MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

 

A lot goes into creating a healthy lifestyle that you can reap benefits from in the long run. A healthy lifestyle is holistic, focusing on how the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of health work together to create a better you. Paige Snyder is the Founder of Make Your Health A Priority, which provides health coaching to people from all walks of life. Paige sits down with Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen to talk about how these seemingly disparate aspects of one’s health can be improved by thinking about them singularly. Carve your path towards a better, healthier lifestyle today!

Listen to the podcast here:

Creating A Healthy Lifestyle With Paige Snyder

Do you remember one of the first popular vegan bloggers went and tested a bunch of foods from vegan places? A bunch of them came out that they weren’t.

One of the places is Green Leaves, which we laugh about because Whitney and I have an inside joke we called the old standby. We know it’s not the best Thai food. It is not even close, but the price point to quality ratio is such that it’s a standby. It’s like, “Where do you want to go? Do you want to go to the old standby?” The noodles are solid, the curries are solid, the egg roll and everything that they have is solid. It’s average but okay. It gets the job done. I remember Green Leaves was on her list.

As soon as you speak, you switched into your voice there. It’s not as much that you started enunciating a little more clearly. It was subtle. If it weren’t two people who know you well, I don’t know if anybody would have noticed as quickly, but conversational us tough. You saw this shift in tone as well with a warm buttery.

One of the things that I have been reflecting on since the clock ticked over to 2020 is how much of the same ideas and rhetoric are recycled year after year. The things that I keep seeing popping up are, “What’s your word for 2020? What’s your intention?” The thing that has gotten me that I’ve been reflecting on, and I’m curious to know both of your perspectives is the “New year, new me” thing. For me, it brings up a lot in the sense of I think that people are conditioned to think that they have to be like, “I’m going to clean the office, clean the garage, lose 50 pounds and do all this stuff in the next 30 days. I’ve started with energy and enthusiasm.” My question or my curiosity as I’m sitting with all of this “New year, new me” stuff is the line between a genuine desire and excitement to improve oneself versus lack and not-enoughness.

Do you think that people still operate that way? I’m trying to spend less time on social media, but it doesn’t feel quite the same to me. The reason I’m asking is because I don’t know if it’s my perspective and in my head about the resolution things because it feels old school. To your point, are people still into that? I haven’t felt the resolution thing has been as big.

Is that your observation or are you also saying that for you as personal?

I’m definitely saying that for me, although it’s a little tricky. Jason and I started our program, the Consistency Code. I felt more on top of things simply because we’re leading that program. I feel like I want to lead by example by being consistent with things. We started it on New Year’s Day because we knew that many people struggle with their resolutions and fall off the wagon. One interesting thing that I know and this is probably part of the reason that I’m having this observation. I was on TikTok and I saw multiple people posting about how as early as January 2nd, people start to give up on their resolutions.

These were people that worked at gyms. They were observing how on January 1st, there were more people there than there were on January 2nd. I don’t know if that was them exaggerating for TikTok, which people definitely do on that platform. I was surprised when I was going to my yoga classes for the past few days since the New Year. There haven’t been that many more people in my classes than any other time of year. That surprised me too because I was prepared for the classes to be extra full and there are to be new people, but it’s the same amount of people in my classes. That’s probably why I’m starting to think maybe people aren’t taking resolutions as seriously, at least in my bubble. Has either of you found it to be one way or the other?

I’ve been thinking about this exact same thing and I looked up statistics on this because I was curious. I had the same thought. Are people giving up on this completely? Is it something people even still do? I remember we’re talking elementary, middle and high school, that’s all anybody ever talked about. I lived in Pennsylvania where there was nothing. A couple of things come to mind. One, going back to the statistics, they were a few years old. I didn’t find anything super recent, maybe three, four years old on these stats. You also have to keep in mind who are they interviewing? How many people? What they were saying is that about 64% of people in their twenties carry their resolutions about halfway through the year and then they get dropped. The people in their 50s and above tend to stop setting them all together.

I started thinking about my age because I’m technically middle-age depending on who you asked or knocking on its door. I heard this comedienne say and I thought it was brilliant. She was saying that if you take your current age, you double it and you die at that doubled age, nobody is devastated. They’re not like, “That’s too early,” than you’re middle age. The punchline was she’s like, “I’m seeing all these 35-year-olds doing math in their head.” I happened to be 35 at the time of watching it and I was like, “Double that, that’s 70.” If I died at 70, that’s still pretty early but nobody would be like, “She was so young.”

MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

Creating A Healthy Lifestyle: Your bank account, waistline, bust size, penis size – all these arbitrary things that somehow society has convinced us – are markers of our values.

 

I don’t want to accept the reality that this comedienne is purporting in the world, Paige. I don’t know about both of you, but this middle-age thing is for the birds. I’m shaving and I’m ripping all my gray hairs.

It’s interesting how we as a culture are obsessed with our age. We’re obsessed with the time period, how old other people are and numbers in general.

It’s not the right numbers. It’s not the sacred geometry numbers like age and by the time you do something or achieve something.

Your bank account, waistline, bust size, penis size, all these arbitrary things that somehow society has convinced us are the markers of our values of being.

I was on the way here and I was talking to a client. She’s going through a breakup and I’m becoming a breakup coach interestingly enough in my position. It’s happening.

How do you define breakup coach?

I literally solved it on the way here when I was talking to her. I have two young women in their early mid-twenties that are going through a hard breakup. One young woman was with her partner for six years. The other one was a shorter duration but it was toxic. I love coaching younger women in their teens and twenties. I know I need to do more of that. I’m figuring out what that is, but it speaks to me. They’re talking about, “Should I text him back? Should I do this?” I guide them a lot on creating boundaries. Tell this person, “I need 1, 3, 6, 12 months of no communication so that I can get over this, then let’s revisit.” She was saying that he had texted her and was talking about a friend of his who had passed away. She’s like, “I’m a terrible person if I don’t respond.” No, you’re not a terrible person, that’s putting yourself into a box. In reality, you’re a person who doesn’t have the capacity to show up for somebody in that way anymore and that’s okay because he chose to uncouple with you. He doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. That means his support at least for the foreseeable future needs to come from somewhere else and that’s okay.

I’m helping them with those little things that we get into our mind like, “If I have done this or had more sex or I wasn’t grumpy on this particular day, then we would have never broken up.” I told her, “Him breaking up with you is not about you. It’s about him.” Let’s say everything else in the relationship up at that point had been the same. Somebody else would be okay with what you’re going through, which for her is living on her own for the first time. She finished her degree and starting a new job in the medical field. It’s difficult hands-on helping people job. They were at different points in their lives and another partner would have been able to be with you through all of that. Even if “it’s your fault,” meaning you’re going through something. Maybe you’re a little snippy or you’re not sleeping or wanting to have less sex. A different partner would be okay with that and this person wasn’t. That’s okay because that’s not about you either. That’s his limitations, not yours.

It’s little things like that. If I can loop it back to the resolution thing because all of it intertwines, what I’m starting to do with my clients on my social media is to rethink resolutions. I do like the idea of using the calendar year as a marked time to think about it. I love that and do that anytime you want. What I’m encouraging people to do instead of being like, “I’m going to work out every single day or I’m going to study a language for an hour a day every day.” If you are going from zero to an hour of something every day, you’re probably not going to stick with it. If your goal is, “By November, I would like to work up to an hour of meditation every day or an hour of running or this thing or that thing or I want to be able to do handstands,” which is what I’m working on. Give yourself little micro-goals or intentions that make sense. If you don’t meditate at all and you’re like, “Starting January 1st, I’m going to do 40 minutes every day,” good luck. I’ve been meditating for two years consistently and 40 minutes can still be a struggle, but if you’re like, “I’m going to do five minutes at 7:00 AM every day.”

The other thing I realized when it comes to making changes or we’ll call it resolutions. Sometimes the resolution needs to be to learn consistency, to learn discipline or to learn to be organized. If you want to start a business or if you want to go back to school or get your life together, even if you want to lose weight for health, you might need to learn how to be organized first. You might need to learn how to make a good grocery list first and that’s okay. Let that be your goal first and then build up the skills that you need. Whether that’s patience, consistency or discipline. Work on those parts of your personality first, then you’ll be able to do other things like fitness, eating better, creativity or learning a language.

In your coaching, Paige, not the breakup coaching but you being a nutritionist and a health coach, you’re helping people take control of their health and feel better in their bodies and minds. What is the line between too much ambition to change and improve and enough to keep someone going? I feel, and this is indicative of something that I’ve done for years. I realized I didn’t want to do it in 2020. At the beginning of every year or even quarterly, I’ll write down many goals. It’s almost insurmountable for me to accomplish all of those things in the given time period I’ve allotted for myself. I realized through a lot of stuff that Whitney and I were doing with the Wellevatr work and the Consistency Code that I had been stacking many things overly ambitious.

