Welcome to Soul Science Nutrition! – Episode #001
I hope that you enjoy my first episode as I share my “Six Core Truths”, how I transformed my relationship with food and my body and a sweet guided reflection that can begin to help shift the #1 obstacle to having the well being that you desire.
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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 and welcome to episode one of my brand new podcast, soul science nutrition. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for tuning in here today. To kick off what I know will be a series of uplifting conversations to help you feel more empowered in your body, in your health and in your life. This is a show that’s going to give you the tools to have actual breakthroughs in your health instead of the fake throughs that come from wellness, hype, and diet culture. Because let’s face it, during these unprecedented times now more than ever, we need meaningful, effective ways to take care of ourselves and health. While health is at the top of everyone’s minds these days. What it takes to create it, sustain it, what it means to have true wellbeing, what should we be doing and what shouldn’t we be doing? Well, as a holistic health coach for the last 10 years specializing in food and weight related challenges, I’ve been guiding people to see the importance of having strategies that support our true human design as physical, emotional, and spiritual beings.
In fact, I’ve been calling out the diet and wellness hype industry for a long time for leaving out a huge missing piece that the nature of health is a mind body interaction. Thus, we need strategies that aligned with this fact. It’s wonderful because today we have the science supporting what ancient healing systems have long known and that’s how we think and what we feel have a direct impact on our physical health. Take stress and anxiety and their known physical health effects, which are on a global stage more than ever before. Intuitively we even know and have a strong and growing appreciation for the importance of managing our emotions and regulating our thoughts in order to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Therefore, it’s never been more clear to me that the mainstream diet paradigm that tells us just eat less, move more, eat this, don’t eat that in order to be healthy.
Well, it’s just terribly inadequate for what we really need. In fact, any health approach that has you exclusively focused on just the physical component of your self care will only get you so far. I mean, let’s look at where we are right now amidst this global pandemic and quarantine. There’s so much chatter about gaining the quarantine 15 a lot of push from the diet industry that tells you in order to feel more in control, you have to come and do this diet and this cleanse and this detox. But come on guys. Let’s be real. First of all, let’s please acknowledge that seeking comfort in food right now, eating more food, eating different food, moving less, totally natural. Right now emotions are running high. What greater microcosm of our struggle with food and weight issues do we have than what’s before us right now? It’s not simply the food, it’s our emotions.
So why do we think that another punishing diet and exercise regime will give us what we’re looking for? Food and weight are the symptom. The cause is our inability to manage our mind and our emotions. Clients who have come to me have read a lot of books, have had minor success with personal trainers, so they truly know a lot about healthy eating and the importance of moving their bodies. But they struggled with making new habits stick. They learned that it wasn’t enough to know what to do. In fact, they discovered they had to be open to finding a new way to be. So if you’re fed up with yoyo dieting, chronic deprivation diets, frustrated with self sabotaging behaviors, and you’re looking for more sustainable ways to eat, cook and live healthily, well, if you’re looking for a more soul nourishing approach for lasting change, to create your best health, this is the show for you.
So today I want to share my six guiding principles that will be the core of what we explore together on future episodes of the soul science nutrition podcast. Think of them as my core truths, if you will. So number one, you are already whole amazing and complete. Contrary to what the diet industry wants you to believe, you are not a problem to be solved. Your body is not broken. Your metabolism is not broken. In fact, your body is the physical container for something truly sacred. The real you, your essence, pure positive energy. And when you elevate the perception of how you see yourself and your body, seeing through the three D perception of you, if you will, into your true nature, you have the power, amazing power to release limiting beliefs. You treat yourself and your body better, giving it the true nourishment that it deserves.
Your self care doesn’t feel like a burden. It comes from devotion. So I’m so excited to share with you this truth. You are already whole amazing and complete and give you the tools and practices that will help you connect to your body and your life. With this awe and appreciation that allows you to prioritize true nourishment. Truth number two, every health challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve. This truth gets you out of victim consciousness and back in the driver’s seat of your and in your life. This is when we look at our food and weight challenges as lessons or reflections of deeper imbalances within ourselves that need our attention. Our unwanted habits around food, our struggles to accept our bodies are opportunities to heal our soul. They sometimes literally stop us in our tracks and ask us to dig deep, to feed and give attention to what we truly hunger for in our lives.
