Body Image: How You Can Love Your Body AND Change It Simultaneously

Today’s episode focuses on a topic that our listeners have been requesting… body image (a “fun” one I know)!


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

The VAST majority of people are walking around uncomfortable in their own skin.

Most people that we encounter every single day have a negative view of their bodies, so if that’s you, you’re FAR from alone.

Stephanie and I can relate on both a personal level, and through the hundreds of clients we’ve worked with who struggle with their body image and self-esteem. 

It’s important to make a distinction between self-esteem and body-image, because people often use those terms interchangeably. Though they can be intimately connected, they are actually quite different.  

Body image is specific to the body while self-esteem is an evaluation of our worth as a whole, and is not just specifically related to our bodies.  We can see the impact and the over emphasis many of us put on our physical bodies, and the way we feel about our physical bodies, has a large impact on how we really feel about ourselves.  

I share about my struggles with body image, and Stephanie talks about how at one point, she was in such a horrible place with her body image that she would avoid pictures at all cost. This was even after taking care of the dysfunction of her eating disorder. 

Stephanie talks about how, early in her law enforcement career, she became a part of the crisis negotiation team as a negotiator, and when it would come time to get fitted for uniforms or take team pictures, she would actually use a sick day to avoid having to participate. She realizes now how much time and energy she spent locked into core beliefs that weren’t serving her. (I’m not good enough. I’m not skinny, so I’m not worthy.) 

We talk about clients like Erin who carried a scale around in her purse because she was so obsessed with her body image she couldn’t go out to eat without weighing and measuring her food. 

One important distinction that we make, that was helpful for Erin and so many of our clients, was that you can love and accept your body for everything that it is and does in the present, while also working toward changing it on your quest to becoming the healthiest version of yourself.

In so many ways, the diet culture has really sold us a system that keeps them in business. If they continue to make our bodies the enemy and not the expert, then they are able to sell us on their products.  

The truth is, no lasting change can occur until you start treating your body with love, acceptance, respect, and gratitude.  The body is forgiving. It’s responsive and patient. 

Learning to eat and exercise INTUITIVELY is key. Your body is unique, and it’s been trying to tell you what it needs, but you’ve been trained by society to listen to diet rules instead. 

Creating a healthy body image is the basis for change, not the result of it. It’s a privilege to simply live and move. The only way we get to experience life is in our bodies. I eat greens and beans in the morning because I love my body enough to fuel it with good stuff. I feel so energized and powerful when I exercise, so I do it, not because I want to burn calories or punish myself for the vegan pizza or extra margarita. 

At Vegan Life Coach Academy, our clients very quickly learn that the food and exercise become the easy part of the equation! Changing your beliefs about your body, so that you can come from a place of love, is the more difficult thing to do.

Coming from a place of love is also the only way to make lasting changes and move to a place of freedom from all of that self-doubt and counting macros and having the number on the scale or the size of your jeans rule your day.

If you want support with this topic, we invite you to join our Facebook group where you can find so many people who are on this journey with you!

Stephanie gives three strategies that will help to really bring awareness to those beliefs and help you challenge those negative beliefs about your body.  

The first, Check Your Inner Critic. Having a negative body image is like having a critic in your head. The critic is a harsh, derogatory narrative that makes nasty comments about you. For example, “I look disgusting in this outfit” or “I can’t believe how fat I am”. The critic makes you feel awful, because you believe it. 

Because you feel terrible about yourself, you look for ways to feel better. You may eat something, which gives momentary pleasure, but minutes later the critic is back to comment on how much of a pig you are for eating. One key to changing negative body image is to banish the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are, and to do this, we invite you to really challenge those critical thoughts.

A second strategy involves this exercise: Create a list of 10 things you love about your body…10 things that have nothing to do with weight. Stop focusing on the bits you don’t like and start seeing your body as a whole.  Do you have a smile that lights up the room? Do you enjoy the way your body feels when you are hugging your boyfriend or girlfriend?  

Think about not just attributes but experiences that you can only have with your body like finishing a hard workout, petting your dog, your first kiss….  Once you’ve created this list, use it to challenge those negative thoughts that your inner critic is throwing at you.

Finally, catch yourself when you go into COMPARISON MODE. This is a nasty habit that so many of us find ourselves in. It can be really challenging to stop because it has become so automatic and you do it a hundred times a day, but this behavior is not serving you. 

In fact, the comparison game is causing you a lot of damage, so get very firm with drawing this internal boundary, and do NOT accept this from yourself any longer.  

When you find yourself in this comparison trap ask yourself, am I being fair to myself or this other person?  The answer is always NO.  And then ask yourself what can I say that will be helpful for building a more realistic and positive body image?  This takes a lot of self-discipline, but it isn’t unlike any other habit you have broken in the past.

Remember… reprogramming your mind and creating a healthy relationship with your body is a process! There is no “arrival” either, the process is life long, so you may as well embrace the ride.

We’d love to hear about your experience listening to this episode, and how helpful you found it to be (or not to be)! Email [email protected]. I read and reply to every email myself because your feedback is so incredibly valuable… This podcast is for YOU!


Vegan Life Coach AcademyEpisode 4


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How to Shift from Scarcity-Mode to a Life of Abundance and Freedom

Today’s mindset topic, abundance vs. scarcity, is one that has impacted my own life, as it has Stephanie’s, countless of our clients, as I’m guessing it has YOU too!


