July 20, 2022

E367: Amber Shaw - If you have an EATING DISORDER you MUST learn this | Trauma Healing Podcast

One of the biggest mental health stigmas in the world is around eating disorders. And I will be the first one to tell you that I recognize how touchy of a subject it is.

See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e367-amber-shaw-if-you-have-an-eating-disorder-you-must-learn-this-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes

One of the biggest mental health stigmas in the world is around eating disorders. And I will be the first one to tell you that I recognize how touchy of a subject it is.

Many of us go through these crash diets, yo-yo diets, these crazy 30-day challenges and transformations, quote-unquote, that are supposed to help us and make us feel better about who we are.

In my own journey, as many of you know, at one point in my life, I was 350 pounds; there is no question that morbid obesity comes from an eating disorder. And for me, it was very much tied to emotional behaviors and escapism, and for many people, that holds true.

And today's guest, Amber Shaw, is a body transformation expert and the founder of the wellness revolution. She's a motivational speaker and internationally recognized authority in the health and wellness industry. She's a great friend of mine who has been on quite the journey herself as someone who has battled eating disorders and this wellness industry, which is changing it. I have so much love and admiration for Amber.

We often think our body is the full representation of who we are in the world. And Amber Shaw is someone I will tell you right now will agree that that's not entirely true. If you've ever been on the yo-yo diets, if you've ever had an eating disorder, if you have low self-esteem, you find yourself binge eating, you're kind of like in this weird place where food often kind of satiates your needs, your desires, your wants and your needs, and yet you always still feel empty, you may wanna listen to this episode.

I know that in my own journey, when I got healthy, chose health, and started looking at food as nourishment and medicine, everything changed for me. And I hope you'll find it will do the same for you. And look, I'll tell you right now; this episode is not preachy, it's not as yelling about this is the diet or that is the thing, but I'm going to tell you right now, there are tools in this conversation that if you pay attention, could potentially change your life forever.

Learn More About Amber Shaw at: https://ambershaw.com/

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation. Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my friend, Amber Shaw, who is a body transformation expert, and founder of the wellness revolution, Amber, my friend, how are you today? What is happening in your world?

Amber: Hey, I am good. Kids are still at school, so like it's a good day for me right now. Wait for another couple hours and then, it's gonna be hell over here, but its good right now, things are good.

Michael: That's hilarious. Probably another reason why I don't have children. Right. That's always the after, right? So, you tell us a little bit about your story and how you got to where you are today?

Amber: Yeah, I would love to, I mean, good Lord. You know, I know everyone always is like how much time you got, but no, seriously, for me, you know, at 43, you know, doing what I'm doing right now as a body transformation expert, this has been such a long path for me. And really just a whole personal development path for me is what led me here. So, as you said, I am a body transformation expert. I work with women over 40 and really my mission in life is to get women off of the dieting train, because I really do think that dieting at its core is kind of the root of a lot of women confidence issues, it's a root of a lot of women's, self-love and body image issues. And so, I think that, you know, a lot of happiness, especially for women over 40, who have been really, most of us have been dieting our entire lives. It's time that we stop that and we heal our relationship with food and ourselves, and start loving ourselves again.

