Breaking Down and Breaking Through

Dec 6, 2023 | Personal Stories

Hi, I’m Nicole Marshall Concha (she/her), your Liberated Life Coach. I’m fat, I’m fierce, and I’m flipping off diet culture, one changed mind at a time.

I’m a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in Rhode Island, which is the land of the Wampanoag, Nahaganset, Pokanoket, and Nipmuc.

[CW: Mentions of weight loss, body shaming, and self-harm. Note: I will never use numbers or name specific diet/weight loss techniques, as this only reinforces weight-related self-harm.]

Prior to doing my own healing work, my entire experience with body image, confidence, and identity was fraught. I remember being bullied as a fat kid and praying to be thin. I “succeeded” at this for some years in my 20s, when I was engaging in disordered eating behaviors.

Because I correlated my worth as a person with my appearance, I was only ever as good as others allowed me to be. Regardless of my physical size, I never felt comfortable taking up space or expecting to receive what I needed. So, when my weight inevitably fluctuated, so did the attention, care, and treatment by others. But praise for being thinner never lasted for long, and when there was no praise, I felt unlovable.

I used to think that once I was in a smaller body, I would finally start to feel happy. It started with a “goal weight,” then it became about “maintaining” my weight, all the while having to reach a new, ever-elusive fitness target, and finally, a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon to have my “excess” skin removed.

But it turns out that however we try to alter our bodies, it never leads to the Happiness Summit we imagine. That’s because we’ve been deliberately distracted and misled by diet culture, the ultimate grifter. Now in my 40s, I realize that happiness isn’t achieved through external means; it’s received through being present.

For me, this work is both an individual journey and a matter of social justice, which became acutely urgent for me when I became a mom to my two amazing daughters.

This work matters for me, for you, for my girls, and for the state of the world, now and for future generations. I’m so grateful to share it with you.

Let’s start this journey together.

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