It’s Time for a Dieting Ceasefire
It’s Time for You to Call a Truce with Food
AN ONLINE COURSE FOR HEROINES READY TO TAKE FLIGHT (NO WORRIES, WINGS INCLUDED)
TAKE THE EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARGE OUT OF YOUR ONGOING BATTLE WITH FOOD, WEIGHT, AND YOUR LIFE… or why you weren’t put on this earth to diet.
We take flight April 2, 2015!
There you are, out to dinner at a trendy restaurant with your friend. This place is known for its burgers and they stream out of the kitchen like sizzling saucers. Your mouth waters. Your fork is perched over a side of salad dressing, inching closer to its creamy target.
“Can you believe I’m actually going to have enough points left over for dessert!” That’s your friend: Diet buddy and loophole finder. If it weren’t for your own mental calorie count, you might manage more than your bobblehead nodding.
Your fork descends, then hovers briefly before tipping just so into the dressing. Mmmm, that is some damn good dressing. Go you for asking for it on the side. Crunch, crunch, more mental math. You can already tell this won’t be enough dressing. And, let’s face it, this wimpy salad is nothing without this dressing. Just-out-of-the-oven-bread? You shake your head NO! Puh-lease. Do you look like the kind of woman who eats bread?
Dressing on the side. Check! No bread. Check! Current score: Two for two.
You keep nodding to your friend (you ain’t one to gossip, but she looks the same as last time you saw her).
You deduct one victory point for judging her. But come on after being so good all day is a gurgling stomach and more talk (obsessing, really) about food really the reward? You take a deep breath and mumble a mantra “My flaws and curves empower me.”
“What’s that?” your friend pauses.
You bite your lip and imagine stabbing your fork into the table. I. AM. DONE.
Believe it or not, this moment is actually great news.
What do I mean?
What feels like resignation—perhaps mixed with frustration, sadness, and indignation—is actually a necessary surrender and a call to more…not out of a diet, but out of life. Your friend (or someone like her) may always occupy that seat across from you. This always dieting friend lives in perpetual search of the latest trend because nothing has worked long-term. The rallying cry of this friend? This time will be different!
But how do I know these two women so well?
Because I’ve been both and I know how they (and you) feel.
I lived the whole “diet (and thus my real life) starts tomorrow” for 18 years. The constant mental negotiations. If I reach x number on the scale, then POOF! everything will fall into place. And the worst part is that no matter how much I went over and over it like some Rubik’s Cube, I couldn’t figure it out. How could I be successful in so many other areas in my life…and yet this storm cloud kept following me? Would this “weight thing” always buzz in the background?
The short answer: No.
But the long road I traveled—but you don’t need to—to arrive at this peaceful place is a different story, one I’m guessing you’ll relate to if you read on.
Hi! I’m Ali Shapiro, I often describe myself using the words of a client who dubbed me her Swiss Army knife of wellness. “You’re like having a nutritionist, trainer, and psychologist in my back pocket!”
As a full-time health coach for the past eight years, I can attest that when it comes to calling a truce with food simple definitely doesn’t mean easy. I’d love to save you the time, frustration, and the shame that continues to pile on from failed dieting attempts. These “failures” aren’t your fault. Eventual failure is calculated into nearly all dieting plans, and while they claim to come from different places, they’re all using the same formula.
But the good news is these formulas aren’t worth continuing to figure out. If you’re like most of my clients, you’re smart and driven. If this were merely a logic problem or a matter of discipline, you would have figured it out by now. If you are anything like I was, you still cling to the belief that you will be the exception. This makes sense because you’ve been exceptional in so many other areas of your life. And yet, like me, you probably have to admit (with just a dash of shame) that full acceptance isn’t realistic because you really are happier when you’re thinner.
But losing weight without losing yourself doesn’t have to be as difficult as it’s been for you in the past. I recommend using your exceptional nature not to go on another diet, but rather to find a tailored nutrition solution of what works best for your body while discovering the stories controlling your mind and the course of your life.
As Brené Brown (whom I love) says…
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself (and that’s why I didn’t). Yes, this kind of deeper work can feel like going into the darkness, but I’m here to shine a light, to be your guide (along with other fabulous women in the group).
I often ask women, “What is your food and/or weight loss goal asking of you?” If you could answer this off the top of your head then you may need to sink deeper. Most likely what will arise is a feeling that something has to change but you don’t know exactly what. Or maybe you have a pretty good idea of what, but don’t yet feel strong enough or equipped to traverse the territory ahead. Maybe you’re in a rut. Outwardly, you seem to really have your life together and others may even look up to you as a role model. But inside there’s a storm brewing. You look around and think I’ve accomplished so much and yet does it always need to come back to this?
And what got you this far, won’t necessarily get you to where you want to go. There’s a gap between where you are and where you want to go.
I know this gap well.
Unless you already figured out this food “thing” and aren’t anchored by your weight. Unless you are already soaring in the lighter life you were meant to lead…read on.
Will you step into the time machine with me?
Ten years ago, I’m sitting on a doctor’s examination table in Philly. I’ve been greeted, paperworked, weighed, processed, and now I try hard—after so many years of being poked and prodded—not to imagine myself as a slab of meat sitting on top of this rolled out paper. The light above me flickers as if taking pictures of a body that—according to the scale I just stared down—is still 30 pounds from where I’d like it to be. The door of this tiny room is closed, my brick of a medical file hung behind it.
