Define Body Freedom Junkie: Having a peaceful, loving, and balanced relationship with food. Looking into the mirror and loving yourself for who you are without judgement. Freedom from unhealthy habits with food, self-judgement, and negative self talk. Love is the source.
When I was in high school I met someone. Someone who who dark, restrictive, controlling. Someone that was my best friend but also my worst enemy. Someone I kept secret. Someone that made me feel isolated and lonely. Someone who never made me feel enough. Someone that turned me into a liar. Someone that took over my mind, took over my life.... someone that made me turn on myself; made me hate myself. Sucked me dry of any self-love I had for myself. That someone was my eating disorder.
I've come a long way since I met that someone. I've battled and suffered. I was anorexic. I was bulimic. I was Orthorexic. I didn't eat. I did eat. I turned vegetarian. I turned vegan. I restricted. I controlled. I skipped meals. I binged. I did it all. I was extremely lost. My life was so controlled around food and body image I felt completely out of control. I felt suffocated. I felt stuck. I felt like there was no hope to ever get out of my disordered eating. I didn't see how I could ever get to a healthy place. I battled between wanting to stay in control and let go and be free. This all relates to one thing; that one thing is self-love. During those times I didn't even understand what it meant to love myself. So let's just say I've been on a long journey to self discovery.
Four years ago I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and that's when I found my passion, being a coach. Even though I had extreme issues with food in the past I still had a passion for health and fitness since I had been an athlete my entire life. When I started doing my own nutrition plan I was in an up and down place with food. I wouldn't say I was fully recovered from my eating disorder; physically I looked fine it was mentally that wasn't recovered. As I got on my own nutrition plan and started drinking my shakes, herbal green tea, vitamins, lean protein snacks, and healthy colorful meals I started to have more of a healthy relationship with food. I started seeing food as fuel and nourishment. I learned more about metabolism and learning what makes your body feel good. I learned more about balance and portion control. I learned that it doesn't always have to be all or nothing. I definitely had my trials and tribulations with my nutrition. Over the past 4 years I finally found a place that works for me.
What works for me is BALANCE. I eat with my intuition now. I listen to my body and check in to see if I'm actually hungry. I fuel my body when it's hungry and eat what feels good to me in that moment. I stopped looking at food as if it were the enemy. Food is life. Food is love. I don't obsess over calories anymore. I don't even really measure my food. I eat slowly and eat till I'm satisfied. If I eat something I make sure I'm eating it with love and letting go of guilt. Sometimes I feel like eating more carbs on a certain day. Sometimes I feel like eating vegetarian that day. Sometimes I want meat that day. Sometimes I get froyo. Sometimes I eat smaller meals and shakes throughout the day. Sometimes I eat more lean protein snacks throughout the day. Sometimes I eat fruit (and dried fruit). Sometimes I'm feeling like a bunch of colorful veggies. Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I eat less. In the end it doesn't really matter what I do because I'm doing what feels right for me. I stopped fearing food and started living life.
I stopped obsessing over working out just to burn calories and now I workout because I love to workout. Sometimes I like to do cardio and get to a spin class or circuit class to kick my butt. Sometimes I like a Pilates class to burn all my muscles. Sometimes I like to do yoga to stretch out and get centered. Sometimes I like to do a barre class. Sometimes I just don't workout at all. Whatever I choose I'm doing it because it makes me feel love and makes me feel happy.
I absolutely love working with my clients because everything I've learned from my past and everything I incorporate into my life now I can pay it forward to them. My mission is to incorporate balance into peoples lives and show them that living a healthy active lifestyle doesn't have to be a diet or being miserable in a gym. I want them to love themselves and eat with intuition. Do things that make them feel good. See food as love. Go out with friends and eat dinner together. Have a glass of wine. Be in good conversation. Show them that life can still be fun and healthy. Also being accountable and having someone like me who will always have their back. Who will teach them and love them as much as I can. To introduce them to a positive community.
I know what it feels like to suffer. Anyone that has ever suffered from an eating disorder, body image disorder, or self-hate deserves to find their soul again. To truly be free.
I am not perfect and sometimes I have those days where I don't feel good about myself and I have constant judgement. But now when that happens I just get through it and know that at my source all those judgements aren't real.
I am running a Body Positive Holiday Transformation Workshop and also work 1:1 with clients looking to find the freedom in food and in life! Please email me at Lauren.Cherry.McAulay@gmail.com for a free 1:1 consultation <3
Food is love. Health is love. I am love. You are love. We are love.
To all the Body Freedom Junkies, let's pay it forward.