Free to Thrive Blog

Making life changes starts with the courage to "look in the mirror" honestly and openly. This is the first step toward self-love and developing the habits, thinking, and willingness to change. Mirror work is a powerful tool that can assist you on your journey to self-discovery, recovery, and transformation. Read the article linked below for more inspiration and information.

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Fear of change can hold you in it's grasp threatening to never let you go. It can be paralyzing and lead to anxiety, panic attacks, and inaction. Facing your fears by recognizing them, accepting them, and releasing them is the path to liberation, feedom, and thriving. Often, you will come to realize that the fear that gripped you is a false perception. Let go and be FREE TO THRIVE!

Thirteen years ago, I was diagnosed with two significant life altering autoimmune diseases. A year later, I was diagnosed with another one, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that. Six in total. It was devastating both emotionally and physically. I wondered if I would ever feel well again. There were some days when I was in overwhelming pain and utterly exhausted. It took every ounce of my strength and will power to get out of bed and get dressed each day. My road back to wellness was a series of trial and error, research, resilience, hope, and persistence. I stubbornly refused to allow this state of being to become my new normal. Those were dark days. 

My daughter told me about "Spoon Theory" and thought it might be able to help me understand and manage my multiple diseases.  Using Spoon Theory, I am able to maintain optimal health and well-being. I accomplish whatever goals I set for myself, and I greet each day with optimism and joy. My life is not perfect. I still have days when I run out of spoons by the time I shower and dress. But, I have learned to set boundaries and implement the self-care that my spoons dictate - and feel good about doing so.

 



Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping is an effective strategy for relieving stress, fears, anxiety, and feelings and issues you want to resolve. Tapping is a process that uses accupressure points on the face and head. I have used tapping and found it to be quite effective in combination with coaching and brain rewiring techniques when changing my habits. You can find EFT tapping videos on Brad Yates' youtube sight. Click the links below for a definition, techniques, the benefits of tapping, and videos.

Nitric Oxide is an essential gaseous molecule produced in the body. It is vital for improving and maintaining overall health. The foods you eat and the way you breathe affect how much nitric oxide your body produces. Click on the link below to learn about the benefits of increasing nitric oxide production and the most effective ways to do so.

The difference between an eating disorder diagnosis and disordered eating can be confusing because the symptoms and behaviors overlap significantly. Individuals with a diagnosed eating disorder engage in disordered eating behaviors, however, not all individsuals with disordered eating have a diagnosed eating disorder. The article below can clear up the confusion. Coaching is a powerful relationship process that will help you either way. You can have a comfortable, healthy, mindful relationship with food and your body.

Learning how to practice mindfulness improves health and well-being, reduces anxiety and depression symptoms, reduces stress, increases emotion regulation, can help you to normalize your eating habits, and can improve memory and cognitive functions. While practicing mindfulness is not a cure-all," it certainly can help you to improve all aspects of your life and wellbeing. Click on the link below to read more about the benefits of mindfulness and how to do it daily.

We often think of eating disorders as a condition exclusive to women, however, it is estimated that more than 30% of individuals with eating disorders are male. That percentage is most likely higher because most males with an eating disorder never seek help. Further, eating disorders in males are not limited to body dysmorphic disorder and bigorexia. Click on the link below to discover more information on eating disorders in men and boys.

Relapsing during recovery does happen for many indivduals. Learning to understand your binge triggers and recognizing the warning signs can help you to prevent a relapse. Coaching can help!

An important part of my recovery was learning to show myself compassion, love, and forgiveness. I am not perfect and hope that I never will be. Perfection is stressful and exhausting. Where is the fun in that? Think about every time you have been criticized or debased? Did it truly motivate you to change, or did it just make you feel “less than,” unworthy, and ashamed? So, love yourself, and treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Once you do, you will find the motivation to become the very best authentic version of yourself – a self who is deserving of the life you truly desire. Be FREE TO THRIVE!


Brain rewiring is a powerful practice that can transform your mind and thoughts. If your goal is disordered eating recovery, overcoming binge urges, developing a more positive mindset, reshaping your life so that you meet your goals, learning new things, increasing self-awareness (and so many more), this approach can transform your mind, body, and spirit. 

Urge surfing is a powerful technique you can use to dismiss urges or disengage from habits that negatively impact your wellbeing. Click on the link below for the benefits of learning to urge surf and how to do it.

Thinking that you are "not sick enough" for recovery is a common lower brain thought that misleads you into believing that you don't need recovery coaching or treatment. If you are uncomfortable with food and body image, feel "out of control" around food, or are preoccupied by dieting and weight loss, you are worthy and deserving of the support you need to overcome disordered eating. Coaching can help! You can recover fully. Read the article attached below to understand the importance of validation - you are worthy of living a vibrant, healthy, joyful, fulfilling life of self-love and compassion.

