A hundred things for a better life

At the end of last year, when I was contemplating my intentions for 2020, I thought about how weight and diet had always been part of my life. In my ever-lasting search for weight loss truth, I even became a weight loss coach. But the quest no longer interests me.

It is not that I do not want to be at goal weight, but not against every price. I tried to, but it was not worth it and it did not create a better life. To be at that weight is costing me too much. I started to wonder if it would be so bad if I would never reach that so sought after goal.

What is more important? Reaching a goal weight and having to fight to sustain it, or having a higher weight and living a carefree life? It was pretty mind-blowing what was going on in my head because my True Self answered that question right away. Deep down I want an effortless life and to be happy.

Because I do not believe in sitting around feeling effortless, I thought about what might make it joyful. It was then that my coach suggested creating a list of a hundred things that made me happy. We look for simple things, with a couple of hard stuff in between.

The meaning of the list is not to be finished by the end of the year. That would make it work. The list is a source of joy for when I need it or want to fill my life with some additional meaningful experiences. It took some time to make it, but I think I have some fun and joyful things on it and I look forward to taking on the challenge.

Over the coming months, I will bookend (report) about things I’ve done in separate blogs and strike them off my list. Some items will be a one time experience, and others may grow into habits. Let’s see where it will take me.

better life

My 100 list

  1. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy and blog about them
  2. Declutter the attic
  3. Declutter the garage
  4. Buy a new house (and sell the old one)
  5. Make monthly plans and evaluate them
  6. Pull a monthly card as part of the month
  7. Go to my friend Karen in the United States (scheduled for June 2020)
  8. Attend a workshop by Abraham-Hicks (scheduled for May 2020)
  9. Go sailing with Anton
  10. Visit the market in Groningen
  11. Visit the market in Leeuwarden
  12. Visit the Hortus Botanicus in Haren
  13. Create the effortless life food plan
  14. Go on a boating picnic
  15. Go shopping in Zwolle
  16. Visit a hammam
  17. Visit a new beach
  18. Visit a national park
  19. Add two extra levels of Swedish in Duolingo
  20. Bake a cake
  21. Eat a vegan meal
  22. Bake a sourdough bread
  23. Go to the movies with Anton
  24. Go to a wine tasting at AB’s shop
  25. Have a high tea
  26. Cook a meal for friends
  27. Grow tomatoes
  28. Declutter my computer
  29. Declutter my email program
  30. Meditate every day
  31. Draw a daily tarot card
  32. Do a self-love tarot experience
  33. Eat a healthy meal every day
  34. Plan my meals every day and bookend them with my buddy
  35. Go plogging (Google it!)
  36. Study astrology
  37. Do a full tarot reading every month
  38. Meditate for an hour
  39. Meditate for three hours
  40. Learn watercolor techniques
  41. Send someone who needs it a letter
  42. Send birthday cards
  43. Do an online course
  44. Do a jigsaw puzzle
  45. Do a full no-spend week
  46. Find a new podcast and binge-listen
  47. Bake a beer bread
  48. Declutter DVD’s and CD’s
  49. Do a maintenance walk-around before the house goes on sale
  50. Go for a hike with
  51. Declutter the websites
  52. Create a time-capsule
  53. Scan old photos and create a photo book
  54. Do the MyHeritage DNA test
  55. Go geocaching with
  56. Take a nap
  57. Have facial
  58. Donate three appliances I no longer use
  59. Research the family tree and find a cool detail
  60. Finish a difficult sudoku
  61. Finish my book
  62. Read a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
  63. Watch an Oscar-winning movie
  64. Binge-watch a new (to me) Netflix series
  65. Write a letter to my future grandchildren
  66. Go to a sauna
  67. Play the piano
  68. Clean out my closet
  69. Donate stuff to charity
  70. Reread three books I’ve stored in the attic before I donate them
  71. Go on a weekend cycle trip
  72. Create healthy-er icecream
  73. Make cider
  74. Go for ten early morning swims
  75. Buy veggies at a farm
  76. Organize a barbecue party
  77. Plant something that we can eat from each year
  78. Make iced coffee on a hot day
  79. Create a meal in an Instapot or Slowcooker (don’t have one)
  80. Knit a thick blanket for cold evenings
  81. Attend a PV meeting
  82. Drink 2 liters of water every day
  83. Replant the Swiss Cheese plant (Philodendron Monstera) in one bigger pot
  84. Make a Christmas wreath
  85. Attend a Brussen Day
  86. Organize a Brussen Day
  87. Take new headshots
  88. Republish the tarot book (maybe in another form)
  89. Whiten my teeth
  90. Do a weekly evaluation
  91. Plan dinners for the whole week and get groceries
  92. Go canoeing very early when at the houseboat
  93. Write a fictional story
  94. Sleep in a weird B&B
  95. Donate blood
  96. Buy something cool from Etsy