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

We play a little game at the beginning of this episode and ask you to play along too! Stephanie says a word, and I say the first thing that pops into my head, and invite you to do the same. The words are

  1. Comfort Zone
  2. Money
  3. Success
  4. Sharing
  5. Focus

I won’t spoil the fun by giving away my answers, but what I can tell you, is that my answers would have been a lot different four or five years ago. 

I’ve learned so much about inviting abundance into my life, and in this episode I share my personal story about the moment EVERYTHING changed for me… the moment I made a decision from a place of abundance despite all my fears that came from living with a scarcity mindset my entire life. (I was potty-trained in an out house after all due to lack of indoor plumbing!)

The late Steven Covey coined the terms Scarcity Mindset and Abundance Mindset, and just so we are all on the same page, people who operate from a scarcity mindset believe that there is never enough.  They really see life as having a finite amount of everything…money, success, love, recognition. It’s as if life were a pie, and if the person sitting beside them gets the biggest slice, then they simply won’t get dessert. They therefore cling to everything they have, afraid that at some point they are going to come up short.

When you have a scarcity mindset, thoughts and actions come from a place of lack When it’s time to make decisions, fear and paranoia set in, making it very difficult to make life decisions that will lead to self-growth and abundance.  When you are living in scarcity mode, you create feelings of jealousy, stress, and anxiety because you are constantly comparing yourself to those around you and living in the fear of the unknown.

Stephanie also lived with a scarcity mindset most of her life. Don’t get me wrong by the way, we both have thoughts based on fears and scarcity at times to this day, we’re just able to recognize tham and work through them!)

Stephanie shares about how her scarcity mindset led her to some of the most costly decisions of her life, not to mention years of unhappiness

Fear of scarcity causes us to have tunnel vision… looking only at what is right in front of you for fear of there not being another option. You eat the chocolate cake because there may never be another chance to eat the chocolate cake. You settle for a less than ideal relationship because you may not have another chance to love.  You choose the quick fix diet program rather than the long-term investment in your health and wellness.

We then talked about the flip side… the abundance mindset. An abundance mindset is one that flows out of a deep sense of personal worth and security.  It is a belief that there is more than enough for everyone, and this where life becomes full and we are able to dream and think big.  Abundance creates freedom.

Stephanie then gives you three ways to start you on your road to developing an abundance mindset.

The first is to focus on what you have.  There is no quicker path away from scarcity than gratitude.  When you focus on the things that you are most grateful for in your life, you naturally pull yourself out of the scarcity mindset.  To show gratitude is to appreciate, and to appreciate literally means to increase in value. This actually creates the abundance.

Next, Look for the opportunity in life’s circumstances.  When we are thrown curveballs in life, the temptation is to come at it from a scarcity perspective. “Why is this happening to me?”  or “Why don’t I ever get ahead?”  

There is another way to look at these circumstances however, and that’s to identify where the opportunity lies.  What can I learn from this? This leads directly to abundance by producing growth and development.  

I think we can look at all that is going on in the world right now, and discover that there are opportunities to be found.  

For example, though COVID is a terrible virus that has caused much destruction and death, we can choose to look for those opportunities such as a slower pace of life and even a very chance for many to revisit the benefits of a healthy vegan lifestyle. The virus has also inspired many people, including my own boyfriend, to start their own online businesses.

We can also look at the horrific events that have sparked powerful protests across the country and world, as allowing us an opportunity to have very difficult conversations about racism, and begin working collectively to change the systemic injustices that have oppressed people of color throughout history.

Finally, develop the belief that you are enough.  This can be the most challenging, but also the most impactful when moving from scarcity to abundance.  So many of us struggle with our self-worth. The belief that we are not enough comes from a very deeply ingrained system that we are generally not conscious of.  We challenge you to bring the subconscious programming keeping you in self-defeating thought patterns into your awareness.  

When you find yourself comparing yourself to others or questioning if you are deserving, take a step back and view these thoughts with compassion and curiosity, then challenge them.  Explore the feelings of unworthiness that are attached to these beliefs.  

We won’t sugar coat this… Changing these deeply-ingrained core beliefs takes work. It requires an investment in yourself.  For you to turn your scarcity to abundance, you must suspend your belief system for just a bit, and make that investment in your own development. 

I share the stories of incredible clients like Dawn, who got the courage to not only invest in her growth by working with us, but afterward, by operating from abundance, a whole new career path opened up and she is happier, more fulfilled, and definitely wealthier financially.

We’ve had many clients actually get the courage to launch their own businesses, when they would have likely stayed in the security of the jobs they dreaded going to each day until they retired.

We’re not talking about voodoo magic here… It’s really about putting yourself in a position so that you are ready to receive, which has nothing to do with materialism or another person. It all begins with the belief that you’re worthy, and that everything you want and need are available to you.

We’d love to hear about your experience listening to this episode, and how helpful you found it to be (or not to be)! Email [email protected]. I read and reply to every email myself because your feedback is so incredibly valuable… This podcast is for YOU!


Vegan Life Coach AcademyEpisode 4 | Episode 7


Grab the valuable gift we have for you HERE.

Have a question you’d like us to answer, or feedback you’d like to give us (we love hearing from you!)? Leave us a voice (or written) message HERE.

Interested in receiving a free coaching session to air on an upcoming episode? Apply HERE.