I’m like, “I’ve got to do the next TV show. I’ve got to do the next book. I’ve got to launch the show. I’ve got to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I’ve got to go to Japan. I’ve got to be a race car driver.” This was 2019 for me and I remember assessing it and going, “You did two of those things.” I could beat out of myself for that or I could acknowledge the fact that I was being overly ambitious. I felt like, “You have to prove you can do this. You can handle all this stuff. You could step up your game.” I’m curious with you and all the work you are doing and have done not only on yourself but the clients that you help heal. What is that line between being overly ambitious versus having manageable goals that you can create momentum with?

I think it’s person to person based off of current personality. Several years ago, I would not have been able to accomplish that many things in one year. For me, Japan is on my list because my sister is studying Japanese. We might go as a sister trip, so she can guide us. I always wanted to go but I’m intimidated because I know absolutely nothing of the language. That’s also on my list, plus I want to do a Phlebotomy course. I want to do a Kundalini teacher training. I want to go to Costa Rica for a month or Mexico to do Spanish immersion for a full month. My life is set up in a way that I can do that because I work from home and all of my clients at this point are remote.

If I had a 9:00 to 5:00 like I used to, those things would not be feasible. What I have all my clients do is look at “roadblocks.” What is standing in your way of accomplishing your goals? Is it the hours that you work? Do you have children? Do you have a mental, emotional or physical disability of some kind? Create realistic guidelines. If you want a one-word answer, it’s to be realistic for your life. If you are in a position to do these things, to travel if that’s part of it or to take classes and not needed to be at a desk from 9:00 to 5:00 like myself or probably the two of you, that would somewhat fit, then you can be “more ambitious.”

If you are totally new to revamping your life and to grow on purpose, then you might want to peel it back a little bit. Work on personality things. Do you need to be more resilient? Do you need to learn how to handle yourself in tough situations? That was me. When I did my first Spanish immersion, I cried on the first three days because I was overwhelmed and I tend to cry when I’m overwhelmed. I’m trying to stop doing that. The only way I know how to do that is to keep making myself overwhelmed. I don’t mean making myself overwhelmed in a way that I’m going to hurt myself or somebody else or do something major. I put myself in a situation where I’m uncomfortable and keep doing that until I don’t cry anymore. I am getting there and it was hard. My sister even asked me, “Do you want to go home?” The way that I was coming off to her was losing it. I was like, “Of course, I don’t want to go home.” She was like, “I’m confused.” That’s how I deal with being overwhelmed. I cry and I can’t help it or at least I used to. Now, it’s getting better because I keep making myself uncomfortable in a way that I need to stay poised.

Other people breaking up with you is not about you. Click To Tweet

You’re training yourself. You’re willfully putting yourself in situations so that you can have that experience and respond to the stimuli in a different way, which is fascinating.

There’s a bunch of things in my mind. I’m going to try and get them all out. First of all, I want to remind the audience that if you’re going through a breakup and you want her support, you’ll know how to reach her. We’re going to talk about the Consistency Code. We’ll put in there a couple of books that I want to mention. The first thing, Jason, is I’m curious as we’ve been going through the Consistency Code Program, which is our four-week coaching program. We started and I hope that we do several times. We’re in beta test period to see how it goes with this first group.

I am enjoying it immensely. Meanwhile, I’m also thinking of many different ways that we can make it better and better. The reason that we created this program was because we identified through surveys and conversations that one of the biggest challenges that people have is being consistent. It feels good to be able to help people work through that. I’m constantly learning all of these nuggets of information. Jason, I’d love for you to share as part of the conversations the things that you’re learning. I know you went into the community and read through the posts. We have this private community for the Consistency Code and people are in there sharing interesting things.

It’s interesting when you give people a forum to be vulnerable.

I was curious where people are actually going to. Weren’t you surprised, Jason, at how much people were sharing in there?

It’s pleasantly surprising because I’m starting to see, and maybe this is what you look for, you end up seeing life in that perspective. It’s encouraging for me to see it. It’s also encouraging for me to see on social media as a zoom out for Consistency Code more deeply vulnerable shares from people in a way that feels authentic and not as a marketing tactic. Sometimes you can see people sharing their vulnerability and intuitively, I’ll have a reaction like, “This feels like a marketing tactic for some reason.” I don’t know why but my intuition will tell me that. This as a microcosm for a larger conversation. I’m super bolstered and encouraged by seeing more people sharing their struggles, pain, disappointments and humanness instead of the highlight reel. I hope this is part of a title shift of our culture of people ripping off the masks and being who they are.

There are two other things I want to bring up. It’s something for you to think about as I’m sharing these things. Was there anything that stood out for you that was interesting in these shares? We asked the members of the Consistency Code to share the things that they’re working towards. We also ask them to post every day how they’re working towards it, which I took that challenge upon myself. That’s helped me to be consistent. One of my big goals is to meditate every day and simply knowing that I agreed to post and be accountable for it every day. I meditate every day even if it’s for a couple of minutes. It was amazing for me that accountability has been one of the biggest things. If you know that somebody is counting on you, watching you and expecting something from you, you’re much more likely to do it.

One of the most powerful things that we can offer people as coaches since all three of us do that, is to simply be there for people, to listen to them, hold them accountable and let them know that you care. Jason, I’d love for you to think of anything that stuck out for you while you’re reading through the posts. A couple of quick shares is on my way here in the car, I was listening to an audiobook. I started it when I left on my way to record and it’s called The Four Tendencies. It’s by this woman named Gretchen Rubin, who a lot of people know from The Happiness Project. I’m sure you’ve seen her name somewhere since we’re all interested in personal development. It’s fascinating because she identified four different personality types. She said, “The four tendencies distinguish how people tend to respond to outer and inner expectations.” This is something based on what you were saying, Paige, about how people follow through with resolutions. I started reading this book, but if anybody else wants to pick it up out of curiosity.

There are four different types. There’s an upholder, which means that you respond readily to outer and inner expectations. It’s like you have to do something. If somebody’s like, “I expect this of you,” then you do it. Number two is questioners. Questioners question all expectations. They’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense. Essentially, they’ll make all expectations into inner expectations. This is me. I often ask why a lot. I’m a big why person.

I used to get in trouble when I worked at a corporate job because if I don’t understand why you’re asking me to do something, I struggle hard. If you explain it to me, I can get on board, especially when I work for somebody else. If I know that I am working towards their vision and not my own, I’m totally grounded in that. I get it, which is why I left and started my own company because I couldn’t do that anymore. I would always be questioning, “Why are we doing it this way and couldn’t this way be a little bit better or more organized?”

Jason, have you identified with either of those yet? I think I know what Jason’s going to be. Gretchen, the author, also said you should take the quiz and read the book because sometimes we want to fit ourselves into one of these categories thinking it’s the right mind to identify with it. It’s like the 5 Love Languages. You hear one of these love languages and you’re like, “That sounds like me,” but until you take the quiz, you might not know what you are because it takes a lot of reflection. We have upholders and questioners. The third one is the obligers. They meet outer expectations but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves. The fourth is rebels who resist. I know Jason was going to identify this. They resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

I feel I’m working towards being that person. You’re supposed to do something by a certain age or act a certain way. I will be 36 and I will not get rid of my lip ring because it feels a part of who I am. I’m thinking of re-piercing my nose because that feels more of who I am. I miss having my hair bloody red and black. I will probably not going back to that because the upkeep is a monster. I would have thought by this age, I would’ve been married and have kids, live in the suburbs, had no piercings and probably not nearly as many tattoos. That doesn’t feel who I am at all. It’s another part of the reason why I love working with young people, especially those who identify as women in their twenties, telling them now and engraving it that you don’t have to fit a certain box. That is one of my biggest passions. I think that’s how I end up in this breakup coaching thing because I went through this myself. I broke up with somebody at 31. I was like, “What is happening? I was not supposed to be single past 30.” I’m still good friends with that person. I love him and he’s amazing, but the things I have done.

It’s interesting that you say that, Paige, about yourself and younger women. I’m into TikTok. Have you started using it?

I’ve tried, but I don’t get it.

It’s not that hard. It’s a lot like Instagram Stories. If you think of it as an Instagram Story, you’re good. There are a lot of similarities. The difference is on the plus side. I’m interested in TikTok. It’s already becoming a big social media platform. One thing that’s amazing about TikTok is studying people. If you want to observe human beings and our society as a whole, it is one of the most fascinating ways to do it. I noticed all these trends. There’s a great account that’s all about this American girl who’s living in Japan. She posts the most fascinating things about Japanese culture. You get to see the size of other ways of living. That’s one cool thing about TikTok. The second thing is that there are a lot of women in their 30s and men too, but a lot of women are doing this, who are talking about what they thought their lives would be in their 30s versus what it actually is.

