Elizabeth Dall is a health & wellness coach and a certified exercise physiologist. She is also a friend of mine, and she is joining me today to talk about finding joy and feeling good in our relationships with food and exercise. Elizabeth is such a freedom-giver and she has such a heart for women and their wellness. I can’t wait for you to hear this episode. Let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Elizabeth Discuss:
The enjoyment of wellness
Intuitive eating and exercise
Defining wellness for yourself
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
The Purpose Show Facebook Community
4 Steps To Love Your Body Right Now
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
ALLIE: All right, guys! I am sitting here with my friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth actually came to me as a business client. We worked on her business for several months in the very beginning phases of it, which was super fun.
We became friends. I love you and what you do in your heart for women and their relationship with their bodies and food. I feel like you are a freedom-giver for women and that is so important.
Introduce yourself and tell us about your family and what you do.
ELIZABETH: Thank you.
Well, I obviously have to sing your praises because you’re the best coach! You have helped me learn how to show that light, that freedom, and all that stuff.
I am a health and wellness coach and certified exercise physiologist. I help women become women of wellness by healing their relationship with food, loving their bodies, and finding joy in exercise and movement.
I started in personal training, which I actually really love. I still have a client that comes. But I noticed there was this disconnect because I’d give the women the programs and then they’d come back and they’d say, “Well, I didn’t do it all or I didn’t follow it.” And then I’d say, “Well, if you don’t follow it, you don’t get the results.”
That happened a few times and it made me realize that there was a piece missing that I couldn’t give them as a personal trainer. I couldn’t give them the coaching to deal with life because life comes up. All I dealt with was, “Here’s a plan and follow it. Don’t worry about emotions, family, kids, life, and all that stuff.”
That stuff gets in the way, but I didn’t realize it. I was a college student and I didn’t have kids. I didn’t understand that.
It was so helpful for me to go back to school to learn how to coach through those things — coach through wellness and being well, identifying what wellness is throughout our lives, through all seasons of our lives, and when things happen in life that we can’t control.
I have two little kids. I’ll tell you a little bit about my family. I have a four and a half year old boy who’s in preschool. He’s missing preschool right now. And I have an 18-month-old girl who has helped me learn that I can survive anything if I survive her.
ALLIE: Oh my gosh, I get that. She’s a tough one.
ELIZABETH: She’s exactly like me. I guess what goes around comes around.
I’m doing this business thing and being a mom too.
ALLIE: And you’re doing a great job. I know that there were some rough spots there. That was a lot of what we talked about when we worked together, but you are doing a great job.
Remember if it doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t work, then it’s not meant for you. You can just let it go and reevaluate until it works. You’re doing so good.
ELIZABETH: Lots of mindset work. Stuff that I teach women how to do for health, and I didn’t understand how to do it for business, but it’s the same idea.
ALLIE: Yeah it is. You just feel like you have to do it a certain way, you have to push, you have to make it to this certain point before you can relax and be in maintenance mode with your health and business too. But it doesn’t have to be the way.
Yes, there’s a hustle-period, but even that gets to feel good, and it works for your family so you don’t have to sacrifice your marriage for a year while you build your business. You’re doing so well.
So, we ended up doing a coach-swap thing after our official time together where you were helping me work through food and body stuff and I continued to help you through the next phase of your business.
In that time I got to a place where I was really annoyed and angry with my body. I have PCOS, which is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome for those who don’t know. There’s a lot that goes into having that, but basically it’s a hormone disorder.
Losing weight can be really difficult, if not almost impossible. I don’t like to say that because I don’t want to speak that over myself, but it’s more difficult. It has extra layers to it than it normally would.
It’s got all of these extra layers attached to it, which losing weight after you’ve had babies already does, but it’s more complicated.
I just want to feel good. That’s all I want. I just want to feel good. That involves looking my best and a lot of things.
I just wasn’t feeling that way. I was going through this phase of being very rebellious toward my body and like, “Well, if you’re not gonna listen and adapt, then what’s even the point,” and I would just eat whatever. I was getting sicker and sicker.
I’ve gone through this cycle in my life over and over again. Once I get to the top I’m like, “Nevermind, I’m done. I’m just going to be super healthy.”
