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emotional eating

The Other Side Of Weight Loss {before + after}

Lets talk about my weight . . . again.

It’s safe to say that my number one demon has always been myself.  In fact, I think that my biggest problem in life was/is feeling like I am “good enough” or deserving of things directly relating to the way I look or how much I weigh.

Through the years (and this blog) I have battled this every which way I can think of. I was a personal trainer who trained for figure competitions (and never did one because I binged too much).  I worked for supplement companies, became an intuitive eating coach and lastly a natural foods chef.  My life revolves around food and health because it is my true passion.  Its what I like to talk about, write about and its what I like to BE.

So you could imagine how frustrating it is/was to be a 5’5 girl with a small waist, broad hips, legs and shoulders and weigh anywhere from 145 lbs – 179 lbs. Since I have documented most of the feelings on the spectrum, I would like to explain where I am right now.



The picture on the left was me last year a few weeks POST purification cleanse. Back then I was confused, anxiety ridden and un-equipped with tools to keep me healthy (ie- no kitchen). This is how I spent a lot of my thoughts and time in hawaii.  Sure I had amazing moments and triumphs and times where I was putting my health first, but nevertheless I was literally building a life from scratch on an island and using food as my crutch.  This crutch brought me to my highest weight and poorest health ever (179).

Last year, after my visit home in January I came back to the island with no job or potential private chef clients.  As I explained in this post, the strange thing was that I felt excited instead of fearful. It was really a challenge to get the ball rolling again, but once it did I found myself on the path to being the happiest I have ever been.  I have a dream job/opportunity, I live in a beautiful apartment and I re-connected with the love of my life. Although there are many challenges that go along with all of these things, an interesting thing just kind of happened.

My life gained positive momentum.

I lost weight.

The picture on the right is me at about 158 lbs. Yes I am cleansing and taking care of myself better, but I think the most valuable part of this loss is that its staying this way without much effort.  I’ve released the struggle mentally and my body has responded physically. I know this isnt a big transformation or anything, but the meaning behind it is very significant.

I honestly cant say that I have been doing too much  to make this happen. I mean sure, I cook more at home and the food I make for Blue Tree Café is mostly vegan and I have been drinking more green juice but I mean I STILL don’t exercise (working on that) and for the most part, I eat things that are unhealthy from time to time but not SO much of them.

It’s kind of a double edge sword for me because I go into this whole 10 years of training about healthy food and how to balance yourself and eat correctly and detox and blahblahblah and I know that is a HUGE part of it, but all along was being happy really the key?

I can tell you eating tips, recipes and cleansing remedies until the cows come home but if half the battle is our minds then this is the best emotional weight loss advice I can give based on my recent experience.


Keep Your Humble Bone In Tact

When going through a tough time in your life where you find yourself with little direction, its important for you to be OK with starting from the bottom over and over.  I cannot tell you how many jobs I have taken below my skill level just to get by.  I learned so much from these experiences that I now use in my future. This goes the same for picking yourself back up to get on the health wagon. The first step is so much more difficult than any other. Rock bottom is just another opportunity to have ALL the opportunities. You figure out a little bit more about what works and what doesn’t every time.


Check Yourself.

Sometimes we get so caught up with the mess we’re in that we forget why we do things in the first place.  Every once in a while  you must ask  yourself a few important questions and be honest with yourself in answering them. . .

What do you want?  I mean REALLY want?

What are the things in life that light you up and what can you do to follow that feeling no matter how small?

Are you where you want to be in your life?  If not what can you do to take that first step?


Sorry Is Not Welcome Here

I remember having a lot of pity parties for myself, big and small.  The reality is that nobody can save you from yourself.  You must take responsibility for actions and really trust in what you believe you can do.  Feeling sorry for yourself (and bringing others down with you) will only attract more shitty situations for you to deal with.