Time sloooows as I wait for my doctor. My mouth is pasty with dread. I tell myself that May 22, 1992—the date I was diagnosed with cancer—was a long time ago. I tell myself that I’ve been “free” of cancer for over ten years. I tell myself I’m not even here because of anything having to do with cancer. I’m here because I can’t seem to figure out what’s going on with my balloning body. Why despite my best white knuckling efforts and discipline, I’m continuing to gain weight. After a stressful job that shuffled me around to different cities every couple of months, I’ve crashed on Philly’s shores like a heavy anchor. I tell myself that surely a wonky thyroid is the culprit or maybe my antidepressant?
For so long I defined healthy as not having cancer. But now? There’s my recently diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome, my skin irritations, acne, asthma, allergies, depression. Life just feels heavy. I’m sure I’ve just gained another pound waiting for this doctor. My eyes drift back over to that medical file that’s as thick as a phonebook and giving the door hinges a workout.
I have a sudden realization: That is my medical file. I spring from the exam table, the butcher paper sticking to my thighs. I flip through my file as if reading a mystery. Little did I know at this time that this was all the evidence I need to start reclaiming my health, to become my own best expert.
There’s a knock on the exam room door. I have more questions than answers, but this is the start of something. There’s been an inner shift. Surely all of these ailments can’t be unrelated? Surely there has to be root causes? Surely there has to be a better way than point counting, constant monitoring, and more medication?
And so I said f— it! I’m tired of fighting myself. Maybe I’ll just be fat and alone forever. I may not have cancer, but I’m definitely not healthy.
A clumsy search began. Given that dieting had been my main hobby for 18 years, I felt a bit lost. I had no food or exercise plan, but instead found myself taking chances, testing new limits.
Rather than continuing all of the career striving, I made a lateral job move to eliminate a draining commute out to the suburbs and all of the international work travel. Even though my weight was no where where I wanted it to be, I said yes, to a date to a wonderful man who is now my husband (hint: if a man offers to carry heavy boxes and furniture into your new apartment after only knowing you for two weeks, he may be a keeper). I started taking art classes that wouldn’t “advance” my career, but fed me creatively (want to know how to bind a book, I can show you how). My curiosity peaked and I felt inspired. My weight took a back seat to the life I thought I’d have to wait for.
And that’s when five pounds dropped.
And then five more.
And then another ten.
What the heck is going on? Now that my weight doesn’t matter as much, now it comes off?
Looking back now after losing those initial twenty pounds with (seemingly) little effort isn’t surprising.
When I first started working with clients, I witnessed how changes in their lives seemingly unrelated to food had this same weight loss ripple effect. Over our sessions together, they came in lighter both figuratively and literally. I wanted to chart what exactly was happening.
These women who sat across from me were smart, driven, and successful. They didn’t want more b.s. and fluff, they wanted to know why working with me would really be different. In those early years I got results for my clients, but I couldn’t map out exactly where we were going. My nutrition and functional medicine training had been progressive enough to help them meet their specific goals, but I wanted to provide these women with finely honed tools for the elegant and lasting solutions they were looking for (and deserved).
So I embarked on figuring out what was happening in this unchartered territory. In a wellness field overcrowded with cult of personality figures blowing hot air up women’s pink dresses, I turned away from the noise and made the decidedly “unsexy” decision to return to get my Masters in Coaching and Change Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Armed not with a trust fund, but a love of learning, I continued to build my practice and business while attending classes over four years. Doing this was stressful, necessary, and a smart decision. I was able to apply the latest theories and research about how adults learned and changed behaviors immediately to my work with these incredible women. These weren’t academic theories developed in a vacuum.
The results I was getting for my clients increased exponentially and stood the test of time.
I emerged out of the Ivy League not just with a degree, but with the first version of my Truce With Food group program. It was as if the tools I developed from my prior nutrition and functional medicine training had been sharpened and now had an elegant toolbox to contain them.
And then, another five pounds dropped…
While they were all traveling different paths, the women in Truce With Food were experiencing similar successes.
Yes, each week of this four month program covers the fundamentals and nuances of nutrition. But there is also something deeper at work. For starters women begin to understand that self-acceptance is the opposite of resignation. We need to stop fighting ourselves. We need to be where we really are before we can set out to make lasting changes.
Again, easier said than done. Over time, many of us have written ourselves into the harmful stories others have told us about ourselves.
The challenge is that this isn’t so different than a fish that doesn’t know it’s in water. We don’t even recognize these stories because we’re submerged in them.
As Beth, a recent participant, says…
“Through the program, I realized all the unhealthy myths I told myself for years about dieting, exercise, and dating just aren’t true!”
We all have a backstory. And, in many ways your life is a result of the past roles you performed into the present. You may even cherish the approval that comes from performing roles like the “good girl” or the “perfect mother, daughter, friend” with such flourish…and yet these same roles may leave you exhausted. Maybe you hit the pillow with your mind still racing from all of your competing commitments and your heart sinking.
Is this really what you signed up for?
If you’re like many past participants, you know this weight and food thing shouldn’t matter. You also suspect it’s not really about the food and weight…and yet, it is. Actually, I’m here to tell you that, paradoxically, it is and is not about your weight and food. It’s like a enigmatic dance…not a battle. A plan that treats weight loss as a linear path will only keep you motivated for a couple of weeks or months.
