Today I’m sharing with you my journey to true body love. It can be so hard to be vulnerable sometimes, but this is something that I want to share and have wanted to share for a good long while. If you relate and resonate with hating your body, this episode will help you, even just by knowing that you’re not alone. Let’s dive in!
In this episode Allie discusses:
Her past struggle with hating her body
How her toxic mindset affected her physically
Her breaking point
How she shifted her mindsets and her lifestyle
The freedom she’s currently experiencing
Mentioned in this Episode:
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DECLUTTER LIKE A MOTHER
Discover Allie Casazza’s powerful and proven method for clearing the clutter in your mind by first clearing the clutter in your home, the place where transformation begins.
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality 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.
Hello my love, and welcome to The Purpose Show podcast! I just went to lunch with my husband, Brian, and was telling him that I was going to record this episode when I got back home. I was talking it out with him and feeling nervous.
It is hard to be vulnerable sometimes, but I know that this is something that I want to share. It’s something that I need to share. It’s something that will help so many people that relate to it and resonate with it.
So, I’m ready. I’m ready. It’s time.
This episode is probably two years in the works at least. There have been so many hiccups. I feel like everybody thinks that the journey with my body, or a lot of people’s journeys with their bodies, has been a straight line from starting point to end point.
The truth is, I found help with this area of my life, started making changes, and then went backward. So, I found another resource, started making changes and then went backward again. It wasn’t until just over a year ago that I really, really started making changes that mattered and that were really impactful.
But even then, I still went back. I faltered, fell, struggled, and did things that I had said I wasn’t going to do anymore, with the way that I was feeding my body, treating my body, thinking about my body, and talking to and about my body. All of it.
There’s a lot to say when it comes to my journey with my body. And that’s what I want to talk about in this episode. I could go in so many different directions. I could talk about exactly what I eat and what I do when I work out.
But that’s not the point. I share little pieces of that on Instagram, but there’s really no this-is-what-I-do way. There’s really not a lot of strategy because all of that fell away in my journey. It really did.
I’m not trying to bullshit you or sound super “body-love” when I’m really not. But I also don’t want to act like there’s a very specific strategy that I followed. I have done that. I actually lost some of my weight doing that.
And in the end, it stopped working. Not physically, but in my soul. It made me feel sick. It made me feel gross to follow a specific diet.
It was just back to the old way of doing things that I don’t want to be in anymore. And so, I stopped. I quit.
I’m an Enneagram 8, so quitting isn’t really an option for me most of the time, but I quit this because it wasn’t good for me. I quit that because it wasn’t good for me.
Shifting the way that I feel about my body changed the way that I ate. The diet that I had done a while ago to begin to lose weight was a lot of meat. I’ve shared in the past that I wasn’t feeling good eating meat.
I really wanted to move into a more plant-based diet but I didn’t because it was on my diet and I was told by this nutritionist that if I didn’t eat meat, I wasn’t going to lose as much weight. Being in the public eye a little bit, it’s a struggle. It’s a struggle.
I just wanted to lose the weight. And I was. I was losing it, but I was also losing so much else and it wasn’t good.
I was losing parts of myself. I was losing trust in myself. I was losing a connection to my body because it was literally telling me that it didn’t feel good eating what I was eating, and I was just doing it anyway because of the weight loss.
Pretty quickly, I stopped. I shifted to a new way of doing things. And yes, I did continue to release the excess weight, but that’s not even really my point here.
There are so many ways I could talk about this. I believe that I will do more episodes on this topic, and I’m happy to give some more of the specifics, strategies, and the things that have worked for me, but what I really want to talk about in this episode is the core.
What I want to share with you is my attitude and outlook toward my body before and after the shifts that I have made. How I was before and how I am after.
I would also like to give some practical details as to what those shifts have been and what shifts I actually made. I want this to help you. I started to write this episode and make a bullet point outline and I thought, “This is going to be all over the place. I don’t want to talk about all of it all at once. It’s going to be five hours long. It’s going to drain me and it’s going to be too much.”
So, we’re just going to start with this: the core. The core of the journey. My outlook toward my body. My relationship with my body. We’ll go from there.
I want to paint a picture of how things were going for me and my body before any of this, before I changed anything.
