About Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC

What if you could finally make peace with your tooshie? We are drowning in a cultural tsunami of lies that our worth comes from a number on the scale. I am a therapist in Woodinville, Washington and I have a passion to help women fight the unhealthy messages. Not only that, but to help women grasp their true callings. My book is now available.

Next Month, You’ll Eat Everything but the TV ;)

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Face it. Dieting almost ALWAYS leads to losing – then gaining back – all the weight you’ve lost – plus MORE. A meta-analysis from UCLA showed that almost 100% of dieters end up gaining weight over the long-haul. (Scientific American, April 5, 2007)

So yes, you’ll be eating everything not nailed down within a month, right? (Isn’t there a crow bar in your garage?) And the TV might not be safe, either. After all, who knows if a bottle of chocololate sauce might make it taste better.

Learn from a licensed therapist why our dysfunctional relationship with food and body image stem much more from our stories than most people realize. The truth is – your personal life story creates the chaos of the soul which results in a Big Mac Attack.

  

As a former competitive swimmer and frequent runner, I learned a lifetime of truths about body image when illness robbed me of my ability to walk. At the apex of my journey with lupus and ankylosing spondylitis, I couldn’t walk one step. I rolled off the couch and crawled down the hall to use the restroom.

During those tragic times, I would have given anything to regain my ability to walk. I thought about all the time I’d wasted obsessing about my body, and wished I could regain every last second.

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Nowadays, I’m able to walk and breathe (I’m addicted to breathing, what can I say?) without trouble most days, and am so utterly grateful. I’ve enjoyed speaking on radio shows and at conferences about my story, the underlying roots of food/body image issues, and how people can set themselves free from the lies of the Body Image Bandit.

So before you eat your TV, read my book that explains how your heart and life story intersect as a catalyst for a positive or negative body image. This week only, the kindle version is on sale for $.99.

My hope for you in 2017 is that you learn to work on the roots of your issues, and that you kiss dieting goodbye.

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Chasing after health is one thing, and of course this is an honorable goal. But you know dieting virtually always leads to gaining the weight back. Plus more. So learn how to work on the true underlying causes.

Happy New Year. Do the dance differently in 2017. You’re worth it. ~

Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit

(Click on blue link to download.)

Kindle version on sale for $.99 the first week of January, 2017.

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More Realistic Barbie 

The new Barbie features: 

  • Ethnicities 
  • A variety of sizes and shapes 
  • More realistic sizes 

Read more: 

Mattel Debuts a NEW and Updated Barbie! Check out the Curvy, Petite, and Tall Barbie!

  http://thecurvyfashionista.com/2016/01/mattel-barbie-curvy-petite-tall/

Swimming in the Sea of What-Ifs

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You swim against the current, grasping for air as you turn your head to scan the horizon. Dizzy and out of breath, you feel the ebb and flow of the water spraying against your limbs.

You’ve summersaulted your way into oblivion many times before, spiraling against the current, knowing not when the tides of life will slow into a stream of serenity.

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The sharks in the Sea of What-Ifs swirl around you, encroaching into the small space surrounding you.

Oh. No. What will you do? What’s next, and later, and far into the glimmer of the future?

But….

Hold. On.

Remember,

All the sharks in the Sea of What-Ifs are toys.

Plastic teeth line their mouths, and you can dent their tiny bellies with your thumb.

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So relax. Smile. Surf’s up –  in a good way. God’s got this.

Climb into your kayak, paddle into the wind, and breathe in the

Salty streams of this sandy summer day.

And no matter what – stay out of the Sea of What-Ifs.~

How I Hokey Pokey

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In my other life, I swam competitively or ran 6 miles most days.

Then, due to lupus and ankylosing spondylitis, I couldn’t breathe or walk for periods of time. Dressing myself seemed like running a marathon. So did using the restroom. I told God, at age 28, “Please take me if this is a preview of my future.”

One month I spent on the couch. I rolled off the floor and crawled down the hall to use the restroom. Every last thread of energy I used to complete the tasks involved in using the bathroom.

My future dreams included a triathlon. Not using every ounce of stamina to relieve myself.

Physicians and naturopaths tried many different approaches to treat the inflammation that ravaged my body, mind and soul.

I changed my diet as well.

After years of battling the beasts, sometimes I saw glimmers of hope. But often the darkness enveloped my life story.

Yes, I learned volumes from this journey. I’m a prayer warrior, and I learned to stop and breathe in the beauty of jasmine fragrance. I also divorced my drivenness. This go, go, go mentality of many Americans creates chaos of the soul. The drive shoots cortisol throughout our bodies, and stress pumps through our veins. And of course, that was me.

