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Marla Mervis-Hartmann on Loving Yourself By Loving Your Body
We’re going to start you with a question, “Do you love your body?” Take a moment and think about that question. Do you love your body? As the Creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself, my guest, Marla Mervis-Hartmann, assists women in finding a yes to that question. I’m curious about how many of you did say yes. After years of struggling with her own dysfunctional body relationship, Marla has transformed her experiences into services to help women discover, honor, and appreciate their bodies. Marla is a professional coach, speaker featured on TEDx, and Reiki master. She’s a mother and a wife and she lives in LA. In all of her work, Marla is devoted to empowering women to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire. For our male readers, you might want to also read this. Marla, I’m so glad to have you here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you so much for having me, Terri.
I’m excited to have you because when I first saw the question, “Do you love your body?” I sat for a few moments for myself and thought, “How would I answer that?” I found that interesting. First of all, tell us how you got to where you are now. What’s your backstory?Your body is your own house and you get to decorate it however you want. Click To Tweet
My backstory is that I struggled with my body for years and years. Ever since I was around ten, I started tracking my food. I was in the throes of obsessing about my body, eating uncontrollably or not eating at all. For most of my life, I struggled with my relationship with my body, food, and exercise. After years and years of going through so many ways of recovering from this, I finally healed my relationship with my body and food. I can honestly say that I do love my body right now. I appreciate my body and I love my body. For me and for anyone who’s out there who has struggled with their relationship with their body, know that is a huge thing to be able to say when you’ve been at a place where you’re like, “There’s no way in hell that I will ever feel safe in my body again.”
Years and years ago, one of my bestselling books is Create Your Ideal Body. I remembered being interviewed on a radio show and the interviewer said, “What’s your idea of an ideal body?” I said, “It’s not about my idea. It’s about creating your ideal body. It’s a body that you fall in love with.” I believe your body is your own house and you get to decorate it however you want. If you want to carry extra weight around and you choose to, that’s fine. If you choose to have your body be strong and powerful, that’s fine. I don’t judge anyone’s body except I used to judge my own. I used to judge my own body and was always dieting. I love that you’re helping people say yes to loving their body. We’ve got men in the same situation. Why is it so many women not only don’t love their body, they don’t like, honor, and don’t even enjoy being in their own body? Why is that?
That’s a big question and there’s a big answer as well. Society plays a big key component to this. We’re being brainwashed by diet culture and from our society telling us what the ideal body is. A lot of women, and men as well, are looking to achieve that. If they don’t, they don’t feel worthy of love. They don’t feel worthy of feeling good about themselves. We’ve been so brainwashed into a certain way of thinking and looking at our food and looking at our body that it has created quite a bit of dysfunction in our culture. On top of that, we are beautiful. Our bodies are specimens. From the beginning of time, there’s been that adoration of woman and they’re looking up on women. There’s a relationship to our body that is imprinted from that from the beginning of time. That’s my take on it.
It was a huge question and you gave a great and in-depth answer. I find it sad when women can’t enjoy and appreciate their bodies. I saw a woman at the beach and she had this beautiful and gorgeous bathing suit on. I didn’t know her, but I walked up to her and I said, “Your bathing suit is stunning.” Her response to me was, “Not with these fat thighs.”
That breaks my heart and that is a normal response. People, in general, are not giving themselves permission to like their body and accept their body. The question I ask, “Do you love your body?” That’s a big question. We can take that down into, “Do I like my body now? Do I accept my body now? Is my body okay now so that I can have a great day? Is my body good enough at this moment where I can say to a woman who says, ‘I love your bathing suit,’ ‘Thank you so much?’” It’s taking it in and chunking it down because when you go from a place of, “I hate my body. I’m disgusting to look at,” and expect yourself to love your body, that’s a huge jump. We have to have these, “For the next day, I’m going to be okay with my body. For now, I’m going to look at my body and I’m going to appreciate what it is that I do have.” That’s an important piece in moving up the scale to, “Yes, I do love my body.”
I had an injury and I was in a wheelchair and I couldn’t walk. I walked off and on a little bit and then couldn’t walk at all. I started to walk a while ago. No matter what I ate, I still gained some weight and instead of walking around every day going, “I’m overweight, I don’t feel good in my body.” I would wake up in the morning, I would look in a full-length mirror, and I would find at least three to five things that I did appreciate and love about my body. At that moment, I wasn’t focused on, “My body’s heavier than it used to be.” I was focused on the aspects of my body that I can love and appreciate. All day long, I would stop whenever I could look in the mirror and I would appreciate those beautiful, positive aspects of my body no matter what the number on a scale has to say. What do you say about that?
That’s amazing because what you’re touching on here is it’s not that we don’t love our bodies because of what they look like. You are trusting your body. You’re loving the fullness of your body. Your body is not worthy of love whether you gain weight or not, your body is worthy of love, especially even more so because you had this injury. It’s like, “Look at this body.” We say, “I trust you, body. I know that by giving loving attention that you’re going to get well again. I’m not going to have these pounds on me forever, and if I do, that’s okay.” It’s trusting the healing of the body.
