“What if it took you six years to finally feel at peace in your body, to feel at peace with your relationship with food? Wouldn’t it be worth it?”

This introspective question sets the stage for a profound exploration of Audra Baker’s struggle with body image and her eventual triumph in finding true contentment and acceptance.

In this empowering first episode of Hello Body Freedom, Audra takes us on a remarkable journey of personal transformation, right up to the moment when she drew a line in the sand and shifted her perception of health and fitness.

Through candid anecdotes and raw vulnerability, Audra invites listeners into her world, sharing the pivotal moments and revelations that led to her profound shift in perspective.

From battling societal expectations to challenging ingrained beliefs, Audra’s journey serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, encouraging others to redefine their notions of health, wellness, and self-worth.

Join in as Audra sets the tone for an enlightening series dedicated to helping individuals liberate themselves from the shackles of societal pressures and embrace their authentic selves!

Full Episode Transcript:

Hello, everybody. Welcome to episode one. I am so excited. I’m Audra. I’m stoked to go on this journey with you. If I have played my cards right and it all has happened the way it’s supposed to, then this first episode is launching on my birthday. The reason why I’m excited about this is because it was on my birthday a decade ago that I decided I wanted to do a show. You might be thinking, “That was a long time ago.” Yes, it was. A decade is no joke. A lot can happen in a decade. In fact, a lot has happened in a decade. There are a lot of reasons why I did and did not stop it. That’s not what this show is about.

What we are about here is Hello Body Freedom. I get that that might not have much to do with procrastinating a show for ten years, but there are some parallels that I want to be able to make here. We’re then going to wrap it up towards the end and bring this into fruition about how there can be connections here because I have a few questions that I want to ask you with my show called Hello Body Freedom.

How Long Have You Yearned To Feel Better In Your Body?

The question I have is, how many times and for how long have you yearned to feel better in your body? When I say feel better in your body, I very well could be talking about losing weight. A better way to say that is to come into your ideal size. I think an even better way to say that is, I don’t know about you, but are we all here to be on a weight loss journey for the rest of our lives? How many of you feel that’s what you’ve been doing? “I’ve been trying to lose weight for a decade, for two decades, for a lifetime.” No, that’s not what I’m talking about. Feeling better in your body might include a weight loss journey to your ideal size, but isn’t the whole purpose of that to stay there?

This isn’t about weight loss, but it is about what we are doing to feel better in our bodies. That might be a part of your journey. It also might not be. It might be a situation where you’re like, “I want to feel more comfortable in my skin. I want to have more energy. I want to have less brain fog. I want my joints to stop hurting. I feel I’m on the struggle bus. I’m tired all the time.” A big one that was for me and the thousands of women I talk to is this is a constant. I want to be clear. I hear this almost on the daily in the work that I do. It is, “I’m so sick of feeling like I’m on an anxiety whirlwind every time I know I have to go shopping, the process of going clothes shopping, and how horrible that makes me feel, and the shame spiral that follows after that of how shitty I feel now that the clothes don’t fit or I don’t feel good on my body.” It’s another reminder that I don’t feel good in my body.

I’m curious if you can relate to any of this. The reason I asked this question is because it was my story forever. How many years have you struggled with your relationship with food and your relationship with your body? What do I mean by that relationship with food? Another thing I hear all the time, and I know this because it was me for so long, when I hear it, I’m like, “I’m so glad I’m on the other side of this.” It’s this idea of, “I don’t even know what to eat,” because of the dieting dogma and the nutritional dogma. “Am I gluten-free today or am I dairy-free today? Am I going paleo today or vegan? I forgot I’m vegan. There’s milk and I want to get this cereal. Can I have milk?”

It’s absolute bonkers and insanity. When I talk about relationships with food, it’s like you don’t even trust yourself around food. That was my experience and my client’s experience for a long time. It is this insane obsessiveness around thinking about food, what to eat, and what not to eat over and over again, “Will I do good today? Did I mess up today?” It’s exhausting. It was for me for a long time.

Also, how many years have you struggled with your relationship with your body? They’re two different things, but they’re so connected, aren’t they? They for sure were connected for me. What I mean by that is that feeling comfortable in your body and having a better relationship with your body means feeling good in your body, most of the time. Maybe not all the time. I get gassy. I get frustrated. Things don’t work sometimes. I get tired. I have aches, pains, and all the things, but most of the time, am I feeling okay and am I feeling comfortable in my body? That’s the question.

