We have had the total privilege to interview Sarah Nicole Landry, an amazing and empowering body positivity influencer and writer. In her own words, Sarah is a “34-year-old newly re-married mom of 3, social media personality, writer, speaker and winger of all the things.” She is also a pretty darn inspiring person! We got the chance to catch up with Sarah on her wellness journey, her struggles, her accomplishments and the wise words (and trust me, they are WISE) that she has to offer others on the journey to self- acceptance, self-care, and self-love. Keep reading for inspo, tips and some giggles too.
SH: Sarah, how did you become a body positivity influencer?
Sarah: Somewhat accidentally! My Instagram has always been a journalistic reflection of my heart and what’s going on with it. For a long time, I was very filtered in what I shared, but after experiencing a lot of anxiety and self hate after losing 100lbs, I became a lot more self-aware. I had to explore my self-hate, and bring to the surface my most vulnerable things. A lot of those things were caught in my body. By talking through this online, I also began to connect with so many women going through the exact same things, and we all just felt less alone.
SH: What does self-care mean to you?
Sarah: Listening. Honestly, I don’t think we do enough of it. Guilt and perceived obligations can overtake us. Sometimes it’s ok to say “I need to not be ok, and that means I’m canceling xyz” or sometimes it’s calling your mom or friend and talking through something, and other times, it’s locking the bathroom door and taking a bath, going out with girlfriends, exercising. Just LISTENING to what we need. No matter how silly it feels.
SH: What is your biggest hack for healthy living?
Sarah: Don’t overcomplicate it. We don’t have to be the best in the gym, the perfect diet (it doesn’t exist) or the most perfect version of ourselves at all times. Because we already are. When we start honouring our days, we stop living in our past or looking only at the future. Small, individual choices can add up to a healthy and beautiful life.
SH: What’s one of your fave workouts?
Sarah: I’m someone who really hates all workouts lol, I can’t escape it! It’s just who I AM! However, I love the FEELING afterward. Enough that I keep going back. I would say I’m somewhere between dancing in my bedroom to Britney Spears and weight lifting!
SH: What’s your philosophy in terms of what you eat? (And if that’s changed over the years, how so?)
Sarah: I struggled with a lot of gut issues since I was a child, and when I began to get healthy I decided to stop just settling for that being my life. Just “sick”. My whole life was planned around the closest bathroom. It became normal. When I challenged it I grew more understanding to my body and what serves it best. Turns out, I’m pretty badly intolerant to both gluten and dairy (and I thought these were fake allergies…). Since cutting those out, I additionally went vegan about 2 years ago and have really enjoyed NOT being sick, and loving on veggies.
SH: Can you share one or two pivotal moments in your life and wellness journey?
Sarah: Before losing weight, I was really becoming aware of how absent I was in my own life. I wasn’t interactive with my kids, I wasn’t caring for myself, and I didn’t want to be seen in public. That would be pivotal moment 1.
After losing weight, I was going through a divorce and lost TOO MUCH. I was very thin, and sick, stressed and yet everyone congratulated me on how good I looked. It was a glaring case and eye-opening experience to how much “thin” and “skinny” are idolized. It became a mental battle when I had to healthily regain, but it helped me grasp that skinny wasn’t happy. Skinny was just a different kind of unhealthy for my body.
SH: We know you have 3 adorable kids! What do you do to try to ensure they grow up with a positive body image?
Sarah: My 10-year-old faced “fat” comments about 2 years ago for the first time, and it cracked my heart right open. My own memories of the same came flooding back, and I sat there, holding her sobbing, and not knowing what to do. It was then that we decided to stop using physical attributes as a compliment. We talk about “strong” and “smart”
and “courageous” and “kind” and when I hear them make comments about themselves, I often bring up some inspiring beautiful women on social media and read through the messages to get them in a better mindset (I mean, it helps me, so I can only hope it’s helped them too!)
SH: What dessert do you wish could be healthy?
Sarah: OOOOOH ok, I’m gonna name three…because I love desserts! Vanilla buttercream cake, cheesecake, and also peanut butter cups (all gluten free and dairy free too, because life…).
SH: Oh, we can actually help with a couple of those…cheesecake, and a version of cookie dough peanut butter cups (doesn’t anything get better with cookie dough)? Or if you want to be a bit more of a PB and chocolate purist we’ve got this recipe too.
SH: What do you love most about your body? Why?
Sarah: I love that it’s been so strong and healing. I also love the lines on my hips, the dimples on my butt, and the way I can go without a bra some days. All these things used to be my hate spots, and now they’re my love spots. Funny how life works!
Thank you so much Sarah for your inspiring words! Please follow Sarah Nicole Landry on Instagram @thebirdspapaya.
Interested in reading some healthy lifestyle tips from another empowering woman? Check out our interview with fitness guru and entrepreneur, Morgan Kate.