Find Body Freedom!
Find Body Freedom is a comprehensive program for women who for years have been trapped in battles with their bodies. Built upon the same principles as BodySense, I can now offer you a journey that will take you from your conflicts to a place of peace with your body image, your weight, and your relationship with eating.
I created BodySense (now Find Body Freedom) in 1992, after decades of my own personal struggles with weight, eating and body image - and after trying every diet known to womankind.
I invite you to join me on this journey to discover your body's innate wisdom, your style of eating, and your natural weight.
And yes, you can love the body you're in!
Find Body Freedom is not about dieting or following someone else's prescription for eating or for weight loss. Statistics dramatically reveal, time after time, that 95% of us who have dieted have gained back our weight within one to five years. Over and over we have been left with extra weight, the nagging question, "Why can't I do this?" and most harmfully, lessened self-esteem because we failed yet again.
Find Body Freedom is about finding our own individual way to becoming strong and healthy for life. Find Body Freedom is about exploring our relationships with our bodies, with food, and with ourselves. It's a program for women built upon the philosophy of intuitive eating and the foundation that problems with weight management are signals that something is out of balance in our lives.
Find Body Freedom is created from the beliefs that:
~ our bodies have their own innate wisdom and will establish their own natural weight
~ that we can manage our lives without turning to food for comfort or protection
~ that we can eat what we love without believing that food is the enemy
~ that we can learn to be at peace with our bodies - to celebrate our bodies
~ and that we are worthy of love and respect, right now, exactly as we are.
For twenty-five years, I practiced as a clinical social worker in both New York and Massachusetts. I worked primarily with women who were struggling with issues similar to mine (see My Story) and who believed, as I naively did, that if they would change their bodies they could change their lives. They came to me with feelings of depression, anxiety, and with relationship challenges. They came to me with unresolved past and present traumas. And they hoped that if they could change their bodies, all of these things would magically disappear or at least become less significant. They were wrong - and so was I!
What does change our lives, and it changed mine, is a belief in the body's innate wisdom, a commitment to self-care, and a shift from transforming the size of our bodies, to a focus on health and well-being.
As a life coach, I believe I can help you.
(Scroll down to Testimonials.)
Here's my story about why I created Find Body Freedom, and why I believe that I can relate to many of the issues that you are experiencing right now.
Somewhere between the ages of three and five, I became what we would call today a morbidly obese child. I learned to eat compulsively from a family that was haunted by the Great Depression and afraid when I was an infant and a toddler that I was too skinny. My mother, chastised by my grandmother for not feeding me enough, would try to make me eat more by making me laugh and then shoving a spoonful more of food into my mouth. That was my first experience with being overfed and led to decades of overfeeding myself.
I was a sneak eater in grade school, stopping off at the variety store up street from my house, and buying candy bars as an "appetizer" on the way home for lunch. I was put on diet pills in the fourth grade and my mom shopped for me in the "chubbette" section of our local department store. The experience of being an overweight child, fraught with disapproval from my parents and hurtful comments from my classmates, negatively colored the first half of my life.
Throughout childhood, adolescence, and into early and mid-adulthood, I believed I was fat, even when I wasn't. I had such an unhealthy relationship with food and with my body, and regularly swung from compulsive overeating to highly restrictive eating behaviors. And I of course I tried every diet known to man and womankind!
In my mid- thirties, I was lost and struggling - with food, my weight, and many other issues. So I joined Weight Watchers and to this day I am grateful to the program for stabilizing my eating behaviors for a period of time - and for introducing me to fruits and vegetables which were not staples in my life as they are now.
But my struggles continued when I realized that I was still following someone else's program, someone else's prescription for what I should eat and how much I should eat. I remember the moment, as if it were yesterday, of standing in front of ninety women, leading a Weight Watcher's meeting in Brookline, MA - and feeling like a fraud. "You just binged", I said to myself. "What a hypocrite you are, eating four graham crackers instead of three" (the serving size at the time). Mind you, I didn't eat four boxes or four sleeves of Graham Crackers. Just four crackers!
And then it hit me. My epiphany! The problem was not the extra graham cracker. The problem was with my intense, almost overwhelming, feelings of guilt and shame for wanting it - and eating it!