It’s fascinating to me because it feels a lot of them were like, “I thought I was going to have kids and a husband, yet here I am sitting on the couch watching TikTok.” They’re making fun of themselves and almost being self-deprecating. It bothers me. I don’t like self-deprecating on social media. It’s relatable in one sense, but then also for someone like me, I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I don’t see anything wrong with that. When somebody or a lot of people continuously pointed that out, I started to think, “Is there something wrong with me?” I felt confident about myself and my situation, but when other people that I can relate to are saying something over and over again, I start to question or feel resentful. It’s like when women around you are pointing out the flaws in their bodies and you’re like, “If that person is finding flaws in her body, then maybe I should be finding flaws of my own.” We need to think or do the same thing.

On this subject of social media supporting young women having this conversation of expectation. It’s a thing that I’m curious about. I want to bust this wide open if we can. I’m specifically asking both of you because my perspective as someone who identifies as male is completely different in what I experience on the receiving end. I’m not on the receiving end of what I’m about to say. This concept of slut-shaming and this whole thing about expressing one’s sexuality even in an “artful way or authentic way” or however you want to express it, it’s up to you. On the one hand, this thing that is celebrated because attention is the biggest currency we have, especially on media.

If we look at it and I’m going to bring this around to a condensed question. On the one hand, I’ve had friends and associates in our industry go, “If I showed my breasts and my butt and wore less clothes, I’d get more followers.” I’ve seen some of them do it and get more followers, but then they talk about how much they are derided and shamed for doing that thing that they’re rewarded for. On the one hand, you’re being rewarded for something that you’re doing and on the other hand, you’re being slut-shamed for the exact same thing. I’m curious as women in our culture, this compulsion or idea of, “I want to express myself however I want to express myself,” but then being on the receiving end of attention and shame at the same time. What is that like and how do we navigate this brutality that is part of people thinking they should tell other people how to live their lives and what to do, which is part of a bigger issue?

One important point is receiving shame is receiving attention. You said attention is a currency. I absolutely agree. We never put a positive or a negative on it. How many people do shock-type headlines or memes or this thing or that thing to get people purposely arguing? There was a whole slew of vegan influencers talking about why they’re no longer vegan. I saw a couple that were living and eating vegan but saying, “I no longer identify with the term anymore,” to get people to watch the video or read the blurb and comment. They were using the idea that some people were no longer practicing veganism and using that headline in order to get people to comment even when they were still practicing. Can you tell me your question? Is it how to navigate it?

MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

Creating A Healthy Lifestyle: You’re a person who doesn’t have the capacity to show up for somebody in a certain way anymore, and that’s okay because they chose to uncouple with you.

 

I’m curious specifically, as two beings who identified as women in our society, what is it like to be on the receiving end of that? What is it like to navigate the pressure of perhaps seeing other people in our industry or tangential industries who are getting a specific kind of attention or perhaps things that you both have posted? Obviously, Paige, other than being an incredible coach, you have this affinity for dancing and your body movement. I know you have been on the receiving end of some harsh negative comments. I’m curious how you’ve navigated that emotionally and what your relationship is to full radical self-expression and not giving a crap of what other people think.

You and I have talked about this several times because, Jason, you’ve been such a huge help when I wanted to start my own business and branch out on my own. I was slut-shamed for two straight days by two women not too long ago. I reached out to Jason about that. It was an older picture that was about two years old. The funny thing is that it was a bikini heel but I had this long coat on. My arms were completely covered and my entire backside. More than 50% of my body was covered and then a bathing suit. I was doing some modeling for Fine Art Imagery. My friend, Christina, is an amazing photographer and movement teacher. She does workshops and we did some work together. I had posted it for a Throwback Thursday. If I’m being honest, when I realized the comment was coming from women, I felt betrayed. If it were men, I could brush it off a lot easier. When it came from women, that hurt. Day one, my confidence was like, “If people are making comments, at least I’m being seen. That comes with the territory.” Day two, it was still going and I wasn’t responding at all.

Was it the same person or a couple of people that were saying the same thing over?

It was one photo, but it was people who follow me. They choose to follow me and see and received my content. One woman was like, “I don’t understand why women feel the need to get naked for attention.” I use social media to grow my business, but if I could make it not about me, I would. I tried to keep it health-focused, but let’s get uncomfortable. I have a format if you haven’t seen it. It’s Make Your Health A Priority, which is my Instagram and my website. I have a checker. One post will be a green block with some words usually. Those posts take me the longest. It will take me three hours to research and write a post when it’s on nutrition like the Shilajit for anemia. I will look up to recent studies done on humans and really good info. Those will get between 20 and 70 likes, tops.

If I do one of the modeling pictures that I do with Fine Art Imagery or if I do a pole trick that I had learned, we’re talking 600, 700, 800 views and likes. Those posts take me 10 to 20 minutes tops to create. It’s tough because I am pouring my heart into the ones that I’m researching that are about health, mental health or growth, that’s not just movement or my physical being. I still do it because I still believe in those posts the most. I do have somebody who’s coaching me on social media and he’s trying to get me to stop doing that, but that part is the most important to me.

Does he want to stop you from doing the research?

In the same way, he wants me to do more videos essentially, which I’m on board with. I’m not the person that can create a new video every single day because I want mine to be well-researched, done correctly and have follow-up information that people can go look at versus, “Here’s some information spitting out.” As a questioner, I want other people to question it. Don’t believe me because I posted it and I have a Master’s of Nutrition. Go look into what I’m saying as well. That’s why I researched hard because I don’t want to make a mistake, but research and information changes.

Look at everything that has happened in the last couple of years. I know we’ve all been plant-based for multiple decades probably, being the only person that we knew to Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc., having options and people wanting and asking for it. All the research that’s showing long-term why plant-based is better for health. The point is even my coach is trying to get me to do less information, which is what I want to put in the world. My whole purpose of being on social media and starting my business and my website is to get people to make their health a priority in a way that fits within their life.

My main form of movement is pole dance. I love it so much. It is the most fun I’ve ever had. I’ve never been stronger. I love the community. I love the constant challenge. There’s always a new combo or new trick you can learn regardless of how long you’ve been doing it. I dislike sharing it because I’m worried people are thinking I’m doing it for the attention. I’m not, because the movement is such an important part of what I’m speaking of. That’s my main form of movement. I’m not going to record myself in a yoga class because I find that disrespectful. I am caught in the crossfire and I’m getting to the point of mindfully not caring. I don’t mean it like, “I don’t care.” I think about this concept all the time of “not caring.” It’s not caring in a way that I know I’m okay with it and I know my reasons. If these other women think that I’m doing it for attention, there’s nothing that I can do about it. Their opinion of me is none of my business. The more that I keep that in mind. Imagine being that person that takes the time to think of nasty, harsh and unkind things to say to another human being. It takes time to physically write them out and then to send it along to make sure that is heard.

That’s the thing. We’re in this time of social media where that’s acceptable. It is acceptable socially to bully people, to criticize people, to shame people online. A lot of those comments come from people that are not doing what you’re doing, Paige. They get attention. They can start conversations with people that can get your attention. It’s something I think about and deals with all the time too and it’s challenging. It’s interesting too what you’re saying about social media because I’ve been studying and coaching social media for many years and watching it changes over time. I feel there is no right or wrong way to do social media. Some people may disagree. I’ve watched people do many different things. Things that you would think would work, don’t work and things that you think wouldn’t work, do work.

There has never been more confusing in terms of what to do. Ultimately, what I keep coming back to is you have to follow your heart. I wonder about this coach that you’re working with because I hear you’re saying what you want to do, but then somebody is trying to advise you. A lot of times, we listen to somebody despite what we want to do because we’re second-guessing. We get wrapped up in social media in getting results. We’re in this time where people are posting things to get results and to get that attention. We’re dependent on it. For me, it’s incredibly challenging.

Jason has struggled with this too because he has taken a big step back from social media over the past few months. It’s because you can pour all this time into something and you don’t get the results. You then immediately question if you’re doing something valuable, then you do something that takes you no time at all and that gets a lot of attention. Does that mean that’s the right attention that’s going to get you results? This is happening a lot on TikTok. The danger of TikTok is that people are becoming “TikTok famous.” That’s the phrase people use. TikTok has leveled the playing field where anybody can get millions of views quickly. It is incredibly enticing, but we’re at this point where thousands, if not millions, of people are getting millions of views. Suddenly, what does influencer mean if anybody can get it? Suddenly, we’re in a place where what does it mean to be an expert? What does it mean to be an influencer? What does it mean to be the best at something when anybody can get to that level?

I think what’s going to start to happen is the numbers aren’t going to matter anymore because if anybody can get the numbers, they lose their power. In a way, that’s freeing because if we’re no longer interested in how many likes or comments or followers that we get, if we’re posting and people are resonating, then we’re getting some deeper results from that like a client. Ultimately, if we were coming back to our goals, it’s probably to get people to enroll in something, to buy something and to do something that’s more deeply connected to, but we’re distracted by the numbers. It’s pulling us farther away from adding deep value.

