Vesl Story Series: chatting with Alexis Doss

Alexis is a holistic health and wellness coach and lover of all things tough love. She leads online group wellness, private 1:1 coaching, as well as a new mastermind called The Tough Love Collective. She lives in Washington state with her fiance and 2 dogs and is super passionate about completely altering your mental state into a no pity party zone and a more positive one. She has been in the industry for almost 8 years and is constantly striving to help women learn how to love themselves again. Her 3 favorite things? Donuts, tattoos, and anything related to electronic dance music.

Can you share with us your transformation journey?

So it has been a wild journey full of a ton of ups and downs, but I think the thing that has helped me reach my goals so much has been patience and self-love. It started when I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in February of 2013. Before that, I did NOT focus on my health at all, so when I was diagnosed, I really started to take my health seriously. No more binge drinking bud light and eating boxes of tuna helper. I focused first on fitness because that is all I knew, from playing volleyball for 13 years, but I soon realized that nutrition was going to be even more important. It was really a mixture of trial and error and figuring out what worked best for me. It’s never ONE thing that changes everything for you in terms of wellness, but the accumulation of all the little things. I was vegan for a bit, then paleo, and now I would say I just intuitively eat, but eat a paleo-ish way of eating (I hate the word “diet”). I also struggled with 2 eating disorders before all of this, so while I was learning about what was best for my body, I worked to get to the root of why I struggled with them, and now I am living a life that feels authentic and good to my body and soul.

The last thing I did that was the most important component, was to focus on personal development, self-love, and a more positive mindset. You can workout and eat healthy all you want, but if you aren’t working on your mind, things won’t fully fall into place. So I really dove deep into reading personal development and listening to podcasts consistently. Then got more into the spiritual side of things with meditations, affirmations, and really using my morning routine as a launching pad for the rest of the day.  I’ve been doing online wellness coaching for about 7.5 years now and over that time I’ve figured out that for me what works is shorter, but more effective at-home workouts, along with proper portioned nutrition works best for me. And then I just fill all the blank spaces in between.

 

“It’s never one thing that changes everything but the accumulation of all the little things.”

 

What is emotional eating and why is it important? 

Emotional eating is different for everyone, but in the simplest way to explain it, it’s leaning on food as a source of stress relief or happiness. Eating food, especially the really yummy, sugary, greasy, and fatty kind sets off all of the feel-good chemicals in our body like dopamine and we can think that food is the only thing that can make us feel good when we feel sad, angry, or are stressed. This is only a temporary feeling, and brief, considering that we most likely will have a sugar crash later on or just feel sluggish after eating foods like that. 

Emotional eating for me, and many people, started when I was struggling with an emotionally abusive boyfriend and homelessness. I ate food because it made me feel good, and then instead of finding a healthy outlet to get out my emotions, I would just eat and eat and eat until I was sick. This is a cycle a lot of people struggle with and is WAY more common than people think. We all grew up and still live in a culture that uses food in ALL situations, to celebrate, to mourn; our parents rewarded us after a soccer game when we were kids with brownies or fast food and when we had a bad day at school, they would let us go get pizza or ice cream. So it has been instilled in us, that food makes you feel better, and that is why many people lean on it today.

It’s important to understand because while you can and should still enjoy food and celebrate with it, we have to disconnect the connection in our brain that makes us lean on food in that way. We need to find healthier outlets like meditation, going for a walk, drinking tea, or just dancing it out to your favorite song when you are stressed. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food, but it shouldn’t be the constant coping mechanism when we feel highly emotional. 

As a nutrition coach, how do you incorporate nutrition as part of your healing/wellness process? 

My biggest philosophy when it comes to proper nutrition is to find what works for YOU. One way of eating might work really well for one person and terribly for the next. For example, some people thrive being vegan and others don’t. So the best thing you can do is work on your mind-body connection, and listening and feeling what feels best when you eat. Food journal and write down what you eat and how you feel after (not the calories or macros, just WHAT the food is). The more you do this, the more you know which foods make you feel good and which ones don’t 

Healing your relationship with food is key as well. You can eat healthy but if you are doing it as a punishment or because you are “afraid of gaining weight” than that negates it all. So work on that relationship and aim for food freedom and intuitive eating and life will be a lot more fun and stress-free.

Proper food portions are important as well. They don’t have to be perfect, but you don’t want to under or overeat too much. 

 

“Quality nutrition and CBD leaves me feeling in control, which gives me all the freedom in the world, and that is priceless.”

 

When and how did you discover CBD? 

I’m not sure of the exact moment I discovered CBD, it would be about 4-5 years ago when I saw a CBD gummies at the gas station and all I knew about it was that it was like smoking weed (THC) and not getting high in the head, but in your body haha. Then, once I started to do more research on it, I learned about all the incredible benefits. For me specifically, taking things like CBD tincture, or smoking CBG has helped me tremendously with my anxiety. I also struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, so taking the tinctures before bed has been so helpful! Lack of sleep can cause so many issues, and I HATE not feeling rested. One of the most important things for me is dealing with chronic pain. My PCOS and EDS (Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome) both make it so I deal with chronic pain pretty much every day, but the CBD muscle gel has been an absolute lifesaver for me. I cannot express this enough – I use it every day and have been for almost 3 years. It helps me with back spasms, and tight hamstrings, and any other areas that are tight or sore. It also helps me so much with lower back pain and loosens it up so I can work out properly. I couldn’t live without it! 

What does freedom mean to you? 

Freedom for me means a life that isn’t controlled by the uncontrollable circumstances that I’ve been given. Having anxiety, PCOS, EDS, and some of my other struggles could leave me stressed and chained down. Using things like quality nutrition and CBD leaves me feeling in control, which gives me all the freedom in the world, and that is priceless.

Get in touch with me 😉 Follow me on my Instagram and say Hi! @onefitcoconut

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