I struggled with my body and with my weight for a very long time. Growing up, I was always really strong. I have a pretty athletic build normally. I was an athlete growing up.
I was also a dancer. I was super active. I had very chiseled calves and really defined arms. It was just my normal body.
Then in high school, I stopped playing sports. I got a job. I stopped dancing.
I had to work. I had to study more and get into college and do the whole thing. And I started to put on weight.
I noticed things like my thighs getting bigger and softer, my belly getting softer and a little bit wider, and things shifting. The takeaway that I got from that experience and from what people told me when I would bring it up was that it is hard to be fit.
It’s hard to be healthy. It’s difficult. It takes a lot.
You have to kill yourself. You have to move your body a ton. You have to eat perfectly.
As a young adult, learning how to adult on my own—getting a job, getting my own car, paying bills, moving out, getting married, all of these things that happened in the years that came quickly after high school—was very overwhelming.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to do those things. I didn’t really care. I was overwhelmed enough as it was.
I got married when I was 20 and had Bella when I was 21, so life moved very quickly. I kind of fell backwards into gaining weight, reacting to my life, and reacting when it came to food as well.
I actually don’t know how I didn’t gain much, much, much more weight than I did because I was not taking care of my body at all. I was eating terribly. I was sick.
I had a hormone disorder called PCOS and it was running rampant. It was totally taking over my body. I was sick all the time. I had cystic ovaries, sometimes those cysts would rupture, and I would feel them.
One time, I passed out in a grocery store and there was blood coming through my jeans. It was very dramatic. It was very traumatic. And it was very difficult. I gained a lot of weight from that disorder.
I had a lot of food sensitivities, and I just didn’t have the resources or the funds to go get tested and get that figured out. So, I just suffered. I knew certain things were to be avoided because the allergies were so obvious, but there were a lot of hidden ones that I couldn’t figure out.
And if I can just be honest, I really didn’t care to figure it out. I had bigger problems than my stomach. Making it through the day, making ends meet financially, figuring out my life, was the prominent problem.
When everything is really, really bad, you tend to fall into prioritization. And it’s not like you choose what to prioritize. It just happens for you because your life is so difficult, so complicated, and so traumatizing.
Literally not knowing where my next meal was going to come from, literally only having enough money to get something off the dollar menu at Taco Bell—that was my life. I wasn’t in a place where I could even focus on health.
Now, looking back, I know that I could have and that it would have actually helped me think clearer, sleep better, and feel better so that I could be a better human, mom, and person. It would have also given me the energy to make things better, contribute, do what I wanted to do, figure out our problems, and help myself. But at the time, I didn’t realize that.
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The outlook on my body was awful. It was, “You’re gross. You’re definitely not good enough. You’re embarrassing. You’re fat. You’re no good. You literally can’t do anything right.”
I said that to my body a lot. I told it, “You can’t even have babies right,” because I had labored and still had all C-sections. I felt like a failure. I also had a miscarriage, so I had a lot of self-blame about that.
The story that I was telling myself about my body and the words that I was saying to my body were very, very negative. I was so sick of it. I would go on diets and decide, “Okay, I’m just going to eat rice cakes and apples. Those are cheap and I’ll lose weight.”
I would get a friend to join me. I had one really good friend and we always worked out together and went on diets together. It would last several weeks or a couple months and we’d fall off the wagon because, of course, you can’t live like that.
I know now that when you are restricting yourself to change your body, it will never ever last. And if it does, it’s because you have an eating disorder. Either way, it’s not healthy and you can’t win that way.
I basically lived like this. Up-and-down dieting, not dieting, not caring and just eating off the dollar menu at fast food restaurants, or eating ramen, beans and rice, and cereal at home.
Brian would get a tip at work. He did home installation of cable TV and internet and all that stuff, and somebody would randomly tip him and he would bring home dollar menu food. And it was a big deal if we got a milkshake too because they were $2.59.
We thought, “Whoa, we got an extra tip. Let’s take a minute to breathe together, watch a show and drink a milkshake.”
That was a really big deal. Food was scarce and it was whatever we could get. It was also used to soothe and to cope with the difficulties of life.
So when my body responded to those foods that were not good for me, blew up, and I gained weight and got sick, I hated myself so much. I really hated my body. It makes me want to cry even thinking about that because my body was trying to talk to me. My body was trying to give me a message and keep me alive.
