From The Heart

25 June 2021 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

My anxiety has been sky high. In South Africa we are in the middle of our 3rd wave. There are no available beds in the hospitals. The vaccine roll-out has been slow. There is so much loss and pain. It’s scary.

I have been baking cakes and scones.
Eating sweets.
I want to keep ordering food and keep my pantry full.
I don’t want to be deprived of anything I may want in a whim.
I am too scared to be out there.
I feel guilty that I have the luxury of working from home.
Right now, we’re all okay, yet I am frightened.
My mind goes to …“if only I could be vaccinated.”
“What if I get Covid and need to be hospitalised and there’s no available bed.”
My mind flip flops from “if only” to “what if…”
My meditation practice is off kilter, I can barely sit still, let alone manage my mind and emotions. I look enviously on as some countries open up and wonder when we will make it out of this crisis?
I keep telling myself “right now, in this moment you’re okay Xen.”
Then my mind goes “yes but what if…” followed by “I should be grateful.”
Eat a handful of chewy sweets.
Mind: “you should be an example to your clients and readers.”

I realise that if food has been your “schtick” it probably always will be, to some degree.
I have all the tools at my disposal to manage my feelings in this time, yet the one that makes sense to me now is compassion for the part of me that feels I should be better.

We all suffer and struggle. I am trying to find a way to be with this time of uncertainty and muddle along between moments of turmoil and moments of peace.
Trying to practice wholehearted co-operation with reality and allowing myself to turn to old behaviour patterns that helped me in the past…with no judgement.

“Never underestimate the inclination to bolt when we are hurt” writes Pema Chodron in her book “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times”.

If you are struggling right now and you need to “bolt” by eating, remember to try be kind to yourself. I would love to hear from you if you want to share your struggle.


Wishing you well,

✨ Do you feel you could use some support with your eating? Book a free mini session and let’s talk about how I can help you.

✨ Find out more about what my clients say about our work together.

“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