From Body Manipulation to Body Freedom – Episode #007 Michelle Garside

In this show, I have a heart opening conversation with Michelle Garside, a rockstar in the consciousness raising and holistic health industry whose work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Good Morning America and Forbes Magazine. Michelle shares her personal transformational journey through bulimia, binge eating and food restriction. We dive deep into Michelle’s toolbox for healing her relationship with food, her body and her life. Be sure to listen until the end where she gives us powerful advice for how we can best show up for our higest good in today’s challenging times.

Check out Michelle’s Website to learn more how she is doing her part to create a happier, healthier and more conscious world! Soul Camp Creative

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Podcast Transcript

Christine Okezie (00:00):
Welcome to the soul science nutrition podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie. Hello,
Christine Okezie (00:22):
hello, and welcome to soul science nutrition. I’m Christine Okezie. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s really special show. So today we have our guest Michelle Garside. Michelle Garside is an amazing woman. She is the cofounder of soul camp and adult transformational sleepaway camp, as well as soul camp creative, a full service strategy and branding agency devoted to working with conscious companies and brands positively impacting the planet. Michelle is a force to be reckoned with in the consciousness space. Her work has been featured in Oprah magazine, travel and leisure fitness women’s health. Good morning America, ABC news, parents, fortune and Forbes. Michelle has worked with some of the most amazing thought leaders in the consciousness and healing space, including Gabby Bernstein, joy Bauer, and Marianne Williamson. Michelle has been described as an exuberant spark of creative genius, a force of positive energy and bright light.
Christine Okezie (01:30):
I have had the pleasure of working with Michelle a couple of times to launch and grow my businesses where I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone that has the potent combination of intuition and marketing brilliance that she does. And Michelle is so kind enough to share her time with us today to explore the transformational powers of food on her journey. We’re going to dive deep into Michelle’s toolbox for healing, her relationship with food and explore some powerful themes. The first is how healing our relationship with food is about learning to truly nourish ourselves. How healing happens when we make the conscious choice to feel all our emotions, how connecting to a higher power or our true self is powerful medicine. And finally, Michelle and I are going to talk about the joy of finding freedom in your body and letting go of body manipulation. Okay. Welcome Michelle. Thank you so much for being on soul science nutrition today. I’m so grateful to have you here.
Michelle Garside (02:44):
Oh my gosh. I am so happy to be here. I’m so excited to be in conversation with you. Thank you for having me.
Christine Okezie (02:51):
Yeah. Yeah. And we’re living in really interesting times. Aren’t we,
Michelle Garside (02:55):
we are, there is a lot, a lot to feel and to move through and to process and someone who just recently over the past few years has really learned to feel it’s it’s uh, it’s interesting times for sure. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (03:11):
Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s a beautiful jumping off point, you know, here, when we talk about our relationship with food and health, um, it’s really all about the journeys and it, and, and the process of coming into just a deeper level of awareness for everything that is going on with us. Right?
Michelle Garside (03:32):
Absolutely. Yeah. Because you know, I, and I know that you stand for this fully also is food is like our ultimate nourishment, right? Our relationship with food is really our relationship with nourishment for ourselves. Um, so it’s not just about the food, it’s about our feelings, our thoughts, our actions around actually just taking care of ourselves.
Christine Okezie (03:55):
Oh my gosh. Yes. So, Michelle, um, could you tell me about a time in your life when food wasn’t so nourishing when your relationship with food wasn’t really nourishing for you?
Michelle Garside (04:06):
Wow. Well, truly my, my whole first, I would say 30 years of living, um, an excuse, you might hear some sirens in the city, but yeah. You know, I think I, from a very, very early age, uh, learned how to use food, um, in ways other than nourishment, um, to numb out, to hide, to, um, feel better when my circumstances made me feel otherwise, um, using food or restricting food is as a way of control. So I think honestly from the time I was eight, nine, 10, um, I really began using food in that way. Um, then the next 15 years or so, it was really intense eating disorders. So, um, from restriction and anorexia to swinging to the other side, to binge eating and bulemia and everything in between, um, you know, throughout high school, throughout college, throughout my first years as a professional, like I really, really hurt myself with and through food.
