healthy

Are Your Goals Too Big?

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A big pattern in my life is whenever I find myself starting again. As per usual, I’d lost motivation, fallen off track, and ended up heavier and sicker than I was before I started. It was a miserable feeling, but I wasn’t ever ready to fully give up.

Whenever that happened, I’d sit down to do the only thing I’d ever known to do - plan a way out.

My goal was always clear since I was a kid - I needed to lose weight. A LOT of weight…. at one point it was about 180 lbs worth. More importantly, I needed to do it quickly before my illness completely took over.

Now tell me that’s not a lot of pressure!

I drew up a plan, but it made me feel queasy. I’d never been able to keep to one before and the worse I felt physically, the harder I knew this would be.

Then again, no one has ever said it’d be easy.

So I’d set out, bursting with motivation and drive, and I’d totally crush it… for a few months. As soon as something stressful happened or a relapse hit, I’d completely falter and allow my success to crumble. I’d allow my old habits to come back.

I was frustrated, sure, but once I became aware of the pattern, it made me realize something huge…. this goal of mine, while very real and necessary, felt far too big for me to focus on. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to lose that much weight and even if I could, the vision felt soooooo far away. I used to give myself SUCH a hard time about not being strong enough to just finally freaking do it already, but it turns out, my failures weren’t about my abilities at all.

In fact, it was my expectations that were getting in the way. It was my focus on this gigantic end goal that I wasn’t really sure I could reach.

Should You Have Goals?

Now, I’m not going to tell you NOT to have goals. In fact, I highly think you should not only set goals, but I think you should spend time figuring out why you want it.

What will hitting that goal give you? Maybe you want to lose weight to attract a partner so you can fall in love or you want to eat well to manage your cholesterol so you can be healthy to play with your kids when they’re older.

Once you know the real reason behind the goal, then you can start to create real ACTIONABLE goals that you can understand and relate to.

Why Do Big Goals Set Us Up For Failure

When you’re dieting, notice what you’re thinking about. I’ll give you a moment….

Okay, let’s be real… you’re thinking about FOOD. Of course you are! And when you’re thinking about food, what do you want to do? EAT.

What you’re thinking about is what you’re paying attention to. That’s what you’re giving your energy to and if it isn’t serving you, it’s screwing you up.

So how does this play into big goals? Well, when you have a big goal, it generally takes a little while to get to the end. You have to put in some serious energy, commitment, and time into this project and if you’re only thinking about the end goal, you’ll probably lose your motivation along the way. You start to think about how much you really really really want that goal and get frustrated that it’s taking so long. That’s the moment where everything starts to get all messed up.

If you start thinking about how you don’t have what you want, it attaches pain to the process. You get annoyed with going to the gym and eating well because they’re things you’re only doing to hit a goal and if you haven’t reached it, frustration is bound to take over.

So What Can You Do?

Ok, so obviously I understand how infuriating this situation can feel because the goal never goes away. Even when you’re trying to lose weight and you say “FORGET IT” and eat an entire sleeve of Oreos… you know in your heart that you’ll have to get back on the wagon soon because that goal is never going to disappear.

I’ve been trying to lose weight since I was 8 years old and through trial and error, weight loss and weight gain, I finally understand what blocks most of us and how to overcome.

That giant goal is adding PRESSURE onto your mind and do you know what happens when a container has too much pressure? It pops! Popping can come in the form of a meltdown, a binge, or even giving up entirely (for a few months or so).

The way to escape that problem is by setting up SMALL and REALISTIC goals that you can understand. Ones that you can feel and visualize with ease.

Instead of setting out to lose 180 lbs, set out to lose 10.

Instead of trying to heal your illness, set out to minimize one symptom.

Instead of trying to run a marathon, set out to run for a minute straight.

Instead of trying to overhaul your entire diet, set out to eat a healthy breakfast each day.

Instead of trying to meditate for 30 minutes, 2x/day, try 5 minutes, 1x/day.

Do you see the difference?

Once you have the smaller goal, focus on it.

Visualize it.

Create a plan to hit THAT goal… and then once you do… create another.

You see, you don’t have ONE big goal… you actually have a bunch of small goals that altogether make this giant change. You don’t have to be at your end goal tomorrow, so why are you even thinking about it? You know the goal and you’re putting in the time and energy to build a strong foundation that will lead you exactly where you want to go.

