To start things off, can you tell us about an "Aha" moment that has happened to you with your own health journey?
My “aha” moment came to me when I was sitting at my desk at my previous job - I was on the brink of turning 39, had two young kids, and while I was living a seemingly happy existence, I was unfulfilled. I spent 50+ hours per week away from my kids and husband, at a job that I didn’t like, and was simply going through the motions to get by. I knew I was meant for more and I knew I couldn’t sit at this job for the next 20+ years of my life simply because it was the “responsible” thing to do. I have always been interested in health, nutrition, fitness and wellness, but had only pursued them as hobbies, until a dear friend of mine posted about a Health Coach Training Certification program through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I reached out to her to get more information, and in that conversation I decided it was time to pursue something for myself, to put my needs on my own priority list, and to listen to my desires. Making the decision to sign-up for that certification program was the catalyst of change in my life.
How did that impact you?
That decision catapulted me into a new trajectory of my life, where I was completely clear that this was my calling, and I was passionate about sharing with others. I knew that if I could design a life I love by putting myself on my own radar, then it was my duty to share this and inspire other women to do the same. I began to look at wellbeing from an entirely different lens, where instead of focusing externally - on food and diet, I began to focus inward and learned the importance of heeding to my emotional wellbeing.
What would you say was a silver lining to the experience?
The silver lining was how much better I felt, and how I felt whole. For so long, I felt broken or like there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and saying “yes” to myself and enrolling in IIN changed the entire trajectory of my life. From the first module, it was an epiphany and it became crystal clear this was the path I was meant to be on, and I could help others to experience the same. I felt it down to my core that this is my mission in life, and I want to help others to experience this profound fulfillment, happiness, and ultimately - freedom - freedom to design a life you love.
How does this shape the way you help others in your business?
It’s the crux of everything! If you do not put yourself on your own radar, then your health and wellbeing will suffer greatly. You have to feed and nourish your soul from the inside out.
What is the message you are sharing in the forthcoming book, It's Not About the Food?
My chapter is about Boundaries and Emotional Wellbeing. The message I am sharing is about feeding and nourishing your emotional wellbeing. Eradicate the word “diet” from your vocabulary, and instead focus on redefining what balance, success and being healthy looks like for you dependent upon what stage of life you are in. These definitions are meant to change over time, as you grow and evolve, and when you set and adhere to the boundaries you’ve put in place, then you are creating an avenue to support your ultimate success. Your emotional wellbeing is the primary pillar that holds the key to you thriving in body, mind, and soul, and when you begin to not only become aware of it, but put practices in place to feed and nourish your emotional health, then you are on the path to designing a life you love to live.
OK, now for a few fun questions! Where do you live and what do you do there - for work and for fun?
I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my husband, two children, and two dogs.
What is a surprising food you just love to eat?
Dark chocolate with mint or dark chocolate covered almonds. Okay, anything dark chocolate... except coconut.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I lived in Israel for a year, and volunteered in the Israeli Army. (Although that was 25 years ago!) Also, I do not like cooking, which may come as a surprise, as a Health Coach.
Thank you! Where can people find you to learn more about you?
You can find me over at melissarosenstock.com and over on Instagram @melrosenstock_healthcoach
Get your copy of the free worksheet - with actionable steps from all the authors including Melissa - and a find a link to buy the book by clicking here or clicking the image.
Yup. That's right. I'm talking about Aunt Flo.
Your Body & Your Emotional Eating
Welcome to the first in my body wisdom series!!! It's not yoga. It's definitely not exercise. It's just simple ways to get in touch with your body and treat it better.
What does this have to do with emotional eating? A lot, actually. It's that disconnect between body, heart, and mind that leads to emotional eating. And it's when we try to "fix" our food problems without listening to our bodies that the problems get worse.
So the next time you get your moon, you are menstruating, or Aunt Flo comes to visit... Take a nap. Tell everyone to leave you alone. Even if it's just ten minutes. Just be. Be still. Relax those tense muscles. It makes such a huge difference!!!!
Oh, and drink some extra water!!!! I forgot to say that on the video :)
And of course, after you make it a point to lay around a little during "that time of the month" let me know how it makes you feel!!!