Michelle Garside (05:18):
Um, it was my number one tool to, to, to hurt. And, um, I it’s really only been the past, I would say 10 years that I have truly found healing with food with my body, with myself. Um, but yeah, the first, when you ask, like, was there a time it’s like, I have an easier time with thinking of like, when was there not a time? Um, like really the first, I would say the first 30 years of my life really was, um, trials and tribulations through using and abusing food in ways other than for nourishment and healing.
Christine Okezie (05:56):
Yeah. Thank you.
Christine Okezie (05:58):
And what was that like for you emotionally? What was the radio station in your head that, you know, just played on and on that, that created that relationship? You know, not enoughness, um, not enoughness. I think if I was to put it all in one word, it was, I am not enough, so I am not thin enough. I am not smart enough. I am not pretty enough. I am not worthy enough. I am not enough to be here on the planet and I needed to find different ways to manipulate that. So if I was thinner than maybe I would be enough and then thinner was never a, it had, there was an ideology, not us, not a number and I never hit it. So then I would just swing back, um, to numbing out the feelings of not enoughness. So really, um, you know, if you add that, the question of like, what was the radio station? The radio station was definitely set to like one Oh 1.1 not,
Michelle Garside (06:56):
Oh my gosh. And let me tell you, that’s got pretty high ratings in my world, so, unfortunately, right.
Michelle Garside (07:03):
And listen, and that’s that radio station that hasn’t gone away, right? Like that radio station still does show itself. I still sometimes realize, Oh, wow. There’s that music playing in the background again? Um, you know, it’s, it’s not like I’m completely healed from the patterning that got me to abuse myself. It’s good. But I have other, um, systems of support. I have other things that I rely on and go to when I hear that one Oh 1.1 playing, um, I read a lot for something else.
Christine Okezie (07:34):
Yeah. Thank you. What was the point? Um, you said it is fairly recently, right? In the sense that you’re, you’re still on the journey and we all are still on the journey, but what was the turning point for you when you knew something had to change?
Michelle Garside (07:50):
Yeah, so I found 12 step recovery and I found what I refer to as God, um, back in 2006, which is 14 years ago. And, uh, but even while I found recovery, there were still relapse after relapse after relapse. And, um, it really wasn’t until six years ago. So I had just started dating someone and, um, my eating disorder and my disordered relationship with food was such a part of who I was such a part of my identity. I just kind of plain bluntly told him, listen, you know, if you don’t hear from me for a few days, this is what’s going on. Um, sometimes I just disappear, but like, I’ll be back. Don’t worry. I just, very matter of fact, like, you know, this is part of me, like take it or leave it. And, um, you know, and this is just like part of my identity.
Michelle Garside (08:47):
And he was like, um, no, that’s, that’s not okay. Um, I don’t feel comfortable falling in love with you. And, and wondering if, what, like, if you’re around a toilet bowl or if you’re like, what’s going on with you? Um, I, you know, he said something to me that just really woke me up. He said, you know, Michelle, you’re an old timer in, in this addiction with food and, and abusing your body with food and old timers die. And he kind of gave me, you know, like an unspoken ultimatum. And we had literally just started dating. This was like, like month two of, of dating. And he was like, you know, either we just end this right here and, um, or you really need to need to work through this. And it just woke me up to like, Oh, wow, like there are two paths in front of me right now.
Michelle Garside (09:44):
And I chose the path to go back to that room, 12 step meeting, raise my hand and say, listen, I really need to work this the real way. I can’t just like show up and half asset, like I need support. I need a sponsor. I need a food plan. I need someone helping me with my relationship with God with a higher power. And that was six years ago. And that man is now my husband, the father of my two year old. And, um, but it really was this moment of time where I had choice and I, um, and it wasn’t just about me anymore. You know, my addiction with food was really, really selfish. Like I would just not show up for the people in my life for, for, for things in my life. If I was feeling disgusted with myself, like it was all about me.