The desire to hit your goals isn’t going anywhere, so do yourself a favor and let go of the pressure to get there ASAP. No one cares about how many times you fail… but they’ll care about how well you succeed. Show them that it’s possible, one tiny goal at a time.

How To Heal: Essential Oils with Jodi Dwyer

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This week, I met with Jodi Dwyer, a very passionate Young Living EO representative, to discuss essential oils! We talked about why essential oils have so many benefits, how the body absorbs them, the importance of oil purity, and how to use essential oils to get the best benefits!. Warning... you may spend your entire paycheck on oils after this interview!! Enjoy! 

Carolyn: Hey Jodi! I'm SO excited to connect today to talk about essential oils! I've been following you on Facebook and I'm pumped to have you share your knowledge with us. So please - go ahead and introduce yourself!

Jodi: Thanks, Carolyn! Hi, I'm Jodi Dwyer. A Boston gal, MS advocate, travel enthusiast, Young Living essential oil educator, oncology social worker and sangria fanatic!

Carolyn: Hahah, I love it! How did you first get involved with essential oils? 

Jodi: I followed a blogger for about a year and she shared a lot about her lifestyle with Young Living Essential Oils. I was always intrigued but skeptical. Then a real life friend shared about them and she is a no nonsense kind of girl, so I knew then that Young Living was the real deal and reached out to her with some questions. She got me started with Young Living's Premium Starter Kit and the rest is history.

Carolyn: It always helps to know someone in person who can back up your intuition! I'm happy you had that friend! So, what has been your personal experience with oils over the years? 

Jodi: I've been using Young Living Essential Oils for over 3.5 years and my overall experience has been exceptional. I share about them because I've had such positive results with living a healthier life and want others to have similar experiences. I have more energy, sleep more restfully, feel more balanced emotionally and just feel better overall. 

Carolyn: I was really impressed at how much essential oils balanced my mood! I know they have a bunch of benefits, can you tell me what some of the main benefits of essential oils are? Why should we use them? 

Jodi: Oh yeah, there's a lot! Essential oils are the most powerful part of the plant. Many provide support for every body system: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, endocrine, hormones, respiratory and immune system. 

Tests have shown that they reach the heart, liver, and thyroid in 3 seconds when inhaled. They were found in the bloodstream in 26 seconds when applied topically. Expulsion of essential oils takes 3/6 hours in a normal, healthy body. 

Carolyn: Oh wow, that's so interesting! So it helps a little bit of everything. How do you know if you're getting a quality product?

Jodi: It's really important to use essential oils that are pure. You get what you pay for and not all essential oils are created equal! I trust Young Living due to their Seed to Seal process (http://seedtoseal.com/en). They are the global leader in essential oils and have been in business for almost 25 years. I was able to visit the Mona Farm in Utah this past September and it was a fascinating experience. I saw the process first hand, met the farmers, talked to the scientists and even planted some seeds!

Using essential oils to support our body just makes sense - they have been used since biblical times and worked for 15th century thieves to avoid the plague while robbing from bodies of the death and dying! Authentic essential oils are 100% pure with no added synthetics which means no toxic ingredients. 

Carolyn: Makes sense to me! There are so many different kinds of oils and blends, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. What is a good way for someone to get started if they don't know what oils to buy? 

Jodi: Good question! I felt overwhelmed when I started too but I had a great teacher who showed me the ropes. Additionally, there are many reliable resources out there that I shared with my members and I'm there to teach and guide them as much as needed. I started my oils journey with Young Living's Premium Starter Kit. It includes 11 bottles of oils (the most popular) to help you get started along with a diffuser and other samples. It is sold for half the price of its value and if you are like me you like knowing you are getting the best deal! 

Becoming a "wholesale member" with Young Living is similar to getting a Costco membership. It simply allows you to purchase future oils/products for a discounted price but their is no obligation to purchase again or sell! 

I also teach classes both online and in person so if you are more of a hands on learner don't worry. We'll set something up that works for your style! I could talk about oils for hours so you'd never be bothering me as you're learning!

Carolyn: Clearly you feel very passionate about Young Living! How did you get started with your company? What drew you to work for them? 