So what if you stopped just stopped the battle and refuse to waste one more ounce of energy on battling yourself and your body? What if you started to see the challenges you face with losing weight or not being the size and shape that you want, or feeling like you’re living in the wrong body as opportunities for true healing and transformation? Now. I’m not saying that there aren’t real metabolic issues to address here, but what I’ve learned is that unless you practice shining the light of consciousness on your beliefs and mindset first, any external changes we try to make in our biology or in our habits will be short-lived. Our weight and health challenges offer lessons of patience, trust, surrender, and humility, and our obsession with dieting and controlling our weight masks these deeper struggles that we have, but when we’re open and eager to learn from them, we are more apt to find the inspiration, to take the right action, to live more fully and authentically, to evolve exponentially and heal in our being.
What needs healing? Truth number three, health and the healing process is a mind, body, soul interaction. The key to lasting weight loss is positive lifestyle change, but lifestyle changes don’t just involve changing what you do. They in fact involve changing what you believe. Our psychology and our biology are interconnected. Your mind impacts your metabolism. I have several nutrition certifications which have taught me how to eat healthy and heal on a physical level. But in my own journey and in coaching my clients I have so come to appreciate the primary importance of working with our minds and managing our emotions, working with our energy in order to create that true and deep wellbeing, trying to change the shape of our bodies without regard for what’s going on in our inner world is futile and sets us up for temporary results. So rather than relying solely on willpower, we need tools to balance our nervous systems so we can shift our attitudes, behaviors, and our biology and make a healthy lifestyle a lasting reality.
Truth number four, achieving our health and weight loss goals does not bring happiness. When I lose the weight, I’ll feel more confident. I’ll feel more attractive, I’ll be happier. Does this sound familiar? So many of us have believed all of this, that when it came to our weight loss goals, weight loss was the key to experiencing all those good things in life. Because at the core, the diet industry tells us, and the consumer mass wellness industry tells us that if you look a certain way thinner, then you’ll automatically just be happier. You’ll have more friends, you’ll feel more beautiful and have a loving partner, you’ll be more accepted. But here’s the reality. If achieving our weight loss goals actually gave us any of those things, then why does almost everyone who diets and drops the weight gains it all back plus more over and over and over again?
Well, it’s because the truth is weight loss will not result in any longterm happiness. One, if it’s done the wrong way or two, your weight and body shape is the only thing you seek to change. So it’s just like the saying goes, health and happiness are an inside job and the path to creating and sustaining a healthy body and lifestyle must begin with the willingness to go beyond the food that we eat. It’s in fact a journey of self-realization, realizing some core truths about ourselves that change us from the inside out. This happens when we slow down, break out of autopilot living and be willing. And curious to shift a hundred percent of our attention. Inward truth number five, self-love and self acceptance is required for healing and lasting positive life change, unchecked fear, shame, self doubt, guilt, all the things that the dieting mindset brings are so toxic to the body and keep us stuck in unhealthy behaviors.
When we treat our weight and health challenges like moral failing a battle like the enemy, we actually create the opposite conditions in our body that are essential for healing and transformation. In fact, when we prioritize instead our right to pleasure, joy, personal fulfillment, amazingly our food and weight challenges can truly heal because we know that guilt, blame, shame don’t lead to anything but more of the same. The truth is that when you begin the weight loss process from a place of self love and self-acceptance, you’re more likely to set realistic goals and be okay with the little setbacks and disappointments that can be such the derailing factor for so many. Until we accept ourselves, we’ll keep searching for happiness outside of ourselves and everywhere, everywhere, except where you need to truly look and that’s within yourself. So the right way to lose weight, if you will, or the right way to approach a positive, healthy lifestyle is to give yourself something that no diet, no meal plan, no exercise routine can ever give you.
And that’s self love. And finally, last but not least, core truth number six or soul science nutrition, the state of being for optimal health and healing is relaxation, stress, chemistry, derails metabolism and behaviors. And the relaxation response in the body is what promotes the hormone balance, mental clarity and health promoting habits that we need. So once again, I’m so excited on the show to share you tools that will help you access healing resources within yourself that you didn’t even know. You have things that cultivate an inner source of calm endurance and resilience practices that will bring balance to your nervous system and bounce the key hormones that impact your metabolism, giving us the inner will that will help us break out of old habits and create new ones. We’ll explore how choosing not to rush through life and to relax in the process of getting healthy and allows us to connect with the deeper wisdom.