Having a better relationship with your body means feeling good in your body most of the time. Click To Tweet

How many times have you wished you could wave a magic wand, this sense of, “If I could do this thing that I found on Instagram that I can lose 40 pounds in 30 days and then check mark it off and move on with my day?” How did that go for you? I’m guessing not so good. The reason I know that you’ve likely already experienced them is because I have been there. I know it. I’ve done that. I got my t-shirt. I actually got a lot of t-shirts. I burned them all eventually because it sucks. It’s a real crap way to be in the world and walk through the world where the lens from which we see our whole life in front of us is, “I’m living in a body I’m uncomfortable with. All I can think about is food and what to do and what not to do all the time.”

I’m saying all of this not just because it’s my experience, but because I have literally, for my entire adult life, been working with women in this realm in some phase or another. The first realm in which I did this was health and fitness coaching. This was a very long time ago, but it worked for me. I enjoyed it enough to get a degree in Kinesiology, study nutrition, all these things, and then have a successful fitness and nutrition company back when I lived out in Northern California in the Silicon Valley area. We had over 15,000 humans walk through my fitness and nutrition company. By 15,000, I’m not talking about an email list. I mean actual humans coming out for support and help. I was the main one doing it.

Here is what I saw, and I’m telling you this from the time I was eighteen, what women would share with me over and over again was what we talked about above. “I don’t like how I feel in my body. I’m tired. I’ve got to lose this weight. I don’t feel good. What can I do? How can I fix this?” At this point, I had all the information. I know what foods to eat. I understand macros. “Let’s do this. We’re going to give you this food plan. We’re going to give you this fitness plan. You’re going to lock this out of the park. We’re going to rock this out.” I did that for a while.

Here’s what would happen. Here’s what I saw. It would work for a while. Some a little better than others, but it would work for a little bit, and then my clients would disappear. Something would happen, they’d move on, whatever. For most of them, I would see them again maybe in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. Guess what happened? They gained more weight back. Things happened in their lives. “That worked for a while, but then this big scenario happened in my life, or this stressor happened in my life, or this work thing happened in my life.” It’s frustrating when you think you know all the answers to help people do this stuff, but you’re like, “This is what’s supposed to work.”

Let me tell you what happened to me. As I was growing my company, it was the exact same story. I became insanely obsessed. The more I learned about food, nutrition, fitness, and all these things, the more obsessive I became about it. I would diet myself down because I didn’t like the way my body looked or felt, and then I would exponentially gain the weight back by overeating and getting off the diet. I’d be on the diet, and then off the diet. Maybe some of you can relate to that. It is a cycle. It is a restrict binge cycle that most people who have struggled with their bodies or still struggle with their body that they know what that is. It’s very painful. You feel like you’re alone. You feel shameful. I’m saying you, but I’m putting a mirror in front of my face. This was the story of my life.

The bigger my company grew, the more painful it was for me. I hated it. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t know how to fix it because, quite frankly, I thought I had all the information. I want you to understand this. From the time I was 18 and now I’m in my mid-30s, I’m like, “I know I have degrees and certifications. I actually do know. I can give you this food plan.” How many of you are like, “I know what to do, but I can’t seem to do it?” How many of you have said that before? You know what to do but just can’t seem to do it.

This was a very trying time in my life. This was about many years ago that it finally all came down to a breaking point for me. I’m sharing this with you in a way for you to understand the way in which maybe my story is similar to yours, but maybe it’s a little different, but I know what it’s like to be in food hell and body jail and feel like I can’t escape. I then built the whole fricking business around it that felt like, “Now I’m screwed. Now what do I do?”

There is a path out of this food hell and body jail. Click To Tweet

The weight kept piling on, which was simply a byproduct of what was going on inside of me. There was a breaking point for me, and I want to share that with you because it’s important and I think that we can learn some important skillsets here that I now teach inside of Hello Body Freedom. I didn’t quite understand what was happening when it happened. Since I’ve gone back and dissected this particular moment in my life, it was a pretty important moment.

