Health is a Journey, Not a Destination


Growing up, I was teased for being "overweight". I struggled with depression and constant suicidal thoughts (most people didn't know this about me), and just overall feelings of unworthiness. 

Because I was teased for my weight, naturally I assumed the answer to acceptance was weight loss. So I put myself on my first diet at a very young age. And it worked! And I was accepted. So from then on, I believed the idea that my weight determined my worth.

Well, I may have looked differently and was treated differently by my peers as a result, but that didn't change how I felt on the inside.

I still felt lonely, isolated, depressed. I didn't know how to cope, so I often used food to numb me out. Starting at a really young age, when no one was around I would sneak tons and tons of food.

Like...I would literally eat multiple stacks of crackers, followed by multiple bowls of cereal, followed by a block of insane amounts of food. But I would numb out during the entire process. It was like someone else had taken over my body. I would become conscious again after eating all that food, and I would be exhausted, physically nauseous, and full of disgust and shame for myself.

At the time, I had heard about eating disorders but couldn't identify with any of them. The closest one I thought I had was bulimia, but because I wasn't bingeing on purpose or throwing up, I knew it wasn't bulimia.

But I couldn't stop these episodes of uncontrollable eating, so I felt like there was something wrong with me. That I was just broken, and that I needed to develop an obsession with strict, healthy eating if I would ever save myself from weighing 300 + pounds in life.

So I would binge a lot, then I would diet a lot. And my weight went up and down, and up and down.

This continued into my adulthood...until I got into bodybuilding. I thought I had finally found the answer at that point!!

I learned to eat in a way that "wasn't a diet, it was a lifestyle change" (it was still a freaking diet)...and I became obsessive about what I was eating.

The more I got into bodybuilding, and the thinner and more toned I became, the more I obsessed. I began isolating myself from friends and family out of fear of eating the "wrong" foods. (that's where the orthorexia kicked in--an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating)

And what made it unhealthy was that I for one isolated myself from everyone, but mainly because of the cycle I was in of beating myself up and shaming myself more than ever. Because the more I tried to control, the more I binged.

And I binged in secret still. I lived with my boyfriend who was also really into fitness, and who openly shared his desires for me to be thin and fit with a six pack and fake boobs.

I figured if he knew about my secret binges, he would be so disgusted. I felt like less of a person being such a promoter of health (a personal trainer attending nutrition school who did a ton of fitness challenges) but secretly still feeling out of control around food. I felt like a fraud.

It wasn't until I started attending health coaching school and studying Health at Every Size that everything clicked. And I got my answer...I was dealing with Binge Eating Disorder the entire time!!

Text book definition of Binge Eating Disorder...that was my reality for as long as I can remember.

Once I got answers, and once I learned how important it was for me to focus on my mental health first...I said goodbye to diets and dieting behavior for good. And I had to give up on the idea of ever trying to control my weight.

That meant that I had to for the first time in my life...allow myself unconditional permission to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No restrictions whatsoever.

Along with all that, I learned to eat intuitively (tapping into my body's natural signals for hunger, fullness, satiation, and my built in weight control mechanism) and give up any idea I had of what my "ideal" body should look like...and more than to have more self-compassion than I had ever had in my entire life.

2 years later, and I no longer experience binge episodes....EVER! I understand that being healthy takes much more than what we eat or how much we's a mindset more than anything.

I still allow myself to eat whatever I want, whenever and never restrict (which keeps the binges from happening)

I've gained weight, I don't know how much because I threw my scale away 2 years ago. But I'm okay with that. And I accept and lOVE the body I'm in for the first time ever.

I'm happier and more confident than I ever imagined, and it has nothing to do with my weight or size.

And the last part of the puzzle...I didn't realize I was suffering from body dysmorphia until I looked back on the pictures where I was my "fittest" and "thinnest"...when at the time I thought I was disgusting and unworthy...and I was realized I was beautiful, and SO worthy. 

Looking back on that, and thinking of who I am today...I realize there is no "there" and that health is not a destination...but a long, long journey.

Do you have to be a Vegan to Enjoy Vegan Food?


