We’re bringing back the The Healed Life with someone who truly embodies wellness – the gorgeous Leanne Marie Ball of Loving Yourself to Health. We share many of the same philosophies (and mentors) of self love, and she offers a brilliant coaching program, mentoring, regular self care practices and an upcoming eBook (so excited!). Take a look at her response to silencing her inner critic – a perfect example of why she’s so good at what she does.
NAME: Leanne Marie Ball
OCCUPATION: Inspirational Blogger/Author/Self Love Mentor
Tell us a little about who you are, what you do and how you got here:
Thank you for having me here in this inspiration hub! I believe that I had to go through quite a bit of life challenges and upset in order to become a teacher and inspiration to help others overcome the same.
And so, my experience of 15 years of yo-yo dieting, bingeing, anxiety, depression, acne, skin picking, body hatred, sickness and cervical cancer were actually, all a huge blessing to me. I now get to coach and mentor beauties that are experiencing similar or the same. It’s a JOY to be able to do so.
My cancer scare, was of course, a turning point for me. It sent me on a new journey from corporate work to the health and wellness industry, working with Miranda Kerr, Therese Kerr and Dr Libby (and meeting you, lovely Jess!) Whilst sitting on the shoulders of giants, I realized that I had my own message to share. Even with the top job, the top inspirations by my side and the top knowledge. I still didn’t love myself. I still felt fat and ugly often. So my mission, my absolute dedication was finding out why none of the ‘self love’ messages out there worked long term for me. I didn’t stop until I found the answers. And now, I am on a mission to share the answers via my blog, my soon to be released book and mentoring and coaching programs. It makes my heart sing.
What does “health” mean to you?
Health to me means balance. A few years ago following my cancer scare, I thought healthy meant being 100% focused, dedicated and strictly chemical, gluten, sugar, preservative, and alcohol free. I would fill myself up with supplements and therapies all the while mistrusting my body in case it got sick again. But I soon discovered that wasn’t healthy (or fun!) either. I ended up gaining weight, being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder and suffering with really bad anxiety.
Giving yourself the freedom to trust that you are capable of making great choices for your own health and wellbeing is extremely empowering and healthy.
We all know how to care for ourselves; it’s our natural instinct. So if self love and self care do go off track, then I believe we need to search deeper into our emotional health for answers. In my experience, health challenges always lead us back to our emotional challenges and of course, self love.
What brings balance to your life?
I practice Intuitive self care. This means that I wake up and ask myself what I would love to do today to care for my body. No strict plans or diets or rules. I just feel into what I ‘fancy’ doing. The same with food; it can take some practice but you can eat intuitively in this way too. Your body tells you all the time what it needs, but often our conscious mind is chattering away so we miss the signals and get off balance. We can end up eating in a way that serves our emotional state and not our health. My absolute dedicated mission was to get to know my body so well that I could express self love for my body through daily nourishments and rituals. I coach others to learn to listen to their bodies in the same way, which also is soul nourishment for me. I am very grateful to be able to live out my passion daily and contribute in this way.
Can you share your food philosophy?
My food philosophy steps sound so simple that they could be overlooked… But as someone who has struggled with disordered eating for many years, this philosophy is empowering for giving me real ‘freedom’ around food;
1. Eat when you are hungry. Slow down. Enjoy food. There is no rush. Wait for your body to signal hunger rather than the clock.
2. Eat whatever you fancy. Be satisfied with your decision. For me nothing is ‘bad’ or ‘off the table’ which empowers me not to binge but actually to choose something healthy for my body and eat what I crave. It took time to re-train myself to realize that I am an adult so I can DECIDE what I want to eat.
As soon as I would take anything off the table, I would want it and feel deprived. During deprivation times, I will always crave sugar and carbs and instead of eating a slice of cake I will probably eat 2 cakes with a side order of guilt and shame. It’s happier just to eat the slice of cake and smile on. Check in with yourself before you eat something sweet or eat away from meal times. I have a mantra that I created for when I am just about to eat when my tummy isn’t rumbling…
“Dear body, Is this food to serve my heart or my health?”