And so, for me, what really led me to this work, really I didn't know it at the time, but it really was something that started for me when I was a kid from the age of about 10 years old, I can remember feeling very, very uncomfortable in my body. I didn't really know how to verbalize it, I just knew that I didn't like the body I had and I wasn't an overweight kid, I was the kid that looked a lot older than I was, I'm looking back at pictures in fact, it's so funny. I was looking at a picture, the other day of me and I was probably like around 12 and I was wearing a dress and it was for a piano recital, it was this white, like strapless dress, but I looked at the dress and that was actually my mother's dress not when she was my age, no, that was my mother's dress when she was like 35. And I had this kind of aha moment because it was little like small kind of traumas like that for me, because as a young girl, to be able to be the same size as your mom, who's like 12, I mean, that did not make me feel good. And I didn't even remember that memory until I saw that picture and I was like that, that really made me feel bad. And so, that kind of just starting at that age, having just not loving my body, I'd had family members make comment about my spies and you know, all of that. And so, it really progressed for me through high school, I can remember being on my first calorie restricted diet and the women that are listening I know a lot of 'em, you know, are probably shaking their head, especially if they're in my age group, because for a lot of women, this is where it starts is when we're kid, I talk to so many women that did weight watchers in their high school years, all that stuff. But I just did my first, like calorie restricted diet and it just seemed to like snowball from there. You know, as far as like the way that I was always obsessed with my body and I was always just looking at my body, picking apart my body, hating my body. And for those that knew me, they never would've known that this was going on with me because I was the cheerleader, I was the track runner, I was not like an overweight, you know, person growing up, but I was very, very body obsessed. And this really progressed for me very seriously in my early twenties, what led to an eating disorder. And I found myself bulimic and I felt so freaking out of control. I didn't even know who this person was, I mean, I was a very high performer, so, in my early twenties, I was at a very successful sales job, making a lot of money, bought my first house at like 24. But while all of this is going on, I am being very destructive. I mean, I was definitely doing a lot of drugs, doing a lot of drinking, I was very, really in the depths of my like eating disorder. And, you know, I've done a lot of self-work since then a lot of freaking therapy. And I realized that a lot of like the drugs and the alcohol for me, it was really, it has always been for me a way to like shut down that negative talk track in my head about the way that I look at myself and my lack of self-confidence and the way that I view myself.

And so, this just, again, continued, again continued right all the way through. I got married in my late twenties and still working in sales and had a good marriage and then I had two kids gained a lot of weight with both the kids, like 65 pounds. I mean, I was about my normal, like resting weight was about, you know, whatever, like 150 pounds I mean, I was way over to 215, and it's because I was basically using my pregnancy as almost like a nine-month binge session, I will say that kind of going back to the bulimia I did in my early twenties, fortunately I had the resources to get professional help. And so, I was able to free myself of the physical act of binging and purging, but I never really got to the root cause of that and so mentally and emotionally, I never healed any of that. So again, this is why the drugs and the alcohol and all that continued through the late twenties, when I got pregnant, all that stopped. But I used kind of what I did then is I reverted to food so, I wasn't able to use drugs or alcohol anymore as like a way to pacify my like negative talk track.

So, then I used food during my pregnancy and I gained a lot of weight and I was really unhealthy. And then after I had my kids with both of them, I did lose the weight, I lost it very, very unhealthily, like just crazy starvation diets. Like it was nuts so I was working out like twice a day for two hours a day, I mean, I was just really, cuz it threw me into a tail spend because I couldn't be in this bigger body because then what would that say to me, because I would say about me because at that time, so much of my self-worth, all of my self-worth pretty much was wrapped up in the way that I looked. So, for me, like there's no way I could be overweight that was just not an option for me, so, I did whatever I had to do to get it off. And like I said, this is just this really unhealthy behaviors just really continued and then things changed when I hit 40, I found myself in the middle of a marriage that just blew up in my face and I was getting ready to turn 40 and I was going through a very, very tumultuous time in my marriage. And I decided that I was gonna do for my 40th birthday, it's funny, I'd had plans the year before I was gonna go to Cabo. Okay. Like I was getting down all my girlfriends, my friends, like we're fucking going to Cabo it was happening. And then all this happened and I was like, I'm gonna go by myself for my 40th birthday on a yoga retreat to Costa Rica, because I gotta figure my shit out. I am so unhappy, I'm in a sales job that I'm making six figures, multiple six figures, and my sales job, I'm doing very well at that, but I'm so bored, I'm so, just underwhelmed, I'm so not satisfied, I'm not happy with that. I'm obviously very unhappy in my marriage and that this is happening to me right now. And I didn't have a lot of answers and I was trying to figure out how can I turn this like pain into purpose and so I felt very lost.