This is what people do. “I gained weight.” You could literally have sat there in the pain and worry about that rather than turning it around and being like, “My body’s beautiful. I gained some weight, but I’m trusting that my body’s healing. I’m trusting I’m going to get my strength back. I’m trusting this is a moment in time.” I look at this whole Love Your body Love Yourself, as not even just what we look like, it’s, “Can I still love my body when my body is not showing up the way I want it to?” I had some thyroid issues and I’ve been tired, can I still love my body when all it wants to do asleep?
I do the best listening in the last ten or fifteen years I ever had to my body. I love to work out every day. Every once in a while, I’ll be getting out of bed, getting ready to put my workout clothes on, and my body says, “No, go rest. Go meditate. Not now. Do something simpler. Don’t go to the gym, go for a swim.” Whatever it is, I trust my body more than going, “We have to work out for 30 minutes no matter what my body says.”We're being brainwashed by diet culture and from our society telling us what the ideal body is. Click To Tweet
You are tapping into your inner wisdom. You’re tapping into pleasure is what I call that. You’re tapping into using pleasure as your guide and information to connect with your body. You’re in a relationship with your body. You’re not forcing your body around. You’re not telling your body to do a certain thing because you had the idea in your head. You’re having a relationship. With every good relationship, there’s a give and a take. There’s conversation, there’s listening. Sometimes we don’t like what someone has to say, but we trust that we’re going to listen anyways. It’s the same thing with our body and we want to look at, “Can I have a relationship with my body? I’m going to be with the body for the rest of my life? Can I be friends with my body?”
That resonates with me. I’m pointing out that not only do I want women to be breathing this in, for our male readers, it’s a great question for you, too. The more I’ve chatted with male friends about their bodies and weight, the more that I even saw males reading Create Your Ideal Body, and the more conversation I’ve had with folks, men have questions about their bodies as well. They’re a little bit more macho about it. Typically, if you say, “I like your suit,” they don’t go, “These fat thighs.” They don’t do that. They can take a compliment a little bit more.
You’ve given us great information. I am certain that we have many readers who would like to be more empowered in their female bodies, would like to be able to answer the question, “Do you love your body?” with a gigantic “Yes, I do” and maybe aren’t quite there yet. Marla, what’s the best way for the readers to connect with you and to continue on the journey with you?
That would be to go to my website, LoveYourBodyLoveYourself.com. It’s a great place to start. There’s a lot of good free stuff on there and resources for you. I’m very approachable. If anyone needs anything, please shoot me an email and let’s start a conversation. I’m here to support.
I can tell that about you. In the few moments that we have before we did the interview, it was very joyful to speak with you. I always teach people, “Do you have a domain name that gives a result?” To those of you paying attention, this is a perfect domain name. It says the result you will get. Marla, it has been a joy to connect with you and I look forward to staying on the journey with you as well.
Thank you, Terri, for having me.
For the readers, subscribe to the show and if you didn’t subscribe, you would’ve missed this interview with Marla Mervis. Personally, I learned a lot. I believe this is one that you should go back and re-listen. I don’t care if you’re male or female. There were so many nuggets that Marla Mervis gave you here. Then go over to LoveYourBodyLoveYourself.com and Marla’s generous to give us some freebies. She said you can even connect with her by email.
Readers, there are a couple of actions for you to take. The first is get your free course for you as a reader at GetHotPayingClients.com. You can go over and join the forums for free at HeartrepreneurAcademy.com and you can connect with all the kinds of folks that I have here on the radio show and with the other readers. You can ask questions and you can learn to do business with other entrepreneurs.
If you have not yet joined the 2,500 or so other Heartrepreneurs over at the Facebook group, which is Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine, please go do that right now. We want to know who you are. Go in and introduce yourself. We’ve got lots of people that can help and support you. They may even want to do business with you. I’m hoping to see Marla in there as well because she can continue to give us help and advice to love our bodies. Thank you once again for tuning in here with me at Heartrepreneur Radio.
About Marla Mervis-Hartmann
Do you love your body? As creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself, Marla Mervis-Hartmann assists women in finding a “YES!” to that question. After years of struggling with her own dysfunctional body-relationship, Marla has transformed her experiences into services to help women discover honor and appreciation for their bodies. As a professional Marla, has been featured at TEDx Salinas. She was the leading body image expert and Reiki Master at Journey Malibu, a Drug/Alcohol rehabilitation center. Marla has followed her passion for women’s health down many paths of study including women’s sexual wellness; postpartum care; Restore Your Core educator; Tantra teacher certification; Yoga teacher training, and massage therapy. This collected body of knowledge shines through in her offerings of Love Your Body Love Your-self. In all of her work, Marla is devoted to empowering women to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire. She lives in LA with her husband and son where she works full-time as a professional coach, speaker, facilitator and Living Light Reiki Master and Teacher.