Michelle Garside (10:35):
It was all about my body. It was all about the food. And, um, you know, when Eric, my husband, you know, stood before me crying and was like, I’m falling in love with you. Like, are you going to choose this? Or are you going to choose to continue abusing yourself with food? It was like so clear that, um, I wanted to choose another way. And, um, and I’ve been abstinent from, from bulemia for, for all of that time, since that conversation with him. So, um, yeah, that, that’s kind of the last few years, which has been really, really amazing.
Christine Okezie (11:10):
So beautiful. Thank you. That’s, it’s such a courageous awakening to have, right. A real clarification process where literally I got this image of you literally saw like a fork in the road. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s those moments now that kind of wake us up. Sometimes they have to bring us to our knees, right. To really get the clarity and what really matters, who we’re, who we’re going to be. Wow. Right.
Michelle Garside (11:38):
And especially in times like this, you know, that we’re going through and learning through it’s so uncomfortable. And my go to, um, medicine for being uncomfortable, be it through, I feel fat I’m uncomfortable or the world is burning around me. I’m uncomfortable. Um, has always been food has always been stuffing, stuffing, stuffing the feelings down. Um, so that I it’s, you know, I always say it’s so much easier for me to feel fat than to feel scared. It’s easier for me to feel fat than to feel like, wow. You know, to look at my own limitations, my own white fragility, my own white supremacy. Right. Like to look at that ingrained stuff that feels so uncomfortable. Um, it’s easier for me to just overeat and feel fat and then concentrate on that feeling instead. Um, and so when times are turbulent like this, and there is a people ever more, so I have to be vigilant to, um, to stay in the feeling to feel my feelings, not to blow my food.
Christine Okezie (12:49):
Oh my gosh. Medicine. Right. Cuts both ways. Sometimes medicine can heal or if we abuse it and overuse it. Right. Um, it does the opposite. So you talk so much about what we talk about here on the show, which is the pathway through is the pathway through, right. And it’s using a different way to manage our emotions and our, I guess our, our perspective really, right. How our emotions inform, well, what’s really happening and how do I, how can I navigate this? Right. So what, how do you steer through that these days in these really challenging times where the not enoughness can show up in just really perverse ways, right. Not doing enough, not being enough, should have done more, could have done more. What do I do next have to do more, right. How do you quiet that radio station these days?
Michelle Garside (13:46):
Yeah. Yeah. And like I said, that radio station definitely is still here. Um, you know, I have tools and I have solutions, right. Um, that I didn’t have before and I used them. So first and foremost, I have learned for myself that my shame keeps me sick. So if I am feeling shame about anything, be it about how I’m showing up in the world today, or be it about, you know, me getting an error on a test, whatever it is. Um, keeping that in me is the termites that ended up taking the house down. Right. It’s like little, little blocks of shame start adding up and then suddenly the whole infrastructure of the hospitals. Um, so first and foremost, I talk about it. I have trusted friends. I have people in my 12 step recovery, you know, that I turn to, when I say, Hey, listen, I’m feeling like really not enough.
Michelle Garside (14:41):
Or, Hey, I’m feeling like, um, you know, I’m not showing up the right way in this moment or, Hey, I just ate, you know, five extra rice cakes, whatever it is. Right. Like I immediately need to get that out of me because if not, it will get me, it will keep me sick. It will, I will just, it will just topple down the house. Um, so that’s first and foremost, secondly, I have a relationship with God. I, you know, connect with God every single morning. I say, you know, please let me do, as you want, let me act according to your will, like whatever you want me to say and act and do like speak through me. Um, so that’s really how I begin my day. And then I just like really make sure that how I’m feeding myself, not just food, but media, social, media, television, like that, you know, I definitely stay aware and I definitely watched the news, especially right in this moment, but I don’t like numb myself out with social media.
