Please Stop Going on a Diet!

Self-Care Series Article #1: Mindful Eating

Author: Audrey Byker, Health Coach


Audrey Byker, local Health Coach, runs her independent business in West Michigan. She meets clients where they are at on their health journey then guides and empowers them to find true health and wellness through one-on-one coaching.  2017 marked the launch of her first “Nutritionally Fit” cooking class series where she merged her creative drive with her speaking, teaching and fuel for athletic performance experience. Her love for people, movement and real food is contagious!  Audrey offers free 30 minute consults to all who are ready to change.



A Word from Audrey:

I don’t know about you, but when my mother birthed me, held me in her arms the first time, kissed my sticky head and brought me to her breast, she wasn’t weighing the colostrum just beginning to flow. I didn’t hand her my measuring cups and spoons. The nurses weren’t calculating calories, macros or god knows what else then attaching them to the discharge sheet. 

My pal the scale wasn’t waiting for me in the bathroom on my first day home.

As humans, we were created from two single cells. Those cells united and developed into one incredibly intricate human, explained for the most part by science, yet still a bit mysterious like a cat’s purr or the illusion of the moon.  

When I was a baby I didn’t give myself “cheat days”. I never decided “not to care”.  The milk wasn’t “good” or “bad” and I didn’t think “I’ll start tomorrow” when I made the “wrong food” choice. I knew what I needed. The milk, sleep, hugs, kisses, her calming voice and beating heart all instinctual and provided every single detail to not only sustain my life, but allow me to grow, develop, and thrive for a decent amount of time. 

Which I did. I did not have to think about it.

When babies are hungry they begin to turn their heads, open their mouths and root in hopes to find a nipple to suck. Science tells us this is when their blood sugar begins to drop, which for me is when my ADD kicks in. A baby will scream and cry if you wait too long to feed it, while an adult will begin to scour the pantry and raid the fridge, er, turn into a hangry dinosaur. It was telling for me, once I became a mom, to watch my babies push their mouths away from my breast when they were full—no question nor doubt, they were done.  

Their mind-body connection firmly in place, is a strong reminder to me—even now—that I needed to make a shift in the way I’d been living.  As an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I help people take these cues.

Breastmilk and skin-to-skin aren’t going to feed me in the same way they do a baby, but the earth can, and—wow—sex, connection, creativity, spirituality, and pretty much everything else that’s not food and satisfying is nourishing goodness in my life.  ALL I need is already mine.  

I’m continually shocked by how the world complicates these basic things. My body, mind, and spirit were always in close kin with the essentials yet the crap concocted into food and marketing schemes had convinced my cells and me otherwise.

I have to stop and pay attention.  Real food, mostly plants are my natural fuel.  Science says “calories-in, calories-out” while nature says the process is more mysteriously detailed than that!  When I focus on what makes my body feel good I never have to think about what I weigh or if my pants will fit the next day…a freedom I thought I’d never find.

Releasing the control was not only liberating back then, but now is making a sizable impact in my coaching space today.

Trusting myself to listen and respond was difficult, but paved the way for an incredible healing most people can’t begin to comprehend they could have.

I’m so thankful that Audrey took the time to create this post for my PYM readers. I think mindful eating and listening to your body is imperative to living a healthy and happy life. As Audrey touched on, your “diet” should not be an inconvenience thing of measuring, weighing and worrying. It should be natural! This self-care tip is to listen to your body’s needs and be mindful but do not overthink your eating.

You can follow Audrey on Instagram to learn more health tips.

Thank you for reading the first article in the PYM Self-Care Series. Stay tuned for more!

Don’t Feel Guilty for Self-Care

Hello Lovely Humans,

You may have wondered what happened to me over the past week, or maybe not, but I had finals week at university. That means I went into full student mode and basically just studied for 5 days straight. It was slightly awful, but I’m happy to be finished.

If you are also a student, you probably have experienced finals week and may also be just finishing up. Coming out of finals week, or really any busy week, you may feel drained. Perhaps, mentally and physically. This is a good time to focus on yourself. I think too often we feel guilty for focusing on ourselves. You can do this without being selfish.

I’ve been learning this concept through my yoga practice. We too often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Example, last week I did not blog because I needed to focus on school. At first, I felt guilty about it but I realized it was not me being selfish. Focusing on my exams was important to me and important for my future. When I attend a yoga class over going to dinner with friends, it’s not selfish, it’s me focusing on my mental health. When you take time to do things that are good for you, and healthy for your life, then you should not feel guilty.

Being selfish means you continuously act upon actions that only benefit you. You do not care about how others feel. Self-care is taking actions that allow you to put others first, in a healthy manner. If you neglect yourself, you will never be able to handle constantly putting others before yourself. At the end of the day, you are your first priority. In order to be a super mom or a girlboss, you need to be alive, healthy and happy/positive.

Not taking time for yourself will cause you to burnout. Your soul will become tired. Trust me, I’ve been there. When you fill your life with stressful responsibilities and negative people, you will burnout. In my opinion, Self-care is the action of cultivating your life in such a way that you are living intentionally each and everyday. You do not waste time on television, small minds or things that no longer suite you. Self-care can also be attending a yoga class, getting a massage or taking time to journal. Self-care is whatever you want it to be, it’s what makes your life intentional.

This is why you should never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Self-love + self-care is sometimes interpreted as selfish actions. Although the words both include “self”, they do not entail selfish actions. They are necessary actions to living a healthy and happy life.

Since Self-Care is so important to me, and the Pretty, Young & Motivated message, I am going to be starting a new series called “The Self-Care Series”. This series will feature guest bloggers, influencers and health experts who will give their perspective on a number of different topics. I am bringing in outside perspectives because I think it will diversify the information on PYM for you. As always, I want PYM to be a place you can refer to for all self-love, confidence and life stuff. Adding this series will bring another perspective and more value for my reader. Stay tuned!

Happy Monday! 

xo, Lyss