I want you to look at this while I’m sharing this with you as to what your most important moment will be. I do believe that mostly, the way that we get through life and the way that we move forward with our goals, with the things that we desire, and with getting to the other side, it’s boring. It’s the daily boring one step in front of the other, but we have to clean up some stuff first. I do see life in that way, and that’s the way that we reach goals, but there are also other moments. Sometimes these are very defining moments in our lives. They are moments where we draw a freaking line in the sand. Something changes. It’s not just some outward declaration. It’s something inside of us shifts and we’re like, “No more.” That’s the point I want to tell you about. I want to share this story with you.

HBF 1 | Hello Body Freedom

Hello Body Freedom: Sometimes these are very defining moments in our lives, and they are moments where we draw a freaking line in the sand.


Time To Draw A Line In The Sand?

At this point, I had been running my fitness company successfully for a while back. I’m now living up in San Francisco on my own. It’s an itty-bitty studio apartment, but it’s one of those fancy newer ones. It was right across the street from where the Giants played. I was in Soma. It was cool. You could see the Bay Bridge. Ultimately, I moved in there and fell apart. That’s what ended up happening.

I don’t want to get too deep into my behavior so much because I don’t want to trigger anybody. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later. In terms of not understanding what was going on, not being able to stop eating, and then trying to diet myself down, it was absolute crazy. Here’s my breaking point. Here I am in my little itty-bitty studio apartment in San Francisco. It’s just me and my cat. I am sitting on the floor in my kitchen. My kitchen is a part of my living room and is a part of my bedroom. It’s an itty-bitty small place. I am falling apart essentially. I am eating multiple brownie sundaes. Brownie sundaes are yummy.

I don’t know if I was on the second one or the third one, but here’s the thing that was so powerful. In that moment, that is a hard moment for anybody who struggles with their relationship with food or body knows that when you’re in the moment and you see yourself doing the thing that you said you weren’t going to do, what do we normally do? I don’t know about you, but I beat the shit out of myself. It would be like this inner mean girl or I call it the inner bitch beat down. This is very like, “What’s your problem?” It is this intensity. I didn’t do it this time. There was a softening inside of me.

It’s not like I no longer have negative self-talk. Not true. I know how to manage it a lot better, but it is the fact that it went away. I do want to say that at the same time, I was reading a book. I was reading a lot of books, but this book in particular by Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love. It might be the first book she ever wrote. I don’t know if she’s probably written books after that, but that book was powerful for me. It’s a spiritual book, so it has a real softening and grounding.

That might have been a part of it, but there was a surrender that came over me. I’m sitting here eating my brownie sundae sitting. I wasn’t on my couch, I was literally on the floor in my kitchen. My cat’s running around looking at me like, “What’s up with you, girl?” I’m crying, I’m eating, and I’m not beating myself up. Here was the next thing that happened. First, it was a surrender. There was something very surrendered about the moment. I wasn’t trying to protect my ego by beating myself up and forcing, “I know what I should be doing.” All of that went away.

Because of that surrender, that capacity to let go and not have this inner bitch beat down that I was able to have another thought well up that I had not had at this point. I want to be very clear. I have an incredibly successful, hand your food plan, this is your exercise plan, five locations in Silicon Valley. We are slaying the program. I have degrees, certifications, and all of these things. This wasn’t even an option up until this moment.

Here’s the thought that welled up in my head, “Maybe I don’t know what to do.” This was really powerful. How many of you keep doing the same thing over and over again thinking that that’s the answer? It’s the definition of insanity. You keep trying the same exact thing over and over again, and you keep running into a brick wall, and then you wonder why is that. “Let me do it again and try again.” Absolutely crazy.

It was a big moment for me. Maybe I don’t know. Maybe if I can surrender this ego a little bit and go, “Clearly, it’s not working. The food plans, the diets, and all the insanity are making me crazier.” That was a very important next thing that welled up because if that wouldn’t have happened, if that didn’t well up in a way that surrendered me a little bit more, I don’t know if the next thing that happened would’ve happened.