My skin was breaking out like crazy and that was a message. My body was turning cystic and that was an SOS, a huge message.
My body had done so much for me. It had had babies in that time. A lot of women with PCOS struggle with fertility and that wasn’t a struggle that I had. It had given me babies and overcome so much.
I was unhappy with the way it gave me the babies, the way the babies came out of my body. I was unhappy with the fact that I was eating Del Taco every night, and some days, every meal, and I wasn’t fit and trim like a model. I was just so mean to my body.
It’s hard to even talk about that because I love it so much now. And not because of anything that it’s done or changed for me, but just because it is, because it exists. But at that time, it was so negative and it was so bad. It was just trying to talk to me and trying to do its job.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is the loudest with messages. It was definitely giving me loud messages. My stomach was always a mess. I would get so sick.
I would make myself so sick with toxic food, with things I was allergic to and didn’t know about, and I would get such a bad stomach ache. It was not rare for me to have to pull over in the car and rush into a bathroom or straight up find a way to go on the side of the road. I know that’s TMI and super embarrassing, but that is where I was at.
I had to carry on and keep going because life was so difficult. I hated my body so much. I just wanted it to shut up and stop with the messages. I just wanted it to comply.
The breaking point for me came a couple of years ago. I’d had this business for a few years. My business involves being seen and I had been so uncomfortable with that. It’s hard to believe now with how I am, what I do, and how well I got over this because I had to.
If you guys haven’t listened to episode six of the show, you need to listen to it because it’s a huge piece of who I am and what I do. I talk about the desperation I was in when I started this business. But I basically had to just get over not wanting to be seen.
I challenged myself. I challenge myself all the time, because I’m an Enneagram Type 8, because I’m a strong woman. Even in that horrible time, I was a strong woman and I challenged myself to go live every day for 30 days.
I ended up doing that for over 90 days. I got over my fear of actually going live and being seen. Video became a very big part of my business. It would become my full-time job to hide my body, to figure out camera angles, outfits, and makeup tricks to change my body and hide what I really looked like. And I became damn good at it.
But it increased my fear of being seen. It increased my hatred of my body, because I knew if I saw somebody who followed me online out in the “real world,” or if my friends who knew me in real life saw me online, I would be so ashamed. The hatred of my body grew deeper. I stayed in that place for several years.
My breaking point came when I was gaining so much more weight. I hit my thirties and things just started to shift a little bit. I noticed that I was gaining weight more easily and rapidly. I had money now, but I was still using food to cope.
I would wake up in the morning, have my morning time, and then go, go, go through the day, recording episodes, having meetings, answering emails, homeschooling my kids. The end of the day would come and I would just be like, “Whew! That was a lot. I need a glass of wine or a beer. Let’s order ramen. Let’s also get the pork rolls. Let’s add this dessert. Oh, those cookies we made yesterday, I’m going to have one of those while you wait for the food to come.”
I was coping with food. Nothing changed because my desperate situation changed, nothing really changed. I was still using food to cope.
This is a little off topic, but I always say, “Money doesn’t make people anything. It just amplifies what you already are.”
And what I already was at that time was somebody who used food to cope with emotions that were hard. So, when I had money, it just amplified that habit. It just made it louder and a bit worse. I still coped with my emotions by eating food. It was just expensive junk food instead of dollar menu Del Taco food.
Anyway, I got to that place and I just noticed that I was gaining even more. I started thinking, “Okay, I know that I am going to have a book come out and my career is going to take off. It’s going to be even more. I have big dreams, big plans. And I’m tired of being afraid of being seen.”
That was my big thing. Being very afraid of being seen, really seen by people, really seen for who I am, without a filter, without a special camera angle. Just my bare-armed-mom-body- regular-self. And I didn’t like that.
It’s not fun to hide. It’s not fun to be a professional hider. That was really my breaking point. I was just done with that.
I was really trying to lose weight. I was trying to lose weight healthily. I tried intuitive eating.
When you have an unhealthy relationship with food, intuitive eating is really difficult in my opinion. I think it can help a lot of people, but it was a struggle for me. I didn’t know how to follow my intuition when it came to food, because my habits with food were so bad.