Jodi: When looking into different brands of essential oils, I did a lot of research. I don't want to put crap on my body!  I was drawn to Young Living's Seed to Seal process. They are the oldest essential oil company in the world so they must be doing something right. Their transparency is like no other company's and to me that just felt right. The more I learn about their global mission work and how much they give back to the community the more impressed I am with not only their products but their generosity.

But I NEVER intended to "sell" essential oils or work for a MLM company. I had such amazing benefits from the oils and products that I couldn't help but share with my friends and then these oils sold themselves. Next thing I knew I was doing the business and loving it! Anyone who knows me knows that I would never share about a product that I didn't love just to make a buck. It is not about that for me. I try to be as authentic as I can be. Ask me anything! 

Seeing how many friend's lives have been positively impacted by Young Living blows me away. I continue to work this business because I love helping people. I'm also an oncology social worker so my life revolves around helping people both professional and personally. I love the balance of these two jobs and how I get to use different skills and expertise for each but also find so much overlap too!

Carolyn: I'm so happy that you've found something that aligns with your personal mission. It truly is a gift to share different ways to heal that can positively affect people's lives! Tell me more about your classes.

Jodi: I teach classes, both online and in person. I teach the most basic class, "Intro to Essential Oils" most frequently but also teach more specific topics like removing toxic products from your home, using oils "in the bedroom" (if you catch my drift), supplements, oils and emotions, oils and pets, etc. 

Carolyn: Oh yeah, I didn't even think about cleaning products! Why is it important to clean with oils instead of store-bought cleaners?

Jodi: Store bought cleaners are filled with a lot of harmful chemicals. Even the "cleaner" options are often "green washed." These products are disrupting our hormones, endocrine system, and leading to many health issues like asthma, cancer, learning issues, etc. It is scary stuff! I always say "know better do better." If you know something is bad for you then try to do better. Make small changes in your home and I promise you'll start to feel better! 

Carolyn: Sweet! And what advice would you give someone who’s just beginning to learn about the power of essential oils?

Jodi: If you are just starting out I would strongly recommend that you do your research. Choose a company that you trust. Purity is the most important thing. If you've tried cheap oils in the past and they didn't work it is likely because they were not pure. Let's chat! I'm happy to teach you more.  

That being said, I am not a doctor and the information found here is not in any way meant to take the place of professional medical advice. This is for education purposes only based on opinions and facts that I have found to be true in my own experience and with research. Please consult your doctor before using essential oils if you have any questions about your medical situation. 

Carolyn: Awesome, thanks for being so open! I'm sure people will want to connect with you, Where can they find you?    

Jodi: If you would like to chat more please feel reach to reach out by email, text - 617- 420 - 8551, or on my website

Interviews by Carolyn from Without The Weight, Inc. are meant to share all the different options available to heal your mind, body, and spirit from a holistic lens. Any advice or recommendations are meant to work as complementary therapies alongside any treatment provided by your medical practitioner and are not suggested as a replacement for medical care.

How To Heal: Eating Clean with Kristen Ciccolini

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This week, I met with Kristen Ciccolini of Good Witch Kitchen, a certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Nutrition Coach, to talk about all things food related! We caught up on how she got involved in nutrition coaching, how food connects to emotions, and some tips and tricks to choosing healthy foods for a healthy lifestyle! Let’s dive in!

Carolyn: Hi Kristen, thank you so much for meeting with me! I’m SO excited to hear about your journey through proper nutrition and how you’re sharing that message with the world! So first and foremost, tell me a little about yourself. What made you want to become a nutrition coach?

Kristen: Hi Carolyn! My story is mood and energy related. I dealt with mood swings and low energy for a long time. I just never put it together that it was connected to the food I was eating! In college, I would go through bouts of eating only goldfish and Hershey’s Kisses. I was really depressed, but a few years after college, I took a class that included a workout and a nutritious brunch after and I learned so much. The teacher explained the ingredients and what benefits each ingredient offered, that’s what made everything click! She helped me understand the reason why our body needs certain foods and the changes I was making made me feel better. Once I started feeling so much better, I realized that I wanted to share that message too! Depression still comes and goes, but it’s usually a sign that I’ve fallen off track.

Carolyn: What an amazing opportunity! So that’s why you started your cooking classes?