Right before 2020 started, I really came into myself, came to God, and just was like, “What do I do here? What do I need in my wellness process? I have Elizabeth and we’re going to start working together. What is this gonna look like for me? What do I need to focus on?”
The phrase that came up for me – it was so beautiful. I’ll never forget it; it will always be a part of my life from now on – was the “enjoyment of wellness.” I really sat with that. I was journaling through it and really sat with it.
I realized that I was simply not enjoying taking care of myself. It was a thing that I did. It was a task list that I followed, things I checked off.
I thought, “This is what it means to be a well person, to take care of yourself, to be healthy. It’s denying yourself a lot of things. It’s pushing yourself to work out every day.”
It’s this checklist that we’re told, “This is what it means to be healthy, and it’s not fun to be healthy.”
At first we kind of kid ourselves like, “Oh, it feels so much better. I don’t even want Del Taco anymore.” But that’s because you’re at the top of the cycle. You go through the circle again and you go through the parts again.
So, I really threw away all the rules. I didn’t throw away the fact that I have PCOS, but I threw away all of my negativity around it.
I saw my body for what it is. I saw my bloodwork and I saw that PCOS is a part of me. This is something that I have.
This is the way that my body looks and feels. I want to find a way to enjoy taking care of it, loving it back for all that it’s given me.
I really shouldn’t have kids with the level of PCOS that I have and I do have four healthy, amazing kids.
I should be loving my body instead of hating my body for having C-sections instead of natural births, having terrible periods, not really losing weight no matter what I did, which is stupid that I say that because I did lose almost 50 pounds a couple of years ago, but I just have stayed where I’m at.
That’s the issue. I’ve stayed there. It’s not my ideal weight. I know to be healthy, I would ideally lose more. That’s the “eight” in me from the enneagram. That driver is like, “Come on, let’s finish.”
Anyway, it began to stop looking like a checklist. I started to ask myself what parts of wellness practice do I enjoy? I enjoy Pilates. I enjoy yoga. I enjoy walking.
I don’t enjoy running so I will not make myself try to be a runner anymore, which I was previously trying to do. I enjoy kickboxing as long as I’ve got really inappropriate rap music blasting.
I really don’t like broccoli. I’m done trying to like broccoli. I don’t like broccoli. I just don’t want to do it right now.
My whole life has changed. I know it’s only April. It’s been a few months, but this is the longest that I’ve ever gone without totally derailing and going for months back into my old ways.
There have been days like that but I know how to handle it. I know what to come back to because it feels good and it’s all about feeling good. I would love for you to speak to that, talk about that, and help other women get to that place because it is such a problem.
We have such a punishment mentality with wellness. I wish that I could spread everything that I’ve learned and everything that I’ve gone through to these other women so they could shortcut to the place of enjoyment.
You are so good at talking about all of that. Take that, run with it, and give this to these women because I want them to feel good. I don’t want them to suffer.
ELIZABETH: We want you to feel good when we’re done here. That is the goal.
That’s something that I think is completely normal. If you feel this way, don’t feel any sort of punishment or anything.
So many women go through this cycle of feeling like, “I’m going to be perfect. I’m going to start this diet on Monday. I’m going to start my exercise plan on Monday, my weight loss plan.”
And then you do good for a while because you’re like, “This feels good.” You get those endorphins, those hormones of, “Yes! Things are good!”
Then all-of-a-sudden something does happen in your life. Maybe you’re not prepared and you’re starving, so you eat something that wasn’t on your plan.
There’s stress in your life or something doesn’t go the way that it’s supposed to, and then instead of having that emotion and dealing with it, we go all the way back. I want to drive that cycle back to the food and back to the “all-or-nothing mentality,” and that’s where we get stuck.
It is feeling like I am either fully on it and I’m perfect at it, or I’m completely off and I’ll get started again later. There’s always this “next time” in the future. Maybe in the spring, maybe January 1st, maybe for my next vacation or whatever. It’s this mentality that it’s all or nothing.
What you did so well was take a step back and recognize that’s happening in our lives. Sometimes we don’t realize that, but we have to take a step back and say, “Okay, I recognize that’s my mentality and where has that mentality gotten me in the past? Back to that cycle, right? That gets me back to that cycle.”