It is funny to see how I have seriously up-leveled my life already by deciding that happiness is more important than a goal weight. Since I made this list at the beginning of January, some things can now be stricken off because they do not feel right anymore. Activities like fast for a whole day are not conducive to what is right for me since I’ve concluded that an action like that comes from a diet mindset. Since I now have a happiness mindset, I’ve replaced it with Buy something really cool from Etsy.

Photo by Olenka Sergienko

You do not find the best diet, the best diet finds you

If you search for the best diet in Google, the search engine generates more than 7.5 million options for you in 0.52 seconds. You may have even found me that way because I used the best diet as keywords for this blog.

But what is the best diet, really? I mean for you. How will you decide which one to choose, which one to discard, and which one to have as a plan B? There are so many people out there who want to sell you a diet! Whether it is a book, a program, or a supplement, they all think their solution is the best diet. It is as simple as that!

  • Their diet will help you reach goal weight fast!
  • Their diet will help you eat the healthiest food (with recipes!)
  • And it will be their diet that will allow you to have cookies and cheat days (hmm, yes please!)

How to find the best diet

It is so hard to make up your mind, so what do you do? You listen around and find out what others are talking about – on Facebook, on Instagram. You walk into bookstores and look at the presentation table for health-related books until you see one book or one program (whether in-store or online) that keeps coming up over and over again. To be honest, I did the same thing. I listened to others to find out what I should do because I had lost confidence that I would ever reach goal weight.

One thing that all those best diets have in common is that you need to eat less than you burn, how will you lose weight any other way, right? If you eat more than you burn, you put on pounds, and here in the Netherlands, we have a saying Every pound goes through the mouth.

best diet Pinterest

Macros and calories

But how high is your metabolism really? Are you the average Jane who maintains her weight at 2000 calories a day? I’m not! I do not have a metabolism like that. When I eat 2000 calories every day, I gain weight as fast as lightning!

And what about macros? Do you follow the high-fat, low-carb thing? Are you a high-protein person? Why? Why have you chosen what you chose to work with? Because they told you to? If there is one thing that makes people diss each other in weight loss-land, it is about what to eat. I have seen so much discussion or even fighting between nutritionists in the past few years that it is not even funny anymore. Like, a good conversation about why’s and how’s is okay, but dissing a colleague because they advise their clients to eat 5% more protein or fat? No, that is not my way of having a good discussion. And while everybody tries to make a living in the weight loss industry, some people do this in a way that does not align with me.

The truth about the best diet

The truth is that it really does not matter which diet you follow. You need to follow the diet that feels best in your body – the diet plan that creates calm and balance sustainably. So, whether or not you want to implement an intermitted fasting strategy or rather follow a six small meals a day plan, it is all right, as long as your body lets go of the weight and it does not cause squirrelly thoughts and habits. It is these habits that make you gain back the weight.

Dr. Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health found out that the discussion about the best diet is meaningless. All diet types performed excellently as long as the subjects ate less than they burned. The only thing that did jump out of his research was that people who got coaching did way better than people who just got instruction and sent home, only to be weighed again by the time the research period ended.

Your body’s different needs

What I  quickly found out when I became a weight loss coach was that virtually everybody can read a few pages of what to eat and what not to eat. It is not about understanding what we put out there, it is about the behavioral change, that is so hard.