Kristen: Yes! I knew I wanted to teach because when I started learning, it changed EVERYTHING for me. I remember I got so excited, I just wanted to tell everyone “Hey, did you know food can make you feel good?!” I felt compelled to spread the word!

Carolyn: I love that energy and I know the feeling all too well! Your classes sound fun, can you walk me through a typical cooking class with you?

Kristen: Absolutely. My cooking classes are focused on healthy eating. We tend to make gluten free and vegan recipes to keep it all inclusive and it gives people a way to see that they can eat that way and still have an abundant, delicious meal.

Carolyn: That’s so important! I constantly hear people say they don’t want to eat that way because they’d be depriving themselves of the foods they really want. Truth is, they’re craving tastes and flavors instead of specific foods themselves.

Kristen: Yes, it’s my favorite thing when someone can’t believe the recipe is vegan! There’s so much you can add to get in a variety of nutrients and flavors. It just teaches them different ways to eat and shows them that healthy foods can be just as enjoyable.  

Carolyn: That was a huge realization for me in my own journey so I love to hear that you’re creating that wave for others as well!

Kristen: It’s important because a lot of people think that eating healthy means deprivation. I come from a place of abundance and want to show people that there’s no deprivation in eating gluten free or plant based. There are so many things to eat and knowing about the ingredients will help students bring what they learn from our class to their kitchen.

Carolyn: Girl, you are so on point. Feelings of deprivation leads to cheating, bingeing, and mood swings and most people only feel that deprivation because they don’t know how to make healthy food taste good! Do you have a favorite “go-to” dish?

Kristen: There’s this really easy to make salad that I love because it reminds me of my grandfather’s garden. Tomatoes, artichokes, romaine lettuce, any other veggies I have laying around, and oil and vinegar. I also really love black bean chili. Honestly, I could eat those every day, all week!

Carolyn: Mmmmm with the weather starting to turn, black bean chili sounds AMAZING right now. Cleary nutrition is your calling, why do you call yourself “the good witch”?

Kristen: Witches were and still are known as healers. We use natural remedies and through my work I give people the tools they need to manage their health naturally through whole foods and nourishing rituals.

Carolyn: And what a gift that is… so, if you had to give someone who is just starting to transition to a healthier lifestyle one piece of advice about food, what would you tell them?

Kristen: Drop the processed foods. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Making healthy foods at home can be really simple and it’s actually really therapeutic and satisfying to make your own meals! I understand that life can get hectic, which is why I also offer educational workshops at the BCAE and through corporate wellness to give busy people immediate strategies and takeaways to make healthy eating more convenient.

Carolyn: That’s really great advice! I’m gonna pick your knowledgeable brain just a littttllleeee bit more since I have you here. Can you give me 3 tips on how to begin?

Kristen: Of course! First, you want to figure out what you’re looking to get out of eating well. Giving it an emotional connection helps you stay focused when things start to get tough. I’d also suggest paying attention to how certain foods make you feel. Everyone deals with different foods in different ways so you want to pay attention to brain fog, achy joints, or gas and bloating. Notice what you ate beforehand and then try cutting it out for a while to see if those symptoms go away. Lastly, don’t forget to HYDRATE! In order to get the nutrients to absorb properly, you need to drink water. It circulates through the system and helps you digest properly, so even when you’re eating well, it won’t process well in the body if you don’t have enough water. I recommend half your body weight in ounces per day.

Carolyn: Wow! I’m so glad I asked that last question, those tips are really helpful and so simple! Your classes sound amazing and you’re clearly so well informed, how can people find you?

Kristen: I teach classes all around Boston and do private nutrition consulting as well. Finding me on Instagram and my website are the best ways to connect!

Interviews by Carolyn from Without The Weight, Inc. are meant to share all the different options available to heal your mind, body, and spirit from a holistic lens. Any advice or recommendations are meant to work as complementary therapies alongside any treatment provided by your medical practitioner and are not suggested as a replacement for medical care.

How To Heal: Ayurveda with Natasha Gayl

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This week, I connected with Natasha Gayl of Natasha Wellness to get the inside scoop on all things Ayurveda! In this interview, we talk about the history of Ayurvedic medicine, a basic outline of what Ayurveda is, and Natasha’s own journey to living and teaching an Ayurvedic lifestyle! I learned so much during this interview so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Carolyn: Hi Natasha! I’m so happy you could meet with me today! Tell me a little about yourself, what made you become a wellness coach?