We have to break the cycle. And the way to do that is to change the beliefs that we have around food, around exercise, around wellness. And that’s exactly the discussion that you create.
Let me give you a little example. Emotional eating is a huge one, right? We turn to food to deal with emotions all the time. We use food to deal with our emotions and we keep doing that cycle because it’s the only way we know how to do it.
We numb those emotions with food and we forget that those emotions need to be taken care of in some way. They need to be acknowledged.
And you know, especially in a time of stress in our world right now, we’re feeling all of these emotions. We’re feeling combinations of emotions, whether it’s what’s going on in the world, or you’re having new emotions that you’re experiencing in your own life.
You’re having these things that you don’t want to deal with paired with this new thing that you’re experiencing. And we try to numb it with food.
Instead, what I like you to do is have a minute to say, “Okay, I need to recognize that this is happening, sit down, and be with my emotions.”
And that’s one of the things that you did and you worked through when you came to that conclusion of, “enjoyment of wellness.”
You sat down and thought about, “Oh my gosh! My approach to wellness has always been this, this, and this. It’s been punishment. It’s been like drudgery.”
I know that you’re like, “I don’t want to run.”
ALLIE: Yeah. And yet, I was out there running, dying, hating everything, and dreading it. There was nothing enjoyable about it except some of the ways I felt after, which kept me going for a little bit, but it’s not long-lasting enough.
ELIZABETH: Yeah, exactly.
You had to sit with those emotions for a minute to figure them out, and then you were able to create that self-talk to change. You were able to say, “Okay, I’m recognizing that me going this way, me staying in this cycle is keeping me here because I’m not dealing with what’s happening. I’m not finding a way to deal with those emotions.”
You created that new self-talk of, “Okay, well I don’t have to do it the way that someone else tells me I have to do it.”
We get it so ingrained in ourselves that the wellness industry knows better than we do.
ALLIE: That’s so good.
ELIZABETH: It’s hard, though, because sometimes you feel like you don’t know how to eat if you’re not on a diet, especially if you’ve done it for most of your life. Or maybe you don’t know how to exercise.
I say intuitive eating and intuitive exercise and you’re like, “Well I don’t know what that means.” So it’s kind of scary. It’s like this scary jumping-off point to go from trusting someone else (the diet industry, the fitness industry) to tell you what you should do to saying, “Okay, it’s time for me to be ready to listen to what my body wants, what it enjoys, and what it needs with the trust that it will last longer and provide more benefits than any of these things that I was doing before.”
ALLIE: We do this with everything.
This is the same story as parenting. You have to read a book or follow some parenting expert in order to know how to raise your child, but that person was put in your care on purpose.
Only you can know. You can get tips, help, support and have a general philosophy that you seem to gravitate toward.
That’s what I do. I intuitively know that really doesn’t feel good for me with my kids, but this kind of stuff more so does. Only I can really know what to do when Leland has a specific issue with a friend. Only I can know that.
It’s the same with our bodies and our marriages. I don’t know if it’s just an American thing; it probably is, but it’s like we don’t know how to live. We have to learn everything from other people.
So much so, though, that it’s no longer just getting help, support, and guidance but wanting an actual blueprint. We’re not listening to ourselves anymore in any area.
ELIZABETH: It’s probably because it’s a little bit scary if we’ve always listened to someone else. Or maybe we haven’t had success when we’ve tried to do it on our own.
Those are real feelings of, “It’s scary to trust myself. I didn’t go to school for health and wellness.” You have those limiting beliefs, right?
We can talk about business here when I said, “I didn’t go to school for business. I know my stuff in the Health & Wellness world, but who am I to be starting a business?”
You helped me switch to that mentality of, “You can do this. You have to learn how to talk through this and to work it through so that you can become the business owner that is best for you.”
And I learned that. What I’m realizing is that really doesn’t always fit me perfectly.
It’s the same thing with wellness. You could find a philosophy that feels good to you and then you can say, “I’m going to learn some more about it.”
Here is a really good example. When I teach people how to incorporate exercise in their life and they go, “Well, I don’t even really know where to start.” I say, “Well, the first thing that we need to do is discover what it is that you might want to do.”
And then you do have to learn some skills, right? You have to learn some skills for eating with PCOS that make you feel good.
