Cynthia Pasquella Avoid Being A Hot Mess
Jonathan: Hey everyone Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, smarter science of slim podcast. I’m uniquely excited. I’m always excited but I’m uniquely excited about today’s show because I have the delight to share with you a woman who has been supportive of me and my work and has her own wonderful mission for literally, literally since the beginning and it’s just such a delight to come full circle and to share her with you. She is just a wonderful vibrant woman who’s out there, helping people to live better. Internationally, she’s known as the transformational nutritionist. She is a clinical nutritionist, life coach, media personality, and best-selling author. Just all around rock star. You’ve seen her in Access Hollywood, E-news Live, fitness magazine, the Dr. Phil’s show, The Doctors, and you can learn all about her at her website which will going to spoil the surprise ‘cause it’s her name, which is cyntiapasquella.com. Cynthia welcome to the show.
Cynthia: Thank you Jonathan. I’m so stroked to be with you today. This is the first conversation that you and I’ve actually had even though we’ve worked together and I’ve loved your work for many, many years now. That’s so crazy.
Jonathan: I know it is. We live in this virtual world where listeners were just laughing before. Cynthia is one of the most wonderful pride and blurbs for the original smarter science of slim and we will collaborate now and its three years ago that we’ve been working together and this is the first time that we’ve actually spoken when we’re on the air.
Cynthia: So crazy. I love it. Thought I love technology and of course I love the book and I was like who is this guy and how do I help get his stuff out there and it was very cool and I see your up to big things and it’s just so great working with you over the years and I’m glad we are bringing that full circle now.
Jonathan: Well Cynthia, let’s talk also about your amazing work and you have a wonderful mission of guiding women on their journey of transformation. So, two things: One, what started you on this journey of transformation and then tell us a bit about how you helped others emulate that?
Cynthia: Sure. My dirty little secret Jonathan is I never intended to be in this industry. I had no intentions of being a nutritionist. Diet was the farthest thing from my mind. This whole helping people and transformation and reconnecting to you authentic in this self. I had no idea what they even meant. This job, this career, this beautiful work I get to do really chose me and I’ll tell you my story and I’ll try to make it brief but a little preface to the story, growing up we were very, very poor. Our family didn’t have any money. When I say we had no money, I mean we had no money. We were so far below the poverty line and I remember we didn’t have running water in our house, no indoor plumbing until I was like a teenager in high school. There were lots of times that we would grow hungry like even basic food. I remember coming home from school sometimes or at night when most people having dinner and we had nothing, just being hungry and just thinking “Wow! This isn’t right”, and seeing my parents all upset and I share that because it really sets up for the next part of my journey, which as result of that I had a lot of eating disorders over the years. You grew up without food and when the food is there, you would like “Ah, I’m going to eat. I may not stop. I am going to eat everything”. That’s what I did and I ended up that having all these crazy eating disorders and ended up, of course very fittingly working in the modeling industry, entertainment industry and I really had this crazy lifestyle Jonathan. From morning until night I was just going never stopping, it was super stressful, wasn’t sleeping right, wasn’t eating right, still battling the disorder and what ended up happening is I got really, really sick. Everything you could imagine. I could barely get out of bed in the morning, I was exhausted. I felt like hadn’t slept 30 min even though I have eight hours. Every part of my body ached all over. I had just a severe joint pain. I had gained about 25 pounds overweight. My hair was breaking and falling out; I had horrible cystic acne all over. Psoriasis, eczema, you name it. I found lumps in both of my breast. I was just a hot mess. There was no nice way to put it. I literally had hit rock bottom. I got super depressed because I wasn’t finding anything that would work for me and I was not working to make money because I was working in the industry that unfortunately you’ve got job space than what you’ve looked like. We’re just in this really crazy downward spiral and went to every nutritionist and healer, doctor and trainer and I tried energy work. I was hypnotized. I worked with crystals, herbs, nothing worked for me. I got to the point where I was so depressed I was suicidal and so I’m on, I remember this night, so clearly. It’s the night my entire life changed. I was sitting on the floor in my apartment in Hollywood, California literally in the corner on the floor. It was about two in the morning and I just was at my wits end. Then I though this is it. I’m done. I’ve given it a good shot. I’ve given this whole living life thing a good try. I just can’t do this. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I have nothing left to give. I got really clear. That was probably the most clear I had been in months and I said “This is it and this is where I either check out or I check in into something bigger than me. As soon as I put those two options on the table, again just so clearly, this message came through and just said “You’re meant for something greater. You’re meant for something more like this isn’t it. You do matter. You are seen and heard” and I was like “Okay”. I started to think what if I’ve been going through all this crazy madness for a reason. What if this has been my journey and maybe this is the point where it all shifts and what if there was something that I didn’t try and what if there’s something else out there that I could do and then if I could use them, I really could get myself better. Think of the people that I could help by sharing what’s worked for me because I was also realizing Jonathan that we’re all meant for something greater. We are meant for something so magical and we all have such a beautiful unique purpose on this planet and I thought if I could figure that out for me. I could help other people do that. I made a pact with the universe that night, I said, “If you could help me figure this thing out and if you could get me through this I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to doing this work”. I started working that night, literally that night. I remember I got up. I had never felt so energized and so clear and so focused. It had been months. I went, I got online, I started searching and my journey back wasn’t an easy one by any means, you know I was still trying a lot of things. I would have a little success here and there. I started slowly putting together the pieces. I went back to school. I studied with every doctor and healer that would have me. I got so many different certifications; I’ve been doing it for the past 15 years. The turning point for me was learning how to cleanse my body and repair it and [inaudible 07:39] because what I’ve learned Jonathan and we’ll talk about this more if you think it might be of interest to your listeners but the physical part was just one part. Getting the science down I got, like you’re a total science geek like me which I love. That was part of the battle for sure you have to know what and when and how to eat, right? But then the other part of that was such a mental thing that I had to break through and such a spiritual reconnection that have had to happen and when I got those three things in line, this trifecta of transformation as what they call it. Everything else just sprung into place and I’ve been doing this for ever since. I call this transformational nutritional and that’s where my effort lie today just really expecting the world and help guiding many people through your own transformation through using these tools that I learned over the years.