This is such a fascinating topic because we live in an Armchair Expert culture where someone can go to a weekend coaching seminar or take a month-long nutrition course. They come out on the other end and suddenly they’re an expert. They’re coaching people. They’re doing things and taking serious responsibility for other people’s mental, physical and spiritual wellness. It’s almost an epidemic. It’s the way I’m viewing it, where it’s like, “I went to this weekend seminar and I’m a 23-year-old life coach.” I’m sorry to anyone who’s 23. It’s not about your age. I’m using this as an illustrative example.

Zooming out of this page, your journey of getting a Master’s in Nutrition, living it, breathing it, bleeding for it and researching it, it’s in you. This is something you’re passionate about. How do you navigate the waters of this? As Whitney has brilliantly illustrated, when someone has these massive followings, they go to this weekend seminar, all of a sudden, they’re labeling themselves an expert. I’m trying to formulate the question of we demonstrate our value in the truth of who we are and how much dedication and time we’ve put into our craft and hope that’s enough to attract the right people. Doesn’t it get frustrating sometimes to be like, “If everyone’s calling themselves an expert and a coach and a master in whatever their field, then how do you sift through the BS and get to the people who know what they’re talking about?”

We’re on the verge of a new thing. Social media will hit this saturation point with many people. It’s not going to matter. There’s a great book called Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. She’s an author, therapist and speaker. She is an incredible writer. Speaking of breakups, her book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, was mind-blowing for me. It’s targeted towards women in their 30s and how a lot of women are picky that they end up not getting married. Suddenly, they feel too old. It was an interesting book because I could see both sides of her point. I recommend reading it because part of her point was that you should settle for Mr. Good Enough versus always looking for Mr. Perfect. Part of me was like, “What do you mean? I’m not settling for something that’s good enough.” I felt triggered by the book, but it’s a great read.

She also wrote a book about therapy. I follow her on Instagram. She is being interviewed on all these big talk shows. She was on Good Morning America and Larry King. She has bestselling books. I might have heard of her books from Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. To me, she seems an incredibly successful author, therapist and speaker. She also was interviewed on a podcast called Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. My point being is she has 9,000 followers on Instagram. She is a hugely knowledgeable and successful person.

Based on all the connections and all the people that are promoting her, you would think that she would have these huge numbers, but she doesn’t and that’s okay. It’s the opposite of what we expect, which is if you’re successful you need to have all these numbers. Her numbers are probably the numbers of the books that she’s selling and the numbers of people that she’s reaching on television and all of these other things. She doesn’t need social media numbers to be successful. We’re in this time where we’re obsessed with our Instagram numbers and all these other numbers that it might be taking us away from giving something of true value if we’re focused on that.

The main intention is different.

I’ve been thinking about this because I haven’t posted to Instagram since December. December 3rd was when I did, but I didn’t have it yet in January. Part of that is because I don’t have any content that I feel is up to part with what I want to put out there. To be honest, I was enjoying my life. I’ve been going to Golden State Yoga every day, which is on 54th and York. I’ve done yoga on and off for over a decade. I’ve never done it consistently because I need soul. I went to this place run by Dylan and Nicki, and there’s so much soul. I’ve never sweated so much. I’ve been going consistently for a month and I am way better at the pole. It’s noticeably different in a month. My point is I’m needing to connect to the studio and that’s what it did for me.

I’m going to bring up one thing I meant to bring up awhile back, which is another book I started reading. I’m literally someone who reads at least ten books at once. This one is blowing my mind. I have to give a plug because I feel it’s got to be a must-read. It’s called It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle. From the first page, it was mind-blowing. This book had me sobbing. I feel my heart’s been broken open reading this book. The data of this book about epigenetics, which I think Paige would deeply appreciate, is super fascinating, but also the healing of it. It is well-written. I can’t get enough of this book. If you had to pick between the other books I’ve mentioned, Lori’s books are great and Gretchen’s books are great, but I would start with It Didn’t Start with You. Part of the point of the book from what I’ve gathered so far is taking the responsibility. Many of us, especially the three of us and anyone reading, is probably in a similar state of mind. We want to take much responsibility for ourselves. Sometimes we overly take responsibility and we think that we’re the ones to blame.

The reason I thought about this book was when you were talking about breakups and girls feel like it’s their fault. Men sometimes feel this way too, “It’s my fault that person left me. What could I do to heal it?” We do this with our health too. I struggled with my body my whole life and I feel I’ve tried everything. When I read books like this, I think, “Maybe my body is the way it is because of my genetics. I could try all of these different things, but maybe it’s impossible for me to get the results that other women get. Maybe I cannot change it because of my family history. Maybe I’m struggling with things in my life emotionally because of things that have been passed down to me through my DNA.” That’s the theory of this book based on a lot of data. We start to develop within our grandmothers.

I can speak on that. It’s literally DNA. For example, a baby can be born with high cortisol, which is known as a stress hormone. I hate calling it that because it is important to our circadian rhythm. It’s not about stress. It is what gets us up in the morning and moving. If it is too high, that can make you insulin resistant because it impacts the beta cells in the pancreas. A baby can be born with high cortisol if their mother has a stressed-out pregnancy, mentally or emotionally. Another example is that statistically, children who develop childhood cancer have a father who smoked. Even if they quit before the child was born, it’s because the carcinogens from the smoke impacts the DNA of the sperm, which then causes the child to be more likely to have cancer even if the father quits right before they were conceived, never smoked physically or always went outside. It doesn’t matter because they have distorted their DNA, which is why I do what I do.

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We look at nutrients from a cellular level. I beg people in their 20s and 30s to come to me because that’s when diseases start to develop. Let’s continue with cancer. We already know why we get cancer. There are toxins, pollution and crappy food everywhere. Even if you are doing infrared saunas and eating a raw plant-based diet and this thing and that thing, your body might be low in specific nutrients. Smoking depletes vitamin C, glutathione to an extreme and vitamin E as well. It’s all of them but those two mainly, and then our body can’t fight off tumors. We get tumors all of the time and don’t realize it because our body should be able to resolve it on its own. When we are consuming toxins through food or Frankenfood or strip chemicals, plus we have the screens, we’re not sleeping and pollution from above. We are not getting enough to continuously fight it off. When we look at your nutrient deficiencies from a cellular level, then it can help some of the stuff that you’re talking about, Whitney. I call it outside of contacts. It is what it is, at least for now. It’s scary.

Body shape and stuff like that, we may be able to do little tweaks but more importantly, focusing on health, mental health and making sure that we’re fighting off disease is going to be the main thing. If you have damaged DNA from a grandparent, a perfect example is the DDT. They used to spray it in the streets. They would physically spray children in the playground. My mother was a nurse anesthetist for 30 years. They used to bathe patients in it upon arrival and before they left. There’s a lot of talk about how it’s in our great grandparents or grandparents’ DNA. We may be born with high levels of glyphosate because it was sprayed onto our grandparents when they were playing in the playground, which is all nuts.

I want to loop back to Jason’s question that never got answered. I remember my train of thought. I was talking about yoga and going into the pole studio and I haven’t been posting because I was enjoying my life. I was having game nights with my friends and making organic non-GMO popcorn on the stove. I was doing all of those things. In the back of my mind, I know I’m going to be “punished” by the algorithm. It’s going to be harder to get those likes and attention again, which for me, I don’t care about the likes. I want to get my information out there. If I’m being totally honest, I want to get my business going so that I can survive.

I need to plug TikTok one more time. I saw this great post. There was this author and there are a lot of people that go on TikTok and show the difference between their Instagram accounts and their TikTok accounts. They said, “I’ve been trying for years and years to get clients through Instagram and just a few posts on TikTok, now I’m selling my books like crazy.” It’s sad to hear you say you’re enjoying your life and yet you’re afraid. I fall into this too. There have been periods in my life where I didn’t want to post on YouTube and I was “punished” by the algorithm because I wasn’t posting consistently.

These platforms are training us to think that if we don’t post and we sacrifice our self-care, we’re going to get punished for not posting. The good news is that Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, all these platforms are constantly changing. It’s triggering me because you should be enjoying popcorn on the stove and gaming with your friends without worrying about the algorithm. It’s ridiculous that we live in this time where we’re controlled by these platforms. They are manipulating us into thinking we can’t take care of ourselves and enjoy our lives because otherwise, we’re not going to get the results. I refuse to believe that. I’m glad that there are people like Lori, that author who’s proving that she can be incredibly successful, get huge names sharing her content and be on these big platforms without having a massive Instagram following.

That’s something I’ve been thinking about too. What is starting to happen? This will then answer Jason’s question that I am getting more and more word of mouth because my clients are seeing such great results in a short period of time. Back to your original question, Jason, about how to decipher the people who took a training course over the weekend. A couple of things. At first, it used to get under my skin if I’m being honest because I went through a lot of schools. I had 1,000 hours of internship. There was a lot that went into it and you can also see that in my credentials. All I can speak on is nutritionist but look for somebody who is board certified. Look for somebody who can order and read lab work for you.

