ipcoachz's Blog

A journey to health, wellness and gratitude

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What’s Missing in Your Life?

I recently shared and read the following article


It really struck a chord with me.  So many of us are walking around not realizing how sick we may really be.  I was one of those people.  I chalked up all my health issues to “getting older”.  Sleep Apnea caused by obesity?  No way, not me.  I snored since I was a kid.  It just got worse as I aged.  Sore hips, knees and joints?  Doesn’t everyone get Arthritis when they age? Debilitating fatigue, well, didn’t all people sleep more as they age and talk about having no energy?  Depression?  Nah, it was because I was stressed and had lots going on.  High Blood Sugar?  Again, it was stress and everyone seemed to get this as they aged. None of these things had anything to do with my obesity.  How wrong I was.  We now know that obesity is the underlying factor in so many different diseases yet when we go to the doctor, we don’t get help for being obese, we get criticized and then we are given medication to take care of our “symptoms” such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis.

I have also come to realize, while coaching people to their weight loss goals, that knowing everything they need to know about their health, their metabolic process and what it takes to take the weight off and keep it off, is not enough.  It is not even enough to have had bariatric surgery, despite claims to the contrary.  It comes down to not being able to fill what is missing in our lives.  When our lives are happy, full and complete, we no longer need to eat to fill a void.  We no longer desire things that make us feel terrible.  We no longer want to eat until we feel painfully “stuffed”. When we love ourselves and enjoy our lives, we take good care of ourselves.  When that void is yawning though, it calls for comfort, and we have used food to comfort ourselves since we have been babes at our mothers breast, so to speak.

So how do we find what’s missing?  What is it that is missing, the presence of which would make a profound difference in the way we interact with food and with ourselves?  In order to get to where we are no longer filling an empty void, we have to discover what lights us up and then go after it like there is nothing else that matters, because nothing else does matter. What we are doing and who we are being around what we are doing, determines what we have.  For example.  If we are dieting, and complaining and moaning about our deprivation, we will have weight loss with set backs and finally, the weight will return.  If we are eating healthy and being excited and loving about embracing a new lifestyle, we will have health and weight maintenance.  However, knowing this makes no difference.  It is still easier said than done.

I was lucky and am discovering what is and was missing in my life.  What was missing for me was self love.  I spent many years feeling lonely and unloved and I filled that emptiness with food.  I was not enough, so I sat alone, watching TV and eating.  I still struggle occasionally with self confidence and worthiness.  That nagging little voice will always be there.  The difference now, is I tell it to shut up and then I walk away from it. In time, it gets quieter and less frequent.  It may always be there but I get to choose whether or not I listen to it and let it run my life.

Some of us need to change our relationship with food in such a way that we cannot do it alone.  We need to get professional help.  This is not failure, this is not weakness.  This is triumph to take whatever steps we need to succeed at what our goals are.  The only failure we have is a failure to take any type of action. If one action doesn’t work, then find another.  The important thing is to keep moving.

The following link has some good information about emotional eating.  The information is good and if it sets you on the path to getting help, then it will be worth the read.


I welcome any comments you may have or message me if I can help in any way,  Sometimes by sharing our journeys, we can support and help each other.  It meant a lot to me to know I was not alone and that my way of coping was something others had done.


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150 lbs Down…Why am I still feeling like a Fat Girl?

Here is me...150 lbs down

Here is me…150 lbs down

I want to share my success. I haven’t posted in a while and it is so exciting to be able to update everyone. I am officially 150 lbs down. It has been quite the experience and sometimes, the mind is still catching up with the body.

The other day I went into a store to buy some more clothing, as everything I own is, of course, too big. I picked out a sweater, (the one you see in the photo posted with this article) and I picked out a large and extra-large. The sales clerk told me “you don’t need a large or extra large dear. Here, try on this medium” I laughed and said okay but it will be too small. Low and behold, I tried it on and couldn’t believe it fit. I kept asking her if she thought it looked “to tight or too small”. When I shop, I still gravitate to the large sizes. I can’t seem to quite wrap my head around medium and small.

In the same way, I was talking to a friend who also lost a large amount of weight (over 100 lbs) and has kept it off for over 3 years. She shared with me that reading my posts had her jealous about my weight loss and thinking she needed to lose more. Then she saw the picture and the jacket I was wearing in the picture. That jacket was given to me by her and it fit her, just was uncomfortable in the shoulders because she works out and has developed good muscle definition. Looking at the photo and her former blazer, reminded her that she was fine the way she was and made her proud of her success.
So why does our mind take so long to get used to the fact that we are no longer “overweight”? I wonder if this is part of what causes us to not stick to maintaining a weight loss because we still see ourselves as “fat” and “less accomplished” than we truly are?