Jonathan: Cynthia, I so appreciate you sharing that story. I can imagine some of it was a bit painful to re-live in. It’s so important because when our listeners go to your website, cynthiapasquella.com, they are going to be struck by the beauty that they see. I’m not talking about the website design although it is quite beautiful. I’m talking about you. You are a beautiful vibrant woman and I think it will be very easy for people to see and say “Yeah, oh, Cynthia is doing all this stuff. She’s just had. She’s blond hair, blue eyes. She’s has just life kind a laid out in front of her” and that’s not the case at all. It sounds like…
Cynthia: I wish. I wish that’d been in the case. I will tell you Jonathan that for a long time, and this is a part of my healing and I think it’s a part of everyone’s healing because I think there’s so many of us live in this place of fear. We were so afraid of being judged and what will people think if I’m not like them. I was the same way for a really long time. I didn’t share anything about me. I didn’t want people to know. I thought, me, being on the floor in the corner suicidal on a Friday night was weak and I thought, Wow, I don’t want to act like I don’t have any money cause that’s not cool, people all around. Nobody can relate basically. Then I thought I would think I was a total freak that changed one day when I was speaking. I was invited to speak to this beautiful audience of women and at the end the organizer gathered together all of the speakers on stage for this panel of question and answer session right? I’m sitting there and this woman in the audience asked me this amazing question about weight loss and transformation and I answered her. From off to my left I hear this lady on stage, she was a co-presenter with me and she said to me, “I normally don’t usually speak up like this but I have say this”, and we’re all like [inaudible 10:33] this huge audience and she goes “I just find it hard to believe that you could answer her question. How could you possibly know what she’s going through? What could you possibly know about being overweight and struggling with anything in your life?” My first reaction was, “Wow! That crazy little … said that,” and then my second thought was “Wow! You don’t know because I haven’t told you. I haven’t shared that,” and so what ended up being, what I originally was really ashamed to share because I though it meant something wrong with me actually became the most liberating things I’ve ever done and so I would when I practiced, when I’ve been really encouraged other women to do is share your story and own it because there’s so much healing that can happen when we really go back and visit who we are authentically as opposed to who we’ve been trying to be for all of this years and really bring that into the light. Let those shadows melt away and really own who you are. You and I talked briefly before about living vibrantly and truly getting back to the core of your authentic self is the first step. All of the other things like weight and getting skinny and all of these great things really come as almost the side effect of that if you will.
Jonathan: Cynthia, you’re spot on and the fact that you used the term ‘story’ I find to be so helpful because when we can look at our experiences on this Earth as a ‘story’. Let’s do it like, how do we want our story to end? How do we want our story to be remembered and when you think of it like a story [crosstalk 12:23] you could almost write yourself?
Cynthia: Sorry. You want to go?
Jonathan: Oh no. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Cynthia: I was going to say you’re so right. I mean it’s the story and here’s the crazy parts Jonathan. Most of the time this story is something that we tell ourselves that is not really true. We live in this false reality that we’ve created for ourselves around ‘I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. Nobody cares. I don’t matter.’ I know this is painful for people and I know the work I do isn’t like I tell what to eat and you just go skinny. It’s so much deeper than that. I’m not a popular kid when it comes to weight loss because we did and we do this really painful work but I tell you of something I’ve discovered. We did a bunch or research with them with our company and we worked with hundreds of thousands of women over years and we sorted of asking them these questions. “What is it that you really want?” and our thought, I know you did such a research Jon, right? So our thought Jonathan was that people would say, “I want to be skinny. I want to be hot. I want to, great relationship”. People, you know what the top three answers people started saying to us was?
