Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Thought About Compulsive Eating, from Your Stomach

Our bodies are always giving us signals.  We just have to pay attention.

Piece Talks...

You know those times when you eat something that you know you "shouldn't" eat but you do anyway, most of the time without thinking, and you always feel terrible after eating it?

Well, here's something you might try next time you catch yourself about to eat compulsively...

Stop for a second, and ask me how I feel about eating what you're about to eat. One of the best ways to "ask" is by imagining how I'll feel after you've eaten it. I'll generally answer through feeling, which at first may be subtle and/or clouded over by what your mind and habits want, but over time, my answer will become more and more clear.

I'm always telling you how I feel, even when you aren't listening :-)
your stomach

You can sign up to receive weekly Piece Talks e-mails here:

Niki Svara

Thursday, January 6, 2011

If Your Wrinkles Could Talk...

What if your wrinkles could talk to you... what do you think they might say? Here's one perspective that might change how you feel when you look in the mirror:

Piece Talks...

You may have noticed that most advertising seeks to create a sense of urgency in the consumer. The common theme in most commercials is something like this: "If you want everyone to like you and find you attractive, you MUST have this product! There's something wrong with you, and you're not going to be complete until you buy THIS."

We'd like to set the record straight...

There's nothing wrong with you. And there's nothing wrong with us.

Let's market THAT idea!

your wrinkles

You can sign up to receive weekly Piece Talks e-mails here:

Niki Svara

Friday, September 10, 2010

wanting change NOW

"But I want my body to change now!" Isn't this how we've all felt at times? Well, here's a Piece Talks message that speaks to this feeling:

Piece Talks...

When you want results, you want them now, right? Yet, let's say, for example, that you set a goal to lose 30 pounds and you wake up the next morning 30 pounds lighter... would you be happy? or would you be scared out of your mind, rushing to the hospital, because something MUST be wrong, you just lost 30 pounds over night?!

All change is a process- this goes for losing weight, or any other change you'd like to see, and time can truly be a gift to your peace of mind :-)

Can you think of anything better to do than enjoy the process?

your body

You can sign up to receive weekly Piece Talks e-mails here:

Niki Svara

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Take A Listen To My New Song... clicking on the play button to the left of this screen
(just under "Take A Listen...")

I wrote this song, I Want The World To See, with love in my heart for every woman and man who has ever struggled with their weight or body image. I especially hope to inspire teenagers to love and accept themselves just the way they are.

Please feel free to let your friends and family know about my blog if you think they might like the song :-)

much love,
Niki Svara

I Want The World To See
Vocals: Niki Svara (
Guitars: Stacey Evans
Arranged by Stacey Evans
Produced by Jimmy Hunter (

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Message to Oprah

I get the Oprah Magazine once a month, because I love Oprah, and I love the inspiration I get from the articles her magazine publishes. Her latest issue really caught my attention (the January 2009 issue). In big, pink neon letters across the cover of the magazine it reads, "How did I let this happen again?" Just below that it says, "OPRAH on her battle with weight: A must-read for anyone who's ever fallen off the wagon." I have to say that as I read Oprah's article, I felt moved by her willingness to share so authentically about her struggle with her weight. How vulnerable and courageous she is to face what seems to be one of her biggest life challenges- with the rest of the world watching!

In her article, which starts on page 148 of her magazine, Oprah says, "I don't have a weight problem- I have a self-care problem that manifests through weight." I think that's a brilliant insight, and I'd say that's probably true of most people who are overweight. Self-care is often last on the list. I know it has been for me at times. Oprah says she's putting herself back on her own priority list... terrific! I intend to recommit myself to that as well.

Toward the end of her article, Oprah says, "As I work out, eat healthfully, and reorder my life so there's time to replenish my energy, I continue to do the spiritual and emotional work to conquer this battle once and for all." I'm happy to see that Oprah recognizes that there's more to weight loss and self-care than just the physical level. There are also the mental, emotional and spiritual levels that have to be looked at as well, in order to maintain optimal health.

If I were Oprah's coach, I would encourage her to move away from the idea that she is "battling" her weight, endeavoring to "conquer" and win the battle "once and for all." I realize this is just a figure of speech, but I believe the way we approach things largely determines the outcome. I would encourage her to skip the battle and go right to the peaceful negotiations. It sounds like her actions are in alignment with this, as evidenced by her intention to work out, eat healthfully, etc. But mentally, she’s still holding judgments that are keeping her engaged in battle. Oprah says, "I'm mad at myself. I'm embarrassed. I can't believe that after all these years, I'm still talking about my weight." I can feel the judgment she’s placed on herself and her weight. Making peace with these judgments will be critical in ending the “back and forth” pattern of weight gain.

Here's my message to Oprah...

Oprah, I love you just as you are. I support you in loving yourself completely and unconditionally in this moment... and I support you in taking the very best care of yourself, which will inevitably lead to your body's healthy weight. Your “best life” is right now, not when you’ve lost 40 or so pounds. Your best life is now, as you touch the profound place of love inside yourself- love that has the power to end even the most vicious battle- and live this moment from that place.

Much Love,

Niki Svara

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How My Body Processes Food

I'm deeply involved in the practice of observing myself and my behavior, including all my thoughts, words and actions... especially related to my body. I've been noticing that it's not so much the food I eat that makes me feel "heavy" or "light" but the way I eat the food.

These seem to be big factors for me in how my body processes the food I eat:

Why I'm eating...
Am I really hungry? Is it out of habit? Is it self-punishing (like overeating can be)? Do I "need" to eat it? or, will I be fine if I don't eat it?

How I'm eating...
Am I devouring the food as fast as I can? or, am I eating it slowly, chewing my food completely?

How I feel while I'm eating...
Am I in a good mood? Am I feeling happy? Am I feeling upset, stressed or in a bad mood?

Let's take a piece of pizza... for me, I notice that if I'm not really hungry but am eating out of habit, and I "need" to eat it, or else I'll have a tantrum, and I devour it faster than you can say "pizza," and I'm feeling stressed while eating it... my body feels really heavy after, and I don't feel so good. If this happens several meals in a row (no matter what food I'm eating), I gain a few pounds and my clothes fit a little tighter.

On the other hand, take that same slice of pizza... and I'm eating it because my body is hungry (not my "emotional body"), I don't "need" to eat it, I'm eating it slowly and enjoying every bite, and I'm in a good mood while eating it... my body generally feels light and happy after (well, as light as you can feel after having a lot of cheese).

In my experience, my body feels light and I don't put on extra weight when I'm eating pizza, or anything else, while I'm genuinely hungry, eating slowly and chewing my food completely, and feeling good, in a happy mood.

wow, there's so much to the human body and all the factors that play a role in how it processes food... so interesting...


Friday, May 16, 2008

From the Inside Out

It's a beautiful day here in Portland, Oregon! The weather is warm and the sun is out... it's so lovely.

I'm feeling so good in my body today, such a great feeling. And when I feel good in my body, I feel good about my body.

What's causing me to feel good in my body? Well, my stress level is pretty low, I've been eating healthy foods that my body loves, and I got plenty of sleep last night :-) Now for a bit of exercise...

Hope you're feeling great, inside and out.