Michelle Garside (15:44):
I step away I take breaks. I go outside. I like, I just, I break up, I break it all up so that it’s not just me and CNN and constantly consuming, like, because it could be, I, I can come out with anything, right. Be it food, or be at news or be at Facebook or be at shopping. Um, so I really just am aware of that. I know myself without judgment. Like I, you know, that’s the other thing I really don’t judge. Um, if I overeat, I, you know, I speak to myself kindly as if I, you know, as I would want my friends to write, like, of course you’re overeating a little in this moment in shell, like the world is burning. Like it’s okay. Be gentle, have tools in a tool box. Right. And, and those tools are about, you know, emotional, um, emotional about physical. I moved my body in a way that’s really healthy and not overdoing it. I don’t hurt myself with people or places or things, you know, but it, for me, it’s definitely community-based, I need, I rely on other people. I can not do this alone. Um, and I rely on a higher power. Um, whatever, whatever, you know, you refer to as that, I refer to it as bad.
Christine Okezie (17:03):
Yes. Thank you so much for that. There’s a lot to reflect on here because we need to recognize that our struggles with food and our body are multidimensional and we need a variety, a broader menu of you will have options on how to cope. We need to build all the toolbox. So tell me more about, you know, your, your connection to a higher power, because this is huge because I’ve come to see in my own journey of awakening, that when it comes to our food and our health issues, you know, there’s the biological, the psychological and the emotional. But what I’ve come to understand is that caring for our soul is also so needed. And spirituality, if you will, like you said, whether you refer to that as God, a belief in a higher power, while in my journey, I discovered a sense of wholeness, a sense of connectedness, which was ultimately a feeling of finding a sense of comfort or a Haven that never existed before. Wow, what’s the emotion. When you sit, I guess you go in your morning, I have the same, you know, go in the morning, I sit down and I just allow and receive what’s that like for you? What do you, what washes overview when you give yourself over? If I can say that
Michelle Garside (18:21):
for me, it’s, it feels like a smile in my heart. It feels like, you know, and I was lucky and not enough of, you know, I had a mother who really instilled a sense of, there is more than just us from a very, very early age. So, and, and not with regards to like what the church says or what the temple says, but more so what do you think Michelle, like, what is, what does God feel like and look like to you? I remember drawing pictures of what God was and, you know, reading books about like, you know, just, it was from forever. I always, you know, and I know now that that’s where I thought everyone just had that, but, um, it was very rare. Um, but I had that sense of like, God loves me for, from a very, very early age. And I get to create whatever that feeling and it’s morphed over the years when I was younger, it was like, man, in a cloud, you know, then it was nature.
Michelle Garside (19:18):
Then it was, you know, bubbles of bliss. And, and now more than anything, it’s really just an energy of acceptance and energy of, um, ever lasting support. Like nothing is too small for me to turn over. Nothing is too, um, selfish for me to ask for help with like any time I need to feel, you know, the love of something greater than myself. Like, I really can just close my eyes and ask to feel it like, I, you know, and for me it’s like, are you throughout the day? I’m like, are you there? Like, I feel that I say that to myself. Like, are you there? Are you there? Are you there? And then I feel almost like a warm fire in my belly. It’s like that, like, yes, I’m always here, Michelle, I’m Amy, you Michelle, like, there’s no separation Michelle, but, um, I forgot. I’m a, I’m a, I’m a forgetter. So every single morning I do that practice just to remember like, Oh yeah, God’s there. Cause over the 30 years that I hurt myself with food, you know, God was there for me. I just never turned it on. Never turned it over. Um, so, so yeah, now that’s just like a conscious thing that I do to remember. Cause I forget every day.
