Women Who Inspire

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE - VICTORIA MYERS

Beautiful Inside and Out...Strong...Knowledgeable...Passionate...and INSPIRING, I am so excited to introduce y'all to Victoria Myers!!! Another woman in my TRIBE, who I respect and admire for her fearlessness of being unapologetically herself!!! She helps educate others - To eat intuitively...To live authentically...To practice self-care...and most importantly to LOVE YOURSELF!!! We need more women like Victoria and I hope you will continue to read what she has to say about cultivating a healthy body image in today's society. ENJOY!!!

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

Well, hello! I'm so thankful for this opportunity to talk about some of my favorite topics, the body positive movement and how to cultivate a healthy body image. 

The body positive movement is growing right now and is currently a buzzword for sure in the health and wellness space. Of course, its something that I want every person to experience, because it feels AMAZING to have love and compassion for your body. Every single person deserves that! But I think a good place to start this conversation is actually talking about who the movement is for.

To put it simply, the body positive movement is meant primarily for the marginalized bodies of today's world. While we are all affected by diet culture, and I think each of us can attest to feeling the weight of diet culture on our shoulders and the need to shrink our bodies, many of us still are not as stigmatized as those in larger bodies, disabled bodies, older bodies and the like. 

The body positive movement is for all of us, but primarily for understanding that we need representation and respect of every body type out there.

Personally, I have always felt the need to shrink my body and to be smaller. For many reasons...because I am a woman, because I am a dietitian, because I am a blogger...the list could go on. I felt like I always had to look and be "perfect" for what I had to say to have validity. The pursuit to have the perfect body led me down a deep hole of restricting and binge eating, orthorexia, over-exercising, constant anxiety and contributing to major health issues I experienced.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

But even as terrible as all the repercussions of the pursuit of the perfect body was, I am so incredibly thankful for each of these learning opportunities. To teach me to love my body as it is, right here, right now. To say screw it to diet culture and give up the dieting and disordered eating for intuitive eating. To learn over time to love my body. I feel that if all of us can begin to love our bodies and heal our relationship with food, we can also continue to propel the body positive movement forward and ensuring that ALL of us experience it. 

So...how do we begin to cultivate a healthy body image, love our bodies and join the body positive movement?

1. Develop boundaries - Develop boundaries for the kinds of conversations you have about body image to co-workers, friends, and family. Develop boundaries as well for the information you consume, on social media, magazines, TV, etc. Unfollow people who make you feel unworthy or less than in your own body, or who promote poor body image in others. Develop boundaries for the length of time you spend on social media and consuming content in order to avoid the comparison trap. I personally find having my morning and nighttime without any outside influences (like Instagram) allows me to consume the content more mindfully, choosing to be inspired by it instead of comparing myself to others. I also find it very helpful to follow bodies of all shapes and sizes, people outside of the health and wellness space, people of different races, genders, ages, etc to ensure I am getting a good representation of what true health looks like.

2. See your body as something more than its appearance- Understanding that our bodies do amazing things, that have nothing to do with our bodies appearances is vital to cultivating positive body image. This is where I began my journey, by choosing daily to STOP thinking of my body's appearance and instead focusing on the amazing things it did for me. I walked today, I am so thankful for legs that move. I helped a client today, I am thankful for my compassion to help others. Focusing on aspects outside of what we look like (both physical and mental abilities our bodies provide us) and having gratitude for each of those abilities goes such a long way in this journey.

3. Start with being neutral towards your body - Look, I get it, in the beginning, if someone would have said to me you will one day love your body fat, I would have looked at them like they were crazy! After steps one and two, I believe this next step is crucial. Just be NEUTRAL towards your body. This is a great leap from hating your body and is progress towards loving it. Every time you think to yourself something negative about your body, stop yourself and turn it into a neutral comment. So instead of saying, "Ugh my thighs are SO big, I hate them so much", instead say "I have thighs that touch". Period. Understanding that this doesn't have to be a negative thing (because let's remember the only reason we think this is a bad thing is because society says so), it is just stating a neutral comment and then moving forward with life.

