I use a mindfulness-based behavioural approach to help you get unstuck with food and other areas of your life.
I believe there is always a good reason we do what we do on some level. And it isn’t because we are weak or lacking in willpower.
Yet when we don’t understand what is really going on, when we don’t bring awareness to our thoughts and emotions and sensations that are driving us to react in a certain way, it can feel like we are fighting an invisible enemy. I know that I spent many years trying to fight this invisible enemy and blaming myself for being stuck and unable to move forward with life despite my best intentions.
Becoming aware of why we are reacting in a certain way and approaching ourselves with curiosity and kindness are the secret ingredients to making change – not beating ourselves up, or using deprivation or excessive willpower.
A Swiss-Jordanian mix, I have a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Lausanne and use a form of psychotherapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am a member of the Swiss Federation of Psychologists (FSP), the Genevan Association of Psychologists (AGPsy) and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). I am also a Certified Food Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).
So how did I end up a Psychologist + Food Coach?
At 29, I discovered I had a genetic kidney disease. I was told there was nothing I could do except live my life normally and hope it didn’t develop into full-blown kidney failure later in life. Not doing anything stressed me out more than re-examining my life: I was living an unhealthy, stressful life working at an international advertising agency. I was a ‘muffin vegetarian’, eating mostly bread-based products and lots of sugar (I had a love affair with M&M’s).
I started making changes to my life, one by one. I became curious about listening to my own body through intuitive eating: I noticed that certain foods made it sing while others made it cringe. I realized there was no point in eating healthy foods I didn’t actually enjoy or to completely restrict myself from eating less healthy foods I did enjoy. I started experimenting with mindful eating and noticed that it wasn’t just WHAT I ate, but HOW I ate that made a difference.
I also realized I could love food too much – and that often, I would eat emotionally – either when food was my only source of pleasure or as a way of numbing emotions.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) saved me from myself, my self-criticism and self-sabotage behavior. From my constant dissatisfaction with my body and my life. ACT brought a gentle, compassionate approach to human suffering that enabled me to drop the struggle with myself and my body and find a way to live a life in line with what matters most to me: Freedom, connection, being of service, growth, exploration.