Christine Okezie (20:38):
Thank you. Yeah. I call it spiritual amnesia. Right. It’s like, we just need to kind of plug in and, you know, go inside. Right. Because it can be a lot harder to navigate when you don’t have that place of kind of, but foundation. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s really an inside job. Isn’t it? As they say, as cliche as it is,
Christine Okezie (21:00):
it really is an inside job. And what you were talking about with regards to all the diets too. It’s like I, from when I was nine years old, I was in weight Watchers. I was in Jenny Craig. I was a vegan. I was a vegetarian, I didn’t eat carbs. I didn’t eat sugar. I didn’t eat flour. I didn’t eat. I went on just cleanses and colonics. I was raw. Like you name it. And it was never about the food. It was never about the food. It was about why I was using the food and um, for me and, and why I wanted to hurt myself with food and what I was numbing out from. And once I was able to deal with what was underneath that, I mean, everything changed, everything shifted.
Christine Okezie (21:44):
Yes. I know that we’ve talked, um, in the past about, you know, the, you know, there’s therapy and you know, there’s reading lots of books and, you know, reciting affirmations and how do you move forward? You know, because it’s one thing to understand. Oh, okay. It’s the household I grew up in and it was this. And is that, how do you move forward? Because that’s what we really want to know. Right. What’s how do we start to fill our toolbox that we can live today instead of just, you know, okay, now I understand, but now what do I do? Tell me about your process
Michelle Garside (22:15):
again, that turning point, because I have been in therapy since I was seven, right. So my, my parents are therapists and like ever present. Um, but excuse me for me, I think when that date came with Eric, um, saying, you really need to do this. You can’t just show up for support meetings and then like go your Merry way. I made a conscious decision to do the work like that is the turning point, that choice to begin to do the work. Yeah. And with that, it’s not necessarily like I hired more people or it was just my actions. Yeah. It wasn’t about like hiring someone new or, you know, getting another therapist or getting another, this or another, that it was just really the conscious decision to begin to truly take action. Because at the end of the day, we all have an idea of what we need to do.
Michelle Garside (23:19):
Right. So it’s just figuring out why we haven’t done it, you know? And like for me, the food was really working for me as far as I, I, at that time really needed to not feel I really needed to just numb out. Like there was a lot of shit that like, I wasn’t ready to face, um, from my childhood, from my past, from all of that. And so, you know, thank you food for numbing me out when I needed it. And then the day came when I was ready to move through it. And what that looks like for me is I have a therapist that I’m working through trauma in my childhood with, I have support from my 12 step meeting to hold me accountable. And I have a nutritionist that keeps it. So like, this is basically just like here, Michelle, here’s your food plan. This is what you eat. And because it’s not about food, right? Like it’s like plain and simple, but it’s really about everything else. Right? Like, it’s really about why did I go so many years without wanting to nourish myself? Why was I looking to numb out with food and other things, um, and really choosing to move through that.
Christine Okezie (24:32):
Thank you choice. And it’s, it’s the, it’s making the, um, the unconscious, you know, conscious. Right. And really, I love when you say I made the decision to feel,
Michelle Garside (24:45):
Oh yes. And it’s hard. And I understand why I didn’t want to for so long, especially right now, right now talking like if I was not in recovery right now, if I would be ordering pizza after pizza, after pizza, I would be drinking every day. I’m sober also. I would be, you know, it’s so hard. It’s so hard to show up for your life.
Christine Okezie (25:09):
Yes, yes, yes. And so what’s, how do you help yourself show up for life? What’s, what’s your secret? What’s the medicine for showing up? Michelle?
Michelle Garside (25:21):
It’s not about me. You know, like for me, it’s like, I want to be a mom. I want to be a good mom to my son. Um, I have, uh, I have changed especially now more than ever. Like, clearly I want to be part of the change that is in this world. And if I’m just sitting on my couch, eating and watching Bravo, there’s no way that I’m going to be able to be of service to other people if I’m not up service to myself. So like, that really is like, if I want to actually like, make impact on this planet that I’m in, while I’m here, I have to do the work. Um, I have to do the work and it starts with me. And then it goes to my family and my son, and then it goes to the greater community, but it starts with me.