And then I was very unhappy with myself. I was tired of hating my body. I was tired of feeling so unworthy and I feel like I put up with a lot of stuff in relationships and in my marriage and stuff like that because I didn't have the confidence with myself. And so, I took this yoga retreat, and really at that time, I didn't know that time though. And it was also cuz lemme say this, I was turning 42. So, I mean turning 40 as well. So, I was like, what I want the next 40 years to look like? Like I've been struggling, like on the outside, everything looks pretty and good, right? Like on the outside I got the perfect marriage, the kids, I got the job, all of it things were fine, but on the inside, things were not fine at all. So, my intention for going on the yoga retreat was number one to like clear my freaking head, but also to like, kind of get a little bit of clarity on what I wanted to do with my career. And long story short, I ended up of multiple meditation sessions myself on the beach. I'm a big believer in divine invention and I really do feel like I got a kind of an intuitive, just download of what I should be doing and the word coach just hit me. And because I knew that I was not going through this without purpose. I knew that I was in this situation. I had just finished Gabby Bernstein's book; The universe has your back. And that book is all about like, you know, really trusting that Spirit that God, whatever it is, the higher power you believe in it has you exactly where you need to be. And when you can just learn to lean into the pain, when you can learn to just feel it and be in it as fucking uncomfortable as it is beautiful things can happen. And I just held onto that. And so, anyways, I was on the retreat and I thought, okay, I like, I hear you, God. Like, I hear you. You want me to be a coach. I don't really know what that but I'm gonna do this. And so anyways, I came back to Atlanta and I immediately enrolled in an integrated nutrition program and I reup my personal training certification. I'd actually had that certification in my twenties, but I was gonna train people, it was just cuz I was so body obsessed I needed to be like the best of the best. And so, I launched my business at the end of 2019 and it's been a throughout that process of in that integrated nutrition program and that year, and going through filing for divorce and all of that, I did a lot of healing. And this is where I started to heal my relationship with food and I stopped all the dieting and I learned to heal myself. You know, heal, go within and do a lot of inner work and it's still journey as you know, with this inner work, like the work never ends. Like you just keep peeling back more damn layers of the inion. And that's how I got to where I'm at and my purpose, I feel like my purpose is I just wanted to teach other women because I've been there, and I know, I know what it's like. I just wanted to teach other women how to break free of that, how to get to the other side because once you can get to the other side, it's a whole new world.

Michael: So, yeah, it truly is. And I appreciate your vulnerability and going deep there because, you know, I think so many people are listening are gonna resonate at both women and men alike because as you're telling this story, I'm sitting and having my own recollections of experiences. You know, being a young boy and shopping in the men's Husky section, right? The most embarrassing place a child can be inside of Walmart. I promise you, like going through that, going through these weight shifts, I was dieting in high school because I wrestled and so, I was always cutting weight, like when I actually went to school. And so, I was always in this position of, you know, this body that, and then blowing up to 350 pounds, drinking myself to sleep every night, going through that chaos. And then, you know, fast forward a decade later being in my mid-thirties, having a six pack and being healthy, having a great body taking care of it, putting nutrition and health first. And even now today, like really one of my words for 2022 is my only word for 2022 is health. And just doing whatever that means to take care of it and I've thrown diets out the window, I've thrown, you know, what are those stupid things called? Like little weight loss pills, who knows what that did to my liver. You know what I mean? So, I mean, I've been there and like I went through starvation diets. So, you know, it really applies across the board, I'm glad that you're willing to share the vulnerability of this because I don't think enough people really are willing to talk about it. You know, I think there's a couple elephants in the room of mental healthcare. One, I definitely think is, you know, childhood trauma and abuse, obviously, cuz that's what I talk about all day. And the other one I think is about this food thing and it's fascinating to me that we live the most overweight country in the world, and yet people are not taking care of themselves. And look, I'm not casting shame or judgment, I wanna be very clear about that, cuz I've been morbidly obese in my life and what I've come to find in the thing that it ties into it is that personal work, it is that inter development is getting clarity about who you are and you use that word clarity a few minutes ago and that resonated with me so much because the truth is like when you're willing to go to the depths of the hell of who it is that you are like, you're going to discover the truth about what you're capable of becoming. And in that truth, I think it's not only the execution of it, but it's the willingness to allow yourself to be successful. You know, I wonder as you're in this and you're going through this process and you're learning and you're having this divine intervention, your words, what really struck so home for you? Because I would have to assume, and if I'm wrong, please, but I would have to assume you've had these thoughts in your head before about yo, I gotta change this, this thing's fucking up my life, I need to do something about it. What I'd love to know is like, what was the juxtaposition of where you were into where you are and like what became that switch for you that's allowed you to become who you are today.