There is an interesting article about “Phantom Weight” and I post the link here


It touches on how weight loss and maintenance is more than just losing the weight.

In order to maintain weight loss, and to be healthy, we need to remember that the second and hardest part of our accomplishment begins when our weight loss ends. Therein lies the real work.  Losing weight is easy in comparison.  Now I don’t say that to discourage anyone, I say that to be realistic. If you think you can lose and then do what you were doing before…just remember the phrase “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always had”.  Going back to being the same person with the same exercise and eating habits is a 100% guarantee that the weight will find you again.  No diet or surgery is definitive as there is no vaccine against weight gain.  No matter how you choose to rid yourself of weight and become healthy, dis-ease and weight will return as soon as you return to the same old habits and lifestyle you had.

It is more than important, it is absolutely essential and vital that to keep weight off we must focus on changing lifestyle, changing our relationship with food, changing the food we put in our bodies, taking on exercise in a way we never did before, and most importantly, retraining our brain to see the slim, healthy, beautiful people we are every time we look in the mirror. We are worth all the effort. We are worth feeling good. We are worth being well and energetic. Does this mean that we can never enjoy some of the treats we did?  No, it just means that we only enjoy once a week in moderation and remember that for our bodies to stay healthy, we must give them the healthy and nutritious fuel they need for cells to regenerate and live.

My new morning mantra….”Good morning Gorgeous. You are awesome and today I love you enough to feed you properly and get you some exercise”.

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Mindful Eating Basics

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about lately?  Mindfulness, you hear about it everywhere. It seems to be the new buzz word.  Yet how many of us can claim to be “mindful” of anything?  We rush around, getting through our daily routines, hurrying through our workdays so we can come home and hurry through supper, to hurry to some activity, to hurry to get to bed, so we can wake up and do it all over again.  In this lifestyle, one of the first things that we lose is mindfulness.  I mean, do we really know what being mindful is?

The dictionary defines Mindful as:

 conscious or aware of something.
  1. “we can be more mindful of the energy we use to heat our homes”
    synonyms: aware, conscious, sensible, alive, alert, acquainted, heedful, wary, chary;More

When we are being mindful in all aspects of our lives, things stop being so stressful. We start to gain focus on the important things and slow down a little bit.

One of the first places we lose  mindfulness is in our eating habits.  How many of you have grabbed a couple of cookies, a handful of cheesies, or driven through the fast food drive thru just to grab food, not being mindful of what it is or what it is doing for our bodies.  All we are trying to do is make the hunger pang disappear so we can continue our busy day with a minimum of interruption.  Well I am going to focus on Mindful eating for this blog.

Using the BASICS of Mindfulness is helpful for both shedding unwanted pounds and keeping them off in the future.  Lynn Rossy, a health Psychologist at the University of Missouri, has come up with these six basics for mindful eating (that form the acronym BASICS)

Breathe (or Belly):


Check for hunger and satiety before you eat. Check to make sure you aren’t hungry for something else, like non-food stimulation. Guiding rule: Eat when you’re hungry; don’t eat when you’re not hungry.


Assess your food:


Notice your food, what it smells and looks like, to be sure it’s what you really need.


Slow down:

This can help you enjoy your food more and notice when you’re full.


Investigate your hunger and satiety throughout the meal:


Since you’ll be distracted during meals, bring your attention back to eating and tasting, being alert to your hunger or satiety throughout the meal.


Chew your food thoroughly:

This helps you slow down and allows better digestion of the food’s nutrients. Chewing thoroughly also helps you to realize when you have eaten enough.


Savour your food:


Honour your taste buds and body. Don’t grab the nearest food at hand. “If you can’t savour it, why eat it?” she writes on her blog.  She is also quoted in the following Globe and Mail report on Eating to combat stress.


It takes time to develop mindfulness.  I would encourage everyone to start with one small thing and keep going.  Start with the BASICS and then see where it takes you.

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Does Love Cause Weight Loss?

We have all been there, that early stage of falling in love. That giddy feeling of contentment. We feel high, unbalanced, happy. The world looks brighter, we smile at everyone. We can’t stop talking about our love interest. We don’t sleep, and surprisingly, we don’t feel like eating either. As songs have said “you swoon you sigh can’t deny it”.