I would do well and take care of myself, but then think, “I just intuitively want Oreos,” and I would eat a whole sleeve. I kept playing with these habits. So, I wasn’t really losing weight and I needed to lose weight. fI was really unhealthy. I was probably 60 pounds overweight, maybe more. It wasn’t feeling good.
Before this breaking point, I had also hired a personal trainer at one point and was going really early in the morning and working out four or five days a week. And my body, my ovaries, turned completely cystic. I know now from working with Dr. Heather Rhodes, a homeopathic hormone specialist, that my cortisol was spiking.
My body was in stress mode. My ovaries started forming more cysts. It was incredibly painful. I got really sick. I got even worse and I didn’t lose an inch or a pound.
I actually gained a little bit because my body was holding onto fat because it was stressed out. Also, this trainer also had me eating 1100 calories a day. It was incredibly unhealthy.
I finally hit that breaking point. I went to lunch with a friend and she mentioned a woman, Sarah Speers, and how she’d helped her lose her desire for junk food. That’s how she phrased it. I thought that was incredible and so interesting.
It sounded great. If I just didn’t want the junk food anymore, I wouldn’t have a problem. I got her information and I reached out to this woman. She called me on the phone and asked me why I wanted to work with her and what was going on.
And I just started balling. I told her everything. I hired her, signed a contract, and agreed to work with her for six months. And those six months changed my life in the most beautiful, best way possible.
Sarah Speers is my coach still to this day. I’ve signed with her again. I’m still working with her. I don’t know if I ever won’t. She’s like my secret weapon.
We started with working on food, my relationship with food, and my relationship with my body. Since then we have really branched out. We really work on a lot of stuff together. She helped me so much. She helped me so, so much.
I will link to her in this episode. I believe her episode on my show is coming out next week or super soon, so you’ll meet her and hear from her.
I hired help. That’s the point. I hired help.
I supported myself. I put my money where my mouth is instead of just suppressing it with junk food. I got the support that I needed. I went through therapy with Sarah, who is a therapist. And it was so, so helpful.
Through that process, I also read books. I did the inner work on my own. When I work with someone, I am really good at not just waiting for them to guide me through every single step of the process.
I will watch what practices they give me. I will see their method, take it and run with it myself at the same time as I’m working with them. I noticed what Sarah had me do and I began to apply those things myself.
When I would have a hard food moment or hard body moment, I would go through those things myself and coach myself through it. I was really doing the work.
Like I said at the beginning of this episode, the journey is never just from one point to the next. During this time, Sarah had me doing things that were really stretching me. She was really helping me get to the root.
She was helping me love my body. She was helping me accept my body. Nothing had changed. My body had not changed at all.
And then, it began to change slowly, but I didn’t like it how slow it was. So, even though things were shifting and my relationship with my body was so much better, I still had that story that it wasn’t good enough, that it wasn’t acceptable as is, and that it was going too slow.
I started to work with someone else on the side that was specifically for the food part. This person seemed so helpful and so good. She positioned herself as an intuitive eating nutritionist, like this really, really good holistic person. It felt like such a good match.
She gave me this eating plan and I started to follow it and it was incredibly restrictive. I had been doing all this work with Sarah on not restricting. When you restrict, you binge.
Basically long story short, I lost weight for sure. I lost weight. I lost a lot of weight. I kept going on this plan because I was losing weight, but I felt terrible.
I didn’t feel cystic or anything, I think at that point because I was eating better. I was healing my PCOS, so it wasn’t so prominent. But I was doing this restrictive eating plan.
It wasn’t healthy. I mean, the foods were real food and it was healthy food, but it was just not enough. It was so bland, so plain and so restrictive. It was totally a diet.
It was positioned the wrong way. It was sold to me as one thing and ended up being another. But I had already paid, it was working, so I just kept going. A few months in, I ended up quitting because I was straight up developing an eating disorder.
I was terrified to eat. This person was telling me that if I ate certain things, I would gain weight. I kept telling her that I really wanted to ditch meat, that the more I worked with Sarah, the more I really listened to my body, learned to feel my body, hear my body, and respect my body, the more I felt super pulled to stop eating meat.