Natasha: Hi Carolyn! Well, I got into this a little over a year ago. I've always wanted to be a coach since I was in high school but it wasn’t really a job back then. I had pressure from my Russian family to get a degree, which I did. I worked in my field for a couple years then transitioned because I wasn't feeling fulfilled. At the time, I was enrolled in a yoga teacher training and the whole experience was focused around Dharma. Through that, I realized that my Dharma was to help people through food and healthy lifestyle. With the support of my husband, I left my unfulfilling job and began building my business.

Carolyn: It’s always so interesting to me how each “dead end” in life just repositions you towards creating the life you truly want. What was it about food that made that deep connection for you?

Natasha: Through my own health struggles, food was always my way of managing it. I kept learning and figuring out different diets, aka I was my own guinea pig. During the yoga training, I learned about Ayurveda and it just made so much sense! Not everyone is going to do well on the same diet (hence why I could never stick to one) and Ayurveda really honors that and recognizes that we are all different and require different diets, habits, and practices. I started practicing Ayurveda on my self then decided to take an health coach training that was focused in Ayurveda. That’s what led me to where I am today.

Carolyn: Everything flows for a reason! Had you worked with any holistic practitioners before?

Natasha: I interned with a Chinese herbalist, acupuncturist, and chiropractor. I was trying to figure out my own health issues and doing so led me to connect with holistic practitioners and eventually the beginning of my path, although I didn't know it at the time. Yoga teach training was a launching pad and I'm so grateful for my experience.

Carolyn: Yoga is such a gift, truly, and it’s connected to Ayurveda, is that right?

Natasha: Yes! Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga. It hails from India and is over 5,000 years old!

Carolyn: Wow! So it comes from centuries upon centuries of practice! Can you tell me a little about the history?

Natasha: Sure! Ayurveda comes from Vedic texts that have been translated over time. Ayurveda is similar to traditional Chinese medicine in the way it treats us holistically, but Ayurveda really focuses you as an individual. Each person is made up of a combination of the 5 elements air, ether, earth, water and fire. There is never blanket answer in Ayurveda, it understands that we are all different and require different healing paths. It looks at food, lifestyle, and habits as a way to come back into balance. Ayurveda uses Dinacharya (daily rhythms) to reconnect your body with its circadian rhythms and essentially reconnect us back to the way infants and animals live. Waking, moving, eating, sleeping, etc. in tune with the sun and daily patterns is what reconnects us to our higher selves.

Carolyn: I really love the idea of treating each person as an individual instead of following a blanket plan like most diets on the market today. How does Ayurveda break down who should eat what?

Natasha: There are 3 different Dosha (mind-bod) types that we fall into and it’s all about finding balance between the 3. Protocols depend on each person’s dosha and goals, but essentially if they’re eating and living in balance, no matter what they’re goal is, it will be met.

Carolyn: That’s a powerful promise! Can you break down those types for me?

Natasha: Absolutely! You have Vata, Pitta, and Kapha types that describe different body types.  

Vata is made up of air and ether. This is a wind type so there is a lot of anxiety, ungrounded creativity. A Vata type is usually thinner with smaller features and dry skin. Generally they struggle with digestion issues like gas and bloating. A Vata type needs a lot of grounding and cooked food, meditation, and slow practices like yin yoga. They tend to love running or flow vinyasa but that’s just adding more wind which can increase anxiety..

Pitta is made up of fire and water. Typically a Pitta type will have dry, red, and warm skin. They love spicy food, making lists, and working really really hard. My husband is this type and he’s non-stop - a burning ball of fire! Pitta types have a lot of drive and passion but they can get burned out easily. They love hot yoga classes and intense workouts but they need more cooling practices like a yin yoga class, walking/weight lifting, and cooling foods like cucumber or aloe.

Kapha is made up of earth and water. Together they make mud so they’re heavy, wet and dense. It’s common for them to have big eyes, big lips, and curves. They love sweet and heavy foods that are nourishing and keep them grounded but they need the opposite. Generally, they have a bigger build and are more emotional. They tend to be steady and loyal people. Kapha's should eat lighter cooked foods like warm broths, less grains and meats, and lighter foods in general. They need a lot of movement in their life, especially vigorous movement. They need to get out of their cocoon!