In our bodies to get out of our hectic pace of living in our head and dropping in to the inner guidance system that’s in our hearts. Okay, so how did I get into all this stuff? Well, let me tell you a little bit about myself. A long time quiet inner struggle with food and my body started probably in early adolescence, was activated by a 65 pound weight gain over the course of a couple of years with two pregnancies. My kids are now young teenagers. By the way. I realized that my whole relationship with food and my body needed the change. It was quite unhealthy. I am able to see that the chronic dieting and the rigidity that I had around eating became a way for me to feel a sense of control over my life, a way to prove, achieve, and be perfect. And along with that came this, no pain, no gain, exercise approach, motivated out of perpetual dissatisfaction with myself.
So here’s what changed. I remember the day that I walked into my very first gym group Pilates class and had the blessing of meeting a teacher who espoused this very radical idea, which was essentially that we needed to love and appreciate ourselves now and give ourselves credit for all the effort of just showing up and being there. In other words, I had to drop into a level of acknowledgement and acceptance of where I was in order to move forward. This would be the first of many life-changing lessons I would learn in my journey around food and body. And that is how you relate to yourself, makes a huge difference in how you can take care of yourself and get healthy and lose the weight and keep it off. And this gave me the energy and the renewed clarity to start to make simple changes in my food.
Simply relying less on takeout meals, eating more simply prepared, less processed home cooked foods. Again, all of this is behaving before I went on to study nutrition or anything about healthy eating and the weight came off, the weight came off with so much less effort than ever before. And I attribute that mindset shift really for the ability to come into a piece and free up a whole lot of stagnated energy essentially that had kept me fearing my appetite and my body and I discovered the deep healing, the deep change that’s possible when we start to see our body as our friend and as our partner. I think it was at that point that I actually contacted a whole part of myself that believed that I was worthy of something better than all that pain and all that struggle and all that deprivation. So once again, once I did lose the weight, I did have another opportunity for some additional expansion and growth because I had a health scare after a routine mammogram, thankfully all turned out well.
But once again, this was an opportunity that catalyzed me into exploring an even deeper relationship around food, especially when it came to healing. So this was the beginning of my formal studies and I went on to study integrative and functional nutrition. I also became a professionally trained natural food chef. Went on to launch a coaching business, taught cooking classes and wellness workshops and also published a book a few years ago called the no diet cookbook, how to eat for health and pleasure. Uh, all of this encapsulating my passion for my food is medicine non diet approach. Now. It was in coaching the hundreds of women with these food and weight related challenges that I quickly recognized the deeper inner work that was necessary to restore true health and wellbeing beyond the physical body. I realized then that the weight and the food issues were really a mind body interaction.
So I dive deep into training, um, transformational life coaching, NLP based coaching, um, eating psychology, all of these things that explored the psychoemotional psychospiritual, the soul roots, if you will, of health and disease. And I became a self discovery and transformation junkie, intrigued with this whole science of the mind body connection. So I went on to incorporate, as I do now very much meditation and conscious breathing, yoga energy healing into my coaching work. I also discovered Kundalini yoga. Uh, about a year and a half ago, and I’m in the process of finishing up my teacher training certification. So a lot of my work that will be featured on this podcast will incorporate the yoga science and many of the Kundalini yoga breathing and meditation techniques, which I have found to be absolutely transformational in their ability to relieve stress, feel happier, more relaxed, and more empowered and more conscious in our bodies.
So now I can see when my clients come to me at war with their bodies, I recognize they’re at war with themselves. I’ve been there. So my intention is to help them and that constant assault and all the toxic stress and health derailing habits that STEM from that, there’s a reorientation that needs to happen and taking their attention to their inner world, cultivating a heightened sense of awareness and self reflection. Shifting from that place of judgment and into curiosity, just as I did, opens the door and the process of healing and transforming your relationship with food and your body is what’s needed to create the positive lasting change. I recently rebranded my business under the umbrella of Energetic Nourishment and I chose the name energetic nourishment to more appropriately reflect this holistic, genuinely holistic approach to working with the mind, body, and emotional aspects of our food and weight challenges.
Uh, the components that I’ve outlined in energetic nourishment are number one, our biology, right? Working with things like chronic inflammation and hormone imbalance and gut health. Working with our belief systems is number two, working with the practices designed to cultivate self exploration, releasing limiting beliefs and dealing with negative self talk. And the third feature of energetic nourishment in this paradigm are our behaviors. So the tools to disrupt those underlying mental and emotional patterns that drive the unwanted behaviors and give us the ability to rewire the subconscious with new and empowering health promoting behaviors. Okay. So now that you have an idea about me and my approach and the future topics on this show, I want to talk about the biggest obstacle to creating the healthy body we seek and that stress. Now they’re all kinds of stress, right? There’s the family stress, financial stress, relationship, stress, all kinds of everyday stress.
But specifically what I want to talk about is the stress of our own inner critic, our own self judgment, which I gave you a taste of as in when I was telling my story, but this kind of stress I found is really particularly toxic and debilitating and this is the mindset that has us forcing ourselves into either overzealous, exercise, punishing diets. All of the things that lead us to feeling worse about ourselves wreaking havoc on our bodies and derailing our self care when I’ve learned is that the more you let that negative inner voice takeover, the more it’s going to hold you back from what you want. There’s this overarching belief that our inner critics narrative comes from, there’s something wrong with me. This is what feeds the unhealthy obsession to fix ourselves, to fix our bodies at all costs, and it takes on this persona of being a never ending project.
I found that this is the most subtle bit of debilitating chronic negativity toward ourselves and it’s veiled in the language of getting healthy and wellness, but it boils down to a lack of self acceptance and this debilitating belief. There’s something wrong with me is not something that keeps us in line. It actually breeds so much more stress and self sabotage. So what I want to say to you is if you’re secretly perhaps unconsciously hating yourself or let’s just say not relating to yourself with kindness and I mean even those parts that you’ve decided are unlovable and let’s say you’ve been doing all the right things, quote unquote when it comes to food and exercise. Well I want you to know you’re not doing yourself any favors for the long haul. Now self adversity, hating yourself, right? This is a spectrum and what I’ve learned is that anything less than a hundred percent unconditional self-love derails you because the body perceives some form of self attack.
And it’s the work of exploring what holds us back from self love and self compassion. This work is deep, but I know the gifts are priceless. Feeling good about yourself energizes you to take effective action for lasting positive change to happen. Feeling good about yourself also relaxes our bodies and it brings harmony to our nervous system in a way that we need to for for true health and healing to happen. So what I’d like to do now is close with a short guided reflection. So if I can ask you to just take a moment, get comfortable and let your eyes close gently and just start to come into awareness of your breathing.
Feel your breath and take your awareness inside yourself. Just notice general inhales and exhales. Our breath is so much more than respiration. Our breath is also our thoughts and emotions. So it was really powerful when we get to know our breath. Getting to know our breath is a gateway to learning to sooth ourselves and it’s so beautiful and so healing. Let’s just take a moment now and just notice with each inhale and exhale, you slowly relax. Letting go of any tension just coming into this moment of awareness. And as you sit here, please ask yourself, if you carry this belief, there’s something wrong with me.
What emotions are you most aware of? As you asked that question? Simply acknowledge and observe and then take your attention to your body. I’d like you to feel the place in your body where you experience this and ask, what am I believing about myself? Perhaps it’s I’m not enough. I’m hopeless. I’ll be rejected. Now feeling into that part of you that’s most vulnerable, I’d like you to ask, what do you really need? What is the message deep within your heart that your soul needs to hear? What would be most healing and reassuring in this moment? And I’d like you now to just listen and perhaps you might consciously relax your body even more. Perhaps you want to place your hands on your heart so that we can go deeper inward and going into this quiet sacred space in your being deeply listening to what’s needed. Sensing how this part of you needs you to respond with love and care.
Notice when you access this deep heart space, tending to yourself in this natural presence. Please sense now what your life could be like if there was nothing wrong with you. If you didn’t believe the limiting thoughts, what would your self care look like? What would be different in how you care for yourself? Who could you be? What would it feel like if you knew in every cell of your being that you were whole complete and enough? A beautiful quote that captures the power of this reflection. The healer who you have been looking for is your own courage to know and love yourself completely. Beautiful. Thank you. I hope that you will join me for future episodes of the soul science nutrition podcast so we can continue these beautiful conversations that will guide you to understand and appreciate your body in a completely new and different way.
I am so excited to show you a whole new capacity within yourself to create the health that you desire going forward. Each episode will be about 20 to 25 minutes in length. We’ll tackle one interesting topic. Our shows will be solo conversations and eventually a mix of special guest interviews as well to deepen our conversation. I invite you to hit subscribe. If you enjoy this podcast and want to hear the next episode and I invite you to learn more about me. Check out my blog and some recipes. Sign up for my newsletter on my website, WW dot energetic nourishment.com and you can check me out on Instagram too. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for being here. Love light, peace, and great health to you. Bye for now.