I’ll give a really good example here, too, because this is a really great illustration of how wellness doesn’t look the same for everyone. After my first baby I found out I had a really high intolerance to dairy. Then my second baby came and gluten was off the charts.
ALLIE: The hormones are crazy! When I was pregnant with Emmett, my hair was turning red. It was turning red no matter what I did.
I’d get my hair highlighted and it would just turn red for the entire pregnancy and for like a year and a half after he was born. Then the hormones balanced back out to where they normally were (because my hormones are not balanced normally) and it went away.
It’s so crazy how the babies come in and shake things up. It’s the most random stuff.
People get the discoloration on their face and their tummies. I believe what you’re saying because I had stuff like that too. They just really shake you up.
ELIZABETH: I’m a coach, right? I do this for a living. But I had to go through my own process. I defined what wellness looks like for me.
Then I realized that if I want to live that lifestyle, I’m going to have to work on limiting dairy and going gluten-free for probably the rest of my life. And people will be like, “Well that’s a diet thing, right?”
ALLIE: It’s not. It’s your specific body chemistry.
ELIZABETH: I went through the stages of grief. I love milk. I love cheese. I love bread.
It’s okay to go through these cycles of new emotion and experiencing this new feeling of, “What? I have to change?”
And that’s where some people are like, “Well, that’s awful. That’s dreadful. I don’t want to change my health and wellness.”
But then I looked at it from that perspective, kind of similar to yours, that enjoyment of wellness. This is what I am choosing to do, what I want to do to enjoy my life the way that I want to enjoy it.
One thing we talk about in intuitive eating is that no food is off limits. And I can say that because I don’t have an anaphylactic allergy. That’s a little different story.
Gluten and dairy are not off limits for me; I can have them when I want. But when I want to experience that wellness that I want in my life, it’s important for me to eat the way that makes me feel good.
ALLIE: You have to make a choice. There’s a consequence to eating that for your body and you can’t change that. Your body is speaking to you and it will speak louder if you eat gluten. You have to make a choice if you’re going to deal with that or not.
ELIZABETH: Sometimes we dread the changing of health and wellness. We say, “I don’t want to give up my cookies. I don’t want to eat more broccoli.” Well, you don’t have to eat broccoli to be healthy.
ALLIE: You’re not going to die if you never eat broccoli.
ELIZABETH: I’m like that with beans. I tried so hard to like beans. It’s fine. It’s not a big deal.
You can eat the food that you want. It’s there, it’s available, and sometimes you do, right?
We talk about course corrections. Sometimes we struggle and we go off a little bit. The idea is that we’re preventing these huge waves of, “I’m way off. I’m completely off. I feel like crap. I’ve been there for several days, several weeks.”
Instead it’s like, “Oh, I had a bump in the road. I noticed that this happened. I turned to food this day. I had a rough day with food. I know what I need to do to get me back.”
Those course corrections will become smaller and smaller the more we practice from the perspective of enjoying wellness rather than the dread of, “I have to do this. I should do this. I should eat broccoli.” All of a sudden you’re like, “I don’t want any vegetables.” It spirals.
ALLIE: Could you walk us through if somebody is really liking the idea of liberation from rules but they don’t know what it looks like to define wellness for themselves because they don’t know their bloodwork, they don’t want to go and get that, or they can’t—especially right now. What does it look like to define wellness for yourself from scratch?
ELIZABETH: What I would recommend is not to look at numbers. Look at feelings and emotions. We are trying to look at wellness as a gift and not a chore.
And it’s hard to do that when we look at numbers like how much weight the doctor told us to lose—which no one can tell you if you need to lose weight; you get to make that decision.
ALLIE: I feel like going down the rabbit hole of BMI is a whole other episode because there’s so much that I’ve learned. I’m like, “What? This number has plagued me my whole life.”
I’m super muscular, very, very muscular and naturally athletic. But with my PCOS there’s a little extra.
And so, my BMI is like, “Oh, you’re very obese. You need to lose weight.” And I’m like, “No, I’m not. What is happening?”
But I think a lot of people have been liberated from that. Things have shifted in the last ten years, but there are still people who get on the scale every week, every morning even.
I’ve just gotten rid of it. Get it out. It’s gotta be about how you feel.