Do you have to be a vegan to enjoy vegan food? Obvious answer here...NO! 

I eat about 90% vegan food, and the question I always get asked is "are you vegan?" 

Anyone who's been heavily involved in the weight lifting world, or who follows much of the advice for the standard American might know the motto is "protein, protein, protein!"

I used to choke down more eggs, meat, and protein shakes than I'm proud to admit. And to be was torture. I never really enjoyed the taste, and I definitely didn't enjoy the way it made me feel. But I was told "hey, this is how you need to eat if you wanna make gainz, brah". So I believed it. 

I never understood that my body was designed to eat foods that were individually, specifically designed to make me feel mentally and physically nourished. 

So when I began to eat intuitively, I realized that I happen to prefer "vegan" food...which basically just means whole, nutritious ingredients. 

I don't mean vegan vegan meats and cheeses. If I was gonna eat those, I may as well enjoy the real thing. I mean I love quinoa, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils, herbs, and exploring different superfoods. 

Once I began exploring these foods, I realized they make me feel my best, and they're full of so much flavor! Plus we tend to think that vegan or vegetarian diets are super limited...when it's actually the opposite. 

You're inspired to be creative and find different combinations and ways of preparing. 

Those are some reasons why I personally prefer vegan food. But my point here don't have to fit yourself into a box when it comes to your eating habits. And you shouldn't. Because that just makes you feel crazy and obsessive around food. And it can also create shame and guilt. 

Now, I understand if you stick to a certain diet for medical or ethical reasons. I totally understand and respect that. But for the majority of us...unless you have a solid reason behind why you want to "go vegan (or vegetarian, or keto, or paleo, etc.) for however's probably best to avoid wasting unnecessary mental energy trying to follow a very specific way of eating that may have worked for someone else. 

Eating in a way that doesn't serve your body because someone said it worked for them can also create sensitivities and allergies in your body, and you don't want them problems. 

I recommend experimenting with what foods work best for you, and remembering that your preferences will change over time. That's why it's great to get flexible with what you choose to eat, and not dogmatic. 

Your next step? Pick yourself up a copy of the book Intuitive Eating to learn more about eating for your own body's needs. 

And if you like what you've read here and are interested in hearing more from me...sign up for my Mindfulness & Food Email course!

The Real Truth About your Health Goals

We've been led to believe that our health is determined by a number on the scale, or the size of our bodies. When we're feeling low on energy, confidence, and down on ourselves...we go straight to the weight. We think our bodies are wrong, and we need to change them. Or we need to go to extremes for the sake of "health".


So we do what we've been taught, we change the way we eat, and we start a workout routine. Eat less, exercise more. Right? Eat clean. Eat "good" foods and avoid "bad" foods. It's simple (or is it?) So we do just that! We ask around...what's everyone else doing? What worked for your friend? Paleo? Let's go vegan for a month. Keto? Low carb? Weight Watchers? We tell ourselves that we have to make it to the gym for a certain amount of times a week. No pain no gain. If we're not sweating, or hating it, or feeling miserable in some way...we must not be doing it right. 


We tell ourselves "this is it! I'm really gonna stick to it this time". We make these changes. Maybe it's fun, maybe it sucks. BUT we hang on, because we know there's supposed to be a pot of gold at the end of this weight loss rainbow. And guess what? There IS! We start to see the scale budge. We see the size of our bodies shrink. We're SO excited, and we can't wait to tell everyone about it. We shout it from the roof tops. We get that carrot, because everyone else is so proud of us too. They praise us. They envy us. And it feels so good. Our confidence level shoots up. We suddenly love looking at ourselves in the mirror a lot more than we did before. All is good. 


Then a few days, weeks, months, maybe even years goes by, and life happens. We decide to have a fun summer where we don't worry about what we eat. Maybe it's a lazy winter and we don't exercise at all. Maybe we experience a breakup. A death. Maybe we're super stressed.


Whatever the reason...the weight begins to creep back on. And because we've built a shaky foundation, and a weak shatters. And we're back to feeling unworthy, low on confidence, and worse yet...angry at ourselves. Angry that we let ourselves go. Unworthy because everyone will judge us for gaining the weight back. Low on confidence because we truly believe our worth is determined by the size of our bodies. 