So out of this struggle with what I wanted to eat - and what I was told I could have - and lots of research, Find Body Freedom was born in 1992. It's based on the philosophy of intuitive eating that says we are born knowing how to eat and how much to eat. Can you imagine the freedom in that? I learned that my body has this innate wisdom and that it will not betray me. Imagine that! And when we pay attention to our bodies, they will lead us to natural weight and size, where we can find peace and freedom in our relationship with our bodies and with ourselves.
My name is Ilene Leshinsky and i invite you to join me on this journey to discover your body's natural wisdom, your style of eating, and your natural we
Here are the five Find Body Freedom principles that I use every day to guide my relationship with food and with my body. I believe that these will be as helpful to you as they have been to me.
1. Food is fuel for your body.
In order to move and work and play and think, our bodies need good fuel. Just as your automobile engine needs the correct octane to run efficiently, your body needs appropriate fuel foods that give you energy and enable you to think clearly.
2. Eat whatever you want (keeping healthy nutrition in mind).
No more dividing food into good and bad. No more eating from a list of foods that are not appealing to you. No more feeling guilty if you do. You and your body get to choose what you want to eat!
3. But eat only when you're hungry.
Our bodies are so wise. They signal us when they need refueling. The hunger feelings that we get from our bodies are those signals. What are yours? When we get those true hunger signals, we need to respect our bodies by feeding them.
4. And stop eating when you're comfortable.
Again, our bodies have this innate wisdom. Not only do they signal us when we are hungry, they also let us know when it's time to stop eating - when we are comfortable, when our "tank" has had enough. Most of us have not been eating mindfully enough to experience the moment of satiety. This principle has always been the hardest one for me, having been so acculturated to follow someone else's eating rules. You'll let me know if this one is a bit of a struggle for you as well.
And this last principle is the only one that does not have anything to do with food. But it is an important one for long-term health and well-being.
5. Exercise/ move regularly.
Bodies were made to move! We were born with arms and legs; therefore we need to keep moving. Otherwise we'd just be big, giant heads! When I changed my orientation about exercise from something I did for weight loss, to something I will do for life, for my health and well-being, I started to enjoy it - and my body called for it. I found the things I love to do and I'm doing them for life!
Sometimes when we know what we're doing is not working, but we don't know what else to do, we need a coach.
Sometimes, even when we know the right path, but we're struggling to get started or stay on it, we need a coach.
And sometimes, even when it's clear to us that we're eating for emotional reasons or old issues are surfacing or we're feeling blocked,
we need a coach.
Let me be your coach. I can help.
~Individual sessions - -are scheduled at your convenience. Contact me for more information and fees.
~ Find Body Freedom Basics
A six week class in which you will rediscover that you were born knowing how to eat, This experience of inner remembering will change your relationship with food and with your body. It's not a diet! It's a path to peace, based on the philosophy of intuitive eating.
~ Find Body Freedom Advanced
A six week program for those who want to more deeply explore the reasons for their overeating or restrictive eating. For individuals who want to take a closer look, this program is a natural extension of Find Body Freedom Basics
Contact me for more information and fees.
Please scroll down to view frequently asked questions and answers
~ Boost Your Body Image!
Learn to appreciate the body you're in! You don't have to be skinny to be healthy and feel good about yourself. This fun and informative two hour workshop will give you education and tools to love (okay, like) your body - and without a tummy tuck or liposuction or Botox.
~ Body Image II: Take It to the Next Level!
In this two hour workshop, we'll dig deeper into body image - how we really feel about your body and where those thoughts and feelings come from. We'll look at how women's bodies change as we get older and how taking care of ourselves becomes even more important. And we'll explore a socio-cultural perspective that will inform us about where we got our ideas of beauty and the impact of that on the next generation of women. And finally we'll return to our focus on our own bodies so we can embrace getting older and hear from some women who are doing just that.
~ Let's Eat!
We're going to eat together, at a restaurant or at our computers, and actually practice using eating principles. This delicious, two hour workshop will give you the foundation of intuitive eating (the Find Body Freedom orientation) and helpful handouts that you will use for life. (I have!)