It just didn’t sound good to me. I didn’t want it. I felt like I was forcing meat down my throat every time I ate. The plan I was on had a lot of chicken, fish, some steak, lots of eggs and I just was over it.
And this other person, not Sarah, this other person, told me that if I didn’t eat meat I would stop losing weight or I would lose it way slower or whatever. That’s not intuitive eating guys. That’s disordered eating. That’s incredibly restrictive. That is a diet.
Once that happened, I pretty much right away said, “I’m done. Thank you. I’m sending you so much love, but I’m done. We’re not working together anymore.”
And I stopped. The lesson there is please be careful who you work with. Please be careful. Please do your research. Be careful because people will slap labels on things and sell it as one thing, and it’s really another.
I recommended this person to several friends and at the time I didn’t realize how bad it was. I feel so bad. But you live and learn.
If something is not feeling good to your body, please stop doing it. If something is making you feel off, if something is not aligned with how you want to feel, stop doing it. Like I said, your body is giving you messages and you have to listen.
And I didn’t listen. Again, I didn’t listen. Because diet culture and body culture is so harsh on women. It’s so brutal. It’s so lifeless, forceful, and awful that we will do anything to conform.
It’s not worth it, my friend. It is not worth it.
So, I stopped working with that other person. I continued my work with Sarah. I let go of the idea that I needed a plan. I let go of the idea that I need someone to tell me what to eat.
What if I just trust my body? I lost a chunk of the weight. I still had so much more to go. I needed to shift. I needed to believe that there was a better way of doing this. If my body is so good at giving me messages, if I stress out or eat something that doesn’t sit well with me, if my skin breaks out, if my stomach gets really in pain, or I get diarrhea or backed up or something, my body knows.
My body is good at keeping track. I should just listen to my body. So, I did a little research on shifting away from meat and going more plant-based.
What are nutrients? Where do you get everything? How does protein work? How does B12 work? I did my research. I figured it out and just started listening to my body.
Now, here’s the thing. A lot of people will say that when you’re eating healthy, you’re being restrictive. This is the thing that I think most people need to understand. Not eating things that make you feel like shit is not restrictive. Feeling like shit all the time is what’s restrictive.
What I mean when I previously said ‘being restrictive’ was when that person said to me, “You can only eat these things. They can only be cooked this way. It can only be at these times. You only get this much a day, and if you’re hungry, tough luck. Or if you’re hungry, eat this fake processed protein that’s got nothing real in it. Or suck on an apple.”
It was ridiculous. That’s not good. That’s diet culture.
Restricting yourself is not allowing yourself to have something that you really, really, really want. You want the food and you want the way it makes you feel, you want to enjoy the situation around the food or whatever it is.
But if something is going to make you feel awful and you don’t eat it, even though it would taste good, that’s not restrictive. That’s loving yourself. We have to find that balance between restriction and self-love. That was the hardest part of the journey for me if I’m honest.
It was just really hard because I had had a disordered relationship with food. I had disordered eating on both ends of the spectrum. At one point I had restrictive disordered eating and on the other I had binge-eating, not purging, just bingeing all the time. The hardest part for me was finding that balance.
But here’s what I know now. I was made to feel really good, really good. That abundant life we’re always talking about, that’s what I was made for. When I eat food that tastes really good but contains my allergens, when I eat food that tastes really good but makes me sick and sluggish afterward, it is just not loving my body.
But you aren’t going to think of food that way if you don’t have a positive relationship with your body first. This is why I’ve been saying (and people like Elizabeth Dahl, Sarah Speers, and Heather Rhodes and all of these amazing women that have been a part of my journey are always saying) you have to work on loving your body first.
Everything comes from that. And it is so true. I feel like it’s becoming cliche and people are sick of hearing it, but it is so true.
Because without that complete love of your body, just as it is right now—no matter what your weight is, no matter how many rolls, no matter what size you are, no matter what—if you don’t love your body the way it is right now, you are never, ever going to love it.
No matter what you do. No matter what you put into it. No matter what you dress it in. No matter what makeup you put on it. No matter what.
And you’re never going to be able to heal. You cannot heal something you hate. Healing happens from love energy. Without that love energy, you’re never going to get better.
You may diet and you may lose weight, but it is going to come back or you’re going to have disordered eating. You’re going to have an eating disorder. Because it’s not coming from love.
