An Open Letter To My Body

As Mother’s Day approaches, I was inspired to write this post, dedicated to all the superhero moms out there.  I know that pregnancy can change our bodies, but  please remind yourself that we are all beautiful no matter what. 🙂 

I also want to send out special love to those who have tried to have kids and can’t… I have suffered through miscarriages and I understand the grief.  Big Hugs to you all.  xoxo



Dear Body Of Mine,


I would like to take a moment to thank you.  I know in the past, I hated you.  You were my enemy.  Almost every minute was filled with horrible thoughts such as “You are so ugly.” and “You are so fat.”  Not once did I take the time to appreciate the little things such as the sparkle in your blue eyes, your luscious lips, or your toned arms.

No, instead I focused on the thighs that touch, the breasts that are too small, the butt that is too big and the stomach… oh man…. I could write a book on how much I despised the stomach.

I first noticed the size of the stomach when I was ten years old. Why did it stick out instead of lay flat?  Compared to the size of my small arms and legs, my stomach looked funny to me.  So when I was older I did awful things to you.  I abused you.  I did not feed you the nourishing food you needed.  I swallowed tons and tons of chemicals in the form of laxatives that greatly messed up the digestive system.  I forced my legs to move in the form of running, day in and day out.   You needed to be punished for not looking perfect.

I compared you to other bodies.  Why didn’t you look like the mom in the exercise class who appeared to have never had a baby? Why didn’t I have voluptuous breasts and flat abs?

I wanted to cut the stomach open.  I wanted to erase the stretch marks and flatten out the loose skin.  I thought you needed to be fixed. I was a victim and you, my body, were to blame.   Over time, I felt more and more angry at you.  That anger translated into yelling at my husband.  I also felt shame.  I was so embarrassed to show you to him.

I am sorry.

I am sorry for hating you, calling you names, hiding you, punishing you, and for almost “fixing” you with a knife.

I am sorry that I took you for granted.  I have a body– I HAVE a body that moves! I have arms that help me hug the soft skin of my family. Feet that help me to  play hide and seek. Legs that help me to get into downward dog for yoga.  Hands that help me to type and express my feelings in writing. Taste buds that help me to enjoy chocolate.  Ears that hear the precious words, “I love you, mommy.”

And…. yes, I am grateful for my stomach. While I am sad for losing babies,  you endured 4 miscarriages and  4 D and C’s.  You also suffered through two C-sections. Not to mention , you gave me two BIG, healthy babies.

I am finally at a point where I can say “Thank you” for the loose skin and stretch marks.  They are my badge of honor. They remind me how blessed I am to have children.

Thank You.

As I take a deep breath, I am asking for your forgiveness. I love you.







p.s.– Check out my New Workbook!  It’s called Beautiful Freedom: a 4 week journey toward  radical body-love and passionate living.  Click HERE to see it on Amazon.



Want to see me in a tiara and sash?

Hi everyone!

I can not believe that the Mom e-Club’s BIG celebration is coming up in just TWO WEEKS!  As a reminder, I was nominated to be a finalist in the running for the title of MOM ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR!   

It is quite the honor and I feel very humbled.  I am just glad for the opportunity to share my story of how I overcame body hatred and how I can use my experience to coach and inspire others. 🙂

How I was chosen to be a finalist was based on a video that I created at home where I shared my passion and story as a Health Coach.  I guess my story was inspirational enough to be chosen and I then went on to create a professional video (I was a bit nervous but had FUN!) with David of Basix Media (thanks, David!).

It’s THIS video that I would LOVE for you to watch (it’s only 2 minutes, trust me, you have time!) and then click the button below that says “Vote for Kellie McGarry”.  Of course, you can also check out the other finalists as well! (and don’t feel bad if you want to vote  for others too, but as a fan I hope you would pick me! 😉


Voting is only ONCE per person, per IP address and the deadline to vote is May 5th, 2014!

momePicMonkey Collage


Here is the video to watch now, but you ALSO need to click on THIS link to vote!!



Many, many thanks! 🙂  I will reveal the winner after May 7th! 🙂  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on my message! What inspired you the most?  Please SHARE in the comments below!  And then copy and paste this link to my video and share with your friends as well!


Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach

Releasing the stigma of eating disorders as “adolescent disease”

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week! (February 23 through March 1st, 2014)

I am very passionate about spreading awareness of this disease, as I had anorexia and bulimia when I was younger. Eating disorders have the highest mortality of rate of any mental illness.  Many people who struggle  go unnoticed or cannot get the proper care because of lack of treatment facilities.  It’s time to spread the word  that this is a serious illness and to spread awareness about how it effects people of all race, age and gender.

In honor of this week, I will be regularly posting blog posts on different topics regarding eating disorders.  This first post is all about eating disorders in adults.


At this very moment, there are 50 year old women, feeling lonely and out of control, who seek refuge in throwing up what they ate.  There are 40 year old moms who have just been divorced, who innocently start off losing weight and find themselves consuming very few  calories a day.  They may have had an eating disorder in the past, had kids, recovered and then relapsed.  They may have never fully recovered because they didn’t receive the proper treatment.  And for  some, this may be their first encounter with the terrible monster known as “ED”.

A groundbreaking 2012 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that about 13 percent of women over 50 exhibit eating disorder symptoms.

Read more:

We tend to think of eating disorders as an “adolescent disease” but more and more cases of adults with eating disorders are showing up as doctors are starting to take it seriously.  Why is it that adults are hanging on to this disease?  For the most part, their symptoms go unnoticed by doctors who may think that perhaps they are starting menopause or that they are just going on a diet.  Many women may have started off overweight and find that the positive comments on weight loss far out weigh their fears of gaining weight or feeling out of control.   Not all eating disorders, especially in adults, result in emaciation.

For some, the eating disorder may have started out as innocent dieting.


EDfact1PicMonkey Collage

35% of normal dieters progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.

(Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.)

The desire to look a certain way as an adult is exacerbated by the constant messages of needing to look younger.  Anti-aging creams abound.  Women celebrities are always touting “get your body back with this diet”.  Women feel inferior and think that dieting must be the answer.

I can understand the “high” of losing weight and not being able to stop.  If we wrap our identity around pleasing others and receiving compliments, panic can set in if we think about putting the brakes on weight loss.  The fear of gaining weight may become greater than the fear of death.

Of course, as the statistic suggests, not all women are prone to eating disorders triggered by dieting. I’m sure there are many factors that go into it, such as an obsessive-compulsive tendency, perfectionism, and recent trauma which leads to a loss of feeling in control.

But the bottom line is this:  why start dieting in the first place?  Only 15% (and some studies say only 5%) of women dieters keep the weight off after two years.  Diets do not work and can be further damaging.

If you have a friend who just can’t stop talking about how much she hates her body (or his for that matter), if you notice she eats very little, or if she has fluctuations in her weight, please gently ask how she’s been feeling lately around her body and food.   It’s time for society (and doctors) to stop ignoring the possibility that adults are suffering from eating disorders and it’s time to start asking the right questions so they can get the proper help.  There should be no shame in an adult being able to say that he/she struggles with their body and food.  We are all on a continuum anyway– most of us hate our body (studies say around 90%) and almost all of us have some kind of addiction, weather it be to food or something else.  We all understand the need to control our body when we are stressed and overwhelmed.

If you struggle with feeling like you don’t measure up, and if you feel like you’ve taken things too far with your eating, please do NOT hesitate to get help.   Your family and friends need you to be healthy, happy and strong. 

Here are some resources of places that treat adults:

To making peace with your body,

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach

Step OUT of the Beauty Box!


Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” Deepak Chopra

I’m sure most, if not all of you have heard or read quotes on getting rid of our box.  Throwing away expectations from society, breaking the status quo, expanding our belief system, trusting our intuition and expanding our consciousness versus shrinking into a mold; these are all ways to get rid of our box.

We get rid of a box when we break free from perfectionism.  When we start our own business. When we challenge the institution.  I know I opened up a whole new world when my husband and I left the institutional church and the pastoral ministry all in one.  We let go of the religious box and expanded our spiritual awareness.

What about the BEAUTY box?  What does that mean?

Do you feel that the only answer is to keep dieting just because it’s all that you know?  Do you measure your worth by whether or not you feel sexy?