But nowadays – thanks to an injectable medication called Humira – I have part of my life back. I can sleep through the nights without waking all night long in pain. I can walk. I can dress myself. And I can breathe without having a frozen iced venti cup of water on my chest. (This works better than an ice pack, for some reason.)

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Nowadays, every other Tuesday I inject myself. That’s my hokey pokey. As in, I poke myself with a needle that offers me two more weeks of a semi-normal life. (Sometimes I’m still exhausted, feeling as though I’ve been drugged. But that’s another story, and this happens on the sunny days. A part of lupus.)

And yes, I am quite aware of the side effects of this TNF blocker medication. I’m willing to take the risks. Because deep down, I’m an athlete. I love the wind caressing my hair on my pink kayak. (Below: pic with Werner kayak paddle.)

That. Is. Life. I feel the gratitude engulf my soul as I paddle among the seals and salmon.

And this is a piece of my heart that you may learn from:

Don’t share about your friend who died of lupus. Please don’t dance that song in front of anyone fighting any disease.

 

Oh, and also don’t share an approach you know will fix it. Because chances are – I’ve tried it. If you absolutely must share, please ask graciously first. To offer false hope is like piercing me with a broken piece of my life story.

Parking in a handicapped space when you don’t need to? I’m going to TP your house.

Why am I sharing this story?

So ribbons of gratitude weave their way through your own body image story.  Can you breathe today? Jump in gratitude. Can you walk? Rejoice.

Dance like a diva or dude to the music of gratitude.~

 

 

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Do you have a hokey pokey body image story? Please share.

(*happy feet picture at the top shows my toes separated due to injections of cortisone from years ago. But who cares, right? 😉

The full story is in my book, Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit

We Broke Up: My Year without Sugar

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Wow. I made it! Today marks exactly a year without sugar. To clarify, I’m talking about sweet nothings such as candy, cookies, and chocolate. I ate primarily protein, veggies and fruit. Most days I eat no grains.

How and why did I do this? Glad you asked. 🙂 Most Americans are addicted to sugar. I love chocolate, and although dark chocolate is healthy in small amounts, I craved it daily. I read about the connection between inflammation and sugar, and thought my body would feel better if I ate healthier food.

A few years ago, I discovered a recovery group called Overeaters Anonymous. The meetings are for anyone with compulsive food behaviors, including compulsive overeating, bulimia and anorexia.

I went to my first meeting and met people of all body weights, shapes and sizes. Many appeared to be at healthy body weights. Later, of course, I learned some had lost 20 to 130 pounds and kept the weight off more than a decade. Since research shows diets don’t work, I was impressed. Like other addictions, dieters end up gaining more weight than they initially lose, statistically.

I continued to attend the meetings, and read the newcomer’s packet the members gave me. I learned that OA is a spiritual program. Each person is free to choose their Higher Power, and for me this is God.

“Well, this works for them, but I know it won’t work for me.” I thought. Why? You ask. Mostly because I had a love affair with dark chocolate. I heard countless stories about how their higher power did for them what they couldn’t do for themselves.

I didn’t plan to break up with sugar, but continued to hear stories of OA members who had been off sugar for months or years.  Everyone chooses his or her own food plan, which gives people freedom.

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I met with a lovely woman who has attended OA for 15 years, and she shared her experience, strength and hope. (Note: advice giving is not allowed in the program, just personal stories.) With OA, she hasn’t eaten sugar in 13 years, and has dropped 55 pounds.

On the drive home, I thought I could try – with God’s help – giving up sugar “just for today.” Not forever, but only one day.

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I read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, replacing the word “alcohol” with food. I called and texted other people in the program, and read the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. I prayed each time I craved sugar. I talked to my sponsor, and texted ’til the cows came home. (They’re home now aren’t they? 😉

Just one day at a time, God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Before you think you’re going to do this yourself, OA is a “we” program, not a “me” program.  The power of community creates an ocean full of support. I’ve lost 7 pounds, but keep in mind I’m 5’2 1/2″ tall, so it’s about a size and a half. I really have only another 5 pounds to lose. I’m an athlete, even though I struggle with two chronic illnesses – lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. So I’ve never really been more than 15-20 pounds overweight.  I’d like to report I’ve experienced a great healing of all issues related to Lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. I’m gradually improving, and hope this continues.

God has done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. And for that, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.~

UPDATE: It’s now been almost a year and a half! I’m going to stop taking my Humira injection because I think I can control the inflammation eating mostly paleo. I’m so excited and basking in gratitude! I’ll keep you posted.

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The Only Woman in America with No Body Image Issues! ;) (humor)

Guess what?

There’s only 1 woman in the USA with no body image issues. (And no, it’s not me.)

Here is a short video clip:

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