Sairah is like my Canadian soul sister! Listening to her story was like reading pages of my adolescent journals all the way to my journal now. As she talked I felt myself in old scenarios and remembered so vividly the thoughts and emotions that plagued me for so long. Sairah so eloquently shared her story, how she overcame her struggles and how she now uses those life lessons to coach and mentor others. Her message of love shines so brightly now it seems impossible she was once hiding this beautiful side of her. I hope after reading Sairah’s you can have the courage to Turn Up The Love in your own life!
Sairah lives in Canada and is a “mentor in mindfulness!” She helps women reconnect and get mindful about food choices so they can love themselves and their bodies. In essence she’s helping women get out of their heads and out of the destructive pattern of emotional eating. Her company, Turn Up The Love focuses on creating love from the inside out. “Until we get connected with whats going on it’s going to keep coming up in your life in different ways” she says. So with the help of Sairah you get to the bottom of it and begin to make the mindset shift that is so necessary in order to find that inner love and peace. “When we first begin its about food but we find the old file in the back of their mind to fix that” she shared.
I understood this so clearly. When we start any fitness or nutrition program every client I’ve ever had has asked me “Ok, so what should I eat, what can’t I eat, how many calories...” But ultimately it doesn’t matter if the diet is perfect because unless we dig into the file in the back of their brains saying they aren’t enough, they need to look a certain way to be loved, accepted, promoted, etc. then the 10 pounds lost will remain meaningless and will never be good enough. I remember when I was 30 pounds lighter than I am right now feeling so insecure, so ugly and so unloved that I dieted more and more trying more extreme methods than the last. Nothing worked. The love that I attracted was temporary and superficial and the self love within was non-existent. It wasn’t until I finally dug in and addressed that file in the back of my mind and heart that change really started to take shape.
Sairah’s journey with health and fitness started at a very young age. She was brought up in a household that had a lot of “quick products,” lots of processed and junk foods. “I had 3 jawbreakers in my lunch box each day” she shared! The Canada food plan (which since these interviews I’ve learned is complete garbage) was her and her family’s reference to “health.” The pantry was filled with sugar based condiments and heavy carbs. When she moved to college this diet was amplified with the introduction of late night food and alcohol. “I used food and alcohol to cover up the stress and loneliness” she shared. And the patterned continued after college as well. After moving back home and going through a terrible break up she found herself partying all night and eating junk food. This pattern was on an endless cycle of repeat until her 21st birthday. That day she tried to put on a size 16 dress and it was too tight.
“I didn’t realize what was going on” she shared. She was just being social and having fun, she didn’t realize she was getting bigger. There was no way she was going to go up a size and she wanted to attract a guy after such a bad break up so she got to work dieting. But of course not having any sort of guide to go on (aside from the Canada food plan) she started the HCG diet. “I didn’t look at it as getting healthy. It was the totally the wrong approach” she said as she talked about how she illegally shipped the HCG from the states and was on a 500 calorie diet. Sairah lost 20 pounds in 5 weeks. Her weeks were set at 500 calories a day but then would binge on the weekends. “It was a horrible place to be in. I was not healing myself at all and I was controlling my every move.”
It wasn’t until Sairah started learning about spiritual approaches to health that things started turning around. She learned about meditation, the art of acceptance and how to connect from a place within. She learned about manifesting and visualizing. She started to manifest amazing things in her life! “My guy, my job, my car because I was so centered whereas before I was scattered” she shared. The job she found was a health coach! The company was really food and supplement focused which at the time was great because she finally learned what proper nutrition was all about. “I learned that just controlling your food is just scratching the surface” she said. But with that job came a lot of measuring food and the use of scales. She became obsessed with these scales. She would measure food for her clients and herself. “I was only focused on the numbers.” The company was huge on supplements for weight loss and so Sairah started taking a ton of pills. She went from being completely out of control to being completely in control.
When the company went bankrupt she took it as a sign to put her entire heart and dedication into her business. The habits she had formed at the company with weighing and measuring her food had continued on for much longer. She wasn’t able to go out with friends to eat because the obsession was too strong. She remembers writing down the exact measurements of a Victoria's Secret model and would think “I'm going to look like her!” She was so convinced she could obtain that. “I was always trying to be someone I wasn’t” she shared.
Letting go of the control was extremely hard for Sairah. “I controlled relationships, food, diet, every little step I was making and I stopped trusting my intuition. When things would go out of whack I would go out of control. Even when I was underweight it still wasn’t good enough” she openly shared. It wasn’t until a backpacking trip she took with her boyfriend where she had to REALLY connect with herself and get rid of her scales. She couldn’t take them! She had the foundation of all that spiritual work she had done and now it was her chance to connect with herself instead of using other things to tell her her worth. She realized that every time she weighted her food it wasn’t just the food she was weighing. It was her worth, her value and her ability to be loved. During that backpacking trip she stopped tracking every tasteless bite, she let go of her ego and embraced her own unique spark.
Before the mantras that would swirl in her head were “I’m not good enough,” “I’m never going to be good enough,” “I’m always going to be overweight,” “I’m addicted to junk food,” “I will be alone for the rest of my life,” “no one will love me.” She used to equate beauty and thin with love. If she didn’t meet those two criteria she would be alone. Now she looks knows she is whole and more than enough! She knows that love comes from within and to attract love you must first love yourself. She lives intentionally, vibrantly and connected to her inner purpose.
I asked Sairah what she thinks are the most challenging things we face as we try to get healthy and start our journeys of self love. What she said was beautiful and mirrors her own journey.
If I could go back and talk to my old self I would say “get rid of the scale!” Stop measuring yourself with a number. Trust and know that if you’re treating your body with love and care it will repay you by looking after you.
Stop labeling food as good or bad. Food is food. It’s there to fuel you and nourish you and that’s it. When you are selecting food, just think how do I want to feel? Then choose fresh if you want to feel fantastic. Don’t regret what you choose - just make your choice. OWN your choice and be aware and conscious of what you’re doing.
Listen to your own intuition. We are all built so differently. What works for me might not work for you. We rely to heavily on other people’s guidance. The diet world is so noisy - wherever you turn you’re going to get an option. Listen to what your body is asking. Don’t try to find a rule book.
The rules and regulations we’re all following aren’t helping. We’re inner rebels! We’re going to be dealing with different emotions each day so get connected. We will want to rebel from our diet. So we need to listen to our bodies.
Always come from a place of love.
Sairah made a big impression on my heart. She left me feeling more empowered and excited about living a life of authenticity and sharing my own unique spark more freely. Sairah has learned how to love herself. And now her mission is to Turn Up That Love in herself and in others. I hope that after reading this you feel inspired and capable of tackling that file in your head that keeps holding you back from your true potential. That you take a page out of Sairah’s book and start turning up the love in your life. Because when you view everything through the lens of love, anything is possible.
Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 27th interview of 52 inspiring women. Please feel free to share your comments, feelings and send this to a friend you think would benefit from reading this! If you want me to interview someone you find incredibly inspiring, I would be truly honored to meet them. This is a journey that has no parameters or rules. Let’s have fun with it and continue to spread the message of empowerment, love and kindness - to ourselves and others!
You can follow Sairah on Instagram @TurnUpThe_Love