Studies show that 90% of women hate their body.  NOT a surprise.  We are constantly being bombarded with unrealistic images from the media and the standards just keep getting more and more ridiculous.   Not only that, but it seems almost the norm to get plastic surgery to “fix” perceived “flaws”.  But that does not get to the root of the issue- which is letting GO of impossible standards and learning to LOVE AND ACCEPT ourselves.  We need to get rid of the box that says that this is how it is and always was, therefore, I need to stay in my comfortable spot and follow the herd of shame-filled dieters and depressed disordered eaters.   Staying in the Beauty Box gets us absolutely NOWHERE.

I am living proof that there is a wonderful, passionate LIFE outside of this box.   I know letting go of our story, of our identity on why we need to do this or that to feel good about ourselves, can be SCARY AS HELL.   As a person who had an eating disorder, saying “good-bye” to “ED” is like cutting off a part of ourselves because for a while, it’s all that we know.  It’s who we are.  It’s comfortable in our box…. OR IS IT, REALLY?

It’s not fun to be constantly comparing ourselves, to eat food that is horrible in the name of healthy eating, to bombard our mind a hundred times a day with thoughts of “I’m too fat. I”m not good enough.  I am not sexy enough.”  It’s EXHAUSTING and not what life is meant to be like for us.

If we at least take that first step OUT of the box, we will begin to see that the Universe WANTS us to be joyful and confident and successful.  However,  those feelings do not come from staying in the box.

So to sum up, what are some ways that we stay in

our own BEAUTY BOX?

  • January comes and we feel obligated to start a new diet or cleanse in the name of weight loss (and because everyone else is doing it)
  • We think that plastic surgery is the answer to fixing our “flaws”.
  • We make our health goals based on what other people say we should do vs. our own intuition
  • We eat food that we don’t like (think fat-free) in the name of health.
  • We exercise, not to feel good, but to burn off what we ate.
  • We make a number on a scale part of our worth as an individual.
  • We base our wardrobe not on our own personality and style, but either on the latest celebrity fashion OR on what hides certain parts of our body that we don’t like.
  • We have fallen into the trap of assuming that fat people are ugly, lazy, dumb and unhealthy.
  • We think that sexy means a flat ab, nice round butt, huge boobs (or even a boob job) and stick pole legs.
  • We spend more time comparing than we do loving.
  • We feel that declaring that “I Am Beautiful” is self-centered.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  These are all LIES that we bought into and they are keeping us confined to our box.

So are you ready to step out of your box?  TAKE A DEEP BREATH.  And know it just takes that ONE step.. that ONE  positive thought to reframe  your mindset and that ONE encouraging word of support to get you started on a journey of SELF-LOVE!

If YOU struggle with letting go of the box and want to learn HOW to reframe your mind and LOVE YOURSELF MORE, please consider joining my *new* online group program called Beautiful Freedom! Please visit this link for more information!

To RADICAL , “box- free living”


Certified Holistic Health Coach

“Body Love Specialist”

An ode to the recovered(ing) anorexic

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life lately.    I try not to dwell in the past, but I was sort of forced to as I wrote about my whole journey from child hood to now, in my  workbook called “Beautiful Freedom”  which includes my story of recovering from an eating disorder(to be used for my new, online support group- read about it here and consider joining!)

As I reflect, I feel like I got a bit lost in the shuffle in between the time of gaining my weight back during my eating disorder and becoming a new mom.

Let me explain.  Many of us go around putting on a happy face, pretending everything is okay, right?  I think when we have an eating disorder, we get used to pretending like everything is okay.  Either we don’t want others to know how we are feeling, or how serious the disorder is, or we are trying to please people.

If this habit is ingrained, it does not stop once we gain our weight back.  I actually recovered, in the clinical sense, really quickly.  I started off with anorexia, got treatment right away, started gaining some weight before it went into bulimia and because I was purging with laxatives and not vomiting, it was pretty easy to gain the weight back.  Now, I did have my moments of temporary starvation a few times after that, especially around the time of my wedding in December 2000, but for the most part, I looked healthy to other people. I was pretending that all was okay.

But in the inside, I was dying.  I went back to hating my stomach and my butt.  How I looked was all I could think about.  It  affected my social life, and even my relationship with my husband.  In my mind, I was not recovered at all, even though I was eating just fine.

I also did not want to feel like a victim (because we are not), so I refused to go to those 12 step programs or anything of that nature.

