merchant

Life Lessons:
Stephanie Merchant

*Are you happy at the moment?

Yes! And just giving you that answer makes me smile – BIG. It’s been such an amazing last few years. I must say I feel healthier now than I did 10 years ago. That alone is huge. But, in addition to my health transformation (losing 50 lbs and not needing medications any longer) and my mental clarity (going back to school at 42 and changing careers), I am now pursuing my dream. I get to help others through their own health/life transformations and have found a larger platform to reach more and more people. It’s been a crazy, fun ride!

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Well, since I’ve always been a dreamer, I would say… Dream of the future and realize the endless possibilities, but enjoy this time. Learn to focus on the positive and to appreciate the small things. Respect others opinions, but don’t let them define you. Don’t fall into the “enough is never enough” mentality. The best way to avoid it is to help others in need. And, last, but not least, appreciate your unique inner and outer beauty. You have been given many gifts to share with the world.

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

That if you envision it and take steps everyday towards your dreams, they will start to come true. And I’ve realized over and over again how blessed I am to have a supportive husband.

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

This question is so perfectly timed since I have all 12 months printed out and laying on my desk right now as I am planning for next year. What I have discovered is that dreaming of success (in any area of life) and actually planning for it or two different things. It’s all about taking action and implementation. We live in the information age. We have more information at our finger tips then we know what to do with and it can become distracting and overwhelming. I am narrowing my scope, becoming clear and focused and making a plan. It’s not rigid, but it’s a road map to keep me on course. Much of what I do now with coaching is not just sharing strategies with my clients, but giving them support and accountability. Those all work together and lead to real success. When planning or making a To-Do list, don’t just put the have to’s – put the want to’s and the get to’s. My calendar is full of work, passion, play and fun.

*What’s your secret to happiness?

Awareness and Appreciation. I spent many years just going through the motions of life. One day leading to the next. No passion, no zest. Only existence. Not any more! I make my choices with full awareness and with full appreciation of the experience.

*What’s one ritual or practice that keeps you grounded?

The ongoing practice of gratitude keeps me grounded. It’s amazing how one situation can be viewed in two different ways. One quote always comes to mind:

We can complain because the rose bush has thorns, or we can rejoice because the thorn bush has roses. I spent many years complaining. Now I rejoice and it feels so much better.

*What’s your biggest regret?

Years of insecurity, lack of confidence and of not putting myself or my health on my priority list and realizing now how that not only affected me, but how it affected those closest to me.

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

The importance of nutrition and how it affects EVERYTHING from our health to our attitude and everything in between. That to be our best selves– we have to take care of ourselves. ~ And – have fun & dream BIG!

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Multi-tasking. Ugh. I cannot do my best at one thing, if I am focused on several things at the same time. And, I am a little addicted to social media.

*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

For working through my own self imposed limits. Learning to trust myself more. And, for taking big, bold steps – even when the path ahead is unknown. It’s also amazing to help others through that transition and witnessing how their lives change.

*When were you happiest?

When I met the love of my life and when we became parents. I can’t imagine sharing this life with anyone else.

*What ten words best describe you?

Motivated, Inspired, Supportive, Dependable, Hopeful, Grateful, Compassionate, Focused, Honest, “The Nutrition Mom” 😉

Stephanie Merchant is the owner and Founder of The Nutrition Mom, LLC. She is an author, speaker, coach and mentor to busy Moms worldwide. Stephanie helps you to create healthy habits that last a lifetime. Through food choices and through life choices, busy Moms are finding balance and nourishment without struggle and stress.

Stephanie’s own personal story of transformation from being an overworked, overweight, overstressed Mom to The Nutrition Mom has been featured on the Dr. Oz show as well as in SHAPE magazine. She has also co-authored a book entitled, “Smart Women Embrace Transitions, How to Lean into change with your Body, Mind and Soul.”

Learn more and begin your own transformation at http://www.thenutritionmom.com/