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April 16, 2008



Thank you for being a sane voice amid all this diet madness!

Andrea Wren

Thanks for your support Bri - it is good to see that sanity does exists out there! And I love your blog.


I applaud your anti-diet stance, but I think the google ads at the end of your posts hopelessly contradict your message.

Andrea Wren

Rachel - I appreciate your point.

As you will know, I'm sure, I don't have any control over what is thrown up there, and I'm not techie enough to know how to hone the ads further so that diets aren't promoted, as I understand that is a possibility?

If I can't find a solution it might be that I take Google ads off altogether - at the moment the extremely small revenue from them just about pays for my subscription to my blog package.

Andrea Amador

Dearest Andrea,

I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this blog available. Chocolate and Beyond Blog was one of the first sites that I discovered when I began my own Intuitive Eating journey nearly 18 months ago. I strongly feel that I wouldn’t have pursued the path of learning how to trust myself around food or love my body if I wouldn’t have had the benefit of reading your posts and learning from your experiences.

This blog and your willingness to share your journey has been one of my greatest sources of inspiration and encouragement. It gave me the strength to carry on when things were getting very rocky and uncertain and I was gaining weight like crazy.
Despite all the pain and conflict that I was in, I just knew from your posts that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I deeply appreciate your commitment to share with your readers and give unselfishly of yourself in hopes of educating people and giving them hope to find a solution beyond dieting.

Now as a passionate supporter of non dieting myself, I join you in the battle to increase awareness of the deleterious effects of dieting on our bodies and our self esteem.

As a coach, I've learned that if we have a negative self esteem, emotional eating becomes an unconscious habit that can not be broken by any act of sheer will. Since like many women, I have had my share of painful experiences that have left their marks on me, my self esteem has taken a real beating over the years.

Lacking any other stress coping skills, food has been my only source of comfort for decades. I thought that my weight problem was due to being lazy or unmotivated or proved that I was undisciplined. That thinking continued to reinforce my already negative self image.

When I began to watch the weight piling back on me, I felt so powerless, and conflicted, much like a failure. As a result of feeling that way, I just wanted to keep eating to stop the parade of hurtful thoughts that were marching around in my head. It became a vicious cycle. Stress-Desire to Eat-Self Hatred-Stress-Eat-Self Hatred-Stress-Eat...

When I learned in my NLP class that our habits form based on associations that we make in our brain, I realized that my desire to eat was a cry for help.

I had no other way to deal with my stress besides eating. By sending signals to my body and urging me to eat, my brain was only doing what it could to keep me from from being completely overwhelmed by stress. The eating made it all seem more bearable temporarily, yet the cycle of food abuse continued.

This is why I couldn't seem to stop eating while I was testing out the process of Intuitive Eating. For me, just legalizing food was not the answer, I had to also get very aggressive in dealing with my stress.

When I realized that I was not able to satisfy my hunger and to discover when I felt full, I knew that I had to continue finding a solution that would work for me and for other women who also have suffered with a negative self image.

That's when I discovered the power of Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It's based on the science of Acupuncture and it works to balance the energy in the body. It has since changed my life and affected everything that I do from running my business to dealing with my relationships. It has empowered me to believe in myself again. Now I have the power to choose what I want literally at my fingertips.

When I started using EFT, and handling the emotions and negative self talk that cropped up on a daily basis, my hunger started to disappear. As I continue to use it more and more each day, my weight continues to drop slowly and gently and my confidence increases exponentially. I like to call it 'confidence in a bottle' since it has enabled me to step out of my comfort zones and really take hold of my life without the crutch of eating.

I can't recommend this process enough as I feel strongly that it in combination with learning how to eat intuitively has given me my life back.

It’s understandable that any staunch dieter would perceive of any non diet method as being a ridiculous, pie in the sky dream that would only end up in failure. Blinded by the promise of a quick weight loss, dieters are led into a maze of lies and deceit by the diet organizations. In the face of all that confusion, it’s not easy navigating the muddy waters of learning how to trust your body and eat in response to your hunger. It goes against everything that we’ve learned as good dieters. It’s tough out there and let’s be honest diets are really just a band aid that we apply to our lives because we’ve been led to believe that if we don’t lose weight, our lives can’t begin.

I deeply empathize with the woman who felt the need to slam you for sharing your thoughts about the LighterLife program. She must have felt deeply disempowered to have had to come to the rescue of LighterLife in such a passionate way. That tells me that she feels that LighterLife has the answer to her problems and without their program she would melt away. I’m saddened by that and hope that I am wrong in my assumption.

My prayer is that one day this woman will see that only she or her daughter or any of us hold the power over our own lives. It doesn’t come in a bottle, or a pre-packaged meal or a meeting room. It is the thoughts, passions and choices that we make on a daily basis that lead to the behaviors that either contribute to our problems or help to resolve them.

There is an answer for each one of us out there. Yet the way to find it is by looking within, rather than without. I support you on your continued commitment to teaching others and inspiring greater curiosity and wisdom in support of reclaiming our power over food and learning trust our bodies without dieting. Thank you,



Thanks Andrea, I am glad you enjoyed reading F.L.O.G.!

Sally Roberts

"Having said that, Sally makes a comment that frightens me somewhat: "Yes there ARE side effects as has been stated, although I was lucky - I had no hair loss, nor did I have problems with my periods (over and above going through menopause which is a different ball game entirely!) Atlanta took pains always to advise about side effects and in fact recommended a remedy shampoo which people could use to help with any hair problem."

A remedy shampoo because the side-effects from a diet could be so severe? That, to me, is just incredible and well, wrong!

As well, Sally says: "I would say to anyone who wants to give it a go - you have nothing to lose except a lot of weight!". But, if it doesn't work you do have a lot to lose, don't you? A lot of money, self-esteem (at feeling like a failure), health and even, yes, hair and menstruation!"

RIGHT - well Sally Says she wants a right of reply here!!

First of all - one thing I've learned in Beyond Chocolate is "BE YOUR OWN GURU" and if that means accepting at least some of the benefits of Lighter Life then SO BE IT!!!!!!! Who are YOU to knock an alternative to what YOU think is the right path? We all take different paths in life - some of which may be right for us and some of which might be right for other people.

SECONDLY - YES I HAVE NEVER SAID THAT LIGHTER LIFE ISN'T A DRASTIC SOLUTION TO BEING OBESE and YES it does have side effects - and isn't it better that a product is recommended to help combat those side effects than the person is left to flounder unaided?!

I wonder WHY you (and some others) are so hostile towards something which I do feel has helped me considerably. I'd tried other ways of losing weight before and they had never worked, precisely because there was no counselling element to such programmes as Weight Watchers and Slimming World - only "classes" or "meetings". The Lighter Life approach worked for me - SO DOES BEYOND CHOCOLATE. Please get over yourself!

I am sorry to be so angry - BUT I AM


Sally Roberts


Interesting to see that one of your "prestigious clients" is Weightwatchers Magazine, Andrea!


I don't think it's appropriate to threaten people, Sally.
'you get on the wrong side of me and you will see how powerful i can be'

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • I'm Andrea, and am obsessed with creating fabulous food. After I managed to ditch dieting, the reason Chocolate and Beyond was born, it seemed natural to evolve my site into a foodie blog. More so since I also ditched animal produce to be vegan. Now, I love showing how inventive cruelty-free cooking can be. And sometimes I like to rant, too. I wouldn't be myself otherwise :) x

    PS. This blog LOVES your comments! Especially about the food!

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