Jonathan: No, what?
Cynthia: They started saying, “I want to be seen. I want to be heard. I want to feel like I matter”. When we got those responses back I just melted and I thought this is it. This is what this work is about because that’s what we’re all seeking. We’re all seeking connection with people. I feel like, there are so many people who feel like their story doesn’t matter. They’re not seen, they’re not heard. They’re not important and so what they’ll do is that they’ll find importance in other ways. They’ll be a great mom, right? They’ll do everything for their kids and they’ll be completely selfless while doing it. Cheers their husband on and make dinners and you know we strive for the rock star body even if they can’t have it or don’t have it. They’ll go out their way to be the friend that makes the cake for somebody’s birthday and wraps. Because when they do such thing people will say “Man, you’re such a good mom. Gosh! You’re such a great wife. Wow! You’re the best friend” and that’s our validation and that’s how we get value. That’s when we start feeling good about ourselves because we want to be seen and heard and valued. We want to matter to people. I love that you focused on that, the story thing. It’s so important I feel like that we got that out to people to really step up and step out and share the story and that message that they have.
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Jonathan: Cynthia, you’re spot on and that distinction is so important because I have a co-worker who says something very, very profound. She says “Slimness is a strategy”. We often pursue weight loss because I feel like people think that if they slim down, they will maybe then have a life which enables them to be seen, heard and to feel important. Whereas most people think actually find is once you create a life in which you are seen, heard, and feel important health and therefore slimness ensues rather than the direct pursuit. Does that distinction resonate with you?
Cynthia: Absolutely it does. It’s interesting when women come to me and I say “Why do you want to lose weight?” The first they said “Well to be healthy so that I could take care of my family”. I say, “Yeah! Oh great! What do you really want to lose weight?” That winds up being a very different conversation and it is. “So I’ll be happy. I can finally find a partner to share the holidays with and I’m tired to be single”, those types of responses. “So that I can go to the beach and finally wear a swimsuit without being embarrassed”. I say, “Why don’t we start with those things? Why don’t we get you to doing those things first and really experiencing that now instead of waiting?” I see so many people, Jonathan who are sitting on the sidelines of their own lives because they are too ashamed or embarrassed or don’t feel good enough to get on the game. I really like to work backwards and start doing those things now feeling like go to the beach today. It doesn’t matter what you have to wear. A great quote, by Eleanor Roosevelt said “You worry less about what people thought about you if you realize how infrequently they did”. We’re all caught up with ourselves and right with what we’re doing. It’s just a beautiful quote and beautiful reminder. Yeah! I really like the idea of working backwards because what I’ve seen in it is when people start to vibe with life and they start to get happy without being skinny like without having that thing in place first. Then, you’re right the skinniness comes. I’ve had women who would say “Gosh, I took a painting at the park this weekend and I totally forgot to eat and I wasn’t really hungry and when I did eat I chose this beautiful salad with this edible flowers from the garden (inaudible 02:38]”. So, you’re right. It really does shift in the vibration of frequency and we start to do things from that place as opposed to struggling to get there and then being happy.
Jonathan: It certainly does seem to be the case because so often this is lifestyle choices which cause disease and overweight come from a place of emotional turmoil when something is not going right when things are little off course. That’s when we often turn to these behaviors which result in those consequences.
Cynthia: Right. Right. No, it’s true. Who doesn’t do that? So many women over the years said that they were doing really well and then I broke up with my boyfriend or I lost my job or something happens and then we take a…we dive head first off the deep well. Everything just goes straight to hell in a hand basket. So, where is Jonathan we were living the opposite way and really focusing on being happy now and resonating with our authentic self and when that happens we’re still on a really good place and we’re so gonna make those choices. People like to say this thing. I know you’ve heard it before, people like to say “You are what you eat”, and I don’t agree with that. I believe that you eat what you are. It was like, what’s that?
Jonathan: That’s awesome. Keep going. I love it.
Cynthia: Yeah, this comes from a place like….let me explain what that means. You are what you eat basically is a falsehood that I think we all try to live up to and instead I think you eat what you are. Meaning, if you are feeling this really low about yourself and you are like “Man, I don’t look good. I don’t feel good. That thing that work, this thing with that guy, this thing with this girl, my boss, my mom”. Things are just crazy for you. You feel like you’re not seen and you’re not heard and you don’t matter. You’re gonna drive through McDonalds. You’ll pick up a pizza on the way home for work because it doesn’t matter. Why would it matter? Thing can’t possibly get any worst for you. What eating a salad going to help, right? Whereas if you’re living from this place where you’re like “I realize that I am a divine being of this source energy that we are all a part of. I know I am meant for greatness. I may not be able to see that now with the madness that’s going on in my life and I know that I meant for something bigger. I know that there’s work here for me to do. I know that everything that’s happening right now is perfect”. Just as [inaudible 05:17] that person will treat themselves to a really nice dinner. They’ll cook the home cooked meal even just for themselves because they value who they are as a being on this planet. So again, really coming from eating what you are as supposed to the flip side of that if that makes sense.
