Lydia McCall: The Courage to Feel - not Feed - Feelings (mind-body transformation)

I'm thrilled to have another guest here today sharing incredible wisdom she discovered through her struggles and story. Lydia McCall's words captured me and really embodies the idea of falling in love with yourself and looking inward for healing. It takes courage but is so worth it. Take in her story below, and go show her some love with some favorite blogposts of hers below.

Lydia McCall Courage to Feel

Every woman has their own unique story. Can you give us a quick version of 'your story' with food or body image?

My story is definitely an interesting one. All through out my teenage years I struggled massively with my weight and self esteem.

I always felt that there was this emptiness inside of me and to comfort myself I turned to food which lead me down a dark path. I would lose weight by being strict with myself, but I was unable to keep it up so I would just put all the weight back on, which only made me feel more ashamed of myself than I did before. So there were many years of the scale going up and down. Always fighting my body and at war with myself. Leaving me with poor self esteem and a terrible body image. I was aways comparing myself to others and never feeling good enough.

The real change occurred when I started to look inside for the answers and not fall victim to the quick fixes. Long lasting change doesn't happen over night. It takes time. I had to work on myself, to get to the route cause of why I had a problem with food in the first place. It was a sign that something else was going on so I set out on a path of self discovery and healing. Over time I managed to find my healthy balance and have healed my relationship with food and every day I continue to work on myself. I am more in tune with my body and what I am really hungry for. Awareness is key in anything that we do.

What are the two biggest lessons you learned with healing disordered eating and body shame?

Food is never the issue there is always something else going on. Most of the time it is related to a lack of self esteem which was true in my case. Or you are unable to express your emotions, so you stuff and starve them with food.

You need to find the courage to start feeling your feelings instead of feeding them.

You need to stop running away because the further you run the harder things will get.

The relationship you have with yourself is THE most important relationship that you will have in your life (agree!). All the negative self talk, body shaming and putdowns are only fueling the fire in regards to disordered eating. To move forward in your recovery, you have to do it with kindness and a sense of curiosity as to what bought you to where you are today. The answers don't lie in the 'cleanest' diet, the best exercise regime or the expensive clothes but in yourself. It is time to change the way you view yourself and how you treat yourself. Both hold the key to healing yourself back to health.

As Carrie Bradshaw once said:

"Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first."

If you could write a letter to your former self, what would you want her to know?

That everything will be ok. Let go of the shame around your struggles. You are perfect just the way you are. The size of your dress size doesn't determine wether you're a good person or not.

Stop punishing yourself and start taking care of yourself. Open up to people and share your troubles. You are not alone.

Let's chat tools. What are your favorite books, tools, apps, coaches, etc. that have helped you along your journey.

I am obsessed with learning and educating myself on all things health, wellness and self help. You can always find me with my head buried in a book or spending an endless amount of time scrolling through blogs and attending seminars. It not only helps me in terms of the work that I do in my coaching programmes but on a personal level as well. You can never stop learning and growing. A few things that helped me along the way:

  • What are you hungry for? by Deepak Chopra is an amazing book that gets you to look at your relationship with food on a deeper level.
  • Headspace- A great tool to quieten your busy mind and take some time for yourself. Meditating is such an important tool to have in your recovery tool box.
  • Yoga - Moving meditation where you can work on the mind body connection and work through your emotions.
  • Mindful eating: Sitting down with no distractions and taking the time to enjoy your food. To really get in tune with your hunger levels.
  • Positive affirmations: When you have spent a long time putting yourself down you need to re wire your brain and change the negative tape that plays constantly over and over in your mind to a positive.
    • 'I accept and love myself'
    • 'I am good enough just as I am'
    • 'I am in charge of my happiness and today I am choosing happiness'
    • 'It's ok to not be perfect'

What keeps you inspired, alive, and vibrant these days?

I have been at rock bottom and I never want to go back there. So that is motivation in and of itself. The work that I do each and everyday with my clients as well as the continuous personal development that I do on my self keeps me inspired. I am always learning new things, pushing myself and continuously growing. I have met some amazing women throughout my journey and they keep me inspired to keep making the next health choice that is right for me.

Time for a little Rapid fire...

Favorite place...

Being in the present moment. Accepting myself for who I am right now. Not living in the past or worrying about the future. Living for the now.

When I reach that place of inner peace even if it just for a fleeting moment there is no greater feeling. The fear, insecurities and worries just melt away.

Bucket list travel location...

India is high on my bucket list. I am dying to travel around, take in the culture and sink my teeth into the meditation and yogic way of life out there.

Favorite way to stay active...

I don't think I can just choose one. It all depends on what my body is feeling up to on that particular day. It could be a strength training session, pilates class, a long walk, going for a swim or attending a great yoga class. I am always open to trying new things and pushing myself mentally and physically as well as allowing myself to rest if that is what I am needing. I like to keep things interesting.

Quote you love?...

"You are perfect exactly as you are; there is no need to change anything except the thoughts that you aren't good enough"

We'd love to support you. What are you working on these days?

I am continuing with my health coaching programmes where I work on a one to one basis. To help empower and inspire women to take charge of their health and their happiness. To let go of the negative self beliefs and make real long lasting changes.

A few posts I would love to share:

You can find Lydia here:

Thank you Lydia for sharing! It really comes back to the inner work and finding the courage to love yourself. 

I'd love to know your thoughts below:

  • Do you use positive affirmations?
  • What are your favorite TOOLS in your journey?