Your dosha shifts throughout your lifetime and can shift through the seasons which is why I offer the seasonal cleanse.

Carolyn: I think I’m a mix of Kapha and Pitta, but I’m not 100% sure. I should probably enroll in your cleanse! Can you tell me a general outline of how the 7 days would go?

Natasha: I’d love to have you join a cleanse! I call it the seven day whole foods and self care cleanse and I offer it in groups and through private coaching. I always have people ease in for the first 3 days - that’s when you figure out your dosha and prepare to go deep. I offer a robust cleanse guide with recipes, self-care practices (dry brushing, tongue scraping, oil massage) and why we're eliminating certain foods. I offer multiple recipes available based on your dosha for each meal. You get to choose your own adventure and you don’t have to eat anything you don’t like!

Carolyn: That’s good because I hate diets that make me eat food I don’t enjoy!

Natasha: Of course! This is all about self-care and you should enjoy your food! The whole point of the cleanse is to bring people back to themselves. I want to teach people how to cook and take care of themselves. The recipes are all anti-inflammatory and then there’s levels that people can choose from. That way an "experienced" cleanser and a "novice" can both find the right cleansing path for them. My cleanse is not meant to be so intense your body fights the process. I want you to work in sync with your mind-body to uplevel your current state of being. If you can’t imagine getting rid of everything at once, then you can choose to only give up certain things. If you’re already in a place where you’ve given other things up, we can start more advanced. We’re all in a different place and we don’t want to shock the body. This is a lifestyle shift and we want to make it sustainable!

Carolyn: That sounds incredible. What is the main message you want someone to take away from your cleanse?

Natasha: Don’t be afraid to cleanse! Cleansing is a really wonderful introduction to healthier living and, from what I’ve found, it’s the most approachable. The cleanse is just seven days, anyone can do it, and it’s a great way to dip your toes into Ayurveda. There’s open communication and support from me the whole time so it’s not something you do on your own. I’m happy to hold your hand through the process. Plus, you can basically eat any of the recipes after the cleanse since they are plant-based and nourishing. This ain't yo mama's juice cleanse!

Carolyn: Having that support makes all the difference! Thank you so much for meeting with me today. Where can people find you to sign up for your class?

Natasha: Of course! They can find me on my website, on Instagram, and on my Facebook page as well!  

Interviews by Carolyn from Without The Weight, Inc. are meant to share all the different options available to heal your mind, body, and spirit from a holistic lens. Any advice or recommendations are meant to work as complementary therapies alongside any treatment provided by your medical practitioner and are not suggested as a replacement for medical care.

How To Follow Up On Good Advice

Louise Hay is a hero of mine. 

If you don't know who she is, Louise Hay is a motivational author who wrote the bestselling book: You Can Heal Your Life, and she is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. She was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and healed herself by using a combination of physical, mental, and emotional exercises to understand, overcome, and let go of issues from her childhood. 

I told you... absolutely AH-MAY-ZING! 

I watched this video awhile ago and connected on so many different levels, but when the video was over, I just turned off my computer and didn't put anything into practice. 

And if you're anything like me - you'll think about it, maybe even talk about it, but you struggle to put it to practice. It's weird but I see this happening all the time. We hear great advice that we KNOW we should take, but we continually do the same things over and over again that don't serve to benefit who we are or where we want to go. It's bizarre. 

But I realized, maybe the reason we don't take on the good advice is because it's too much change all at once. Maybe, asking us to adopt 10 new rules for success feels overwhelming. If that’s the case, it’s really the best case scenario because it's easy to work with overwhelming things... you just have to minimize them until they feel doable. 

Every action comes from a thought first. Louise Hay would be the first person to tell you that, but when we overload our mind, we feel too burdened to actually take action.

Don’t make things heavy for yourself. Watch this video and choose 1 thing to change. Work on that and then, once it feels simple, add another.

Before you know it, you’ll be living all 10 and walking in the footsteps of the truly brilliant, Ms. Louise Hay.

With love & light,

Carolyn Kaufman