My name is Laurine Kulczycky and I am the owner of Strong Girl Company. I am a women's strength and anti-diet nutrition coach. This is how strength training and an intuitive eating approach to nutrition helped me overcome my negative relationship with food and my body dysmorphia.

Growing up I was never the, "it girl." I was never the "loser" but I wasn't the girl that everyone wanted to look like, be like or that stood out in the crowd. I was also bullied for a good portion of my life which lead to me to have a severe negative relationship with my body and food, binge / emotional eating problems and a constant need to live up to society's version of perfect.

For the majority of my life I was stuck in this vicious yo-yo dieting, binge eating cycle because I felt I needed to be a certain weight in order to be loved, seen and respected. I can't count how many times a year I'd say "diet starts Monday!" and I'd do one of the following;

1. Restrict myself to only eating salads to be "healthy."

2. Try and not eat for as long as I could all day. If someone asked "why aren't you eating?" I'd respond with "I'm not hungry" or "I'm not feeling good." This was my way of getting them to back off.

3. Only drink my calories. You know the good ol juice diets.

4. Completely cut out carbs, because carbs were known as “the fat devil.”

All of the above actions led to me to binge on anything and everything due to the restrictions I was putting on myself. After the binge would happen, I'd feel like shit for eating all the crap then promise myself I'd be better next time. Of course, I wouldn't be "better" and the cycle would continue.

So, what was my lightbulb moment? What was the driving force to my change? Honestly, I woke up one morning, looked at my life and told myself "NO MORE!" I didn't want to live a life being afraid of food thinking "I can't eat that because it's going to make me fat." I didn't want to live a life uncomfortable in my own skin. I wanted to live a life that I was proud of. I wanted to be able to be able to accept myself, love myself and not let anyone's opinion matter.

When this, "lightbulb" moment happened I was stuck in a bad relationship and I wasn't advancing in any aspect of my life. The first step I took was to leave the relationship, which wasn't by any means easy and took some serious guts. I had to do this first to rid myself of the toxic environment I was currently in. I couldn’t see myself changing for the better when I was being constantly brought down. The second step I took was to start exercising because I knew exercise made people “feel good.” I didn't go to a gym at first because there was no way I was going to look like I didn't know what I was doing in front of people. My self esteem was very low and the thought of being stared at or laughed at scared me more than you could believe.

At the time my friend wanted to start exercising too so she brought over p-90x strength training workout videos. This was my first exposure to weights. I remember the first week was hell. I was so sore, I could barely walk. My body had never experienced that type of exercise before. By the end of the first month I noticed my body changing. It wasn't a huge visual change (aka) weight loss and muscle toning. It was a physical and mindset change. For the first time in my life I felt strong. This strength made me want to train more and made me feel more confident in myself. After doing the videos for 3 months I started seeing a visual change. My body was developing muscle, something I hadn’t had before. This muscle development made me realize that the number on the scale doesn’t matter. I noticed my body was changing but the scale wasn’t budging much. Normally, this is what would have made me want to throw in the towel, but I felt strong, healthy, fit and more confident so I kept going with it.

The whole bundle came with a diet book, but I didn't attempt to try it. The restrictions were way too much for me and I knew I'd just end up in a binge if I attempted it. Instead, I decided to tackle my “not so healthy habits” one by one. Doing things this way helped me not feel so overwhelmed and restricted. I’d choose one habit then work on it until I was comfortable adding another habit. This process took a long time, over a year to be exact. However, at the end of the day I was better off. I got myself to a point where I was comfortable in my own skin, I was able to eat food without worrying if it would make me “fat.” I was able to go shopping and not care that I wasn’t buying a size 0. I felt free and I felt good about myself, which is something I hadn’t felt for a long time.

Fitness and strength training became a passion of mine so I decided to turn it into a career. For those of you who are wondering, I have an advanced honors diploma in Fitness and Lifestyle Management. I am a certified personal trainer with CSEP (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologists). And I’m a certified nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.

After years of working in different gyms and training a wide range of women, I noticed there was a huge flaw in the fitness industry. The majority of programs women could join kept them in the same yo-yo dieting cycle I spent years of my life trying to get out of. They’d join a 28 day or 12-week program, then they’d get a heavily restricted meal plan to follow that the majority of people wouldn’t be able to keep up with for more than a week. And lastly, they’d be told to exercise in a way that didn’t fit their lifestyle and/or current fitness level. Of course, this led them to eventually “fall off the wagon.”

I witnessed over and over again women getting frustrated and upset with themselves to the point where they would have intense emotional breakdowns. They would blame themselves for not being able to stick to the program. They would believe there was something wrong with them, when there was nothing wrong with them at all. This led me to realize that something needed to be done. Women were in need of so much more than what was available. I took a leap of faith, left my job as a personal trainer and decided to opened up The Strong Girl Company in 2016. Since then I’ve been able to help hundreds of women leave dieting behind, heal their negative relationship with food and build a strong body they are confident in through my 90 Day Strong Babe Blueprint Program.

"You can conquer the world & feel confident & powerful when you're wasting time and energy thinking about your body and food all the time!"