We pose this weighty question to three incredible women in wellness. Here’s what they said.
Trigger warning: We realise the topic of weight can be a sensitive one. Please know our intention is to engage, not offend, our WelleCommunity in this important conversation about wellness.
At WelleCo, we understand that within each of us is an innate desire to be healthy and well. And just as importantly, to feel it! We talk to our founder, Elle Macpherson, our formulator, clinical nutritionist and naturopath, Dr. Simone Laubscher Ph.D and WelleCo contributor,Claudia Kent, to find out how they navigate their longest relationship to date: the one they have with their bodies.
WelleCo Founder, Elle Macpherson
“In 1986, I became ‘The Body’. Time Magazine coined the term. Though a little daunting, it reflected to me the value of my efforts to excel at what I do. At the time, I was associating wellness with fitness, so my effort involved a strong fitness protocol until 20 years later when I was coming to the realisation that beauty actually begins within.
In 2014, I had just turned 50 and I had realised I could no longer rely solely on my genetics for a healthy body. I felt run down and irritable. I wasn’t sleeping well, I had no energy to exercise, I was eating too much sugar and I felt uninspired and unmotivated. At a loss as to how to feel better, I went to see nutritionist Dr. Simone Laubscher PhD at her London clinic. That visit changed the course of my life. She explained to me the importance of anti-inflammatory body. She went on to create a potent nutritional greens protocol for me.
She was right. After just a few weeks combining the greens with other life-style changes, I was feeling better than ever. In no time at all, the quality of my skin, hair and nails had improved, sugar cravings reduced, I regained my sense of vitality, my sleep improved, and my energy levels were higher than they’d been for a long time. I felt stronger and leaner, more well and therefore, more me.
That nutritional greens powder went on to become what is now The Super Elixir™ — so powerful it birthed a business. Ten years ago, no one had heard of ‘ingestible beauty’ but I realised beauty is soul deep, not just skin-deep. I was passionate about wanting to change the age-old perception of beauty founded on youth to beauty founded on wellness. It’s a very empowering realisation.
Today, I know intimately what wellness feels like because I live it. I’ve also experienced the contrast firsthand. I started WelleCo so I could share my findings by offering to the world the same elixirs and solutions that helped me repair and flourish in my own life. The Super Elixir™ ensures I receive all the nutrients I need to function confidently and optimally while also assisting my digestion and stabilising my weight. Our second release, our Nourishing Protein, was formulated for the hustle and bustle of my lifestyle. When I couldn’t eat well due to my schedule or travel, I would rely on it because I knew it had been formulated with the most clean, natural, quality nutrients available so it would go the distance until my next meal. It is a true supermodel secret.
And whilst I don’t condone skipping meals or doing anything that harms your body in any way, I do advocate making wise, nutritious, self-caring choices. Given my career, I can’t deny that weight was, and is, important in my line of work, but even then, it’s just one part of the picture. It’s so individual – it is not a one size fits all issue. And just because something works for me, does not mean it works for everyone. Wellness, for me, means feeling that I’m in touch with that innate uniqueness and vitality individual to me. It means living from the best version of myself.”
Clinical Nutritionist and Naturopath, Dr. Simone Laubscher Ph.D
“Today, I live a healthy, thriving life, but it wasn’t always this way. I hadan eating disorder in my teens and early twenties and that phase in my life was in part, the reason I love to help my clients become the best version of themselves today. Eating disorders are such a thief because you spend your life preoccupied with what to eat and God forbid you have a ‘bad food’ then you’re triggered into a binge. And of course, the next day the inner critic rises up and the judgement and self-loathing and condemnation kicks it – it’s hell in earth. And I know that hell personally.
Of course, I learnt a lot. Mostly that it can’t be about restricting yourself. If you want some fun, have it! We can’t be too afraid of the world around us – it just ends in more stress that our body’s do not need.
I’ve come to learn, it’s also about balance. Think 80:20 as a guide. So for example, relax 20 percent of the week. For the rest of the week try to be healthy – more fruit and vegetable and drink 2L of water. Have one coffee a day maximum. Get that balance – food is about nourishing ourselves, not guilt. It’s so nice to just breathe and to let yourself have a piece of chocolate if you want it. It’s about letting yourself having fun.
Existing through willpower alone is a really difficult way to live. It’s like hanging off a cliff. If you balance your blood sugar levels, you won’t be craving as much. Patients come in saying ‘If I just didn’t have that person inside of me with cravings my life would be perfect'. Well, no! We love him or her unconditionally, for that is true self love and from that place healing can occur so you can thrive long term.
Today, I’ve come a long way. I can happily enjoy pizza with my kids and have a wine here and there and not be triggered into feeling guilt and shame. I’m 50 years young and I choose to love my body and nourish and honour her instead of tearing her down. No one is perfect so love the skin you're in and you will be amazed at how your body honours you back – often by looking and feeling your best.
I also coach my clients to talk to themselves like they would their best friend. It's also great to check in with yourself at night via a celebration journal, writing down at least one thing you did well that day (instead of always pulling apart your day with your inner critic on what you didn’t do well). Wellness is a journey and the mere act of choosing to do something new will have your mental and physical health blossoming.”
WelleCo Contributor and The Fit Feast Founder, Claudia Kent
“My relationship with wellness and my body has definitely changed over the years. Growing up, we were surrounded by images of how a womanshould look. From there, social media made it worse, with 'thigh gaps' and 'flat stomachs' becoming the expectation.
I have always been naturally thin (I was literally born long and thin), however it's very easy as a young teenager to begin thinking you need to look a certain way in order to fit into society. I used to focus so much on how I looked to others so that I would be 'accepted', rather than focusing on how my body made mefeel.Being consumed by society's pressures, it became all to easy to create a negative image of yourself.
However, this perception has changed so much over the years. Instead of looking at my body with a perspective of 'needing' to be skinny, I began focusing on how my bodyfelt. I began appreciating the amazing things my body can do -- like running 10km or lifting heavy weights in the gym. I began using food as fuel for my body, and understanding the amazing effects of a well-balanced diet can have on our physical and mental health. Basically, I realised that we only get one body, so we need to love every single part of it.
Instead of striving for the 'perfect' body (there is no such thing as perfect!), embrace those imperfections, because they are what makes us beautiful. Our bodies are a unique and beautiful expression of who we are, and we must learn to always treat them with kindness and respect.
Today I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I exercise and eat well to feel my best (that is, strong and powerful) and I have learnt over the years that beauty comes from within, and that loving and accepting yourself is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.”