4. Developing love towards your body - Again, this didn't come first for me nor was the easiest part of this. This work is HARD. But it so uplifting, empowering and so damn worth it. Overtime of developing steps one through three as part of how I viewed my body, I was then slowly able to change the internal comments to positive ones. I began to love my thick thighs. The cellulite covering all my legs and stomach. The body fat I hated for so long, I truly began to see as beauty in my eyes. Because I realized that I, and only I, get to choose how I see beauty. I had spent my entire life being influenced by others views of how I should look, I never stopped to ask myself- but what do I value? What do I truly believe in? Shifting my perspective and seeing my body, and ALL bodies as beautiful has truly been life changing.

5. Use your voice to advocate for change - This last step is a must! Once we cultivate positive body image, self-love and join the body positive movement, I believe it is our duty to use our voices to stand up for the changes we need to see in our society. So many of us have been affected by diet culture, and every single person out there deserves a life free from the restrictions it has placed on us. My favorite way to advocate for change is actually quite simple...Be a role model. When you hear others hating on their bodies, talking about how they need to change their bodies, or the new diet they are starting on, simply do not encourage it by not adding to the negative talk. You may feel comfortable talking to the person about your own struggle with body image and how you got to a place of love, but not everyone can be ready for that message. If they are, great! If not, no worries! Just keep the conversation light and find a way to transition the conversation to something else. By simply not contributing to the diet and negative body image talk we can begin to shift the way each of us views ourselves, and then truly begin to change the world.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

I truly hope this post today helps you to cultivate positive body image, and I'd love to hear from you on your progress towards body positivity! Keep me updated by tagging me at @victoriamyers_.

WHO IS SARAH FRICK

I am so excited to introduce y'all to this amazing yoga goddess, woman, and friend!!! It is going to be hard to truly describe her in this post, so if you are ever in Charleston, you NEED to come take her class THE WORKS! Sarah is beautiful, passionate, inspiring, determined, and can we talk about that body and her hair....#WomenCrushWednesday!

WHO IS SARAH FRICK

Here is the deal - I practice 3-4 times a week at Charleston Power Yoga. YES, that is a lot of time on my mat, because it is what I LOVE to do. It is my favorite place to sweat...to disconnect...to surrender...and to challenge myself physically and mentally. I am grateful for this space and this community. And I love how THE WORKS has helped my strength, endurance, and overall health and wellness. It is freaking hard and intense and it is the only class that I let someone else tell me to do burpees and squat jumps.

THE WORKS is no joke! But there is a reason why everyone keeps coming back to Sarah’s class week after week and the classes are always booked. Sarah’s energy is contagious. When she walks into that room, you know that shit is about to go down. She is this tall beauty, who rocks crop tops, a strong and powerful body, and like I said...that hair! She knows what she is doing. She loves what she is doing. She puts all it out there...the good...the bad...and the sometimes not so pretty. I love women like this. She is fearless. She is REAL. She puts it ALL out there. There is no bullshit. So friends...MEET SARAH...

Hi! I’m Sarah

WHO IS SARAH FRICK

The girl behind THE WORKS, a lifestyle brand that encompasses fitness, food, love and heartache, all lit to the soundtrack of my life.  Music lights my soul on fire and so I use it as often as I can on and off the mat. I am solar powered and spend as much free time out in the sun and on the water as possible!  I LOVE to sweat anyway I can and enjoy so much the cathartic release that if offers when intentionally received. My goal is to make all the people in my life and beyond feel connected.  Feel less alone in their struggles. Feel more included and seen. To laugh when it's hard and cry when it's needed. A little tequila. Some great food. My people. Its all I need really.  I am a momma to 3 beautiful earth babies, Waylon (4) and twins, Della and Van (1), and 1 sweet angel in heaven, Grace, and wife to a bad ass husband, John.

