I’m on a mission to help women free their bodies from the pain of dieting and negative body image, and lead them to a life of freedom, balance, and joy around eating and fitness.
I know how you feel.
You are tired of counting carbs or tracking points, making yourself crazy over food.
You’re tired of “falling off track” and starting back over again on Monday.
You’ve tried every diet on the planet and are still frustrated with your weight, body, and food habits.
You have absolutely no motivation to exercise or feel intimidated going into a gym.
You are constantly looking in the mirror and thinking the most horrible thoughts about yourself and can’t seem to stop.
You hear everyone saying that you need to love yourself, but you honestly don’t really know how or where to begin.
You binge in secret and overeat instead of dealing with your emotions. Food sometimes seems more comforting than anything else.
You think “if only my body looked like X, then I’d be happy”
I have done all of these things and more. Let me tell you how I got here and managed to find freedom on the other side.
Diet Hell, Binge Eating, Self-Hatred, and Weight Obsession
I was on the binge/emotional eating, yo-yo dieting, minimal exercising, self-hating train for the majority of my life. I have a naturally curvy body and have always been a little bit overweight, so I grew up with the belief that there was something wrong with my body because I didn’t look like everyone else in the magazines or on billboards.
Clothes shopping was a nightmare. I’d cry because nothing fit properly, but instead of choosing to take actions from a place of love, I’d go seeking the next best diet, believing that in the diet I’d find my salvation. I put myself through diet hell for nearly 30 years of my life. And I am here to tell you that it’s not worth it.
I think my first diet started when I was around 6 years old. Yes, you read that correctly. 6. I gained weight suddenly, and the doctors and other family members would make comments to my mom about my weight. I believe part of it stemmed from stuffing down my emotions with food after witnessing an unhappy marriage between my mom and dad. Or maybe that’s just how it manifested itself, and my food intake didn’t change much up until then, because I’d been thin before that. My mom did the best she could for us at the time, and although I don’t think she put me on any specific “diet” per se, I do think that I was aware of what was going on.
With each diet, I’d “fail,” because diets require you to restrict food. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with anything I ate, and I hated the way that my body looked so much, I was desperate for the fat to come off in whatever way I could possibly fathom. I believed that if only the fat could come off, then I’d be happy. Then someone would love me. Then I’d live the perfect life. And it doesn’t work that way. Whatever perceived problem you believe is caused by your body, actually has nothing to do with your body. It’s all a belief that begins in your mind and we then convince ourselves that our bodies are the problem, but they are not.
I tried the South Beach Diet, the Maple Syrup Diet (I don’t even know if that’s what it’s really called, but I literally drank water mixed with maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne pepper, along with a glass of salt water, which made you run to the bathroom like nobody’s business), Atkins, “Clean” Eating, Vegan, Gluten-Free (I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating that way, but when you are doing it from an unhealthy mental standpoint, it can get dangerous), The Zone Diet, and I can’t even remember what else. But if it promised quick results, chances are I’d jump at the chance to do it, because I just wanted the fat OFF. The irony is that I wasted so many years doing that, weighing the same or more. Thankfully I never got conned into Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, but I easily considered both options. Oh, I even ate only Subway sandwiches twice a day along with Lean Cuisines, & worked out like crazy during one summer of my life (I did lose all the extra weight I had gained from my highest of 220 pounds, but I wasn’t going about it in a healthy way). I toyed with Paleo (again, I believe it works for some people – when I restrict too much, it makes me crazy, and I go on all out binges and want to eat all the things).
During my “clean” eating phase, I developed orthorexia. That means that I became absolutely obsessed with eating things that were natural & “clean.” I refused to eat anything packaged, and would walk around the grocery store thinking that I was better than everyone because I was eating such “pure” food. Looking back now, I can see what bs it was, but I convinced myself that I was better somehow because my diet was not full of any sort of crap.
As a result of my obsessive dieting, I would constantly weigh myself, hoping that my weight would magically come off. When it didn’t happen as quickly as I would’ve liked, or when I saw the number on the scale go up despite the fact that I’d been “good,” I would go on all out binges. I would hide and eat the things that I wasn’t “allowed” to eat, partially because I was embarrassed, but also because a “bigger” girl “shouldn’t” be eating those things, so I’d do it in secret, where nobody could see me. Then I’d immediately feel guilty because I knew I’d taken an unloving action towards myself. But the thing is, the diets weren’t anymore loving in terms of how I was treating myself. And overeating kept me stuck at the same weight that I was trying so desperately to strip off.
