The Journey to a Happy Mind and Body
We could all benefit from the notion that changing the way we think will change the way we live our lives. Often times, this message becomes misconstrued in the assumption that we must first change our actions and then our minds follow suit. However, it can be counter-productive that way. We could all walk a walk, but without intent and a mentally stimulating focus, what’s the point? The objective is to shift our beliefs, adjust our intentions, and understand the patterns of our mind’s own ego so that we may then be able to make changes, and meet the challenges we desire.
That is why I gravitated towards Leah Philpott, a Queens, New York bred mom and wife currently residing in New Jersey, who is kicking-ass and taking names on her journey through self-love and wellness. Though she admits her relationship with food-and-diet were terrible for most of her life, she has since learned that the power in changing your lifestyle is to work on the powers of your own mind and soul.
“Once I started to lose weight, I started to feel a little better,” she began, “and the funny thing is, it wasn’t because I had lost weight. I was repairing myself mentally and looking at things differently.” Leah says the biggest challenge was getting out of her own head. “It is not a good feeling when you are constantly talking down to yourself in your head yet trying to keep a happy face for everyone else.”
Despite having battled with her weight and wellness, Leah says the true challenge of having to dig-deep into her soul to live the life she knew she was capable of, came when motherhood began. After an emergency c-section left her practically immobile for the first month of her daughter’s life, and her baby girl being colic, Leah says, “The first 3 months of her life, and me being a new mom, is really a complete blur. I was hanging on by a thread literally just trying to get through the hour.”
On top of the struggles of new motherhood, she says she also lost her desire to cook. Leah is a self-taught chef with a passion that she believes began in childhood traditions of cooking with her mother and nonna. “I hid it really well, but I was super depressed,” she expressed in regard to her lack of drive.
But, Leah says her number one motivation will always be her daughter. “I finally told myself: You can’t be this person. Your daughter deserves a better mom, your husband deserves a better wife.” It became more about working on her physical health to promote her mental health as a mother, rather than about watching her weight go down.
Through a lot of soul searching, she discovered that she never really worked on her relationship with food, and instead just focused on numbers on a scale. It was through her desire to be the best mother she could be, that she realized this type of self-discovery was key. She started going to the gym and re-invested in her passion for experimenting with recipes. It was then that she found keto, which she says made the biggest impact.
After a month of researching, Leah committed to the keto diet, and has since lost over 100lbs. “I can honestly say I am comfortable in my own skin. I never knew my body could feel this good.” Not to mention, she believes it’s made her a better chef, noting that she’s grown to be more creative in her cooking, making things from scratch to control what her and her family are eating.
Finding therapy in working out has been a huge help to Leah’s progression. “I push myself so much, knowing I have to show up for myself.” It is a routine for her to hit the gym by 6am during the week and uses the cardio/weightlifting as her chance to clear her mind.
What’s more, is that Leah is also being sure to incorporate her daughter and parenting into this lifestyle. “Since my daughter was little, I’ve had her involved in the kitchen. I truly feel kids will be more inclined to eat what you serve them if they are involved in the cooking/preparing process.”
When asked what she’d say to moms like her, an insightful answer was given: “It is not selfish to make yourself a priority. From personal experience, the more excuses I made, the more frustrated and resentful I would feel.” But now Leah knows that aside from her family, her only other motivation is knowing how bad she never wants to go back to the dark places of her mind again.
Leah is still setting goals in her fitness and has decided to be more transparent about her journey with the rest of the world. She loves sharing the knowledge she’s gained about keto and cooking, and hopes to be able to help other women like her. She uses her Instagram @leahscucina, to connect with others so they may be inspired too. “I want people to come to my Instagram and see a woman who never gave up and have the courage to do the same for themselves.”
Now, Leah is making big future plans. She is currently working on a cookbook that she plans to have completed within the year. And after her experience in catering with her husband, she also hopes to one day own her own restaurant. “Nothing fancy,” she says, but some sort of little café with rustic home cooking.
Learning more about Leah’s story further humanizes the concept that as women, we are all just going through the motions, trying to figure it all out one step at a time. “Do that soul searching. All the stuff you don’t want to dig up, dig it up. Start with a clear head knowing you will be a brand new you if you dedicate yourself to this,” is her main message.
Follow more on Leah's journey on her instagram @leahscucina here.