Here it is, a very resilient part of me welled up out of where I don’t know. You know what I’m talking about. That moment when you are locked and loaded with eighteen brownie sundaes and you just were going at it is not usually our finest moment. In that moment, maybe I don’t know, surrender. I don’t know. Number three is this resilient part of me showed up. Here’s what this part of me said. It said, “I might not know what to do, but I’m going to figure it out. It seemed like I knew what to do. I have all these professors who showed me all this science and I learned all this, but clearly there’s more to the puzzle.” Here’s the other part that’s so important because it was this piece of like, “I’m not going to stop until I find it. I’m not going to stop until I deeply figure this out.”

That was a moment for me that was drawing a line in the sand. It was so meaningful and powerful. Yes, I kept eating the brownie sundae and I was okay with it. I kept crying because the truth of the matter is, as I didn’t know, and now twelve years on the other side, I know how much I didn’t know, I was lost in these loops of fitness, diet, weight loss, and insanity, but I so desperately did not want to obsess around food anymore. I did not want to think about it all the effing time. The obsession around food and body, you know it’s exhausting. I knew it from the bottom of my soul.

This was another thought I had. I’m like, “Thin people eat brownie sundaes. Thin people eat pizza. This is not some magical thing that only if I eat paleo, keto, or if I only do high-intensity interval training is the only way I’m ever going to get thin.” It’s crazy. They are at their ideal size that feels good for them and they eat pizza for crying out loud. Guess what? They don’t gain it back. That’s the other thing. I don’t care how many times you have lost weight in the past, if you have gained it back, it clearly didn’t work. Something else is missing. That was the same thing that was missing for me. I wanted it so bad. I wanted to be able to go shopping for clothing without an anxiety meltdown and a shame spiral to follow. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to feel good.

I didn’t need to feel blissed out, but I’m guessing normal people go to a store and they’re not having issues with food in their body, they find stuff that makes them feel good, and then they move on with their day. I want that experience instead of a meltdown that leads me to the drive-through at Dairy Queen to grab a Blizzard or something. I didn’t want that for my life anymore. I’m not sure how much you can relate to, but if you relate to any of this, let me just tell you that there is a path out of this food hell and body jail. It actually exists.

The Start Of An Epic Journey

From that moment, which was the summer of 2011 for me, and now this is the summer of 2023, that was the start of an epic journey in my life. This journey was effing crazy. I’m trying to not drop F-bombs because I drop them. I’m thinking, “It’s my first episode. I’m already going to turn people off,” but you know what? Fuck it. I’m going to drop F-bombs.

Here I am on this six-year journey. This journey started with what happened in my apartment in San Francisco. From there, I’m like, “I’m going to figure it out.” I spent six years hodgepodging, and I want to share that with you. It immediately started with joining a yoga community, and it was a yoga community without mirrors. I thought, “This is healing. I’m not sitting here staring at myself and beating myself up in a freaking yoga class. I’m going in instead of objectifying myself.” That was pretty powerful. That was one of the things I did. I ended up also deep in meditation.

What do I mean by that? I lived in San Francisco. There’s a fabulous, beautiful meditation community. At least there was when I lived there, I’m sure there still is. I was going out on Thursday and Friday nights. I wasn’t going to happy hour. I was going to meditation halls. Dharma Punx all the way on a Friday night in San Francisco, it’s the bomb.

I also started therapy. I’m like, “Something’s not right. Let’s figure this one out.” The other thing that happened, and I didn’t know it back then the way that I know it now, but I had a strong suspicion that dieting in general is just a bullshit way to keep us stuck. In actuality, it is. You’ll hear that in one of the upcoming episodes. I did make a strong decision that I can’t diet anymore. I can’t be on that bullshit. I cannot try to follow some stupid ass plan only to fail and only to gain the weight back. I was done with that.

That was another big decision I made. I also made a decision to completely stop exercising for thinness or vanity. I did not want to think about a six-pack ab or a bikini butt. I just wanted all of that to go away. That’s how I started walking all through San Francisco with no EarPods in and just walking, being out in nature, and going to yoga. That’s pretty much all I did for a while. Since then, the pendulum swung back to the middle and I have a healthier relationship with moving my body, but these are just some examples. Some other examples of the professional route is I did end up going to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I became an eating psychology coach. That’s another part of adding on, which was a very powerful and important part of this journey for me as well.