We're back to square one. We begin the cycle over again. This time, maybe getting back to the same routine we were in. Maybe this time trying a new way. We're in search of the "magic pill".

Or we think it's on us. We're broken. We think "I just need to muster some willpower". But it's up to us somehow to figure it out. 


What's worse? Some of us stay in this cycle for YEARS. Maybe our whole lives. We spend precious energy that we could channel into dream careers, awesome relationships...or just overall HAPPINESS. We're up and down. Our mood, how we feel about ourselves is in the hands of that scale, or the size of our body. We're stuck on the "me me me". And it's sad. 


Before I move on...I want you to ask yourself this question. "What will people say at my funeral if I died today?".


Do you think they'll be talking about the size of your body? Or how dedicated you were to the gym? Or how "fit" you were? Or even how "healthy" you were? Or do you think they'll be more concerned about how you made them feel...the impact you had on their lives...the impression that you made. 


Now I'd like to make a bold suggestion and say that I believe you've been going about this in the entirely wrong way. Remember what I said earlier about you starting on a weak, shaky foundation? Did you wonder what I meant by that? 


Let me explain...if we're so concerned about the outside appearance, we absolutely can make changes to that. Temporary changes at best. But if our self-worth is attached to something we have a lot less control over than we might think--that's what I mean by a weak foundation. Now you may be thinking "but Lauren, when I lose weight I do feel more confident, or energized, or healthy, or [insert unmet desire]?". Hold onto that thought! I'll address it in a moment. 


But the issue here is that you aren't digging deeper. You're only scratching the surface. So when there's not deep, consistent, inner changes to back up the outer're left cycling all those desires into some extreme, temporary behavior changes.


It's all short-term. 


The long-term solution? Change your habits, change your life. Cliche, right? I think we've all been told at one time or another that our habits matter. But what does that REALLY mean? And what kind of habits are we talking here? 


Let's back up for a second and re-visit your desires. You're telling me you want to be happier, or more confident, or love yourself, or find that relationship you've always wanted, land your dream career, improve your health, have more energy...etc. etc. Okay, I'm listening. I hear you. And I want you to have those things too. As a matter of fact, I wanna help you get them! 


Here's the part where you'll need to keep an open mind. As I help you to achieve those desires...the size of your body may or may NOT change along the way. Are you okay with that? Because what I can provide you with is long-term, consistent results. I can help you transform from the INSIDE out. And show you a level of happiness, confidence, and energy you never thought possible for you. I can help you pull out the inner, true you that you've always felt was buried somewhere deep inside. OR maybe even bring out a side of you that you thought was reserved for the "naturals"-those people who seem to have it all together-so much so, that we've always assumed they were just born that way. 


Are you interested? If so, stick with me! I've got some amazing things coming your way. 


Here's a quick rundown before I let you go. And if you've stuck with me this far...THANK YOU. I believe in you, and I'm here for you.


When I first started really transforming not only my physical health...but my mental and spiritual well being...I was so shocked. I was shocked because all the things I thought a certain body would give me were coming to me in so many unexpected ways. 


So what was the big difference here? I was building solid habits and rituals into six key areas of my life. These areas include mindset, self-love & care, relationships, career & productivity, environment, and food & exercise. 


I started small, and I remained patient with the process and with myself. And I experienced HUGE shifts in who I was, how confident I was, how I felt about myself, how energized I felt each day, my moods...I became an entirely different person. And that slowly started to impact the people around me. Because I was better, they became better. And I'm finally becoming the person I've always wanted to be. And it feels amazing. And now I want to bring you up with me!


I've decided to design my coaching business all around helping you to build similar habits and rituals, and weave them throughout those key areas of your life.


The best part-your journey won't look exactly like mine. And that's great! And that's why my approach is such a custom fit, personalized, unique approach. Because I don't believe there's a "one size fits all" answer. Just like one of those choose your own ending books, you get to do the same about your life. 