Christine Okezie (26:06):
Oh, thank you. So beautiful. I know one of your favorite mantras is life is happening for you not to you. Can you tell me about that?
Michelle Garside (26:16):
Absolutely. I mean, it really is just the belief that every hardship, every pain point, everything is happening for us. I mean, even right now, just using the example of what’s happening in our country. Like, I truly believe this is happening for our country to make our country a better place. Like this needs to happen. And like the systems, the way that they were were not working, never were, um, they’re only working for some people and that doesn’t. Um, so, you know, just, and, and, and then to go to a more micro example, it’s like, if I, you know, if I lose a client contract or if a sponsor for my one, you know, backs out last minute in the past, I would have gone to like, Oh no, what was me? This is bad. You know, judge, judge, judge. And now I’m really able to think like, this is happening for me. I wonder what space, you know, in this space that is cleared from this client, who’s going to come in her place or in his place, like in, in the, in the space that is cleared from the sponsor for the event, like what’s going to be created instead, like really able to not take hardship personally. Um, even if it’s personal and like really begin to believe that like, life is supportive for you. Um, if you’re able to, to see it that way,
Christine Okezie (27:36):
if you’re able to see it that way. Yeah, I get it. Um, so when it comes to sound, there’s a lot of forgiveness. I think that happens. You said you I’m so grateful for my journey with food. I’m so grateful for, I had food as my comfort as my source of comfort. I it’s, it’s what I needed at the time. Would you say to someone who says I’m having a really hard time, like just forgiving myself for all the things that happen? I just, you know, I, I really hurt myself. I’ve been down the wrong path over and over again. How do you get to a point where you can acknowledge just as you said, that everything is there happening for you?
Michelle Garside (28:16):
I mean, for me, what I would say and what I’ve done in the past is really getting in touch with that little girl, like my, the younger version of myself, and really like seeing her for a while. I like her, my, my iPhone, you know, background was a photo of myself at, at seven years old, really connecting to her, really talking to her or him. Right. Like really understanding what they were feeling, what they were going through, what they, what was going on that made them turn to food in the first place. Right. It’s because that’s the first step. It’s really getting back to the, like, not even the why, but like the feeling behind it. Right. And if that feeling was, I was lost, I was scared. I felt alone. I was isolated. I had nowhere else to turn. Then, you know, you’re able to have more compassion for that little girl.
Michelle Garside (29:10):
You’re able to like really want to hold her instead of berate her. You it’s, it’s easier for us just as humans to like, you know, have that compassionate feeling for children who are just don’t have, you know, the tools yet. And you watching, you didn’t have the tools yet. Um, so that would, I think be what I would say is like, if it’s carrying around a photo or, you know, really doing some meditation, like really getting back in touch with the younger version of you before you using food and really figuring out like the what and the why and how you were feeling, um, and really connecting there.
Christine Okezie (29:50):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. Inner child work. Right. When we remember our innocence, it, it allows us to be more tender, as you said, more gentle. And I think that’s, isn’t that how we heal. I mean, it’s not through, you know, criticism and shame it’s through love and self acceptance. Yeah. Thank you. Oh my gosh. Now I’ve had the pleasure of working with you. Um, couple of times now in your brilliant, I don’t even know how to describe it, cause I still don’t know what happens. Michelle is I introduced you earlier, um, brings this incredible blend of spiritual intuition, um, and, and creative genius. And it’s, it’s almost, I want to say a hundred percent channeled or energetic in nature. So I want to ask you Michelle, you know, your connection to a higher power, the deep dive you’ve, you’ve gone on to really know yourself and become more awake in your life. What is the role of intuition in your life? How do you describe intuition? How does it guide you in your everyday now in your work and in your self care?