I don’t know what I weigh. I know I’m wearing the same size of jeans, but I know I feel very different, lighter, and better.
ELIZABETH: And does what you weigh matter? Think about that. What information does your weight give you? It doesn’t give you any information that you can do anything with.
ALLIE: Definitely not about your health and wellness. It really doesn’t.
You could be a person that is obese, that does have a lot of extra weight. And how are you feeling? That’s what matters.
You’re probably feeling sick. You’re probably feeling awful. You probably feel fatigued.
There’s all these feelings and that is what we want to change. The number is almost just like a side-note symptom that may or may not match what you’re feeling.
ELIZABETH: What we’re trying to do is separate size from wellness. In our heads it’s always been, “What size I am defines how well I am.”
If we can separate that—and that’s where you separate the numbers from the emotions—and you can say, “Okay, if I’m going to reach my optimal wellness, what does that look like for me? What does that feel like?”
We have mountains ten minutes away from my house. The way that I stay well is that I love to hike and I love to trail run. If I can’t walk out my door today and go do that, then I’m not taking care of myself enough to be able to live my own wellness.
I do like running. I hate biking and a lot of other things, but I love to run.
I keep my body in a position that I can go out that door today and do the things that make me happy and bring me joy. That’s how you define wellness. What is going to bring you joy?
I think weight loss is a little bit of a taboo subject, but I want you to know that weight loss is an okay goal, but it doesn’t have to be the only answer. It doesn’t have to be the only way to enjoy wellness, but it can bring some more freedom if we create that emotion of, “How am I going to feel? How do I want to feel? Do I want to feel sick?”
I know you’ve shared with me when you would binge you would just feel gross and you’d have that conversation with yourself of, “I don’t want to feel that way.”
You have it in the moment. It’s okay to have it in the moment. When you’re looking at food or when you’re trying to plan food, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today? How do I want to feel tomorrow? How do I want to feel three months from now?”
ALLIE: When you were saying a minute ago that your idea of wellness for you is being able to walk outside right now, go to the mountains, go for a trail run or go for a hike with your family, are you meaning that the foods you’ve eaten have fueled you to be able to feel light enough and energetic enough to go and do that?
If you ate 15 Street Tacos right now, you really wouldn’t be in the shape to go and do that. Is that what you are talking about?
I love that you’ve defined it so simply like that. It gives you a measuring stick of sorts.
ELIZABETH: And that’s the good thing. Yours doesn’t have to look like mine. If you were to say, “I want to be able to keep up with my kids. I want to have energy in the evenings for my husband.”
What are those feelings that light you up, that give you chills, that make you feel good? Write those down. That’s your wellness vision.
ALLIE: For me it was leaning into the negative feelings, deciding that I don’t want to feel like that anymore and going the opposite way. Because if I’m honest, I didn’t really have a very clear picture of what it felt like to feel good and to feel well.
I think I maybe had a couple of spotlight days. Right now I’m not even having coffee. I’m having a youth and beauty tea or something, it’s some kind of delicious tea. I used to never drink tea.
I find myself anchoring these old rituals that I used to have, like a sixth cup of coffee or a soda. I took the ritual and I attached it to wellness, but the same ritual because I just wanted the thing.
I just want to hold the cup. I want to sip the drink. I want to do the thing in my day, but I don’t want it to be killing me.
I got PCOS when I started my cycle when I was 14. That’s a long time to be feeling “my normal.” And I realized that my normal really sucks.
It is not good. It does not feel good. I have spine aches. I have almost watered-down autoimmune sort of things that take over my body.
That’s the body I know. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I still have stuff, but realizing it is not normal to walk around like that, or to have cysts coming out of your pores on your face. It’s awful.
Work with what you know and what I knew is what I didn’t want to feel like.
I took that and I decided wellness for me looks like not having to hide from the camera—which is literally my job—because I’ve got cystic breakouts everywhere. Not feeling like I’m exhausted and can’t even go on another second by noon. It’s those things.
And then going away from that. Testing the waters and seeing what will it take for me to not feel like that? Then evolving from there.
ELIZABETH: How cool is it that once you get there, you say, “I went on camera today and I looked amazing.” Immediately you have the good feeling, right?
ALLIE: You have the good feeling to hold onto and use as your measuring stick in the future. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.