WHO IS SARAH FRICK

I’ve been teaching yoga and energetic movement for over 13 years.  My love for a strong physical practice along with a deep love and need to go below the surface in search of real and raw emotional connection and release led to my signature class The Works. The works is an opportunity to throw yourself all in.  We blend breath work, power yoga, cardio, plyometrics, isometrics, core, glutes, and stretching all to a playlist that will energetically and emotionally move and deliver you from sequence to sequence.  We work the whole body. The ins and the outs. This class is an opportunity to feel it and practice along with it. Sometimes we 'let it go' and sometimes we learn how to operate and move along systemically with it.  To create ease in transition and flow strong and flow softly all thru life crisis' (which means opportunity in Chinese). We all have fires they just look different. So we throw ourselves into the room together and move- breath- and sweat together in response to these fires.  And thru this breakdown and gentle unraveling, we not only become physically stronger but start to come home to ourselves. Where the truth and the heart live. No stranger to life's fires myself - I use these tools to heal myself and those I meet on the mat. As we heal--- WE heal.  

WHO IS SARAH FRICK

I have co-owned Charleston Power Yoga in downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant for over 8 years and I am inspired daily by the amazing community and crew I get to live and work alongside.

Who wants to join me and sign up for THE WORKS? I PROMISE you will LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Guest Post with the Diehard Foodie

I know I am repeating myself, but one of my favorite things about blogging and social media are the connections and friendships that you can make, with people all over the world. Connecting with like minded people, who inspire you, support you, educate you is a beautiful thing. I have surrounded myself with women who are all of the above and I am grateful to have them in my life. So let me introduce y'all to Victoria. Victoria is a licensed dietician/nutritionist, who is passionate about intuitive eating, digestive health, and inspiring others to ditch the diets and make peace with food and their bodies. Read more about her story below...ENJOY! 

Sitting down to write this, I realize how different my life and my mind are these days. There’s consistent and overflowing happiness, gratitude for this beautiful life I get to live, and deep compassion for myself, my body and who I am as a person. Before I sat down to write this, I sipped on my version of bulletproof coffee while reading and then meditated. As I write this I am sipping on bone broth and have plans to enjoy a breakfast soon of eggs, bacon, and avocado.

Years ago, the calorie counter in me would have been petrified at blending butter into my coffee, or not knowing a number of calories are in my homemade bone broth. And allowing myself to eat the whole egg with bacon and avocado? Get out of here.

You see, I am different. I became a nutrient-seeker, not a calorie counter. I learned to eat intuitively and instinctively, finding foods that on a daily basis make me feel beautiful, radiant and energized. Not only because these foods and lifestyle are physically nourishing my body, but they are also mentally nourishing to my mind and soul, too.

How did I get here? How did I ditch the diets, stop calorie counting and learn to live life again? I’d be happy to explain! But let’s first start from the beginning…

It was ingrained in me at a very young age to think about what I am eating in terms of how I look. Food and specifically restriction of foods were how to get skinny. I am positive I am one of many women who was taught our self-worth is based on our size and looks. The television and media, friends and family and now these days’ social media, all tell us how we should eat and what we should look like. Don’t lie to me…you know you’ve looked at some of those Insta-famous girls and obsessed over their feed trying to figure out how they eat so you can look the same way.

I can vividly remember at the age of 16 deciding it was time to lose weight. Since all I knew about losing weight was restricting calories, I started to count my calories. It started off innocently with tracking what I was eating and realizing a lot of the foods I was eating on a daily basis were full of calories (ah, not those scary calories!) But then I started having goals of eating less and less. First, it was only 1,200 calories. And then it was 800 calories a day. And while the calorie allotment I gave myself would change throughout those dieting years, it was always way less than what my body truly needed. Unfortunately, this is what my education as a dietitian taught me to do as well- so it was further ingrained in me that this must be how to get skinny and stay that way for good (spoiler alert: it’s not). 