I know I've felt less worn out when I've been able to do little period power naps.
Ok, as you know, my guided journal launched over Thanksgiving and hit #1 in it's ebook category twice over the holiday weekend. I was obviously riding high!
So, it's been a month now and I'm not obsessively checking the page anymore :)
But, because of the past obsessive watching, I went to amazon just to buy something the other day, and it auto-populated the website address to my journal's direct page... and my heart did a jump.
Because I had a one star review :(
So, in all honesty, here is how things went down.
My first reaction: Ego/anger.
"Who wrote this? Do I KNOW this person??" I looked at her amazon page (only three reviews, two x one star, one x five star), no other information. I had no idea who she was.
My second reaction: Stuff down the emotions.
"Okay, Alegra, this is going to happen. You can't only have 5 star reviews. Get over it and just move on." This is tricky because it actually feels helpful. It's true that getting agro and wanting to figure out if I can identify who wrote this is not serving me... but moving on and forgetting about actually isn't serving me either.
My third reaction: Sit with it.
So, I had to sit with it. I had to take it to bed with me and let it percolate. I had to let my ego do its thing, so I could go deeper to the stuff behind the stuff. It didn't exactly keep me up, but it was definitely on my mind as I fell asleep and again when I woke up.
(Feels a little crazy to say that. Feels like I "should" be tougher than that. Feels like I "should not" be so affected. But yet... I am. This is me. I want everyone to think my journal is 5 stars and it upsets me that someone thinks it is 1 star.)
My fourth reaction: Inspired acceptance.
As I lay with these feelings... it did start to seem like less of a threat. I realized, as I wrote and re-wrote a million possible comments to her review on amazon (in my head, of course), that what she said was in some ways irrelevant and in some ways a helpful critique.
She actually didn't realize it was a journal. With blank pages. To be written upon. So she was surprised at the lack of "information." That's useful - I want other people to know what they are buying. And at the same time, she wasn't really reviewing the content; she hadn't done the journal.
So it is what it is.
I came up with a way to acknowledge the fact that I appreciated her pointing out that yes, it is a journal, and yes, it has blank space. And I also asked her to share her new perspective if she chose to answer the prompts.
How this applies to the rest of life...
And guess what... ALL of this process applies to emotional eating, too!
Initial reactions rarely serve. The stuffing it down is usually where we get stuck - literally stuffing the food down in order to stuff the feelings down. The sitting with it is SO SCARY!
And yet, only when we sit and actually feel it (whatever "it" is) can we get to inspired acceptance or action.
That is the EXACT reason why I created a JOURNAL and not a book of information. People have enough information. In fact, we have TOO MUCH information. What we don't have is the time and space to reflect on what the hell is happening in our lives that is making us eat the food we don't want to eat and/or obsess over the one star reviewers in our life.
But the truth is... there is always going to be someone who thinks I'm one star. And there is always going to be BS in our life that makes us want to eat that pint of Ben and Jerry's.
So what we all need is a plan and a path to process the feelings and reactions we have, in order to make sure we are taking inspired action.
You can start by blaming the 1-star factor in your life. Take my quiz to find out who or what it is!
I know a lot of people have been buying my book lately - I have been ranked as a #1 Amazon bestseller!!!
Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say that I did not do a very good job letting people know about the amazing and FREE videos that go hand in hand with the journal!!!
So I'm saying it now...
1. Buy the book!
2. Sign up for the videos!
The truth is... I actually created the book and videos originally to be an online course. But when I went to upload them and start promoting the course... I realized the platform I was trying to use would not accept the videos because they were not high enough resolution!!
But instead of giving up (or worse - re-doing them all), I decided I'd just GIVE them away to support the book!! YEEEESSSSS!!!!!
I'm so excited to have my book be featured in some Holiday Gift Guides this year!!!
Last year I attended the San Diego Mompreneurs Sip & Shop event and had a great time. I bought some fun acupressure crystals to put on acupressure points on my ears. The practice of placing them and massaging them was very grounding, and they looked fabulous, too!!! I also found these cool little boxes with sticky insides for holding itty bitty things - it sounds weird, but I bought one to hold my beads for making jewelry and I gave one to my husband for holding little nuts and bolts and screws and stuff for his garage projects.