The flash in the pan novelty of failed dieting formulas needs to be replaced with a slow burn of continuous curiosity. “Discipline” and “willpower” need to be replaced with a love of learning and a more intuitive kind of knowing. If you learn this process oriented approach, what food and movement work best for you shine brightly and lead the way to weight loss and peace of mind.
Process may not always be sexy, but it works.
What the group comes to experience over the 16 weeks of the program is that while we each have our own unique stories, there ARE reoccurring themes such as using food as a surrogate for comfort and love. We also often shield our identities with our culture’s “too busy” badge of honor.
Ah, the relief that sets in from knowing we aren’t alone. It’s one of the reasons most accept the invitation to stay connected to the group even once the program has officially ended.
Over the course of our time together, we celebrate victories “big” and “small.” We learn a process that includes new definitions and ways of measuring success. We heal our bodies with tailored nutrition solutions and free our minds from old stories and ways of being. We learn which foods work best for our unique bodies with the understanding that we all live in the real world. We reclaim parts of ourselves that have fallen by the wayside. We discover parts of ourselves we never knew existed. We learn a lot from listening, sharing, and integrating our findings into own experiences. We conduct experiments and take calculated risks (knowing other heroines are standing by with support).
Soon, you find that you embody a new way of being, that food and life become as exceptional as you have the potential to be. You forge your own unique path with me, your trusted guide, alongside you.
As Elizabeth says…
“Ali’s positive, ‘isn’t that interesting, tell me more’ attitude allowed me to find a new level of how I could be more comfortable in my own skin. I’m now comfortable explaining food sensitivity issues to friends and family, better at managing interpersonal relationships that have lots of baggage, and I’m comfortable in social situations that normally would have caused stress and anxiety, and so much more. I’m so honored and humbled to call her my coach, and to be continuing on my journey with her.”
I believe in practicing what I preach and like a lot of “teachers” during the first year of running this group program, I was learning a lot from thinking and feeling deeply about the topics we covered. While I had traversed this territory several times, I discovered as with all great adventures, there are always more discoveries to be made.
I had come a long way from point counting and all of the other false promises of dieting. I was brimming in a confidence that was no longer buried under weight. This new sense of purpose was expressed in a career I felt was my calling. I was living up to the client description of being a Swiss Army knife of wellness. The cherry on top was that I had also married my soulmate.
And yet—even as I reminded my group that the elusive weight goal so often is reached as a side effect of living the life you were meant to lead—I wondered about the ten pounds I would have liked to lose. Notice that I say “wondered,” not obsessed. And “would have liked to” not needed to. In other words, I was happy and fulfilled. Other than the inevitable stress that comes from being an entrepreneur, I was filled with gratitude and believed this was as good as life could get.
But then some old feelings started bubbling beneath the surface when I went in for my annual scans. I brushed off the anxiety as understandable given my teenage cancer. Just routine scans I told myself. Plus, I had never been in better shape. But lately I had been feeling sluggish and was trying to reverse my hypothyroidism naturally. I was committed to making any necessary lifestyle changes and wanted to avoid taking medication.
So, there I was again in a doctor’s office. A cold liquid gel being spread on my neck just inches from where I had discovered that lump when taking my pulse so many years ago.
A look of concern ripples over the doctor’s face.
“It looks like a nodule,” he says. “We’re going to have to biopsy it.”
The weeks that followed were like being stuck in a waiting room filled with needles, tears, tests, and inconclusive results.
There was lots of uncertainty and tears flowed from a deep place of grief, some old, some new. During this time I also came to understand that for years I had been running away from this grief of having had cancer versus towards a place that life was a safe place to be. These are drastically different directions. I was trying to not lose in life rather than playing to win.
On the surface—like many of the women in the group—I had all of the outward signs of “success.” But the deeper story pulsing beneath the surface was that life was unsafe. I needed to constantly be on guard. At times, I realized, that I still used food as an anxiety pacifier, as a way to ground me when everything else felt so uncertain.
So, I dropped the I’m So Busy badge of honor without the usual guilt. There was a different kind of work to be done…
When decision time came, I said no to removing half of my thyroid. Instead, I redoubled my healthy living efforts while sitting with the difficult grief. Over time (and with patience) my thyroid levels shifted back into a healthy range without medication…
The remaining ten pounds
My adventure will surely continue—that’s life after all. But I’ve found more than a healthy waistline, I’ve found peace. I’m committed to showing you how to create a map that will lead past weight loss and into a life that feeds you. I can’t do the work for you, but I can make sure the work you do counts. I’m ready to walk alongside you. Let’s travel the most elegant path together.
Up until now, I’ve told you a bit about my story and how this program has evolved alongside my life and professional training. Why? It’s important that you know I’ve walked the walk and have the unique “Swiss Army knife” expertise to guide and empower you.
Although we have yet to meet, I feel like we’re already in a conversation. But who are you? Do you feel like this program might be the right fit for you?
Read on to find out…
This program attracts driven and successful women—especially on paper…
You sense your type-A tendencies have gotten you far in life, but seem powerless against this kind of struggle. If you’re up for “hard” work, then you’ll experience results in this program. But know that this isn’t the type of hard work you may be imagining. This deeper investigation take courage over counting calories or points and exercising self-inquiry over bootcamps. So, while you may embark on this path a bit skeptical, you are equally excited to learn a new way of understanding food and your body.