Amber: You know, I think for me, particularly like going back to that moment, like sitting on the beach, I think that I had gotten to a point where the fear, like the pain that I was in was greater than the fear of change. Right? I think that we can have these thoughts as you know, like, oh, we wanna change, we need to do something different, we're unhappy or whatever, but I think, and it doesn't necessarily mean necessarily have to be like a rock bottom moment. I think for some of us, it is a rock bottom moment, I mean, I know that you and I have spoke about that with you in your own story. And maybe actually it is a rock bottom moment, maybe that moment on the beach mean what would be considered a rock bottom moment. And I think, I had to get to the point again, where my pain was far greater than any fear of change. And I knew that I couldn't keep doing what I was doing, I couldn't keep doing what I was doing, I couldn't keep finding myself in these relationships that weren't serving me, I couldn't keep just hating myself and my body, I have a little girl and she's, you know, 10 years old now, but at the time, she was six or seven and I didn't want her to grow up the way that I grew up. And I love my mom and she never, but we didn't grow up in like a body; my time to grow up was not a body positivity time. So anyways, I think that there was a lot of coming from a lot of different things, my daughter, again, the motivation was my daughter, but also for me, just that desire to stop living like that, I will also say this too. I think, I was so desperate because I am a very positive person and I am not like a woe is me, oh, this happened to me, you know, so that defines me. I think I was so desperate to find the why, like, why was this happening to me? Like, I just couldn't accept that I was like going through this terrible divorce and going through all of this and like that to me, I couldn't accept that. I was like, nope, there's a reason why and I was so desperate to figure out like, what is that reason? And again, like my drive to turn my pain into purpose because I kept using this word for me, that kept coming up was like this word hoarding, like I felt like I had done at that point too. I had also done a lot of like inner work on myself that I want. I wanted to share that with other women. I didn't wanna hoard that, I wanted to like, share that. So, I think for me, that was the turning point, it was just the massive amount of pain that I was in.

Michael: Yeah. I resonate with that a lot too. And I think that for me, it was recognizing like, oh, if I can create this change in my life, perhaps I can share this with other people, not really knowing anything would come out of it. I mean, you go back six years ago, us having this conversation, I would guess would be a 0% chance. Right. And the universe is weird, cuz it'll push you to where you need to go. What I'm curious about is so let let's rewind a little bit because there a lot of different areas that we can talk about here in this conversation. But I think the place that I want to begin, that's going to be most beneficial for people is kind of looking at step one, right? Whether it's bulimia or anorexia or eating disorders, or if you are on these calorie restricted diets, and you're not taking care of your body, you're feeling sick lethargic are feeling sick like whatever those things are. And you know, something is off or a skew, especially when it comes to your relationship with food and nutrition and health. Like where do you start with this? ‘Cause I don't want people to feel lost in the process.

