I always thought the struggle of loving your body was a personal one. That’s why I was amazed when I met Holly Toronto, Founder of Love Your Body Health Coaching who spoke so openly about her own struggles with her body and made me realize that this was a conversation that could be had with an expert outside of your friend group.
1. You left the corporate beauty world to pursue helping others love their body, what inspired you to make this change?
While the fashion industry can be exciting, the work is also grueling. With that, the industry is ripe with body image issues. Comparison and pressure to fit into a specific mold happen daily. During my time in the industry, I developed a very unhealthy relationship with my body and food. I was losing weight through some restrictive eating and it was consistently reinforced through the compliments of those around me. I found myself feeling isolated because the diet I had chosen and wrapping up a lot of my value in my ability to lose weight. Ultimately this path wasn’t sustainable and after a series of turning points and deciding to become a wellness coach, I found myself on a journey to self-acceptance and body positivity. This experience changed my life, allowing me to find freedom and flexibility in my relationship to my body and food. I decided at this point that I knew I was meant to help other’s do the same, especially in the world we live in today where 91% of women feel dissatisfied in their bodies.
2. What’s the biggest self love struggle you see women face every day?
2. Many of the clients I work with come to me with a the belief that they aren’t able to live the life they desire, whether it’s having a relationship or going on vacation, until they have the body they think they should have. This type of repression of desires absolutely comes from a lack of self love and acceptance. Through my work with these clients, I support them in being able to claim the life they desire in the body they are in now, embracing that they are inherently worthy and deserving.
3. Can you walk us through how you work with your clients?
Each client I work with is so unique, yet there are specific steps within my 4 month program that I will follow with everyone. During our work together, we will focus on health from a self-care perspective, instead of self-control. We will always start with the big picture and uncover what that client wants to be experiencing in their body and life. We will then go into basic behavioral changes that can be made around food, anything from slowing down while eating to getting to know internal cues for hunger and fullness. From there, I support them in updating their beliefs about themselves, give them tools to navigate society’s messages about thinness and take action in the direction of the life they desire. We’ll also cover movement, self care, pleasure and relationships.
4. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite aspect of my job is watching a client reclaim her life and health from the grip of diet culture, as she begins to feel freedom in her body and make empowered decisions for herself. I truly believe that many of the issues we face today as women can be solved from this place of empowerment and autonomy in the body. It’s inspiring to watch it unfold one woman at a time.
5. Where do you hope to take “love your body” in the next 5 years?
My heart will always be with one on one coaching, however my 5 year vision is to create an online platform for women to come together and support each other in loving their bodies and living the life they desire in the body they are in. I feel that as much as women can bond over diets and dissatisfaction with their bodies, they can also bond over the choice to love themselves and celebrate their accomplishments inside and outside the body.