Friday, September 25, 2015

Mindful Eating - Collin McShirley

Happy Friday, friends! Today, I am so excited to feature someone I recently met whose heart and passion align perfectly with my own. Those that know me well, or have been here for a while, know that me and food used to have quiiiite an unhealthy relationship. For almost a decade of my life, I struggled with emotional / comfort eating and extreme food-related guilt and shame. It was a cycle that viscously fed itself, and at many times resulted in a full-fledged eating disorder.  

As the years went on, I began to realize that I was not alone. I began to see what an issue this was, and found so many women who also shared my struggles with food and body image. Some women shared my struggle with emotional eating, some with food guilt, some battled an eating disorder of their own, and many shared the common thread of body-image related insecurity.

This is why I began my journey in health & fitness coaching. After tackling this issue in my own life and tasting freedom for myself, I now crave that freedom for others. I want other women to feel the same level of confidence before and after a meal. I want other women to know that their worth is not in a number on the scale, or a size written on a tag in their jeans. I want other women to be able to enjoy food without feeling guilt or shame afterwards. 

So when I met Collin McShirley, and heard about her passion and her work in precisely this area, I got excited! Collin is a Santa Barbara local, and is passionate about changing the way women and men look at their bodies, their self esteem, and their relationship with food. I am so thrilled to feature her here today, and share some of her wisdom regarding mindful eating. 

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Two first steps on the path of Mindful Eating:
1- Pay Attention:
Mindful eating is learning to eat in the present moment. Become a connoisseur of every meal you have the privilege of being able to appreciate, no matter how inconsequential or routine it may be in your day to day process. Relearn how to appreciate the subtle tastes and textures of your food, even if its something you may have eaten before, try to experience this particular meal as if its the first time again. Also, adding new flavors and experimenting with your meals in small ways can help add to this rebirth of your culinary experience.
2- Ask Questions:
Why do I feel like eating – Are there any emotions triggering the eating?
What am I eating – Is it healthy for me to consume or is it junk food?
Notice the sensation of the food you’re eating – What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? And, of course, taste like?
Be present both during, and after – How does it make you feel as you’re tasting it? As you digest it? Important: How do you feel after eating it?
Over or Under eating – Notice if you’re feeling too full or ‘stuffed’? Or is your stomach still empty after eating?
Emotional response – Do you feel a sense of guilt and shame? Do you experience regret or self-criticism?
Collin Christine McShirley grew up in Santa Barbara, and received her masters in clinical psychology. She also is certified in body image, emotional eating and self-esteem. Collin now works as a coach helping men and women change their lives and become happy and healthy. Her coaching sessions are available in person in Santa Barbara, CA in a private office, or on phone and skype for those who live outside the area. In your work with Collin you will be supported, empowered, and given strategic methods to help make positive changes in your life. One example of the strategies you will learn is the concept of mindful eating. Above is an example of some of the tips you'd pick up.


If you're interested in learning more about Collin and her services visit her website at collinmcshirley.com she has offered to do a free 20 minute discovery session for Sweet Home Santa Barbara Viewers. Call her today and give promo code "SweetHome SB" to receive this limited offer. 

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