The answer doesn’t always come right away, but just asking the question helps me to observe if I am eating emotionally or from hunger. Whatever the answer is, I allow myself the freedom to choose in that moment to eat if I still want to. However, if it’s heart eating (anxious, sad, low, bored, emotional eating) then I do some self love work on my emotional state to find out what my heart is craving. I know if I feel ‘emotionally unfulfilled,’ nothing will fill me up and I can eat and eat until I am sick and still fill ‘empty’ inside.
What is your favourite way to stay active?
Walking in nature to keep me grounded, dancing around my apartment to keep me full of sparkle, or yoga on my balcony to keep me strong. I spent years trying to force myself to become a gym bunny, to get toned and sculpted. But I actually don’t feel good after fast cardio. It never came naturally to me and felt like a huge chore so I was always feeling guilty for not achieving these goals. So now, I just do things that I enjoy and energise me. I also love swimming, and I do Chakradance (freedom dance) at home. Find whatever makes you feel full of ‘juice’ and sparkle and do that.
How do you silence that inner critic?
I don’t. I listen to her. There is such a huge clue to where your headspace/energy/focus lies when your inner critic shows up. Instead of trying to silence her, I am curious about her! I find that she gets me closer to me and her messages are a pathway to meeting my emotional needs. I feel that if we silence parts of ourselves that need our attention, they have a habit of hanging around. I love to be able to nip the critic in the bud, so to speak, and uncover her intention. And of course, it’s my passion to coach others on doing the same!
Who is your greatest health inspiration?
Jess Sepel, of course! Seriously, though, while I am blessed to have worked with some of the top health inspo’s in Australia, Jess’ journey is actually one of the most inspiring to me. I met Jess when she first started blogging, and her success hasn’t changed her in any way. She exudes care for people, still wanting to help and guide them to a happier state of wellbeing. Above all, Jess is 100% authentic and real in everything she does; surprisingly that can be quite rare in our industry. She hasn’t been swept away with her success and is so grounded and giving. That is super inspiring for me. Thanks, Jess!
Where is your favourite place on earth?
In bed. I am such a bed bug. I never used to let myself have that time, I would always jump out of bed trying to get my millions of to-do-list items ticked off, always rushing to climb in or climb out of bed. Now, I love myself more by letting this little body sleep deeply! I make sure my bed is soft and my bedroom is peaceful and airy. Sleep has become a blissful ritual for me that nourishes me deeply and I enjoy my nighttime routine, instead of just an end of the day ‘crash’. I allow myself time to rest and my body rewards me greatly.
What quote best sums up your wellness philosophy?
Goodness, how can I choose! So many wonderful quotes out there …
“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us”
I love that quote… it fits so well with my journey and gives hope for brighter days.
What is your favourite healthy snack?
My body loves warm foods. Juices, salads and cold foods just don’t get along with my tummy as much as they do my taste buds! So one of my favourite snacks is sliced green apple, baked in the oven sprinkled with cinnamon, shredded coconut and chia seeds. So warm and delicious. It’s not a ‘quick’ snack, but it’s a soothing one.
What is next on the cards for you? Your goals and aspirations?
I am so on a mission to change the way people see, learn and experience Self Love. There are many great intentions out there to help people love themselves like meditating, affirmations, goal setting, etc. However, I want to get much deeper than that, I want to be able to guide people to really understanding their patterning, psychology and habits. THERE lies the answers to self love and where real, lasting transformation happens. I found that everything else just covered up the real challenges with a temporary band-aid.
Deep down, I really never fully believed that I could love my body as it is without it being ‘perfect’. It turns out I was wrong. And the peace and presence inside that I discovered just HAS to be shared. So that’s what I plan to do. Share it with as many people as I can. Young teenage girls have a huge part of my heart but I think educating older women first will make the biggest difference so we can all teach our ‘young’ together.
Please share the recipe you make when someone needs convincing that healthy food tastes amazing:
I love this simple chocolate mousse recipe that Therese Kerr and Chef Kate McAloon created. Dr Libby also has a yummy version and both are so easy to adapt; you could add mint or strawberries or orange to flavor the mousse. I love serving for dinner guests as they have no idea about the avocados and can’t guess the hidden ingredient! It’s such a tasty way to get your essential fats.
Connect with Leanne Marie:
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!