We’re a community of women swapping body shame for body liberation!
READY TO JOIN US?
If you’re ready to get off the diet roller-coaster, end the fight with your body, stop obsessing about food, and let go of the struggle to achieve some elusive state of ‘perfection’—and instead, learn to trust your body’s wisdom and feel your own inherent worthiness—then you’re in the right place.
In RECLAIM–my signature group coaching + online course + community program–I help women reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.
Why? I see ‘Diet Culture’ robbing women of our time, energy, money, and happiness and believe that—when women can get out of the trap of using all our precious resources towards micromanaging our food and trying to futilely shrink and change our bodies—we can redirect that energy towards what we really care about and truly change our lives, and the world!
For almost as long as I can remember, I felt ashamed of my body. As a kid, I was chubbier than most and made fun of by boys for being fat. In a society that worships thinness, I internalized their remarks to mean that I was unworthy and unwantable, simply because of how my body looked. I often turned to food as my comfort, reprieve, and source of love, trying to push the loneliness and shame away.
By the time middle school came around, I wanted to crawl out of my skin and absolutely hated how I looked. My already more quiet-natured tendencies became debilitating as all I wanted to do was hide. I was a straight A student, but got extreme anxiety before speaking in class – even if it was just to raise my hand to ask a question. Being seen and heard terrified me.
When I was 17, I started to severely restrict my food for the first time. I was now romantically interested in boys, and thought I needed to change my body in order to be liked. That summer, I hardly ate. I started getting told that I looked ‘skinny’ and ‘great’, and had a guy like me as more than a friend for the first time. I ingrained the belief that, ‘In order to be desired and accepted, I need to be thin’. While I never saw a health professional at this time, I now look back and believe I met the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa. But because I didn’t LOOK emaciated, no one knew; and even worse, they praised my starvation behavior by reinforcing how wonderful I now looked.
Fortunately, I liked food too much to keep up with my self-imposed starvation. In college, I was so focused on my grades and part-time jobs that, for the most part, I wasn’t restricting food as often during these years. I mostly lived off bagels, beer, and mac and cheese. Sometimes, I’d binge eat at night when no one else was around, reminiscent of my childhood.
I didn’t start to get obsessed with health and wellness until after college. When I was about 24, I realized I weighed more than I ever had in my life after stepping on the scale at an OBGYN appointment. I felt ashamed of myself, scared of my body, and desperately wanted to finally get the physique I always dreamed about.
I started researching ‘wellness’ and experimenting with all different diets and lifestyles. At the same time, I started having terrible gut issues every day for months. I decided to cut out gluten, which actually made me feel better and all my symptoms went away for awhile. Adopting a ‘gluten-free’ identity was like a gateway drug into other health fads. I wondered what else might optimize my health and give me hope for getting and keeping that thin body I thought would solve all my problems?
For the next 10 years, I went through phases of working out obsessively (I always hated exercise as a kid – P.E. was my nightmare!) and not eating enough, countered by binging and eating whatever I wanted in between different protocols. My weight yo-yoed, and every time I ‘fell off the bandwagon’ I felt like a failure. I was ashamed that I couldn’t seem to figure out what other people made look so easy.
On top of that, some of my unresolved health issues would spring to the surface, like my sensitive gut. I’ve had issues on and off for years (often exacerbated by whatever stress was happening in my life at the time, especially because I’m a highly sensitive person), and this gave me even more fearful fuel to stay committed to my wellness journey. I wasn’t just doing it for weight; I was doing it in the pursuit of health perfection.
Here’s some of what I tried:
🥕 Raw diet. (No cooked foods ever, seriously?!).
💉 HCG (where you literally use needles to inject yourselves with hormones and eat 500 calories per day. Yeah, that sounds healthy and sustainable!). 😩
🍓 Vegan (for 3 years, so passionately that I was a blogger and micro-influencer!)
🍞 Gluten free (for over a decade!).
🥑 Keto. (For 9 months hardcore, with no changes in my body except feeling deprived, with no hunger signals, loads of food apathy, and totally screwing up my metabolism.)
⏰ 24 hour fasts, a couple times per week.
🍎 SANE diet. The Plan. Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. Detoxes and flushes. Isagenix. Vegetarian. Paleo. Low carb. Anti-inflammatory, ‘real foods’ only. Avoided all soy. Avoided all oils. Food elimination diets. And the list goes on and on. 📝
I now look back and see that I was Orthorexic (a type of disordered eating characterized by a fixation and obsession with ‘healthy eating’ where you paradoxically damage your own well-being in the process), but could have never seen it at the time. From the outside I was functioning and supposedly doing all the ‘right’ things I read about. In actuality, on the inside I was distraught, constantly fighting myself and my body, and sacrificing my true well-being.
I now see how living with black-and-white rules, putting too much pressure on our food choices, and being obsessed with weight loss doesn’t lead to improved health at all, but rather to a stressful preoccupation with food and our bodies and panic about our health–which has the opposite affect of actually HURTING our mental, emotional, and physical health!
Where does the madness end?
When will we stop thinking that the answer to our dreams lays in restriction, deprivation, and obsession?