The women I work best with tend toward the cerebral and discerning (this program is subtitled The Thinker’s Diet, after all)…
This isn’t your first self-improvement rodeo. You are self aware and yet looking for a deeper way of understanding your body and motivations. You may have already been to traditional therapy and connected some of the dots, you may even believe you know why, but not how to make changes. You understand that living your best life isn’t all !!!!! all the time. Positive thinking and mantras have their place, but you’re looking for something for your body and mind. Some of the most rewarding moments in your life have come not from putting on a happy face, but from rigorous pursuits.
The women who get the most out of the program weren’t born yesterday…
Intellectually you know that pre-packaged plans don’t work, but you aren’t sure what will. You believe you’re nutritionally savvy—which feels like a blessing and a curse—but are overwhelmed with making sense of all of the noise (paleo? gluten-free? sugar-free? vegan?) You still get emotionally snagged into detoxes, new diet plans, and Facebook scrolling of your friends short-term weight loss successes. You are ready to take the longer view (even if begrudgingly) because you’ve been around long enough to know the quick fix hasn’t been one for you.
These women want food and weight loss to take up less mental and spiritual real estate in their lives…
You are tired of thinking about and feeling tempted by food all of the time. You know it shouldn’t matter, but you truly believe life would be better if you lost some weight or toned your stomach. You are in a transition and know that examining your overall physical and emotional health will provide the necessary clarity to expect more from the next phase of your life. You are sophisticated and know that a tailored (not one-size-fits all) approach will work in the long-term. You want an approach that considers all of you from your health history to a desire not to cook every meal from scratch.
Ready to dive into what you’ll experience?
YOUR 16-WEEK, 12-LESSON PROGRAM SYLLABUS
You’ll receive 12 Lessons containing links to 12 Audio Classes with easy-to-print worksheets and exercises. You receive new content and assignments for the first three weeks of each month. The last week of each month is an integration week, to go deeper with recommendations or to catch up if needed. All course content, additional multimedia resources, and group participation will be housed in an integrated and seamless online learning platform. Your learning will be supported by me and your peers via our private online group.
In order to take the conversation deeper and to offer any necessary clarification of course materials, there will also be a live (and lively) weekly coaching call. You can participate from anywhere in the world (we are a global group). Call times will vary to accommodate as many schedules as possible. If for any reason you can’t make it to one of these live calls, you can send in your questions ahead of time. Afterwards, recordings of all calls will be made available to all in the group.
Best of all, even after the program concludes, all course materials, online discussions, and the community will continue to be available to you from the “observation deck” for FREE and for as long as the Truce with Food program exists. Many former participants love dipping in for inspiration and staying connected to the incredible caliber of women who have answered the call to this adventure.
Now that I’ve given you a sense of the structure of the program, let me give you a taste of the topics and the story we will be writing together. It unfolds over four acts.
Act 1: CONNECT BODY AND BRAIN
- Lesson 1: The Grace of Growth Mindset & Strong Digestion—we begin with an exploration of how digestion of food and implementing growth mindset intertwine for healthy bellies, moods, and weight loss.
- Lesson 2: Regulate Self-Compassion and Blood Sugar for Food Ease—while growth mindset is liberating, there’s a learning curve until it’s really fun. You’ll shorten that learning curve when you put self-compassion and your blood sugar to work for you.
- Lesson 3: Yin & Yang, Fats, & Weight Loss—identify and understand how small yet chronic tension leads to eating extremes. You’ll learn how to cool off your body and emotions.
Act 2: RESTORE MOTIVATION
- Lesson 4: Correlation vs. Causation & Carbs—were you happy because you were thin or thin because you were happy? Learn how to get yourself in a positive feel good cycle that will feed your motivation.
- Lesson 5: Cooling Your Cravings—pull cravings out at their root by identifying habits that trigger you to be emotionally drained.
- Lesson 6: Why Being a Good Girl Makes You Feel So Bad—using a powerful coaching process, you’ll X-ray the stories that cause you to self-sabotage and crave comfort foods.
Act 3: FACE CRAVINGS
- Lesson 7: Good Girls Do Cry: Softening into Vulnerability & Your Inner Critic—to change our stories, we first need to embody a new way of being. Learn how to show up differently in your story.
- Lesson 8: The Beauty of Confidence—who you think you are determines the information you seek out. Learn how to look for data that makes you secure (note: this could mean you will be happy, but not right ;-)
- Lesson 9: Decoding Secret Eating—living a new story requires learning how to make new meaning and redefining pleasure for yourself.
Act 4: THE SCALE REVEALED
- Lesson 10: What is Your Weight Loss Goal Asking of You?—we’ve come far, but now which stories need to be revised? Which need to be rewritten entirely. How can you step into your new role as heroine?
- Lesson 11: Following Your Golden Shadow Into Our Untox Adventure—we’ll fully integrate all our learnings as individuals and a group for a week “spa staycation” that honors where you are now and gives you a strong head start for even more changes.
- Lesson 12: There’s No Place Like Home—underneath all weight loss goals is a craving for feeling enough, feeling at home in our bodies and lives. Discover how this is accessible to you at all times.