Being Diagnosed with PCOS
In my early twenties, I was diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is characterized by irregular periods, acne, hair growth in weird places, having your hair fall out, infertility, and a difficulty losing weight as a result of insulin resistance. I’m fortunate to say that I’ve managed to treat many of my PCOS symptoms holistically. Being diagnosed with PCOS helped explain why I often had a difficulty losing weight, despite my bingeing, and it was also the wake up call I needed in order to eventually get started on my self-love journey, one that included healing from binge eating, yo-yo dieting, & learning to love the body that I have. I see PCOS as a gift rather than a burden. I’m super open about my PCOS journey & also deal with chronic pain, so if you’d like to know more, I’m an open book.
The few times in my life where I was consistent with eating a little bit better or exercising, I would actually start seeing results, but then I’d subconsciously believe that I didn’t deserve to look that way, so I started gaining the weight back. I also suffered from body dysmorphia, because I still had two prominent stomach rolls. I remember a few years ago, I was working out consistently and eating relatively well, but I believed that I still looked the same. Even though people commented that I looked good, I didn’t believe them, because I thought that having a flat stomach was the answer to everything. Unfortunately, that is also the story that we are sold by the media. That if you work out and eat well, then you will automatically look like a fitness model, and that is not true either.
The In Between Phase Where Healing Began
Being diagnosed with PCOS helped me to begin learning about how to fuel my body properly and to learn how to take care of myself, but I still allowed myself to struggle and obsess over food, adopting the all or nothing mentality. Women with PCOS characteristically do better eating lower carbs, less sweets, more vegetables and lean protein, and I didn’t know how to teach myself to eat this way. It took a lot of trial and error for me to find my way.
As a result of my journey, I decided to enroll at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and realized what I could do to help serve and empower other women as they navigate through their own journeys. They taught us that there is no one right diet for everyone, and I firmly believe that to be true! I am so deeply grateful and thankful for everything that I’ve experienced. Without my seeming struggles, I wouldn’t have discovered my life passion, which is helping and educating others via health and wellness, and my own story has been a huge catalyst in wanting to help other women be free. Learning to trust myself and just be the fullest expression of who I am has been a huge part of my journey.
Despite graduating from health coaching school, I still had my struggles. This was the phase of my life when I became orthorexic. Trust me, my school did not teach us that, but I had allowed my disordered thoughts around food to be consumed by a different pattern of disordered eating. I continued to struggle with my weight, to hate the way I looked, to not exercise, and buy every clean eating book I could find, in hopes that it would somehow become my salvation.
But eventually, I learned to stop fighting with myself. I learned to not allow my identity to be consumed by my body and to remember that I am not my body.
I am SO much more than my body, and so are you.
I’ve learned to treat my body with love and everything that it deserves to have, because my body houses my soul and keeps me alive, allowing my heart to beat and to experience the beauty that all of this life has to offer.
I fell in love with spin classes at SoulCycle and began undoing the beliefs I’d held onto for so long. Breaking up with emotional eating and finding balance was honestly probably the hardest part of my journey. This was also the time in my life when I became body dysmorphic. I was probably in the best shape of my life, but deep down I didn’t believe in myself enough, or that I deserved to feel good in my body. So I slowly let my exercise habits go. I gained weight again because I started buying into the body positivity idea that I needed to love myself as I am, which I translated into “weight loss is bad, I can just eat whatever I want, it doesn’t matter because this is the body I have, who cares if I am bigger, that’s just how I will always be.” And it made my emotional eating worse. I had finally let go of the orthorexia, but I couldn’t find my balance.
So I taught myself how. I had to learn to recognize guilt and call it out when I wasn’t being loving towards myself. Because saying that you need to love yourself as you are, but then turning around and taking unloving actions towards yourself in the name of body positivity isn’t self-love. It’s self-hate. Everyone’s journey is different so I honor that.