But throughout those eight years, I would constantly lose weight and then regain weight, almost always more than where I started initially. My metabolism became badly damaged from the constant calorie restriction, and because so many foods were off limits, I constantly craved them and would overeat the moment those foods would touch my lips.

For eight years, this is how I lived my life. Constantly calculating calories, weighing myself multiple times a day, exercising because I thought I had to and in constant war with my mind and body about what I was going to eat that day.

Shortly after my husband and I got married (almost three years ago), and I had had multiple binge eating sessions from severely restricting my calorie intake the entire year of our engagement… I snapped. I realized that eating shouldn’t be so difficult. That it didn’t have to be this way. I hit a breaking point and knew the change had to happen.

From that point on, my eating began to change. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly I stopped counting calories. I stopped tracking my eating. I stopped caring about how many macronutrients were in my meal. I threw out my scale. I read the Intuitive Eating book and went through the stages to heal my relationship with food. For months, I would challenge myself to eat foods I thought in the past I shouldn’t eat. My favorite foods like juicy cheeseburgers, ice cream, and gooey chocolate chip cookies. I was amazed that when they no longer were off limits in my mind, the joy and satisfaction I felt when eating them. I was further amazed when I was easily able to stop when I was no longer enjoying the foods, either because I was comfortably full or because they no were no longer enjoyable to eat.

Years later, my eating continues to evolve. I healed my relationship with food and made peace with my body. From there, I was able to experiment with what I was eating in terms of how it made me feel. The last couple steps in the process of healing HAVE to be last because otherwise, eating to heal your health becomes another way of dieting. Another way of controlling food. That’s why in my private practice with Meg, we have layers to do what we do. We first focus on body acceptance and self-love, practicing self-care, managing stress and getting quality sleep. Then we fix your relationship with food, making peace with all foods no matter their health benefits (or lack thereof). And once that is complete, we can begin to eat instinctively.

You see, I probably differ vastly from many dietitians because, in many ways, I agree with the premise behind the Paleo diet movement. For years I would have vehemently disagreed and anything with the word diet would have sent me into a frenzy (I still hate the word diet and don’t ever use it). But then my own health became a concern. While I had IBS for years, my symptoms became unbearable. I was not able to get my period back after getting off birth control. My allergies, asthma, psoriasis, eczema and other skin issues continued to worsen. I felt fatigue all the time but was never able to get a good night sleep. I knew it was time to change, and just as I did with healing my relationship with food- I slowly, very slowly began to make changes to my diet in order to heal my health.

While the paleo movement focuses on what we would have eaten thousands and thousands of years ago (i.e. the Paleolithic era), I don’t think that’s quite necessary. Our bodies and genes evolved over the years, and I think simply looking at a time frame where cuisine began and real food was eaten is all that is necessary. We simply need to look back 50-100 years ago. Before we demonized the very foods that made us who we are today and began eating foods that were instead made in a lab. Before we began over-analyzing food for its calorie or macronutrient profile. Before we questioned our food choices, we ate instinctively. 

I was able to fix literally every health issue I experienced by simply going back to my instincts. Meg and I believe in instinctual eating, which is our tailored approach of combining intuitive eating with eating real, whole foods. Traditional foods that your great grandmother probably ate. Foods like broth made from the bones, eating pasture raised meat with the skin and bones, cooking and eating a diet higher in fat, eating fresh foods (like fruits and vegetables but also fresh foods like raw whole milk), fermenting foods like yogurt and sauerkraut and soaking and sprouting foods like grains and nuts. These are the foods we have been eating for the past 10,000 years. These are the foods that true chefs have been cooking all along. These are the foods I used to heal my health, and foods that we all can benefit from.

I believe now in seeking nutrients, not calories. While I know our ancestors were not blending butter and collagen into their coffee or roasting vegetables with coconut oil, I think we can take these basic premises to optimize our body, mind, and soul. We can take the old age wisdom and combine it with our new age technology and personal food preferences. 