Jonathan: Cynthia, it absolutely makes sense that maybe another example of that paradigm shift is for an elite athlete. If I perceived myself as an elite athlete, I of course I’m going to be very conscientious of what I put into my body because I have this very clear purpose and that very clear purpose will either be furthered or hindered by what I put into my body and just because you’re not an elite athlete doesn’t mean you don’t have a compelling purpose that you need to be fueled and able to perform to the fullest here on the planet.
Cynthia: Right. It’s so true. I think about this in terms of your truth versus your reality. [Carl Young 06:20] you are familiar with…a long time ago. He has this situation happen where he was talking with one of his colleagues one day when another psychologist asked him “How’s this work with so and so?” Let’s call her [Nancy 06:30], “How’s your work with Nancy going?” Dr. Carl Young goes “It is going great. She went to the moon last night”. His colleague starts laughing and its hilarious big belly laughs. Dr. Carl Young says, “What’s so funny?” and he said “Well didn’t you hear yourself. You’re patient that she went to the moon last night.” He says “Yea, but I still don’t get what’s so funny.” He said “Of course she didn’t go to the moon. She went to the moon? Really? This lady has seriously gone off the deep end” and so Dr. Carl Young says “No that’s her reality. Just because you and I know may know or think that she didn’t physically get up and go to the moon. In her mind, that’s her reality and for her, that’s just as real as you sitting here having this conversation with me”. So we have what I call our truth in our realities. Our reality might be for someone, let’s say, you are a woman and you have a couple of kids and you have a demanding jobs and you’re married and everyday is stressful and you’ve a lot on your plate and you are not where you to be want to be health wise and maybe have a few pounds that you’re carrying around and you don’t cook as many meals as you’d like for your kids and you don’t feel so great about things that might be your reality, right? I get that but your truth is that everything is perfect just as it is. That you are that being that’s meant for greatness. You were here to make a bigger impact that you could even (inaudible 07:58) and you were doing that in a huge way. You have everything that you need to support wise, money wise, you have the body that you want, the health of your dreams. That’s your truth. It may not be your reality and that’s okay but that’s your truth. If people live from their truth and they act as if, then everything else falls into place so beautifully and with so much ease because I believe with everything in me Jonathan. I’ve seen this in my own personal life. I’ve seen it in thousands of clients lives over the years. That the universe will rise up just to support you and whatever vibrational frequency you’re on and make that truth that you so desperately know to be your reality and I know it’s probably, a little, we might loss a few people there but that’s what I see.
Jonathan: Well, Cynthia we’ve clearly on this scratch to surface here and your passion and your dedication to helping others to live better is just exuding. I want to direct the listeners to learn much more because you’ve got lots more to offer obviously and listeners you can do that at cynthiapasquella.com. You can also check out Cynthia’s Lovely “The Hungry Hottie Cookbook’ and Cynthia, what’s next with you because you are obviously overflowing with passion and insight? Where’s that gonna get? Where’s that gonna get apply next?
Cynthia: I love it. Yes! I’m gonna be passionate about this work. So what I’m doing now, I’ve been doing this work for a really long time and we really found that transformational trifecta in the work of science, psychology and spirituality and I am thrilled Jonathan because we just launched the Institute of Transformational Nutrition and we sold out. The doors were closed. We’re not seeking any new students right now. We’re amazing but we’re opening enrollment again soon and what’s happening is I realized I can teach this stuff and just preach it from the mountain tops but still I can write the books and I am. I will continue to do that but I need people on the front lines because I feel like there’s a new conversation that’s taking place. That’s starting around weight loss and health, and vitality and wellbeing. I want people out there in that conversation. I’m training them this method that I’ve used for over 15 years and not just that but on my business methods, my coaching methods; so that they can carry on this work and all of us together can have a really powerful impact on the world. That’s my next focus and I’m so excited about it. If you’re interested in that you can go to transformationalnutrition.com. We need people’s voices. We need people joining this conversation. If you are interested of being a student or just helping support us. You could find out ways to do that transformationalnutrition.com
Jonathan: I love it! transformationalnutrition.com, cynthiapasquella.com, ‘The Hungry Hottie Cookbook’. There’s no .com there but it’s glorious Cynthia. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Cynthia: Thank you Jonathan.
Jonathan: Listeners I hope you enjoy this great conversation as much as I did and please remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better.