Michelle Garside (31:04):
I love that question. I mean, for me, God and intuition are really, really closely intertwined. It’s almost like intuition is the voice through which God speaks in a way for me. Um, I feel like it’s God given, I don’t really see a separation. So for me, it’s a tuning in like, what I truly believe is that we already know the answer it’s already right. It’s the decision is, do we want to hear those answers yet or not? Right. And sometimes we don’t. Right. Like, especially when it comes to like relationships or big decision, like sometimes we don’t want to know and that’s fine. That’s okay. Um, but yeah, for me, I really look as intuition as, as God given. And, and throughout the day I check in it’s I call it checking in. I check in, um, you know, before I respond, I check in, before I post something, I check in to make sure that like, what I’m doing is in integrity and in alignment with what my intuition already knows.
Michelle Garside (32:02):
Um, and then yeah, when it comes to the brand breakthroughs, Holy moly. I mean, I could not do those groundbreakers and to your point, I mean, I very, I very rarely frame it this way, but it is all channeling. Like I’m able to create a clear space within to just hear my, hear that God given voice. Um, and then I just write it down and I’m boom, Whoa. Um, but if I was like filled with shame, if I was filled with resentment and regret, I wouldn’t have as clear of a space as I needed to within, in order to create what I need to create every day.
Christine Okezie (32:41):
What do you know about your body now and our human body? I should say, in the last 14 years, like what didn’t, you know, and what do you know without a shadow of a doubt now? I mean, without a shadow of a doubt is like our bodies are
Michelle Garside (32:57):
vessels that are carrying our true selves and, you know, it’s like, how do we want to move in these vessels? Like, Oh my gosh, I have a body. How wild, like, I want to be able to move. I want to be able to run around. I want not because, Oh, look at me. But like, this is a brief moment in time that I get to be in this body. Like, let me have the time of my life. Let me be in a healthy body for this moment. Um, I also believe that our bodies are meant to move. I really, in the past only, you know, looked at movement as a weight loss, you know, initiative, and I really don’t anymore. It’s, you know, I think our bodies are meant to flats are meant to move are meant to yeah. It’s we have to, and that’s something I definitely know, without a shadow of a doubt too.
Christine Okezie (33:49):
So reframing what food means to you requires us to reframe how we see our bodies and, and, and what what’s, what they’re really all about. Right? Absolutely. So the movement piece, I know that you did something fascinating, um, in your journey that combined, you know, movement physical movement with a lot of mind, body, you know, um, affirmation work and NLP work. And is that, so how do you move your body today? Like how, how much of that is part of your
Michelle Garside (34:21):
GoTo in your toolbox today? Definitely part of my toolbox, I mean, in quarantine, I got a Peloton, so, you know, wow. And able to be on the, be on the bike once a day for 30 to 45 minutes, like not crazy, but, um, be moving my body, be moving my body. Um, I also do dance parties with my son, which is, you know, a newer way of me to feel free in my body and, and totally not attached to weight loss or body manipulation. It’s really just a freedom. Um, I, it’s hard for me right now to do yoga just because I’m in a small New York city apartment and my son is literally like on me, but, um, but that’s definitely part, you know, I love yoga. I love hot yoga. Um, you know, and, and it’s really, my relationship with movement has morphed. Like back in the day I was going to 90 minute Vikrum classes every single day.
Michelle Garside (35:21):
Um, not for the freedom that I felt for, for something else, you know? And, um, it really has taken me a while to figure out like what feels nourishing as opposed to, um, manipulating, um, I love the distinction. Yeah. Manipulating, fixing, right. There’s so much that goes on with, again, you know, the programming that says I have to be a certain way, move my body a certain way. It’s it’s soul killing. And speaking of soul, you have, um, this amazing, you know, brand and, and, and service platform built around nourishing our soul of all things as w tell me about that. What does that mean? How did that come about and how, how would you say we need to pay attention to our soul? Why is our soul important? I mean, tell us who we are, right. Our bodies are what we’re in. Um, and, uh, our soul knows the way, you know, like our soul already knows that intuition, that it’s like follow the voice of your soul.
