Ep. 179: The Body Awareness Project

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On today’s episode, I’m chatting with Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and entrepreneur, Emily Schromm all about The Body Awareness Project, self-love, and how to make overhauling your health simple and approachable. Emily has such a fun story that I can’t wait to share with you!

Fed and Fit podcast graphic, episode 179 The Body Awareness Project with Cassy Joy


We’re back with our 179th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 179 Links

  • Visit Emily’s website HERE.
  • To listen to the Meathead Hippie Podcast click HERE.
  • To find out more about The Body Awareness Project click HERE.
  • To get your own EmPack click HERE.
  • To explore Element Teas click HERE.
  • To visit Platform Strength Gym click HERE.
  • Connect with Emily on Instagram HERE.

Episode 179 Sponsors

Episode 179 Transcription

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. And today is a really special interview. I have been a longtime fan of this incredible lady I get to introduce you to today, in case you didn’t already know her. Her name is Emily Schromm. She’s a personal trainer, nutritional therapy practitioner, and a serial entrepreneur. (entrepreneur. That word; it gets me). Helping others empower themselves by way of food and movement, running online programs at EmilySchromm.com.

Her other ventures include her backpack turned weight training invention, the EmPack. I own one; it’s awesome. Her podcast; Meathead Hippie. An herbal tea line, Element Tea. And her newest venture; a 24/7 access strength gym in Rhino, Denver, Platform Strength. Welcome to the show, Emily!

Emily Schromm: Yay, thanks for having me! {laughs} That was a long bio; I apologize!

Cassy Joy: It actually wasn’t that long. I’ve read much longer ones. And then, when there’s an especially long one, I like to go rogue on people and edit them on the fly. And I think it makes everyone nervous. {laughs}

Emily Schromm: Yes, I have done that before. But it’s ok, because then it spices it up, right? We all need some spice in our life.

Cassy Joy: It does. It spices it up. I mispronounce things. Everyone lives. {laughs}

Emily Schromm: Well thanks so much for having me. I really love the work that you do. It’s been fun to connect, of course, via social media. But now on a podcast, so thanks for having me.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! Thank you for making the time to come on. And likewise. I’ve always loved the work that you do. And one of the ones that I especially love, put a couple of asterisks next to it, is your Body Awareness Project. And I would love it if you could tell us a little bit more about yourself. And then I would also love to hear a little bit more about the Body Awareness Project as a tool that you’re using to really help guide folks towards a really good place on health.

Emily Schromm: For sure. The Body Awareness Project was kind of an extension of these online challenges I’ve ran for 5-6 years. So I started these 21-day programs. They were originally the Superhero Challenges, that turned into the EmFit Challenge. And they were all nutrition, fitness, kind of packed in one. You get a daily email a day.

And it has always been this baseline of; I want to learn how to eat well for my body. And workout with 20 minutes or less. And it was wonderful, because it kind of started the engine for a lot of people, and started to break some stereotypes of fat is bad, fat makes you fat. I believe in a high-fat diet, and it’s been something that’s changed my life for nothing but the best. And it’s always been such a key piece. That quick exercise, getting strong, and eating well.

But there’s also so many more things that I wanted to expand on that I just couldn’t do it in snack-bite pieces. So I was just driving to the mountains; like, how do I get a program to somebody that I know they want it. I know the need is there; whether its’ for skin, whether its for adrenal health; whether it’s for gut health. How do I kind of put it all in one place? Because it felt so stretched thin. I wanted to please everybody. You know, the 21-day programs were ways to please everybody because if you didn’t like the video on herbs, the next day you would love the video on deadlifts. So it was kind of this smorgasbord of information.

But there was a big piece of me; when I think of how my journey started, I was, I guess about 22, 23. And been through all the diets, and everything I could do, including pills, and eating disorders, and Jenny Craig’s, and Weight Watchers. I’ve done it all, because I never was comfortable in my own skin. And when I found weight lifting, that allowed me to really understand how capable my body was. And then I started to appreciate it a little bit more. And then when I figured out that the food I was eating was directly connected to the way my gut felt; my stomach aches that I chronically had. And also the way my skin was; that was what I call my Body Awareness moment.

