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I Want To Be Totally Truthful With You

Just like many of you, I’ve been reminiscing about last year and thinking about my hopes and dreams for this brand new year.

To be honest with you I have to admit that for me, 2011 was the most challenging year of my life. I knew some of what to expect and had prepared myself on how to not only survive but thrive. But just when I was feeling really good about how I was handling life, the illness and unexpected loss of my son Chris shook me to the core.

In the past I have lived with bouts of depression, eating and anxiety disorders. By finding the right people to help me, experimenting with many different ways of eating and spending lots of time relearning to hear and listen to my inner wisdom, I finally felt comfortable and strong. What had gotten me to this really good place were what are now the 7 Keys.

With the loss of my son my world turned upside down. For almost 2 weeks I couldn’t eat at all and during that time I was very present and living in the moment. I wanted to feel all the pain of losing him and receive the love that was so generously given.

But then the enormity of what had happened really settled in. Grief is not only an emotion but also a very physical experience. To deal with it’s rolling waves I have reached out to some old coping friends of mine, bingeing and sugar. These had been my favorite ways to self medicate and become numb so I wouldn’t have to feel anything. I went back to what I knew and I’ve ended up feeling not only sick but totally out of control. This is not how I want to live my life.

So now it’s a new year and I am ready to take baby steps each day to let go of what I’ve been doing to move back to being me using the 7 Keys. As part of this journey I will share with you each week what I am working on and how things are going. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find an idea here that could change your life.

Sending you lots of love,




January Key: Feed My Body
January Affirmation: “I treat my body lovingly with nourishing, delicious food.”
January Focus: Since sugar is such a trigger for me I want to crowd out sugar

Week 1 Action Step: Make soup to have on hand for meals or eating as needed.
Week 1 Musings: Making my favorite soups (Lemon Chicken Pasta, Vegetarian Split Pea, White Bean Chicken Chili) helped me be in the present and create nourishing food for myself. I felt less anxious having it on hand so it was easier to make healthier choices. I will be trying a new soup recipe next week.

Week 2 Action Step: Do a pantry and refrigerator purge looking for hidden sugars.
Week 2 Musings: I did get rid of things at home that had excess sugar in them. I also grocery shopped for lots of whole, fresh food and tried a few new recipes. By having good ingredients on hand and spending an hour prepping, it made it easier to stay away from my trigger foods. Baby steps.

Week 3 Action Step: Eat meals on a plate while sitting down instead of grazing my way through the day. My definition of sitting means at the dining table or kitchen counter – not in front of my computer or on the couch with the TV on.
Week 3 Musings: WOW, this was a big week! There was lots of heavy emotional stuff going on this week so I was concerned about whether I would be able to work this step. Well, I had forgotten just how much this change really connects me with my food. I didn’t restrict what, how much or how often I ate, but it had to be on a plate with me sitting in one of two places. So even my dark chocolate that I’d been keeping at my desk (yes it’s true!!), I would take a piece and go to the designated place and really enjoy it. It was amazing how much less I ate naturally by just being present. Also by having only one thing I was trying to work on, it really helped me be with my emotions and to not turn to sugar or bingeing to numb myself.

Week 4 Action Step: Taking Week 3 a step further and removing other distractions while eating. No reading or watching TV.
Week 4 Musings: I thought this step would be easy but it was really a challenge! I hadn’t realized how much I’d fallen back into the eating/multi-tasking habit. It was hard to just sit and eat but I was able to do it.

At the end of the first month I feel so much better, am eating mindfully and having wonderful foods that really nourish me and my body. My daily processed sugar consumption is down to a half serving of dark chocolate and a whole food ball that has raw honey, eaten at the table, on a plate, with no distractions and they total 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. And if you don’t know my story, I was someone who at times binged on nothing but chocolate (and not dark) for days at a time just trying to make it through the day. And there’s something else. An added benefit of living my steps is my weight is down 5%. All this and without going on a diet! This is just me creating how I want to live my life. So in a few days it’s a new month and I will be continuing my Feed Your Body changes and start adding another Key.

February Key: Love Moving
February Affirmation: “I love how I feel when I move my body.”
February Focus: Get back into a regular physical activity routine and have fun doing it!