The lower brain, where your urges originate, is a master liar when it attempts to get you to engage in disordered behaviors. The good news is, you don't have to act on that voice, and you can rewire your brain. Click on the links below for two interesting articles on the lies your lower brain tells you.

THE PROCESS OF CREATING A HABIT

The lower brain is actually quite remarkable. It runs on ancient instincts for survival and intuitively knows when you should stay and fight or run for the hills. It helps us to create instinctive habits for survival. At times, the habits wired into our lower brain do not serve our wellbeing. It starts with an intention to cope or survive or arises from uncomfortable situations that generate uncomfortable, distressing thoughts and feelings. The next step in creating a habit is action: acting on those thoughts and feelings in a specific way that is repeated or practiced over and over again. This consistency forms the habit. It creates neural pathways in the brain that will try to sustain the habit at all costs. Your lower brain thinks this is the only way to survive, and it will try every trick in the book to get you to consistently repeat the actions so that the habit survives. Now the good news! You can rewire your brain and create new neural pathways that support healthy, beneficial habits. You simply repeat this process but with a different more favorable action. Every time you dismiss an urge, every time you choose not to engage in detrimental behaviors, you are weakening old pathways and creating new ones. Eventually the old pathways will weaken and die off. In addition, daily repetition will lead to increased gyrification – the formation of more folds in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain associated with higher executive functions and decision making. Visualization, flipping the script on negative thoughts, meditation, learning a new skill or language, creative pursuits and adopting a growth mindset are some simple strategies to help keep your brain flexible and open to change.

Coaching is also a powerful support to help you with this process and learning new strategies. Contact me by clicking on the button below to schedule a free initial session. Let’s chat!


Every change I have made in my life, every goal I have achieved, was driven by a sense of purpose. My purpose has changed several times throughout my life creating a joyful, adventurous, growth fueled existence. Finding your purpose can provide clarity and motivate you to create the life that you truly want to live. Click on the link below for steps to finding your purpose.

We all have moments when we procrastinate. We feel reluctant or fearful or lack confidence. When the end game has an immdediate consequence (such as work deadlines, maintaining a home and family, paying taxes, etc), we muster the courage and motivation to "get 'er done!" When it comes to disordered eating, however, procrastination is fueld by the lies your lower brain tells you to ensure your habit survives. Click on the link below to find out about some typical procrastination excuses. Remember, do not act on these false messages. Flip the script on that lower brain voice and rewire your brain to send you healthy, constructive messages. Coaching can help. The time to start is now!

The holidays are a time of socializing, giving, and expressing gratitude and joy. The holidays can also be a time of significant stress filled with disordered eating triggers. Click on the link below for tips and strategies for navigating the holidays without overeating and bingeing. Now, before the holidays ensue, is a terrific time to start working with a coach to shore up your resilience to your holiday disordered eating triggers.

Lately, you lack motivation, are disconnected from family and friends, and just feel blah. You are not concerned because you know it is temporary, and your joy, focus, and drive will return soon. If symptoms persist, however, you might be experiencing languishing. It's not full blown depression but rather a persistent case of the blues and blahs. You feel stuck in a doom loop. You're apathetic, indifferent, joyless, hopless, and stagnating. You just can't seem to find the energy or motivation to break the cycle. Click on the link below to learn more about languishing and what you can do to break free and flourish. Coaching can help!

WHAT BEING FULLY RECOVERED MEANS TO ME

Full recovery is a cornucopia of wonderful feelings. 

RELIEF: I trust myself. I know that I will not be misguided by my lower brain. I trust that I will not engage in disordered eating behaviors. I am filled with relief.

SAVOR: I savor every bite: every bite of life, every bite of love, every bite of joy, every bite of peace, every bite of fulfillment, every bite of food. I savor every moment of my life.

BLISS: My life is hardly perfect. I have hard days, easy days, boring days, challenges, frustrations, sadness, pain, love, joy, excitement, satisfaction, pride, confusion, doubt, exuberance… You name, it I have felt it. I embrace life’s ups and downs, and life’s twists and turns. I know that I have the resilience to navigate the ever-changing waters of my existence. This, to me, is bliss, and I choose to live in a state of bliss.

PEACE: Underneath whatever emotions I am feeling (comfortable and uncomfortable), whatever experiences I am living, runs a river of harmony and ease. My core is peace. What does being fully recovered mean to you? Click on the link below to contact me.

Hope is a powerful feeling. It is transformative and motivating. Having hope is an essential part of your recovery journey. Hope is also an essential part of reaching your life goals and creating the life that you truly want live. Click on the link below for strategies to find or restore the feeling of hope. Coaching can also help!