Keep Your Creative Spirit Active

I’m learning that my biggest strength in my life is my creativity and the way I think about things.  I am also learning that this gift is not just used for my food creations.  It’s the way I sing, write, organize, design, give advice, solve problems etc. I know how important edge and creativity are in life and I know for a fact that when you leave this part of yourself on the back burner, you tend to drown in the mundane vortex of life. Paint something, cook something, write something, build something, sing, draw read . . . do something that forces you to step out of your brain comfort zone.  Its where the best ideas come from and its where happiness breeds.


You know, a lot of people say I am lucky for all I have.  And I agree with them. However they believe I am lucky because they think I fell into hawaii, a growing career and true love etc. I believe that luck is a combination of hard (really hard) work and leaps of blind faith meeting opportunity.  You can go years and years before the three meet, but once it does it leaves you open to everything you’ve ever wanted naturally.

So . . . 

Do you have to be happy to lose weight? 

Do you have to accept yourself before its possible?


Partly. Just like the left and right brain, I believe there is a logical side and a spiritual side to weight loss.  The logical side can be manipulated by diet, exercise, health remedies etc.  This part of things is like solving an equation, its actually the EASY part. The spiritual side of weight loss is much harder as you are trying to solve the ever changing equation of your own self.  You try different things, think different thoughts, release what doesn’t work and keep what does until you find the right answer.


Here are some other weight related posts from the Balancing Val Chronicles . . .




A Simple Kind Of Life

Yesterday was another very RARE day.  I was scheduled off from work and the roads were still on the dangerous side due to the blizzard, so I didn’t leave the house for the 2nd day in a row.

In the morning I made breakfast real quick for Chris and I.


Before he left, I got really emotional . . . I even started crying a bit.  Partly because he was probably going to have to stay over night and I was scared for him driving.  And partly because I was going to be alone and by myself all day.

Being alone and not being able to leave the house made me feel really uncomfortable . . . this is a feeling that I runaway from often by distracting myself with other things . . . Its happened before.

I thought about going to the bank, or going to my parents for the day . . . but then it hit me that this is EXACTLY what I have been wanting!  I complain about NOT having time for myself to get things done and now I have an open opportunity without any commitments and I immediately want to squash it?

I don’t think so . . .


I decided to make a list of everything that I have been dying to do but haven’t had the time or energy.IMG_7296

I called it A Simple Kind Of Life because it’s a No Doubt song, and also because this personified the feeling I want when I walk into my home.  I want to have just what I need and nothing extra.  I want things to be clean and I want things to be organized.

I want to start out 2011 on an extra clean slate.


So I started out in my bedroom where clutter has been building for a while.  I went through little papers and random things and threw out what I wasn’t using.  I also went through my closet and drawers and came up with a bag of stuff to donate.


I then made my way into the bathroom where I did a quick clean of the sink, toilet and mirror. Its not my usual deep clean, but it worked for now.

I took a break for lunch and made a salad out of the few fresh ingredients we had left in the house.



  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Baked Tofu (I really am starting to dislike tofu – not going to buy it again)
  • Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar


I then started purging old items from the refrigerator and pantry that were expiring or never going to get used.  I HATE throwing away foodSteaming mad  I really have to be more conscious of what I buy at the grocery store.

I sat down on the couch a bit to watch Bethenny Getting Married?  Did you know Bethenny is a graduate of my culinary school?

I started craving something sweet like crazy.  I am really trying to focus on eating intuitively again so I wanted to make sure I didn’t deny myself what I really wanted.  This turned into a cup of hot chocolate . . .


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Agave drizzle

AND a bowl of Berry Cap’n Crunch



I will not feel guilty. I will not feel guilty. I will not feel guilty.

After my small sugar crash I started slowly tying up some odds and ends.  I ended up with 4 packed bag of garbage!!

For the rest of the night I sat on the couch and read a real live book!


I love reading books by Geneen Roth.  I always feel a sense of calm and a sense of motivation after reading so many good lessons and this book had many of them!

Contrary to how I felt in the morning, I am so glad I stuck it out and hung out with myself. I feel more simple and I got a lot accomplished which will help me stay organized and happy . . . at least for a few days Nyah-Nyah

Have you ever felt uncomfortable being alone?  What do you do when you finally have time for yourself?

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