A couple of years ago when I was starting my beginning steps towards recovery I came across an incredible woman called Lu. Lu has been integral in my journey to self-love and peace around food. When we first crossed paths I was taking part in an online programme (ran by the brilliant Jamie Mendell) and Lu was part of the Facebook support group for those who were going through the programme or had been through it before. She has aaaaalways spoken so much truth and it made me so happy when she launched LuEats and began offering her own coaching too. She is a woman of many talents and I’m so excited to introduce her to you. I often recieve messages from women in the grips of an eating disorder and although I can share my own experiences I can’t recommend enough getting the help and support of a professional. Online programmes can be an incredible way to do this as you can work with people from all over the world in the comfort of your own home.
Hey Lu! Can you tell us about yourself and LuEats?
I’m Lu. I’m a human first – just like you. I have so many identities. Partner. Parent. Friend. Daughter. Badass Bookworm. Veggie Lover. Consumer of Dark Beer and Darker Chocolate. Beard Fanatic. Tattoo Collector. Writer. Untamed Podcast Host. Wild Woman. Freedom Fighter. Lady Life Coach. Body Image Mentor. Eating Psychology Expert. Loud Laugher. Kitchen Dancer. Sarcastic Soul. Fan Girl. Compassionate Listener. Mistake Maker. Creative Action Taker.
Lu Eats is my coaching business. I have a personal history of disordered eating, fitness obsession and binge eating disorder. Upon finding freedom from those experiences and behaviors I wanted to help others journey through their own body image woes and yo-yo dieting mayhem. So, after a combination of mentoring, research, and professional certification in Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition I opened my own practice as a Body Image Mentor, Eating Psychology Expert and Life Coach. In the last several years I’ve helped hundreds of women become more self-aware, compassionate and accepting. I often say “I help women to BE WHO THEY ARE and EAT WHAT THEY WANT in a BODY THEY LOVE.” And that’s the truth. It starts with support and guidance to know yourself and be her, along with hearing and honoring intuition in ALL areas of life – food, body and beyond. I spend time teaching my clients the destructive, manipulative tactics of diet and fitness culture, helping them to see and destroy those influences in their lives so that they can truly exist on their own terms. Ultimately, we navigate their life together towards a place of freedom around food and acceptance of their amazing bodies. I’m known for being a raving fan-girl to each and every woman I work with. I’m all about sisterhood, devotion and encouragement and that shows up in the work I do in my personal mentorship program.
What was the most integral moments in your journey to self love?
I remember it distinctly. After years of trying to “fix” myself, I hired my own coach to help me heal my relationship to food and body. Around four months into our work together something just “clicked” when I was researching the primal metabolic functions of the body. Ha ha! I’m a total science geek and a true believer in the idea that “knowledge is power.” So, it’s no wonder that studying the human body, hormones, sympathetic nervous system responses and dieting were the catalyst for a complete GIRL CRUSH (on myself). I won’t get into all the technical details but essentially I learned that my body was tirelessly trying to keep me alive and thriving. Every single function of my body was set up to help me live well – in health, safety and peace. So all the times I thought my body was a total asshole and failing me, she was actually just doing what she was designed to do – keep me here on earth, taking me everywhere I needed to go with ease, while feeling and functioning my best. My body wasn’t betraying me, I was betraying her over and over again in attempts to be a certain weight or look a certain way. The great thing about bodies is – they are super forgiving. They can’t NOT take care of you. So this revelation was the beginning of a new kind of relationship with my body and myself. One in which we were partners, best friends, A LIFELONG TEAM.
What is your favourite thing about being an eating and body image coach?
Easy. I love seeing women transform and evolve over the six months that we work together. Of course, after being in a mentoring relationship with someone for half a year (or longer) it’s bittersweet to have that final session and say “goodbye.” But, it’s also an amazing gift. In our final session my clients and I always reflect on where they were when we first started working together vs. where they are now and it brings me to tears almost every time. To remember women who came to me starved, feeling out of control around food, stuck, hating their bodies, bored with their lives, in jobs or relationships that weren’t inspiring them, stifling their passions and power, obsessing over their supposed flaws and imperfections, resenting the mirror, loathing themselves…. to see these same women six months later feeling fierce and powerful, honoring their truth, trusting their bodies, thinking critically about capitalism and diet culture, going after their dreams, engaging in supportive relationships, doing work that they love, taking risks, being kind to themselves, showing up in life self-aware, confident, intuitive and hopeful – THAT IS ABSOLUTELY MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WORK THAT I DO!
If you could give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hmmm… I was super confident and at home in my body and myself at that age. So, I think I would tell my 16 year old self to stay the course and remain free – not to let society determine her worth. I’d also tell her to be kind to herself and to others. And I’d remind her that time is both limitless and fleeting. Meaning, there is plenty of time to work towards the things she wants in life. Adulting isn’t actually a race. and in the unfortunate event that time does get cut short, she’ll be glad she lived with joy and ease rather than stress and self-destruction in the pursuit of goals that were never reached. Basically, RELAX, BE PRESENT and ENJOY LIFE.
Can you tell us about Untamed and your new podcast?
Absolutely. I’m loving Untamed. It’s a podcast (and a Facebook Community) for anyone who is ready to find freedom, shed labels, change the world and be inspired. On the podcast, I interview women doing all sorts of incredible things from non-profit founders and activists to humanitarians, professional ballerinas, disability lifestyle vloggers, spiritual coaches, published authors, glass-ceiling breakers and magic makers.
I wanted to create a space to activate and encourage listeners/members to GO OUT AND DO THEIR THING IN THE WORLD. What can often happen in disordered eating and body image recovery is that individuals get stuck managing their healing. They can end up hyper-focusing on intuitive eating, self-care, freedom from exercise obsession, body positivity, dismantling diet culture and all of those other VERY POSITIVE THINGS. Recovery, healing and maintaining freedom is important. But, if we create a community and safety net within those boundaries and never venture outside of it to explore what life truly looks like when we’re living passionate, free and on our own terms – then we’re actually still a slave to the industries and the cultural ideals that led to our disordered eating and body image in the first place. We still aren’t out there making our mark on the world and putting our wisdom, talents and abilities to use – and that’s no good for anybody.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE beyond recovery and that’s what I hope to bring to the listeners. I introduce them to women who aren’t spending time thinking about what they ate for snack or when their next workout will be or what size pants they are wearing or if they were eating intuitively enough today because… THEY ARE INSPIRED AND INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN A DEEPER WORK – THEIR UNIQUE PLACE AND ROLE IN THE WORLD. Of course, sometimes the guests I have on the show are fat activists and anti-diet warriors. So the topics overlap. But, often I’m interviewing guests that aren’t at all interested in having the food and body conversation.
Now, again, don’t get my wrong. I am so glad that there are podcasts out there having the food and body conversation. I have a few favorites that I listen to and recommend to my clients. And obviously, I’m all about the work of disordered eating recovery, beating binges and body acceptance. It’s what I do everyday with my clients! I simply realized that there was a gap in available content for what happens afterwards – and I wanted Untamed to be a voice and platform in that space.
Untamed is for the woman who is living free, or aspiring to be. It’s about activism, art, liberation, self-care, connection, humanity and inspiration.
How can women work with you?
EVERYONE can sign up for my free 5-day course on ditching diets and banishing body hate called Finding Freedom. It’s a great place to start for people who are curious about ending disordered eating habits and exploring their body relationship. HERE’S THE LINK.
And I’m always excited to work with women 1:1 through my Unrestricted Mentorship which you can learn about RIGHT HERE. It’s a six-month personal coaching relationship customized to each individual client and their specific experience, hopes and needs. It’s powerful and transformative whether you’re wanting to overcome food restriction, binges, exercise obsession or simply looking for a mentor and life coach to journey with you through a challenging season.