This is a big topic and something I am personally passionate about. There is nothing easy about this subject – I am writing this, sharing my journey, and hoping that you will be able to associate it with my very real and human experience. What I can say is that I have tried ridiculous diets and am happy to have found my own, finally!!! Food is everything because the diet is inextricably linked to physical and emotional strength. I eat for the fulfillment, satisfaction, social encounters, new experiences, flavors, and indulgences, but ultimately health. It’s a gift! It’s what fuels my body and keeps me alive. For me, what it comes down to is eating for nutritive benefit is my diet. Food is a life-giver. It’s not the enemy.
We will first start with the reasons why I was dieting. I was a model from the age of 18-28. The industry found me and before I knew it I was modeling full-time, 7 days a week, often 2 jobs a day. I never thought weight was an issue for me as I always fit into clothes, however; moving away from home meant that models and bookers became my mentors. My agent started comparing me to the other girls calling me fat, asking me to get plastic surgery but saying I couldn’t go to yoga class because my muscles are ugly.
My bulimia started then. I used to puke up after dinner especially because I had an uncontrollable hunger but didn’t want to eat before going to bed thinking that I would get fat if I slept with food in my belly. Before I knew it I had a slew of dieting fads. Lord help me, I’ve tried tea-toxing, juicing, detoxing, bulimia, binge eating, fasting, laxatives, diet pills, supplements, no carbs, low fat, no sugar, vegetarianism, pescatarian…all because I wanted to eat, but be skinny. I got what I wanted. I was underweight, didn’t have a period for many years, and I wasn’t happy. I spent every waking moment trying to abstain from food and control myself so that I could never get my mind off of that thing I needed. Food.
Stuck in a vicious cycle that made every day, every meal, every moment a battle. My life was a taxing contradiction of itself and I needed to find a career and an environment that would allow me to be healthy. I have always loved yoga and since modeling didn’t allow me to practice I knew I had to quit. As daunting as that proposition was I started with small steps in that direction. I took my first yoga teacher training in 2012, created Stretch City a yoga portal that was acquired by Purely B in 2014, took another teacher training in New York with Tara Stiles in 2014, and started teaching yoga, boot camps, workshops, and creating fitness videos. These incremental steps helped to carve out my own happiness, meanwhile discovering the meaning behind eating for me personally.
Breaking down pre-existing ideas and my negative relationship with food was key to developing strong habits with balance and acceptance of myself. I found science-based information on nutrition and exercise gave me the right insight into overall physical health. I was no longer shy about learning more, practicing more, and teaching more to drive my fitness and passion for feeling fantastic. This pursuit helped me break out of that negative cycle and find the passion to create the concept of FitSphere.
I haven’t weighed myself now in years. This has enabled me to focus on what is important and not measure happiness and success by numbers. A conscious career has put me in a place where I can live and breathe what I believe and the more I develop personally the more I can share. It took me almost 15 years of abusing my body to finally come to this point. To be able to sit down and enjoy a meal without worrying if I am eating too much and if I need to purge it later.
Regaining trust in myself allows me to follow my heart and my intuition, especially in decisions on what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and the millions of questions that come up around food. I tried vegetarianism for health and environmental benefits and it’s made me extremely happy, but it wasn’t sustainable for my energy output, so I have reintroduced meat into my diet. My philosophy on food is heart-aligned eating following these personal food guidelines.
Nowadays I eat what I want. You could almost say I don’t diet, but I do have personal food guidelines I live by.
Becoming a mother and breastfeeding has opened my eyes to intergenerational health and nutrition. After getting 4 root canals postpartum I knew my body wasn’t getting what it needed even with all the above guidelines and taking vitamins daily. I took this master class on MOTHERFOODS, an approximately 2 hours recorded class that I highly recommend any woman to listen to and learn.
To those with the opinion that I should become vegan because of my beliefs and career let me just say this “veganism is a dietary choice. My dietary preference is to align with my heart”. The masterclass Motherfoods referenced above also shares why eating meat is so important for a woman’s reproductive health. We all hold our opinions and reasons to do what we do, so if you are vegan, good for you. If I am not, good for me. Cage-free, organic, regenerative, grass-fed, local, and biodynamic are the labels I look for in my dairy products because the truth is veganism is not sustainable for everyone. If there is anything that I have learned from my life experience is that I cannot live happily by the definition that anyone sets for me. I am not going to be vegan to make you happy nor would I ask you to eat meat to make me happy.
There’s so much conflicting information out there and I have had enough of feeling guilty when I eat. Food should bind us together, not break us apart, so please it’s time to think differently about food. Stop judging yourself and others for the way they eat and their preferences. I want you to develop an amazing relationship with food because it’s going to be with you for the rest of your life and you need it to survive. I want you to think of it as your body’s soul mate. Your yummy BFF. It holds the key to your sanity and success!
I hope you enjoy many happy meals, days, and relationships with your friend, food.
*This article is written personally by Liv. If you find it insightful, please copy the link & share it with friends. As in most blogs, Liv may receive a small affiliate percentage. With love always 💞
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