So what’s with the not eating part? I remember years ago before my marriage and divorce, I could guarantee almost a 10 lb weight loss at the beginning of every relationship. I couldn’t explain it, I didn’t diet, but it happened. Having been an emotional eater my whole life, I have now found the explanation for this and it is called oxytocin. It is the feel good love hormone the brain produces when it is in love and happy.

Now for those of you who are like me, “mature men and women” (I prefer that to the “wow Mom you are sooooo old” line that my children say to me) we sit back and think to ourselves…”that is great to know but we are not about to go chasing a new love interest just to reach our diet goals”. We also can’t walk into our neighborhood pharmacy and order oxytocin with a side of giddiness thrown in for good measure and make it to go please.

So what can we do? First off, we can resolve to do something that makes us happy every day.  In short, we can “fall in love” with ourselves.

You can start by getting up in the morning and no matter what you are doing, make an effort to look your best. This doesn’t mean that we need to get all overboard on getting ready in the morning and load up with makeup and hairgel. What it does mean though is that we make an effort to look attractive for ourselves every day. Knowing we look our best helps us to feel good about ourselves.

Set aside a bit of time each day to do something that we enjoy…fall in love with ourselves and explore who we are and what we enjoy. Have you been living your daily routine for so long that you don’t even know what makes you glow anymore? Spend 15 minutes a day discovering what you love and what lights you up. You can do this by meditating, journaling, being creative and brainstorming things that interest you.

Listen to your favorite music on the way to work, school or errands, leave the dreary and depressing news station off. I know that when I rock it driving to work, I arrive pumped, full of energy and surprisingly, giddiness.

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Daily I hear people talk about why they put themselves last, in relationships, at work, with their families…they tell me that they can’t (or won’t) change this. I have heard them tell me it’s selfish to think of themselves. Yet really, if you cannot love and treat yourself with the same desire and respect that would give to someone else, are you really living a full and authentic life? Yes the voice in your head will initially scream at you, but if you tell it to hush, eventually your inner voice will become very quiet and will begin to shut up when you tell it to. We honestly treat ourselves worse than we would treat strangers we meet. We say mean things to ourselves that we would never say to someone else. We place expectations on ourselves that we would never place on another person. So Stop It. Make a plan for what to do, get help if necessary and stop it.

I have been on an incredible personal journey for the last four years. I am unrecognizable from who I was and I still have an exciting road ahead of me. Difference is, I am loving myself. In loving myself, I have attracted love and abundance into my life. I greet each morning with enthusiasm and joy. Of course, there is the matter of a sincere thank you to “D” for helping the process. Finally, I didn’t do it alone. I sought out personal development courses such as Landmark Education, Leadership and coach training, had people coach, guide and mentor me, and most recently am learning and being coached in Emotional Management by the auther of “Put Your Potatoes on Your Desktop”. I have decided to love myself enough to take the steps I need to succeed. I am not special or extraordinary. I am just like you and if I can do this, I know you can. Message me if you want any information. I would love to share my growth with you.

For more ideas and information, see the link below.



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Week 6 So close to completion

It has been another amazing week on this weight loss protocol. I am down 4.4 lbs this week and it is really showing. My new tight clothes are loose and the inches keep rolling off. I am so stoked and excited to keep this up.

I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning, and let me tell you, I used to dread those appointments. I didn’t want to hear about my test results and face more prescriptions. This appointment was totally different and amazing.

First, I have known my physician since I was 16 when we met in an emergency room while he was still doing his residency. That’s when he became my doctor. That means we have spent a lot of years together. He has seen me through my weight losses and gains over and over. He has helped me with my health problems, prescribed medication for anxiety, depression and pain. He has seen my children grow up. He took care of my Dad and was there for our family at the end of Dad’s life. He’s almost like family even though we don’t socialize. I can’t imagine ever seeing another Doctor and dread the day he decides to retire (Dr. B you know you are not allowed to if you read this).

Let’s start with my blood pressure. It was a really healthy 107 over 67. Let’s move on to my blood fats and lipids. My HDL (good) cholesterol has never been better and is in optimal health range. My LDL (bad) cholesterol is so low again in optimal health range. My blood sugars are bang on, exactly where they should be for a normal healthy individual. My liver enzymes show that my fatty liver is now non-existent and from what is there, my liver is functioning well and is healthy, something it has not been for years as I was always in pain and headed down the road of cirrhosis of the liver caused by obesity.