Besides that, you also need to have the guts to change your plan, away from what your coach tells you to eat and build your own program. This asks for trust in your own power and judgment. Especially when weight loss takes a long time, your body needs to have some change now and then. That is why I do not believe in eating the same thing over and over. It may be easy for you, but it lulls your body to sleep and turns your metabolism down. I believe, from my own experience, that you need to listen to your body and become aware of what it needs throughout the year.

This means that you need to keep noticing how your body reacts to what you eat. Besides that, you also need to listen to how your body’s needs change throughout the year. In Spring you will need different food than in Winter. If you live in a cold or cool environment, you will need different food than when you live in the tropics.

How I can help you

Then who are we nutritionists on the other side of the world to tell you what to eat to lose weight? Who are we to say to you that what you are doing is wrong if you do not lose weight? The only way we can help you is to help you find out what triggers you to overeat and eat more than you burn. Besides that, we can help you to implement the habits that need to become automatic, so you can repeat them over and over again without lulling your body to sleep.

The only way we can tell you what to do is when you give away your power to us and become the victim of your circumstances. It is time to take back control and create a collaboration with a weight loss coach because you can feel what is right for your body!

What is right for me may not be right for you. Your body is a wise and knowledgeable instrument, and you must start grounding your experience. You need to listen to it and trust it that is wise enough to tell you what to do. This is not something you build overnight, but it comes through experimenting, making mistakes and going back onto the original program and start all over again until you tweak it to something that makes your body and soul hum.


If you find it hard to follow a list of instructions and keep on sabotaging yourself into a weight gain, then you must find out what triggers you to cross the lines in the sand that were described as rules in your food plan. Why do you break your promises to yourself all the time? What is there in your life that makes weight loss so hard to just –excuse my French- follow the fucking plan?

It is the emotional and mental stuff that clogs up your clear channel with your body. The cloudy water and stormy skies keep messing up your days, and you need to find out why you keep eating your stuff away. It is not because your body does not object – it does. It is your heart, your mind, and your soul that are also opposing to what you are doing because you apparently do not want to listen to what they are telling you. The only way that makes you pay attention is when you see the scale go up. You create your own weight gain by not listening to what your mind and soul are telling you.

Stop that eternal quest for the best diet

So, while you are looking for the best diet in the world, you can stop the eternal quest. Just look back over what worked best for you in the past and gave you the best experience of freedom. Just choose one. There is no perfect diet, you know. Research shows that there is no difference.

You need to tweak your focus – from searching outside of you to looking within because that is where the answer to what your best diet is. As long as you think that you only need to focus on what you eat and do not align your strategy to what your real problem is (your big fat why of overeating), you will probably lose weight and gain it all back again over and over again. This is because your inner world needs to be heard when it is sad or hurt – even if that sadness and hurt started years ago. It will stand in your way if you do not address it. I am sorry to be such a party pooper if you ended up on this page to find the best diet, but this is just what it is.

Weight loss is not about what you eat, but how you look at yourself and how you align your actions with your real needs.


If you have any questions, please let me know.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Permit yourself to be skinny or anything that only slightly resembles that

Why do you struggle with your weight? Why is it so hard to permit yourself to be skinny? Possibly because you feel like you do not deserve it or because you tell yourself a story why it is impossible to have this.

What you are struggling with is a self-proclaimed obstacle because this is all about that story in your mind. If you would ask your mom, your friend or your sister if you have their permission to lose weight or to own a weight that is healthy, they would probably look at you, saying: “Are you alright there, hon?”

Own the story and all the words you use to create a mindset to make it difficult.

Why you deserve it

You deserve to be skinny! Why? Because you have overcome other obstacles as well, you know you can do this. A skinny body has nothing to do with your worthiness. If your worthiness is low, then you tell yourself that you can’t have it and it is an ongoing record playing in the back of your mind. You cannot do but starting to believe that crap.

But you know, you are not your past failures. You are your future successes. Your past is your starting point. From there you can only grow. Forgive yourself for the struggling and move on. Really! Forgive yourself and start there.

