"My mission is to empower people of all ages, races, and body sizes to embrace the body they have been given and learn to love themselves so they can live their dreams."
"Working with Sarah Maria has helped me to see that I am inherently loveable, beautiful, and valuable, no matter what. She has given me tools and techniques to break free from self-hatred and put love in its place. I am incredibly grateful for her and her incredible program. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to love her body and lover her life."
-Gabrielle Forleo, age twenty-six
Chopra Center for Wellbeing
"Sarah Maria's teachings are an amazing gift. It's an outstanding program that has changed my life! I highly recommend Sarah Maria's program to anyone who wants to experience living their most successful, beautiful life."
-Mary Schmidt, age forty-five
"Sarah Maria has shared many tools with me. But much more important to me, and what has been most meaningful, has been her quality of compassion. It is a gift and is like a gentle, deep awakening. Sarah Maria is a remarkable individual who works with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual person. I cannot thank her in a way that seems adequate"
-Leigh Ann Jones, age fifty-four
|HOME||BODY IMAGE & YOU||EATING DISORDERS||PRODUCTS & SERVICES||PRESSROOM||ABOUT US||CONTACT|
I know about Negative Body Obsession because I have lived with its torment. The struggle began innocently enough: I decided to go on a diet. I had always eaten healthily and was very physically active, so I was not overweight, not even slightly. But there was a girl in my high school class who was developing anorexia, and was rapidly becoming a stick-figure. She was very thin, though not completely skeletal yet, and I thought she looked great. Among my peers there was emerging talk about diets and it seemed only logical that I should go on one. It was bound to make me more popular and more desirable. As I began to experiment with dieting, a belief slowly crystallized: thin is beautiful and beauty equals success and success is desirable. Therefore I should be as thin as possible. Five hundred calories per day and daily sports and exercise made my weight quickly plummet to below 100 pounds, at 5'3".
I was ecstatic. I felt beautiful; I felt desirable; I felt successful. I felt successful not only because I felt beautiful, but because I was able to control my appetite. I was able to control my natural urges; I was able to control my body. Unfortunately, I was not able to control it perfectly, and thus began the struggle.
When I relaxed my self-induced starvation, bingeing started. I would be ravenously hungry, unable to stop from eating. With every morsel I put in my mouth, however, I would experience feelings of shame, guilt, and inadequacy. Who was I if I was not able to stay thin? What was I worth? The answer somewhere deep in my heart answered, You're no one and nothing. I fought violently against my body, believing I could control it and affirm my self-worth.
I found myself caught in a self-induced web of suffering and could not break free. When I was thin, I felt wonderful, but there was always an underlying anxiety that haunted me. I was continuously afraid of gaining weight, and this fear limited the love and spontaneity I could experience. Whenever I gained a few pounds I would become inundated with feelings of worthlessness and fight wholeheartedly to lose the weight, again limiting the love and spontaneity I could experience.
After twelve years of this constant struggle, I finally believed I had made peace with my body. I ate one meal a day and kept my weight to just above 100 pounds. I was not able to comprehend that I was still very much under the influence of NBO. Then my thyroid malfunctioned and I gained 30 pounds in 3 months. I lost 75% of my flexibility and at times had difficulty even walking. I plummeted into a suicidal depression.
Because this struggle I realized that I was not yet free of NBO. It was at this point that I finally saw the truth of my situation and through intense spiritual and psychological work was able to break the hold self-hatred had on my life. Developing a deep commitment to helping others, I embarked on an intensive course of studies with leading spiritual teachers and established a practice as a body-image expert and personal empowerment coach.
No one should have to suffer the way I did, the way so many women do. There is no reason for the pain that NBO causes. It is now my mission and my goal to help every woman who suffers from self-hatred to break free and unleash the power of her potential.