I always offer a free twenty-minute consult, so they can make sure I’m the right practitioner for them as well. I have the tools to help anybody. I truly believe that in terms of symptoms or disease, but personality is a whole other thing. If you’re not going to be all in, I’m not the practitioner for you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you drop everything and you meditate every day for an hour and you run every day for an hour. It means that you are willing to try. You are willing to try the plan that we. I say we because I work with the person. We go through their schedule, we talk about if they have kids and when, where and how to make sure that we’re a good fit.

I talk about my process. They tell me the symptoms briefly in this free twenty-minute consult. I’m like, “This is how I would execute this with you,” without giving out too much information because that would take forever, more than twenty minutes. They then get to decide. The proof is going to be in the pudding as they say. There are some people that might have some great skills and I don’t know what a life coach totally does. Somebody might help you eat a little healthier, but I also do sleep coaching and balancing the circadian rhythm and apparently a breakup coaching. I had a client that I helped her get through a job that wasn’t serving her.

One of her tasks was to look for new jobs because three days out of the week she’d be crying in bed, drinking wine because of the toxicity at work. I’m like, “One of your tasks, and this is not nutrition related at all, but it is because stress impacts our nutrition, is I want you to apply to other jobs.” She did got a new job and her health escalated. I’ve seen many people in toxic relationships who have stomach issues or mental health issues that once they get out of those situations, they start improving. In summary, that’s how I would decipher. What are their credentials? What can they legally do? Especially with nutrition, it depends on state to state. In some states like Colorado, I believe anybody can call themselves a nutritionist, legally speaking.

California is a little bit stricter. If you call yourself a nutritionist but you’re not board-certified, I believe that is a felony maybe because you’re misrepresenting yourself. It depends from state to state, which in some ways makes it difficult because somebody could legally call themselves a nutritionist or could be illegally calling themselves that and not be able to help you get lab work because that matters. I had a food sensitivity to coconut, blueberries and something else that was unbelievably “healthy,” but for my body, that wasn’t working. I had to abstain from that for a while. If somebody is giving you a cookie-cutter food plan and it’s full of foods that aggravate your IBS, your acne or it’s a food sensitivity, so you’re getting headaches or back pain. They’re not testing you from a cellular level on what you’re low in, they can only help you to a certain degree. It depends on how deep you’re trying to heal and what you’re trying to achieve and what they can legally help you do.

I think the greatest summary and the answer to Jason’s question. It’s a depth question. Somebody that’s spending a ton of time, years and years of experience knows things on a deeper level. It’s going to be able to provide something completely different than someone who’s brand new and maybe only has a little bit of education. It doesn’t mean that one thing isn’t useful. I think that there’s a benefit to these health coaches and life coaches. They do have information and perspective, but it isn’t the same type of depth. It’s like that phrase, “A mile wide and an inch deep.” We live in this time where as human beings we are usually looking for shortcuts, “How quickly can we get a return on investment for something?” Social media has brought that out of us because platforms like TikTok, you can go on there, post one video, get thousands of views or thousands of followers and suddenly, you feel you’re an influencer.

It’s like, “TikTok is the shortcut.” That’s honestly how I view it for better or for worse. Instagram was a shortcut for a lot of people. People got influenced fast and then they’re making money on there. They’re becoming health coaches or life coaches. They’re creating meal plans and recipes and all this stuff. A lot of people are drawn to, “How can I make money or how can I get into attention as quickly as possible?” The challenge is that as human beings, we also crave depth, but we’re misled by all of these different opportunities to get results quickly. Everybody has to figure it out for themselves. If they want a good coach, they might have to try a bunch of “shallow” people before they find someone like Paige who is dedicated to going deep.

It’s like anything else. We look at food and you can find all of these quick fixes with food. Fast food, you could consider a shallow food. You’re not getting nutrients, but you’re feeling full. It’s misleading your body. It’s cheap and it’s fast. It feels good and tastes good, but it doesn’t make us feel good. It might be detrimental. That’s the sad thing to Jason’s point is we’re in this time where there’s a lot of fast food information out there on social media. It’s confusing to us as human beings because people keep getting misled. Those of us who are dedicated to going deep and providing something nutritious information-wise are feeling we’re being missed. People are noticing us, we’re not being valued and we’re not getting the results that we want. My personal standpoint on that is we have to keep going and trying. Word of mouth is one of the greatest things that any of us can ask for because if somebody wants something valuable, they’re going to tell their friends and they’re going to ask their friends for that information and find you eventually.

You nailed it. People are craving vulnerability that is truly authentic. They’re afraid to be vulnerable because of people like the ones who are approaching me. I made myself vulnerable and one woman even made the comment. She’s like, “If you post stuff like that, you should expect comments like this.” If I pass that on the street, does that mean I’m asking for being pick-pocketed or molested? Just because somebody is vulnerable doesn’t mean that you should or can without consequence bully them.

Doesn’t it makes you wonder about where they’re at mentally or it’s a complete perspective of ignorance? Going back to that book about family trauma, which is called It Didn’t Start With You. Who knows how their parents raised them? Who knows how their grandparents raised their parents? That’s one reason this book is touching me so much. It’s not having me reflect on my own life. It’s opening up my mind to the fact that a lot of people are suffering and they don’t know how to stop suffering. They might not be aware that they’re suffering. They’re lashing out because of all of this deep pain that most of us experience in one way or another. Maybe that person that said those things to you, Paige, doesn’t know any better or she desperately wants to hurt you, so that you feel the same way she does that she’s not alone. She’s envious of you because she wishes that she had the bravery and the vulnerability to do the things that you’re doing.

It’s like that mirror thing. You see somebody doing something and if it bothers you, it’s reminding you of something within yourself. If you don’t have the awareness of that, you might think, “I don’t relate to that. This is wrong.” That’s the other thing, this right or wrong culture or this mentality that we have. On social media, a lot of the bullying is coming from people that want to shame somebody because they don’t agree with what they’re doing. We do so much shaming on social media. This culture rewards people for doing things the right way and then shames them or criticizes them for doing things the wrong way. Who even says what is right and wrong?

That’s the tyranny of the majority. That’s exactly what this is. If you identify as a person who worships and follows this sports team, this gender, this dietary preference, whatever the arbitrary title or segment of the population is, then you ought to show up, feel or act in this way. If you don’t, we’re going to terrorize you because you don’t think, feel or act the way we think you should base on you being a Muslim, Christian, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, transgender, male, whatever it is. You ought to act this way because you’re that thing. What do you mean you feel differently than us? You can’t do that. We didn’t raise you that way. It terrifies people because if they see an outlier, then if this person doesn’t believe what we believe or thinks differently, maybe that means I have to look at my own beliefs. I have to look at the depth of if I actually believe what I’m saying, I think it terrifies people because then they have to look at themselves or not.

That binary system of right or wrong is the cause of conflict in this world. One of the things that I get hung up on and I’ll go to people who consider themselves Liberal, Democrat, “We’re right because they’re doing all this bad stuff over there and we’re the good people. We’re the good people. We’re on the side of righteousness because we’re doing all the right things and we’re protecting people’s rights.” It can be tantalizing to believe if we are compassionate, good-hearted, liberal people to point fingers and say, “You’re the bad ones because you’re a Republican. You’re a conservative, you voted for the oil companies, you’re pro-Trump,” whatever it is.

All I see in society is much stones are being thrown at each other. Nations throwing stones, people throwing stones, religion throwing stones which is, “I’m right, you’re wrong and here’s why.” It’s a slippery slope to think that if we are on the side of “righteousness” that we have the answer, but it goes on both sides. I’ve had conversations with people who maybe have the same political or religious or spiritual beliefs I do. They’re like, “Yes, but they are wrong.” I’m like, “No, they’re not. They believe they’re right too.” Who’s right then? You’re pro-oil or anti-oil, there are a million different topics we could bring up, but the danger is in thinking that you have the ethical upper hand or you think you are more righteous than another person. That’s the basis for war.

It goes back to this thing as we were talking about, it’s all about lenses. I love that you’re talking about all the books because that’s one thing I do for my clients. After we have our initial consult, I give them a recommended book list of books they would enjoy. If they get them, great. If not, there’s nothing I can do about it. The Four Agreements is often on there. The Fear Cure, which Jason gave to me is amazing. It’s one of my favorite books ever. Childhood Disrupted, which is similar to the one that you were talking about.

I was going to ask you about that when she was talking about the trauma, I remember you told me about that book.