There is only one fundamental question you need to answer: “How do you want to feel from now on?” Do you want to remain struggling, that’s fine. Or do you want to feel confident, empowered and balanced in your whole being and slowly but surely move toward your goal weight in the way YOU want it to be?

It is all a mind *uck!

Can you see the mind *uck that you are following? You tell yourself that it is hard or impossible or that you do not deserve it. Your body only follows what you’re telling it, so it creates the excess stubborn weight and the struggle. Special delivery for YOU!

But if you own your story and how you want to feel from now on, that is when change starts. Become the CEO of your life. Decide where you want to go (your mission) and how you want to get there (your vision).

If you tell yourself that you want to be at goal weight asap, then you still tell yourself an undercurrent story of struggle and “do not want it”. My dear, this is what the rest of your life will be if you keep thinking like this.

Choose to focus on feeling good right now, even though you are not at goal weight yet. Don’t you think that being in action feels so much better than focusing on what you cannot do or what you do not deserve?

Who cares what your past has been? Who. Cares.


It starts here. Permit yourself to be skinny

Stop overanalyzing your eating habits and your goal weight. You forget to savor your life, and it keeps you in the past. Just do something. When you become more confident in doing something, then you can add another action to it. Then you do something and something.

Do you think that I reached my goal weight by following the diet to a T? Ha! Nope! I made a mistake after mistake. I had so many shitty days, but there was one thing that kept me going: I had unwavering faith in what I wanted to create. Yes, there were moments that I struggled with that faith, but when I managed to let my True Self speak about that, I would instantly know that having a healthy weight was waiting for me.

I’ve been at the overanalyzing and perfectionistic behavior. I guess I don’t have to explain to you how that does not light me up. If there is one thing that I want for myself, then it is to feel proud of doing it and empowered and confident, no matter what for results I create, because at least I do something.

The fear of being brilliant

Perfectionism can break us and can keep us from doing great things for ourselves. It is the fear of being brilliant, and to shine in a life that is ours.

You are good enough, and yes, you do deserve to be skinny (or anything that only slightly resembles it if the real vision still feels scary).

Imperfect action beats perfect inaction. That is what counts. I also do not have 100 bright shiny days in a row or 1000. I am human, shit happens. But every time something happens that messes up my structure, I start over because I own my future.

Let me know in the comments, what this blog meant for you.

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Does eating at night really make you fat?

It sounds so easy: dinner is over, the kitchen is closed. Well, no. It isn’t that easy. For some reason eating at night is the #1 reason why we gain weight and stay overweight.

The evening is the most favorite moment in the day in which people eat. During daytime, it isn’t that hard because we have a lot of things to do. We have work, kids or whatever we focus on, but in the evening when we sit down to relax, that’s where it starts.

So, how bad it is eating at night really? Well, more than you think. I invite you to take pen and paper and calculate with me to get “hit by a frying pan” (as I lovingly call confrontations like these).

Do you want to stay in a dream state about what is needed to lose weight, I urge you not to read any further. Please don’t, because you’re not going to like me.

Further reading is at your own risk of being confronted with the truth.

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

What weight loss all boils down to

Gaining weight all boils down to eating too much. I can show you all kinds of other reasons, but every time they come down to this one reason. Your body doesn’t work differently in the evening as it does during the day. So looking at what you eat altogether over a period of time, you need to eat less than the total of energy you burn during that time frame.

What happens, though, is that your metabolism turns down a notch during the evening and the night because your body is getting ready to start the regeneration mode that goes on in your body during the night.

How much energy do you really burn?

Did you know that 70% of all the energy you use is spent on keeping your body going? It means that your heart needs to beat and your lungs need to process air. So the majority of all energy is to keep you alive. The rest of the 30% is needed to be able to work, to walk, to be active outside or in a gym or to play with the kids.

Research shows that we overestimate the amount of that number. We think we burn loads and loads of energy with a walk or a workout, but reality shows it isn’t that much.

So when you sit down to relax at night, and you’ve been really busy, maybe even been active, then there is a good chance that you think you’ve earned it. Raise your hand if you’ve told yourself: “I’ve been so active, I’ve earned it!”

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

Does eating at night really make you fat?

