As long as I can remember, my body was something that needed to change – it was not ok the way it was. I had antagonizing thoughts running through my head all day about what and when to eat and exercise. I would get upset with myself if I had a piece of bread or craved something sweet. I would feel stressed if I realized I hadn’t eaten vegetables at every meal or hadn’t done any exercise that day. Now, I do care about eating healthily and exercising, but it is because I want to feel well and have energy to get my work done and be a good mother, wife, and friend. So my one goal now is to eat to fuel and nourish my body so that I have the energy to do those other important things. I would be lying if I said my relationships to food and my body are perfect. However, what has changed is that I no longer have those obsessive, antagonizing thoughts over what to eat and when to exercise, and I now see my body in a completely different light.
Though I had been working on all of this for years, what finally ignited the change was when I was pregnant with my daughter. During my pregnancy, I wasn’t able to exercise as intensely or often, and I felt very sick so I ate whatever I could when I could actually keep it down. To my great surprise, other than the obvious fact of becoming more and more pregnant, my body barely changed. I realized that all along I had thought food made me fat, and had been pushing myself to exercise intensely with the primary goal of becoming “thin.” Mentally, I had long recognized this was counterproductive, but I needed this new experience to help solidify what I knew intuitively. Since my experience during pregnancy, food and exercise have become much less complicated. They are now about nourishment rather than image. My body is here for experiences and it does amazing things if I listen to it and trust it.
When I get disconnected from what is most meaningful, I remind myself that five pounds less or more doesn’t matter; what matters is that I have the energy and feel well enough to do my work and take care of my family.
I did this and I see others do this too. They get caught up in the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of food and life. I believe rules are your worst enemy when it comes to food, personal health or personal transformation. By rules, I mean external rules, whether a diet or living the way you see others living. By trying to be like other people, you are not being your true self and that is when problems arise. I have found that by slowing down and taking the time to get to truly know yourself, that is where the magic happens.
Mariella Danspeckgruber Borschow
Mariella has made it her mission to help clients tune in and feel their absolute best – physically and mentally – so that they can function at their highest potential. She has spent the last six years studying stress the mind-body connection. Her desire to follow this path came from personal challenges that arose from a lack of stress management tools. Mariella spent three years as a consultant at Cambridge Associates and four years working in startups including going through an acquisition and an IPO. She is formally trained as a coach through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a yoga instructor by Strala Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga with 250 plus hours of training, and is currently being certified as a mindfulness coach through the Awareness Training Institute and Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley. Mariella crafts and implements personalized programs, working both one-on-one and in group or corporate settings.