What's the F***ing Point episode 07: Sarah Jane Chapman on Body Liberation, Yoga, and Spirituality

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Sarah Jane Chapman, a massage therapist, yoga teacher, and heart-of-gold human who I am lucky to call a friend.

In the conversation, Sarah Jane and I delved into: 

  • why she believes “yoga always wins” and how her personal practice and teaching have evolved
  • how getting diagnosed with diabetes further complicated her eating disorder
  • the practice that was most transformational in healing her mindset from toxic diet culture
  • spending time in nature, gardening, sustainable farming, and seasonal eating as ways of connecting with spirituality and honoring our interconnectedness with the earth
  • making the tarot relevant and useful in day-to-day life 

And just an audio heads up — on the morning we were recording, Sarah Jane was having some laptop issues and used her phone instead for the recording, so there were a few vibrations in the second half of the interview, but not too bad. 

To listen to this episode, you can stream or download from the embedded player below, or find and subscribe in your fave podcast listening app. 

Thanks for listening, and if you dig, please share it with a friend and review the podcast on iTunes

About Sarah Jane Chapman 

Sarah Jane Chapman was born in Upstate New York where she would spend her days climbing trees and laying in the grass. She started practicing yoga at age 14, which helped her through some of the most difficult times of her life. In 2012, she traveled to Rishikesh, India where she became certified in Hatha Yoga, and shortly thereafter moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Wanting to offer more to students and expand her knowledge of the body, Sarah Jane attended the Mind Body Institute in 2015 to begin her work as a massage therapist. She now offers a plethora of body work and Reiki, as well as astrology and tarot readings. Sarah Jane lives in east Nashville with her husband and pitbull, still climbing trees and laying in the grass. You can follow her wanderings on Instagram @sarahjanechap

Mentioned on Today's Show:

is intuitive eating ever NOT recommended?

when-intuitive-eating-is-not-recommended.jpg

Intuitive eating is all about learning to listen to and trust your body to tell you what and how much food you need, rather than following a strict "diet" that does not take these body cues into account, or on the flip side, eating just because food's there even when you're not hungry. The principles of intuitive eating have paved the path toward freedom from food obsession for me and thousands of others. It's such a core part of my overall personal and professional philosophy that I recently released an eBook on the subject (along with body image), Hips, Hunger, and the Pursuit of Healing, which I co-authored with Lauren Fowler. But in today's video blog, I'm throwing a curve ball: are there times when Intuitive Eating is not the best plan of action? Absolutely. Watch the video for more. (And if you're watching on a mobile device, the video may not embed properly so click this link to watch it directly on YouTube.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epS-A8Pgfdc

Do you practice intuitive eating? What about when something happens and you just have NO appetite? 

*let it shine* interview: lauren fowler of mindful meals

Let it Shine - Lauren Fowler
Let it Shine - Lauren Fowler

I am so excited to launch my "Let it Shine" interview series today with the ridiculously awesome Lauren Fowler of Mindful Meals. Lauren is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and in addition to her face-to-face work with clients in Vermont, she does nutrition coaching via Skype/phone with women everywhere who want to improve their relationship with food and their bodies. She also happens to be a kick-ass blogger/writer, and we're currently working on an eBook together that I can't wait to tell you more about in the near future.

Lauren has been a huge inspiration to me as I've committed to my blog over the past 6+ months, and I am grateful to now call her a friend. You can get to know Lauren a little in my interview below, and I highly recommend checking out her blog and newsletter afterwards.

Tell us a little about your background: What brought you into the wellness field, and what's your primary focus?

I grew up having several wonderful experiences of serving others, and I knew I would eventually go down the path of helping others. With the underlying interest in wellness, I chose nursing school. Luckily, I took a nutrition class my first year in and that just clicked for me, so I switched over to nutrition and became a dietitian.

 On the other side, part of my interest in wellness was always this desire to "fix myself." I was always serving others and trying to be the 'good girl,' smart, or other things while neglecting what I really wanted to do.

