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Last year, I worked my tail off to earn my health coach certification. The curriculum was way more intense than I imagined, so I was beyond stressed for several months. This girl was a mess.

While I had spent the previous several months studying, I spent the week before my exam on overdrive. Not only that, but my husband happened to be on a trip out of state. Plus I had to meet a critical deadline for work; and then my toddler got sick. It felt like my life was utter chaos.

And all I wanted was some freaking ice cream.

So I had some. And then I had more. And then I had more after that. You can probably guess where I’m going with this.

In the course of seven days, I crushed four pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Sometimes I even added marshmallows straight into the pint. One time, in a daze, I drizzled peanut butter on top. I was stressed and so was my sweet tooth. Even as someone who promotes intuitive nutrition, I still sometimes struggle with emotional/stress eating.

And honestly, I really didn’t feel like sharing this little “ice cream escapade” at first. The irony of bingeing on food while studying for a health coach exam is definitely not lost on me. But I decided to share as soon as I realized one thing:

I don’t hate myself.

Sure, I was a little embarrassed. And frankly, a little bloated. It certainly wasn’t intuitive — or smart — for me to eat all that ice cream. But if I picture how the old me would have handled a hiccup like this? I would have spiraled right back into all my disordered eating habits — a bottomless vortex of starving, bingeing, and depression. I would have felt disgusted and ashamed, and not let myself have any grace.

But I know better now.

That whole ice cream thing? It doesn’t define me. Instead, I immediately looked for the lesson. And that’s why I do what I do. I examine myself and my habits so that I can show you how to do your very best to eat intuitively. And how to accept seasons of un-intuitive eating with grace. Because chances are, we might find ourselves there at some point.

So here’s what I want you to know. I’m fighting for my health and wholeness right alongside you. And I want to help you figure out how to take back your sanity when it comes to food. I wrote a free guide to intuitive eating. You can download that here. And you’re always welcome to reach out to me:

Written by

Wellness enthusiast. Kindred spirit. Certified health coach. I teach people how to eat with grace instead of guilt. Instagram: @vanessa.bradford

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