I now use my own experience and education to help others do exactly that. My hope is that by working with my clients, I can help them heal their relationship with food and then heal their health. You can learn from the past ten years I have had to get here and get there much, much quicker. It takes time, but I wish all those years ago when I was struggling that I would have just reached out for help. But I know for me, I needed to go through all those struggles, trials and tribulations so that I could help others. I needed to ditch diets and heal my health on my own so that I could be there for you when you needed it.

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

What do you look for in a teacher when it comes to taking care of your health and fitness? What makes you come back to keep taking their classes? Is it knowledge, passion, their personality, or that they can kick your butt and yell at you, while still having a pretty smile plastered on their face? We all have different likes, goals, and reasons for practicing a healthy and active lifestyle, so it is great that nowadays there are a plethora of options to fit YOUR needs. 

When it comes to yoga teachers whose classes I revisit, I like a variety of styles, that fit whatever my body is currently needing...it could be more focused on stretching my hips; building up my core; or honestly just getting my butt kicked and getting in a good sweat session. I want to introduce you to Jessica Haims from Powerflow Yoga. She is ONE of those teachers who in a matter of 75 minutes educated me, stretched, strengthened, and kicked my butt! Her passion and knowledge of the yoga and the human body...The way she effortlessly flowed into the poses...Learn more about this beautiful woman and why I consider her a yoga goddess!  

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

I Am Jessica Haims:

My approach to yoga is to be safe, educational, challenging, and fun. I believe in educating students about their bodies so that they are equipped to make appropriate decisions about their bodies on and off the mat. Classes are based heavily through a lens of biomechanics and anatomy, always explaining to students why we do a pose a certain way. I want to offer as many tools as possible to my students so that they learn how to modify poses when necessary, and know how to play their edge when appropriate. I am both a vinyasa teacher and Yoga Tune Up® teacher and seek to blend these two styles together to link movement and breath in an intelligent manner. I mainly work one on one with students teaching self-care; we come up with a routine at home comprising of myofascial release work, corrective exercise, and yoga. After suffering a serious back injury due to years of competitive ballroom dancing and teaching full time it became my mission to empower students with the relationship to their bodies!

Why did you start teaching yoga? 

I started teaching yoga because it gave me a sense of empowerment and peace that was uncanny. In 2011 I took my first class ever (at Powerflow Yoga in Chatham!) and it was the HARDEST thing I had ever done (seriously I thought I was going to collapse on the mat by the end of it) - but then savasana came and I nearly fell asleep. I left the yoga room called my mom and said “I want to be a yoga teacher after school” - it was one of those weird gut feelings. I did my first training a little over a year later and fell in love with the studies of anatomy. Over the past year, I have dove deep into the study of biomechanics, anatomy, and the science of stretching. The more I learn about anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, etc… it reminds me why I always want to teach - to help people understand their bodies and to feel good in their bodies.

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

What is your favorite pose and why? 

Half moon! There are SO many different ways of approaching this pose with props, the wall, different isometric contractions - I always find something new about my body in this pose. When I’m in it I feel like I’m flying and floating!

What is your least favorite pose and why? 

I have a hate/love relationship with warrior 3 (which means I probably need to do it more ;) ) - it always kicks my butt no matter how many times I do it!

What advice would you give to someone (aka - me) who is scared of handstands? 

Work slowly away from the wall and with a teacher you trust. Going upside down is a HUGE mental game so it’s all about taking those little steps until you feel ready! There is a move called “scissor kick handstand” that Phillip Askew taught me and it helped me get away from the wall and over my fear of hand standing (will have to show you during our coffee date!). Working on shoulder/core stability and hamstring mobility are major players in working into those handstands. One of my favorite moves are working planks and doing scapula push ups! Another great exercise is doing plank with a blanket under your feet and pulling the blanket towards your hands (ending in forward fold) and then sliding back out to plank.

