Cara Alwill Leyba writes of celebrating yourself with a little room for champagne.

 Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 12.40.55 PMWhen is the last time you complimented yourself? Like truly, wholeheartedly said something nice to yourself? I bet you can’t remember. But I bet you can remember the last time you put yourself down. I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes be the queen of negative self-talk, especially when it has to do with my weight. A habit I consciously correct, but still a pesky little habit that seems to creep up on me more than I’d like it to.

I’m not really sure if it’s the media, or society in general that makes us feel like we have to strive for perfection, but the message that we’re getting as women is all wrong. And it’s doing serious damage to our self-esteem and our health.

As a life coach, I work with far too many women who are guilty of the same thing. It amazes me that some of the most accomplished, inspirational, beautiful people are so hard on themselves, especially when it’s easy for me to see how wonderful they are. The practice of negative self-talk affects our relationships with ourselves, and others, and ultimately has an effect on our bodies, too.

In a study posted in the New York Times, researchers found that there were tremendous health benefits for people who go easy on themselves. People who scored high on tests of self-compassion had lower anxiety and depression, and tend to be more optimistic and happier. Preliminary data even suggested that those who were kind to themselves had an easier time losing weight

Are you seeing the connection?

In order to live our healthiest, happiest lives, we need to ditch the negativity and start being kind to ourselves. Fast. The name-calling is ugly and pointless. And let’s face it, it’s only going to make us reach for another cookie or skip our workout because we don’t truly believe we’re good enough for anything more.

So what can you do to stop it? The next time you catch yourself being mean to yourself, replace the insult with something positive. If you’re trying on clothes and you call yourself fat, immediately think of something you love about yourself. For example: “I hate my thighs” immediately gets replaced with, “I’m a kind, giving person.” It may seem silly at first, but it takes time to correct this behavior. And believe me, it’s worth the work.

Cheers to your health and happiness!

Live your most effervescent life, celebrate yourself, and always leave room for champagne! 

The Champagne Diet Cover

My inspiration for this blog is a story every woman can relate to. I’ve struggled with the scale since childhood. Up 10 pounds, down 5, contorting myself into ungodly positions to zip up my favorite jeans. Feeling less than beautiful, suffering from self-esteem issues, dating guys who were bad for me, settling for less – you know the drill. Until one day I was over it.

After exhausting every dieting option under the sun, I sought the help of a good friend and coworker at MTV who assured me that all I had to do was focus on eating rich, nutritious foods, and exercise. Fair enough. But my burning question was – could I still drink? Mama needs her cocktails. “Of course!” she replied. “Just drink champagne.”

Cue dramatic pause. 

Champagne? I could drink CHAMPAGNE!? With just under 100 calories in a flute of bubbly, it seemed like the perfect addition to my Happy Hours, and much healthier than sugar-laden cocktails and bloating beer. And come on, who wouldn’t want to drink champagne? It was love at first sip. Couple that with the fact that I felt like Zsa Zsa Gabor while drinking it and immediately, I was sold.

Unfortunately, champagne wouldn’t suffice as a substitute for daily  meals (wouldn’t that be fun?) so I started following a wholesome diet awash with fresh vegies, delicious fruits, lean proteins and whole grains. Exercise was a must, but it needn’t be rigorous Spin classes or bootcamp routines. I made sure my workouts were enjoyable. I began to view my gym time as “Me Time” and suddenly exercise became just as beneficial for my brain as it did my body. Dessert, of course, would come in the form of a flute (or two) of bubbly or a glass of wine.

And just like that, The Champagne Diet was born.

Cara Alwill Leyba is an Amazon Best Selling Author and Certified Master Life Coach from New York City who encourages women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She runs an international private coaching practice where she works with women who are ready to make their happiness a priority. Through loving guidance, support and an expert perspective, Cara empowers women to be the change agent in their lives.

Her blog, has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire UK, Cosmopolitan South Africa, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, Marie Claire, xoJane, Mind Body Green, and many other sites.

Cara is the author of two books: Sparkle: The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously Dazzling, Wildly Effervescent, Kick-Ass Life, which was a #1 Amazon best seller in the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories, and The Champagne Diet: Eat, Drink, and Celebrate Your Way to a Healthy Mind and Body, which was a #2 Amazon best seller in Self-Esteem.

When she’s not popping bubbly and blogging, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog.


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