It’s coming from force. We have to stop the self abuse. We have to stop the self hate.
Hey friends, I am just pausing this conversation here so that I can invite those of you who are meant to hear this and really want to purge yourself of just the programming around your body, around women’s bodies, around the way that you should look, the way that you are supposed to feel, just all of it and really getting deep in healing your relationship with your body.
I created something last year called The Body Love Mindset mini course. This is the biggest piece of my own personal transformation that I recently went through in my own body. It’s the inner work that you have to do, that I did, in order to truly reconnect with and learn to love your body right where it’s at. Truly.
Weight release and external changes for me came from that place. It’s working on it from the inside out rather than coming from this energy of forcing your body to change by what you’re putting into it and coming from this other energy that obviously just doesn’t work.
It hasn’t worked in the past and trying a new diet, doing something different externally, isn’t going to work now because you’re really trying to control your body from a place of disdain and a lack of acceptance.
I really wanted to share what I went through with the world, spread this message, and help other women come into real peace with their bodies, because that was such a huge piece of my own weight release journey and really how I’ve come to be so much healthier, so in love with my body and with myself in the healthiest way. It’s been so transformational.
I created The Body Love Mindset course to walk you through that same process of the perspective of your body, the mindset. Undoing all the old programming that’s not serving you anymore. Going from disconnection with your body to true connection. Really taking action and what that looks like. How to implement all of that new progress into the external, with how you’re treating yourself, how you’re moving your body, how you’re feeding your body, all of those things.
I’ve talked often about my work with Sarah Speers. She’s still my coach in this. We’ve worked together for over a year now and she’s been absolutely incredible. I’ve invited her in to give a bonus.
For everyone that enrolls in The Body Love Mindset course from me, you’ll also receive a bonus from Sarah. It includes a body gratitude meditation which is something that I’ve done so many times. It’s absolutely transformational. You’ll be able to revisit that every day, if you want, any time you need.
There’s also a tapping script. I’ve talked a lot about tapping, also called EFT, which moves emotions through your body and shifts that energy so that it removes the negative and highly emotional charge behind certain programming, certain thoughts we would have about our bodies. It’s absolutely transformational.
I’m so obsessed with tapping. I’ve been working on getting certified in EFT myself so that I can continue to help my family, myself, and other people through that technique with really shifting emotions.
You’ll get a tapping script from Sarah with an audio file for body criticism and acceptance. This is also something that I have from Sarah that is so transformational, so beautiful. What’s really really cool about that is, that is really the basis of all the work, all the calls that I have with Sarah. I see her every other week. That is what we’re doing. Using her tapping scripts to go over body criticism and self-acceptance, really work through hard emotions. And you have that DIY status to do on your own.
This is just a really, really beautiful combo that I’m so excited about.
To get access to all of this, go to alliecasazza.com/bodylove. You’ll be able to enroll in The Body Love Mindset course there.
Everyone that enrolls will receive the two bonuses from Sarah Speers, my personal therapist for all of this stuff that I’ve been working through.
I really just want you to know that you are so beautiful. You are so supported. Please support yourself if you need it and surround yourself with resources like this that you need to really move into healthy weight release, move into a healthy connection with your body, and stop the cycle of really self-damaging, self-hatred, and self-harm that is so much of diet culture.
The real big shift in my relationship with my body came through doing so many exercises, not physical exercises, but body-love exercises. I don’t remember if Sarah Speers gave this to me or if I saw it somewhere else, but just touching the parts of your body that you’ve always been really critical of is so healing.
I saw that somewhere and I thought, “I can see that. I believe that.”
There’s this exercise you can do where you lie on your bed, hold those parts of your body and love into it. I tried that. I went in the bath one night and, specifically my arms, my belly, and my butt (my butt is so juicy; it’s always been a thing) and I did that. And I cried. I cried because I hadn’t even touched my own body, loved my own body, after all it’s done for me and it was so sad.
So, just doing things like that, stopping the story of, “What size are these jeans? Oh, this isn’t the size I should be.”
Clothes are made to fit into our body, not the other way around. So I worked to stop the negative self-talk and look at myself in the mirror.