Fall 2014 Bonuses
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with the top thinkers and doers in wellness. To add to the comprehensiveness of the program, I’ve curated some of the best in the field to teach along with me in a series of master classes. Again, all of this content will be available regardless of your schedule.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn from:
Andrea Nakayama from Replenish PDX will speak on thyroid disorders related to a sluggish metabolism and autoimmune issues. She’ll discuss the root cause of these disorders and which tests you should ask your doctor for to ensure you’re genuinely supporting your thyroid and it can then, support your health.
Brandon Mentore, an elite trainer, will speak on how to identify your body type and its influence on your exercise goals and identify the top exercise mistakes that cause people to gain weight. You’ll workout smarter, not harder.
Jennifer Fugo, founder of Gluten-Free School will discuss the benefits of going gluten-free, separate the facts from the hype, the best way to approach going gluten-free and sneaky places you’d never suspect gluten.
Heather Kinsey, co-owner at Nibmor Chocolate, will dive deep into sugar, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), facts you may not want to know but need to and will provide the healthiest ways to enjoy your favorite sweet treats.
Tara Sophia Mohr, a women’s leadership expert and founder of the Playing Big Program discusses how your inner critic can throw you off emotional balance, landing you in the dessert aisle and how to work with this voice to feel more powerful.
Bob Schoenholtz, M.S., ATR-BC, LPC, a leading visual imagery therapist, discusses how weight issues can be a result of unresolved pain lingering in the body. Just because your type-A personality has moved on, doesn’t mean the body has. You’ll learn how visual imagery therapy is different than talk therapy, the ways of knowing aside from thought that will help you release weight and how healing these old wounds restores your confidence, taking the pressure off of your weight loss goals so you can enjoy your wellness process.
The difference in how I look and feel is amazing and I’ve never looked better.
Ali’s step-by-step approach opened my eyes to the other aspects of my diet that needed to be adjusted. The difference in how I look and feel is amazing. If you’re serious about changing your life through what you consume, I cannot recommend Ali’s program highly enough.
So, to recap, your program experience includes:
- 12 Lessons containing links to 12 Audio Classes with easy-to-print worksheets and exercises.
- An integrated and seamless online learning platform.
- A live (and lively) weekly coaching call. Times will vary to accommodate as many people and time zones as possible (more details once you’re enrolled). Afterwards, recordings of all calls will be made available.
- A private online group for consistent feedback and support.
- 6 Bonus Master Classes with a wide array of experts.
Yes, you could go on yet another diet with the burning hope that you’ll get it “right” this time. Yes, you can over time hire an army of personal trainers, nutritionists, and psychologists. And yes, you can continue the battle.
BUT, I’m guessing if you’ve read this far, then you are looking for something different. You understand that a process-oriented approach that guides rather than dictates, that teaches you how to become your own best expert will lead to greater (and lasting) victories.
This course is essential because…
- Every time you try something else that doesn’t work, there’s more to unlearn. Yes, the baggage piles up.
- In a culture where food has become a religion, you need a coach who no longer has her own food hang-ups. You need someone who will understand your unique history, needs, and goals. You need a guide, curator, and supporter…not a food police and dictator.
- You need to move from “knowing what to do” to actually doing it. Many coaches can help you figure out what’s sabotaging you, but fewer can provide the tools and insight to help you traverse the territory from where you are to where you want to be. Doing this requires sinking into the paradox of this simultaneously “being about the food” and “not about the food.” I have the academic, professional, and personal experience and training to teach you this enigmatic dance.
Is this program what you’re looking for? I hope so! But it may not be. Here’s how you’ll know . . .
Signs that this is your time to call a truce with food:
- You’re ready to finally lose and keep off weight, but you’re NOT on a “need to lose 20 pounds for a wedding next month” deadline.
- You have the sinking feeling that you just can’t stomach another short-lived dieting success with its boomerang weight gain.
- You know that self-care goes beyond manicures, pedicures, and buying a new outfit. These things have their place, but you’re more interested in self-care that simplifies your life while connecting you to others who get you.
- You know your ultimate success will only be sweet if it creates a life that makes you feel empowered. You don’t need someone to dictate from a megaphone. You’re ready for an approach that guides you in becoming your own confident and best expert.
- You’re excited about a learning process fueled by curiosity, experimentation, and humor versus only checking off boxes.
- You know wisdom is sexy.
Enrollment is sold out for Fall 2014. Sign-up below to be the first to know about enrollment for April 2, 2015 and receive the first lesson for Truce with Food free!
Now imagine it’s time to decide on dinner.
It’s 6 p.m. not later because you really understand that working harder doesn’t mean better output. Plus, your day was creative, productive, and you are energized because your priorities are present.
You didn’t think about food at all today, except when you unexpectedly had a friend ask you to lunch. You didn’t worry about going off your plan because you don’t have one now. Food is a much more neutral and natural part of your life. You suggested a great lunch spot that has healthy and delicious options you were actually craving. You had energy because you now know how to balance your blood sugar. And, you are no longer reading dieting advice and articles when you need a work break.
So, you actually feel like hitting the 6:15 yoga class. You no longer feel like only cardio counts as exercise and know instead of guilt for choosing yoga, you’ll feel reset for a great evening. While tonight you have plans with that friend who you met because she was the only one bold enough to tell you in the college cafeteria that you had broccoli in your teeth, you’d also be just as happy to go home because you feel at home in your body and life.