Week 1 Action Step: Wear my pedometer and average a minimum of 6000 steps a day.
Week 1 Musings: Since I hadn’t been active for a while, it was interesting to see just how many steps I would get through normal activity. It was shockingly LOW with 2500 steps pretty typical. When I lived in a 2 story house with my office upstairs it was not uncommon for me to get 10000 steps without having to do much else. Well in the small 1 floor apartment I really had to step (!) it up to get to 6000. The weather has been cold and rainy so I needed to walk inside and when I walked in the apartment, I did intervals of 100 steps fast, 300 steps normal paced. By doing this I was able to average 6400 steps a day for the week. And something has happened over the last 5 weeks – I’m sleeping again! I’m getting 7 hours or more a night consistently with the change in food and starting to be more active. WooHoo!

Week 2 Action Step: I will keep increasing my steps by 500 a per week until I reach 10000 a day. In the meantime I also want to add some stretching exercises 3 days this week to help me be more flexible.
Week 2 Musings: Well adding 500 steps was not a problem and it’s now feeling just part of my day again to be walking. However I kept procrastinating about stretching. I finally made a decision over the weekend to use a Qi Gong tape that has several stretching programs for morning and before bed. I started with the easy AM routine on Saturday and Sunday. Not sure what my hesitation was but this tape feels right for me. Here is the information about it: Lee Holden’s 7 Minutes of Magic AM & PM Routines.

Week 3 Action Step: I will increase my steps to 7000 a day and do the 7 minute stretch daily.
Week 3 Musings: There were lots of distractions, mainly good ones, that made this week more challenging for me to meet my goals. I found myself several time having to walk right before I went to bed to get my steps in. The week ended  with six good days of walking and stretching and on the 7th day I realized that rest was what I really needed. It felt good to honor and give my body what it was asking for.

Week 4 Action Step: I’ve decided that I’m not going to up the number of steps this week. Instead I want to use that time to add some weight exercises to go along with my stretching. I’ve never had much upper body strength and tend to ignore it that area, so I feel it’s time to exercise all my body.
Week 4 Musings: Well, I think I’ve reached the point in this journey where in the past I would be throwing in the towel.

It wasn’t a bad week at all, but it brought out in me the old conversation of wanting to be perfect. In the past when I would go on a diet or was making a life change, I jumped in the pool with both feet. I was either in or out, a 100% perfect or 100% out of control.

I thought this issue had been put to bed, but this week there came that familiar tap on my shoulder reminding me “Well, no surprise here. You didn’t do exactly what you said so you might as well just eat all you want, not exercise, blah, blah, blah…”.  Listening to this voice in the past led me to yo-yo dieting, 50 pound weight swings and a binge eating disorder. This voice wants to keep me feeling small and unsure of myself.

But there is a difference this time. I told the voice that what it’s saying is not true and it needs to go take a nap. I have crowded out sugar, added activity back into my day and lost weight over the last 2 months. I know I am on track, feeling better and doing well. I know that continuing to take small steps is building a stronger foundation for me to live on. I am listening to myself and asking my body what it needs and  I will keep putting one foot in front of the other to live my best life every day.

March Key: Feed My Soul
March Affirmation: “I surround myself with people, places and things that make my heart sing.”
March Focus: I want to make time for things I used to enjoy but stopped doing and be open to discovering some new ideas.

Week 1 Action Step: Start the spring  21 day Chopra Mind/Body Meditation Challenge
Week 1 Musings: This was the week that I realized the changes I’ve made since the first of the year have settled back into my daily life. I didn’t have to push myself and it was no longer a struggle to live much healthier. It was also a week where I felt so grateful that I hadn’t given up the week before. This week’s action step gave me back something that I have enjoyed doing over the last 4 years but had given up. It felt really good to reconnect to my meditation practice.

Week 2 Action Step: Select some new music and audio classes to add to my playlist to get ready for vacation.
Week 2 Musings: This was a fun week. I really liked spending time listening to different things to see what new favs I could find. I added some new music (Adele) and a group of 28 day meditations to my iPad. I also added in some audio books and a new game so that I’ll have many options when I’m flying or waiting in the airport.

Week 3 Action Step: This is truly going to be a Feed My Soul week. It is spring break week for the grandkids and several family outings are planned. We lost our almost 14 year old standard poodle last year and have been missing having a pup around.  Today we are getting our 4 year old rescued dog Frankie and will be surprising the kids with our new family member. This will be a week of soul feeding in a big way!!
Week 3 Musings: What a jammed packed week! Lots of adventures with Frankie and a ladies trip to Dallas were so much fun! I did find that two days I wasn’t doing some of my early steps. I was eating things I don’t ordinarily eat, food wasn’t always on a plate, the TV was on and I knew that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating  at all. This is how I get when I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

Week 4 Action Step: Spend time thinking and writing about how far I’ve come in 3 months and my next priorities.
Week 4 Musings: I’ve been thinking a lot about how far I’ve come in the last 3 months. Many of the steps I’ve implemented are working well for me. I’ve lost just under 10% of my body weight and feeling more at ease in my body. I’m feeling lighter not only in my body but also in my spirit.