I’m giving you guys the real deal. I have a full length mirror in my room where I can see my outfit before I leave for the day. Before I got dressed in the morning I would stand naked in front of this mirror and just look at my body. And yes, thoughts will come up, “Oh, I wish this was different. This could change. I need to work on this.”
But I’d just let those pass. Those are not serving me. They can just go. I can send them somewhere else. They cannot be of service here.
Then I intentionally scan my body and thank it and just love it and be so grateful. My skin is so beautiful. I love my tattoos.
I love the way that my tummy is right now. I’m so grateful for it. It has given me so much.
I’m also so grateful that I have the power to love my body into being healthier. And when it is healthier, it will be healthier and look healthier and I’m ready for that.
There’s also a bunch of inner work that I did on even being able to receive going down to a smaller weight, because I had a lot of internal blocks around being a smaller person. I had identified as the bigger girl for a really long time.
I worried about what people might think if I was smaller. My fear of being seen came back up through this process and in my work with Sarah Speers. I was afraid of people commenting on my body. That did happen, but I was prepared and I knew how to handle it.
But the biggest epiphany that I had during this process was I really am beautiful exactly the way that I am. When I was 43 pounds heavier than I am right now, I really was so beautiful. I really, really was.
I was a different shape than I am now. And I was so beautiful. I was on such a journey and I was so allowed to be there. It made so much sense that that’s where I was at in my life. I have so much love and grace for myself.
Now, with no diet and no restriction, just honoring my body, honoring when it tells me it’s allergic to something, and wanting to feel good, not wanting to feel fatigued, not wanting to feel sluggish, and eating foods that align with that, listening to my body, moving to a plant-based way of eating and all that stuff, I am still releasing weight.
It feels so good to know that that excess fat is coming off my body because it needs to. Not be because I’m doing something, eating a specific way, or forcing it to come off.
The big epiphany of, “I’m so beautiful. My body is so amazing. I have just suppressed it, abused it, and spoken so awfully to it and about it and this has to change. Oh my God, this has to change right now.”
Moving in a way that aligns with that, eating in a way that aligns with that, speaking in a way that aligns with that, dressing in a way that aligns with that was the game changer.
I don’t mean for this episode to be annoyingly general, but the steps are gonna look different for each of you. The specifics of it are going to look different for each of you.
I encourage you, if you can, to hire someone to work with. Hire someone that can support you in this way. Make sure you do your research on them and interview them before you pay them. I don’t want you to get into a situation that’s not good. But sometimes you just need support.
Sometimes you don’t need that, or can’t afford it, and you can keep a journal and just notice how you feel. Notice how when you feel bored, you tend to binge eat. Notice the pull to order takeout instead of eating the healthy dinner you had planned on making.
Why do you feel that way? What’s the emotion? What’s the real reason? What do you ultimately want to feel like? Let’s align what you eat tonight with that.
And you guys, I just want to say, the other night we had this amazing dinner planned. Brian and I had worked all day. We’d gotten up at 6:00 and we worked all day.
We homeschooled the kids and tag-teamed all day. We were so fricking tired. We were like, you know what, let’s order ramen tonight, so we ordered vegetarian ramen from this new place and it was so good.
It was so good, so salty and sodium filled, and I didn’t even care. It was so good. That fueled my body.
I know that my body took the nutrients it needed from that. I know that it felt so good. I know that it did my body good. It did my soul good. Nothing in it was an allergen. It was so good.
Most of the time though, I’m eating what is going to fuel me fully. It’s not sodium filled. It’s not sugary. It’s things that are going to make me feel good because I love myself and I love my body enough to do that. Does that make sense?
After all of this is said and done, that’s where I’m at right now. I still have an estimated amount in mind of the amount of weight I am still willing and ready to release, but I am going slow. I am listening to my body. I’m creating an environment where my body feels safe to go ahead and release that excess weight.
As a woman, if your body does not feel safe, if it feels like you’re going to starve it again, if you have starved it a lot in the past, if you have restricted it a lot in the past, it’s not going to feel safe and it’s going to hold onto excess fat because you’re putting it in survival mode. You’re putting it in starvation mode. And this is why diets don’t work.
But when it feels safe, it will release. You, as a woman, need to feel safe. Make yourself feel safe. Make yourself feel loved and accepted fully.