I felt like I was the only one who hated my body, at least that I knew of.   After I had my children, I figured that most of the new moms already got their stomach back, so they had nothing to worry about.   I did not want to admit that I hated my body for fear that others would have pity on me or remind me of how far I came from the eating disorder.

Here is a photo that I took of my belly, back in 2005 a few months after having my daughter.  I was particularly bloated on this day and I hated how I looked pregnant. This is what led me to want a tummy tuck, which I decided against in the end.  (Thankfully, I know now that the bloating was partly due to gluten intolerance, which is helped by eliminating gluten)

August 9, 2007 100_2

Here is a photo of my daughter and I on her First Birthday.  On the outside,  I was smiling, but on the inside, I was wondering how my stomach looked to other people.  Little did they know obsessed I was.

Briana's party edited

Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you had an eating disorder 5, 10, even 20 years ago, but you feel lost in the shuffle.  No need for deep therapy or 12 step programs, but you still struggle.  Perhaps you have bouts where you still see food as the enemy. Or maybe like I did, you went from anorexia and bulimia, to eating emotionally, without purging.   I do still eat out of stress, though I know that it’s common (and dare I say, necessary at times?)

Perhaps, you are confused about how to eat because of  all the mixed messages out there.  Even those who never had eating disorders are confused, but I would imagine even more so for us.  We were taught (or at least I was) during recovery to not worry about calories or fat grams and just eat whatever we felt like eating.   I remember my friends celebrating my willingness  to have Taco Bell with them.   Taco Bell of all places!  Shock! Horror!

I remember bashing all of the fad diets- especially the Atkins diet, which has thankfully died out.  So at least I had the common sense to know which diets were the crazy ones.

But then I would run into well-meaning people talking to me about how this diet helped them lose weight or feel better.  Every time that happened, I felt less than adequate because I was no longer restricting my food.  It made me feel like something was wrong with me.

Then there is the whole issue of “moderation”.  What is moderation to one person is totally different to someone who has had an eating disorder.  Imagine someone who usually eats three small meals a day- say, an orange for breakfast, a salad for lunch and chicken and rice for dinner.  They already struggle with wondering if they ate too much– or too little (yet still feel fat) and hear the media talk about moderation- – so what is moderation for them?  half an orange, half a salad, and only chicken for dinner?

I do not say this to bash anyone- but to give a glimpse of the life of a “recovered” anorexic or bulimic.  Figuring how out to be “healthy” can be a full time job.

 Most importantly, if this sounds like you- I urge you to FIND SOMEONE TO TALK WITH.  No, it does not have to be formal therapy.  Sometimes just finding a friend who can relate makes all the difference in the world. You are NOT alone!!  There is *no* shame in admitting that you still hate your body.  AND you are WORTH having someone come along side and listen to you.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to consider talking with myself.  I am a health coach and I call myself a “Body Love Specialist”.  I have since come a long way in how I see myself.  No, I do not adore the shape of my body, but I do feel sexy and confident on most days and I do not obsess about what I look like in the mirror.  Most importantly, I love who I am as a PERSON.  It’s still baby steps, but I have been on the road toward self-acceptance and I desire that for you, too.

This upcoming online group was tailored for YOU! .  And if you would rather just talk 1:1, I am available for that too.

I am building my business around my passion- which is encouraging women to find a peaceful relationship with their body and with their food. I know it does not take just a short program to get there– heck, it could take a life time to get to that point, but at least you know you are not alone.  I hope to hear from you!

To your peace,

Kellie McGarry, CHC

Visit my website:

Dissecting the words “Nourished and New”

Did you know that I am a “warrior woman”?  Well, at least according to the meaning behind my name.  Not “Kelly” mind you… this meaning only applies to those who are lucky to have my unique spelling of “Kellie”.   Aside from the occasional miss-spelling, I kinda like my name actually!

What does your name mean?  Is the meaning behind a name important to you?  When you chose your child’s name, did you base it on the meaning or did you only choose it because you like the sound of it?  Or perhaps, you chose a family name.  My son John is named after my husband’s father John, who had passed away when my husband was a teenager.

I am actually not writing this post to talk about our names, but to share with you the meaning behind the name of my health coach business-  “Nourished and New”.   First off, I actually can’t take credit for choosing this name.  One of my class-mates suggested it and right away, I intuitively knew it would be a good fit.