Amber: That's such a good question. And I do think that it's not as black and white I think it can also there, it can depend on the circumstances, right? So, if somebody, obviously, if somebody's listening to this and they are actively, you know, engaging in behaviors, like anorexia or bulimia or things like that, I think absolutely professional help. I mean, that's not something that I think is as that you can do on your own. So, I think in that regard, it's seeking the appropriate health. I mean, I'm sorry, the appropriate care for that, for sure. I think that if you are somebody, you know, that is maybe you have been like you said, dieting your entire life, you are wrapped up in your poor relationship with food and you're doing all these calorie restricted diets, or doing all the counting and all that stuff and you're ready to make a change. I think with any time you're trying to make a change the biggest thing is really just not focusing on overhauling everything like cleaning out pantry, redoing everything like starting at, you know, just starting to eat all lettuce tomorrow like whatever. I feel like that is the kind of stuff that never ever sticks. I think with any change, it has to be small and it has to be incremental. You know, there's that book you've probably talked about in the show, but that atomic habits book, where they talk about just being, like, I think you talked about being like 1% better tomorrow than you were or change by not even better, but just like change 1% so that you are the next day 1% more than you were yesterday, better that you were yesterday, and I think there's a lot to be said to that. So, when it comes to the area of nutrition instead of trying to overhaul your entire day, let's just get granular and let's just focus on one meal. How about just one meal? Maybe just look at getting a little bit more real food into that meal. Right? I think we all know enough about nutrition to know that getting stuff that's more real food, let's box, let's package that's going to be something that is a little bit healthier than when you are buying stuff in a box, right? Like we just, we all know that you don't need a coach to tell you that you know that, right? So, I think that particularly in the area of nutrition, I do think that again, making very, very, very small changes that they will start to add up because remember, you know, anytime you go in and you try to just completely change. I change everything, the likelihood of sticking to that is not very high. So, I think that it becomes very first step is a level of awareness, right? Like recognizing, that this is an issue for you. And really also getting to like the why, like, what is your why? I think that is a very important thing when it comes to goals of like weight loss, cuz obviously if you're doing these things where you're doing calorie restrictive diets and you're doing, you know, maybe you've got an eating disorder or something more times than not your why cuz it doesn't just stop, just cuz you wanna shed a couple pounds, like your why runs a lot deeper than that. And I can tell you just being transparent sharing my why, when I've done this kind of work of figuring out, like why was it for so many years? I was so obsessed with losing weight and I would like gain, you know, sometimes I'd gain a lot more weight and lose a lot more weight, sometimes it'd only just be like, I would be like losing my mind over like five ten pounds going up and down. And I had to get to the root of like, what was that about? And for me, it really goes back to when I was a kid about traumas, that happened to me when I was a kid and how I at very young age attached my self-worth to the way that I looked. And I attached, you know, being a certain size and a certain weight on the scale to a level of worthiness. If I could get to that particular size or that weight, then I am good and I would be loved and I would be desired. And if I was desired by men and found attractive by men, then I was okay. And so, you know, that took the minute for me to get to that point but I'm just saying that I do think that if you are serious about really changing your life, I think that a level of awareness is a good place to start. And then I think making small changes that you're gonna stick to the big dial movers. But then I also think is doing a little bit of the inner work as to why you're in that place, why you're there in the first place, why you're in that spot in the first.

Michael: Yeah, I think there's causation and correlation to everything, right? We're the sum total of all of our experiences leading up to now. So, everything that's ever happened to us kind of helps build and shape who we are today and it's incredible how in passing those little things they hold so true. Right. And especially in your home or in society, or growing up in the years that we grew up, especially in the eighties and nineties, like it was everything was about fitness and being in shape and, you know, fucking Beverly Hills 902 and you see that shit and you're like, wait a second, but that's not how I look or that's not how I feel. And you know, when you have these languages around you about body, whether it's fat, skinny, whatever and you start to attach that, meaning like that carries so much weight. I mean, I remember being like nine years old and like putting myself on a diet, cuz I would watch like TRL and see these music videos and be like, yo, I've gotta work out for two hours a day and not, you know, cuz you're fucking child, you don't know what you're doing. Like it made no sense to me that I wasn't losing weight because all I was eating was gummy bears and packaged food cause that's all we had access to. It wasn't like you in my late twenties, I got a personal training certification, a nutrition certification, and part of it was about vanity and still not understanding nutrition or my body at that point. And the other part of it was curiosity and being like, okay, wait a second. If I can understand why, when I eat these things, my body does this between, you know, blood glucoses and things of that nature then it'll help me understand better how to move about the world. Also, it was about looking at and understanding the physiology of everything, cuz like I kept getting hurt at the gym cuz I was pushing myself too hard, not resting, not taking care of myself. And so, I do agree with you. I think awareness is everything. One of the things I want to talk about and actually go a little bit deeper here with cuz I think it's important. I don't actually agree with you about something and that's that people know what to eat. And the reason why I say that is because (a) there's so much misinformation in nutrition like, you know, this, you go look at the back of a box, people may think that's healthy, right? Or fast food or whatever. Can you give us just some baseline pointers about (a) what is the difference between like healthy food and bad foods? And again, this is objective to everyone, so let's be clear, but also why you said, you know, maybe packaged foods, aren't the way that you should go.

Amber: Yeah, of course. And I think what I meant by, you know, and I do think you're right, there are like kind of the healthy foods in the box that can actually be like, just as bad for you. But I think kind of on a broader scale, what I was talking about is I think most people know that like an Apple's gonna be better for you than a box of borios. Right? Like, I think that those extremes, but you're right, there is a gray area that can be very confusing to people be particularly because the way that these food companies’ market and all of that stuff. So, you know, the thing is that just to kind of, you know, explain why I say that. When it comes to nutrition, right?

