Spring Is In The Air

Filed Under: Change

1 September 2016 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Spring has officially arrived in the southern Hemisphere, the days are longer, the jasmine is blooming and everything is coming alive.

Many years back, in my dieting days, when spring arrived I would scramble to find my new diet and exercise regime to get my body “right” for summer. The cycle of hating my body thinner would begin. By hating my body enough, I thought I could deprive myself into that ideal “summer bikini body”. There are many ways I did this and maybe you recognise some of them:

  • Looking critically in the mirror or refusing to look in the mirror at all!
  • Judging our bodies openly to others or to ourselves
  • Saying things like: “It’s so hot but my arms are so flabby I can’t wear strappy dresses”
  • Wearing clothes that are tight and uncomfortable
  • Weighing daily and using the number on the scale as a weapon
  • Keeping all clothes that don’t fit in full view as evidence of “weakness” and motivation to “gain control of food”
  • Not buying new clothes until the number on the scale drops

Hating our bodies comes in many forms – judgement, criticism deprivation, denial and restriction – forms that send a strong message of unworthiness to our body, and we often respond by overeating or bingeing to numb the feelings of shame, regret and guilt.

Is this sounding familiar?

This spring, instead of hating your body to change, recreate your relationship with your body. Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth.  Use this season to rid yourself of the old, stale, repetitive behaviour that weighs you down and drains your energy. Take a different approach and reinvent yourself.

Here are some fresh ideas:

  1. Start something new…perhaps something you have always wanted to do but have postponed till the children are older, you move, next year… Plant a garden, grow vegetables, start yoga or meditation, sign up for that pottery class, get out your sewing machine.
  1. Practice gratitude for your body – for all the times your body has supported you, taken you to the top of a flight of stairs, stayed awake so you could drive home safely, healed a cut or a bruise and become stronger.
  1. Let go of things, thoughts and people that drain you and weigh you down.
  1. Slow down and simplify…. slow down your eating, simplify your schedule. Give yourself the gift of time to do what you truly want to do. Take a few moments in your day to have a “mindful moment” or pause, take a deep breath and move on to the next thing.
  1. Take a personal retreat away, or at home. Switch off your phone and all electronics. Give yourself time to reflect on the past year and what you would like to incorporate into your life.
  1. Ask the questions: What do I want to stop doing? What do I want to start doing? What do I want to do less of? What do I want to do more of?
  1. Move your body. Find an activity that is fun – jump on the trampoline, take up belly dancing, salsa or any dancing for that matter!

May this spring be restorative and inspiring!

Be well! Xen.

“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