Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Update: Where has Andrea been?

Hey there!
It's been forever - um, like 5 years - since I've posted! I got so busy with work and just life stuff after we bought our house that I no longer had the time for food blogging. I miss the food blogging community a ton - but I'm up to something totally different now and thought I'd pop by to share that and other things I've been up to in case any of you are still reading!

  • We still live in the house we bought in one of my last posts. It's a little far from everything but a beautiful place to live and I enjoy it. Here's a stunning sunset from my doorstep (there's no filter on this).
  • John and I finally got married. We eloped in CA on vacation in 2011 but managed to book ourselves a photographer for the last minute occasion. This bathtub just happened to be on the property we got married on. Why not take a photo with it?
  • I still love to cook and cook dinner almost every night. Though I cook more for nourishment than comfort these days.
  • I've become addicted to doing genealogy research in my spare time. Here's a pic of my grandmother (2nd from right), her sisters and my great grandparents on my Mom's side. We have a treasure trove of family photos that I've been working hard at identifying. It's not a sexy hobby but I enjoy the detective work.
  • Mercy is still our feisty and cuddly sidekick. She's 11 now and had some pancreatitis flares a few times this year so we baby her more than ever. She thinks she's a human. That might be our fault.
  • I'm now a Health & Life coach (Integrative Nutrition Health Coach) who works with women who struggle with emotional eating and want to stop thinking about life in terms of what diet they'll be on next. I work for myself and it's the best thing ever.

Ironic, huh? That my old food blog is a hallmark to making unhealthy comfort foods lower calorie / lower fat and now I'm helping others with their food issues. Let's just say that my own lifetime of eating issues came to a head (binge eating, chronic dieting) and I knew I needed to make some big changes. I started working on me after I gained 60 lbs back (after a 90lb loss) and then I went back to school for coaching, quit my 9-5 job and went to work for myself.

It's been incredibly terrifying and challenging.

But I love it.

I wish I found it as a career sooner.

It's pushed me so far out of my comfort zone. I feel like I grow a little more with every client session.

I've lost 40 lbs of my 60 lb regain and truly learned how to listen to my body when making choices about what to eat. I was my first client. Here's a snapshot of my weight highs and lows since college. The photo above is me now.

For the first time in at least 15 years, I can eat without worrying about calories, fat grams or whether a food is "good" or "bad" for me. The scale doesn't determine how I feel on any given day. I don't care what size clothing is in my closet - I just care that the clothes I'm wearing look and feel good on the body I have today. I exercise to feel strong, healthy and capable and not to create more opportunities for eating. It's been an incredible journey.

And I'm helping others do it to.

When I was younger, I thought "coaching" was a little bit of BS. But I didn't really understand what it was. I thought it was just someone cheering you on and giving you resources. While those things are important and certainly helpful - it's a lot more than that. A good coach helps the client tap into their own answers, find their motivation, hold them accountable and uncover the roadblocks that they're putting in their own way. It's not hocus pocus. It's someone who will stop you from hiding from yourself.

I got in my own way for years - always had an excuse as to why I couldn't stop eating certain foods, why food was such a struggle for me. Food was comfort (as you can see in the "About" part of this blog) and I had to let go of that and figure out why I needed comfort to begin with to have a better relationship with food.

I still do some food blogging on my new site - but most of my current blog is about life coaching issues or emotional eating issues. When I do post recipes, they're usually dairy and gluten free and made with only whole foods. I realized I was addicted to cheese and wheat (and also have a sensitivity to both) and now only eat them on the rarest of occasions. Believe it or not, I don't miss them. I hadn't planned on giving them up when I started this journey, but it just happened as I noted how different foods actually made me feel. I've only had to use my asthma inhaler a handful of times since letting go of cheese! If you remember, I used to be tied to my inhaler - using it 3 or 4 times every day.

My goal with my coaching work is to help other women figure out what foods are helping them, what are harming them, how they can like every choice they make and how they can be comfortable in the body they have.

If you want to learn more about what I'm up to or check out my coaching blog, come on over to Andrea Quigley Maynard Coaching. You can also find me on Facebook, twitter @CoachAndreaQM or on Google+.  I am definitely the most active on Facebook!

If you're curious about coaching for emotional eaters, contact me to set up a free intro session.

I hope you're all well and still cooking regularly! Thanks for reading!


Andrea Quigley Maynard
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (former food blogger Andrea Q)
Grab a copy of my free ebook here