I had such a good time, and because my book was just released, I decided to sign up as vendor this year! I was a little worried my books would not come in time because the delivery date was only the day before... but bless the publisher (CreateSpace), they came WAY early and I've had to house that box of books in my living room leading up to the event!!!
So I'll be there with my books in person this year!! TOMORROW December 7, 2017.
I've also been featured in this online gift guide!
I was blown away on Wednesday when my book became a #1 Amazon best seller!!! And I held the #1 spot for a full twenty hours (it's updated hourly)!!!
(I ranked #1 in eating disorders, not a perfect match, but there was no emotional eating category, and #2 in both kindle journal writing and kindle short self help categories!!!)
If that wasn't enough...it went BACK UP to #1 in the kindle eating disorders category and #2 in kindle journal writing and #4 in kindle short self help categories on Saturday!!!
I feel particularly blessed because those high rankings were just for the kindle version, and a lot of people bought the paper version, which is absolutely gorgeous by the way, but is counted separately.
It happened so quickly, and it was such an amazing way to start the Thanksgiving holiday off, and definitely made me feel super duper extra grateful and thankful!
I was especially grateful to everyone for buying, sharing, and replying to me with kind words!!! It wasn't just my ranking that made me feel so great (though it helped!), but the overall positive support I got from all of my friends and supporters!!
And... some of you have asked... YES! I have the next book mostly written, and even a third in the works :)
Wow!!! So close and yet so far!!! I swear, it's been all the stuff AFTER the actual writing that has been a huge leap forth for me professionally!!! Managing the back and forth and small details of the edits, cover, promotion, etc has been so exciting... and also a bit anxiety producing!!!!! I'm super pumped to be this close to seeing the final final final book product!!!
I have to admit... it's been the behind the scenes work of publishing a book that was a million times harder than writing it!!!
I wrote this puppy pretty quickly. It was based on work I had done with my clients, one in particular who was really having amazing release from journaling her thoughts about food. I turned that into a facebook challenge, and from there it was basically packaging it up into a book. (I do realize that is the hard part for some people, for me, this was the cake.)
However... the editing (multiple rounds) was difficult. I found it tedious. And even just the paperwork to get the copyrights and ISBN in order were difficult for me to complete!! They're not even that complicated!!! Haha!
I'm so excited about my book to be released in just a few more weeks (21 days until my 21 day journal is released!). I love that I have been able to transform my work with clients, one in particular where we used a lot of journaling exercises to help her release the guilt that was making losing weight difficult for her, into a beautiful and practical journal that any woman can now use.
So, I'm super grateful for the support of my branding and business coach Sacred Branding and also my book publishing coach Leila Summers - this project would not be coming to fruition with so much grace if it weren't for you both!
Some of you may know this, but I know my business coach was surprised; I have an MFA in Creative Writing (with an emphasis in Poetry!)
When I first graduated I always felt BAD that I wasn't writing more poetry, but I remember reading a book about "being a writer" and it was all about staying true to the passion and it ended up having kind of the opposite effect where I was like "fuck that I'm only writing if there is audience for it!"
Haha, I guess my business mind was coming out before I even knew it :)
None the less, reading that book and my reaction to it was actually really inspiring because it actually freed me from writing what "I thought I should be writing" because of my degree to writing whatever the hell I wanted to!!!
For a long time I only wrote letter to friends!! Long, intimate letter to my lovely long-term (one 10 years and one 15 years) pen pals :)
But it was this freedom that has made the writing part of my business SUCH a joy and pleasure, and it was all the sweeter to complete my book and move towards publication because of this history with writing.
So...What makes my forthcoming book "Emotional Eating Detox A 21-Day Inspirational Journal to Understand Your Cravings, End Over Eating, and Find Freedom From Dieting Forever" different than other health books? It actually has nothing to do with food! You can eat WHATEVER you want!! It's all about the OTHER stuff going on that causes you to eat in a way that is stressful and makes you feel like crap! Check out my book here!
How's that for creative writing?