While nights often vary, it’s all based on a feeling of flow YOU created.
You are on fire, my dear heroine…
But if you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet yourself. And you will say—YES. —Marion Woodman
How is Truce with Food different from other weight loss coaching programs?
Truce with Food is the only program I know of that addresses the physical and emotional aspects of food and where those intersect. Many participants have told me it’s “paradigm shifting.” This is also a step-by-step process grounded in cutting edge nutrition, coaching, and psychology theory and practice, not just “hey, this worked for me.” My strength is in understanding all three parts and how they interlock. The programs I’ve seen tend to address things tactically, but not the strategic overlap. Truce with Food is like hiring one general contractor to manage a total renovation versus hoping a fleet of contractors are in sync. This holistic understanding is necessary for the degree of lasting change most people are seeking.
Can I get reimbursed for this program through my insurance?
If you have an FSA or HSA account, most likely. I’ve written dozens of receipts for participants’ FSA and HSA accounts. Most plans reimburse for any type of nutritional counseling and coaching. I recommend checking with your plan specifically for an exact answer. I’m happy to write you receipt.
If there’s no plan, how will I know what to eat?
A plan will certainly develop, but it’ll be based on your body, your health concerns (i.e. hypothyroidism, fatigue, depression, etc.) and so it will feel like you are in control because you are. Everyone’s body is different. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, instead think of it like a tailored dress that makes you radiate from the inside out.
Will I lose weight?
As you’ll learn in the program, lasting weight loss is a byproduct of the body and mind getting healthy. This often means reducing stress and deconstructing why you turn to food. While many people lose weight, given the nature of weight loss, anyone with respectable training will tell you it’s impossible to guarantee weight loss results. Many people also report weight loss after the program too. One of the things I’m most proud of is when I’m in touch with clients years after, they’re always in exponentially better places because they’ve taken the tools and new mindset they learned in Truce with Food for cumulative and exponential benefits.
I have medical conditions that make weight loss difficult (i.e. joint pain, autoimmune issues), will this program still work for me?
Absolutely. Weight loss is a side effect of a physiologically balanced body. The program focuses on creating the internal conditions for this balance, which support all health conditions. While health conditions are multi-factorial, you’ll understand how to nutritionally support these conditions.
I’m busy. Will I have time for this?
Life today is one constant busy season. Especially for the women who tend to gravitate towards Truce With Food. This program is designed for the on-the-go lifestyle. It does require about three hours per week for maximum benefit. Two hours for the content and Q&A calls (all recorded so you can listen at your leisure), and about an hour on “homework.” Many participants have said this program actually creates time for you by learning the foods to give you more energy and clarity. Plus the last week in each month is an integration week, where there’s no new content but opportunities to go deeper with the work, and catch up if you missed a week.
I’m not looking to lose weight, but do want to enhance other areas of my health. Can this program help?
Absolutely. In discussing digestion and blood sugar, the two foundational systems of the body that influence all of today’s chronic conditions, you’ll do that. And, being healthy isn’t just about being free of disease. It’s about emotional well-being, which Truce with Food focuses on heavily.
Do I have to become a master chef?
No! I’m actually referred to as the lazy chef’s guide to cooking. All the recipes are really simple (no exotic ingredients) or long prep times and can be cooked in big batches to last for multiple days. Plus, you’ll learn how to eat out and make the right choices so you don’t need to cook all the time.
How do I know if this program is right for me?
This program attracts a wide-ranging audience across traditional demographics. Some commonalities are a love of learning, open-mindedness, and wanting to be in control of one’s health. It also attracts realists. People who understand lasting change takes time, but they want as direct a route as possible while feeling inspired along the way.
I’m not really a group joiner. Will I benefit from the program?
I call myself a bad joiner myself so I understand your hesitation. I’ve had some people stick to themselves and get incredible benefits. However most participants are impressed by the caliber of women in the group and want to participate and get incredible value from the support and ideas of these other intelligent and caring women.
What if I sign up and change my mind or what if my life just gets super busy?
Truce with Food has a higher than average completion rate for online programs. Second, all instructional materials are yours for life—so even if your schedule happens to change, you can still get the full value of the program when you’re ready. However, if within the first 30 days of the program, you find it isn’t working for you, and you have completed the program materials and worksheets we’ve done up until that point, let us know and your tuition will be refunded.
I’m having technical trouble signing up.
No problem. We can help. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll get you all set up.
Honestly, I feel nervous about signing up. I don’t want to waste any more money on a diet or plan that isn’t going to work.
You definitely aren’t alone. Side-by-side the hopes of things really being different are the voices of, “I’m just always going to struggle with my weight.” or “I’ll wait till there’s a better time.” And both of those can be true. But here’s what I have found: the longer you wait to change your relationship to food, the more entangled and complex it becomes. And that is lost time you will never get back. I still mourn the lost years and opportunities I felt held back by my weight. Truce with Food is truly different than anything you’ve ever tried—I don’t have a slick marketing bone in my body.
I’m still not sure.
