Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Melissa Ambrosini - self-love guru

Melissa Ambrosini is a glowing (literally) example of health, in every sense of the word. I am so honoured to be able to share this interview with you all. I hope she inspires you (as she has me) to show yourself a little more lovin'. 

1.    Please tell us a little about who you are, what you do and how you got here.

I help people become the best version of themselves. I am a writer, a speaker, a blogger, a coach, and a self-love teacher. I empower women to take control of their health and life, and to live the life of their dreams.

I had adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, high levels of mercury, serious PMT, depression, loads of mineral deficiencies, an eating disorder, adult acne, eczema and a serious case of cold sores all over my face, mouth and even down my throat. What the hell!

Hit the rewind button and I was travelling the world, living the ‘dream’. In between dancing at the Moulin Rouge and working on TV shows such as Packed to the Rafters and Home and Away, I was partying my pants off in places like London, Paris, and New York. I thought I had ‘made it’. People would say to me. ‘You’re so lucky. You have everything!’ At the time, I really thought I did. My happiness was measured by the next gig, the size of my bank account, model boyfriends, and designer handbags. But, the truth was: I felt completely lost, scared, and empty.

I was running on adrenalin at a million miles an hour, working way too much, burning myself out, and living in a constant state of stress. Not surprisingly, I was suffering anxiety and severe panic attacks. To make matters worse, I was practically living off champagne, appetizers, and four hours of sleep a night.

It probably seems inevitable that my body would crash and burn! The thing is: I ignored not just one but several bright, BIG, red, warning signs. There was the time I fell down the stairs, almost breaking my back and snapping my ankle. I’d been in and out of hospital half a dozen times that year. My doctor was on speed-dial and the constant cycle of antibiotics and other medications was literally what was keeping me going. It was NOT fun. But, still, I didn’t pay attention.

It wasn’t until I was lying in a hospital
 bed that I hit rock bottom and found
 my light bulb moment. I realised something BIG had to shift. I
 remember saying to myself, 

“I created
 this. I am the one who got me here. So, I am the ONLY person who can get me out!” 

There, in the hospital, surrounded
 by all the medications that had been keeping me going, I decided enough was enough. I took a vow. I vowed to stop looking outside of myself for happiness and well-being and start creating it from within.

This journey has been a truly fulfilling experience. Yes, there were some tough moments. But, now, I feel more connected, grounded, content, and loving than I could ever have imagined. My definition of success, like happiness, is no longer defined by my external world. These days, it all comes from within me and that has given me unimaginable freedom and joy in my life.

2.    How do you practice self-love each day?

Everything I do in my life comes from a place of love. I no longer do anything that is driven by fear. For example: in the past I would eat processed junk food to fill emotional voids. 

Now, I eat to nourish my body and soul because I love myself.

When you choose to live a life from love, every decision comes from love. This includes: the work you do, the people you choose to surround yourself with, how you move and treat your body. These are all a reflection of either love or fear.

I talk a lot about how to flex your self-love muscle in my eBook 12 Steps to Wellness. When I work one-on-one with women, we really exercise this muscle so that is becomes ingrained. 

3.    I read that you battled body issues in the past. If you could go back and speak to your younger self, what would your advice be?

Don't compare yourself, gorgeous.

4.    What is your nutrition philosophy?

To me, wellness and health aren’t just about what you put into your mouth. It's a mind, body, and spirit alignment and connection. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t be eating organic food without dealing with your emotions. It all comes hand-in-hand. I believe it’s a complete holistic approach. 

It doesn't matter how much broccoli you eat. If you’re not dealing with what’s really going on emotionally for you, you will create your external world to reflect that back to you.

There’s a big difference between people who have “healthy habits” and people who embody a healthy lifestyle. The person with the healthy habits goes to the gym, eats relatively well, still parties, deprives her body, calorie counts, and doesn’t make self-care a priority. The person who embodies a healthy lifestyle lives, eats and breathes wellness. Self-care is at the top of her “to do” list. Local markets on the weekend are a joy. Exercise is done for fun not to lose weight, and their happiness is a reflection of their inner peace. I teach people how to dive into the latter. I am not into quick fixes, diets, or detoxes. I am about helping you embark on your own path to wellness journey.

My food philosophy:

I believe we should all be eating how our ancestors ate. 
  1. Chemical and pesticide-free, so all-organic and local fruit and veg (in season) where possible. Every time I eat, I give thanks to my food and where it has come from. Do you know where your food first started and how it got to your plate? I invite you to think about that.
  2. All organic, grass-fed and grass-finished animal products are a non-negotiable for me. I will not put any meat in my mouth if I don't know where it has come from.
  3. Wild or line caught seafood only.
  4. Loads of clean, filtered water, herbal teas, fresh juices and smoothies, coconuts, and Kombucha.
  5. No processed foods, sugar, refined carbs, dairy, soy, gluten, Trans fats, MSG and alcohol. I believe our bodies don't cope well with breaking these down.
  6. Conscious eating. I practice and teach conscious eating. Being present whilst you eat is extremely powerful. Try it!
  7. I see food as medicine and not something to fill emotional voids or to do out of habit or boredom. If there is something emotionally going on, I sit with it and dive into the feeling. I don't go and suppress it with food.
  8. I choose foods that I know have been made with love and care, not something that has a longer shelf life than I do.
  9. I subscribe to the Melissa Ambrosini diet. What do you subscribe to? Everyone is different. What works for me may not be right for you. So I invite you to tune in with your body and feel what it’s craving.

5.    If you could choose just one food, for health and taste, what would it be and why?

Can I say a drink? I love green smoothies. I could live off them! ;) 

(Go HERE for one of Melissa's green smoothie recipes)

6.    Please tell us about your Babes not Bears event.

My Babes not Bears event was all about self-love and giving people the tools to combat their inner mean girl (aka ego). I shared a lot of my own personal stories and struggles and gave them tangible ways to bring out the best version of themselves and to live the life of their dreams.

It was LOADS of fun.

Thanks so much Melissa! You are an amazing inspiration to us all. 

You can this gorgeous girl at: 

So friends - how are YOU going to incorporate more self-love into your day?