What does the word “Nourished” mean to you?   I love comparing the synonyms and antonyms listed on this site.






On the flip side, here are some antonyms:





***Do you feel like you are ignoring your body’s messages to slow down and take a breath? Are you neglecting your body when it comes to self-care and reducing stress? Have you abandoned the notion of just eating healthy without going on a diet?  Do you deprive yourself of pleasurable foods for the sake of weight loss?  Do you deprive your mind of positive thoughts?

***Would you  rather cultivate a state of awareness regarding what your body needs?  Do you want to cherish your body and love the skin you are in?  Do you want to nurture your mind set, allowing yourself to think positive thoughts?  Do you want to sustain your emotional health instead of find a temporary fix?

I know that being nourished has a lot to do with feeding ourselves healthy, nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains, and even meat from animals that were raised sustainably.

However, I don’t think that is the only example of being nourished.  I think we also nourish our soul, or you can even call it our human spirit.  By using relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, we are nourishing our mind, which nourishes our soul– that which is our whole being.   This also happens when we nourish our soul with thoughts of gratitude versus fear or guilt.  So just as we nourish and cultivate a growing flower, we also feed our own minds with words that help us to grow in a positive way, and we feed our body with food that brings us both nutrition and pleasure.

Notice I am NOT saying that nutritious foods are the ONLY nourishing foods. When nourishment is also pleasure, we can enjoy the occasional treat without guilt. In fact, some of us who used to have eating disorders (such as myself) NEED to learn to eat dessert in a way that doesn’t make us to feel guilty.  I do not feel that I was truly nourishing myself when I had the restriction mind set, or even when I was all gung-ho about eating “clean” and was too extreme about it.

In a way, we can be eating all healthy foods (or “real food” as some people call it) and still not be fully nourished-mind, body and soul.  When I meet with someone, it doesn’t matter to me that they  are not eating a perfect diet.  Yes, when we desire nourishment, we start to gravitate towards whole foods, BUT I am more interested to find out how you are NOURISHING yourself, no matter what looks like for you.

What we eat does affect our thoughts in the long run.  But even more so, HOW we eat.  Even if we eat a veggie burger, if we are under stress, our digestion system won’t work properly because it thinks it’s in fight or flight mode and may even release toxins.

I would say this:

Nourishment = whole foods + pleasure foods+ self-care+ mindfulness

blog lotus flower

Source: by “bplanet”

As for the “New” part of the title? 

I don’t think we become a new person.  We were always the same, whole, complete person.  We just became conditioned to thinking a certain way and need to break the pattern.  So we become new in our mind set, in our awareness about life and what makes us tick, what we are passionate about, what foods we really do enjoy or not enjoy, how we see ourselves in the mirror, and how we view others as well.

So, in a sense, we are “RE newed” because we were never broken.  But Nourished and New just sounds good together. 🙂

So I ask again,  what does being “Nourished” mean to you?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

To a rockin’, Nourished and New you,


p.s.–I have recently tweaked my coaching programs! Curious to learn more?  Email me at to set up an initial consultation! And visit my website to learn more about me and my approach.



I will be sharing my story and my tips on loving our body, in an online radio podcast which airs Monday, November 18th!

time: 9:30 am PST and replay at 3:30 p.m. PST

Here is the website with more info!

Kim Fuller is the host of this show called, “Change Is Personal”.

Hope you can tune in! Join my Facebook page for more updated information.

Mummy Dogs and an Apology

I am a holistic health coach.  I am also a regular mom.  I have my struggles with my body.  I have my struggles with feeling guilty over eating food that I have been conditioned to thinking are “bad”. (ie. – not healthy)

Many of you who have talked with me know that I am not extreme.  I do not care  to focus solely on nutrition when I work with clients.  Being healthy is not just about eating healthy food.  Sometimes being healthy means eating that piece of dessert that you have been craving.