Finding Freedom, Balance, and Joy in Food, Exercise, and My Body
For me, healing from an eating disorder involves finding joy in exercise, and I find my happiness at spin class. Strength training is what is going to make me stronger, so I find the motivation to do it because I like to remind myself that fitness goes beyond size. I will always have a curvy figure, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t charge charge of my health & also allow my body to change in the process. The difference is that I’ve learned to let go of the obsession and changed my mind about my fitness approach.
I learned how to find balance with food. I taught myself how to eat intuitively and sometimes I’ll eat a salad and french fries, not because I “have” to eat the salad to be healthy or because I’m rebelling and tired of being “good” so I eat fries instead, but because that’s honestly what I genuinely want. No guilt, no shame, no remorse. If those feelings come up, I take the opportunity to look at it and call out the negative belief that is no longer serving me. And that is honestly how I began healing, one step at a time.
I don’t stand in front of a mirror and idolize body parts, like stretch marks and my rolls. That’s not my approach. If it works for you, go for it. But for me, self-love involves looking beyond the body. I’ve found a way to look at my body neutrally, and to not allow myself be defined by the way that I look. I appreciate everything that I am now able to do that I never was before – like doing a half marathon! Never in a million years did I think I would do one, but it was one of the best things I ever could’ve done for myself.
My approach to weight loss is completely different now. Instead of making it an all or nothing approach and starting over again on Monday after “messing up,” I now see it as a lifestyle. I’m not obsessed with losing weight. I’m taking healthy actions towards myself, each day. My weight will stabilize where it is eventually supposed to be. It’s not my concern anymore how quickly or easily it happens. I just want to be happy and healthy. When you choose to change your mind about yourself, then you free yourself to do what is best for you, and you can approach things like weight loss, fitness, healthy eating, and body image from a healthy mental standpoint. That is what makes all the difference in the world.
Overcoming binge eating, disordered eating, emotional eating, yo-yo dieting, weight struggles, the all or nothing mentality, and toxic body image thoughts and turning all of it around took time. These beliefs and behaviors were so ingrained in me that I had to teach myself how to reverse them in order to take charge of my health, well-being, and happiness. I know how overwhelming it is. I had to find my way and begin to choose love one step at a time instead of hate. It feels like it’s impossible to find freedom and balance. For the longest time I thought I’d struggle with binge eating forever. I still have my moments around food and my body pop up from time to time, but I am MUCH more self-aware than I ever was before. I taught myself that the food will always be there and that it cannot fulfill me on a deeper level. I no longer constantly think about food, unless it’s because I know that I’m going to enjoy an amazing meal, not because I want to stuff down my emotions or punish myself to the point of making myself uncomfortable. I found a love for exercise.
And when it comes to my body, I wore a bikini for the first time in my life in Mexico, and it felt damn good. I knew that I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and that I didn’t need a flat stomach in order to do so. Confidence is ultimately a state of mind, and you don’t need a 6 pack in order to have fun on the beach.
Trust me, I’m not perfect. And nobody else is either. Don’t let social media fool you. I’m happy that I’ve developed a love for healthy eating, fitness, and my body, and I am on a journey to help other women overcome their struggles so that they too, can thrive & live their best lives. It’s time to free yourself from the prison you believe to be your body and experience freedom and peace around your body, food, and fitness.
I’ve finally found balance, learned how to eat intuitively, and let go of the war with my body. I promise that you can do the same.
My tagline, “Spark Your Inner Glow,” came as a result of allowing that divine spark within me to shine forth to be the fullest expression of me. I already have everything that I could ever want or need already within me. I don’t have to be the perfect weight, not that there is a perfect weight, or blindly follow what society teaches in order to achieve my own version of success. Yes, it’s ok to take care of myself, to want to be my healthiest self, to love myself fully. It all stems from LOVE. Having struggled with binge eating for such a long time, I know that I’ve been seeking something outside of myself to feel fulfilled, which will never ever work. I cannot have a strong foundation for peace without love. Being the highest and truest version of myself creates miracles! And I believe 100% that it’s possible for you too. If you want to learn more or work with me, please reach out, or check out my coaching services. I’d love to talk to you.Schedule a 20 minute Discovery Call