How do you practice a healthy lifestyle? 

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

I practice self-care by setting aside time for myself every day - whether it's 5 min or an hour for a workout. I love to go hiking, cooking, writing, reading, and watch old Hollywood movies! I make sure to fuel my body with clean food, get in exercise 5 times a week, and take 2 complete days of rest when I can to re-charge and do active recovery (or binge watch Netflix for hours ;) ! ) 

Sweet or salty? 

SWEEEEEET!!!!! I have such a strong sweet tooth - chocolate covered anything will have my name written all over it. My one vice is chocolate and coffee - I can never say no to it. My favorite chocolate is german chocolate, but my favorite sweets are my homemade chocolate chip marshmallow cookies - they are out of this world!

Tell us 3 FUN things that we should know about you...And if there is anything else you want to add, go for it.

I LOVE old jazz music - I always say I was born in the wrong era… I love old Hollywood movies and music. Ella Fitzgerald, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, this list goes on and on. I would have killed to live in that era and see those people perform. I had the honor and privilege to see Tony Bennett live with one of my best friends (she got me a ticket for Christmas!) I started tearing up during the performance - it was one of the most amazing experiences.  

I won world and nationals in 2011 for ballroom dancing! I miss those dancing days with all my heart and when I hear music my mind will wonder off into choreography!

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

My dream is to have a huge back yard one day for a garden and chickens!

I am a huge nerd and love spending free time reading about human anatomy and the latest research on the science of stretching (Jules Mitchell is an amazing resource for anyone interested). One of my goals with teaching is to eventually develop an anatomy module for 200-hour training that gives newer teachers a concrete understanding of the human body. It is our responsibility as teachers to keep these people safe and I would like to see the bar raised in this department!

What do YOU look for in a teacher?

Tell me your favorite teacher and where they teach!

Root For FOOD - Guest Post

This week it is ALL about the food! I LOVE to talk about food...I LOVE to eat food...I LOVE to try new foods...and I LOVE how food fuels my lifestyle and allows me to do things that I LOVE to do on a daily basis. I know you all probably know this, but if you don't, I am a FOODIE! Just like so many other women in today's society, I too have struggled with food. When you are constantly bombarded with images of what you should look like and articles telling you what you should and shouldn't eat, it can become overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting. But once you are able to find that "happy space" to say screw you and do and eat what makes YOU happy, life changes! 

When I first connected with Meg a few months ago, I knew that I wanted her to contribute to this space. Meg is an RD that also calls herself a "Food NERD that plays with plants!" She is also a taco guru, music lover, and obviously a FOODIE! Her story, her passion, and her outlook on food and life is inspirational and I hope you will head over to her blog Root For Food to learn more about her and follow her journey. In the meantime, THANK YOU Meg! XOXO

Freedom In Food

Root For Food

The other day at a restaurant, I observed a woman carefully measure out every single item she ordered to ensure it was exactly catered to fit her meal plan. When it didn’t measure up she ordered more food. She took away food. She brought out her own food from her purse. At last, she even squeezed some lemon juice on top to make it fit the EXACT measurement. It blew my mind. One of her friends said, “You shouldn’t have to measure food like that for the rest of your life… that’s a little obsessive. What kind of life is that?” (YES. Yes for friends who are willing and able to speak truth into other friend’s lives. What a true friend.)

Honestly, when you see things like this, it is hard not to judge. It is hard not to roll your eyes and shake your head, thinking, “she has gone off the deep end. “ And yes, maybe she has, but haven’t we all in one way or another?

I think many of us struggle with this kind of manipulation- this kind of warped perfection of healthy. Thinking that we need a carefully outlined guide or road map to health or fitness or weight loss or whatever your “goals” may be. I believe it all manifests itself in many different ways. Hers happens to be in a very visual one for all to see.

For you it may be a working out, it may be counting macros, it may be restriction, it may be juice diets, it may be with body bands or even bulimia or laxatives. Or maybe just stressing about food in general.

