Lindsey Smith, known as the “food mood girl,” works with people who have a habit of looking to food for all the wrong nutrients:  comfort, reward, fun, and acceptance. Through speaking and coaching she motivates, equips, and inspires people to sort out their relationships with food so they can live a healthy, balanced life. Lindsey is also the author of Junk Foods & Junk Moods: Stop Craving and Start Living! She is hosting a book signing on February 23rd at Sugar Cafe in Dormont, PA, at which a portion of book sale proceeds will benefit SWSG! For more information, visit
When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. I stressed about everything from my clothes to my grades to my weight. My body was changing and I began to feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
Back-to-school shopping went from being fun to being a traumatic experience. I remember a specific day my mom took me shopping for clothes during the summer before fourth grade.  I walked into the store delighted at all the sparkly jeans, fun tops, and accessories.
As it turned out, neither the clothes the mannequins wore nor those on the racks looked good on me.  My enthusiasm was quickly deflated.  Rather than feeling excited about shopping and getting new outfits, I felt depressed, angry, fat, and ugly. Why couldn’t I look like those other girls?  I remember feeling different, like an outcast. How come everyone else could fit into these clothes and look nice, but I looked “fat.”
I was ashamed of how I looked and who I was. I never felt “good enough.” Comparing myself to others didn’t help either. After multiple panic attacks, being hospitalized, and seriously contemplating my life, I knew there had to be “something” else out there for me.
At age 12/13, I started a journey to health and happiness by using three main ingredients: “Thinking good thoughts, eating real food, and loving myself.” Within six months, my anxiety was nearly gone, I lost weight, and I had more confidence.
So what are some steps you can take today to help with the insecurities and worries? Here are three steps to help you get started:
First things first. Remember, you are not alone! Everyone has these doubts, insecurities, and thoughts. Even the most secure people still get a hint of doubt every now and then.
Second—Start loving YOU!  Many times we are so “others” focused that we neglect to take time to love ourselves. Do you treat yourself with the same consideration you offer to others? If not, start by making time for yourself, and doing things for you!
Lastly—start shifting your thoughts from the negative to the positive. This sounds easy, but it can be challenging. So start small. When fears and insecurities creep in—keep telling yourself all the great things you have to offer.
With some practice, you’ll not only say and do these things, but you’ll believe them! If you find you are having trouble, or if you want to incorporate an affirmation into your daily routine, use this affirmation every morning during a quiet meditation time to help center yourself with self-love and self-worth:
In this moment:
I am FREE.
I am right where I need to be.