Now that I’ve done that, my body is ready. It is releasing the rest of this excess fat. It is in perfect time. I could stay here for the rest of my life, right where my body’s at and feel so happy.
But my body is just releasing the excess because it’s ready to. It needs to. It knows what’s healthy.
I eat plenty. I eat a lot. I love food. But I do avoid my allergens. I do go to the more natural places to eat. I do avoid meat. I do eat this way because it’s what feels good.
I used to feel really annoyed listening to conversations like this on podcasts and if this is you, if this isn’t making sense to you, I just want you to know that I see you and it’s okay. And you’re feeling that way because you haven’t gotten to a place of total self-love and that has got to be your first step.
As I always say, The Purpose Show is about action. I need that to be your action step. That you get to a place, whether you get support, or you just get there on your own, where you are fully accepting yourself.
If that feels really hard, keep trying. It’s not just about affirmations. You’ve got to deal with the issues. Affirmations are just like a band-aid on a bullet wound. You have to get the root out.
Why do you feel the way you feel about your body? What are the stories? What’s been said to you or about you, about your body by others or yourself?
Where did your current view of your body come from? What was your experience as a child with food and your body? What was said to you by your parents?
What information did you gather in school, from friends, from magazines, social media, diet culture? Where did you get where you’re at now? Look at that and deal with it.
Are those things really true for you? Are they serving you? If they’re not serving you, then they’re not true. If they’re not serving you, they’re not true.
Get to that place where you accept your skin. You accept your body. You are so thankful for the messages. You will listen and respectfully respond.
I respectfully respond to my skin by putting clean products on it that help it stay clean, that help it glow, feel healthy, remove toxins, that support my skin, purging me of toxins, which is what skin does.
I also take care of my skin, deeply respect and love my skin by what I eat, because that shows up on my skin as well. When my body is getting a stomach ache every day, I listen to that message and I respond. I got an allergy test and figured that out, adapted, and supported my body.
When I go out to a restaurant and somebody is being a butthead to me because my allergy is inconveniencing them at the restaurant they chose to work at, that’s not my problem. It’s not about me or being high maintenance. They need to support my body because I’m there to feed myself. And if they will not, I’ll take my business elsewhere.
I have such massive respect for my body and for its needs. There’s just really nothing that can get in the way of that. Sometimes my body and I want a cookie, so we have a cookie and that’s so fun.
When I’m in my menstruation part of my cycle, I have straight up vegan period food. And it’s delicious. That sounds really gross, ‘vegan period food’ but I’m sure you guys have period food. You know, food that’s just maybe a little extra salty or tastes really extra good when you’re on your period. I have those things.
Pasta, a Beyond burger, fries and ketchup. Come on, period food, you know? But I’m still fueling my body and I’m still listening to it. And that’s what I want when I’m on my period.
I can still eat that period junk food without having allergens, without hurting myself. It’s all coming from that place of self love.
It’s not about a diet. It’s not about what you are eating. It’s about loving yourself. Is what you’re eating aligned with pure self-love?
I have a note written in an expo marker on my mirror. It’s been there for months, and it says, “My standard is what aligns with deep, pure self-love.”
And that goes for my makeup, my skincare, my food, my hydration level, how I’m moving my body, how I dress my body, how I touch my body, how I love my body.
Again, we’re getting into TMI territory, but how I allow my husband to love my body. That’s part of it too.
I respect myself. I love myself. I honor myself. It is an honor to touch me. It is an honor to have sex with me and I treat it that way. Does that make sense? This massive radical self-love.
Then from that place, everything changes. And you can love your spouse better. You can love yourself better. You can be a better mom to your kids.
You eat better. You feel better. Your energy levels rise up. You’re a better mom. You’re a better friend.
Everything is just lighter. You’ve raised your vibration higher. And that’s the best part about all of this.
I’m going to stop there. There are so many different avenues. I could talk about this literally nonstop, but that’s what I want to leave you with today.
Sit with that. Share your thoughts with me. Please take a screenshot and share this episode. Guys, it’s so important. I would really appreciate you sharing this with more women.
And if you feel so led, please leave a review on iTunes. It is everything for podcasters. That would be so amazing.
Thank you for listening! Share your thoughts with me. I want to hear how this episode sat with you. I love you guys so much. Have a great day!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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