At the age of 15, I was 150 pounds heavier, a complete couch potato, and prediabetic. During this time, I suffered from emotional eating and would eat all my problems away. Throughout the last 10 years, I have healed and transformed my relationship with food. Not only have I healed my childhood traumas dealing with my sexuality and parents' divorce as a kid, but I've stopped blaming myself for everything. I chose to no longer be a victim and became empowered to take charge of my health. I now see food as a way to heal my body and have sought out other ways to work through my emotions—meditation, exercising, spending time in nature, and connecting with friends and family. I've managed to keep the weight off for years and am now a successful chef and television host, traveling the world to explore different food cultures.
My approach to health is not just about what we consume but the state of mind we are in when we eat. I support advocating for a healthy relationship with food, no longer shaming our bodies, and feeling guilty when we eat so-called bad foods. I always say if you are going to eat a hamburger or stray from your "healthy" lifestyle, enjoy it! Own it, and be proud of it! As I have traveled around the world, I have seen how much more how you eat matters than what you eat, and the importance of the company you're in and savoring each bite with loved ones. So slow down, chew your food, count your blessings, and enjoy this lifetime.