We spoke with our friend and model Kayla Jules Moniz about her personal journey to healthy eating and overall well-being.
Kayla grew up in beautiful Hawaii and began dancing ballet at three years old and continued classical ballet training up until sophomore year of high school. After graduating from high school she left home to pursue a professional performing career in musical theatre in NYC. Since then, Kayla has toured around the world with West Side Story, and performed in a number of incredible shows across the U. S.
It was while she was on tour with WSS that Kayla discovered a huge passion for fitness, a passion that has recently blossomed into an exciting career as a trainer at Body By Simone (BBS) in New York City.
Kayla shares her story and insights below:
My personal health journey began after moving to NYC. I recall reading online one day about the latest diet trends: counting calories, eliminating carbs, cutting out fat, you know, all of those traditional falsehoods about the ultimate, transformative diet. I started to develop a really negative body image and became obsessed with looking at myself in the mirror to examine my “imperfections.” This irrational thinking eventually spiraled into several years of disordered eating patterns, body dysmorphia, orthorexia, and a constant state of anxiety about food. I had stopped menstruating during these years and often felt completely hopeless in the face of my obsessive, food-related thoughts and irregular eating behaviors.
I remember trying so many different methods to cure myself, which basically boiled down to trying more foolish dietary regimes that claimed to be “the be all end all” for achieving incredible health. It truly wasn’t until I finally confessed the scope and depth of my struggles to my mom and family that my healing process gradually bloomed. Slowly but surely, I started to mend my relationship with food, learn to love my body again, and bring my hormones back into balance. This was the result of a totally new perspective on viewing health that I had wonderfully discovered during my formal online studies of integrative nutrition and holistic health. If you ask me now, I will tell you that healthy eating is all about knowledge, balance, satisfaction, and intuitively listening to your body.
1.Knowledge about the important, healing, and energizing benefits of eating whole, unprocessed foods.
2.Balance in enjoying ice cream and pizza and not feeling guilty or ashamed for indulging in treats.
3.Satisfaction in consuming healthy meals that you actually enjoy and taste delicious.
4.Listening to your body.
Tuning into and connecting with my intuition has truly become my anchor. I’ve learned to listen to my body’s hunger cues and cravings and not ignore them. I understand that my body knows best and sends me signals for specific reasons. Another big breakthrough in my healing journey was realizing that health is way more than just what we eat. It’s our community, career, creative outlets, physical movement, home environment, and so much more. Overall health is holistic. I currently run my own health coaching business, “In Bloom,” and am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a focus in women’s hormonal health. My heartfelt desire is to help women discover a healthy lifestyle that works for their own bio-individuality, for their unique and beautiful self. I aspire to help women create a lifestyle of health that is full of joy, community, fitness, and of course…yummy FOOD! I believe that every woman deserves to have vibrant health that lets them glow from the inside out.
You can follow Kayla on Instagram at @kaylajules_