Sometimes you just are so sick or you’ve always been unhealthy and you just don’t even know what to compare it to.
So then, what do we have to look at? A magazine model? Ok, I’ll be well when I look like that. That’s not healthy.
Work with what you know, even if it’s negative, to say, “I don’t want that, and that’s my wellness goal right now.”
ELIZABETH: I have a little free emotional eating course and the first question I ask is, “Tell me what your food freedom vision is. What does food freedom look like to you?”
And I got an email that said, “I don’t even know what that looks like because I’ve always been this way. I don’t have a vision.”
I thought about that and I thought about myself in a different way. I want a million dollar business and I’ve never had $1 million. I don’t know what that looks like.
We didn’t have anything really when I was growing up. I had so many money beliefs about “We can’t afford this, we can’t have that, you can’t do this.” For me to sit here and be like, “Draw your vision. What does it look like?”
ALLIE: It’s hard for you to paint a picture of what you’ve never seen or felt. It’s so far away from what you have known that you can’t even really grasp the idea that you can ever even have it.
So, baby steps. What would it look like to have $5,000 month? Let’s just play with that for a little bit. And the same thing with health.
What I had to do, and it was honestly one of the biggest differences, is say, “Okay, what would it look like to just not have any breakouts anymore?” I’m leaving out like the backache. I’m leaving out the terrible periods. I’m leaving out weight. I’m leaving all of it and just focusing on one of the most surface things.
What would happen if I just had no more breakouts? I can play with that feeling because I’ve had a clear skin day before and I know what that feels like and it’s working out. It’s happening.
I really haven’t been breaking out in a couple months at all. I’ve gone through several cycles and it just hasn’t really happened.
If I get something it fizzles away right away. It never becomes the massive hormonal cystic breakout that sits there for three weeks. It just doesn’t happen anymore.
There’s a lot of things that I’ve done to make that happen, but now I have that. So I’m like, okay, now I can play with, “What would it feel like to be a size smaller with muscles and strong thighs instead of big thighs that I’m self conscious about?”
I’m just wondering what it would feel like and I start there by getting grateful for the body I currently have. My thighs are strong, they are.
What would it look like for me to feel super confident? I can visualize that and I get into that place. Then I’m inspired to act on that and do something to take care of myself like doing Pilates today when I previously wasn’t going to. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s just been my process.
ELIZABETH: You’re tapping into the emotional side of it rather than the checklist or numbers side of it. Rather than, “Well, if I don’t want this face then I can’t eat any cookies. I have to eat this food. I have to have this many calories.”
I love the idea of going to the emotional side of how does that feel? Because when you’re in the moment of trying to deal with a binge or something is happening for you to say like, “Oh well, I need to lose five pounds.” It doesn’t feel good.
But if you were to say, “Wait a minute. The last time I did this I spent time sitting on the couch because I felt awful. I couldn’t show up the way that I wanted to for my business, for my family. I had to cancel something. That did not feel good to me.”
But you know that one time when I said, “I’m not going to go down this road. I’m not going to binge on this thing.” I got to go and do something that day.
I got to show up on stage. I got to record an episode. I got to be with my family and it felt so good.
ALLIE: It’s like you said, you’re attaching emotion to it instead of a checklist. A checklist is a burden. It’s an expectation. It’s a set of rules.
But I can get behind emotion because I know what it feels like to be so sick and so in pain, and not to get too graphic here, but hemorrhaging, heavy, sick, awful, and broken out side-to-side and have to go on Good Morning America. I literally know what that feels like and it’s not frigging fun.
So, what would it take to not go there? Let’s play with this.
How much water feels really good day-to-day? How much good stuff can I pile on my plate when I’m hungry and then see if I want more? See if that burger still sounds good for dinner? Hint: 99% of the time it doesn’t.
It’s about feeling, listening, taking care of, loving, not punishing, or shaming. Not, “A+B=C and you ain’t no C, so we’re going to do this and this and this till we get you to do this because that’s what you were supposed to look like all along.” It’s just empty, sad, and it doesn’t feel good.
ELIZABETH: I think there might be some people on here that are like, “Well how do I set up a plan? I need something to help follow that.”