I didn’t always think this way. I must admit that for a time, I was pretty extreme in my eating and in my thinking.  Still, not as extreme as some, yet I was still pretty rigid.  I started off my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ready to learn how to become a health coach.  I didn’t quite know what that meant, yet I knew that if i could help someone learn to eat healthy, they could feel so much better.  They could lose weight without a fad diet, they could possibly reduce chronic pain, and  they could prevent sickness and disease.   I was on a mission.   Meanwhile, as a student, we were taught about 200 different dietary theories, ranging from Raw Food to Macrobiotic,  to South Beach to everything in between.   In the end, we learned that ” no one diet works for everyone”.

So where am I getting at with this?  As I went through training,  I became so focused on eating the “right” foods that I had become judgmental of those who were not eating what I deemed was the “correct” way.   I started eyeing those who were overweight, wondering what they were eating and how I could help them.  They became my targets.  I assumed that they were eating junk food.

Friends may have seen me eying them as they gave their kids such “horrible” foods as Goldfish crackers and kool-aid.   I wonder if  the disapproving look was obvious?   I wonder if I made them feel guilty or “less than” as a mom?

Going to the school was like being a happy Newlywed.  I was elated with how I felt when I ate  healthy.  I had found a way to manage my Fibromyalgia symptoms, I had more energy and I just felt better all around.  Therefore, I was overly zealous about converting others to  a healthy diet.

It’s interesting what can happen over time.  If you have followed me ever since I started as a student, you may have noticed a bit of a shift.  I started off only talking about food and nutrition, then I talked more about stress and why we have cravings, and the concept of Mindful Eating.  I still talk about those things, but I now focus a lot on how we feel about our body, and reducing stress so we can enjoy life.  I don’t even make weight loss the most important goal.  And my clients are still very happy!  I even encourage eating the occasional junk food.  I have NOT thrown in the towel in regards to healthy eating…. heck,  everyone knows me at my near by Whole Foods Market…. yet, I don’t fret if my kids bring home candy from school, of if they are eating too many gluten filled pretzels.  Life is all about balance- listening to our body and enjoying the moments as they come.

I had the ultimate realization about how much my mind set has changed when recently I decided to make “Mummy Dogs” for Halloween. (inspired by an online search for Halloween meals for kids)

I wanted to do something fun for the kids.  So I decided instead of taking the time to make gluten free crescent rolls , I bought Pillsbury Crescent rolls to wrap around the hot dogs.  Guess what ingredients are in the crescent rolls?  F’*#*#ing  Hydrogenated Oil, Red 40 and Yellow 6 for damn’s sakes.  In that moment, in the grocery store,  as I read the label as a good, health conscious person does, I hesitated.  Do I put the thing down in the name of all that is healthy and good, or do I keep my promise to my kids, because, after all, it’s just one day?


Obviously, I bought the Pillsbury crap.  But… instead of continuing to think of it as crap, I looked at it as “fun food”.  Fun, because …well….it puts the “Mummy” in “Mummy Dogs”… I knew that my kids would get a kick out of it.

So I want to conclude this post with an open apology to all those who I may have hurt in the past.

–I apologize for the disapproving looks.

–I apologize for coming on too strong regarding “evil” ingredients.

–I apologize for subconsciously keeping you at arms’ length because you did not fit my world.

When it all boils down to it, yes, eating  a lot of crap will possibly make you feel just like that….. like crap.  It may make you gain weight.  It may contribute to heart disease or cancer.

Yet, stress also does that.  Stress plays a HUGE role in how we feel.  Heck, some people eat super clean and still cannot lose weight.  These super clean eaters even get diseases.  Obsessing about healthy eating is also stressful.

This does NOT mean that I encourage anyone to say, “I give up.  Who cares about spinach and kale and quinoa?”  However, I don’t think many of you are saying that.  I feel like many of you DO know what to eat.  But, you also know that eating the occasional junk food is not going to kill you.

My kids ate the Mummy Dogs.  Maybe eating scary ingredients was fitting for Halloween. They are still here. They survived.  And we made some really good memories together.

HalloweenPicMonkey Collage

What did you do for Halloween? 

By the way, Happy November!! October seemed to fly by!


Certified Holistic Health and Body Image Coach

Caution: 3 products/diets that I will NEVER recommend

As a Health Coach, I am always learning about the new product on the market, whether it be by default on my Facebook feed, or from someone who knows me and thinks that I might want to promote it to my clients.  Most of the products are not necessarily bad but they almost always either contain some ingredient that I tell my clients to either reduce or stay away from OR they are not aligned with my “no-diet” and “no-shame” philosophy.

caution sign

So  with that being said, there are a few products or diets that I will NEVER recommend:

1. Drinks (ie. shakes or protein powders) that mask themselves as nutritional supplements, or weight loss aides, yet are full of crap.