I started to collect this belief in high school that I wasn't good enough until I lost weight or had that bikini body other girls my age seemed to have. I started to count calories, restrict, and label my food as good or bad. My inner rebel showed up every so often and binged to help my body get the energy it was craving.

In college, I discovered Intuitive Eating, and it completely changed my relationship with food. I learned to listen to my body's cues, and the years since then, I've dived into what it really means to live a life from my heart and intuition on all levels. I now primarily work with women with eating disorders or disordered eating to help them heal their relationships with food, and it's the most fulfilling work I can imagine doing.

When you think of your "inner light," what does that mean to you, and what role does it play in your life and work?


My inner light is my intuition. It's what guides me to live a life aligned with my values and from my heart. I tend to be an indecisive person (don't give me the choice of what movie to watch!), but when I take a moment to ask my heart and intuition what to do and actually listen, I can make a clear decision.In my work with women, I'm helping them heal their relationship with food, but it's really about helping them find deeper connection with themselves. By building a loving relationship with themselves and honoring their needs and desires, their relationship with food shifts as well.

What are a few of your rituals or practices that help you stay inspired and connected to yourself and your purpose?

My magical mornings! I give myself time in the morning to do a short yoga flow, meditate, and usually read or journal for a bit. It starts my day on a positive note and helps me ease into the day. Writing in a journal or on my blog has always been one of the best ways to express myself, so I try to write daily for inspiration and connection.

 Moving my body really helps me stay connected to myself, especially in a yoga class or out in nature.

So often these days, we only get the "highlight reel" of others' lives via Facebook, Instagram, etc. If we could see you at some of your "real life" less-than-perfect or mundane moments, what might we see?


My work-from-home outfits. On days I'm not seeing clients, you can typically find me in yoga pants, a messy bun, and pink slippers. 

While I love cooking and trying new recipes, most of the week I'm not cooking extravagant and Instagram-worthy meals. 

And yes, I eat emotionally sometimes :) It's a totally normal thing to do.I savor red wine and cheese just because I want it, and somedays I'll enjoy chocolate if I'm having a bad day. The point is I don't allow guilt or shame to ruin my experience.

What's one of your favorite breakfasts?

Omelets with lots of veggies and fruit on the side!

And how about lunch/dinner?


I love curries - Mango Coconut Chicken Curry is a favorite.

What is your favorite way to move your body?


Yoga or anything outside in nature - hiking, running, walking. Oh, and dancing!

3 items you always have with you (beyond wallet/keys/phone!)


My new amazonite mala bracelet, tea, compassion

What are some of your absolute favorite fictional books, movies, and albums?

Harry Potter! I remember picking up the new books and reading them for like 3 days straight until it was done. (I'll take this as a reminder to read more fiction!)

I'm not a huge movie person, but I love shows. Some of my favorites are ALIAS (love spy shows!), Orange is the New Black, New Girl, and The Americans.

Which podcasts, books, courses, or other resources have had a real impact on your life?


Intuitive Eating really started me on this path, and I return and re-read that book every so often. Always new pieces of gold to pick up!

 Geneen Roth cracked me open as well, into the spiritual and emotional side of eating. Before that, I tried to look at things through a purely 'logical' perspective. Others I love are Brené Brown's books, the Jess Lively podcast, and Isabel Foxen Duke for a whole new perspective on body image that isn't talked about often.

 Lastly, journaling! Having a space to openly and freely express my thoughts, feelings, and whatever comes up is huge. It's my space to explore things on my journey and on my time.

What can you tell us about your offerings and any projects that you're working on? And how about a few of your favorite Mindful Meals blog posts?

Well, Valerie and I are working on an eBook together that I'd say is pretty amazing so far! 
I also coach women one-on-one on healing their relationship with food, and you can learn more about that here.

Here are a few posts to get to know me as well:The Seven Truths about Weight Loss All Women Must Know The Movement Revolution: 5 Ways to Find Body Love + ConnectionMy Simple Nutrition Philosophy