I wish I had never used the term life-changing before because this is the first time it feels real. It introduced me to Kundalini yoga and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction also called MBSR. I was already eating healthy. I had been doing that for about a decade and I was pretty good about my movement, but I wasn’t meditating. I was trying to supplement my mental health and it doesn’t work that way. Those books and also Becoming Supernatural and Full Catastrophe Living, all the meditation and mental health books were the ones that finally made me feel and believe I was a healthy person. It gave me the tools that I needed to succeed at being happy, which is the real success that I’m interested in. I’ll be honest, I want a roof over my head and a yearly vacation would be nice. As long as I feel happy, I’m good and I can move from that space no matter what.

The Kundalini specifically and the MBSR are both clinically proven to reshape and rewire your brain. One of the things that I learned from reading Childhood Disrupted is that you do have childhood trauma or any kind of PTSD. PTSD, generally speaking, your amygdala in the brain might be overdeveloped and your prefrontal cortex gets underdeveloped. There are two different genes that we know of so far that can get turned on when you have trauma specifically childhood trauma. One makes you physically more sensitive to pain and one makes you more emotionally sensitive to pain. When we talk about snowflakes and all those stupid terms get tossed around, there are genetic reasons for people that have had traumatic experiences.

It all goes back to the lens. Something that you might find offensive or painful is not something that I would find offensive or painful. I’m always trying to get my partner to chew better because he scarfs down his food. It’s become a little bit of an inside joke, but it came out that he takes that as me judging him. I didn’t realize that because it’s not a judgment in my brain. It’s like this is the thing I know is better for your health. I’m going to be like, “Chew.” We’re at the point where I feel like I communicate that way but apparently, sometimes I need to be a little bit more nurturing in my delivery. It was astonishing to me because I try hard not to be judgmental in any way that I can and not to put things in categories like good versus bad.

That goes back to things that he’s dealing with in terms of not feeling enough or constantly being judged. We broke open our relationship a little bit and got to talk about that. It was helpful to know that my delivery came off as a judgment because that is not my intention. It’s not my lens, but that’s his lens of receiving. That makes a difference, but knowing that everybody has different experiences and different backgrounds and literally sees the world differently. People who may be voting oil or Republican in whatever those categories we tend to put them in, they do think that they are right. Look at abortion. People who are against abortion think that you are murdering a child. That is real for them. That is visceral. To tell them that they are “wrong,” that’s not how to have those discussions. I always consider somebody’s lens as when I was being slut-shamed. To them, I am truly disrespecting myself. I mean that with complete loving kindness. It’s not like, “I don’t give a crap.” It’s like, “Cool.”

Maybe you can respect them for having a different opinion, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to change. That’s the other thing. There’s this desire to control other people. You want to tell somebody that they’re doing things wrong because you’re hoping that they’ll change, so that they’re in agreement with you. That then reinforces the fact that you’re right. Maybe they feel unsafe seeing you do something or they disagree. It’s always a good way to rethink things. Going back to what you were saying about your partner and the chewing, you meant that lovingly. Believe me, I am that same person. It’s always coming from this place of wanting to help, but the problem with wanting to help is you always have to remember that people need to give you their permission to offer the advice. Jason and I have had to work through this a lot as friends. It’s like asking, “Can I give you feedback? Can I make a suggestion?”

Pre-qualifying it to see if I’m open in that moment to receive.

That’s one thing, but then the other is knowing that information can be misinterpreted even when we have the best intentions. I wonder if maybe you can use that as a flip in your situation with these women. Maybe they were trying to come from a good place. Maybe in their head, they were trying to give you advice. This happened to me once. One of my good friends, years ago, pre-Instagram. Instagram is starting to rise up as a social media platform. People were using Facebook a lot more for photos. Do you remember that time? That’s the place that you posted your photos.

It is where you collected things. This is also pre-influencer. I got determined to figure out how to take good photos of myself. One of my friends was a solid photographer and we went out and did a number of photoshoots. I felt empowered and excited by learning how to pose on camera. I started getting into doing photo shoots. I was working with other photographers and they were taking pictures of me. Saying that, everyone’s like, “Yes, of course, I can completely relate to that,” but back in 2011, 2012, it wasn’t as common because Instagram influencers are not what it is now. Now, everybody is doing photo shoots. You drive through LA and you are likely to see somebody doing the photoshoot everywhere.

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It probably looks dope after it comes out. I don’t have that type of creative mind. I’m working on it myself because I’m interested in photography. I look at that and I’m like, “What are they doing?” On the other end of it, they could be in a baby pool and it looks they’re in a limitless ocean or something. It’s truly remarkable.

MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

Creating A Healthy Lifestyle: It takes time to physically write out nasty things to say to another human being and then send it along to make sure that is heard.

 

Photography has shifted a lot in the past years. Many years ago, when I was doing these photoshoots, I felt validated because I was like, “I can look good on camera.” My motivation was that I didn’t feel comfortable on camera. I didn’t like the photos that I had of myself. I wanted to have some good headshots. I wanted to learn how to pose. It was a learning experience, but it was also partially an ego-based thing. It was like, “I could have nice photos of myself and post them on social media and get validation.” I was doing that and I was posting these pictures on Facebook. One of my close friends called me up on the phone and was like, “Just so you know, a number of people have come to me and said that they think it’s weird that you’re posting these photos.”

Apparently, she and her partner and then some other person who she wouldn’t tell me their name, all three of them were like, “Why is Whitney posting these photos of herself?” They were all concerned that I was getting too self-absorbed. It was such a confronting experience because for me, it brought up a lot of shame. I felt I was being shamed for posting flattering photos of myself. It felt crushing because here I was feeling brave and courageous for getting in front of the camera. I also saw the truth in what she was saying. It gave me an opportunity to step back and be like, “There is some truth that there are some ego and self-absorption in me posting nice photos of myself,” which is funny because that’s commonplace now. Self-absorption is rampant on social media. Everyone’s posting flattering photos of themselves. Back then it wasn’t as common. Maybe that’s why it stuck out to some people.

I remember feeling conflicted about that feedback from a close friend. I knew that she was trying to come from a good place, but there was also a part of me thinking, “Does she feel insecure about herself because she wasn’t doing those photos? Was there a jealousy thing? Was she motivated by jealousy? Did she have a shaming quality to her where she saw a woman posting flattering photos and was like, ‘How dare she posts flattering photos and show off her appearance?’” There were many layers to that feedback. I still don’t know fully what was happening there. It reminds me of what you were sharing, Paige, of other women wanting to share their opinions about what a woman is doing.

We do this all the time through the media, magazines, television shows, YouTube and all these different platforms. We’re commonly judging celebrities for what they’re wearing at award shows and what they’re saying. We are in a culture of judgment and no wonder, especially with social media, people feel it’s acceptable to go and say, “Paige, maybe you shouldn’t be dressing that way in your photos.” They think it’s okay to say that to you. Maybe in their head, they are meaning well. Maybe they haven’t taken the time to think about how that might affect you. Maybe the solution is more of, “Would you mind if I gave you some feedback?” Get your permission first and privately say it to you. Do you think you would have felt better if that person privately messaged you?

It would have felt much different. It would have felt they were coming from a place of, “I have a concern and I’m reaching out,” versus “I have judgment and I’m reaching out.” Especially with your scenario, what I was hearing is a judgment of the unknown. They didn’t understand why you were doing it and they judged it. We talk about the fear of the unknown, which is real. That’s usually because we are judging the unknown. If they don’t understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, they don’t need to have an opinion about it or to voice that opinion. The truth is that’s how I live my life. I do wear underwear and bikinis all the time because it’s comfortable and I like it. I personally don’t tend to do photo shoots all with my own clothing that I brought from home and stuff that I had danced in. I was like, “Let’s take pictures in this stuff that I have,” because that was a true representation of how I live my life and what I do day-to-day.

To be judged on that harshly and the one comment that made me cry, I did cry on day two because on day one I was like, “I’m overcoming this. This is fine. I talked to Jason. I’m going to ignore this.” On day two, the second woman chimed in and said that I shouldn’t be posting pictures because my body type promotes eating disorders. That was a turning point for me when I felt it wasn’t from a place of caring. I’m a thin woman. I always have been. All the women in my family are, usually until they get pregnant and they get a little more curvaceous. My sisters are built exactly like me. I faced issues too. I remember the first time I was bullied for not having boobs when I was in fifth grade by my two female best friends. I developed slowly in my sexuality and in my physical womanly body.

It was not on my radar that I didn’t have breasts in fifth grade. We were at some amusement park. That’s when they’re making fun of me in the back seat. It took me a minute to realize what was going on because I was like, “Why are we even talking about this?” My boobs never came. That shaming and bullying continued. I’ve had several people, male and female asked me if I ever consider getting breast implants out of nowhere. I’m like, “Why would I consider that?” Even now, especially twerking, booties and bumptious women are highlighted, which is dope because for so long. I remember in the ‘90s and early 2000, it was thin, don’t have a butt, don’t have a waist but have a huge rack. It’s cool that different body types are being celebrated, but if you don’t have this curvy hourglass. I missed the window in that ‘90s Androgynous, CK One, that would’ve been my prime to be an adult. To say that my body inspires eating disorders was tough to receive.

