EP. 47- WHY you go ‘OFF PLAN’ & WHAT TO DO. The difference between a JOY EAT & Emotional Eating.


EP. 47- WHY you go ‘OFF PLAN’ & WHAT TO DO. The difference between a JOY EAT & Emotional Eating.

Happy Monday! Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for joining me once again. This is going to be an amazing episode.

I want to share with you a personal story because the journey is full of experiences, hiccups, lessons and moments. I don’t want to just share the highlight reel with you. I want to share everything that is real to further equip and empower you in your weight loss journey and ending the struggle in the most permanent, sustainable way.

The story I’m going to tell you today is about a cookie. Personally, I’m all about planning a joy eat, a time to give yourself permission to enjoy eating something guilt-free. No regrets or remorse. But this is a story about something different. It is about a white chocolate macadamia nut Lenny and Larry’s cookie.

This year, one of my personal and business goals is to get on stages as a keynote speaker for conferences and seminars about women and weight loss. I want to speak my message powerfully in service of my mission to equip and empower and million women to completely end their struggle with their weight and finally achieve their dream results and also feel mental peace and freedom from that frustrating and exhausting battle with food and with weight for good. To do that, I hired a coach this year. He’s a powerful speaking coach; his name is Yahya Bakkar. He speaks for a living as a powerful and motivational keynote speaker. We began a year-long mentorship that kicked-off with a two-day World Class Speaker workshop, at a mansion in Beverly Hills joined by three other people. Although all incredibly successful, already having created million-dollar businesses and me, just getting started, we were in an environment where we were all peers.

The training started on Sunday evening until Tuesday night, and I was the first to arrive into this fantastic million-dollar mansion. I noticed myself feeling on edge despite feeling proud to be there. With that anxiety, I started to feel a feeling I haven’t felt in years – the urge to binge. When I began to notice the feeling, I continued to feel on edge. I had already eaten dinner; I was not hungry at all. They had Lenny & Larry’s cookies there – these vegan, protein-filled cookies, despite not being hungry, I grabbed one and started eating it. I remembered this feeling I had back in the day. I used to have this feeling every SINGLE day and every SINGLE day was a binge day.

I ate the whole damn cookie. But note, the cookie is not the bad guy. If I had planned to joy eat, I would have no regrets but I did not prepare for this and being honest with myself, there was something going in. Anytime you eat something you didn’t plan to eat; an emotion is driving it. I was feeling intimidated and inadequate.

I haven’t shared the other parts of my story with you, apart from my weight loss story, which might help make sense of my reaction. My parents immigrated to the United States, and I grew up as the oldest of five. My dad migrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 12! He didn’t have any money or speak the language. He spent the first few weeks in the US homeless and slept on the streets. Growing up, I can look back and remember how at nine years old, my two siblings, my parents and I as well as two other families – my uncle, my aunt and my two cousins as well as my other uncle, my aunt and their son all lived in a one-bedroom apartment. This was my living arrangement. This is how I grew up. These are my roots – hard-working immigrants to this country.

When I look back, I feel nothing but pride. I feel pride that my parents got where they are today from where they came from. My parents put all five of their children through college, and now all of us are professional and successful in all kinds of ways. When I walked into this multi-million dollar home, it was a completely new and different experience for me because of my background. I hired a speaking coach, and I’m being supported to learn this skill with these other multi-millionaires. This is not something I am familiar with at all, so of course, I was feeling uncomfortable. My thoughts and feelings created my behavior. Instead of being proud or excited, my thoughts dwelled on being inadequate.

This is how the cookie came into play. It was so obvious I was emotionally eating. The cookie was a distraction to what was going on for me. I wanted to hide, binge and not feel inadequate in this unfamiliar, uncomfortable situation. But honestly, I am now thankful to feel the urge to binge, to overeat. After I ate the cookie, I knew I had to be honest with myself about why I was eating and why I felt the way I felt. Initially, my feelings were stuck on ‘no I don’t deserve to be here.’ I had a compelling urge to binge, to fall into old behaviors and bulldoze over any emotion that was going on with me. Yes, I did eat the cookie, but I decided to pause in that moment and check in with myself – asking myself what was really going on. I kept mulling over the same thoughts – Am I smart enough to be here? Successful enough? Thin enough? Pretty enough? I know it sounds silly, but can you relate to this? Can you relate to having thoughts that make you feel inadequate? It’s this basic thought of: I’m not good enough. And it’s this thought that drove me to eat and binge so many times.

So yes, I did eat the cookie. Instead of shaming myself and beating myself up more, I didn’t. Learning and growing into new horizons in your life and expanding your results is going to require compassion. This story of Lenny and Larry’s protein cookie that I ate in this million-dollar home on the eve before I began the World Class Speaker Workshop is a perfect example of how the dose of compassion and ability to pause and ask what’s going on is going to serve you so much more than if you beat yourself up. These kinds of thoughts will lead you to continue with the binge.

