Maggie McReynolds blog,

Lessons from a Piece of Pizza

There is a piece of my son’s leftover pizza in my refrigerator. There is half a package of his Oreos in my cupboard. There is a bottle of truly fine pinot noir and some expensive Russian vodka in my cabinet (um, those purchases would have been mine). There is chocolate in my freezer.

For probably the first time in my life, I am oblivious to all of it.

Like many of you, I’ve used eating, drinking, shopping and getting multiple mani-pedis for comfort. I didn’t know it for years, but I was doing it for the same reason most people do: to not have to feel the things I didn’t want to have to face.

So what made me stop all of it, quite literally overnight?

The obvious and true answer is that I became a life coach, and, in doing so, learned how to deal with all of those feelings and fears I was trying to stuff down with Pepperidge Farm Double-Chocolate Milanos.

But the more important and also true answer is that I found something I wanted more than the “comfort” any of these things might bring me in the moment, something I could finally believe in with all my soul:

I want 100% good health. And for the first time in my life, I believe it’s within my reach and that I deserve it.

So when my eyes land on a tray of freshly baked scones at the teahouse I frequent, they keep on moving without my giving those pastries a second thought. When a dinner party host offers to make me one of his fabulous and famous basil-lemon martinis, I go for ice water without a quiver of regret. I pass up cute shoes because I know that money I would have spent on those will buy me probiotics and another month at the recreation center where I swim.

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Kaboom! How to Fall Forward

I know, I know. The expression is “spring forward, fall back.” But I’m not talking about adjusting the clock on your microwave; I’m talking about much more significant adjustments: the kind that change your life. And, on this first day of autumn, a season many of us associate with renewal, I find that a lot of people I talk to are pretty taken with idea of life having a “reboot” button.

falling, maggie mcreyolds blog

Photo courtesy Jamie Campbell

But here’s the thing: you are not a laptop. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t “reset to factory condition.” And if you could, you’d lose a hell of a lot of experience and hard-won growth in the process. So when I talk about changing your life, in big ways or small, I’m not talking about a clean slate, I’m talking about going through your baggage, discarding what doesn’t serve you, packing up the lessons learned, and moving on. Lighter. Invigorated. Not wiped blank, but renewed.

The biggest thing I know about moving forward is that it is almost guaranteed that you will fall. We all knew this the moment we tried our first, tentative steps, but many of us have forgotten that falling is an inherent part of taking risks and making progress, not a sign that we screwed up or have failed. We grow older, as our metaphorical joints grow seemingly less flexible and, in our heads, more fragile, we can become unwilling to risk a fall. We become stuck and complacently, resignedly so, even when we are stuck in a place that really, really isn’t working for us.

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Damn You, AutoCorrect


It’s called “predictive text.” Based on your past texting vocabulary and also on a quirky little algorithm that thinks it knows what you’re going to say next, autocorrect comes up with not-so-helpful suggestions.

Our brains sometimes work like that, too. We’ve worn a neural groove so deep with our painful thought or fear that no matter what we are doing, saying, or hearing, we fill in the blanks with some serious ick.

Our boss says, “We need to talk.”

And the autocorrect in our brains fills in “I’m going to fire you.”

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