Michelle Garside (36:27):
It, it definitely knows where you’re going and what you’re wanting and what you’re needing. Um, yeah, but we, so I have two sides of my businesses. One is soul camp creative, which is the branding agency strategy for people like you, um, which I’m so lucky and grateful that I get to do that work and really just help elevate and create brands and websites and logos and all of that for people who are just changing the world and helping people change their lives. So that’s beautiful. And then we have soul cam, which is our huge mind, body, spirit, wellness, personal development, sleepaway camp for adults. And we bring in, um, you know, top instructors and all things from movement meditation to anything. Right. Um, and then it’s like at a kids camp. So we, for four days, four nights for like doing transformation on trampolines and getting like, it’s, it’s like the most fun time ever.
Michelle Garside (37:29):
Um, and we created that, me and my business partner, Allie, cause we freaking love camp. We love camp. We went to camp, you know, our entire childhood. It like completely, you know, made us who we are and you know, the community that is created in a space like that when it’s not about who you are, what you do, but it’s about who you are and what you do. Um, totally. And then bringing together all of our favorite spiritual, you know, teachers and friends, it was like, I should mortgage work. It was the thought process was like, we love camp. We love spirituality. Could we create the camp of our dreams? Like that’s how this started. It was never like a business plan or it was just like, wow, that would be so freaking fun. And then 150 people showed up and then the next year 300 people showed up and then we’re like, Oh wait, this is the business.
Michelle Garside (38:21):
Holy moly. Talk about following your bliss, following your joy, following the ease. Like it was just so soul guided intuition guided, like it was just yes, yes, yes. Loud, vibrant yeses, every step of the way. And, and we followed that until it didn’t feel that way. And then we paused, right. So we really, really, you know, follow as a company, this, you know, mindset of, we let, we do not force, you know, we, we let things happen. We do not force them to happen. So when things were feeling like, ah, we are wrong, we followed that. And thank God we would have had to close our campus year cause of coronavirus. So yeah. Um, so yeah, we, we definitely follow our intuition absolutely. When it comes to our business, um, as well.
Michelle Garside (39:13):
Right. So what we do, you know, one way we do always, and I think the journey with food and coming into a greater understanding of being able to trust yourself and trust your body and trust life. Um, it just resonates in so many different levels, you know, beyond the food that we put in our mouth, but it’s actually how we navigate because so much of the diet industry is about push and manipulation and force and you know, kind of single pointed focus and, you know, live above the neck and all of that stuff. And it’s, it’s what blocks the healing that really needs to happen in our lives.
Michelle Garside (39:50):
Christine Okezie (39:52):
Yeah. So ease and flow and nourishment and nourishment on all levels. Thank you so much. Okay, Michelle. Well, I’m going to ask you just one last question. We are in a really challenging time. What’s the radio station and we need to tune into
Michelle Garside (40:11):
the radio station. I think we need to turn into now is called pray and move your feet. Um, I think that we need to take care of ourselves. Yes. We need to do our inner work, but we also need to take action. Um, it’s not just about the inner work anymore. It’s not just about how do I heal myself, heal myself, heal myself. It’s about how to I heal help to heal the collective. And yes, of course it has to do with ourselves. But, um, you know, there’s a fire going on and either, you know, by us stepping back, we’re just letting it burn. Um, and I think that, you know, pray and move your feet is, is where we need to be. We need to be praying. We need to be turning into God or, or intuition or nature or universe or whatever. And we need to be doing something. We need to be helping to create the change we want to see.
Christine Okezie (41:08):
Oh my gosh, pray and move your feet. All right. Amen. Michelle, getting a tee shirt made right now. All right, Michelle. Well, I’ll so much love and blessings to you and your amazing family. And um, thank you again for sharing your wisdom and your story with us.
Michelle Garside (41:26):
Thank you for having me. It was a blast.
Christine Okezie (41:28):
All right, Michelle blessings take care.

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