Nutrition really can be very simple. We have just over complicated it, we very much over complicated when I talk about getting more real food into your diet, I'm really talking about the perimeter of the grocery store. Right. So, if you'll notice pretty much every grocery store is set up the same way, it's at the perimeter of the grocery store, not sneaking through those inner aisles, where you're gonna find the fresh foods are gonna be around the outer perimeters of the store. And the reason why stuff in a box and a package can be not only like harmful for your health, but also like if you have some weight goals, why it can just kind of derail you and you don't even realize it is because on the extreme, of course, you've got the stuff that's like loaded with chemicals that can be like big hormone disruptors for your body and loaded with the like saturated fats, which are bad for your heart. And you've got stuff, you know, that's like loaded with sugar which can affect your hormones as well and you know, the way that you store fat, and cause inflammation in the body, basically like there's kind of those extremes with those are again, like maybe the things that you might think like, oh, okay, bag of Doritos like that might not be great, but there's also kind of this whole other area of foods in a boxer package that market themselves as being healthy, but there's still loaded with like fake sugars. Right? They're still loaded stuff or they could still be high end sugars, they could still have lots of chemicals and stuff in them.

So, when I teach nutrition, I'm not unrealistic that like, you're never gonna eat anything out of a box or a package like that's ridiculous, I do. But it's just becoming aware of what you're putting into your body. Right? So, kind of my rule of thumb is if I go to the grocery store and I flip something over and I'm looking at the label and I can't pronounce what pretty much, like what's in the ingredients, I don't buy it. There's enough options out there right now but you just have to look, you have to know what you're looking for and that's what I'm gonna teach you is that you just, you wanna flip it over and look at the ingredients first and you just really ideally wanna go for something in a box or package if you can't find it like fresh or you need something that's fast and on the go and a lot of people are busy. You just want to look at as few as ingredients as possible and you want them to be real food, right? So you really try, want to try and stay away from stuff that has a lot of chemical names in it, if you're wondering, you heard me say a second ago, like fake sugars and you're like, I don't even know if I'd know how to spot that. Really any of those ending OSE like sucralose dextrose, like any of those, like they could mean sugar, not necessarily fake sugar, some of them are fake sugars and some of them are just another word for sugar, but again, we wanna be mindful of things with extra sugar in them because sugar can bring a whole host of problems for the body, not only is it can be extra calories, so that can increase your weight, but also again, inflammation in the body, it can disrupt your gut health. You know, my whole mission is really to when I'm empowering women and men too about, you know, not dieting anymore, it's also though to educate you on the food that you're putting into your body because especially as we age, we're just not in a place anymore where we can just keep looking at food as like calories and calories out. If we wanna live a long, healthy life, we need to get our head outta the sand and start looking at our food as medicine and start looking at actually, what are we putting in our bodies because that's super, super important. So, I think if you are somebody that's like, you know, I wanna start eating healthy, but just don't know, like if you're listening to this, I just don't know where to start, I would tell you honest to God, just start by shopping the perimeters of the store. See if you can find what you need around the perimeters of the store. Now, when you go into the center aisles, the snake aisles I always say, I just want you to start being aware. I train my ladies how to be label ninjas, okay. Because you're gonna be surprised, an example I always like to give is like, even there's hidden sugars, even in like bread, so, you know, Dave's killer bread that's one everybody loves. It's got five grams of added sugar in every slice and you might wonder like, well, was that a lot? I don't know. Is that a lot? Well, just to give you a frame of reference.

Women, according to the American heart association, women really shouldn't have more than like 25 grams of added sugar in your day. So, if you're eating a sandwich on Dave's killer bread and it's got five grams of sugar and each slice, well, that's almost half your sugar intake. Right. So, I think that's one of the big things I think, with what you talked about in the beginning of the show about why we're in such like an epidemic of like overweight people and a lot of it does have to do so much of the added sugars in our food. So, if you could do anything today, just one thing, if you're listening to this and when I talk about those small incremental changes, if you could do just one thing to really take control of your health, it would be just to start paying attention to the sugar that you're putting in your body and I'm not just talking about the cookies and the cakes and all that. I want you to start paying attention to the labels, and I want you to start just looking at the added sugars because you will notice, you'll start sleeping better, your energy will be better, your skin will be clear, you have less bloat. You'll probably start to notice over time, too, that you start to lose some weight if that's your goal, by just doing that one thing.