I do think it’s that person’s filter. One of the hardest parts about receiving comments like that is no matter how logical it is to you that it’s their lens, it still hurts. That’s the thing that I struggled with is if only I can gather my feelings by being logical. If I can find the logical reason why somebody said these things to me, then I won’t feel bad. I have not found that to work. The truth is some people say things to you that hits an old wound. Maybe they didn’t intend to hit that wound. Maybe they did intend to help. Let’s assume the best intentions. Maybe that person thinks that you shouldn’t show your body because it’s promoting eating disorders in their head, they’re helping people that might be triggered by you. I’m sure there’s some line of thinking for them that thinks that they’re doing the right thing as we’ve been talking about. They probably didn’t realize how much that would hurt you. Let’s hope that they didn’t intend on hurting you.

Even if they didn’t intend on hurting you, ultimately, that hurt is yours. That’s the hardest thing. We have to navigate on social media many more people than when we would come across in person. All these different opinions from all around the world. We are, for better or for worse, exposed to many people. The better is when our messages can reach the right people. The worst is when the wrong messages reach us at the wrong time. They hurt a lot and they can become detrimental. The next step becomes instead of trying to not be hurt by that, how can we transform that?

Paige, you have such an incredible ability to help other people. I imagine you will transform that experience into a learning experience for other people. How can you guide other women towards feeling as best as they can about their bodies, no matter what they look like and who cares what the trends are? There are many different trends of women’s body over all the different centuries or decades. It’s not about being in the right body shape at the right time. It’s about each of us have to learn how to love ourselves despite what other people think of us. It’s challenging, but I see you doing that work. Your story is going to inspire a lot of other people to know that they’re not alone when they have those types of experiences.

I hear all of us trying to convince ourselves that the people who hurt us have good intentions. Sometimes they don’t and sometimes it’s neutral. Sometimes they have no intentions whatsoever. That’s the mindset we’re trying to find the best in it. Regardless of what their intentions are, it is okay to feel hurt. That’s what I have found. Instead of trying to logic my way out of pain, I let myself feel hurt. I observe it and have found the things in my life, the practices that allow me to not let that hurt spiral out of control. The way that I look at it, when those photos were taken, I was a couple of pounds underweight according to a BMI measurement.

Technically, I was underweight and I’m still going to celebrate myself every single step of the way of my healing unapologetically. I will do a photoshoot at every weight if that’s what that means. That’s what I found and that to me is part of what it means to observe the hurt and let it go. I’m going to do what I want because I know that my ethics and values to keep myself safe and happy mentally and physically are in tune and I feel confident in that. Outside of that, you can say things and it will hurt me because I’m a sensitive being. It’s one of the best parts of me. I love so hard and I get excited and I have a lot of passion about a lot of different topics and that all comes from being a sensitive being.

I embrace that. I can get a little hurt maybe more than the average person sometimes, but I’ve learned to observe it and make sure that I’m still eating well. I’m still meditating and moving my body. I have a checklist and it’s on the home page of my website, these eight different elements, and making sure all of those are in tune. If I start to break out or get sleepy or have stomach issues, I go back to my checklist. I’m like, “What’s going on?” It’s the same thing with mental health, “Am I sleeping? Am I meditating? Am I self-loved? Do I have any toxic relationships going on?” All of those little things that I check in and every single time, I’ll find one or two. I’m like, “I’m not meditating. I’m not drinking water.” That gives me all the tools that I need to observe that hurt and pain to let myself experience it, but then to also let go with that reminder that it is not about me. Their comments say far more about them than it says anything about me. I know it’s so cliché, but it’s the truth and it works.

As we were saying, it’s about their own perspective. We have no control over what other people think of us. We’ve been talking a lot about social media. I think a lot of people are trying to control what other people think of them. They think if they take the right photo, write the right caption and post frequently enough, everybody’s trying to be their own PR person. It’s like, “How can I present myself in the right way so that everybody will think the right things, the things that I want them to think about myself?” I’ve struggled with this personally and I’m starting to let that go because I’ve found that to not work at all. All these years, I’ve tried to position myself in a certain way. No matter what I do, how I evolve as a person, how I present myself, how many times I study social media, algorithms, it doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference.

If I look back over the past decade of being on social media, any little tweak I made about how I looked, what I said, when I said it, how long the videos were, what filters I use. All this stuff hasn’t made much of a difference. People identify with who I am at the core. When I speak my truth, that is when people reach out and say thank you. The people that have been with me throughout my entire career running Eco-Vegan Gal and this new path with Wellevatr and the other ventures I’ve been on over the years. I’ve had some people that have been with me for a decade or more. They’re usually saying that they like me as a person. No matter what I’ve done, it doesn’t matter to them, they like me.

The opposite is true too. There are some people that don’t like me and I can’t control their opinions. I’m trying to pose a certain way or wear makeup or do my hair or whatever else I’m doing. It started to create more freedom for me and feel I can post whenever I want on social media. I’m not ruled by the algorithm. I can post pictures of myself when I feel ugly and be like, “This is who I am in this moment.” Maybe I feel ugly but maybe somebody else thinks I’m beautiful or vice versa. It’s all about their perception, not mine. The more I release that desire to control what other people think of me, the freer I’d feel on those platforms.

This whole thing brought up an old quote that I haven’t thought of in a while. Years ago, I did the school for The Work of Byron Katie. The Work is a method of self-inquiry into our painful and negative thoughts. Her philosophy is a lot of our pain comes from unquestioned thoughts. Especially the negative or painful thoughts, we automatically believe them and do not question them. She has this amazing thing that stuck with me in this conversation about other people’s opinions or perspectives that brought this up. She said, “When you’re in a moment of wanting to react to something or feeling reacted toward from someone else, ask yourself, ‘Whose business am I in? My business, their business or God’s business?’” You can say universe, spirit, soul or atheist. I don’t care what you believe in but am I my business, someone else’s business or the business of all that is? I don’t want to get tangential, but we can’t know what the universe’s or God’s or the soul’s business is. It’s a good question, “Am I my own business tending to my own garden? Am I worried about their garden and what going on over there? Am I cultivating a spiritual connection to God, the universe, whose business am I in?”

I try to remind myself sometimes about it, especially when I start tripping on comparison and comparing myself to other people. I’m in their business. I’m not in my business anymore. I’m focused completely on, “They must be so happy, fulfilled and content because they have X, Y, Z that I don’t have.” I’m not my business anymore. I’m certainly not in God’s business, soul’s and the universe’s. I’m completely disconnected from that. It’s like, “Whose business am I in?”

It’s also coming back to the “should” too. What we should be doing on social media, what we should be doing socially. Jason, I don’t know if you spoke in-depth about why you haven’t been posting that much on social media. I’m imagining that’s part of the reason as you feel that you don’t want to.

It goes back to the Ayahuasca episode. That’s a two-parter. It’s a big chunk to digest. The big takeaway was for the longest time, my method of compensation to not be abandoned in life was to think that I had to be the absolute best at everything. If I prove that I’m the best at something, I’m the most talented, I’m the most entertaining, I’m always wowing people. If everyone’s laughing and everyone’s having a good time and I’m the source of that, I’ll never be abandoned again. Once I had this realization of what was going on that if I’m motivated by trying to get a reaction out of people, then that’s me being manipulative. If you’re laughing and you’re having a great time and you’re happy and I feel I’ve contributed to that in some way, then that’s me being manipulative. One of the reasons I haven’t posted on social media anymore is because if I have any inkling that I’m trying to manipulate a reaction out of people, I’m not posting it.

I’m getting to that point.

It feels icky to me. I’m posting this because I’m trying to elicit a reaction out of whoever sees it. I can’t operate from that OS anymore.

That will serve you and the collective consciousness well. I’m in the same boat. I have a lot of ideas on what I want to create for content and I’m going to, but I wanted to enjoy the last week or two with friends and family. I chose to prioritize that. I sat down and I thought about my business, “What does it mean to make your health a priority?” For me, I’ve made that my life. That is what interests me in every facet. For my clients, I live to seek out wellness and health in any way, shape or form because I think that’s exciting. I don’t expect everybody else to make that their passion.

I understand other people will work 9:00 to 5:00 and have kids and maybe have drinks now and again, even though that’s not my thing. It’s thinking about what that means. I appreciate where you’re coming from with wanting it to be truly genuine. I think the word genuine is getting tossed around a lot. All these authentic experiences. The rate in which everything is being recorded and I personally take a bit of an issue. No judgment, but I’m worried about the generation of kids who are babies and toddlers that are being raised with cameras in their face all the time. They are being taught to create content before they literally have self-awareness because we are not self-aware until we’re about two years old as humans.

MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

Creating A Healthy Lifestyle: When you look at nutrient deficiencies on a cellular level, it’s easier to find the root of health problems in humans.