The best part is medication. None. No more. I don’t need painkillers, I do not require antidepressants. I do not require medication for Acid Reflux, I don’t need medication for incontinence (caused by my obesity) and I certainly do not require a CPAP machine. The look on his face was awesome and he congratulated me. The best part, is he is going to be sending me for plastic surgery for my abdomen to help with the residual skin that is remaining as a result of such a large weight loss.

I have shrunk enough to get into size 8 jeans and I never in my wildest dreams or fantasies thought that would ever happen.  I have only a few percentage points left to go to reach a healthy body composition.  I can hardly wait.  The only pitfalls coming up are the ones where the closer I am to my goal, the harder it is to stay on track.

I feel great.  I look good. I fit smaller clothes. I know this is all because of staying the course.  Yet still, I struggle, wanting it to be over already.  Wanting to be able to eat whatever I want…and yet….I must realize I will never again eat whatever I want whenever I want.  In order to stay healthy, keep the weight off, I will need to be vigilant the rest of my life.  It`s a lot like quitting smoking.  I know that if I have one drag on a cigarette, even after 12 years smoke free, it would be too easy to start again. So I don`t ever have that one.  It`s the same with this.  Once I fall off of the healthy eating bandwagon, it`s too easy to just keep eating the wrong way and put on the weight.  The only difference between a food addict and an alcoholic or drug addict is that alcoholics and drug addicts can stay away from the substances that they are addicted to.  I need to eat in order to live. Therefore, the vigilance is always on high alert.  There are never any “out of sight out of mind” days. Does this mean I can never enjoy anything yummy again? Not at all.  It just means being wise about the choices I make, my portions, and enjoying a treat occasionally not always.

The way to stay the course on healthy eating is to make sure that what is prepared and what we eat is yummy and satisfies the need for taste, texture and volume, without lots of added fat and calories.  It is also important to know what to eat together and not eat together.  I have learned that I can have fat and protein together, or protein and carbohydrate together, but not fat and carbohydrate.  This is because of the way insulin acts within the body and how fat is stored.

The other challenge that I run into is weekends.  You know those days when the schedule is completely off and the socializing and catching up on household tasks takes place.  It’s easy to eat during a workday.  The schedule is laid out, you eat when it’s scheduled, you plan and no problem.  Then the weekend comes.  Sitting in a pub with friends, or browsing through the house looking for food after I have slept in, that’s when staying the course is tough.  To help myself,  make sure that there are no temptations in the house for me to dig into.  I ask for my family’s support and for the most part they are great (except when they leave 1 piece of leftover pizza on the counter and I come home famished…..thank you very much).

So, to stay on track not just on the diet but for a lifetime, I have posted and remind myself daily of these rules…

1.   If it’s not good for you don’t store it in the pantry

2.  Never combine my fats and carbs

3.  When tired, brush my teeth and go to sleep

4.  make a food plan for the weekend and stick to it.

5.  acknowledge the achievement I have made in ridding myself of 140 lbs and never go looking for it.

I have a link for more tips to help keep the weight off. We can never have too many tools to staying healthy.


Until next time…

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Week 5 is Fantastic

I am so excited as I dropped another 3 lbs. Once you get over the sugar cravings, it just gets easier and easier for me to stick with the program, so to speak. I am now a total of 23 lbs down and, if you look at where I originally started on this journey, I am now 140 lbs down and still counting. The really exciting part is that it truly has been easier than I ever anticipated.

That being said, there are many things that impact our journey and for me right now, I need to make sure that I am eating enough. Being in Ketosis for me makes it too easy not to feel hungry because I have so much energy and feel awesome. This means that in order to take care of myself, I need to set reminders for my meals and snacks. Never really thought I’d see the day when I would not be interested in eating.  Now, I am still human and boy do the wings call out to me in a pub.  But I have such a short time left on this journey that I don’t want to mess it up. Like I tell others, it is short-term pain for long-term gain.  It also is important to know that even though we who have struggled our whole lives have heard this, I have really gotten to the point where nothing tastes as good as I feel and if there is too much sugar in it, I will feel horrible after eating it.

One of the other things that I have learned on this journey is that we need to be sure to not let the people around us sabotage our efforts.  I have gotten a lot of amazing support from my close friends and family and I love and thank each and every one of them for contributing to my success and being my “cheering” squad. What has been a surprise however, has been the comments by other people who are not that close to me.  Things like “haven’t you finished losing yet?  You are wasting away!”  “You need to stop losing weight or you are going to make yourself sick.” “You know, people like a woman with a little meat on her bones, you won’t meet anyone if you get too thin”.  “Oh, Honey, you look so tired and drawn out.  Really you need to stop this and start eating”.