I get it. I am a Pittsburgh born-and-bred smart shopper. Here’s what I tell my clients when they are navigating these decisions that feel pivotal. Feel it in your body. Try on the decision for a day. How does it feel to know you are enrolled in Truce with Food? Do you feel hopeful, curious, and already supported? Or does it feel heavy, “off” and another item to check off? Ultimately, you have to be ready, open, and willing to make the commitment. There’s no right or wrong. My hope is that you go with the decision that bets on yourself and not your fears.
Have a question that isn’t answered here? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Still not sure if this is a good fit for you? No worries, let’s chat and figure this out together (promise, no hard selling).
Enrollment is sold out for Fall 2014. Sign-up below to be the first to know about enrollment for April 2, 2015 and receive the first lesson for Truce with Food free!
About the Program Creator & Your Guide
A client once described Ali Shapiro as the Swiss Army knife of wellness because she’s like having the tools of a nutritionist, therapist, and personal trainer all working together for you. Combining her background in functional medicine and holistic nutrition, she created Truce with Food, ™ an innovative health coaching model, while at the University of Pennsylvania earning her Masters degree in the field of Coaching. She’s combined her different fields of expertise into an elegant and inspiring wellness process that makes food, our most important medicine, a joy. She is also a 22-year cancer survivor.
Ali has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Shopping, Huffington Post, Redbook Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Philadelphia Magazine. She was also a regular health contributor to the NBC 10! Show.
In her “off-hours,” Ali can be found laughing on meandering walks with her husband Carlos. She escapes into nature as often as possible. When in the city, she is always on the lookout for newly sprouted farmers’ markets. She is a life long learner who can spend hours in bookstores. She enjoys yoga and dancing (she loves being twirled). She’s always ready for a great conversation and she savors BIG ideas. Her recently purchased professional microphone radiates promise.
What Participants of Truce with Food are Saying…
“Truce with Food is such an insightful program and, so far, I’ve lost 44 pounds that I know won’t come back. Ali leads you through the steps in such an encouraging way that it doesn’t feel hard or scary. It just fits! She gives you the tools and understanding to pick the path that works best for you. There’s no one way to do things or rules. It’s the best time and dollars I have ever invested!” — PAT P.
“Before Truce with Food, I found myself bingeing while I was on the road for work. I knew what healthy habits I needed to follow—I’d been trying for YEARS. This program was eye opening and enabled me to figure out what was really going on. Since Truce, I have not binged at all—not once! I now recognize and honor the challenges of traveling for work and rather than binge, I find other ways to take care of myself. I am much more kind, gentle, and at peace with myself. I’m on a quest to bring my own radiance to life and this program brought this need and desire to light. Ali and the whole group have helped me find my radiance that was buried for years. I am forever grateful.” — TINA BOOGREN
“I can’t believe the progress I’ve made in Truce with Food compared to 10+ years of unnecessary dieting. This program can help people with different issues (overeating, over-exercising, over-analyzing, or people who need more nutritional guidance) using relatively the same method. On the other hand, there was no one-size-fits-all approach and that was welcomed. ” — ADRIENNE
“As a result of working with Ali and her Truce with Food approach, I have made peace with food. My body feels so good, there’s no way I could fill myself up with the foods that make me feel sluggish. When I cut gluten out of my diet, my crippling PMS went away. And this one is my favorite: I found the courage to leave a job that was toxic and limiting. Now, I have much more energy to give to the people in my family and community. I am calmer. I am kinder. I am more adventurous. I trust myself. (And I thought at the outset that we were just going to talk about calories!) My time with Ali was life-changing. — KAREN G.
“I was getting too tired to work out after my job and my life was all about work and workouts M-F, boring. Now it’s as if Truce gave me permission’ to find ways to have fun again after work. I do not own a scale for fear of obsessing like I have unfortunately done at some point in the past but my husband confirmed, while hugging my hips, that some inches are gone. Each component, the group sharing, the recipes, the workbook, your approach, was valuable. Groups have so much power—you were good Ali, the way you gauged the group and did not let your beliefs overpower other’s that at times were different. The sharing was powerful.” —P.S.
“I couldn’t be happier that I found you and your tribe, Ali Shapiro. After decades of dieting, Truce with Food was the biggest insight and change into my eating habits. Your support in Truce with Food is invaluable. I now know myself so much better and what issues I’ve been carrying around for decades. Your insights are brave and profound and I couldn’t be more grateful. You made me feel more comfortable in my skin, know why I eat the way I do, and given me a lifetime of knowledge I can keep going back to.” —ABBY R.
“The questions Truce with Food raises were excellent at helping me analyze parts of my thought process I had never questioned and beliefs I hadn’t realized I was living by. A huge weight has lifted from my shoulders and the way I look at food has changed dramatically. It doesn’t hold all the power it did before.” — D.D.
“Yes, I could have focused on just the food but it was much, much more than food. Emotional triggers came into play that I never realized would have such an impact. The support from the group really helped me to better understand and accept these emotions and the toll they were taking on my health. The best part is the program offered a really well thought out and balanced approach to making peace with your emotions along with strategies to live the healthiest journey you can live. It’s changed my outlook and I’m now on a better path.” — JEN S.