What I want you to take away from this story is that being utterly open and honest with yourself is essential. I will proudly sit down on the couch and eat a pint of my favorite red velvet Halo Top ice cream without even putting it into a bowl. I will proudly go to Salt & Straw and order two scoops of whatever flavors are the best for the month, eat it and ENJOY IT! Nothing has gone wrong with this plan because it’s always been on my terms. But for the cookie, I did not plan to have the cookie; I was emotionally eating. Thankfully now, instead of going right for the binge, I have the tools to pause. I know that any action I take is being driven by a feeling and any feeling I have is being created by thought. I have to dissect my thoughts and feelings to help myself.

I thought to myself in this mansion: Can I really do this? A keynote speaker? A motivational, inspirational weight loss expert? Can that really be me? Brenda, who struggled with her weight for 20 years and binged nightly? That grew up in a single-bedroom apartment with three families? Can that be me?

After I ate the cookie and I paused to take care of myself emotionally. I answered that question: YES. Yes, I do belong here. Yes, I can be incredibly successful, and I am going to be one fierce keynote speaker. I am going to stand up, and I can stand up on any stage and speak my message unapologetically, powerfully and in service of other women so that they can step into their power in this way. After eating this cookie, yeah, it happened, but I decided to extract something valuable from that experience. I discovered the feeling that was driving it, and the limiting thoughts that were creating that feeling on inadequacy and I decided that this BS happens here, and instead of feeling inadequate, I now have the tools, and I did NOT.

For me, the results I want to create is to become a fierce, powerful world-class speaker. Instead of sabotaging myself, I helped myself. I intentionally shifted into feeling fucking proud and unapologetically confident. What’s impressive is that I moved into this feeling on purpose. You might have some moments where you shift into old habits, behaviors and emotions but it is never too late to choose something new, something that serves you versus what does not. It is never too late to decide how you want to feel versus feelings that are well-rehearsed. It is never too late to start thinking about yourself the way you want to think about yourself. This choice is available to us in every single moment.

For the rest of the weekend, I choose to feel confident and proud. In fact, when my speaking coach asked who wanted to be the first one to go up on stage and speak first? I did. And I stood up there, in my little stiletto boots and my sassy, sexy outfit and did my thing. And I learned so much – it was such an amazing experience to share my message, share my stories and my speaking coach and my colleagues would provide feedback. I was feeling so confident and in a space where I did feel successful, able and worthy, smart enough and good enough because I choose to feel that way for the rest of this event. And this is what I want to choose to feel for the rest of my life. But of course, any time you put yourself out on a limb, if you notice old thoughts and feelings and behaviors coming up, a dose of compassion and curiosity to stop and take care of yourself with go a long way. Instead of sabotaging, you’re going to learn from that experience and become stronger, more self-aware and recognize how you’re going to get the results you want and live the life you want. In the end, I provided valuable feedback and contributed, even coached some of my colleagues and it, was such a rewarding and amazing experience. I’m thankful that cookie. I shared in an earlier episode that emotional eaters are the best people because we feel so strongly. I really learned in retrospect that whenever these urges come up so strongly, it can be such a gift. I think of it as a gift in my life. It helps me acknowledge that something is going on and I should pause to take care of myself.

So this is the story of the Lenny and Larry’s white macadamia nut cookie. I love to share these stories because all success stories involve hiccups, moments of insecurity and “failing.” These moments are part of creating success.

I want to share my favorite quote from Anais Nin, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to your courage.” That Sunday night, after that cookie, instead of hiding and distracting myself, I was going to be courageous. Being courageous and choosing to do so has changed my life. Instead of shrinking, I decided to expand. Expand my experiences, opportunities, and results to new levels. Instead of hiding in the food, I decided to show up to my life. When you do this, your life expands.

My challenge to you: Practice courage every day. For each of you, it’s going to look different, but as you do this work to end your food and weight struggle, your courage is going to look like not emotionally eating, feeling your feelings and acknowledging what is going on. Starting to change the way you see yourself, the way you think about yourself requires courage in those moments. As a result of it, instead of continuing to hide in comfort-seeking behaviours, your life will start to expand, your results will begin to change the weight will come off and in a permanent way because you’re not just losing weight by holding back on eating foods but instead, giving a complete makeover to how you think and feel about yourself. Choosing to feel adequate, happy, proud, courageous.

Every time you see one of those Lenny and Larry’s cookies, remember courage is a muscle. The more you flex your courage muscle, you’re going to become more and more courageous. Every day is an opportunity to build and grow your courage muscle instead of hiding in my old habits. You have this courage. The more you practice courage intentionally every day, the more your results will change but also your complete experience and how you show up in the world will change, and that is priceless.

Thank you so much for joining me here. It is an honor and pleasure to share these personal experiences with you. Sharing these kinds of stories and strategies out there is going to change the world, little by little. One woman at a time and I’m going to keep showing up until we really help each other change this.

Have an amazing week. Practice courage every day. Show up to your life every day with that courage and watch your life, your weight loss results completely change.



For January’s book contest: Thank you to listeners Julianne N and Amy F for sending in a screenshot of their review in iTunes! They’ll be receiving a copy of my book and a note from me. Send me two screenshots: One screenshot of a review you’ve written for the podcast in iTunes (to help more women to find the podcast!) as well as the second screenshot of you sharing the podcast with a woman you love in your life. To enter yourself into February’s contest, send your screenshot to I pick winners at the end of every month! Thank you for helping to change the world and making this a world where women will be free from the struggle and pain of their weight.

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