Monica: Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Whitney! We’d love to know, how did your passion for health and fitness first get started?
Whitney: My interest in wellness took root when I was young. My grandfather owned an athletic club and I spent a lot of time hanging around the fitness scene. I played sports growing up and watched my parents and grandparents invest a lot of time in nutrition and physical fitness, which prompted me to also prioritize these activities. I got a little off track in college and my early years as an entertainment reporter, with late nights on the party scene, but always came back to my passion for healthy living.
Monica: The entertainment industry must be a whole different world than the one you’re in now! How did that experience shape the way you wanted to help others in their health?
Whitney: Working in entertainment, I was exposed to many detrimental diets and behaviors promoted by celebrities that were disguised as healthy living. Actresses would share their red carpet “slim down secrets,” including things like only drinking water for 24 hours before an awards show or doing a week-long juice cleanse prior to a big shoot.
The message was always the same – “Celebs, they’re just like you! Try their easy diet and exercise tricks and you’ll be thin and beautiful too.”
It’s a tantalizing message, but it’s wrong.
See, we can’t all look one way – because we’re not the same. And to try to do so creates unrealistic expectations and often results in detrimental consequences to our health.
The cookie cutter image of a woman portrayed by Hollywood is entirely unattainable by 95% percent of the population. Celebrities are often genetically inclined to look the way they do, or in some cases, they take extreme measures to attain a desired look – as evidenced by these so-called diet tricks.
As a reporter, I naturally wanted to set the record straight and provide people with credible information about nutrition and fitness. I also wanted to teach people how to be the best version of themselves without succumbing to these harmful practices. I became a dietitian and started the platform Whitney E. RD (formerly “To Live & Diet in L.A.) as a place to do that.
Monica: It really is amazing how that view of ‘healthy’ has become so normalized in our society. How did your newfound perspective of the truth reshape the way you view health and happiness?
Whitney: Health and happiness is finding a balance between nutritious eating and exercise for health’s sake and flexibility to enjoy food and activities purely for pleasure. It’s challenging to strike this delicate balance but it’s so important for sustainable physical and mental health.
Helping others achieve health and happiness also keeps me on track in my pursuit of wellness. When I find myself becoming overly stressed about work or failing to dedicate enough time to self-care, I’m reminded that I too need to adhere to the guidance I provide my readers and clients.
Monica: That self-awareness is so important when it comes to our own health! How does that drive you to help others to do the same?
Whitney: I’ve always had an innate drive to seek the truth in every subject I explore. I’m someone who searches tirelessly for answers. It’s not enough to skim the surface for me! When I combined my interest in nutrition and fitness with this passion for pursuing knowledge, I found my calling. I find meaning in helping others improve their lives by providing credible, useful information about health, which hopefully, ultimately, increases their happiness.
Monica: The pursuit of health and happiness is definitely something we all want, it’s wonderful you’ve made it your purpose to inspire others to do that. What’s one piece of advice that everyone needs to know to live their best lives?
Whitney: Nothing is life is black and white, nutrition included. Eating well and staying active are important, but don’t go overboard, it always backfires. Do your best to treat yourself with kindness because the way you think and feel about your body is just as influential to your overall health than what you put in your mouth.
Learn more about Whitney and download her free 7-day Predominantly Plant-Based Meal Plan at https://whitneyerd.com.