Where it was no longer; I’m going to eat this way so I can look a certain way. I’m going to eat this way so I can actually see results, and the problems that are not just nuisances; they’re not just annoying. They’re not just embarrassing, to have acne or to run to the bathroom. They are true signs of where my health is, at a very big level.

So that was the lightbulb that went off for me. Cutting gluten, cutting dairy, and that was, for me, what worked really well. And then finding out so much more through the process of becoming a nutritional therapy practitioner about skin. About those nutrients that I was missing. About the way my digestion really was. I had a lot of gallbladder issues that I couldn’t quite figure out just by changing my diet. It was one step further than that. And I think it’s all so overwhelming, right?

So you hear on social media; it’s a beautiful platform, but especially with skin, or gut issues, or bloating. Everyone has an answer. And there’s always one little thing; try this, try this, try this. And I love that, because some of those things really work. But some of them tend to just be more noise and confusion and all of a sudden we just have no idea how our systems work. It’s kind of this alternative way of medicine. It’s another way to help our bodies heal. But then at the same time, it’s the same as western medicine. It’s like; do this, and your symptoms will go away. And how is that any different than a doctor giving you a prescription in some ways?

So I just felt like; how could I create an educational course, but also include the essentials that I believe are so important for the topic at hand so that you don’t have to search on Amazon like a crazy person trying to figure out what you want. So I started with skin, because that was the thing that helped me. If anybody’s has had acne, you know it. It just ruins your life. It just feels like that’s all you can think about, that’s all you focus on. It just is so overwhelming. Because it’s just so hard. It’s the way people see you.

So I never felt like I could be confident until my skin changed. So that was what I started with. And helping people understand acne. But of course, with acne, it’s not just acne. It’s eczema, it’s rosacea, it’s all those things that we really have to learn about gut health and micronutrients that help support our skin from the inside out. And then coming with a box of essentials that will help you understand even more at a better level. So that was the first one.

And then we just launched adrenals; adrenal repair. Which for me is so personal. Because based on my bio, I have 5 companies. So I drove myself into the ground. I just had nothing in me. And I was working out like I had everything in me. You know? If I only worked out, I could have done it. That way I could have kept doing that high intensity exercise. But, when you add things onto your place, there has to be a shift in other areas, and I refused to listen to that. So I kept going, and kept going. And my body said; nope. And I just kind of felt like the wind got knocked out of me for a couple of months. And it was a very low point in my life.

So it’s really understanding for entrepreneurs, or for people that are just busy, and trying to crush themselves in the gym to see results. Again, back to the basics, how do your adrenals work? What are they? What is cortisol? How does is affect our mood, our brain, our sleep, our energy, our weight loss? And how can we learn how to navigate that? So a little bit more of a personal take in educational approach to these big topics is the Body Awareness Project.

Cassy Joy: Oh my goodness! How fun, I love it. So much of what you said resonates with me. I didn’t realize our stories are pretty similar, Emily.

Emily Schromm: Oh, I love that.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I had chronic acne vulgaris all through teenage years. And it was one of those things; it really, during those formidable years, you know. It really does shape you. And that evolved into; because I did go on two rounds of Accutane when I was younger. This was 15 years ago; plus years ago. And it’s so interesting. And suffering from rosacea and dry skin as an adult.

And it’s so funny you say that about adrenal fatigue, too. I just ran into the owner of my gym. I’m very much a Labrador when it comes to any activity. I’m loyal as the day is long. And I have been going to the same CrossFit gym, I think we’re going on 9 years. And I love my gym, I love my gym owner, and I run into him whenever I have a project going on. He’s like; Cass, I haven’t seen you in months. {laughs}

Emily Schromm: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: How’s it going? I’m like; oh, man. It’s good. And he’s like are you working on another thing? I said, I sure am. {laughing}

Emily Schromm: Yeah, see you know. You totally know how to be; you have to balance that, right?

Cassy Joy: You do. You really do. And I definitely wasn’t born knowing that. It was trial and error that I learned how to; if I’m pulling stress in other areas of my life it does, like you said, it has to balance out. So something’s got to give. That’s really interesting. I love this.

So you turn these big learning lessons into actionable homework for the participants?

Emily Schromm: The course is continuing education unit for nutritional therapy association. It feels like a lot; there is a lot in it. It’s anywhere from 12 hours in the skin course and 15 hours for the adrenal repair course. But you can take it at your own pace. So I always suggest listening to it when you can. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. So many times I have people that it sounds so good, and yes I want to do it. But I do not want anyone to purchase this; I just want you to start listening. It really is just a learning experience. You’re going to go through guest after guest and find relatable lightbulbs in every single piece.

I think sometimes when we want to start something, we kind of feel like we have to be all in. But this is a program that you’re allowed to, at your own pace, at your own time, listen to the spots that really speak to you. And that in itself can help you grow and expand your experiences that you can take away immediately in your own life.

Cassy Joy: Oh, that’s wonderful. That’s so exciting. Well, thank you for creating such a fantastic product. What a great resource for folks.

Emily Schromm: Thank you. It’s been so fun. You know, it’s like the best time, because usually I’m just so ADD. Just kind of like; let’s talk about this, let’s talk about this. But you really have no where else to go. You just have to enjoy it. It’s so fun. And every guest really has had; similar to you. That own story, the emotional component that comes with it that’s sometimes not talked about that is so important to talk about. Because we feel less crazy when we hear somebody else talk about it. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. It brings it into the light. Makes it feel a little bit more unusual.

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Cassy Joy: That’s wonderful. So, I’m fascinated. You have all of these other incredible companies. Evolved Motion. Element Teas. Platform Strength. What drew you to these other avenues and these other efforts that I know require so much of your time and energy?

Emily Schromm: Yeah, so for me, I always say I’m an accidental entrepreneur. So I really had no desire of just becoming a trainer, and owning all these companies. It was just I saw a need, and I wanted to fulfil it. And I’ve wanted to bridge the gap. So it was slowly and surely; the first one just being the nutrition challenges. Let me just teach people about food, because when I turned paleo all I knew was Rob Wolf’s book, and I went complete cold turkey on things. And then on day 31, I just incorporated everything I could have and my body rejected me and it was just quite terrible.

But for the most part, the other companies, the product companies, were just because I was creating things and I saw that my clients were loving them. And it was filling this need for whatever it was. For example, the Evolved Motion. I have a backpack that turns into a weight training bag. I was traveling, and I didn’t have a way to workout, and so I figured out how to make a backpack convert using water as weight. So you can use the bag as a weight training back. But you can also quickly make it your carry on. So now it has your laptop in it. It has your day to day stuff. So that was the EmPack.

That has been so fun because it was a way to give my clients access to strength training at home. I love strength training. It’s a huge piece of the life that I live, and the message that I preach. And so for somebody that’s at home; if they don’t have access to it, how can they change? How can they follow me and feel like they’re doing what I want them to do? So it was just a way to make it a little bit more accessible for my clients at home. But also for my travelers that travel all the time.

For the teas; same thing. I was practicing. I do a lot of testing. I call it my witch doctor things in my office. I just kept seeing the same supplements for the same issues; whether it was marshmallow root for gut health. Whether it was ashwagandha for adrenals. Especially people with PCOS, the hormone balance. And I just felt like I was trying to tell people; this is the tea you need. These are the herbs that would help. And they just didn’t exist, and they weren’t accessible. So I started putting them in mason jars; they were Christmas presents. And then it was like; this is supposed to happen.

So every order of tea comes with a spirit animal card. It’s just like a way to teach people about the body and really learn to heal. And same thing as the Body Awareness Project. And honestly, that was kind of the one; after I had these projects out there, I really needed a home base. So I’m in Denver, but everything was online. I’m going from coffee shop, to coffee shop, to coffee shop. And even my Wi-Fi doesn’t know which one to connect to. I was all over the place in Denver.

And I remember just being like; what would it feel like to have a home? What would it feel like to have a home base? And I knew it was just time for me to open a gym. So I opened my gym 3 weeks ago right in Denver, Colorado. And I’m really excited. Because it just feels just like I wanted it to. It feels like home. So it’s a place for me to train. I take the classes. I coach. But I have 5 trainers downstairs just crushing and helping people get strong. And it’s just been amazing.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh! Congratulations! I didn’t realize it was so recent.

Emily Schromm: Yeah, we just opened! It’s been so cool. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: That’s so great, Emily. I’m so thrilled for you. And I can’t wait to drop in! Are you accepting drop-ins?