Since then, I had multiple embodiment and trauma resolution certifications. In fact, the last professional coaching training that I had, which is inside of the last few years now, was all around a professional coaching program around embodiment and working with the body to process, release, and integrate unresolved trauma. For real, I spent six years putting all of these pieces together. That last piece was the missing piece of the puzzle. I have to spread the word about why we stay stuck in our bodies, why we struggle with our relationship with food, and how it is so deeply connected to what’s going on with our nervous system, what is going on with the intensity that we’re feeling in our body, or the numbing out that we’re feeling in the body as well.

HBF 1 | Hello Body Freedom

Hello Body Freedom: I have to spread the word about why we stay stuck in our body and why we struggle with our relationship with food and how it is so deeply connected to what’s going on with our nervous system.


That’s a little bit about what happened to me inside of those six years. Quite frankly, it was a crazy journey. It was messy, windy, beautiful, pure self-discovery, and healing. It was getting up, falling on my face, and trying it again. I know it exists for you. I also want to tell you, and I ask this of my clients, I ask it inside of my free Path to Food & Body Freedom Challenge I offer, and I ask it all the time. I go, “What if it took you six whole years? It took me six years.” I usually start with, “What if it took you a year?” The programs we have in Hello Body Freedom are 6 months to 1 year. Most of our clients stay from 6 months to 2 years to do this work.

It took me six years. For you to get to the other side, what if it took that long? What if it was six whole years for you to finally feel at peace in your body and to feel at peace with your relationship with food, where your weight is not going up and down, where you have found your ideal size that feels good, the energy that feels good, and you’re just living your life now? There’s so much more head space to focus on the things that actually matter, like our families, people, and pets. Wouldn’t you do that? Wouldn’t it be worth it even if it took that long?

Let me tell you something. The best thing I have ever done for myself took me six years to get there. To this day, I do not regret it. It is the best decision I have ever made. The connection I have with my body, the peace and relaxation response I have around all foods, except for liver and onions, every other food, I have a major relaxation response around and just to feel good in my body. Clothes shopping isn’t a thing anymore. It’s neutral. It’s not, “Look at me.” It’s like, “This is nice. It’s time for new clothes. It’s great. I like how I look.” You get to have that too is the point that I want to make.


HBF 1 | Hello Body Freedom


That decision that sent me on that crazy journey is where I’m wondering if that is where you are at now. I want to bring this full circle because we are supposed to start when we are supposed to start. Not when we say we’re going to ten years ago when Audra said she was going to start a show. It was never supposed to be ten years ago. It was meant to be right now.

We are supposed to start when we are supposed to start, not when we say we're going to. Click To Tweet

Maybe everything that you have done up to this point, every failure, every diet, every weight gain and weight loss, every struggle, every emotional eating bout, every overeating, binge eating, stress eating, mindless eating, bored eating, sad eating, whatever it might be, every single piece, maybe now is that moment for you where it is the right time and where you can come to a place and draw that line in the sand and go, “I am ready for this epic journey.” Hands down, it affects everything I do in my life. It is the lens from which I see everything. The way I am able to show up in all ways of my life has been affected by my decision to heal my relationship with food and my body.

If you are interested in getting out of food hell and body jail and truly experiencing freedom with your relationship with food and with your body, this is what we do at Hello Body Freedom. That is what this show is all about. I am so honored and excited that you are here. This is what we do at Hello Body Freedom. We are ultimately obsessed with healing and integrating the reasons why you haven’t reached your goals, why you’re coming up and back, and why you’re not quite there yet. Keep on reading.

I’m going to do a lot of solo episodes. I’m also going to bring in some of my most favorite humans. We’re going to be doing some interviews that are going to be amazing. I’ll bring on some clients who want to come on and share their stories as well. It’s going to be a beautiful ride that goes so much deeper than just a freaking food plan and an exercise regime. I promise you, those are not the solution. Those are almost the Band-Aid you’re trying to put on.

It’s not that Band-Aids don’t work. Band-Aids work if it’s a little something, but when you’ve got a freaking gaping wound in your arm, if you’ve got a bullet, are you going to put a Band-Aid over it? No, you got to get that shit out. We got to heal a little deeper. I guarantee you that analogy is way more painful than doing this work here. We’re good to go. My friends, I am so excited to be here. Welcome to the Hello Body Freedom show. Welcome to the Hello Body Freedom Revolution. I am Audra Baker, and I will see you in the next episode.


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