firstly,...

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Set Yourself Free from Diet Prison: 18 Reasons Not to Diet in 2018

Set Yourself Free from Diet Prison: 18 Reasons Not to Diet in 2018

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

The New Year has begun and with that comes the idea of losing weight and going on another diet. Are you thinking of starting another diet in 2018? Think again! Here are 18 reasons WHY you should NOT diet this year or any year: Dieting has a 95% failure rate. Only 5% of dieters keep the weight off, most will gain it back in 1 – 5 years. It is not sustainable – it creates a yo-yo effect and that is far more unhealthy than carrying a bit of extra weight. Severe diets that eliminate many...

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10 Myths About Dieting, Food and Our Bodies

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

I am reading Beyond a Shadow of a Diet by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel and it’s probably one of the best books on the non-diet approach I have read in a while. I can highly recommended it if you want to go deep into our relationship with dieting, food and our bodies. In the book Matz and Frankel give a list of diet myths, I am going to share them with you in this week’s blog. Myth 1: Dieting is a good way for people to lose weight It’s absolutely not! In fact 95% of people...

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Is Focusing On A Number On The Scale The Solution?

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

The last 2 weeks have been really busy with introductory sessions and I have met incredibly courageous women wanting to heal their relationship with food and their bodies. Most of the people I have seen want to learn to stop overeating and to accept their bodies. Many want to lose weight too, so many of us have been conditioned to aspire to a thin ideal. It’s also that time of year when magazines are selling promises of fast weight loss, gyms are full and personal trainers are booked up....

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Why 30 Day No Sugar No Whatever Challenges Don't Work

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

January is here and with the start of the new year comes new beginnings and changes, often accompanied by new quick fixes and diets, detoxes or challenges. I am seeing all sorts of  “CHALLENGES” on Facebook. The one that caught my attention was the 30 Day No Carbs No Sugar Challenge.  When I saw it all I thought was “OMG the horror of rules and restrictions”. If you are contemplating it, think again and again and once more… I totally get how tempting it is to go on a 30 day Challenge....

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What Changing Our Relationship with Food and Eating Looks Like...

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

I love this poem and believe it really reflects what changing our relationship with food and eating looks like. After years of dieting, we expect it to be perfect and peaceful but the path to a peaceful place with food and our bodies is definitely NOT peaceful – it is full of potholes, flat tyres and detours... Autobiography In Five Chapters 1) I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am hopeless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find...

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An Eater's Agreement

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

I would like to share an excerpt from Marc David’s book “Nourishing Wisdom – A Mind Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being”. This passage in his wonderful book really touched me and I hope it will leave you with some food for thought. I hereby agree, from this day forward, to fully participate in life on earth. I agree to inhabit the appropriate vehicle for such participation – a body. As a requisite for the sustaining of that body, and of the life that dwell within it, I agree to...

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Ending The Diet Roller Coaster Once And For All

Filed Under: Anti-Diet

Every day there seems to be a new magic product, diet, programme or food that promises the dream of weight loss. This is even more noticeable at this time of the year! Promises of losing weight by the Christmas holidays. I used to believe those promises for 27 years, but they are false and empty promises... If you follow a diet, of course you will lose weight but as Geneen Roth says "for every diet, there is an equal and opposite binge" and after some time, the weight usually comes back on again....

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“From our first meeting - two faces on Zoom across the world from each other, there was a sense of familiarity and comfort that was a healing balm for a lifetime of food struggles and dieting. Without realizing how much damage I had done to myself by adhering, for decades, to restrictive food plans and rigid diet programs, Xen had a way of redirecting the harsh and negative self-talk and sending me forth each week with compassion, mindfulness and a new way of seeing myself in the here and now. Gone are the maybe somedays, and if-only, and when-I’m-smaller thinking. Now I am committed to the imperfect and rocky path to listening to my body, accepting my perfect imperfections, and rejecting diet mentality. Those negative voices will revisit me from time to time, I know, but Xen has offered valuable tools for meeting each day as a fresh start - another choice, another chance. Her devotion to this work and her belief in her clients is a remarkable gift; I am so fortunate to have found her. It is never too late to let go of the drama and embrace joy, ease and self-acceptance.”

Karen L, Denver, USA

“I felt hopeless and helpless in my daily struggle with mindless eating for many years. Then I found Xen which is exactly what I needed! My decision to work with her helped me to finally repair my relationship with food. It's changing my life for the better, one day at a time. Now I have control over the food, instead of it having control over me, which is the way it should be. I highly recommend Xen to anyone who has a desire to overcome similar food struggles. Xen, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Karen J, Colorado, USA

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating