The food you eat has an undeniable impact on your life and relationships. How can you reform that influence and start over if you've had a restrictive approach to it all this while?
In today's episode, we explore the story of Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology and nutrition expert, creator of the Food Story Method and platform, and host of the popular podcast Once Upon a Food Story. Elise's upcoming book, Food Story: Rewrite the Way You Eat, Think, and Live, talks about changing your relationship with food to step into a new and more satisfying life that is healthy not just for you but also for the people around you.
She joins us to talk about her transformative journey, switching her profession from a well-established lawyer to a certified nutrition expert, how she learned to challenge the way she thought about food, and major snippets from Food Story, her latest book.
What was that pivotal moment in Elise's life that prompted her to take action about her "perfectionist" relationship with food?
It was the day Elise graduated from law school and was enjoying the milestone at a celebratory dinner in a restaurant with her boyfriend (now husband). They had booked the table three months in advance due to the high demand of the place and were over-the-moon about it.
It all changed when Elise realized that most of the food served on the table were those she didn't have. She was uncomfortable around the food, and her boyfriend sensed it too. He responded to the situation and explained how difficult it was for him not to see her eat. Elise realized that her dysfunctional relationship with food was also affecting him, and she broke up with him that very moment. She decided to mend her ways with food, not just for him but also for herself.
What did Elise's healing journey look like?
After returning to California to work with the US Department of Justice, Elise started to connect with food more profoundly. She began to search for the ingredients and different nuances of food and cooking. Elise tried to discover where the ingredients were sourced, started going to the farmers' market to see the processes behind it, and presented food more beautifully. This way, she let go of a lot of fear surrounding food and learned to build a more positive connection with it.
What resources did Elise use to help her in the process of rewriting her relationship with food?
Elise shares that books had a significant impact on changing her relationship with food. She learned the different aspects of diet-eating, nutrition, and food varieties, making her better aware of her choices. Elise, however, recommends not to go through any limiting "diet" beliefs, outdated theories, and restrictive ideas around food.
What are Elise's thoughts on food rules?
Elise doesn't have any rules when it comes to food now. She believes there's a fine line between food rules and being aware of what your body needs. Your body understands for itself what food is necessary and what is not. You have to be more mindful so you don't mistake unnecessary cravings as your needs. Remember, the key is to get rid of any guilt or shame around your food choices.
How does Elise describe the emotional aspects of food?
The food you eat can take you back in memory to those times you enjoyed having it or first had it. You reminisce about the moments and experiences surrounding those times. That's why Elise explains; food is emotional.
The best way to understand this is to think about how people's relationship with food changed during the pandemic. We resorted to comfort food because it made us feel better, and it's not wrong. However, if you regret your action, later on, you know your choice is unhealthy. Hence, if you know your food choice will make you happy after you have it, it's good for your body. And if it's not, you know you don't want it. It's all about being connected to yourself and understanding your body. This way, your relationship with food becomes happier.
How do your thoughts affect your health, metabolism, and nutrient intake?
You must've noticed how stress is a deciding factor when it comes to your food choices. Some of us tend to eat more when stressed, whereas others tend to be the other way round. No matter what you eat, you won't get the full value of the food unless your thoughts are in harmony with it. If your mind is occupied with concerns and worries about your food, your body lets out a stress response that stops you from imbibing the full value of your food. As Elise explains, "What's in your mind is just as important as what's on your plate."
What is the Story of Perfection (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise shares that many of us tend to have "unrealistic, impossible" standards around our food choices. We're caught in the rigidity of black and white, healthy and unhealthy, and often go after the wisest choice. All this is so that we achieve the notion of "perfect", which is hard to release.
What is the Story of Shame (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise's story of Shame tells us that we associate a lot of shame with our food choices and ways of eating. It is essential to have open conversations to help us get over the same.
What is the Story of Confusion (from the eight disempowering food stories in her upcoming book)?
Elise shares that many of her clients with perfectionist food attitudes tend to be confused around them because of the associated stress and overthinking. They feel overwhelmed and exhausted trying to abide by all the rules, opinions, and information. Elise explains that the key is to eat what works for you the best.
What is the Story of Escape?
According to Elise, the story of escape is more complicated than the other stories. And that's because, most often, we're unaware of what we're really trying to escape or why we're even feeling like behaving that way. You need to understand your "why" before making those escapes.
What is the Story of Not Enoughness?
It is a very common feeling, especially among people today. You see people post stories and content that seem too good to be true, and you keep pushing your bars till you reach just the right "enough". It's a human characteristic to feel something is not right in you in such cases. But this has to be overcome.
What is the Story of Overwhelm?
Tony Robbins says, "complexity is the enemy of execution". Our choices around food and diet could become so complicated over time that we begin to lose ourselves to the strategies and consecutive actions. We need to simplify these ideas to the simple thought that our body knows what's best for it.
What is the Story of Later?
Elise's story of later is especially applicable to parents who lose themselves in the process of caring for their kids. They postpone their happiness to a future that's far away and unknown. It's up to all of us to decide if we want to change the script of our lives and stop pressing the "in future" button on ourselves. Taking care of yourself needs to be on priority always.
What is the Story of Despair?
The story of despair, as Elise shares, is the most important to her. It talks about not losing hope even when the times are tough. There are times when you could feel you've practiced your food habits for so long that it's challenging to get over them. The real deal is getting over that trap, restoring hope, and rewriting your story.
What is the Food Story Method discussed in Elise's book?
Healing isn't linear, and it applies fittingly in the case of food choices too. You have to constantly go back, evaluate your disbeliefs around food, and get over them. You need to discard those messages that don't serve you any longer, release thoughts stuck in your body, and regain clarity on what works for your body at the moment and what doesn't. Adapt and improvise your food story as you progress over time.
What is a simple way to incorporate Elise's tips into your life?
Start by taking three deep breaths. It helps slow down your thoughts, reconnect you back to your body, and connect you to the present.
Connect with Elise:
Find her latest book here!
Our brain learns to take certain things, objects, thoughts, emotions, signs and anything else and associate these with other thoughts, emotions, feelings and things.
It's common to make generalizations. It helps to separate parts so that you can make correct associations.
"Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear." - Pema Chodron
I was twenty-five years old and living in a small studio apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Maryland, I’d moved to New York City three years prior with big hopes and dreams for my future, but I was stumbling. I’d already had four different jobs, lived in three different apartments, and felt completely lost, alone, and isolated.
I was consumed by the voice in my head that told me all the things that were wrong with me, and I was worried about my future. Would I ever find my way in my career? Would I ever have a meaningful romantic partnership? How was I going to survive in this city financially? What if things didn’t work out and I ended up poor, unhappy and alone?
I obsessed over tracking my food; compulsively measured my belly, wrists, and chin, and constantly checked to see how much
I weighed. I desperately wanted to be in a relationship to make me feel better and further distract me from my problems. But my biggest addiction was that I believed my negative thoughts.
I wished there was a switch in my head that I could turn off. But I couldn’t. My nightly routine was to stare at the ceiling alone in the dark thinking I was seriously flawed. I was so consumed by the voice in my head that I spent several years like this— having trouble sleeping, not holding down a steady job, eating junk food, and drinking too much alcohol. I was so unhappy, my confidence plummeted.
But deep down, I knew there was more for me. I just wasn’t sure what was in my way or how to access the strength within me. That little seed of believing there must be another way became my guiding light to seek answers and solutions to overcome my largest obstacle: my mind.
I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling. In fact, I was the one many of my friends sought out to talk about their problems. Sometimes we would gab on the phone and complain about our lives for hours on end.
Maybe you too have been wondering how you can deal
with the voice in your head that tells you, “You’re not good enough, you’re not qualified enough, you need more experience, something is wrong with you, you’ll never be successful, you’re too young (or old) . . . ”
Is it possible to stop beating yourself up when you do something “wrong” or make a mistake? What would it be like
if you didn’t judge others, didn’t care what other people thought about you, and instead went for the things you really wanted, even in the face of fear?
Maybe you feel like you just weren’t born confident, that others have it all figured out, and because of your past experiences, you’ll never be the person you want to be. Maybe you’ve done everything you thought would make you feel whole, and checked all the boxes, but you’re still looking for a deeper sense of joy and fulfillment.
You know that you are meant for more. But how can you access your potential?
The way you think profoundly impacts how you feel and the actions you take. Listening to mantras help you rewire your brain for positivity and confidence.
Be Bold Mantras
I am enough just as I am
Failure is a stepping-stone to success
It is safe for me to grow
I can change my beliefs
I pay attention to intuitive nudges
I trust myself
Obstacles are an opportunity to grow
Adversity gives me strength
I create my reality
I am responsible for my actions
I always do my best
I engage in activities that fill me up
I take good care of myself
I am confident
Confidence is a muscle, and pushing through negative thinking and unfortunate events is how you build that muscle. It is important to recognize your vulnerability, but just as important is to not let it stop you but rather - empower you.
Tune in to this episode to reframe your thinking about confidence. Renew your relationship with confidence in this quick but useful listen.
00:01 Do this to discover your confidence.
01:43 Do you need to have your life together to feel confident?
02:14 What is confidence really about?
03:11 Why we should normalize negative thinking (real-life example).
05:01 How getting comfortable with your negative thoughts helps your confidence.
Value Your Opinion More Than Anyone Else
An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along, they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Then, later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk." So they then decided they'd both walk!Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey. Now they passed some people who shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.
The boy and man figured they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.
The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well... Kiss your “donkey" goodbye! And even this ending won’t please everyone.
When you start to blaze your own trail there will be people who will tell you why you can't or why you shouldn’t do something you want to do. Everyone has an opinion.
For example, maybe your group of peers drink alcohol socially and now you’ve decided you don’t want to drink alcohol. Your friends might try to convince you to continue drinking alcohol - they might ask you why you aren’t drinking and continue to offer you a drink - even though you have told them that you aren’t going to drink.
And when you are confident in yourself, you don’t let others sway you - but rather you stand rooted in how you want to move forward with your vision. There is no need to look for approval when you approve yourself.
Here are a 5 steps to manage other's opinions:
When you decide to live in accordance with your highest vision, it might make others uncomfortable. Trust yourself.
Sandy Forster is an international speaker, bestselling author, renowned Prosperity Mentor, multi-award-winning Entrepreneur and a Wildly Wealthy Woman! She'll show you the exact steps she used to turn her own life around from welfare to millionaire. After discovering the Law of Attraction, she was able to turn her life around to become a money mindset mentor to women, and has since won many business awards including International Mentor of the Year as well as Australian Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year.
Listen in as she shares how she went from being $100,000 in debt and dependent on welfare to debt-free millionaire with a beachfront home on the Sunshine Coast.
How did you go from living on welfare to where you are now?
I have a life that I, once upon a time, absolutely only dreamed of. Right now, I live in a beautiful home on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. I have a business I adore. I run an international life coach training academy and I train people to be Law of Attraction coaches. I built this business out of absolutely nothing. I work with women and their mindset and help them really change how they think about and manifest money. I used to be $100,000 in debt and ended up on welfare. I attribute it all to discovering the Law of Attraction and taking action on that idea. When you combine mindset with practical steps, that’s where the magic happens.
Why wasn’t anything working even after all the books, seminars, and workshops?
I got married, had two children, and got divorced. I lost all of my assets, went $100,000 in debt, and became dependent on welfare. I saw a hypnotherapist and realized during my session that I had a passion for personal development. One day, I saw an ad which said “personal development, strong work ethic, make money”. I rang up the lady and discovered that the ad was for a network marketing company with a product based on the Law of Attraction. The company itself didn’t last, but discovering the Law of Attraction finally connected the dots for me. I had the idea for another business around the theme “Wildly Wealthy Women”, which would go on to become a training and support community on the mindset and practical steps toward being your own boss. In the first year, it made close to $2 million dollars. I went on to attend an Anthony Robbins seminar and discovered life coaching, which finally led to me launching my own life coach training academy.
How do you use the Law of Attraction to improve your finances?
You’ve got to take action. Step number one is to get your mindset in the right place—what I call a Millionaire Mindset. Step number two is to find a mentor. If you try to figure it all out on your own, you will waste time, energy, and so much money. Find someone who has already done what you want to do and is willing to guide and support you, even if you only start out listening to their podcast, reading their book, or attending their seminar. The final step is to take action. Stop wasting time getting your ducks in a row. Instead of “ready, aim, fire”, I go “ready… fire!”
Can you describe the timeline between getting divorced to earning your first million dollars?
What people need to understand is that there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes until you actually get to the point where you’re a good manifester. You don’t discover the “secret” and change your life overnight. Depending on the person, it can be very quick or very slow. I was a very hard nut to crack. It was a good ten years between my divorce and becoming a millionaire. I discovered the Law of Attraction seven years after getting divorced. Three years later, I earned my first million. Just know that your newfound wealth will never stay unless you’ve got your mindset right and constantly kept in check.
Do you think that most people get the Law wrong because they’re focusing all day on lack instead of abundance?
It can be hard when you have so many challenges around you. But what I learned is that your predominant mental attitude has to be around what you want more than what you don’t want. When we focus on what we want, it has what we call a higher vibration or higher energy. That is so much stronger than the low energy of what you want. It really comes down to the fact that you have a choice in every moment. Even if things aren’t going right, just swing your focus back on what you want. Thoughts are the order; feeling is the delivery. As long as I’m feeling good, I know that what I want is coming. I don’t know when, but I just have to trust that it’s coming.
What is your “68-Second Tip”?
Think of your thoughts in relation to Jell-O. When you focus on something for a certain amount of time, what happens is that your thoughts go out in the Universe and start to combine and coalesce and join together with similar thoughts and become stronger. Just as Jell-O becomes harder in the fridge over time, the longer you focus on what you want, the more efficiently things turn from the non-physical into the physical. It’s all done through vibrations. When you hit the 68-second mark, that’s when your thoughts become things, because that 68-second mark is where you start to affect manifestation, where the metaphysical becomes physical.
How do you manage distractions, especially nowadays?
Do you want to live the world and the life that everyone else is living, or do you want to create your own reality? You have a choice to stay disconnected from anything that distracts you from what you want. My business grew more this year more than any other year in spite of COVID. We get to choose. We just have to decide what to focus on.
How do you cultivate your Millionaire Mindset?
I just love focusing on the future: what I’m going to create, what I’m going to do, who I’m going to help, and how my life is going to be. To me, being wildly wealthy is all about choices and freedom. Those are the main two things that I aim for. Everything else is a bonus. If you’re focusing on what you want, you’ve got a mentor, you’re taking action, and you’re being consistent and persistent, the Universe will reward you. It has to. There’s no other choice.
What’s an example of an affirmation that you love?
One of the affirmations that I still love to this day is: I am now a debt-free millionaire. That’s the one that took me from welfare to millionaire. If you want to manifest, you have got to take action and think thoughts that light you up from the inside. You’ve got to find an affirmation that works for you—that makes you feel excited and alive and hopeful of the future. Everyone is different. It all boils down to: You create through how you feel.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be realistic. Expect a miracle.