Most weight loss drinks on the market today contain a high amount of soy protein. Why? Because it’s cheap to produce.  Fermented soy such as soy sauce is fine, but soy protein isn’t the health food like we once thought it was.  It contains estrogenic properties that may cause greater risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer.  Also people with thyroid problems (and many people don’t realize they have it) need to stay away from soy.  Not to mention, about 95% of soy on the market is GMO.  If the drink contains a different kind of protein such as hemp or whey, that would be much better.

They also contain some sort of artificial flavor, whether it be sucralose or simply listed as “artificial flavor” (not sure why they can’t tell us what it is, in this case).   Sucralose has been shown to cause many side effects such as digestive upset, headaches, and even weight gain.  Studies are inconclusive as far as just how harmful it is, but keep this in mind:  Sucralose bears a very close resemblance to the chemical DDT.

Remember, many of these companies prey upon our need for  quick weight loss.  Also, they know that many of us don’t like to have to cook.  Enter, the weight loss protein drink.

2.  The hcg diet, or any other diet that promotes severe calorie restriction

Yes, I know that this diet can be closely monitored by a trained health professional, but this diet encourages consuming 500 calories a day.  Last I checked,   500 calories is starving yourself, no matter how many medical professionals you have on your side. Call me sensitive- maybe it’s because I used to have anorexia- but any diet of this nature is not sustainable.  A true sign of a successful diet is one that you can do on your own  which produces slower weight loss,  but that lasts, given the correct tools.

3. Those “wraps”

So this is a touchy subject, but I really felt led to spit it out. I was inspired to blog about this product after reading a rockin’ post by Beauty Redfined. It seems like “wraps” are all the rage now.  And who can blame us for being seduced by  claims of being able to lose inches off the dreaded post-pregnancy stomach just by wearing a wrap?  If you sell this product and found me a few years ago, I can pretty much guarantee that I would have went to a party and ordered one.  I have always struggled with pure hatred toward my stomach.  What triggered the anorexia was my obsession with not having a perfect stomach.  In 2009,I was in the waiting room of a plastic surgeon’s office, getting my “before” picture of my stomach– I was all ready for a tummy tuck because I hated the loose skin and the tummy pouch.  But after a series of events happened, including getting diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I cancelled the surgery.  I am not saying that I absolutely love my stomach, but I am content.  Amazingly,I am not tempted at all by the wraps which for me, is a huge breakthrough.  I no longer focus on looking a certain size and shape, but on feeling the best that I can, which for me came when I went gluten free.  Voila- no more bloating and I feel loads better, despite the fact that I still have loose skin.

For me now, the skin is my  badge of honor.  I went through two c-sections with an 8 pound baby boy and a 9 pound baby girl.  I sure as heck think that I- as with all of us moms- deserve the right to be proud of our post-baby stomach without feeling shameful or like there is something wrong with us.

I echo the fears that Beauty Redefined lays out in their blog (my own words):

–Women who struggle with disordered eating are susceptible to purchasing the wraps which may further aggravate any body image issues that they already have.

–The focus seems to be more on looking a certain way versus getting healthy.  Losing inches in your stomach doesn’t help you to go gluten free to improve digestive issues or chronic pain.  It doesn’t prevent breast cancer or diabetes.

–We shouldn’t be manipulated to purchasing a product out of shame about a certain body part.

So, there, I said it, and I am probably going to tick a few people off, but it had to said.  This in NO way defines the character of anyone who sells or purchases these products.  We all have the best of intentions and just want to look and feel our best. Also, I know that not everyone is obsessed with looking a certain way- for many, their reason  IS more about health.  I am just simply stating my views on certain products and why, as a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I won’t be suggesting these to my clients.

Here is what I DO recommend!

Photo of Kale

1. REAL, whole food

Nothing can help you feel better, AND help you lose weight, like fresh produce made from the Earth.  It’s really that simple. (although I know it’s also VERY overwhelming to change your diet and that’s why I offer my coaching services!)