The truth is, even when I was at my skinniest, I still wasn’t happy. I wanted more. It was never good enough. My body dysmorphia was so extreme that I now see photos of myself from those days where I look thin and fit, but remember how, at the time, all I could see was that I was ‘overweight’ and felt like something was wrong and needed fixing. The quest to get smaller and smaller, with the guise of getting healthier and healthier, was endless.
The more I obsessed, the more it robbed me of my life. I wanted to start my own business for years, but always had a stop-start cycle with that dream because I’d prioritize my ‘health’ and spend all my time, money (that I didn’t even have), and energy on that instead. I struggled in my romantic relationships, letting shame take the front seat and shying away from physical intimacy.
I’d sacrifice social events, holiday meals, fun outings, and countless other things in an attempt to keep this false sense of control of my body, food, and wellness. These patterns kept me from participating in the life I wanted to live.
Eventually, I started to see the insanity. I realized that by spending all my time plotting ways to shrink my body, I left no space to pursue other interests. I felt beyond frustrated and desperate for a new way. Nothing I tried really made me feel that much better, and a lot of it ultimately made me feel even worse.
In fact, research shows that dieting—the act of changing your eating and exercise habits in an intentional effort to lose weight and ostensibly improve your health—is a lot more likely to end in a whole host of other things, including rebound bingeing, food obsession, and weight regain. Not just regain, actually; as many as two-thirds of people who embark on weight-loss efforts end up gaining MORE weight than they lost.
Turns out, trying to change the size and shape of your body—which our culture tells you to do in order to be ‘healthy’ and accepted—actually leads to WORSE physical and mental-health outcomes than if we simply accept the bodies we’re already in. Not to mention how it also creates internalized weight stigma, which has been shown to increase people’s risk of all the diseases that are typically blamed on weight itself. (To read more about why diets don’t work, go here.)
I was shocked when I started learning the truth about everything I thought I knew. I realized that I wasn’t personally a failure, but that diet culture is an inherently flawed system that promised me everything I thought I wanted, yet failed me again and again. I was tired of suffering and giving my trust, power and sovereignty away to external influences. I wanted to be free to LIVE my life—not be controlled by this perfectionist, unattainable body ideal (which, even if it can be attained, doesn’t equate to happiness, health, or fulfillment).
After I discovered Intuitive Eating and the ‘Anti-Diet’ or ‘non-diet’ movement, I felt a truth in my body that I couldn’t ignore. It was hard at first to admit how disordered my relationship to food and my body were, but I couldn’t deny it. I slowly started unraveling my beliefs and conditioning and learning how to trust myself again. I started making real, sustainable changes in my relationship to food and my body that actually SERVE my highest health and wellness, without obsession.
I’ve never felt more liberated in my life than I do today, now that I’ve freed myself from the burden of trying to change my body.
I stopped looking to external factors or authority figures for my truth and what’s right for me.
I’ve reclaimed safety and trust in my body and my own wisdom.
I’m no longer afraid of food and feel nourished by my eating choices.
I’ve learned to separate my value and worth from my physical body and accept my body no matter what it looks like.
I’ve embraced my body’s aliveness and revel in its inherent sacredness. It’s through this body that I’m able to experience the beauty of life every single day, and for that, I feel deep gratitude.
I honor my body’s needs the best I can, but sometimes, I don’t. And that’s okay, too, because I’m human.
As I let go of virtuously pursuing what I thought was a perfect picture of health, I realize that I’m ironically now actually healthier, less stressed, and feel a sense of wellness that can only come by replacing behaviors of deprivation and obsession with nourishment, and self loathing with self compassion.
And now, I’m so grateful to be free to pursue the things in my life that matter most! Spending quality time with my friends and family; taking care of my mental, emotional, and physical health in enjoyable ways that honor my needs and wants; and finally having the time and energy to start my dream business, where I have the honor to support other women on their paths of reclaiming their inner wisdom and trust, fostering body respect and food freedom, and seeing and celebrating their inherent goodness.
It’s almost impossible to learn on your own how to have a peaceful relationship with food and your body in a world that bombards us with messages from the outside about how we’re ‘never enough’ as we are.
I help women just like you learn how to trust and accept your body at any size, make peace with food, and reclaim your body, mind, and life so you can focus on the things that truly matter. It’s time to let go of what’s not serving you, start healing, and saying yes to a life of true, holistic well-being on your terms.
If this resonates and you’re interested in working together, I would love to help you reach your goals!
Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework that will normalize and heal your relationship with food and your body. It’s about getting back to your roots—trusting your body and your signals. Get an overview of the 10 principles here, plus 10 action steps you can take today to start practicing!
Research shows that dieting (any pursuit of intentional weight loss) doesn’t work, and in fact, usually causes more harm to our physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Here are seven reasons why diets don’t work, and what we need to do instead to create lasting health and true wellness!
This safe, supportive community is where I share free resources, tips, and education to help guide your journey to body respect, intuitive eating, food freedom, and self liberation. Join to connect with other like-minded women who are embracing the non-diet path and reclaiming their inner wisdom!