Life can be very stressful during the holidays as you juggle hosting or going to activities and gatherings, shopping, decorating your home, cooking, cleaning, and work and family responsibilities. Practicing self-care throughout the holiday season can help you to reduce stress, maintain good health, and free your thoughts so that you can focus on family, friends, joy, and gratitude. Read the article below for tips and strategies to help you care for yourself during the holiday season. 

We start the year full of hope and determination to make our lives better, to finally overcome disordered eating, or to finally take action to change our lives for the better. Why, so often, do resolutions fall to the wayside after a few weeks? We often bite off more than we can chew by making grandiose promises without a clear action plan and without support. The goal is just too big and poorly envisioned. When making resolutions, it's time to get specific and break out large goals into smaller, more manageable action steps. For example: 1) I will journal for 10 minutes every day. 2)I will take a 30 minute walk daily. 3) I will learn to [insert new hobby or craft]. 4) I will read for pleasure daily for 15 minutes. 5) I will ask for help when I need it. 6) I will celebrate each success no matter how small by [insert non-food reward]. 7) I will write down one thing I am grateful for each day. Remember to be flexible and don’t judge your progress! Forgive yourself for any slip-ups. You are always making progress and moving forward. Let me support you in making resolutions that stick! I believe in you. I know recovery is possible. I live it daily!

The new year is a time for reflection, goal setting and change. If you have been feeling stuck in a rut, overwhelmed by disordered eating, or powerless to make the life changes you have been contemplating, read the article below for tips and strategies to tap into positive forward motion again. Coaching can help!

INDULGING VS OVEREATING/BINGEING 

Individuals with disordered eating often overeat or binge during the holidays or on special occasions and justify it by saying, ”Everybody does it”, “It’s Ok – it’s the holidays. Go ahead – you deserve to celebrate.” These messages are, however, faulty lower brain urges trying to get you to maintain the disordered eating/binge/overeating habit. Planning on overeating or bingeing is typically bred from the cycle of restriction and dieting. You might tell yourself, “I better eat as much as possible of [this food] because I am never going to have it again. I will get back on track after the holidays.” “The new year is the perfect time to start over.” It is important to dismiss these urges when they pop up so that you can rewire your brain and normalize your eating habits regardless of external circumstances. Indulging differs from overeating and binge eating. Indulging simply means taking please in the food you are eating. You can learn to indulge in your “special foods” and treats any time of the year without overdoing it. Remember, if you do binge or overeat any time, be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself and ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and what you can do to avoid it the next time these urges crop up. Let go of the guilt, shame, and hopelessness you might be feeling. You can normalize your eating! You can recover! You can transform your life! Coaching can help!

It is that time of year, the New Year. A time of resolutions and promises to self. Many individuals will resolve to diet and lose weight. I want you to consider that it is time to stop the madness and end this cycle. Don't give in to the temptation and pressure all around you to start the year with dieting and restriction. Overwhelming research indicates that diets just don't work long term. Click on the link below to find out why. You can normalize your eating and your weight. Coaching can help.

You've made your resolutions. You've set your intentions. You've identified your goals. So, how do you take action for lasting change? DIets are temporary and goals can be arbitrary unless you have clarity and specificity to achieve your desired outcome. The process begins with awareness. Visualization, breathing exercises, and journaling can help you find awareness as you embark on your transformation journey. Here is a quick breathing and visualization exercise to get you started. First, take 5 belly breaths and identify the issue/thought patterns/feelings/habits/urge you would like to change. Next, acknowledge the issue/thought pattern/feeling/habit/urge and accept it as it is. Keep breathing into your belly. Let the issue/thought/feeling/urge flow through your mind. See it arriving and leaving as a stream of smoke drifting out and up into the universe. Repeat as each issue/thought/feeling/urge arises. Next, continue belly breathing and release each issue/thought/feeling/urge with each exhale. Finally, visualize white light and your new desired action/thought pattern/habit/feeling filling all aspects of your being - mind/body/spirit/cells. This process only takes 5 to 10 minutes and can be repeated throughout the day as needed. Journaling for 5 minutes daily is also effective. Believe you can and you will! You can achieve your life, wellness, and health goals. You can transform your life. Coaching can help.


I used to think that I was broken, I used to think there was something wrong with me. Through coaching, I have learned that I am an amalgamation of many unique, beautiful, resilient parts. I have transformed my life and continue to recreate it often.

Whatever you hope to become, whatever changes you want to make in your life, believe you can, and you will! You can achieve your life, wellness, and health goals. You can transform your life. Coaching can help. Contact me at sovelmancoaching@gmail.com to get started for free. 



Motivation naturally waxes and wanes. It is part of the change process particularly when you have set a goal that will require some time to achieve. How can you stay motivated to make the changes you desire when you "just don't feel like it?"  Read the following post on my Instagram page for ideas and support. 

Visualization is a powerful tool that can support your recovery, maintain your motivation, and help to prevent relapse. Click on the link below for more information.