2. An exercise that you enjoy!

For years, I ran/jogged out of pure punishment.  I have now found that I LOVE yoga.  Finding an exercise that you can have fun with can really help with weight loss.  Just try to break it up with a variety of exercises so that your body doesn’t become stagnant.

3. Throwing out your scale

We are not a number on a scale.  Our identity is so much more than that.  You can be skinny and not healthy and you can be overweight and very fit.  Size is not a determining factor for health and happiness.

If you ever have any questions or reservations about a certain product, feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page! (and “like” my page too!) ( .

Remember that I am here for you! 🙂

In health,

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach

p.s.-*please keep nasty or rude comments to yourself.  all comments are moderated and approved by me. thanks. 🙂

Why I don’t post pics of women in bikinis

measuring yourself in contentment


I don’t know about you but it seems the older I get, the less concerned I am about what I look like in a swim suit. 

Let me get this straight– I DO care about what I look like. I strive to take care of my body to the best of my ability, as I eat healthy foods (but still indulge!)

The difference is that now I would actually wear said swim suit in public.  When I was younger, I would make up all sorts of excuses in order to NOT have to wear a bathing suit.  My legs aren’t shaved.  I”m on my period (even when I wasn’t).  I can’ swim (there is a half-truth in that one actually).

Mind you– the swim suit that I do wear now-a-days is all black and one of those two-pieces that totally cover the stomach area.  But I feel fairly confident in it.  And for me, that is HUGE.

Now, here is the kicker.  You may think that since it seems that I have had confidence issues and didn’t want to wear a swim suit that the logical conclusion is that I must have also had a weight problem.  Well- that is partly true…. but not in the way that you think.  I was never over weight.  My weight problem came in the form of anorexia, where in college, I got down to 85 pounds.  My pants were literally hanging off of me (I refused to buy kid’s size clothes).  And I STILL thought I was fat.

Even after I recovered, I had a hard time wearing a swim suit– why?  Because of society’s ideal of how one should look.  We need to have a perfectly flat stomach, thighs that don’t touch, a tiny butt, and huge boobs.   In an ideal world, after having children, those things would be realistically attainable, but the truth is, I have loose sagging skin in my stomach from having two c-sections (and huge babies), my boobs shriveled to next to nothing after nursing my babies, and my thighs have always touched, even when I was anorexic (yes, I was concerned about that at 85 pounds).

After all that, the day that I would put on a skimpy bikini would be the day that kale is served in fast food restaurants.  To think that I would ever put on a bikini seems like mission impossible. 

To put it bluntly– according to society’s standards (and some of my own), I will never be “bikini ready”.

What does bikini ready even mean, anyway?  Lately, as I scroll down my Facebook newsfeed, I see ad after ad (well maybe not too many but it seems like it)  or “suggested pages” about diets on getting “bikini ready” for the summer, along with a photo of an airbrushed women with flat abs and huge boobs prancing in a bikini.

Even though I feel a lot more confident in my body now-a-days, these posts still make me uncomfortable.  To me, it brings back those feelings of shame and guilt.  In order to be happy, I need to look perfect in a bikini.  True weight loss doesn’t mean anything unless you look sexy (which is a word that is way over used- I’ll save that for a new blog post) on the beach or at the pool.

True happiness= being skinny and sexy which = being able to wear a bikini.

Listen, I was NEVER happy  when I was so concerned about having a flat stomach.  In fact, I almost got a tummy tuck when I was feeling the most miserable I had ever been in my life.  Today, I am  SO much happier now that I am not obsessed with looking a certain way.   Of course, I still compare my body, like others do, but I do not feel the need to look like those models prancing around in bikinis.

So all that to say…. THIS is why I will NEVER share photos of any kind that make women feel shamed into weight loss.  I vow to never share photos of women in bikinis because true happiness is not dependent on being “bikini ready.”

In fact, I would say, if you want to wear a bikini, GO  for it!  True confidence comes from being content with who you are as a person.  And if you feel pressure to wear a bikini, but you really DON’T want to… then, DON’T!  Just rock that body that you are in right now, take care of your body the best you can with LOVING care and GRACE , and if you see those ads on Facebook, just scroll right past them, and remind yourself that you are perfect just the way you are.

skinny does not equal happyBlessings,

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach