This Is My HOBBY. Is It YOURS, too?

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know I’ve been on a wellness journey for over 18 years and that when I got sober, I swapped my addiction from alcohol to sugar. I started using sugar in exactly the same way I’d used wine; to soothe, to numb; to check out.

I was in such shame about my DUI (you can read about my rock bottom moment here), that I’d been telling people I got sober because I was “into” health and fitness. But I knew I couldn’t keep telling people I was healthy and not actually DO the things that healthy people do!

So, I started eating more mindfully.

And working out.

And reading voraciously about food, nutrition and sugar.

And I became passionate about understanding addiction transfer and how I could better manage my unrelenting sugar cravings.

I needed to understand more about the brain, neurotransmitters, habits, trauma, and I began working with therapists, healers and coaches who helped me make these connections.

I used various somatic therapies like yoga, massage, reiki, myofascial release, EFT, cranio-sacral therapy, Network Spinal Analysis and workshop after workshop where I went deep to uncover more of the emotional reasons I used alcohol–and then sugar–to cope.

I healed relationships I never thought could be healed; especially the one with my own inner child, which I hadn’t even known was a “thing”. I learned about epigenetics, childhood emotional neglect, and counter-dependence as a strategy for going through life never really being seen or known—especially to myself.

I launched this blog, wrote The 28 Day Kick The Sugar Challenge, and have been interviewed on several podcasts by those in recovery looking to unhook themselves from the pull of sugar. I became a certified health coach to ensure I was sharing the most accurate information in a safe and effective way to help people truly change their relationship with food and their body, and along the way, I learned the most invaluable lesson of all; that my health is my wealth, and I’ve made health my hobby because I’ve internalized this belief. I’ve truly, deeply come to realize that without a healthy body and mind, I don’t get to live the life of my choosing; a life where my body doesn’t hold me back from doing all the things I want to do.

I realized that if my health fails, my entire life fails. 

You hear me say it a lot because it’s true… We get ONE.

One life.

One body.

We don’t get another shot at this life, and regardless of how we feel about our body right now, we don’t get to trade it in for a new one.

We get ONE!

Just THIS one.

Learning to make peace with food, sugar and my body has made every difference in my life and the lives of those I teach. Cultivating a relationship of love and trust with myself has been the greatest work of my life, and I can’t wait to uncover more as I continue on this path.

Not long ago, Roger said to me, “So, you know how much I love cars and learning about them, right? That’s my hobby. What’s yours?” I sat and blinked a few times. I started thinking about the things I naturally love to research and learn about; things I like to do in my spare time. I thought about my passion for nutrition and cooking and making healthy recipes. I thought about my desire to understand the body–all of its organs and their functions, how to optimize them and how they work synergistically to keep me healthy. I thought about my love of being active, doing cartwheels on our front lawn, swimming and snorkeling in the ocean, skiing down big mountains, and hiking and biking daily. I thought about my love of nature and being immersed in it, seeing the flowers and trees, hearing the birds, watching the waves and enjoying bonfires on the beach. I thought about my daily meditation practice and how I designed an entire room in our home to be our “Zen Den”.

I said, “I think health is my hobby!”

And while his knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Yeah, but that’s your work“, we continued our conversation on the topic. Yes, my work of coaching people to better health is tied to my hobby, but being healthy in my life allows me to do all the things I want to do while feeling the way I want to feel!

Looking back over 18+ years of learning and unlearning, I see that my health journey has layered beautifully upon itself. I started where I started and I am where I am. And I can't wait to see how far I go! Because while I feel, in many ways, like I've only just begun, I can look back and see what's combined to help me cultivate a deep relationship of love and reverence for my one body (and brain!). And now, it is my honour and my passion to share what I've learned with others and I would do this work even if I didn't get paid (although I'm glad I do!) because I believe it is our birthright to enjoy good health. Yes, that will look different for each of us, but we can all learn the ways to optimize these human animals, and it's fascinating to find out how.

If this resonates with you, I encourage you to consider making health YOUR hobby! I believe it will change your whole life the way it's changed mine. And if you've been reluctant to start or felt overwhelmed with all of the (mis)information out there, remember, you can start with whatever you have and wherever you are.

Perhaps you'll start with learning more about the way your body functions. I highly recommend Cameron Diaz's "The Body Book" if you're interested in the female approach and Dr. Oz & Dr. Roizen's "You: The Owner's Manual"--any edition-- if you're a guy.

Or maybe you'd like to learn about food's role in both your quality and quantity of life. I loved the documentary Food Inc. to understand factory farming and any books by Michael Pollan, especially In Defense Of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He also has a great Netflix special called Cooked.

You might want to focus on superfoods and how to add them to your diet. My top favourite superfoods are wild Pacific salmon (never farmed), blueberries and dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher, preferably organic).

Maybe you want to see a Naturopathic Doctor and get your hormones and bloodwork tested. You'll want to ask around to several friends whose opinion you trust and/or check the reviews online. A great ND is an incredible resource who is skilled at getting to root causes, not prescribing medications. While meds certainly have their place, supplementing our diet and making some positive lifestyle changes can often turn our health around. I highly, highly recommend!

Maybe you'll start with trying new foods and get the whole family involved! It's fun to head to the grocery store as a group and the kids can choose a new fruit or vegetable they've never tried. You can research how to prepare it as a family and cook a recipe together.

Perhaps you'll consider starting a vegetable or herb garden and learn about organic farming. Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet by Maria Rodale is the most compelling work I've read on the topic, but there's also loads online to research.

Maybe you'll want to dig into all the ways refined sugar and junk food ages us and harms our health. Or what it means to be prediabetic (people who are overweight and obese are prediabetic). The documentary The Secrets Of Sugar is short and sweet (pardon the pun) and my favourite book on the subject is Michael Moss's Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the food giants hooked us.

Maybe you'll try new ways to be active, like dancing (I got into NIA last year and LOVE it!), swimming, gardening, Nordic walking, snowshoeing, skiing, biking or hiking.

I highly recommend investing in a new pair of running shoes so your feet will actually want to get out and walk (or run)! Even though I wasn't a "runner" getting into running shoes changed my life! Who knew?! My fav brand is New Balance, but try them all and see which ones are best for you. I recommend going to a reputable store where they can analyze your gait and fit you properly.

I also suggest getting yourself some activewear that makes you feel so great that workouts become something you look forward to rather than dread.

And this may be a big step, but maybe you'll consider buying a dog if you're up for the responsibility and want a buddy that will keep you moving (dogs--like humans--need daily activity). You'll have to be suuuuper committed to this one!

Perhaps you want to do breathwork classes or learn to meditate using apps like Insight Timer and Buddhify.

Maybe you'll commit to drinking more water. I love the WaterMinder app on iPhone and Android.

Maybe you'll consider a yoga or Pilates class for a great way to stretch. 

You get the point.

Health is cumulative. It ALL counts.

It ALL adds up.

Here's the bottom line and what I've learned in my almost 20 year journey; we don't change our lives overnight. But we CAN change, despite what our brains (or our friends!) might tell us. Step by step, day by day, decision by decision, bite by bite, we can turn our health around.

I see it happen every single day.

My father taught me to be an enthusiast and nothing (and I mean nothing!) brings me more joy than seeing people learn to trust themselves; doing the things they didn't believe they could do, and improving their health in all the ways.

If you want a coach to guide you, motivate you and keep you accountable, I'm right here, where I'll always be.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. One way to start making health YOUR hobby is to surround yourself with others on the path! You’re invited to join my FREE Facebook group called One Bite At A Time, where we share tips, resources and inspiration within a community of others seeking greater health+energy. We're over 500 strong and we'd love you to join us!

P.P.S.  And here's the link to my OBAAT group coaching program, all done online. If you’ve been curious about the program and want to learn the BEST of what I've used in my own life to live with more food- and body-freedom, then I invite you to schedule a call to chat and you can visit OBAATCoaching.com to view the curriculum and read testimonials. Registration for the next round opens soon, so join the Wait List by heading over to OBAATCoaching.com and entering your name and email. This way, you won't miss anything!

P.P.P.S. Join ONCE, stay FOREVVVER! That’s right! Once you join OBAAT ONE time, you get lifetime access to ALL future rounds of coaching. FOR FREE. Some of my students have been with me since the very first round as a way to go deeper, learn more, connect with others and continue to stay on the path. I love that. 🙂

P.P.P.P.S. Here are a bunch of the Frequently Asked Questions I get about my program. Let me know if you have any others by emailing me at Sarah@SarahTalksFood.com.

FAQs

Do you only coach women? Nope! I coach people with a human body and my programs are applicable to everyone. We are an inclusive group and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our spaces.

Do you only coach people in recovery or those who are overweight? No. I coach all people who are seeking a healthier lifestyle and who want to live with more freedom around food, sugar, weight and their body. Often, people who do my program have either quit drinking or want to quit drinking/cut down and/or lose weight, and I work with anyone who is contemplating making a health change, no matter how that looks for them. 

Is your program offered in person or online? Online. You can live anywhere and access it!

What is your program about? My program is essentially MY personal recovery program; the one I patchworked together for myself 18+ years ago and all the way up to today! I share the best of what I've learned from the many teachers, coaches, experts and healers who have lit my path as well as the countless books I've read, documentaries I've watched, and research I've conducted (both primary and secondary) that's all complimented my education to become a health coach.

I believe in a holistic approach, so we don't isolate the physical from the mental and emotional; we work through exercises designed to help us integrate all aspects of ourselves and to heal in a way that allows us to move out of our past & future, and into the present; the only thing we ever have. You can see the entire curriculum at OBAATCoaching.com by clicking "Learn More" and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at Sarah@SarahTalksFood.com.

Who are you and what do you teach? I'm Sarah! And I'm a woman in long-term recovery from alcohol addiction. I went from being a pack-a-day smoker, nightly drinker, and late-night junk food eater to a woman who cares for--and about--herself in ways I truly never thought possible. I became a health coach to share my best practices--everything that worked really well for me in my life around mindset, fitness and food after I got sober 18+ years ago. Along with teaching my students the basics of nutrition, how to navigate the world of sugar, meal-planning 101, and cooking easy recipes together, we learn how to soothe our emotions without food and we go below the surface to understand ourselves and our behaviors better. We learn healthier ways to communicate, we learn to be more purposeful with our time, we learn to let things go, and we learn how to never, ever, ever go "on" or "off" a diet again. Ever. (Hint: because they work in the exact opposite way than we think they do!)

I've tried everything to lose weight. How is your program different? The biggest difference with my program is that it's got nothing to do with dieting, restricting or sacrificing. It's all about learning to cultivate a relationship with our bodies. I've cultivated a relationship of deep love and trust with my body and I teach others how to do the same with theirs. Caring for and nurturing our incredible, resilient, forgiving, capable, powerful bodies (and BRAINS!) is the most loving thing we can do.

While it's not really about the food, but rather our mindset and behaviors around food, we certainly talk food all the way along because we still need to make sure we fully understand food and the way it works in the body (and brain!). Doing so makes creating a healthy lifestyle so much easier! It allows us to start wherever we are and know that every single decision we make to nourish and nurture our bodies, counts. The opposite is also true. In my program, we work to arrive at a place where we feel a sense of love and reverence for our body.

How long does your program run and does it run year round? OBAAT runs for 12 weeks and is held 4 times a year, seasonally. The next (Fall) session starts on Tuesday September 8th and ends on Sunday, November 29th, 2020. Once you enroll ONE time, you get unlimited FREE access to ALL future group rounds of OBAAT that I run. Some of my students have been with me since the very beginning as a way for them to stay inspired, motivated, accountable as well as being able to dig deeper into the emotional work of the program.

How much does your program cost? My program costs $497 USD which works out to about $6 per day over 12 weeks. Remember, you get FREE access if you choose to go through any future rounds of OBAAT, so that price could end up being much, much lower. 🙂

What does the program entail/What comes with it? The program consists of 12 weekly lessons, or "trainings" delivered via video inside your Private Member Portal. Each training is between 30 minutes and an hour in length. Each week, you'll be assigned homework and mid-week, you'll have a live coaching call with me, via Zoom; You'll receive a digital copy of my Recipe Guide; a private Facebook group for your group alone--a great place to find community and accountability partners; a digital copy of my book upon completion; and access to me inside the private Facebook group, or via email or text, if needed between weekly live calls.

How much time each week should I set aside for this program? Plan for 30-60 mins to watch the training. As for the assignments, you'll find they vary widely from person to person and based on how deep you want to go/how much time you want to spend cooking, etc. So, it's completely up to each student how much time they spend.

When are the weekly trainings available?The first one in the September 2020 round goes up on September 8th. After that, tranings become available every Monday at 5 am ET. They are located inside your private member portal.

When are the live calls? For the September 2020 group, they run on Wednesday nights at 7 pm ET.

How do I access the live calls? We use Zoom. There will be a link that we'll use every week that I will email you and also share in our private Facebook group.

What if I can't make it to a Wednesday class? You are encouraged to block it off in your schedule as it's your opportunity to ask questions and receive coaching, but if you can't make it to a live class, not to worry! You can always catch the replay (and ask me questions ahead of time in the Facebook group, if you like).

Does everyone see and hear me on their computers? Only if you want us to. You can turn your camera and your microphone off, if you like, but you're welcome to share and we create safe spaces.

Do you offer refunds? After 12 weeks, if you have completed the assignments and done the work and you truly feel you haven't benefited from OBAAT, then by all means, I will refund your money.*

Do you only coach people of a certain age? No. I coach adults from age 18 to 118 (no offence to 119 year olds) 😉

*I ask to see proof of assignment completion before issuing a refund.

 

 

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