I’m Shelby McDaniel, managing a supplement store and coaching bodybuilders on the side. I cry on the weekends because I’m sad and depressed. I’m tired of food and exercise being an issue in my life. I know all the right rules for nutrition and fitness, but somehow I don’t know how to find my way to a healthy relationship with both.
I’m managing a supplement store and coaching bodybuilders on the side. I cry on the weekends because I’m sad and depressed. I’m tired of food and exercise being an issue in my life. I know all the right rules for nutrition and fitness, but somehow I don’t know how to find my way to a healthy relationship with both.
In high school, I worked hard to be the best at everything.
Best athlete. Best scholar.
Trying to achieve the perfect body slipped in there too. I remember trying to eat as little as possible, counting my calories constantly. Not eating all day on weekends so I could have my big binge-a-thon. I would occasionally purge to not feel so guilty about what I ate.
During college I discovered competitive bodybuilding, a place where “being the best” is celebrated and being obsessed with what you eat is “normal”. I dove in with full force, not realizing the pool of food and body toxicity I was jumping into.
Competing was a whole new level of insane, restrictions on food and exercise. I turned pro at 22, but boy did it have consequences.
Competitive bodybuilding smashed and burned my relationship with food. The imprisonment of my food and body struggles prevented me from finding happiness and fulfillment in my life, regardless of my achievements, and only fueled my obsessions with having the perfect body and being the perfect example of “healthy eating”.
I continued on to manage a fitness supplement franchise, but it kept me in the spotlight in the fitness world and feeling the pressure to be perfect with eating and exercise. I began coaching competitors (effectively), but I became ever increasingly unhappy with myself. I could help my clients with their goals, but I was secretly struggling to find my own way with normal diet and exercise. I felt like an imposter.
To make things worse, I didn’t want to be chained to gyms and extremely rigid diets any longer, and yet as a coach, I felt I had a body image to keep up. How could I be so disciplined in so many areas of my life yet not be able to figure out something as simple as eating?
But then came a change.
With it, came a new wave of clients, a lot with real struggles about how and what to eat. I could help them with all the mechanical aspects of weight loss and nutrition, but that didn’t seem to be enough. Our nutrition conversations interestingly enough began intertwining with talk about life and emotions, and it was obvious they played a key role in one’s overall success. I knew early on that I couldn’t just tell someone what to eat on a piece of paper and have ultimate victory.
I began to desire to be more of an expert on connection between our emotions and food, but my intuition alone wasn’t enough.
I went all in to learn as much as possible on the subject of the psychology of eating. I completed coursework and earned certifications that most nutritionists don’t have.
It also set me free from food as my enemy and perfection as my controller.
I ultimately got out of my head and back into my life, finding my authentic self along the way. Less pressure to make all the “right” choices according to everyone. Allowance in myself to be imperfect: body imperfections, eating imperfections, business imperfections, life imperfections…
… And the ability to happily have a huge ass piece of carrot cake if
I want it – guilt free!
Today, I’m not a gym rat. I go and exercise MY way, which means working out in a way that makes me happy —
no second-guessing. I also eat MY way. I eat in a way that takes care of my health, maintains my body,
but mostly makes me happy — no more head games.
I’m grateful and blessed to take the baton and help change the conversation around food and help people all around the world find
THEIR way to resolve lifelong food, body, and weight struggles.
Shelby McDaniel is founder of the Diet Freedom™ programs and a leading voice for men and women in the U.S. and abroad struggling with compulsive eating behaviors, disordered eating, former eating disorders, and lifelong food and weight struggles.
Her 20 years in the fitness industry, 15 + years of coaching, and extensive educational background gives her outlier experience to create long term transformations for every common and uncommon food and body struggle.
Institute for the Psychology of Eating
BS Nutrition Science
Am I Hungry?® Licensed Mindful Eating Facilitator
ENW Certified Exercise Nutrition Specialist
Certified Weight Management Consulting Agent
Retired IFBB Figure Pro
Outside of the office, Shelby’s loves spending time with her rescue dogs and cats, her husband Adam and their Jeep Recyclers business, and enjoys DIY projects that challenge her creativity and keeps her body moving!
All our coaches are at minimum experienced graduates from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, the world’s leading school in Nutritional Psychology, where they received a certification as an Mind Body Eating Coach.