I love that you said, “How much water do I need?” Start adding a boundary or a guideline for yourself. It’s okay to say, “Oh yeah, people say drinking water is a good thing. I’m going to start experimenting with it in my life and see how it makes me feel. Oh yeah, vegetables are good for me.” We know these things, but they have become this bad thing.
And you’ve shifted it to say, “Okay, people are saying add more vegetables. What veggies do I like? How do I like them cooked? Could I cook them with something? I don’t want to eat raw veggies.” Then you start experimenting and you take note of how you feel.
And that’s the same thing with exercise, right? Maybe you started experimenting with running because of the weight loss or whatever and you’re like, “I don’t like this.” But then you started experimenting with kickboxing or Pilates and all of a sudden it was like, “It made me feel good and it made me keep wanting to go more.”
That’s what you need to find. What is wanting you to take the next step? That’s what’s going to help you create your wellness plan, if you will.
ALLIE: As somebody who previously would state over and over and over again, “I hate exercise.” Making fun of gym rats. That was a mask that I wore in high school and afterwards too.
For me, I found things that I can’t wait for the next day. I will often do two of that thing back-to-back, extend the walk, extend the hike with my kids. It was going to be 30 minutes and now we went for 90 minutes because I didn’t want to stop. I can’t wait for the next day till I can do it again.
And now I’ve created a list of those things. At first I thought I only had just one and I added another one. Then I added another one.
So no matter what the weather, no matter if I’m solo or I’ve got my whole family, I have options and I can feel into, “Are we going to go for a hike today? I think we might. Am I going to do Pilates in the living room? I think I might.”
I can’t wait for the next time because those are Allie’s lists of things that feel really good and get me excited. I want to do them.
Yes, sometimes I would rather lay on the couch and watch Netflix of course, but the thing that I’m doing lights me up and I do enjoy that movement. You’re never going to get me to go for a run now that I know how good yoga feels, you know?
ELIZABETH: I think that’s the best part is that you’ve created a little list. You’re sharing exactly what intuitive wellness is. It’s yours.
There’s all these great guidelines of ideas of fitness, and then you take from it and say, “This is what I enjoy.” I like what you said about sometimes you’re not always going to want to do it. Sometimes you really might want to be on the couch.
I remember once that you said, “Sometimes I know I just need to push through so that I know that I will feel good.” If you were approaching it that way, you could say, “How do I want to feel immediately after this exercise bout?”
You could say, “I’m stressed; I want to feel stress-free. Do I need to do a yoga routine or do I need to do a freaking hard workout that gets it all out?” And only you can answer that. I can’t answer that for you.
ALLIE: I want to elaborate on what you brought up. The enjoyment of wellness—I was following that through January and it was going really well.
But I came to this place where sometimes I don’t want to move my body at all. I enjoy Pilates and yoga. I enjoy walking. But sometimes I just don’t want to do anything.
I realize there is a balance. The enjoyment of wellness really looks like a lot of balance. Some days I have on my calendar where I’m allowed to miss.
It’s the day that I start my period and the day after, which are the two hardest days of the month for me, normally. The last couple of months, they really haven’t been just because of the way I’m eating and the way I’m feeling.
I allow myself a free card. You do not have to do anything. I don’t care what you were supposed to do that day. If that happens, you do not have to do anything those days.
There’s a balance of doing a little bit of a self-disciplined push to make the movement happen, but I will not push myself through a workout that I hate. The push happens to actually get up off the couch, move away from my laptop and go out to the garage, go on the walk, or come out to the backyard with my Pilates stuff, whatever.
That push is to actually get up, go and set aside the time, but the push never for me comes in the actual workout because the workouts that I’m choosing I really do enjoy.
I push through the thing I was doing before—stopping, pausing, making time, changing into my spandex pants if I need to, whatever it is. The push comes from me in making space for it and then pushing through those first couple of minutes.
The rest of the time, I am so glad I did it. I feel endorphins rushing through me. I feel good. I’m so grateful. I’m never sorry afterward.
Previously when I was forcing myself to run, when I was forcing myself to do CrossFit with Brian, doing things that didn’t feel good, I hated the whole thing. I was pushing through the entire hour, hour-and-a-half or however long those awful classes were. I was getting yelled at by the instructor, “Go harder, push deeper.”