Michael: It's really important too. I mean, even myself, having a lot of education and nutrition over the years. You know, I caught myself, I found this protein shake that I love and I was like, oh, it's got a little bit of dextro in it. Fine. Not a big deal. And then I installed, this is the language I'm gonna use, I installed a continuous glucose monitor in myself and I was like, holy crap, this thing, fucking spikes my glucose so much, and it's supposed to be healthy for you.

So, I'm right there with you and your sugar. When you measure that you look at the insulin resistance happening in the world and look, yes, I'm not a doctor, so let me be very clear about that. I'm just saying from my own biohacking and looking what happens, you know,when I've been really cognizant about the packaged foods, about watching the sugars, I feel better, I sleep better, my gut health is better, my relationships are better, business is better. There's one of my friends, Gary Brecka, who runs streamlined health system, which is a genius. He says, sugar is actually the root of all evil.

Amber: Not seriously. Wait. So, I'm dying to know the glucose monitor that you do was it levels or was it a different one?

Michael: Yeah, it's a different one. I mean, there's like seven different companies out here who are doing it right now. And I had a friend recommend one to me and I just popped it in there.

Amber: Yeah. So, I'm actually in the middle right now. The company levels is when they're doing like, kind of trials right now, so I got in on their trial, I'm actually in the middle of it too, because it is just crazy. You know, I think that when it comes to nutrition, like I totally agree. Sugar really is with you like your friends that it's the root of all evil because it affects your hormones, your insulin, and some resistance, it affects your metabolism. Like there's so much to it, this whole archaic way of thinking, which is why I think so many people are stuck in the diet world anyways, of just like, oh, it's only calories in and calories out, it doesn't matter what you eat, it's just calories in calories out. Yes. Calories matter, that's science like you can't be overeating and expect to lose weight. However, there's so much more to the story. So anyways, I'm super passionate about that, but I agree, sugar it's the root of all evil.

Michael: Yeah. And what I'm using, it's called the FreeStyle Libre.

Amber: Oh, okay. Yeah, that's the one. So, that's the one that I'm using to, that took it off today, but that's the one that I'm using too, but levels is a company that then it's an app and it connects with FreeStyle Libre and it's continuously monitoring it; it's actually pretty cool.

Michael: And one of the really interesting things that I've discovered is like a half a banana puts me at past like it's in the danger range Everybody's body is different and so, one of the things that I think, and look, I'm not recommending any company, any for anyone's but paying attention, it's like what Tony Robbin says. If you can measure it, you can manage it. And for me, it was just looking at, I just wanna optimize knowing that I've been sick, knowing that my body's been through hell and back, knowing that I've had to rebuild my confide through doing all this work and showing up and getting in shape and using exercise, which is greater than any pill that you'll ever use and being willing to build myself up has just come from like literally sitting down, acknowledging, measuring, and then taking massive action. One of the things that I'm really curious about, you talked about your self-worth and being tied into how your body looks and being attractive to men and how you felt when you look in the mirror and things like that. What has shifted in your confidence?

Amber: Oh, gosh, that's such a good question. And I take a deep breath and I'll pause on that because what I will tell you is that it is continuous work, right? It is continuous, it's not like all of a sudden, I had this epiphany moment where I'm like, oh, now I'm good, like, I don't care, I'm confident now, I don't need any of that. Are there still days where I look at myself in the mirror and I'm like, you know, doing a little bit of negative self-talk and all of that. Absolutely. But what I will say is that for me, I wanna go back to like, kind of when things started to shift for me, but what I will say is that for me, it's not that I don't have those thoughts anymore, it's not that I don't look at myself in the mirror and I don't feel bad or I'm divorced now and like in dating and stuff, when I get into these relationships that aren't serving me and I start to question like you know, what's going on here, but what I've found that I'm able to recognize it faster and I'm able to like shut it down. So, when I have that negative talk about myself in the mirror, like when I'm looking at myself, I may go there for a second but I'm gonna pull myself out. Right? And so, I think that for me, when things started to change was really just when I started being able to understand myself a little bit more. Right? When I started, when I talked a little bit before about like, kind of really doing the work to get to the root of where you're at and why, where you're at like I wasn't born this way, I wasn't born hating who I saw in the mirror. I wasn't born feeling like I needed men's attention in order to feel whole, I wasn't born that.