Emily Schromm: Oh gosh, of course. Please. Everyone listening, come to Denver, drop in. What’s really fun, is we have classes, of course. They’re really individualized classes. We always believe in strength training. But you can kind of pick and choose your path. And this is actually based off my own findings when I was going through adrenal issues.

Cassy Joy: OH, that is so neat! I cannot wait to drop in. I’m so excited for you. That must feel so nice to have a home base. I’m currently recording in the extra bedroom in our house, sitting on the floor. {laughing} We’re working on plans for a building for a home base. And I can only imagine what that feels like. So that’s really exciting.

Emily Schromm: It feels so good. It’s just been magical. I’ve really, really enjoyed it.

Cassy Joy: That’s so wonderful. Well you continuously inspire me. I would love, before we close today. I would love it if you could share maybe one of your favorite tips or tricks. Let’s say if somebody is listening, and they’re brand new to this health and wellness conversation. Maybe they’re just now jumping off of that diet yoyo bandwagon. And they want to work a little bit more towards body awareness. Towards lasting health. If you had just one thing for them to focus on right now, what would that be?

Emily Schromm: That’s a great question. I think my biggest mantra right now, and it’s something I share with my clients and also myself. It’s this mindset piece. You can have the right meal plan. You can have the right workout program. You could have the best trainer. But you really have to believe in yourself.

And the piece of that that I love, when I say you have to believe in yourself, is that when we doubt ourselves, or we see on Instagram or social media, somebody else doing something else and maybe you should try that, or maybe you should try that. And then all of a sudden, we’re like the dog in UP. Where we’re just here, and then there, and here and then there, and then here and then there. And we have no idea what we want, or who we are. Because we’re constantly second-guessing our own decisions.

And I think that comes down to just a belief in self, and knowing that you have everything you need if you just allow it to come through. So trusting yourself, being consistent with what you do choose. So if you’re brand new, and it seems scary, and you’re like; I really don’t know where to start, Emily. I don’t have the things. Then pick one thing. It doesn’t have to be 10 things. It doesn’t have to be 5 things. Just pick one thing you’re going to focus on for a couple of weeks, and make that thing a habit. And then once you can do that micro goal, you can add another micro goal. And then that micro goal becomes a macro goal. It’s just little small habits that change.

The problem is, it’s just always so overwhelming. Because how do you know where to start when you want to change everything? So I think it’s coming back to yourself. Knowing that you are good as is. And if you feel uncomfortable, then it’s ok to want to change. It’s ok to want to make some improvements. But, we can’t just keep picking and choosing and picking and choosing. You have to pick something, and you have to stick with it. And you have to commit. There is no try.

I love this; somebody just told me this. You don’t go and test out a workout. You don’t get to go try a workout for a couple of days to see if you like it. You tell yourself from the start; I am doing this. No matter what, this is my choice. I am making that choice. And it could be literally as simple as; I’m making the decision to drink enough water every single day this week. Or it could be; I’m making the decision to be consistent at this gym for one month.

But it’s no longer; in the world of everyone trying something else. It can no longer be; let me try this, let me dabble in this, let me try this. Because then you will never stick with it. There will always be an excuse. There will always be something that comes up that will distract you. And that is what we have to focus on. Small little changes, but consistency with those changes.

Cassy Joy: Ooh, that was such a good answer! {laughs} That was awesome, Emily. Thank you.

Emily Schromm: Yay! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I’m over here fist pumping; yes! I absolutely love it. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing some words of wisdom with us. Do you mind telling folks really briefly where they can find your work?

Emily Schromm: Of course. Just go to my website, EmilySchromm.com. It’s also my social media. Really, that’s kind of the home base for everything. My favorite place is similar to this. Cassy, I need to have you on my podcast. I love Meathead Hippie podcast. It’s been so fun to have people there and to expand on conversations that aren’t just 140 characters or less. So I think probably EmilySchromm.com and then my podcast, Meathead Hippie.

Cassy Joy: Yes! That sounds great. And I’ll link to everything. In case you’re driving, and you’re like; goodness! I can’t find a stickie note. We’ll link to it all over on the blog on www.FedandFit.com there in the show notes, where we’ll also include a full transcript.

Emily, thank you so much. Congratulations again on the new location. I can’t wait to come visit you in Denver, and everybody else. As always, you can find all the links to everything online. And we’ll be back again next week.

Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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