The topic of weight loss

I’m back with a response to the second question from one of our readers from a few weeks ago. If you have a question you’d like me to answer please email it to me!

Here’s her question again:

“The ideas behind intuitive eating make so much sense . .

But at the end of the day I’m an emotional eater and not only have I not lost weight in the last 6 years, I have been somehow constantly gaining.

And I’m not talking about pounds… they add up to kilos…

From a size xyz to a size abc (English sizes)

I’m not in dieting mode… I think I have a good relationship with food and don’t beat myself up about my habits (prob thanks to your messages sinking in!)

but what if I really need to lose weight???!!”

Click here to read the answer to part one: “But at the end of the day I’m an emotional eater.”

And now for my answer to part two: the topic of weight loss.

December was a busy and successful month for me: A wonderful Chanukah came and went, I started a new group program, and I put my 1:1 coaching practice into waitlist status (there are two spots opening in February, which you can find out about by clicking here).

Then the end of December and January happened.

First, one Friday afternoon right before Shabbos, while putting away the millions of dishes that were just washed, someone in my family opened the kitchen cabinet door upward too much and the hinge broke, leaving the cabinet in an open position the entire Shabbos. The previous owners of our apartment had left us a box of extra hinges which we had already gone through and broken them all, too, so we needed to venture out into the unknown of Karmiel: where to purchase new hinges for our cabinet door? The trek took us to our favorite hardware store where they informed us that hinges had to be purchased at carpentry stores, and the one that had been previously in Karmiel (where the previous owners of our apartment had purchased their hinges, actually) closed down a while ago. The closest place was about a half hour drive away. Except that we don’t have a car. Upon further inspection we discovered that the store had a website and we could purchase the hinges online. Wonderful! But which hinges were we supposed to buy? We didn’t have a SKU or even a company name or anything for the hinge. The next step was to call up the stores and ask them for help. I called the store and told the saleslady what I needed, and she answered that no one could help me for the next week because they were closed and “sofrim m’laay”. In my confused state I decided that meant there was some Muslim or Christian holiday that had a Hebrew name and I didn’t recognize it. It was, after all, the last week of December, so the timing fit, at least for Christian holidays! Once I got my bearings I realized that what she actually said to me was that they were “counting stock” due to the end of the fiscal year and were closed. We waited until they were finished counting all that stock and called them again, asking for help. A nice worker told me to send him a picture of our cabinet door and asked a million questions which seemed totally irrelevant to me, and in the end he told me which hinge to purchase, and yes, I needed to replace the hinges on both sides, and he gave me the SKU for the hinges. In English letters. Using an Israeli accent. It took me a few moments to realize that he was giving me English letters. I ordered them and we now have our hinges, which were delivered today by Muhammad, and are now awaiting installation. Meanwhile the cabinet door has been taped shut and my dishes have been living on the counter.

The next major hiccup happened in the beginning of January. I received a letter that I needed to report to the tax office in person and so I went to the local branch here in Karmiel. Except that it’s not a regular branch, it’s a branch-of-the-branch, and they weren’t sure how to help me. Also, this was the Income Tax Office, and apparently I needed to report to the VAT office. There isn’t one in Karmiel, and I needed to go to the office in Akko. My only familiarity with Akko is the train station, so this was a new adventure for me. Being a diligent and organized woman, I checked the hours to the office online and arranged my schedule to go on a Tuesday. Upon arrival at the office the security guard told me that Tuesdays are for appointments only and that I need to come back another day, because they changed the schedule back in, wait for it….September 2015! I gently told him that it was January 2018 and perhaps they should update their hours on the website, which he said he would pass on. He suggested that I return the following day, and I told him that I actually have a business to run and can’t take unplanned trips to Akko, as beautiful of a city as it is, and that I need to see how I can arrange my schedule to return. He told me that the day I come back he will personally escort me to the right office to work out this matter. I returned the following Sunday and he remembered me and kept his word, escorting me up the stairs, down a long hallway of offices, and into the office of The Man Who Would Work This Out. Needless to say, he actually didn’t know how to help me, and sent me to the other side of the hallway to “one of the offices” and “someone there will sort this out”. The wonderful lady inside “one of the offices” took one look at my papers and said, “I can’t help you. You need to talk to a manager.” She escorted me back to the original hallway and said, “Sit here and the manager will help you when he’s available.” The manager came, took one look at my papers, and said, “You need to deal with the office in Yerushalayim and change your address with them (hello, I moved out of Yerushalayim 5.5 years ago and tried changing my address in the system at least that many times). And besides that, you need to bring papers proving *the issue I had come for in the first place*. At this point I was overwhelmed. I’m a good, honest, record-keeping business-owner, and had no way to prove *the issue I had come for in the first place*. I felt my body start to shake and my head start to fill with water…and then the tears started flowing and I bit my inner lip because I’m trying to look professional after all, but the tears kept coming and I couldn’t stop them and I felt all overwhelmed and helpless and just knew that they were going to charge me thousands of shekels unnecessarily and perhaps even throw me in jail and what kind of coach am I that I can’t even hold it together in a government office and…then he said, “Ok, forget it. I’ll take care of it.” And then he proceeded to do exactly what I needed and even walked me through the steps moving forward ever so slowly to the point that I had to hold myself back from laughing, but not before I said a silent prayer of thanks to Hashem for making me a crybaby…