So, it was really about me taking and it was painful, like, I fucking hate therapy who likes going every single therapy session I went to. I've always felt great every time I left, but every time I would go there, I was like, good, God, I gotta just open up the scab again. Right? Like it's painful. Nobody wants to do the work, like it's hard. But I think for me, it was really like, starting to number one, like understand my triggers, right? Like what, you know why, what triggers me to have that negative talk to myself and feel not confident. And then I think it was really starting to trace back at what point in my life and what were those little micro traumas along the way, like me in the white dress, my mom's white dress or my aunt telling me I looked big, you know, what were those traumas? And I think, there can be a lot of healing when you relating back to like healing that inner child and really understanding how this grown version of her is the way she is. And so, I think for me, it was starting to like understand and recognize and forgive, and start to learn to have compassion for myself. Something that I've never had before and start to start to have compassion for myself. And then I think the other part of it for me, it was really just learning to be like, okay with myself and learning to be okay alone and learning to just be okay without needing that external validation. And again, like, am I like completely healed to that? And do I still have to do the work? No, I'm not completely healed of it. And yes, I still have to do the work, but I saw a shift within myself.

It's so funny, my mom said to me the other day, it was my birthday last week and she said, you know, you're really hard to buy for because you know, for years you wouldn't let me buy you anything that showed your arms. And I was like, well, like probably cause like my arms look better now. And she's like, actually, Amber, your arms probably looked about the same and she was like, but something in you like shifted. And I was like, you know, I think, that you're right.

I think that confidence also can come with age a little bit. Right. I mean, I'm 43, and I think that, you know, when you've been through a lot of stuff and you've seen a lot of stuff, I think that you start to recognize and value the gifts that you bring to the world. And I think that for me, when I say that when I decided to be a coach, when I started coaching women too, I think that I was also, and you probably, you know, found this in your journey too, it's like when you started doing the work of like sharing your story, it was also simultaneously like healing you as well. Like being able to like, share what you've been through. And so, I think that for me, getting out and doing the work and doing the work that I do. I started to value myself more and I started to just find a confidence that I didn't have before.

Michael: Yeah. And I do agree with you. And I think that for me, confidence has come, I love that you used the word compassion. Being able to be compassionate, but also super hard on myself at the same time, you know, and recognizing probably the most important thing that I try to do in my day-to-day life is ask myself, am I taking care of myself or am I taking easy on myself, cuz those are two very, very different things and trying to propel myself forward into what I believe will be next. You know, I often think to myself, like I am not yet the person that I want to be and because of that, it's about this continuing of showing up day in and day out of trying to learn more tools, ask more questions, become better educated, but also executing on the game plan, like making up my mind and trying to come through every single day. Amber, this has been an amazing conversation. Before I ask you my last question, my friend, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Amber: Yes, of course. I love to hang out on TikTok. I'm just at MsAmberShaw. I'm also on Instagram and then I actually have a podcast as well called “The Wellness Revolution Podcast”

And it's my jam. I love it. So, I'd love to hear from you guys. I'd love to connect if anything that I said resonated with you, definitely reach out to me on Instagram and let's chat for sure.

Michael: And we'll obviously put all of the links in the show notes. The last question for you my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Amber: You know, I think for me, it's just getting the hell back up, just getting the hell back up, no matter what comes your way and not letting your circumstances define who you are.

Michael: Brilliant, simple, and pointed. I appreciate it. My friend, thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.

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Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Amber ShawProfile Photo

Amber Shaw

Amber is a Body Transformation Expert and Founder of The Wellness Revolution. Amber has extensively coached thousands of women (age 40+) from all across the world to get off the crazy train of dieting and find true food freedom so they can feel empowered, confident and sexy.

Amber has spent the majority of her life being what most would call “in shape” while struggling with body image issues. It wasn’t until her 30’s when her father passed away, her marriage fell apart and she ultimately lost herself that she hit rock bottom. Through self care, nutritious foods and a manageable fitness routine, Amber was able to go from a life of barely surviving to thriving and now she’s helping other women do the same.