A.K.A A Very Truth, Balance, Virtue & BABE-A-LICIOUS Collab!
HAPPY FRIDAYYYY my lover loves. This week has been nothing short of UPSIDE DOWN (not in a bad way but you feel me?) after returning from Chicago annddd simultaneously preparing for some fun trips coming up over the next few weeks. Plus my mama is in town so I am going back and forth between trying to take breaks & do fun LA stuff with her, and catching up on work from being away. This weekend I will be sharing details from my Create + Cultivate experience in Chi-town and I cannot waaaiiittt.
In other news, (and by that I mean other incredibly awesome news)… I am so thrilled and so HONORED to have the beautiful Miss Maddy Moon on the bloggy today repping TBV APPAREL!! This girl has inspired me from the first day I stumbled upon her blog & podcast and fell in love with her amazing message of balance. She interviewed me for her podcast a little over a year ago, and it was clear from the conversation that took place and the instant connection we had (can you say same person?) that this girl and I needed to be BFF’s.
Since then, we have appeared on ABC News + BBC News Times’ Two together (you can catch the video here!!!) and I keep up on her killer body positivity posts & balance inspiration via her blog, FB and more. This girl is a rockstar in the arena of finding BALANCE after going to an extreme with diet and exercise (sound familiar?) and hers is a story we should all draw inspiration from again and again. Maddy, you rock, and I am so lucky to know you!
Wearing: Health is The New Black — very fitting, because this beaut radiates health from the inside out and back in again.
Q: Maddy!!! We are so honored to feature you as a TBV babe of the week because you truly embody the elements of truth, balance and virtue that we seek to represent with our brand. Can you tell us what truth, balance and virtue each mean to you in your life?
A: First off, thank you so much Jordan for inviting me to be a TBV babe because it’s truly such an honor! I relate to you on a very personal and deep level because of our many similarities, and I absolutely cannot wait to come to Cali and hang out with you!
In my life, the word truth means authenticity of the heart. I believe that our heart changes on a moment-to-moment basis, and that our character and identity rely on adapting to those changes without feeling guilty or shameful for it. My truth today might be different from my truth tomorrow, but that’s because I’m open to learning from my day-to-day and moment-to-moment experiences.
Next is balance. This word is probably one of my most-used words, but also one of the most unexplainable. If I could define balance for myself it would mean to indulge in a full spectrum of life, whether it’s in regards to emotions, work, play, money, food, movement, love, sleep, or any other arena. Balance is hard to master in our culture because we’re taught to “go hard or go home!” and that “we can rest when we’re dead!” but once you learn to block out all of those nonsense quotes, you can fully allow yourself to enjoy every part of any spectrum of life. In regards to food, balance means to eat what your body wants in that moment and not have to justify your reason for eating it; it also means to allow your body to eat something completely opposite next time you sit down.
Virtue means to have a personal moral compass that guides you when the rest of the world doesn’t. It means to be faithful to your dreams, desires, and aspirations but also to be kind to those that have ones that differ from yours. Whether or not you always feel virtue within doesn’t mean it’s not there. You simply have to listen and let your compass guide you in life, fearlessly and with confidence.
Wearing: Loving Lately tank. Straight up gorgeous!
Q: You and I have so many similarities (in some photos I see of you I even totally think we look alike), one of those being that we both took healthy eating too far and developed orthorexia. Can you give us a little glimpse into what your life looked like when you were suffering from orthorexia?
The interesting thing about orthorexia is that it’s a mental anxiety disorder completely dependent on the person. My definition of orthorexia was anything that I considered to be clean eating, low calorie and metabolic-enhancers.
The ironic thing is that my metabolism was utterly destroyed in the process of seeking a “faster” one.
Starting back in high school, I began vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, and then bodybuilding. I was always a fan of a good diet, but none of the diets I was following gave me the type of body you found on the cover of a fitness magazine. I wanted the abs, the tan, the praise, and the admiration. I wanted people to look at me and say, “Wow, she’s disciplined.”
So I set out for my first fitness competition. Before my bodybuilding days, I used to run hours on the treadmill every single day to feed my OCD behavior, so it was easy for me to change my focus from running to weight lifting, fasted cardio, and meal plans. It was addicting and thrilling, to say the least.
I loved the ability to cut out major food groups from my diet, knowing that in 5 months I would have the body on the fitness magazines.
A little glimpse into the fitness magazine esque body Maddy was so eager to achieve… (DAMN GIRL.)