You probably didn’t burn that much

Well, I don’t want to spoil the fun, but you probably didn’t earn the amount of energy by eating at night. If you’re the proud owner of a smartwatch and can see how much you burn in 24 hrs you have to understand that 70% of that number is just what you needed even to survive; to live and breathe. The rest of the number is to get through the day, including get up, do your job, do your groceries, maybe even clean your house if you’re up to it or even work out; your normal things to do in a day.

So let’s see how much you burn and calculate your BMR (the number if you refuse to get up in the morning and stay in bed all day for 24 hrs, with the following Harris-Benedict formula:


Women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)

Men: 66 + (6.2 x weight in lbs) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.76 x age)


Women: 655.1 + ( 9.563 x weight in kg ) + ( 1.850 x height in cm ) – ( 4.676 x age in years )

Men: 66.47 + ( 13.75 x weight in kg ) + ( 5.003 x height in cm ) – ( 6.755 x age in years )

How active are you really?

When you’ve calculated your BMR you then multiply it with one of the below numbers that shows how active you are:

1.2 Sedentary.  Little to no exercise
1.375 Mild activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 20 minutes 1 to 3 times per week. This can be cycling, jogging, basketball, swimming, skating, etc.  If you do not exercise regularly, but you maintain a busy lifestyle that requires you to walk frequently for long periods, for instance, working in a shop, you meet the requirements of this level.
1.5 Moderate activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. Any of the activities listed above will qualify.
1.7 Heavy or (Labor-intensive) activity level: Intensive exercise for 60 minutes or greater 5 to 7 days per week (see sample activities above).  Labor-intensive occupations also qualify for this level.  Labor-intensive occupations include construction work, farming, landscaping or similar occupations.
1.9 Extreme level: Exceedingly active and/or very demanding activities:  Examples include: athletes with an intensive training plan that includes multiple sessions a day, or a very demanding job, such as shoveling coal (who does that these days?) or working long hours on an assembly line. Generally, this level of activity is very difficult to achieve.

Now be honest

Be honest. Have you chosen the right one? I’ll gladly admit that I’ve done the “exaggeration thing” in the past. Being very tired of a workout isn’t part of the equation. And no, one intensive week isn’t going to change your life. The number you choose has to be something you’ve done for a longer time.

But it doesn’t stop there. The number you just calculated is the number to not gain any weight. If you want to lose weight you’ll have to take away 500 kcal. The number you end up with is what you should eat to lose weight at a steady pace.

Choosing the wrong multiplier was one of the causes why I couldn’t lose any weight. When I pulled my head out of the sand and lowered my daily intake, I was able to lose another 50 lbs.

Free download: Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet With Ease

Uncover the BS nonsense

That’s how powerful thoughts and stories can work for you too. Uncover the stories you tell yourself and lose weight.

How often do you tell yourself a story how hard you worked or how many calories you burned today? How often do you tell yourself that you’ve earned that extra helping or that snack? Be honest. And then calculate how many calories you add while you listen to the happy but fattening chat.

My clients often don’t like me when I let them do this exercise. It sucks. Yes, it also sucks that age is part of the equation. It had been a while ago when I did this equation for the last time, and in the meantime, I added a few years to the equation. Even though I now understand that I can’t eat as much as I used to, it was still a confrontation for me.

So how does this influence your eating at night?

Well, if you only have that 30% that you can influence by being active and you want to lose weight, then you have two choices:

  • Become more active (and I really mean active) or
  • Eat less than you’re eating now (starting with ending eating at night)

Of course, you can eat something at night, it won’t kill you or your goals. Just know when enough is enough, especially when you also have sensitive intestines, sleeping problem, experience a lot of fatigue or have stubborn weight that you just can’t seem to lose.

But that’s a whole different subject that I might cover in a webinar someday. Until that moment you can work with me to make weight loss possible or if you’re just not able to maintain your results. If my way of confronting you is something you might need (no, I’m not on the warpath all the time!) then apply for a strategy call with me.

Let me know in the comments: were you shocked to know how many calories you really can eat in a day?

Stick to Your Diet with Ease


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