Week 5 Action Step: This week I am visiting a dear friend in New Orleans that will be full of soul nourishment!
Week 5 Musings: What an amazing week!! It was so good to see my friend Paula and visit her new hometown. Her love of NOLA was contagious and I got to see places that many people don’t get to visit or even know are there. We both love fresh, local, amazing tasting food and we enjoyed it all week! It was soul feeding time ~ WOW!! I feel refreshed and energized!

April Key: Keep Dreaming!
April Affirmation: “I still myself inside so that I can hear what my heart is yearning for”
April Focus: Setting aside quiet time to reflect and reconnect with what I want my life to look like. WooHoo!!

Week 1 Action Plan: Make appointments with myself for 5 days this week to take 15 minutes to be still and see what shows up.
Week 1 Musings:
Well this was interesting and I’m wondering if I can be totally truthful with you…again. I am back for a time in the valley of deep grief. Just when it seems that I’m in a better place, there are triggers, memories or anniversaries of events that catch me by surprise and the feelings of loss just wash over me. Not what I expected but it’s where I am right now.

Week 2 Action Plan: It’s very clear that I need to treat myself to some extra TLC. And for me this week that means not pushing myself to move forward. It’s important to be present and let what comes up have a voice.
Week 2 Musings: This has been a week of me getting back to basics being grateful for all that is good in my life. I’ve found that when all seems lost I’m seeing life through very dark glasses and by consciously looking for what’s good I can raise my mood. Right now this is all I can manage and even though it seems like such a small thing it makes a huge difference in how I feel.

Week 3 Action Plan: I was thinking that I’d made a mistake making this month about dreaming because I seem to be so stuck. But I realized the focus to reflect and reconnect is perfect and by being honest with where I am now, it will clear the way for me to dream about where I want to go. I will continue to work on raising my emotional level using the processes in one of my favorite books, Abraham Hicks Ask And It Is Given.
Week 3 Musings:
This week I used a saying from Ask And It Is Given that was “Right now I am going to find the best-feeling thought that I can. I am going to reach for more relief, more relief, more relief.” In the book they talk about wherever you are emotionally, it’s impossible to make a huge jump in how you feel all at once. So I can’t expect to move from grief to even hopefulness in a week. One thing I did was decide to not attend my parent grief support group because I wanted to spend time with my husband just doing normal things. As helpful and encouraging as the group has been, it can also be very draining. I hoped that I would feel a little better staying home and I did. More baby steps….

Week 4 Action Plan: It’s important to continue on the path of quiet time to reflect and reconnect with myself. I’m not  putting any restrictions on how it will show up this week for me. I will practice patience (not my strong suit!) and openness and see what happens.
Week 4 Musings: Things have been very much about just making it through each day, week and month. I’ve had more feelings of sadness recently and I think it’s because it’s almost Mother’s Day. I’ve been remembering that we didn’t celebrate last year because of Chris’s illness and he went back into the hospital the day after. I don’t go looking for things to feel badly about and I am filled with gratitude about so many things. It just seems there is a part of me that is unconsciously keeping track. Even feeling this way, this week I finally started to be open to looking forward in my life.

May Key:
Treat Myself With TLC
May Affirmation:
I am worthy of and deserve being treated to loving care and kindness.”
May Focus:
Make it a priority to practice mindful self care.

Week 1 Action Plan: When I’m feeling drawn to food to cope, I will do self care instead.
Week 1 Musings: What was I thinking when I chose this week’s plan?? The week included 5 days of staying at the kids’ house taking care of the gkids (who were so good and helpful!), 2 dogs, 2 Russian tortoises and 1 cat while their mama got a much deserved break. There was a bit of a dust up between our dog and theirs which meant they had to be kept apart. Needless to say my self care turned out to really be working on getting a good night’s sleep and that was successful!