After saving myself those thousands of shekels we decided it was time to get a quote from a plumber to move our washer/dryer out of the little nook it’s currently in where I have to crouch down in front of a wall with my knees pressing up against the washing machine and have nothing to hold onto to pull myself back up so it’s a great core workout each time, and to put it upstairs where there is room to actually bend over unobstructed and which is where our dirty clothes reside anyway. The price he quoted us to do the work was significantly less than we thought it would cost, so we started saving a little each day. When I asked him how much advance notice he would need before coming he said, “From one day to the next.” In the meantime I got excited about my home turning more efficient and went into overdrive in decluttering and reorganizing. My home office is cleaner than it’s been since the day we moved in here 2.5 years ago. We saved up the money and called him to come “tomorrow”. The next morning he told us he got held up by a car he was selling and apologized but couldn’t make it, and he would come the following morning between 8:30-9:30. 9:30 came and went and he wasn’t there. Upon checking in with him, he told us that his back had locked up and he was unavailable until it felt better. Resisting the urge to send him Dr. Sarno’s books (they’ve been translated into Hebrew!), I realized that my washer/dryer wouldn’t be moved up before Shabbos and I needed to get moving on my core exercises, I mean, my laundry.

After doing all that laundry, it didn’t dry for days because, baruch Hashem, it started raining non-stop up here and was sooo cold (only 13 Celsius / 55 Fahrenheit (and yes, I’m from Toronto where that’s practically summer weather but I still don’t like the cold!)), and so I couldn’t hang my clean laundry outside. I do use my dryer, but not for sweaters/shirts/skirts/pants and those take longer to dry, so my living room looked like a closet until minutes before Shabbos when everything miraculously dried, probably due to the heat coming from the radiator on one end and the heat coming from my oven, stovetop, and crockpot from all the food being cooked on the other end. Anyway, we were supposed to go out for the meal on Friday night. We live in a destination location, smack in the middle of the Galil, conveniently located between Haifa and Tzfat, surrounded by green and gorgeous views, and so a couple of the local families here arranged for a yeshiva to come and spend Shabbos with us and we were going to all eat a community meal together Friday night on the coldest and rainiest day of the year thus far. As much as I prefer staying home on Friday night and cozying up on the couch with a magazine, I agreed to go out of my introvert comfort zone and attend the seudah. Except that when I was out on Thursday in the cold and rain, wearing my reliable water-proof boots, suddenly my right foot was wet. Thinking that it had to be a fluke, and perhaps I had stepped in a very large puddle and the water had gotten in through the zipper, I decided all was well with my boots. Yet when Friday came and I left my house for school pickup, my right foot was suddenly very wet again and I realized that this Friday night was not only going to challenge me out of my introvert comfort zone, but I was going to be cold and wet too and I started to cry. This time it didn’t work. The manager in the tax office couldn’t do anything about my wet boot, but then I remembered that I had *very stylish* galoshes hidden inside my shoe drawer and I could wear those instead so I would only be cold but at least I would be dry. This was suddenly a level of discomfort that I felt I could manage and so off I went to the seudah, making conversation with old friends, knowing that I would cozy up on the couch with my magazine when I got home.

And so it went.

This whirlwind of a month got me thinking about life and our dreams and desires and the things we want to go a certain way.

Like wanting to be a certain size or weight, for example…

When we can believe with as much certainty as I knew about the hinges, the tax office, the plumber, and the rain, that I wanted things to go a certain way and they absolutely did not (as is the case with most of our lives), and that our weight fits into that category too, that we have very little control over our size, we can start to go with the flow of what is, even if we’re currently displeased with the way we look. We can carry both of those inside of us simultaneously, those two contradictions. I want to weigh less, and I know that I can’t control that process in a way that’s both healthy and permanent. Like, sure, I could have bought whatever hinges and had use of my cabinet sooner, but at what cost to the aesthetics and functionality of my cabinet. I could have yelled at the manager at the VAT office and insisted on getting my way, but at what cost to my middos and derech eretz. I could try to coerce my plumber to come and do the job now, maybe by offering him more money or whatever, but at what cost to our long-term relationship with him and the job he’ll do. I could have just stayed home on Friday night and chalked it up to being exhausted, because that was true, but at what cost of trying to build a community I’m proud to be a part of.

We all have values, things that light us up and keep us motivated and excited about life. We also all have goals, some attainable, and some we’ll never reach. Why spend life chasing goals that will inevitably bring us away from our values and make us miserable?

I’m opting instead for a rich, full, and meaningful life. One where, given the choice, I have things I’d prefer to do without, and I’m still taking action on the things that are important to me.

Will you join me?

I have two spots opening up next month to work with me 1:1. Click here to apply for a powerful conversation with me about what we can accomplish together.

Let’s team up to create a new future for you.


Oh! Also — I’m going to be changing my website and email address in the next couple of weeks. Towards A Healthy Balance has served me well for the last nearly 4 years, and things have evolved around here. I’ll keep you updated on the new website and email address as soon as things are finalized. I hope this transition will go smoothly and there won’t be any hiccups, but if you do find broken links and the such please email me to let me know about them. Thanks!

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