But back to your question- though I had eating disorder tendencies in high school, nothing compared to the habits, rituals and coping strategies I formed with orthorexia. For 4 months at a time, I followed one single meal plan, and even though I ate the same 7 foods day in and day out, I still weighed all of the meals to make sure that every single gram of food was spot on what my trainer told me to have. I weighed cinnamon. I weighed spinach.
I was absolutely obsessed with hitting the numbers perfectly.
But what happened after my first fitness competition (and even second competition) was over? What happened when I didn’t place where I thought I would, and I discovered that it hurts really freaking bad to have a panel of 6 judges tell you that your body isn’t enough?
More than that, how do you go back to seeing food as nourishment and not just a method of body manipulation?
For me, I didn’t for a long time. I continued to obsess. I had panic attacks when confronted with chicken with more salt or fat than the chicken breasts I made at home. I put grapes in my mouth and then spit them back out into the sink out of fear of what they would do to my body if I swallowed them. I bought food only to take it back to the grocery store the next day and say, “I bought the wrong thing.”
I didn’t go to restaurants for months at a time. I cried on my bathroom floor out of the fear of missing an AM fasted cardio workout since I was on vacation.
I was trapped inside of a perfect body I had created and nobody else could see it because all they saw was a “fit and healthy” body built from…self-discipline.
Q: Your podcast Mind Body Musings is a big source of inspiration for girls (and guys) all over. What do you try to focus on with your podcast, and how did you find the inspiration to get started?
Thank you! With my podcast, I aim to share insight in regards to body image, perfectionism, disordered eating, shame and guilt whether I elaborate on my own experiences or I bring on guests who I know will vulnerably share theirs. Before every episode, I put myself back in the shoes of hungry, anxious, deprived Madelyn and wonder to myself, “What would she want to hear in this podcast episode?” and that’s how I go about recording the podcast with the guests I bring on. I only bring people onto the show that I know are going to bring vulnerability, honesty, authenticity and truth to the table because that’s what listeners need to hear the most.
I also try to make sure that I have a full spectrum of topics ranging from relationships, disordered eating, metabolic damage, women’s health (fertility, PCOS, etc), male body dysmorphia, yoga, spirituality, sexuality and shame, and holistic medicine.
I found inspiration to get started because I was tired of struggling alone and I wanted to build a community. I wanted to interview others that have “been there” but I also wanted to help other people who were struggling feel less alone. I am so grateful, a year later, to actually experience this dream come to life.
Wearing Loving Lately + styling in the cutest way!
Q: You recently changed your site name from Mind Body Musings to your name, Maddy Moon. What was the reasoning behind the switch?
I changed from Mind Body Musings to Maddy Moon because I do not want to identify with my podcast; I want my podcast to identify with me. I am not my podcast in the same way that I am not my body. I am a spirit that just so happens to (luckily) have a body, and have a podcast!
This change also helps me to open up the doors to exploring so many other avenues outside of just the mind-body connection. I want that kind of freedom in my business forever.
Q: Favorite TBV tees and favorite way to style them?
I like to wear the “Health is the New Black” tee with my handy dandy black boots, jean shorts and sometimes my black kimono-esque shawl. I am a jean short girl all the way in the summer because Colorado heat is no joke! I also like to pair it with black lounge pants or even white linen pants if I’m feeling super zen.
For the “Loving Lately” tee, I usually pair this with my pink floral shawl, which I absolutely adore, and my black boots again. Sometimes I will wear this tea with a striped floor length skirt, or add a pop of color like a hot pink purse, but generally I always want to go back to the minimalistic look.
Point blank, both of these tops “make” the outfit because they are just so dang cute!
Q: Tell us three quirky things about yourself that make you YOU!
- I am absolutely enthralled and in love with anything directed or produced by Tim Burton. Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd…you name it, I love it!
- I love the brown paper butchers wrap the meat in. Something about holding it…
- I am a big hard alternative rock fan, like Rage Against the Machine, Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat! Any recommendations are always welcome!
Q: Favorite meal? Favorite dessert?!
Of course, this is the toughest question of them all! I think any food that you can eat every single day and never get tired of has to be your favourite food, so I’m going to say good ole’ oatmeal. Something I don’t want every day but still love is sushi!
My favourite dessert would have to be my mom’s amazing pumpkin cheesecake, or anything lemon (lemon bars, lemon cake, Lemon Cookie Three Twins ice cream).