It was awful the whole time and even after when I was trying to psych myself into, “See, now aren’t you glad you did that?” Really my body was like, “No!”
Side note: all of those workouts that I just mentioned—running, CrossFit, all of these things—they cause stress and they spike your cortisol, which is okay if you’re normal but not okay if you have a hormone disorder. So, literally my body was begging me to stop and I was pushing it.
Which is why when I had a personal trainer five days a week for six months I gained weight. Instead of losing weight, I gained inches. My body was gaining weight from the cortisol spike.
As soon as I stopped and I was intuitive, that excess weight fell off and I went back down to my size 29 normal where I’ve always stayed.
The self-discipline push comes for me in making that time, stepping away, and starting. I’m at a point where I don’t believe that discipline push happens in the workout itself if you’re choosing something you enjoy.
ELIZABETH: Yeah. I like that point. It’s a good one.
ALLIE: This whole thing is about giving women who are at home —safe at home, but at home with everybody—something for them to listen to that gives them encouragement, gives them a next step, and something to work on if they feel like working on something or distracting themselves from all the noise and all the things right now.
You mentioned your guide that you have. I know which one you’re talking about and I want to give that to them if you’ll let me. So could you tell them about that? You have so much. You’re kind of like me; you create a lot and it’s good. So, just share whatever you think would be best for them in this conversation.
ELIZABETH: I have a free Emotional Eating Course. It’s a five-day email course. It’s to help with the aspect of food that’s emotional eating, understanding your emotions, and understanding how to deal with them.
We talk about how to be with them, how to recognize them so they prevent you from going down that binge/restrict cycle. You’re home, you can read it, and it’s just got one prompt each day.
If you are ready to go all in, it’s the Food Freedom course. I know you’ve talked a lot about it around here, but it’s everything with your relationship with food.
It’s starting from Point 1 and understanding where that relationship with food came from. Understanding that you’re normal and you have a story.
How do we understand that story to create a new story? To create that new vision? That vision of what life looks like when you’re not a slave to food.
I get so many messages every day: I’m obsessed with food. I constantly think about it. I feel shame around food.
It takes you from that point of, “I don’t know what to do,” to freedom. To enjoyment of Wellness.
ALLIE: That’s why I said you’re a freedom-dealer for women. That’s literally what you do. You give so much freedom in your relationship with your body, the way that you see your body, the way you talk to and about your body.
These things that are very second-hand that you don’t really think about. You cause us to stop, pause, speak life, choose our way, and watch what we say.
I taught you this in business and you taught me this with food and body. What you say is like cement and it makes your reality.
So watch it. Be careful what you say, what you think about your body, food and its hold or lack of hold on you.
ELIZABETH: If you can recognize how to be happy in your body and love your body where it is in all stages, you can find that freedom. Accepting, loving your body, and changing it out of love and out of gratitude is so huge. I have a Body Love Freedom course.
ALLIE: This was so great. My team sees a lot of the stuff that I do and that I put in courses and stuff. I was putting this into Unburdened for my students because if Unburdened is about lightening what feels heavy, what else feels heavier than food, your relationship with your body and that area of life? And so, I was looking at it to give it approval before I put it in there and I was like, “This is so good!”
And then two of the people that worked for me were like, “Allie, I have never heard anyone say it like this. This is so good!”
You just have a way of peeling back the layers. I don’t think you realize how strong your gift is in this. It is so powerful and so good. We’ll link to that too.
You can go to show notes, but if you’re watching a video, I’ll have buttons underneath for you guys to just click and get all the things from Elizabeth because she is truly amazing.
ELIZABETH: You are so nice! When you shared that with me, I totally started crying because it was so good. I think that you feel that way in your business where if you can help someone achieve their own dreams and their own goals.
I’ve had some of my food freedom students say, “This has completely changed my life.” That means more than anything in the whole world to me to know that what I learned and created changed their lives and it’s going to ripple and change other people’s lives. It’s so big!
ALLIE: Yes! Okay, so we will link to everything that we can.
Thank you so much for your time and for sharing. I just love you so much and we need to have another conversation. I think we’re scheduled to have another conversation next week and I’m really excited because I could just talk to you about this all day. And I know that the women that listened are going to love this, so thank you so much.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!