But I believe all of these stem from the same foundation of fear and self- un-acceptance. They stem from a place of not feeling adequate enough and finding a high and some sort of comfort in these variables that we can control and manipulate. It stems from of a place of “I’m not good enough… so this will get me good enough.”

This was me. 100% this was me. I wasn’t measuring out my food but I did count calories, severely restrict, and exercise myself to death for YEARS. All in an attempt to make my body submit to my wishes and take on the form I was convinced would make me beautiful and desirable. I was ashamed of myself and felt self- manipulation was the only option. And I am not the exception in this kind of toxic behavior or mindset.

Root For Food

There is one BIG problem with this mindset: It is working AGAINST our bodies instead of WITH our bodies. It is saying I don’t like you the way you are so I am going to take the reigns and make you how I want you. It is saying — you don’t know what you need for nourishment, so I am going to ignore you and apply calculations and formulas. It is removing natural intuition and mindfulness from our bodies and applying science and even aggression. It is saying— you don’t know how to burn off calories fast enough or work efficiently enough so I am going to exercise vigorously. It is saying I don’t like how much you weigh so I am going to provide you less fuel. It is ignoring craving and dismissing them as misbehavior.  

Root For Food

Wow!!! We live in a society that often promotes punishing our bodies into submission… versus loving our bodies into wholeness. I say wholeness because I think it best describes a beautiful mindset. One that says, body, I love you and want to work WITH you. I want to listen to you and treat you with care and love. It is a mutual respect for your soul and your body have towards one another- I love you, you love me, so let us pursue wholeness and wellness together. It is coming to that place of self-care and self-love that brings unity and peace to your spirit and your body. It is owning your body exactly how it is. Owning YOU exactly how you are. It is eating with the mindset of NOURISHMENT, not of calories or fat or carbohydrates. It is working out with the mindset of STRENGTH and HEALTH verses calorie burning. It is living life with an inner mindset, remembering your body and physical appearance is a part of you that needs to be loved and nurtured.  How much more valuable is a beautiful spirit, a happy sprit and a life well lived? One that is free of guilt and anxiety. Can you imagine?

Root For Food

If you are not in this place, I challenge you to begin to adopt this new state of body and mind. To blossom into unity with your body.  See it as a friend to grow with verses something that needs to be subdued into obedience and disciplined to reach your “goals”. To be completely honest, I still struggle with remaining in this positive place. To be honest, every day is a new challenge. Some days are better than others. But acceptance and self-love is the first step. As corny and cliché as that sounds…. it is true. Honestly, if you don’t START your journey with LOVING yourself and accepting your body the way it is nothing- no diet or disciple is ever going to get you to the point of contentment or happiness.

Root For Food

All of this being said, I do think it is healthy to have an understanding of the amount of calories and macronutrients you need daily. But when it becomes dogmatic and religious and creates a point of potential guilt around food, I believe this is when we have strayed from what our bodies are designed to do. I believe there is a substantial difference between awareness, and actual counting- as counting often eliminates a lot of the flexibility and grace your body desires. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot fit into a box and nutrition cannot fit into a formula. It all boils down to having an understanding of basic nutrition and letting your body do the rest. HOWEVER, many of us have turned off those signals. We have gone so far down the rabbit hole that our bodies don’t know how to communicate and we don’t know how to listen. Thus, there are some exceptions here and times when I do believe it is appropriate to follow a strict meal plan. This allows you to retrain your body to recognize proper nutrition and crave it when you are lacking and not when it is satisfied. This type of re-wiring can eliminate restriction, binging, and everything in between. Trust me, I’ve been there. We’re all in this together!

Root For Food

If you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to contact me. Of course, all of this is my humble opinion. I believe our bodies are incredibly perceptive and are capable of communicating their desires if we would only rekindle that beautiful relationship. I believe this is true freedom in food. 

LOVE your body! LOVE yourself! And LOVE the foods that make you happy!