Q: Do you ever feel those restrictive, rigid thoughts coming back to you from your orthorexic days? If so, how do you deal with them?
Yup, sure do! Recently, I’ve come to terms with my IBS and so I have to watch my food again. This makes it particularly difficult to experience total and utter food freedom and sometimes I’ll notice those sneaky thoughts pop in telling me a certain food is bad or good.
Today, I deal with this by reminding myself of the awesome trade off I’ve been given: orthorexia for an amazing relationship, a fun podcast, a vision, a career, body acceptance and love. Do I really want to think that the grass is greener on the other side where there are meal plans, food scales and macros to count? No way!
Generally, after thinking about that I snap out of it. It’s certainly challenging when your body rejects certain foods, but instead of playing the victim card, I see myself as the victor. I CHOOSE to not eat that food because I love myself, not because I don’t love myself! That’s a huge difference.
Q: When we Skyped, I loved that you told me your first “off the plan” meal was a sandwich with your mom, the day after you had had what was supposed to be your cheat meal for the month. (Ahhh, the anxiety even writing that causes me, lol.) How has your family and those close to you played a role in your recovery process?
That’s a good question. I believe during my orthorexia days my family never fully understood what was going on because I had that nice and safe cover up of “living a fit lifestyle” to have my back. Even though I was feeling tortured on the inside, I didn’t show that to them often out of fear they would try to take away my food obsessions and coping mechanisms. The person closest to seeing through the façade was my mother…she could tell that something unhealthy was going on, and once I finally opened up to her she was extremely supportive and helpful.
I have memories of calling her while I was in Whole Foods, breaking down crying, because I felt that I ate too much. She spent hours listening to me and helping me work through my internal battles. My mom was definitely the most helpful and thoughtful person in my recovery.
Next to that, I would have to say my mentor, Matt Stone, who wrote Diet Recovery and Eat for Heat. He helped me through so much during those days and today I am so fortunate to soak up his knowledge on a daily basis. If you don’t know him, go look him up.
Q: Are you spiritual? If so, has that helped you maintain balance on your difficult days?
Yes ma’am I am!
Absolutely, my faith has helped me. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders when I finally realized that my body doesn’t prove my worth to God. My food obsession does not impress Him. Fitness is not the key to eternal life.
In fact, I came to terms with the fact that my body was becoming an idol and taking me further away from my faith and true purpose in life. For a person that desires validation or permission to do certain things, this was the perfect validation for ending my food obsession and not feeling guilty for it.
Q: Favorite quote.
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety”- A Course In Miracles
Q: Lastly, if you could give ONE piece of advice to girls everywhere, what would you say?
My one piece of advice would have to be to start filling your life, your social media feed, your mind, and your bookshelves with the messages of people promoting food freedom and body positivity. You’re already exposed to over 500 advertisements a day centered on dieting and perfection. You see the same photo-shopped bodies every single day, so it’s no wonder you think you’re alone when you see you have a bit of cellulite! But the truth is, you’re not. We all do. The sooner you can limit your exposure to the fake stuff floating out there, and start filling your life up with the real stuff, the sooner you will start to see your own body and eating habits as real and honorable. Our culture, especially the media, need more real in this world and if you can start by being real with your friends and family about your struggles, I know others will open up too. That’s how attraction works. If you’re looking for reasons to obsess over food, you’ll find them. But, if you’re looking for reasons to stop dieting and start living intuitively, you will certainly find that as well.
Look at this straight up BABE on the right, glowing, happy, healthy, vibrant, radiating positivity from the inside and out. The babe on the left is absolutely gorgeous too, but not that we know what was going through Maddy’s mind while she was preparing for her fitness competitions and battling orthorexia versus the BALANCED, healthy minded woman she is now– it makes us think twice when we look at these two photos, yes? I am not a big “before & after” photo kind of person, because I think health and balance are both such an ever-evolving process and are often so, so, SO much more internal than external, but I do think in this case the physical juxtaposition when we know how she was feeling on the inside adds to how much we can learn from and value about this beautiful soul.
MADDDYYYY YOU ARE AMAZING! We are so lucky to have you on TBB today sharing your beautiful message. Guys, check out Maddy’s blog, podcast & social media and show her some love! She is so right when she reminds us to fill our lives, our social media feeds and our MINDS with people promoting food freedom and body positivity. And check out her fav TBV tees HERE for some extra inspiration & good vibes (and style, duh).