 

Our brains aren’t even fully developed until we’re 21, 23. The teenagers too that are growing up with social media and coming back to what Jason said that their currency is attention. We are raising a generation of kids who are obsessed with getting attention like never before or in a new way. Every generation has its concerns, issues, battles and all of that. From a health standpoint and the mental health side of things, there is a lot of data coming out about how depression and anxiety are on the rise. We have seen huge spikes in that. A lot of people are starting to wonder, does it have to do with social media? Does it have to do with our exposure to devices? Does it have to do with things like 5G if we want to get into that? We are exposed to many things that we’re experimenting with. We are constantly learning new information as human beings. A lot of the books that I read are sharing data that are only twenty years old. A lot of the things that we think we know that we take for granted as actual information or as tried and true is still new.

We don’t know the effects that it’s going to have on us long-term. When they were dipping people in DDT back then, they thought that was okay. We think that filming kids from their infancy or giving them devices when they’re two years old and letting them have social media. I was talking to a parent and she was saying she feels conflicted with having a one-year-old and three-year-old getting access to watching YouTube or Netflix. She knows that they’re not the best thing for her children, but they’re also a great way to distract her children so she can have her me time, so she can take a shower or make dinner.

I feel for that. None of us is a parent. I don’t have that perspective of what it is to be a parent, but to hear these conversations. My heart goes out to parents who are struggling with these things. They’re doing the best that they can. It’s like what we were saying about fast food. It’s easy to go to McDonald’s sometimes because it’s cheap, fast and tastes good. It’s easy to turn to social media because it gives you the dopamine hit. It’s easy to give your kid a device because it distracts them and allows you to do something that you might not have been able to do if they weren’t distracted. We also have to have compassion for their decisions.

It’s easy to want to capture your children and their cute moments because we’re rewarded for sharing the cute moments that our kids have. Coming back to TikTok, cute things are the kids doing funny things or being upset. We grew up with America’s Funniest Home Videos. Those were all about family members recording each other and getting into these crazy scenarios. We’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s happening more and more and almost anybody can afford a phone if you’re living in the United States. It might be a generalization, but it seems like we have so much access to technology like never before. More people have these cameras and the internet and able to upload it and instantly get the reward of attention.

One of my friends doesn’t share public photos of her kids. She says, “Who am I to assume that my kid is okay with me blasting my photos?” Not to mention their identity being developed, but also we think of privacy and the way that our data is being used. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future in terms of what people can do with our faces and all of our private information, names, email addresses and all of this different information that we’re giving. Data is becoming a new currency. We get a lot of stuff for free in exchange for our data. We have to raise that awareness. It’s not only important for us to do that for ourselves but for our children too. What are we exposing them before they even understand what it means to have their face spread around social media or their data shared?

There’s a book on my shelf, I haven’t read it yet. My sister has recommended it, but it’s on my to-do list. It’s called Weapons of Math Destruction. It’s all on the dangers of data collecting. It’s super interesting. Going back to kids, my best friend has a teenager and she struggles. She’s like, “This is life these days. This is how they participate in modern life.” I know it’s easier in the position of not having a child, but if it were me, I wouldn’t want them to have an average life. I would not send my kids to school. I would homeschool for sure. That is a personal choice, no judgment, loving, kindness, all of that. I would not want them to be average and normal in the standards. I don’t find that appealing. I don’t find it to be in touch person, oftentimes a well-contributing person.

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It’s easier said than done because we know that screens get the dopamine hit. It’s like the kids are going to crave the sugar versus the broccoli or whatever vegetable because this sugary thing that they’ve already been exposed to is stimulating. They are the stimulus, give me the stimulus. If you’re leaning on screens to focus your kids’ attention while you get X, Y, Z done or have me time, which is extremely important. They are always going to want the stimulating thing. What if you get them doing Ashtanga yoga? From my understanding, that was created in India for kids that had “too much energy” and it is the wildest yoga I’ve ever done. It could be arts and crafts, games or learning magic tricks. Insert activities that can make them have better bone density, better hand-eye coordination, more creative, anything that can distract them and get interested in. That’s going to take trial and error. Figure out what your kid likes and get them that thing. Try not to lean on the screens as much because the dopamine, the addiction is tough.

It takes a lot of awareness. I want to give a shout out to our friend, Tamara, who runs an amazing brand called Wellynest. It’s all about conscious parenting. Shout out to people like her who are teaching other parents how to raise their awareness and understand not only the day-to-day lifestyle of things but also the consciousness of communicating with their children properly, which is amazing. We’re in a time where there’s so much information that we can gather around that. Simultaneously, it also seems like a tough time to be a parent. I find myself questioning whether I want to become a mother simply because it almost seems difficult for an over-thinker like me and a questioner. I don’t know how I would mentally handle being a parent with these decisions, not to mention the climate side of it. It’s complicated and lots of love for readers who are parents. There’s no right or wrong way to do things. There’s no best practice. Everybody is doing the best that they can. Hopefully, we can continue to inspire you to be conscious, seek out information, read when you can and love yourself and your family because ultimately, that’s the best that we can do. This has been amazing. I feel we could go on and on.

This could be a Joe Rogan type of thing where twelve hours later, we’re like, “Do you want to go out for a snack?”

We can be like our dear friend, Allison, who runs The Food Heals Podcast and have you back again. Jason and I have been repeat guests on her podcast more than we can remember. We hope to do the same. You’re our fifth guest for this show. We’re still at the beginning stages and there are many more conversations to be had. I love that we didn’t even know what we’re going to talk about.

I was nervous excited like, “What’s going to happen?”

The hope with this show is to not only talk about things that make us uncomfortable but to have honest conversations. Let them flow naturally and talk about what’s in our hearts at the moment and the things that we’re struggling with. We’re grateful for the audience for being here for our journey. You can find us on social media, @Wellevatr. Paige, yours is @MakeYourHealthAPriority. Hopefully, you’ll find us. Even if you miss Wellevatr, you’ll still find us because we have enough content. You can always look us up under Whitney Lauritsen and Jason Wrobel. You can email us whatever it is. It’s easy to reach people on social media.

I was going to say we’re easily stalkable if you want to do that. Paige, it was such a pleasure. Thanks for making yourself available and thanks for being open-hearted. It’s been a wonderful thing as a friend and colleague of yours to see your evolution over the years. I felt you brought many love nuggets and I’m sure there are many more. I have a feeling you might be a repeat guest because there were things I didn’t get to. Thanks for showing up in all of the ways.

We have no idea what the future holds. The next time we talk to you, we will be in a completely different space. We’re capturing this one moment in time with you.

I appreciate it. Jason, for so long, this is almost exactly what it is hanging out with you. This is pretty much what we do minus food making and animal petting. Whitney, we were talking at your event about how you and I are the same. We prefer intimate, deep conversation and we were talking about getting to know each other better. I feel this is the launching pad for that, which I’m grateful for.

It’s wonderful and it makes me happy to know that this reminds you of hanging out. How long have you guys known each other and how did you meet? The first time I remember hearing about you was probably 2015 or ‘16.

I don’t remember exactly how we started following one another, but I put out a thing either on Facebook or on my newsletter that I was looking for an assistant. Paige applied to be my assistant.

I did not get the job, which is obviously for the best.

That was 2012. I remember the first time you and I physically met was at the Green Festival when you were working for Vega. You were at the booth and I was doing an onstage talk. I remember you were at the booth and I came up and hugged you. I was like, “Paige, it’s so nice to finally meet.” That was the first time we actually connected. I was in Downtown LA and you were at a Vega booth and I was speaking. That’s the fall of 2012 when you and I first physically met because first, it was online. It took a few years to have a friendship but here we are.

The funny part of this is that Paige and I have many similarities. To know that you guys started to get to know each other around the same time that you and I started. You and I were dating back then, Jason, but that was the beginning of our friendship. That was also the beginning of your friendship.

I was calling in similar women like, “You never send me these kinds of women. Bring them to me.”

There were only two people in history since 2012 that Jason’s dated that I did not bond with. Most of the women that Jason’s dated, I loved. Jason has a good history of dating similar women and a lot of them, except for Nicole, are brunettes.

I don’t discriminate, but the track record would indicate.

When slut-shaming comes from other women, it hurts even more. Click To Tweet

I meet a lot of amazing women that Jason has dated or interested in.

That’s what I need because I was challenged as a resolution to get more local friends because I don’t have any. Maybe I can wait for your date people.

I’m happy to supply wonderful women that I find may be compatible with you as friends. That’s it for now.

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About Paige Snyder

MGU 18 | Creating A Healthy LifestylePaige Snyder is a former Regional Educator with Vega. She is a plant-based nutritionist who specializes in sport performance, stress management, and achieving your optimal weight.

Paige is currently completing her Masters in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and loves to develop raw dessert recipes.

 

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