If you're still with me and you want to begin a new journey, your next step is to keep in touch. Visit and join my email list. Add me on Facebook. Follow me on Instagram (laurenmkepler). Email me at 


Stay tuned for my six week group coaching program releasing VERY soon...I think it might be just what you need. Until then, thanks for listening. I hope you've been inspired by what I have to say...and I'm SO looking forward to staying in touch! 


Got a Problem with Fat People? Here's What you can do


A few years ago, I was really obsessed with the body building, "fitspo" realm. I had a major goal of ending up on the Mr. Olympia stage one day, and was determined to create my "best self" which at the time I thought meant a perfectly sculpted, very low-in-fat, 6 pack abs body. 


At that time, I was really angry with fat people all the time--before I get really into this, I'd like to first say that although "fat" is a taboo, negative word in our society, I am simply using it as a descriptive term. I don't think of fat as a bad thing. 


Anyway, I was really angry with fat people because I thought they were lazy, irresponsible, full of excuses, and a menace to our society. With all the "obesity epidemic" talk out there, I felt that they were bringing us down. I assumed that all fat people must feel gross and angry all the time, because that's how I always felt when I weighed more. I had a lot of assumptions without ever actually having an honest conversation with someone about their own experience. Oh, how we can be so ignorant sometimes. 


One night, I was on my way home from some outing on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. I was on another rant to my boyfriend Jason (I went on these rants often) about how the body positivity movement was dangerous, and how it was irresponsible to condone fat people acceptance, and it was only going to make things worse. 


I posted an article that was all anti-fat, anti-body positive movement...and I felt SO self-righteous. I had lost weight. I had changed my life-so why couldn't they?? "It's not that hard" (side note-at the time I was obsessing daily over my body, had binge eating disorder, experiencing mild orthorexia, exchanged a social life for a life dedicated to clean eating and the gym, all the while still hating myself). 


Not long after I posted the article, I received a message from a cousin I hadn't heard from in a long time. She had struggled with weight her entire life, and always experienced life in a larger body. Her message was so loving, and so gentle, yet so subtly educational that I wasn't immediately put on the defense like I usually was. 

I don't remember exactly what she said, but I do remember that it was something along the lines of her understanding where I was coming from because she had dealt with it her entire life, but she is a real person with feelings and struggles just like I am, and that having these thoughts and posting this material was hurtful instead of helpful. 

Her message hit me really hard. Putting a face to the struggle. Talking to a person that was experiencing real things. I immediately took the post down. 

At the time, that conversation didn't change everything for me. It did however plant a little seed that I would need years later when I was finally ready to hear the full message. 

A few years later, I opened my mind up to an entirely different world of body positivity and health at every size. I was tired of battling my own body. I had dedicated years to meal prepping, two-a-days, and broscience that got me to a certain body until I plateaued. Then from there, I fluctuated up and down, and up and down. All the while thinking there was something wrong with ME. My willpower was off. I wasn't trying enough. I wasn't good enough. I would never be good enough. And as always, I didn't fit in. 

I was dealing with binge eating disorder for over 10 years, and by this point it had spiraled into a mess that consumed me. I felt unworthy. I was embarrassed to see family and friends I hadn't seen in a while. Would they judge me and think I gained weight? Would they see me in a bathing suit and think I was a fraud? How would I find the magic key that would give me the magic willpower that would lead to the magic body? I had to find the answer!!! 

Whelp, turns out the "answer" was no place I ever expected it to be. When I dove head first into the world of health at every size, everything changed. The world around me changed. I experienced myself in a way I never had before. And I saw others with so much more compassion than I knew I had in me. 

I let go of my unattainable goals. I gave up my idea of a "perfect body". I decided to accept myself as I was. 

Letting go of all that allowed me to release my binge eating disorder. And in exchange, I found an intense happiness for the first time. I found love for myself for the first time. I found health in a way that made sense to me. 

The answer wasn't to berate myself into changing. Or to push harder. Or to say to myself "no excuses". The answer wasn't to force myself to eat "clean", self-righteous foods for the sake of "health". It wasn't to say "I eat for fuel, not pleasure". Heck no...I eat for pleasure and nourishment. 