I have to admit, these comments at first bothered me.  They bothered me a lot.  Then I started looking at where they were coming from.  My close friends were supportive.  My family was happy.  Yet this tiny group of people…with their comments and their ‘knowledge’ of how what I was doing was going to make me permanently sick.  You have all heard the “I know a friend who….” stories about something terrible. Some of these same people, surprisingly, are people who were telling me years ago that I needed to lose weight when I was 30 lbs lighter than I am now. Go figure.

These people are diet saboteurs and they are usually telling you these things not because they truly care about your health, but because they are uncomfortable with the fact that you are doing something that they desire, yet do not yet have the commitment to achieve. Below are some tips for eliciting support.


Right now, I have another few percentage points in body fat to remove before I hit the “optimum healthy zone”. That’s what matters to me.  I don’t care about the number on the scale as it is not a reflection of my body composition.  I am already thrilled with my clothing size so that doesn’t make me excited anymore.  Right now, my goal is to reach that optimum state of a healthy body fat percentage and lean mass.  Once that is achieved, I am complete.

Losing body fat is not like losing weight.  This is because it is like a mortgage.  When you first start making mortgage payments, it looks like you are having zero impact on your actual mortgage balance it goes down so slowly.  As you continue to make the payments, eventually, more and more of the principle is taken away.  Body fat is just like that.  The closer I get to what I want, the faster the percentage disappears.

I am almost there.  I am hoping that I am only 1 month away from transitioning off.  When I am done, I will have lost 150 lbs which will equal almost half my starting body weight.  I am healthy, my test results show it. I will also, as a coach, never let a dieter lose too much weight.  I know the science and I can make decisions that are in the best interests of my health.  If you are upset about what I am doing, why don’t you join me and see if you can achieve what you desire instead of knocking someone else down.  Live and Let Live and be happy.



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Week 4 and I am down 20!

It’s amazing even for me that I am now down 20 lbs in 4 weeks.  I love how my body responds when I take care of it and let it heal itself.  As soon as I lose approximately 15 more lbs, I will consider phasing off, and if the pace keeps up, I will hopefully get there around New Year’s.  Measurements are another thing.  Just from a measurement perspective, I am down a total of 6.5 inches and it’s awesome.  How awesome does that make someone feel.  That being said, what is most important is my BMI or Body Composition.  I have dropped a whole percentage in body fat, which is fantastic considering that in the beginning, losing body fat seems to be a very slow process. I like to compare it to paying a mortgage. In the beginning it looks like you are not even touching the principle, and as you keep paying down, the principle starts to shrink faster and faster.  That is what losing body fat is like when compared to overall pounds lost. Many people get discouraged but this is one of the reasons I encourage people to stick to it.  The results to come. I know that I want to lose an additional 7 percent of my body fat in order to consider myself in an ideal, healthy zone and it’s getting closer and closer.

I am going to see my doctor for a full physical the first week in December.  It will be the first time I have seen him in over a year.  Back then he was major impressed and I wasn’t even this small.  I am excited about going to see him and seeing his reaction. What is so exciting for me is that I actually needed to use a belt on the weekend to keep my “skinny” jeans from falling off.  Someone commented recently and asked me why I wear dresses to work regularly.  Truth be told, they don’t “fall” down and it’s a lot easier for me to wear dresses than pants these days.  In fact, I grabbed a pair this morning along with my skirt to change into as I needed them and they were constantly coming down.  I almost lost them when I got out of my car.  Time to go shopping….but I don’t want to just yet because I know that I will need an even smaller size for after Christmas.  I will get by until then and Santa baby, if you are listening, some moola to go shopping with would be appreciated under the tree cause I am sure being a good girl.  Am I complaining or bragging…BOTH! I want everyone to experience the delight of this type of health transformation.  I have to say that I feel fabulous and for everyone who struggles with weight related illness, let me tell you that even a small amount like 20 lbs can make a huge difference in your health with reduced blood pressure and easing stress on your joints. In fact a minor 1 lb of weight loss can take 4 lbs of stress off your knees alone


That is more than enough for me.  There was a point in time where my knees hurt so bad that I had difficulty functioning without taking painkillers.  Fortunately, I didn’t do permanent damage and my knees feel awesome now.

If you are struggling and feel like you have tried everything but nothing has worked and nothing will work, please don’t give up.  Find Ideal Protein in your area.  They saved my life and the lives of thousands of other people.  They can help you. I promise as I am living proof of this.