Contact me for scheduled events and fees.
1. Will I lose weight with BodySense?
Maybe. Possibly. When we eat primarily from true body hunger and we're eating foods that fuel our bodies, and we move them regularly, more than likely we'll lose weight. But BodySense does not promise weight loss.
2. What's the difference between BodySense and a diet?
With any diet there is an external expert, the one who created the diet. And there are external restrictive guidelines. With BodySense you become the expert on how to feed your body, as you recognize your hunger signals and foods that give you energy.
3. What is intuitive eating?
Intuituve eating is a research based philosophy that says we are born knowing how to eat. Look at a baby as she communicates her hunger to her mother. She cries, balls up her fists, and her face becomes red. And then mom feeds her and you can see how nutrients soothe her agitation. And when she's had enough, she turns her head, or pushes away the bottle or the breast. In other words, your body, like the body of this baby, knows, when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop!
4. How long will I be on BodySense?
Hopefully, you will follow BodySense principles for life. I'm now into my fourth decade!
5. How do I get out of the mindset of good foods/ bad foods?
It was helpful to me - and to many others - to change the language. "Good foods" becomes "fuel foods" and "bad foods" become "recreational foods". I think you would agree that in the course of a day, we work more than we play. We need fuel to work and we can "play" with small amounts of high fat/ high sugar foods. Make sense?
6. Are there any food restrictions with BodySense?
Your body will tell you! For example, I can't eat high fat or high sugar foods when I'm hungry. With the former I become logy and irritable. With the later I get stomach cramps. Your body will guide you. Some people have gluten issues, some are lactose intolerant, and some others are allergic to nut products, etc. Their bodies tell them to stop eating those foods
7. How do I know if I'm hungry?
BodySense will help you get "intimate" with your hunger. You will learn to identify your hunger signals - the ones that are pronounced such as a growling belly and the ones that are more subtle such as the first experience of an emptiness in your belly. Knowing these (and there are more) will help you prepare to eat so that you don't become ravenous and then overeat as a result.
8. How do I know when to stop eating?
You can't know when to stop eating if you don't know when to start! BodySense gives you concrete skills and tools to do both. You'll learn about the Hunger Scale which teaches you to assess your hunger and your satiety levels. And you'll learn other tools to modify your eating behaviors so that you are better able to identify the point of "I've had enough".
9. Is exercise a part of BodySense?
BodySense encourages you to exercise - but for health and well-being - not for weight loss. If we exercise for weight loss, the effort is short-lived. We often stop after we've lost weight. However, if we do it for health and well-being, we do it for life!
10. You talk about fuel foods. What are they?
Fuel foods are ones that give our bodies and brains energy. For example, assess how your body feels after eating a doughnut when you are hungry compared to a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter. Lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, and fruits and vegetables are fuel.
11. Where does dessert fit in?
Remember, there are no good foods and bad foods. Therefore, eat dessert! But not when you are hungry as desserts are by and and large not fuel foods. And save some room. You don't want to stuff yourself .
I would love the opportunity to speak to you about:
~ My Find Body Freedom program
~ Body image
~ Intuitive eating/ weight management
~ Mothers and daughters and eating
~ Emotional eating
Please scroll down to use contact form. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Or call me at 518.570.61
Contact me to learn more about how we might work together to design your path to peace and freedom.
Would like to receive a free self-assessment? Just let me know!
And please scroll down to read some testimonials
1026 Us Route 1, Jupiter, Florida 33477, United States
" I learned to listen to my body signals: when I'm hungry, when I'm full.
"I have learned to be more accepting of who I am, all of me, not just my body."
"I have noticed a big change in my eating patterns."
"I don't beat myself up anymore."
"BodySense has taught me that it is okay for me to take care of myself - that I'm not selfish and that this is a journey - it's not all or nothing."
"I take care of my hunger."
"I now exercise regularly. I'm back in the groove."
"I have not stepped on the scale once since I began the program because I am more than the number on the scale! My weight does not define who I am!!"
"I am more comfortable with my body. I have stopped calling myself bad, bad, names. In fact, I don't even think that way anymore."
"I realized I was not alone."