The answer was to accept and love myself, and to forget about the weight, or the size, or whatever other pressure I was putting on myself to be perfect. The answer was to forgive myself, and to own my flaws. The answer was to nourish my mind, body, and spirit. To honor my body daily, not punish it. 

And if you're thinking that accepting your body or someone else's body will grant permission to "give up" or get super unhealthy...has hating or berating your body gotten you very far?? It's clearly time to try a new approach! 

So if you have a problem with fat people, and you really feel obligated to "help them", the best way to do that is to stop trying to help them. Stop assuming that they're unhealthy or unhappy just because of their size. Instead, work on loving yourself and taking care of you first.

And if you want to inspire anyone to be healthy, regardless of size, you can spread the ripple effect of good health through self-love and acceptance, not through self-loathing and criticism.

The world around us changes when we first change ourselves. Work on becoming more loving and compassionate, and watch how that impacts everyone around you. 

How I'm Rediscovering Myself


Before we were bombarded with messages of who we should be, how we should act, what to and what not to say...who were we?? 

So many of us get to our adult years and realize that we don't even know who we are. Myself included. 

The first time I ever heard of the concept of "loving myself" or "getting to know myself" I was like...what does that even mean? And where do I even start? 

Well, it all kinda started one step at a time. But the biggest step was uncovering all the bullshit I picked up along the way that buried me. And the next step was to begin sloughing off the layers bit by bit. 

Sometimes I'll do guided meditations that prompt me to recover that childlike joy I experienced at a young age. Sometimes it can be really hard for me to remember a time when I felt joyful and free as a child. For a while I wasn't sure I ever even experienced that. 

But the other day, I remembered some videos that I watched of myself as a two year old. From the beginning, I was super independent and always just loved to entertain myself. My mom would come over to me with the camera and say "Lauren, dance for the camera! Jump for the camera"...wanting me to perform. My sister would jump in front of me and say "look mom, I can dance! I can jump!" I could tell that even as a young girl, I preferred it that way. I wanted my sister to take the spotlight. I didn't feel it was something I needed. 


In another video I can recall, my mom once again had to track me down as I wandered off. Preferring my own company always. She came over to get me on camera and I don't remember what I said, all I know is I pulled off my cute little Ray-bans, made a silly face and walked away. 

Growing up, I was given messages that my introverted ways were wrong. That it was weird that I wanted to be alone so often. That it was odd that I found small talk to be draining. That I should be like my, charming, and outgoing. I just never felt that I was. And because I was treated as if something was wrong with me, I spent years trying to change myself. 

A few years ago, my boyfriend's son moved in with us full time. Something he started bringing up was how he wanted me to be around more often, to come out of my room, and to be more friendly. I struggled with that...I felt bad that I wanted to hide away so often. I once again felt like there was something wrong with me. And I became resentful. 

Going to parties has also often left me feeling drained and wanting to hide away. And because of that I've avoided having a social life and putting myself out there for so many years. 

But just recently, as I've thrown off the layers of expectations placed on me...I've realized something. I protect my energy because it's precious to me. When I do show up, I want to show up as the best, most loving version of myself. I spend a lot of time in my head, which is how I'm able to do creative, inspiring work. And if I'm happiest when I get a lot of alone time, that's totally fine! 

I told my boyfriend's son that I just require more alone time than most people, and it's something he'll have to accept about me. I've allowed myself to throw away any expectations I have for myself when going to parties. I've been working on just showing up as me, in whatever way that feels like. 


I can't fully connect with people if I'm not my true, authentic, and vulnerable self. I'd rather be true to myself and be happy than to try to live up to someone's expectations and be miserable. 

If you're feeling unsure about who you are and what your role is in this world, start by noticing the expectations and roles that are being put onto you. Are they really you? Feel those expectations in your body. Do they feel right or wrong? There's nothing wrong with becoming your own advocate and protecting your energy. No one else is gonna do it for you!

Being who you are is the best gift you can give the world, so start to release who you think you should be and exchange it for that beautiful, gorgeous soul living inside of you.