“In Truce with Food, I have solidly learned that food is not my issue. Since about week 4, I put down my sword and quit fighting with that imaginary demon. As a result, I stopped thinking about food at all—until I was hungry—and then made the best choice available. Yet, I haven’t eaten out of packages, mostly, and have stayed away from gluten, eaten my biggest meal at lunch, a lot, and pretty much avoided sugar. Even on a cross-country road trip, I chose a banana at rest stops where healthy choices were minimal! This has never happened to me in my life. I have not gained an ounce and now, have lost my scale. Most of all, I have learned/discovered that on my new journey I do not have to DO anything, but I need to FEEL everything.” — BARBARA
“I took Truce with Food to help me break years of bad eating habits. I knew the proper way to eat but haven’t been doing what is necessary to keep myself healthy. I also felt I needed help with behavior modification. This program ended up being much more of an emotional evolution about how I see myself, others, and the world around me. A side-effect of this evolution was after a long absence from exercising, I began exercising again to strengthen my body, to feel more confident, and to keep my eating in check. Next, I started dating again. I was telling myself that at this weight, I wouldn’t be attractive to the opposite sex. Through the program, I realized all the unhealthy little myths like this that I told myself for years, just aren’t true.” — BETH
“I used to focus on fad diet after fad diet, hoping that I would find the golden ticket to results and happiness. Ali helped me relax around food and trust that I could make my own decisions, without a diet dictating what to do. She showed me how to deconstruct my cravings and insatiable appetite by helping me understand what parts of my life needed work in order to receive joy from things other than food. Through our work, I redesigned my life to be more meaningful and inspiring. In turn I was happier and lost the need to overeat and obsess over food. Before I used to put a lid on the pot that I called “wants and desires,” now I openly embrace them. I’m living with a greater awareness around not only health and nutrition, but my life.” — JULIET BURGH
“The value of this program is learning a new way to eat and knowing there’s a way to control my habits. This is not a plan, but a lifesaving journey.” — CANDACE G.
“Ali’s step-by-step approach opened my eyes to the other aspects of my diet that needed to be adjusted. The difference in how I look and feel is amazing. If you’re serious about changing your life through what you consume, I cannot recommend Ali’s program highly enough.” — DELENA PARSONS
“Striving for perfection in the way I eat only led me to deprivation, feelings of guilt, and ultimately just hating my body. Truce with Food taught me how to stop being so hard on myself.” — KIM B.
“In all the years I have spent thinking/worrying/obsessing about my weight and what I should or shouldn’t be eating, your explanation of blood sugar was the first I ever really understood. Previously, I had a vague idea of how it all worked but you broke down the relevant information and presented it in such a way that it actually made sense. Now I can make much more informed choices about the foods I put in my body. Yay!” — SUZIE G.
“I have permission to listen to my body and not the magazines! It’s a really a sweet combo of ease and awareness! I have much less judgment and more empathy for myself and others.” — BRIGHT
Praise for the Deep Dive option in Truce with Food (Best for those seeking an additional layer of accountability. Includes checking your weekly homework and three private sessions with me throughout the course.)
Fed up with fad diets, point counting, and other coaching programs that only scratched the surface when it came to my food sensitivities and emotional eating triggers, I embarked on Truce with Food. Best. Decision. Ever. Truce with Food, and Ali’s positive, “isn’t that interesting, tell me more” attitude allowed me to find a new level of “here’s how I can become more comfortable in my own skin.” And that work took on many forms—comfort in explaining food sensitivity issues to friends and family, comfort in interpersonal relationships that have lots of baggage, comfort in social situations that normally would have caused stress and anxiety, and so much more.
Ali used the homework review and 1:1 coaching sessions to guide me toward a deeper understanding of the course material and to raise questions about how I was using that new knowledge in my everyday life. This incredibly valuable feedback made me feel like my journey in the program was an exploration – in other words, Ali made the work fun and exciting, which led to progress, and a craving for more progress (versus a craving for food).
I am more self-reflective and now know how to reframe situations that normally would have triggered emotional eating. Now, “reframe” is my favorite word and the tool in my kit that comes out most often. Ali’s encouragement and skill at handling sensitive subjects—particularly during the 1:1 coaching sessions—gave me not just the wings to fly, but also the strength to really soar. I’m so honored and humbled to call her my coach, and to be continuing on my journey with her. — ELIZABETH
I took Truce with Food because I was so sick of stressing out about food and weight. I got so much out of it! I did the emotional work and feel emotionally lighter. I’m able to stop negative thought patterns quickly. I know it’s not about the food for me. I don’t see certain foods as “bad” anymore and I don’t feel guilty when I eat them (which leads to me eating less of them). Having the accountability from the homework review and 1:1 sessions were really key for me getting exactly what I needed out of the program. — M.S.
“I took Truce with Food to find peace within myself around not only food, but all that food represents—emotions, safety, and peace. I learned how to idenfity and ‘tone down’ my inner critic—especially in social situations that would trigger me to over drink or eat the wrong foods for my body. As a result, I reclaimed my own definition of beauty and found a sense of calm that I never had before. I discovered my own native genius—harmony—and how to apply this gift to areas of my life outside of work that I never thought about before to make life more enjoyable. And, I now LISTEN to myself and my body so that I can make decisions about food and my lifestyle based on how I FEEL and not what I ‘should’ do/be. Thanks to the clarity from my homework and 1:1 sessions with Ali, I was also able to stay on track and fine tune what I needed to do to effectively take control of my Premenstural dysphoric disorder (PMDD) nutritionally and emotionally. I have weeks of my life back!” — T.B.