Week 2 Action Plan: I’m back home and having an action plan do-over this week! When I’m feeling drawn to food to cope, I will do self care instead.
Week 2 Musings: There was a lot to cope with this week. Being the week before my first Mother’s Day without my son brought up many powerful emotions that I needed to feel and be present with. My family was asking what I wanted to do on THE day and my first reaction was to just ignore the whole thing. I had been wanting to write a letter to my son expressing how I loved being his mom but hadn’t been able to do it. Wednesday while taking a long walk with the dog, thoughts were coming to me that I wanted to write down. Doing that was the best self care I could have done for myself. I was able to grieve and be grateful to have been his mom. I then had a wonderful, joyous, happy time with my family on Mother’s Day. This was a huge change for me; in the past I would always withdraw into myself. This time I did what I needed for me and then reached out to others for support. I think I graduated from baby steps this week into a giant one ;-) !! PS You can see the letter I wrote here.

Week 3 Action Step: Connect with another mother who lost her adult son to suicide.
Week 3 Musings: Last week I did attend my parents grief support group. I hadn’t been in a while because there were days I just wanted to feel normal. It was good to see the other parents and I’m glad I went. I talked to the mom who also lost her son to suicide and we are going to have lunch and visit this week. I’m really looking forward to getting to know her better.

Week 4 Action Step: Part of my self care this week is to take time for lunch with a friend, explore Austin a bit more and start a Chopra Center’s 8 week online class. Definitely a TLC kind of week!
Week 4 Musings: This week I was able to have some time for me. I did have lunch out and explored some places there hadn’t been time for. I am feeling drawn to the business of things again. All good signs! It’s time for me to get outside guidance and support.

June Key: Reach Out To My Support Circle
June Affirmation:
I am stronger with support from others who have my best interests at heart than I am alone.”
June Focus:
Remember, reconnect and refocus on what is really important to me.

Week 1 Action Plan: Schedule coaching with a trusted mentor to uncover the next step in my life and business.
Week 1 Musings:
Having the call with my mentor really helped me focus on where to start to get clarity. I decided that it was time for me to make a new vision board so I would have something to remind me of what I wanted every day.

Week 2 Action Plan: Work on my vision/dreams board and have another call with my coach.
Week 2 Musings: I spent time finding the pictures and words that reflected what I wanted to bring into my life. I ended up having things in different areas of my life including family, business direction, travel and personal health and well being. I loved that when my granddaughter was here over the weekend she spent some time looking at it.

Week 3 Action Plan: Start my class work to learn to use my intuitive gifts more in my coaching practice.
Week 3 Musings: I am feeling very stretched and excited about my new class. The people in class with me are amazing! I just know that this is where I am meant to be personally and it will support me in living and sharing my purpose and passion with others. It’s hard to imagine anything better than this!

Week 4 Action Plan: It’s decision making time about the level I want to take in this class!
Week 4 Musings: Well…my decision is made. I am training to become a Certified Intuitive Coach®, through Colette Baron-Reid’s Master Intuitive Coach® Institute, specializing in Weight Release Energetix™. Once I’ve completed my course, done my case studies and passed the exam, I will be coaching clients in this special creative intuitive process called IN-Vizion® to guide them to greater health and well-being! I am so excited!

I’ve decided that this will be my last update to this post.

I am in a much better place and I so appreciate your support and hearing from so many of you. Knowing that I was sharing this with you each week gave me the courage to keep taking one step and then another.

My hope is you’ve found some nuggets in my 6 month journey that have given you ideas for your own journey to living YOUR healthy life.

If you have any questions, or are interested in being coach by me, just email here

About Vicki Heise


2 Responses to “I Want To Be Totally Truthful With You”
  1. Cari says:

    Vicki, you know how much I adore you and value your work in the world.

    Reading your very truthful and insightful post has inspired me in many ways. I really love how you have so beautifully put together an authentic plan for YOU and how that plan is supporting you from the inside out.

    Thank you for modeling what it looks like to truly live a healthy life, which includes at its core being very kind to yourself. Nothing harsh needed…no extremes… no extreme diets, exercise routines, etc. Care and kindness are very powerful.

  2. Mary says:

    Hi, Vicki. I just read your action steps and musings for Jan – April. How real, touching, and motivating you are! It occurred to me as I was reading that you could publish this, including your January 2 “truthful” message, as an article. There are magazines that would love what you have done and the messages you are communicating with your commitments, affirmations and musings. I would suggest you send it to GUIDEPOSTS.

    Congratulations on the progress you continue to make. I hope you’re enjoying your Frankie. Please say hello to Bill for me.

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